[Birth Stories] How She Got Through A Week Of Prodromal Labor By Embracing It

Adriana Aleman Crane’s first birth involved several days of prodromal labor– and if you don’t know what that is, you really want to listen to this episode! But her second birth? Her husband almost missed it! She shares with Adriana Lozada that sleep is glorious, acupuncture is worth it, and how releasing control (and her bag of waters!) gets her labors to flow.

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[Birth Stories] How She Got Through A Week Of Prodromal Labor By Embracing It

Hello hello, Mighty Parent or Parent-To-Be. Welcome once again to Birthful. I’m Adriana Lozada and with today’s episode— this is huge— we’re going to be wrapping up this wonderful Birthful series on Movement and Body Wellness in Pregnancy

And we have covered a lot of ground in this series, giving you tools to help you navigate pregnancy discomforts through conscious alignment and mindful exercise. We’ve talked about prenatal yoga and what you can do beyond what you do on the mat. We’ve considered ways to help you get better sleep, and we’ve also talked about how you can use chiropractic and acupuncture as solid bodywork modalities that can help alleviate your current symptoms as well as prepare you for an easier birth.

If you’re following along and applying some of the many suggestions from this series, we would love to know how they are working for you! So feel free to send us a note to the email address podcast@birthful.com or in the corresponding Instagram posts @birthfulpodcast. 

Alright, so today’s stories come from Adriana Aleman Crane, who’s had five births, but we’re really only going to touch upon her first two, and really most of the focus is going to be on the first one because Adriana had the longest prodromal labor that I’ve ever seen to date— and I’ve been doing doula work since 2007! 

Now if you have no idea what prodromal labor is, it’s when labor starts but doesn’t quite organize in a way that creates cervical change. It’s what used to be called “false labor” but really there’s nothing false about it. If you experience prodromal labor, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong, but it can feel like your body is taking its very sweet time to get to the birthing part. 

Prodromal labor can taper down, it can stop, it can start up again. It can be really annoying, frustrating, and even painful, and as you’ll hear from Adriana, it requires A LOT of patience. Also, if you are having prodromal labor, sleep can be glorious (if you can get it) and acupuncture can be just what your body needs to help organize labor and move it along.  One thing I wanted you to know before we start is that misoprostol is the generic name for Cytotec. In the episode, you’ll hear that Adriana had Cytotec as part of the induction process for her second birth, and then, during our recent episode on acupuncture with Dr. Boswell, he and I talk about the use of misoprostol. So basically, it’s the same medicine, in case you wanted to connect the dots. 

You’re listening to Birthful. Here to inform your intuition. 

Lozada: Hi, Adriana. Welcome to the show.

Aleman Crane: Hi, how are you?

Lozada: Good, good. Good to talk to you.

Aleman Crane: Thanks for having me.

Lozada: Oh, thank you so much for willing to tell your story! And we were just commenting off the air that you were saying that you wanted to tell your story because, looking back on it, it’s almost comical. Tell me more about that.

Aleman Crane: It’s so funny, for my first birth, you know, you have these grand ideas of what it’s supposed to be like and you know, you’re water breaking and rushing to the hospital and none of that happened for me at all. I was in prodromal labor for a week. It started late on a Saturday morning, and I went to the hospital numerous times to be checked and they were like, “No, this… you’re not even dilated yet. You’re just… these are contractions that you’re having.” And I’m like, “No, I’m in real labor!” It’s comical.

Lozada: Yeah, because it feels like real labor.

Aleman Crane: Yes. And for a person who’s never done contractions before and never has had a baby before, you feel like “This is it!” You’re like, at the end of your pregnancy you’ve built all of this anticipation, and you and your partner are trying to, this is new for the both of you. You don’t know what to expect. And when my contractions were like, pretty spot on, we thought, “This is it.” This is great, you know! I was already late with her to begin with, so I was super excited that this could be the end and it wasn’t that. It was just the beginning…

Lozada: It was a very slow end. And we gotta do full disclosure and say that I was your doula. So I do have inside information on that. I was there for most of this, not for… for some of it. I wasn’t with you for a whole week.

Aleman Crane: No, my husband was with me for the full week, but you were there for a good portion of it.

Lozada: Yes.

Aleman Crane: You helped us get through this. 

Lozada: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, okay. Take it from the beginning. Walk us through this lovely birth story.

Aleman Crane: It was great. Yeah, but looking back on it, it was great. In the moment it really wasn’t, but my labor started with some pretty good contractions pretty regularly, on a Saturday morning. And it… I remember walking around my yard, having contractions and going, and it lasted probably for a couple of hours before we were like, “Oh, this may be it.” Let’s go to the hospital and, you know, see if this, see if our baby is coming. At the time we didn’t know what we were having, so the anticipation mixed with the anxiety of, “Oh my God, I don’t know if I can do this,” made us really excited. 

So when we packed up and left for the hospital, and I got there and checked into triage and they were like, “Yep, your contractions are pretty regular now. You know, we’re gonna have to do a digital exam to see where you are in your labor.” And when they said, “Oh honey, you’re not even dilated,” it was just, like, heartbreak for me because I felt like I had… all of this work. I felt like my body was putting into it and I was nowhere near the end, which I haven’t even started this marathon.

Lozada: Yeah, and you’d been at it for hours already?

Aleman Crane: Oh yeah, I have been at it for like a good portion of like a good day, and I know that the beginning part of labor is where your body puts in the most work. And you know, to deliver a baby. And I thought, “Oh good, this is it. I can do this.” And then when they told me that I wasn’t, and it was just like somebody who, like, deflated my ball of joy.

So we went home. And, you know, it was rest and trying to eat, but I was still having these contractions and I would still have these contractions on point every, you know, five to eight minutes they were coming. I remember trying to sleep and waking my husband up in the middle of the night with contraction after contraction. And you know, again, another day went by and we thought that this was it. I remember laboring in a tub, and feeling like I had to push and running to the hospital thinking, “Oh my God, this is it.” And getting there and not working and home again.

Lozada: I remember that when you got in the tub then, because your pattern— the contractions— were getting longer and stronger and closer together.

And when you were in the tub, your demeanor was similar to a person getting close to transition. So it did make sense on all angles to go to the hospital. And we were all baffled and it wasn’t like we weren’t trying things because you were doing lots of great things and moving and we tried some of the different positions from, from Spinning Babies. And you at some point went swimming and were doing inversions in the pool.

Aleman Crane: I was swimming. I was swimming in my neighbor’s pool, thinking, you know, I was doing circles, like laps, just walking around in laps. And I can remember my husband sitting at the side of the pool with his little phone, you know, checking and checking in every contraction. And I remember trying to do handstands. I did a couple of handstands thinking that if the baby could come back out of the pelvis and realign better, that it would get me in a better position to then help the transition and help the contractions come. So I did handstands both in and out of the pool. I did a lot of, like, side laying, and some side massaging to try and get things going. I mean, if somebody suggested to like do jumping jacks, I probably would’ve at that point. I was grasping for straws— 

Lozada: Yeah. 

Aleman Crane: —to try and help my contractions become real, and I mean, they were real because I felt them, but I needed them to work in the way that they were supposed to work.

Lozada: Right, to be productive.

Aleman Crane: By helping me dilate, yes. 

I got acupuncture done during this labor. Had tacks placed. I remember massaging the tacks between my shoulder blades, behind my ears, on my ankles. Those were pretty helpful looking back. So helpful, I used them for my second pregnancy. It was just, it was a week of back and forth to the hospital. I was back and forth, you know, I was admitted overnight, for observation, and they gave me “therapeutic rest” with the morphine and Phenergan and they were like, “Well, we’ll check you in the morning and hopefully this’ll help you rest so your body could do the work.” I woke up the next morning and it was nothing. It’s day three or four.

Lozada: And this was day…?

Aleman Crane: Day three or four. Tuesday or Wednesday.

Lozada: Wednesday evening, I think. Right? You spent the night there and so you definitely needed to get some rest and needed some help because it’d been Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of not sleeping properly.

Aleman Crane: Correct. And I did sleep that night. There was a couple of times that I did wake up, ‘cause the contractions were so bad. And all I remember is like when they would wake up, I would look over at the Toco monitor and I would see like forties and fifties and I would get really excited. I’m like, “Oh yes, those are good, strong contractions,” like “Those are what I want!” And when I woke up the next morning, they were like, “You haven’t moved at all.” And I was like, “Ohhh,” so just, like, disheartened and I’m still very tired. 

But they ended up sending me home and we did a lot of bouncing on our birthing ball, and I had to eat at that point because I was so dehydrated and tired. And just ready. I was just ready. And I remember thinking to myself, “I just want this to happen,” like, “I just want this to be real for me.” We had waited so long for this baby and I just wanted to meet her.

Lozada: Yeah.

Aleman Crane: I just… I wanted to see who this little person was!

Lozada: I’m looking over at my notes… So that night that you went to the hospital and were able to sleep, at that point you were two centimeters, so things were inching, inching along, but there wasn’t near enough progress. And I remember before going to the hospital, that you were at a very low point then, because you were so exhausted.

Aleman Crane: I was. It was a mixture of I’m tired. I’m, you know, trying my best. I remember that I did feel like “I just want this to happen and I’m the only person that can control it. My body is the only thing that is controlling whether or not this little person comes out of me.” And I just felt like my body was failing, and I had this glorious birth plan and like, you know, I was gonna go into birth right away and labor right away and I was gonna, you know, have all these grand scenes and like nothing was working. And what scared me, I had a fleeting thought, was, “Oh my God, am I gonna be able to birth this baby?” like “Is this my body saying that ‘You are not ready’?” or the baby’s not gonna come out vaginally, “You’re gonna have to have a cesarean!” And that was really scary. It was really scary because that was not my birth plan at all.

But it’s labor. I mean, no one controls labor except for your body. You have no control over it. And I’m a very controlling person. So it was very eye-opening to me and I was at a low point. I was like, “Oh my gosh, nothing’s going right?” I think it was exhaustion too, that I was in labor for so long and I wasn’t going anywhere.

Lozada: And I find that after you did get some proper sleep with the help of medicines overnight, the next day when we spoke, you were in super high spirits. Which was inspiring to me because, looking at it from the outside, you know, you’ve been at this for four or five days now and we’re still on the starting line and it is completely normal that you would be exhausted and at a low point and all this. But then that next morning when we spoke, you were so upbeat and cheery. You were like… just, like, that sleep really transformed you and you were so optimistic again, and that was impressive to me.

Aleman Crane: Sleep is a glorious thing. It really, you know, can revive a person and can make you wake up with a new perspective on things. You know, after speaking with my doctor and speaking with you, speaking with my husband, it was just like, you know, “This will happen. Your baby’s not gonna live inside you forever. He or she will come out and it’ll be okay and you can start your life.” So I think that was my perspective. I had to stop focusing on “My body’s not doing it,” to “My body will do it eventually.” I needed that, like I needed for everyone to say “It’s okay,” like “This is okay.” It’s not a science. There’s no exact way of saying your baby is gonna be born today. It’s gonna happen right now. Nobody has that control. And I think it had… I had to lose that control for myself. And I feel like when I did that, is when things really started to progress, ’cause I started… I stopped beating myself up about it. So I think that’s what helped.

I ended up going back and they ended up just admitting me. I think it was only two or three centimeters, but they were like, “Okay, you know, you’ve come back and forth so much during this week. I think we’re just gonna admit you and we’ll see how things progress.” 

And I just remember the contractions getting closer and much more intense. I don’t remember a whole lot from that Friday night. That was my final admit date. I do remember trying to sit on a ball at some point in time, and I remember doing lots of walking to try and kind of move things around.  I do remember my water breaking because I was in a deep sleep. I was sleeping when my water broke and I had thought I peed the bed. Like I thought I had fallen asleep and I thought I had peed the bed. They had given me… I can’t remember the medication that they gave me. It was a pain, it was like a one-time dose pain medicine. Just so that I could—

Lozada: Yeah. Nubain.

Aleman Crane: Yes, it was Nubain! and that made me sleepy. So I think everyone in the room, I think everybody was so exhausted that, everyone slept and all I remember is waking up and sitting up in bed going, “Oh my God, I think I peed the bed.” I was scared, I didn’t know, you see in the movies the water breaking, it’s the glorious like, rush of water. Mine was more of a trickle, and mine was like, I honestly thought I had peed the bed. But luckily my water broke and it was a sign for me that things were happening. That “Yes, things are moving!” That was a really big turning point for me. It was really, really helpful for me to finally be like, “Yes, this is happening.” Unfortunately because my baby was so late, I did have meconium in my fluid. So, it was a little bit of a concern for me, but not enough for me to be super worried about it.

Lozada: And I just wanna briefly explain what meconium is for the listeners who may or may not know. And it’s just that first baby poop. It’s called meconium, and it can happen when the baby is stressed— you know, having meconium in the water might be a sign that baby is stressed, or it might also be a sign, especially with a baby that’s past due dates like yours was, that it might be a sign of baby’s just more mature and pooped.

Aleman Crane: Yep. So I’m a pediatric nurse, so I kind of know what that means. I know that the babies can get sick from it, so I was a little bit worried and a little bit concerned, but I was more concerned that I just wanted my baby out. I just wanted my baby out and in my arms. And so I thought that was a good time to be pushing and go pushing. I remember trying to do the birthing bar across my bed. I remember trying to push while I was squatting, which I thought was much more helpful than pushing on my back and hindsight is 20/20. But I really wish I could have actually pushed and had delivered while squatting cause it was so much easier for me to actually get in position and hold tight. And it was easier for me to curl myself up into a ball to help push my daughter out, than it was for me on my back.

Lozada: Right?!

Aleman Crane: So I feel like a lot needs to change in the way we birth. I felt more, much more comfortable squatting and, I did squat a couple times and I was pushing for a little while, but I only pushed for an hour and a half after my water broke, which I thought was pretty amazing. Because you hear these horror stories of women pushing and pushing for hours and hours and pushing, I thought it was like, you give a couple good pushes and the baby’s out. Well, it’s like you push and the baby comes out, but it comes back in a little bit. Then you push some more and the baby comes out. But it goes back in a little bit. It’s a process. It’s that very, like 1, 2, 3, give it the old college try. Which, as a first-time mother, I didn’t know that’s how it went. So I pushed for an hour and a half and I just remember the feeling and it truly is that ring of fire that you feel, but I felt like, “Oh my God, it hurts so bad!” But it’s so… it will wake you up. It will be like, “Okay, your baby’s here. You need to focus. You need to push and you need to control your breathing.”

Lozada: Get adrenaline going!

Aleman Crane: Yes. So that was, that final push for me was glorious, and we didn’t know what we were having. So it was very, I was so happy and I was just so tired and so elated, that I actually passed out at the end of my birth for a short time.

Lozada: You were tired.

Aleman Crane: I remember going “It’s a girl!” and then, like, completely, like, just passing out. I was so tired, but I was so elated and, you know, in my birth plan I wanted her to be placed on my belly right away, and a delayed cord cutting. But due to the meconium, you know, she needed to go see the pediatric team that was there to make sure that she was okay. So my first birth is a lot of “didn’t know” questions and things don’t always go as they seem, but they’ll all work out in the end. 

So I gave birth to a very healthy eight pound baby girl. It was an amazing birth. Like, it really was an amazing birth. And now, I can think… I can look back at it and laugh hysterically about how anxious I was. But being a first time mom is a… it’s one of those things that you don’t know what’s coming. You don’t know how it’s gonna end. But it’s really, really amazing. And birth is really amazing. I mean, I look back now and my husband can look back and say, “You did that!” Like you, you did that. So, comically my week long birth ended in… ended quite spectacularly.

Lozada: It did. It did. And once it got going, it really got going. You moved along once the contractions were being productive, and getting you dilated. I’m looking at my notes and I’m trying to put some times behind it. And so that Friday… We had gone on Thursday for that acupuncture. And I love the fact that it was such a long birth that we went for an acupuncture field trip, like, halfway into it.

Aleman Crane: Oh yes. I completely forgot. I remember getting the acupuncture done, but I can’t… I forgot about the field trip. Yes, I was contracting in my car. We were driving down the road for an acupuncture visit. Yes, I do remember that. That was a trip across town that we were like, “Well, we’re going to acupuncture.” You’re not moving… We’re gonna do this. And I remember contracting, and I remember the ladies being very helpful and very understanding and wanting to, you know, wanting to help me in the best way that they could. And it was amazing. I highly suggest acupuncture.

Lozada: Yes. And then there was the added bonus, then she’d left those tacks in so we could push it. And I remember you saying about the one on your thumb, like in that mount of Venus, that fleshy part between the thumb and your forefinger. And I don’t know if you remember this, but I remember you saying that you love having that there, because you could push and help your pain and it felt like in some way you could control it.

Aleman Crane: Yes, I do remember saying that. It’s because I am such a controlling person. I think it’s just the nurse in me and just the type of person I am, that I like to control things if I can. And that was a good way for me to focus on something, something that I did have control over and something that I could do for my own. I didn’t need anybody’s help to do that. So that was really nice.

Lozada: Do you feel that this “comical birth” (as you call it) helped you in the way you went into being a mother?

Aleman Crane: Yes, nothing is as it seems, and you don’t have a lot of control. I mean, you don’t have a lot of control over situations and you don’t have a lot of control over life sometimes. And this is a very big eye-opener, even though I do want control of my life and want that rigidity. It’s kind of nice to just go with the flow every once in a while.

And now that I have children, I have to kind of go with the flow. You know, being a mom, there are good days, there are bad days, and you just kind of have to deal with the good and the bad. And sometimes you don’t know what life’s gonna give you. And sometimes you do have to adjust those life, big life plans. But you pick your battles and you do what’s best for you and your family.

Lozada: Absolutely. And you were resilient. you knew that things were okay, that your baby was fine, that it was a process that was just taking a winding road, but there wasn’t anything wrong about it.

Aleman Crane: No, and I was completely okay with everything as long as my baby was okay. That’s all I cared about. As long as the baby was okay, I was okay. And I think even when my husband said, “As long as the baby’s fine, I’m okay,” like, we’re okay. We’ll do this. And I did like the fact that he was like, “I’m in this with you,” like, “I may not be able to do this, but I’m going to be here.” And I think a supportive partner, whether it be your husband, your boyfriend, your mother, is super, super important.

Lozada: And he was fabulous support. He was great.

Aleman Crane: He… I think he needed you more than I needed you! There are some points that he was like, “I just dunno what to do with her.”

Lozada: No, he was great. We would talk on the phone and I would give him pointers when I wasn’t there, and he would keep me posted. It was fabulous. He is really, really great support.

Aleman Crane: But I mean, I don’t know. Looking back now, it’s funny, and it matched my daughter’s personality. Like that’s Nina, just, she does things on her own. You can’t force her to do things. She comes and goes as she pleases. She’s a very go with the flow and easygoing child, so her birth really matches her personality.

Lozada: And then your other birth was a completely different experience. And I know we wanted to talk about the first birth because of the prodromal aspects of it. But as a counterpart, you also have a very speedy birth.

Aleman Crane: I did! My second birth was very speedy. They actually induced me, because I was so post-date. That they were growing just concerned for the baby. The baby was fine. They were just concerned that I was so past due, that they wanted to be proactive more than reactive, which I understood.

And at that point, honestly, I had been pregnant for what seemed like two years straight because I got pregnant when my first born was three months. Literally was still breastfeeding and was six months pregnant and… so I felt like I, at the end of my second birth, I was ready. So I went ahead and told them that I was okay with being induced. Got multiple doses of Cytotec. I remember having you on call and you know, they were like, “Oh, you know, Mrs. Aleman Crane we just need you to sleep tonight. Here’s some Nubain and here’s a kind of Ambien,” you know, “We’ll see you in the morning!” And that was the write off that I got like that. And I was like… I was fine with it. I was like, “I’m ready for some sleep. Tomorrow’s gonna be a big day.” They were talking about, you know, inducing me with Pit, or Pitocin, in the morning, and I was ready. I was ready. I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna get some good sleep tonight.” So my husband… I almost sent my husband home. I literally was like, “Go home, go sleep with Nina,” you know, take care of her and, and just come back in the morning, “Come back at like six in the morning, but you get a good night’s sleep in our bed.” 

I think they gave me the drugs at 4:30 and I was still contracting, and I remember calling the nurse and Dustin’s like, “She’s still really uncomfortable.” And the nurse is like, “Yeah, okay. You know, give it a little bit of time to work. You have to kind of breathe through these contractions until your medicine can kick in and you can get some sleep.” We took it at face value and so I tried to get comfortable as I could in the bed. And I remember going, “Oh God, I either peed myself or my water broke,” and my husband—

Lozada: You just need to take a nap! When you take a nap, your water breaks.

Aleman Crane: Yes. Every time I go to sleep, my water breaks. So I remember I looked over at my husband and was like, “You need to come over here and look at this.” And he was like, “Oh, that’s your water. Yeah, that’s your water breaking.” And he goes, “No, I think you’re giving birth right now.” So he called. On the phone, he calls the nurse call button. He’s like, “Her water just broke and I think she wants to push.” 

And, and I felt the urge to push, like, it was like my water broke. I’m pushing. Like there was no transition. There was no like, “Oh, you can try and push if you want with the next contraction.” It was immediate. It was: my water broke, I’m pushing right now. And I turned and looked at him and I was like, “We’re doing this!” I was like, “I have to push and I have to push right now!” And he’s like, “I don’t think that’s really smart…” That’s all he told me. He goes, “I don’t think that’s really smart.”

Lozada: This is not a choice!

Aleman Crane: The nurse comes in and, you know, it’s like five in the morning and she comes moseying in and she goes, “Okay, sweetheart,” like, “Let’s see what’s going on here?” And she lifts up my blanket. And she looks, and she looks at me and she goes, “Oh my God, I need you to stop pushing right now.” And I was like, “I can’t stop pushing!” And it’s that urge, you just… it’s that maternal urge, that raw urge of, “I am doing this and this baby is coming.” And she stat pages the doctor and the doctor comes running in as my baby’s crowning.

Lozada: Yep!

Aleman Crane: I think my doctor had enough time to put on sterile gloves and that’s about it. To catch my second daughter, she came out in three good pushes. I started pushing at 5:00 on the nose and she was born at 5:07. So, I think you got there— ’cause you’re my doula, again— I think you got there, about 10 minutes later?

Lozada: Well, what happened was, yeah, so we’d been talking on the phone all day and you’d been admitted to the hospital and you weren’t, you know, not in labor. You’re being induced. So we’ve been speaking and you tell me I got my first dose, nothing is happening. Then around 7:00 p.m. you got a second dose and contractions are still going, but there’s no dilation. And then we talked, nothing was… like you said you were almost gonna send your husband home…

Aleman Crane: Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t!

Lozada: Right?! I’m glad you didn’t. I was asleep. 4:00 a.m. I got a call from… he called me saying, you had gotten your third dose of Cytotec and you got checked, you were four, you got some Nubain so you could sleep, but that you wanted me to come over. This was at 4:00. And then your water broke and things radically changed. And I remember rushing through the hospital, down the corridor and hearing a baby cry and walking into the room and like the baby had just come out, by the time I got there. And that was within an hour of, “Can you come? She’s getting some sleep, but come over.”

Aleman Crane: Yes. I mean, it was so quick. It was like boom, boom, boom. This is happening and this is happening now.  They’re just two completely different births. And like I said, all I remember is giving like two, like, three really good pushes. And my second daughter was out. 

And I remember, I remember just screaming, “What is it? What is it?” And, because again, because she was so post-dates, she had meconium again, so I didn’t get to see her. And then you were like, “It’s a girl!” And I was like, “It’s a girl!” It was like I had won the lottery. So… saying “It’s a girl!”

Lozada: Well, you went from being four to having a baby born in an hour!

Aleman Crane: In an hour? Yes.

I remember this physician in charge telling me, “Next time your water breaks like that, you need to get yourself to the hospital immediately.”

Lozada: You were already at the hospital. 

Aleman Crane: Yes, sir! 

Lozada: That’s great. Yeah. I’m so glad you had, like, the contrasting and you know, two different birth stories too, both awesome in their own right, but so different.

Aleman Crane: Yes. I mean, it’s just like children. I mean, every birth is different, every labor is different, every pregnancy is different. But it’s just… I mean, birthing my two children was probably one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I know that’s so cliché to say, but it is one of the most eye-opening, breathtaking experiences I’ve ever experienced in my life and nothing compares to it.

Lozada: And you rocked it both times. You do pretty good with this birth thing.

Aleman Crane: Thanks, Thanks. I’m actually just pretty excited I got through it without an epidural. Like I was pretty split. That was my one thing. I just wanted to get through it without an epidural, and I did it, and it’s amazing.

Lozada: And you were able to control that part of it for sure.

Aleman Crane: Yes. Yes. That was the one thing I was going to control.

Lozada: Do you find that your second daughter also her personality is kind of like her birth, or no?

Aleman Crane: In a way. Lily had to be coaxed out of me, with induction, and she needs to be coaxed out to do anything. She is such a mama’s girl. We had a great nursing relationship. She nursed up until she was 22 months. She self-weaned, but she is like my cuddle bug. She wants me, she wants to be near me. She’s very… she’s much more shy than my first. So even though she came out quicker, she needed to be coaxed out of me. She didn’t wanna leave the warmness and the, you know, the closeness to me, and you can… in life, she matches that. One hundred percent. 

Lozada: They do. They come up with their little personalities already. Any, like, parting words?

Aleman Crane: Birth is an amazing ride. It is a ride that is unexpected. It’s like a train ride. You’re sitting in a train and you can’t see what’s coming. You don’t know if you’re going up the mountain or down the mountain. You can only see what’s going past you. So you’re only looking out the window at a scenery that’s going to pass, but you don’t know what’s coming out the head. It is incredible. I can’t stress enough that you don’t have control. That you have to let things, you have to let things go. And you have to say, okay, what’s best for me and what’s best for my baby currently, right now, in this situation? You know, I had these grand birth plans and these wonderful things that I wanted to do, and I did some of them, but some of them I had no control over. So, you kind of have to let things go and let yourself go a little bit. It’s an amazing journey. And that just to relish it and to keep it, keep it close to your heart. because on those worst days, I look back and I’m like, “Yeah, I did that. That’s what I did.” And it’s an amazing [pick-me-up].

Lozada: Adriana, thank you so much for sharing those stories. Those are lovely. And, and letting you know the listeners hear them for the first time and us being able to relive them.

Aleman Crane: Thanks. It’s been, this experience has been great and it’s been great reliving them it’s good to relive them.

Thank you so much. That was the amazing Adriana Aleman Crane, who is a mom of five, and I’ve had the honor to be her doula for every single one of those births.

You can connect with us @birthfulpodcast on Instagram. One of the ways to do that is to take a screenshot of this episode right now, if you’re not driving, and then post it to your stories, sharing your biggest takeaway from the episode. Make sure to tag @birthfulpodcast so we can see it and amplify it.

You can find the in-depth show notes and transcript of this episode at birthful.com, where you can also learn more about my birth and postpartum preparation classes and download your free postpartum preparation plan. 

Also, if you find this podcast to be an invaluable resource for you during this perinatal period, the best way to support us is by trying out some of the wonderful products made by our sponsors or taking any one of my perinatal classes or doula workshops. This is what allows us to continue doing this work. 

Birthful is created and produced by me, Adriana Lozada, with production assistance from Aysia Platte.

Thank you so very much for listening to and sharing Birthful. Be sure to follow us on Goodpods, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and everywhere you listen. And then come back for more ways to inform your intuition.


Lozada, Adriana, host. “[Birth Stories] How She Got Through A Week Of Prodromal Labor By Embracing It. Birthful, Birthful. March 1, 2023. Birthful.com.



Adriana Aleman Crane, a brown skinned woman with dark hair, is smiling while reclined in a hospital bed with a sheet draped over her body and her newborn baby on her chest, who is wearing a cap on their head

Image description: Adriana Aleman Crane, a brown-skinned woman with dark hair, is smiling while reclined in a hospital bed with a sheet draped over her body and her newborn baby on her chest, who is wearing a cap on their head

About Adriana Aleman Crane

Adriana lives in North Carolina with her four daughters, one son, and high school sweetheart husband. She enjoys spending her free time reading, swimming, and being outside with the kids. She has been a Pediatric Registered Nurse (in both the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department) for over seventeen years and truly loves being around children. Fun fact: Birthful’s Adriana was her doula for all five of her births!

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