Supermodel Elsa Hosk opened up about the “horror movie darkness” of labor and delivery this week in a series of Instagram posts. The 32-year-old gave birth to her daughter, a first for her and boyfriend Tom Daly, last week. Hosk announced the birth with some gorgeous images shared to her Instagram account yesterday, including an essay recounting her home-birth experience in graphic detail in the captions.
At first glance, the whole thing seems idyllic. Her and Daly planned to have a “naturally and drug-free” home birth according to her post. “I’ve always loved and felt comforted by water. Any time in life where I’ve felt sad, upset, needed to relax, needed comfort, the bath has been my place,” she wrote.
Hosk labored at home for two days, trying to get her water to break naturally with the help of her doula and some home remedies like exercises, walking, yoga, and pumping breast milk. Acupuncture seemed to be the winning ticket for the new mom, because right after the acupuncturist left, she felt the water break. “I texted Tom who was working in the other part of the house ‘baby, I think the water broke’ and in that instant I felt the strongest contraction I had felt so far,” she wrote. “And they kept coming.”
The model spent a lot of time in the shower trying to naturally manage her painful contractions before moving on to the birthing pool to deliver. But, once she entered the birthing pool, Hosk says things got real, real quick. Her cervix became caught between her pelvis and her daughter’s head.
This phrase is what really gets us: “The lip of the cervix is still not opening.”
“It’s the most painful moment so far but I remember feeling so grateful for these techniques and open to try anything natural to get this baby out quicker,” she said, adding that she started feeling like her baby would never come out (a feeling many of us are familiar with). “Then I remind myself that I can’t just stop, there’s no way but through the pain.”
In order to get her cervix to open further, she moved to the bed and tried a few different yoga positions. “In this child’s pose I’m able to find enough power to push away the lip, and this is where my water breaks fully, flowing out all over the bed. I don’t care,” Hosk wrote. “I imagine every sensation of pain is her pushing a little further down the birth canal.”
Hosk said her body went “into complete shut down and sleep” between the waves of pain that kept coming during her hours of active labor. “It’s the worst pain, fear, and darkness I’ve ever experienced in those moments. I feel like an animal,” she wrote. “I have given up every sense what you’re suppose to look like, what anyone would think of me, what was normal many, many hours ago. I have left my ego, my pride. I’m just getting through, getting closer to my baby.” Once the baby began crowning, her birthing team brought her a mirror so she could get that first glimpse of her daughter, and to motivate her through the home stretch (pun intended).
After her daughter was fully delivered, they placed her on Hosk’s chest. “All bloody and fluids are everywhere and she is pooping all over me, and she is looking for my nipple,” she wrote. “And the most pain I’ve ever felt is forgotten, I am overwhelmed with love, proudness, happiness.”
The new mom said that moment was like the end of a scary movie, since “the room shifted from what felt like a horror movie darkness into a light sun-filled dream.” We wish the new parents plenty of sunny days with their new baby girl!
Get an idea of what Hosk went through with these childbirth shots.
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