Elsa Hosk penned an emotional essay about her difficult—but ultimately rewarding—birth experience with her first baby with partner Tom Daly.
The Victoria's Secret model wrote a six-part essay on Instagram, alongside beautiful maternity photos, that detailed how, after watching the Ricki Lake documentary The Business of Being Born, she made the decision to have a water birth at home without pain relieving medication. The 32 year old shared how she experienced painful contractions hours before her baby, who the couple named Tuulikki Joan, arrived.
"It feels like she will never come out," Elsa explained in her essay. "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."
Of her thoughts during the challenging experience, she explained, "Birthing is really confronting yourself, your fears and doubts and coming through the other side. Its 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."
Fortunately, Tuulikki soon emerged.
Elsa wrote, "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."
The home birth also gave Elsa a renewed perspective on the people who raise children and help bring them into the world. She explained, "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."
Elsa's model pals sent love to the new mom in the comments section of her post. Gigi Hadid, who welcomed her first baby in September of last year, wrote "Yesss!!!!" on one of Elsa's posts, while Shanina Shaik added "So detailed and beautiful ! Preparing all mothers . I love this so much !" Sara Sampaio shared "Omg! That was so beautiful and terrifying. So proud of you."