My name is Jean Cox. I live in Trussville with my 2 beautiful sons, their amazing Dad, the greatest dog on earth, 4 chickens, and one really mean pet turtle. Our favorite family pastimes are gardening, fishing, and foraging. We stay busy and are always having fun.
I am a CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator, but I am not a typical childbirth professional as I am not a doula or a nurse; and I have a job outside of the birthing business. My career, of 15 years, is actually selling masonry construction and landscape materials. So why did a concrete salesperson decide to study and train to teach birthing classes? It was in response to birth related trauma, recovery, and personal victory.
When I was pregnant with my first child I knew I wanted to have a natural birthing experience. I was ready to face the pain and conquer labor. I had ran a full marathon, so knew I could handle pain. I was fit, fierce, and fearless. I prepared my mind and body, and knew I was going to rock that labor and delivery.
At 42 weeks I ended up with a 2 day failed induction that included insane amounts of labor inducing drugs that didn’t work, and too many cervical checks to count. I never even got to feel a real contraction or experience any of the labor I had prepared for. My uterus became infected, and my baby was born via C-Section. My beautiful first born child was rushed away to NICU and kept there for 5 days for observation because of signs of respiratory distress (more common after cesarean delivery).
I was crushed. I was told I could not hold my child or breastfeed him as a precaution because he was breathing too fast. I watched my child cry and i was kept from comforting him like I knew I should. I felt as though someone had ripped out part of my soul and thrown it into a plastic incubator. I felt defeated. I felt broken.
I had thoroughly prepared myself for the physical pain of childbirth. But, nothing could have prepared us for the emotional pain and true suffering that we experienced. My son got his first breast milk through a feeding tube. Within 10 minutes of it entering his little body, his respiratory rate slowed down and he was fine. After another 24 hours of monitoring we were able to go home. Thankfully our child was released with no lasting medical issues.
I was left with scars, physical and emotional. I was left with stress related physical illness. I was left with many regrets; the greatest of which was was not knowing my rights as a laboring woman and as a new parent.
When I was pregnant with my second child 2 years later I knew I wanted a natural Vaginal Birth. I researched the C-section rates and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) rates of every doctor in the state, then I chose a doctor and hospital over an hour away from my home. It was the perfect decision and worth all the miles traveled.
I was convinced I would have this child naturally. However, this was anther stubborn child and he was not going to follow a regular schedule. 42 weeks! AGAIN! Even though my doctor was very supportive of my plan for a natural birth, he convinced me to schedule an induction when I had made it to 42 weeks. On the day I was to be induced I was so frustrated and felt like I was going to relive my 1st birthing experience. I lost all hope and bawled my eyes out for hours. Then right before we were leaving for the hospital labor started. Less than 8 hours later I was holding my sweet new baby. My labor was completely natural and beautiful. I was grateful for every contraction. I knew my body was doing what it was made for, and I truly loved every minute of it. The suffering I felt with my first birth made me appreciate the purposeful pain of my natural labor and I actually I smiled through transition.
When I held my new baby for the first time I immediately asked for my first born to join us. I needed to hold both of my babies. Holding them in that moment was the greatest feeling I’ve ever known. I wish that every birth could be so peaceful and joyous.
After my second child was born, the desire to help other mothers prepare for childbirth was laid heavily on my heart. I could not shake it. My drastically different birthing experiences greatly altered my view of life, womanhood, birth and of myself. I joined the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association and started studying, training, and attending births. I am so very happy to now be officially certified through CAPPA.
My goal as a childbirth educator is to empower students with knowledge, skills, and confidence in their own abilities. I truly hope that my classes help to prepare mothers for beautiful labors, peaceful deliveries and healthy postpartum times.