‘It’s the worst pain, fear, and darkness I’ve ever experienced’: Elsa Hosk, 32, pens detailed birth essay as she says pushing daughter out was ‘like a horror movie turned into a sun-filled dream’
She announced the birth of her daughter Tuulikki Joan with her partner of five years, Danish entrepreneur, Tom Daly on Friday.
And model, Elsa Hosk, shared a six-part essay on birth on Instagram on Tuesday.
The Swedish supermodel, 32, penned: ‘A few months into being pregnant someone told me and Tom to watch a documentary called “the business of being born”.
‘It’s the worst pain, fear, and darkness I’ve ever experienced’: Elsa Hosk, 32, penned a detailed birth essay on Instagram on Tuesday four days after welcoming daughter Tuulikki Joan
‘We watched it and It opened my eyes to a different way of seeing birth. I had been going to my checkups at a hospital in NYC and didn’t feel that spiritual connection to birth that I was looking for.
‘It felt in and out and very medical and I thought surely there’s a more human way to go through pregnancy and birth.
‘So when we found our house in LA and decided to move across the country at 7 months pregnant I didn’t feel like going through the process of finding a new hospital, instead we found an amazing midwife, doula, and hypnobirthing coach and decided not leave our new house and because I had had an low-risk pregnancy and she was doing great in there.
‘We made a new birth plan to have her naturally and drug-free at home, in water. 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 continued: ‘My labor started a few days before her due-date. I had contractions that felt manageable for 2 days before the active labor phase started, but they would wake me up every 10min during the night so i didn’t get much sleep for those 2 nights.
Words: Elsa said pushing daughter out was ‘like a horror movie turned into a sun-filled dream’ in her very honest account of her experience
‘We falsely called our doula in the middle of the night on the second night when the contractions were 3min apart but once she showed up they slowed down again. She stayed with us that whole night and day and took me through many excercises and positions to try to induce labor again, we walked around the garden, did yoga poses, tried pumping breast milk.
‘I was exhausted, but we didn’t want to do another night of no sleep and no baby because I desperately needed the energy to be able to push the baby out.
‘By the evening when the contractions still were 10mins apart and still no change in dilation of the cervix we called an acupuncturist who came over to try and increase the contractions and start active labor.
‘Right after she left I went to bed to try and sleep and I felt a pop in my belly and some water started to come out. 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.
‘And they kept coming. I assumed this was active labor. The cervix was starting to dilate. The pain was strong and the only relief I could think of was getting in the warm shower.
‘Tom is sitting outside the shower ready to assist me with what I need. Sometimes I come out when I don’t know what to do with myself and the pain and he squeezes my back with all the power he’s got.
‘An hour or so later we call our doula , who probably had just gotten home to come back. Once she arrived I was already making a lot of noises and the thought of leaving the shower now and not having the comfort of the hot water is unthinkable.
An essay on birth: Elsa wrote some very lengthy posts on social media about her birth experience
‘I lie down in the shower between the waves to rest and gather myself and once the contraction came I need to be up on my legs and hold onto something to get through it.’
She then wrote: ‘A few hours in and I am desperately asking when the midwife will be here. I surely can’t do this for much longer and I feel that if she has been called its the sign that its time and it will all be over, and also the time I will get to step into the birthing pool that is set up in our bedroom.
‘I imagine the water would be the greatest comfort. It’s not time. A few more hours has to pass until she arrives, and when she does I barely notice through the pain of the waves, I just feel like I’m surviving at this point.
‘I’m breathing and trying to stay calm like our hypno birthing coach has taught me and finally I’m led to the birthing pool. I know from the plan that usually the birthing pool is the last stage and this is where I’ll push the baby out.
Part 3/6: She wasn’t afraid to share her memory of the day with her fan s
‘Birthing is really confronting yourself’: Elsa saw every contraction as getting closer to meeting her baby
‘The contractions are now the strongest they have ever been but I imagine that with every one my baby is getting closer to me. The second I stepped into the birthing pool I don’t remember opening my eyes again for a long time.
‘I remember Johanna, my midwifes assistant feeling how far dilated I am and I’m thinking the baby’s head is already almost out but she says thers still 0.5 cm left, a bit of the cervix on one side that’s still preset, called the lip, this happens when the cervix gets caught between the pelvis and the baby’s head.
‘She tries to massage and manually push it away during contractions and I have to move onto the toilet to try and breathe and push harder. 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.
‘I love you’: The model wrote about her respect for those in the medical profession
‘I remember feeling so devastated that I still have to go through the pushing down the birth canal. It feels like she will never come out. I start doubting if I can do this, hang in there, get her out.
‘Then I remind myself that I can’t just stop, there’s no way but through the pain. The baby can’t stay in there, she needs to come out. I pretend Every contraction is a wave, I have to take a deep breath and dive under it and not let the air out until it’s over.’
Revealing more, she penned: ‘The lip of the cervix is still not opening. My midwife Abby suggests one last pose she know is good for getting rid of it, a kind of a child’s pose. For this to work I have to get out of the water and onto the bed.
‘It’s once again, where I feel the worst pain so far. I’m beyond exhausted and my body goes into complete shut down and sleep in between the waves only to be awaken by Adrenalin to push once a new one is coming.
‘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. I imagine every sensation of pain is her pushing a little further down the birth canal.
She said of the labour: ‘It’s the worst pain, fear, and darkness I’ve ever experienced in those moments. I feel like an animal. 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’ (stock image)
‘When I doubt myself if I can do it and I miss breathing through a contraction I break into what feels like a million pieces. Birthing is really confronting yourself, your fears and doubts and coming through the other side.
‘It’s the worst pain, fear, and darkness I’ve ever experienced in those moments. I feel like an animal. 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.’
She wrote: ‘It takes a few hours of pushing to get her head out. Tom is holding one of my legs and the midwife another, my doula Carson is cheering on me, like she has for the last 12 hours.
‘The most progress I’m making is when I’m holding onto my own legs pushing the knees up my armpits. I keep repeating in my head every push is getting her closer to me and now my birth team urges me to feel her head coming down the canal but I’m too exhausted and scared. I just want her to come.
‘Later, when a patch of her head is visible they bring a mirror so I’m forced to look, the team of course knows this will motivate me and to my great surprise it gives me such strength and power and it comes from somewhere hidden and deep, never in life has that power gear in me been accessed before and I push deeper, harder, to get that head out.
‘My belly hadn’t looked that big pregnant but once the head is coming we all realize she is a big baby. She also has her little hands next to her face. My team can feel them under my skin.
‘They are working so hard so I won’t rip, making quick decisions about her hands and head and how to maneuver her while I’m pushing. They are talking to me, telling me to go slow or push. We are working to get the head out for 2hrs.
‘Then finally with the biggest, most extended push, and a sound and sensation that I’ve never felt or made in life – the whole head came out. I’m so relieved, I’ve never felt more relieved. I feel like it’s over. Then her body with another big push.
‘And she is put on my chest. All bloody and fluids are everywhere and she is pooping all over me, and she is looking for my nipple. And the most pain I’ve ever felt is forgotten, I am overwhelmed with love, proudness, happiness.
‘She is here. I talk to her. I tell her I’m so proud of her. Her mom has been through war and yet she is so chill, her heart rate so stable. she had arrived with the sun at 7am, and the room shifted from what felt like a horror movie darkness into a light sun filled dream.
‘On the morning she is born, all the planets are in her sign, my super Aquarius baby.’
She concluded: ‘After she is born I hold her. I don’t want to let go. The midwife does exams on her and then quickly gives her back to me. Tells us some things we should know, I’m too exhausted to hear, hoping Tom can remember.
‘The placenta comes out with a few contractions and a push while she is on top of me. Tom cuts the cord after the blood has all gone back to her. We are in our bed.
‘The room is being cleaned for us. My doula asks what we want to eat and orders the tastiest egg and avocado salad I’ve ever had. Then Everyone leaves. It’s just us, me Tom and Tuuli.
‘We all fall asleep together on the bed where she was born. A few days have passed since and sometimes I look at her and I cry when I think about what we went through together. I feel such gratitude for the women around me,
‘I look at the mothers around me with such deep respect and admiration and I feel such gratitude for the beautiful profession of the midwifes and doulas and I realize birth can be easy or hard, beautiful or dark, but every woman’s story is so sacred and so important. I love you❤️’
Smitten: The Swedish supermodel, 32, pictured with her Danish partner of five years, Tom Daly in February
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