Saturday, April 10, 2021

Welcome to the World: Part 1



Crystal Manjarres

This post is all about the birth of my first child. Many of my articles have been leading up to this point and many are curious as to how my labor and delivery went.

It all began Friday evening whenever I started to have a feeling of heaviness in my lower abdomen; I didn’t give it much thought despite not having a comfortable night’s sleep because of it. The mild cramping was still there when I woke up in the morning and on my way to the studio my husband suggested that it was contractions; I brushed it off since they didn’t feel like what I imagined contractions to be. Once I started paying attention, I realized that he was right and that the cramp would come and go about every 15 to 20 minutes.

Flash forward to two o’clock and the contractions were now eight to ten minutes apart. I’m thinking that if this is as bad as it gets, I can totally do this. By eight that night, contractions were getting closer together and my husband and I became super excited. Once the “pressure waves” (as my Hypnobabies course calls them) began to gain in intensity, nothing could distract me from the pain. My Hypnobabies went right out the window and I just tried to breathe (and not yell out) every time a contraction racked my body. My husband texted the midwife who told him I am not in active labor yet and to contact her once my contractions are four minutes apart. By this time the “Super Moon” was out (the biggest full moon of 2013) as well as a ginormous thunderstorm complete with huge claps of thunder and lightning rivaling the sun as it streaks across the sky. It was so gorgeous!

Once my contractions hit four minutes we quickly loaded up and made the forty-five minute trek to the birthing center—AKA The Longest Drive of My Life. It wasn’t long before the contractions hit three minutes and when we arrived at the birthing center my midwife, doula, and photographer were already there. By this time it was three o’clock in the morning. My body progressed very quickly and we all thought I would have a quick and easy delivery— but baby boy had other ideas.

Bless my doula; she gave me hours of support and deep back massages for the worst back labor of my life. She never left my side and exhausted herself on my behalf—but she worked tirelessly and never ever complained. She kept me hydrated, reminded me to breathe, made sure I was eating, and of course pushed with all of her might on my back with each debilitating contraction. I am forever indebted to her and eternally grateful for everything she did. God bless you, Naomi!

My poor husband was keeping family and friends updated as best he could while also being there for me. I had no idea the emotional and physical toll it was taking on him because I was so focused on managing the pain.

He was my rock and never let me see how worried he was about me. My mother-in-law was also there for me from beginning to end and she only told me afterwards that she willed herself not to cry in front of me—she didn’t want me to know how worried she was about me.

After hours of contractions, my midwife suggested that we break my water. I didn’t want to increase the pain, but she informed me that although it would be more painful, it would also be over quicker, so my husband and I agreed to let her do it. I didn’t feel anything except a warm gush of water and then the contractions take over; my body decides it wants to push…

Due to space accommodations, you will have to tune in to my next article to find out what happened next!


Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email She can also be reached at or and 239-333-5771.

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