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The Birth Story of my Son

This is my birth story for my son Finley who was born on January 1st, 2021. 

You’ll never believe it, but if you were to look at the stats on paper, my son’s birth was exactly the same as Harley’s birth

It was a Friday in January. I went to the hospital at the same time. I had the same doula. I had the same doctor. I had the same room. I had the same birthing tub. I started pushing at the same time. 

I had Finley earlier than Harley, because I knew what I was doing this time. I had him at 9:25pm and she was born at 10:11pm, which is about 40 minutes later because I didn’t know how to push with Harley.

When she was born, I was like, that’s it?! And was just so relieved that it was over as I was so tired. With Finley, I really felt him coming out. He was a whole pound and a half bigger, so that was the biggest difference. 

So many things were similar, but there were so many things that were different too.

Here’s how it all started… 

Ever since Harley turned three, I started feeling like I really wanted for her to have a sibling. A friend once told me it’s the best gift ever for them and she was right, this whole year has been absolutely magical watching their relationship grow.

Shortly after I started to family plan with my husband. I went to the doctor again for the first time in three years and everything looked really great. I was a little bit worried about getting pregnant because I was still breastfeeding Harley and my doctor told me not to worry and also said not to worry about weaning because it would happen naturally. And that there is no time like the present, don’t worry about planning this next child, it will happen when it happens.

She literally took all of my worries away and said – just do it! (And everything she said was right – Harley weaned naturally on her own without any intervention about 6 months into the pregnancy).

In the beginning of 2020 we started trying for a baby and BOOM in March I became pregnant. This was during the height of the chaos in the world and it was such a joy to be able to have a baby and have something to look forward to while all this madness was going on. 

This pregnancy was much different than the first.

I was not in as good of shape as I was the first time in terms of athletically and physically fit, but I still was working out as much as I could considering that most of the gyms and fitness studios were closed. I was desperately trying to get back into a really good routine when I got pregnant, but then didn’t really get back into it as it was really hard to be motivated. I pushed myself to move everyday as I knew that giving birth is an athletic sport.

I spent most of 2020 pregnant and the first few months I was very nauseous (about the same as my first pregnancy). I was really tired as well, and I didn’t have time to take naps because I had a toddler running around. The crazy thing was that I didn’t have heartburn like I did with my daughter. So that was really a pleasant surprise. But I felt generally uncomfortable and just achy and tired for most of my pregnancy. Of course, there was a second trimester where I had more energy, and generally speaking it was an okay pregnancy. I gained the same amount of weight that I gained with Harley as with this baby (approximately 35 pounds). Again another similarity! 

I did have a few scares along the way.

One time, I thought my amniotic fluid was leaking. Hearing the nurse say I needed to go to the hospital straight away to have my baby at 34 weeks was so scary, but that wasn’t the case thankfully.

I was in the middle of a book launch (for Food Babe Kitchen) when this was happening. I know this is probably too much information, but I would sit so long at my desk conducting video interviews for the new book that I didn’t get up to use the restroom often, but when I did get up, I would just leak a little. I had no idea if it was pee or amniotic fluid and just to be safe, I got checked. Thank goodness it was not my water breaking and it was just pee!

I used this as a sign to slow down… so I did. 

And then… 

I reminded myself, babies come when they want to come, and that happened to be on Jan 1st, one day after his due date.

Leading up to that day was a very difficult time. Yelena, a dear close friend died in a surfing accident on Christmas. She was one of the most beautiful souls in the whole world, incredibly supportive of my mission here at Food Babe, we traveled together and she was an amazing friend who raised the most incredible family. Her daughters love to cook organically and garden, and she was just a truly beautiful mother. Losing her and finding out about that a week before I gave birth was very difficult. When I found out, I immediately went into contractions and continued contracting every single day until he was born. 

On December 31st, I was for sure thinking he was going to come, but my friend’s funeral was on the 1st and I feel like he knew that I needed to say goodbye to her before he came. Along the way throughout the week, she sent me so many different signs that she was okay, including showing up on one of the Mama Natural Natural Pregnancy Affirmation birthing cards I was reading to myself each day.

The birthing card said, “riding each contraction like a wave” with this beautiful girl on a surfboard with long hair just like my friend coaching me through another natural childbirth.

On the 1st, I got to say goodbye to my friend. I watched the entire Zoom funeral (because of Covid) on my iPad while I was in the bath contracting. Soon thereafter I got out of the tub, a complete mess of course, and went out into the living room to have lunch. My contractions stopped. And then all of the sudden they started back up at 3pm every 3 minutes.

This is when my doula came over. These contractions were basically pretty painful. I had stopped what I was doing and really braced myself on a wall and breathed through them. I had to do what I needed to do and my daughter was watching this and was looking at me going, “Mommy, you look funny”. I started to laugh and said this is what your body does when it’s ready to have a baby, you have to push the baby out and so your body contracts to move the baby down the birth canal. Harley loved meeting the doula and being part of the day with me, during early labor at home. Around 5pm is when I felt like there could be some kind of water coming out of me and we were worried that my water was breaking and if it had broken then it was time to have the baby. So, my husband got the car packed, we hopped in and headed to the hospital. 

Given the fact that I was 41 at the time, I was nervous about having a home birth, and my husband was even more nervous and just wanted to make sure we had the least risky situation for me and this baby.  So we decided to have a hospital birth. Even though I had really considered a home birth because I wanted to stay out of the hospital system during this very interesting time, but we went to the hospital and it was wonderful. 

I refused every intervention that I could. I was very gracious about it and polite about my wishes. The nurses and doctors were very supportive of my decisions. Because so many things were similar as my first birth, I really got to focus on the other details around me. I got to focus on the lighting and how I didn’t like certain lights in the room. And what time it was. And having fun and joking with my doctor and doula in between contractions. Of course that was before I went into transition, where I went from 7 to 10 cm, the hardest part of labor. Then I got a little bit cranky. But I was so calm and so fearless and just had no anxiety about anything really. My doctor had put me in such good spirits, knowing that there were no major Covid restrictions that I had to follow. I did not wear a mask during childbirth. I can’t imagine trying to wear one during childbirth. I was free to be me and have this baby. 

When things got really really tough, I said to myself, I will never judge a woman for getting an epidural or anything, because wow, this is intense. My friend was there coaching me from above and was looking down on me and saying, “Vani you can do this”. Knowing the sacrifices her family has had to make with her being gone, I knew I could get through it. If her family could get through what they just did at her funeral, I could do this. She got me through every tough contraction. Yelena – thank you for helping me birth Finley – I love you. 

When I saw my doctor start to put on different protective clothing, I asked my doula why. She said – your baby is almost here, I was elated labor was about to be over.

When he was born, I got to catch him and that was the coolest thing–feeling him coming out of my body while I was holding him.

It felt so surreal and so fast this time compared to the last time. This time I could just look at the clock and know, okay I think my body will progress this fast for this long, and would ask the doctor for predictions and for everyone to kind of bet on what was going on. It was so fun and beautiful.

Finley III was born naturally with no interventions at the hospital.

Very similar to Harley, I had high blood pressure again after childbirth, which was annoying, but I was able to get it under control very quickly after getting home, acupuncture treatments and getting back into my regular routine.

Recovering from this birth was much harder. I felt like my body had broken into two during labor when I was pushing. I didn’t tear or have complications with the birth, but my body needed rest. I have a hard time asking for help and rest, I am a go go go person and I did not listen to my body. I should have rested more. Also I didn’t have a toddler running around the first time, and this made resting even harder. Right after birth, I had these really intense contractions almost like I was going into labor again two days after having my child, which were very painful. I would just take a hot bath with epsom salt and everything would get better.

I was only in the hospital for 18 hours after I gave birth – I pleated to go home as fast as possible. The little guy decided to sleep almost 8 hours straight after he was born, while me and my husband just stared at him and stayed up all night in awe and got zero sleep. I really wanted to get back to my daughter, as she wasn’t allowed in the hospital.

Having her meet her baby brother was the most beautiful thing in the whole world. She told him “I want you to be my baby brother forever, I love you so much ” when she met him. It was the most life changing thing I have ever seen and you could see the instant love in her eyes. 

Becoming a mother again is the most special thing that has ever happened to me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, comments and or birth stories below.

Xo,
Vani 

P.S. In case you missed it, you can read my daughter Harley’s birth story here.

 

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32 responses to “The Birth Story of my Son

  1. I’m crying! This is so sweet. I had my second son May 2, 2020 and my older boy wasn’t allowed in, I also pleaded to come home to him! They let me leave after a csection (breech baby) after only 30 hours! It’s crazy that they have control of when you can leave, but I impressed one nurse by putting my jammies on and standing on one foot When my older son met and held his baby brother he said “it’s like a dream come true.” ❤️
    Also, thank you for what you do.

    1. Kyle – this is beautiful – thanks for sharing with me! There’s nothing better than reliving these sweet moments. It’s what life is about.

  2. That was such a heart warming story! Your daughter’s comment made me cry tears of happiness! God Bless you & your whole family! Best wishes for the new year & Happy First Birthday to your dear son!

  3. I was also 41 when I had my second. After trying for 5 years with many miscarriages- when I had the last one at 40, I said no more trying. And then 7 months later- I was pregnant. Both of my births were unmediated, and intervention free. I was at a birthing center for my first one but my blood pressure shot up and I had to go to the hospital to deliver. The second one my BP was elevated thru most of my pregnancy and we just felt safer delivering at the hospital again. Both times they were very accommodating to my birth plans, and my doulas. They were both wonderful amazing experiences. My sons birth I was amazed at how easy it was. I was in labor for 8 hours- and felt every bit of him come out- limb by limb- and held him as he was coming out. Incredible. My daughters birth was very different as far as pain goes. She was 4 weeks early and weighed 8lbs 4 oz! I was only in labor for 5 hours, and I told them something was different- the pain was weird and something was wrong. The pain was insanely intense- because her shoulder was stuck on my pelvic bone. They weren’t prepared for me to have transitioned as quickly as I did and when I said I had to push they had to run out and grab a doctor- thankfully the most calm woman I’ve been met. She had to to a corkscrew and then a nurse jumped on my belly and she flew out. I only pushed a 3 times with my son and 5 times with my daughter. No time to help pull her out on that one. I was just thankful we got her out- I was ready for them to take me to the OR because the pain was so bad. But it went fast and perfectly and we were so thankful she was okay. I also had horrible heartburn with her, and didn’t have any at all with my son. My little girl turns 2 in March. She was born 3 days after major tornadoes in Tennessee, and the next day after the hospital went on lockdown for Covid. So 2020 was a beautiful year for us bringing her home. All thru this coivid mess- we have had a different experience . A very beautiful experience.

  4. I loved reading your birthing story. My granddaughter is in labor as I write this and even though my daughter is 47, I can remember the small details of her and my sons birth experience. Such a miraculous experience.

  5. Thank you for sharing this miracle with us. What an adorable photo of your children.
    I am so very sorry about your friend. I lost a dear friend last January and am heartbroken.
    Thank you for all you do! Hope you can take some time off!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story!! My first just turned 2 and I’m ready for my second. I’m just waiting for my hubby to be ready! Lol I was so encouraged to read your story. I’m turning 33 in August and can just feel and anxiety of needing to meet the 35 mark to have my second. Do you have any thoughts? I’m scared that I won’t be able to get pregnant if I wait too long. Is this true or medical myth?

  7. Congratulations Vani! I cannot believe Harley is 3 already, and now you have a new baby boy! Best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and peaceful new year ~ Thank you for all you do 🙂

  8. So touching! So beautiful! Birth for my second was May 2 abs was also faster, more intense. I also caught baby (girl), most empowering feeling to hold her. The connection between both this past few months have been most abs ing feeling too. She has older brother sane age as Harley. I’m still recovering my body from birth as I too was more tired etc. Being out of US abs specialists around has been tricky. Pelvic specialists etc are very important to be involved in woman’s recovery. I too lost a very dear friend but after baby was born that I feel affected my milk supply around 1.5 months after birth. It was so tragic I still shiver. It’s the miami collapsed building, loosing such soul friend has been a journey. Hope we all heal and feel they’re love and beautiful energy, Hope all your journey ahead with your two sweeties is as magical as you hope it to be and even more! Thank you for your continuous work at Food Babe and Truvani!

  9. Congrats to you and your family Vani. Just beautiful! ❤ I had three of my four children completely natural but with my last child had an epideral he was in distress and indused a week early, I had fallen that week; he was 9 pounds 14.5 oz at birth. I had the worse after birth pains with that last pregnancy; I was 30 years old at the time.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely story and for all you do for humanity and our planet.
    Enjoy! Big hugs!

  10. Vani, I have been waiting for so long to hear about your birth story! You are very blessed to have a natural birth in a hospital. I had my first in a hospital, the second in a Dutch hospital with a midwife, and the last two at home in rural Northwestern PA. With the last one I would’ve been an emergency c-section at a hospital because of my “advanced maternal age.” Birthing is such an empowering event! My baby just turned 14. Oh, how I wish I could have more!!! God bless you and your precious family!!!

  11. Dear Food Babe: This was so exciting to have you tell us about your babies’
    births. I had 5 children and my 3rd son was born in 1966 and after having
    2 normal hospital deliveries, I thought the 3rd birth would be similar. But I
    began to experience some pre-labor pain after we had returned home from
    going to a drive- in movie! I had put my two boys to bed and my husband also
    went to bed. i had to wake him up and tell him I was starting labor. We called
    my mother and she had to drive to my subdivision and I called a neighbor to
    ask if she would meet my mother at our house to have her with the sleeping
    boys! We rushed to get to the hospital and my water broke as we were almost
    at the hospital. My husband drove to emergency entrance and it was after
    midnight and he had to carry me to the elevator door on the bottom floor! The elevator was taking a long time to open! My son came forth on the second floor level and after the elevator took us up, there was help there, but when my husband started out of the elevator, I yelled, and told him we were going to go back down to the basement floor! He got help really quick, and my son, Russ, was not needing anything, but the doctor in charge at the hospital did not call my doctor, but the doctor in charge took care of my afterbirth. I was taken to my room and my husband was asleep on my hospital bed! All our family friends were calling my husband “doctor Benson” and after having two more children, two girls, I was admitted earlier than their birth dates, as my doctor did not want me driving around town anywhere near my scheduled date, and even the nurse who assisted for the elevator birth came and told me she was there with me when I had Russ on the elevator! I was induced when the girls were born, and my doctor had started going to see patients and nurses called him back before
    he was able to visit others! All my deliveries were fast. My husband was glad my doctor did not charge me any delivery fees when he could not get to the hospital that night! I was a blessed woman and so happy to have a big family.

  12. Thank you for sharing your birth story, Vani. I remember reading your first birth when you first posted it. I’ve been following you for a while now and you are one strong and determined woman. You are inspiring! And your babies are beautiful. Much love to you and your family.

  13. Thank you, Vani. What an incredibly miraculous and moving birth story! Every birth is miraculous when you think about what the mother and the baby have to go through! The human body is an amazing machine. I have given birth to 3 babies, and every one was completely surreal. Isn’t it such an honor to birth life? Incredible. I am so thankful that my first two babies came through very well, in spite of a very traumatic and stressful delivery. After very long labors, my first two ended in C-Sections. After the second birth, my doctor examined my body and determined I have an irregularly shaped pelvis/bone structure. I would never be able to experience a natural delivery. If not for modern medicine, I would have surely died in childbirth along with my baby. My third pregnancy was a scheduled c-section from the word “go”. But that’s ok. I have my babies and they’re grown now, and giving me grandchildren – another huge blessing!

    Thank you, Vani for what you do and for sharing your beautiful story with us.

  14. What a BEAUTIFUL story and BLESSING. Finley is very lucky to have his big sister by his side. They are both BEAUTIFUL! Best wishes to you and your family!

  15. I love reading this, Vani. Brought me to tears. I’ve looked up to you in many ways for many years now. I became a mom for the first time shortly after you did, and I’m a year older. Although I keep telling myself I wouldn’t be able to handle it, I’m too old, and have the same fears about weaning, etc, in my heart I’ve always wanted to try for a second. Thanks for giving me hope. Now just have to convince my husband he’s still young enough. Lol

  16. Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing! I am very sorry about your friend. Sending love and light to you and your family. Keep up your amazing work!

  17. This was a lovely story. I appreciated you sharing it. I wish I could send it to my Granddaughter, Lucy, who had her first baby just last year at 35. She is a super healthy person and had her baby at home. She is currently living in Sayulita, Mexico although she and her husband are Americans but her mother is Mexican so she has family there in Mexico in San Miguel. Lucy is a very beautiful person both inside and out.
    Here is her contact info.
    Wish you would send her your story about having your 2nd baby.
    Wishing you all the best for the New Year !

  18. Thank you so much Vani for sharing your birthing story of giving birth to Finley! I am the mother of four beautiful grown children. And the stories of each of their births is very interesting and one of these days I will tell you, but I would like to tell you something that very few doctors know and even preachers don’t seem to know, and that is that God Almighty, Jehovah/Yahweh, sent Jesus, not only to give believers in him everlasting life, but also to end animal sacrifices for sins and to end circumcision. And if I would have known I would never have had my three sons circumcised, on the eighth day like God Almighty told the Hebrews (Israelites) to do. Genesis17: 12 Scientists did not find out why Almighty God, said to circumcise a male child on the eighth day until the 1930s when it was discovered that the blood clotting factor, Vitamin K, is fully developed by the eighth day. To circumcise a baby boy sooner could cause the baby to bleed to death. So Almighty God, knew what He was doing by having a baby boy circumcised on the eighth day. And He knew what He was doing when He sent His Firstborn Son, Jesus to end it. I have much more about circumcising since I am a Bible researcher and a minister of The Way. But here is part of one of my messages:
    ” But what if some insist on being under the written Laws like some of the Galatians did and others? Well, I will let the Apostle Paul answer that at Galatians 1: 1 ” For such freedom Jesus set us free. Therefore stand fast, and do not let yourselves be confined again in a yoke of slavery. ( the Law of Moses all 600 + that were nailed to the cross with Jesus, effectively freeing believers from the handwritten laws that enslaved them and placing them under God Almighty’s Son, Jesus, who then would write His Laws in their hearts. Colossians 2: 14 & 2nd Corinthians 3: 3 no more writing his Laws on stone tablets but on hearts of flesh.)
    (2) See! I, Paul, am telling You that if You become circumcised, Jesus will be of no benefit to You. (3) Moreover, I bear witness again to every man getting circumcised that he is under obligation (then) to perform the whole Law! (4) You are parted from Jesus, whoever You are that tries to be declared righteous by means of law; You have fallen away from his undeserved kindness. (5) For our part, we by spirit are eagerly awaiting for the hoped for righteousness as a result of faith. (6) For as regards Jesus neither circumcision is of any value nor is uncircumcision, but faith operating through Love is. John 3: 16
    I and my daughter, love your dedication to helping people find out the truth about health. and your bravery for standing up for what is right in God’s eyes.

    To many doctors are still doing it because there truly are to many churches that teach that. They still have the doctors do this on the eighth day. My preacher told me to get my boys circumcised when they were born. Over forty years ago. The doctor did this on the eighth day like the Bible says in the Old Testament, but one of the doctors without even asking me took my newborn son over to the corner of the room and circumcised him right there in the delivery room. Many people do not know why God told Abraham to circumcise the males on the eighth day. And it wasn’t until around 1950 when scientists discovered why He specified the eighth day..it was because that is the day Vitamin K comes into the blood stream thus preventing to much blood loss. Wish I would have known back when I had my sons what I know now

    1. I double checked Vani, and it was in the 1930s that scientists discovered why God said to circumcise Hebrew (Israelite) baby boys on the eighth day. I am on facebook under Cheryl A. Allen and my picture is two trees.

  19. This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. Keep up the amazing work. You are such and inspiration to all of us.

  20. That is one of the most beautiful new birth photos I have ever seen. Absolutely wonderful.
    Congratulations and wishing you and your family much joy.

  21. What a incredible birth story ! Your awesome and inspiring ! Congratulations on your birth !

  22. This was hard for me to read as I´ve lost 3 children in the past 5 years to down syndrome. But congrats to you and your good fortune!

  23. I loved reading your story! I am so happy everything went well.
    Having a baby is the most wonderful experience.
    I had 4 children, all natural.
    Now my kids are having babies. I begged them to go natural because the epidural slows the process down. They didn’t listen.

  24. This story made me cry happy tears….I’ve just celebrated first birthday of my son Lukas, and he has nearly 5 year old big sister. I’m 39 (also what they call advanced maternal age…), and I also wanted to birth naturally at home, but I got defeated by pain and got an epidural for the last 40 minutes before he was born. However this was an improvement from my first born and I’m proud of myself for rejecting all other interventions and breastfeeding exclusively! Thank you for sharing, and for everything you do! Similarity I’ve been fighting in a battle to feed my kids real food, organic and unprocessed. I’ve come to realize over the past few years that this is a very lonely path, after my experience with daycare, Pre-K, birthday parties, etc. But people like you give me strength that I’m not fully alone (or crazy!) and that we can teach our kids a better lifestyle in this unhealthy world, despite all the challenges.

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