Birth Stories

Audra's Natural Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    I had started to feel light cramps around midnight two days before my daughter was born. I was hoping it was the start of early labor and as it turns out, it was! By 9pm the next day I was having regular, strong contractions and knew that I was in labor! Fast forward 6 hours, we went to the hospital and I was 3cm dilatated. Just 7 hours after that I gave birth!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    The most challenging part of going natural was not knowing how supportive the hospital staff were going to be about my decisions. I felt most comfortable going to the hospital for my birth, even though I had a very low risk pregnancy, as it is my first child and if anything were to go wrong I knew that every resource we could need was there. I was very blessed to have an excellent nursing staff that ultimately were the ones that convinced me to stay on my natural birth path!

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  • What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?

    Spend time learning! I read two excellent books - What to Expect When You're Expecting and the Complete Book of Breastfeeding. I also did a prenatal visit with a lactation consultant, took a pelvic floor class, and took the Mama Natural birth class! It wasn't until I took the Mama Natural course that I decided to make a birth plan to go all natural.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    What surprised me the most is how focused I was during the contractions and how I lost track of time. I thought I would be much more alert and moving around when I got to the hospital but my contractions were so strong that lying on my side with my eyes closed and just focusing on breathing and resting between them was how I got through.

  • When I got to the hospital I used the nitrous oxide not as a pain reliever but as a way to relax between contractions.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    Early in labor I moved around, bounced on my ball, leaned over the couch and took a hot shower. When I got to the hospital I used the nitrous oxide not as a pain reliever but as a way to relax between contractions. It helped me to mellow out and be able to truly rest between them so that I was ready again for the next contraction. Deep breathing and vocalizing also helped!

  • How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?

    It was the most amazing, euphoric feeling I've ever had! The pain of labor was completely gone and I couldn't believe I did it all natural and that my little girl was finally in my arms. We didn't know the gender prior to her birth so having my husband announce the gender as she was placed in my arms was such a special moment.

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    We named her Chloe. We wanted a unique name but one that wasn't so unique she'd have to spell it out for everyone!

  • What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?

    You can do it! Don't set expectations for how it will go or think your birth plan is written in stone. Things will change, you may not be able to do everything as you wanted or planned but that doesn't mean you have to give up your ultimate goal! If you're heading to the hospital for your birth, make sure to have someone with you that knows your wishes and can help you make them clear to the staff and encourage you to follow through!

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