Birth Stories

Eating Dates and Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Helped Emerson During Her Natural Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    The first real contractions were felt around 12:40am, but they were pretty mild and far apart. Things really picked up when my water broke around 2:30, and they started coming hard and fast, with less than 2 minutes between each one!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Probably the pain from the shoulder dystocia! Contractions were rough, and the ring of fire was incredibly painful, but the maneuver used in dislodging my son's shoulder hurt more than I could imagine!

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

    Throughout my third trimester, I drank 1-2 cups of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea per day and starting at 37 weeks, I had 8 dates each morning with breakfast. Once I hit 39 weeks, I started brewing the RRL tea very strongly. The night before my labor started, I used 16 tea bags in 8oz of water! Up until then, I had been feeling the odd Braxton Hicks contraction here and there, but nothing regular or painful.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    The efficiency of the hospital staff in dealing with my son's shoulder dystocia! I had warned the staff that I had a history of shoulder dystocia, and after about 4 or 5 pushes, his head was out, but he got stuck at the shoulders, just like his big brother. The cord was wrapped around his neck once, so they cut it quickly and then wrestled him out of me. The doc/midwife (I wasn't exactly in a condition to be reading name tags) reached up inside me while simultaneously pushing down on my belly from the outside to dislodge his shoulder. The pain was more than I could bear, but I tried to keep pushing through it. After what must have only been a minute or two, my son came out and cried right away, and I got to hold him for a couple of seconds before they cleaned us both up.

  • You are so much stronger than you think you are! The pain is temporary, and our bodies were made to do this!
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    With such a short labor, all I really had time for was deep breathing and trying to focus on timing contractions. In the worst of the pain, as they were trying to pass my son's shoulders, all I could do was scream for help. Up until that point, I just had to remember that I had done this before, with my second-born's home birth, and that I had survived it then, and would survive it again!

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

    I was elated! Just hearing his cry was such a relief!

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    Matthan Chase.

    With my first, I had this name picked out just in case it was a boy. "Matthan" was pointed out to me during a sermon on Christ's lineage, and I immediately connected with it. She ended up being a girl, but I held on to this name for a future son, even though I was a single mom at the time. When my husband and I got pregnant with our first son, he asked to pick the name, so this one got pushed off again. The third time was the charm, though! "Chase" just sounded right as the middle name.

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

    You are so much stronger than you think you are! The pain is temporary, and our bodies were made to do this!

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