Birth Stories

Kristina's Home Birth on Her Birthday

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    When I woke up on June 19th (my 23rd birthday and estimated due date) I was swollen from head to toe. I was ready for this baby (gender unknown) to be here and was determined today would be the day I gave birth. All morning I either jumped on my rebounder (mini trampoline) or bounced on my exercise ball. At lunch I took a break from all my morning movement to go eat an enormous amount of vaca frita con arroz y frijoles y maduros (fried beef with rice, beans, and plantains. I may have also eaten an entire side of pan con mantquella (bread with butter). At this point it was the late afternoon and I needed a nap badly. After maybe an hour of resting I started having contractions (at the time I wasn't sure what they were). They weren't consistent and they weren't painful necessarily, uncomfortable is the word I would describe them as. I knew my husband would be home soon so I waited to declare I was in labor until he got home. Even after he came home I was in denial of my labor. But I went ahead and called my midwife just to tell her I may be in labor. She told me to keep her posted. We started to time contractions while we cleaned the house, canceled dinner plans, and walked our dog. We barely made it down the street on our walk before we had to turn around (I mean, I was in labor after all). I called my midwife again, told her the contractions were consistent and 6-7 minutes apart lasting about 60-90 seconds. I still was in slight denial about it all but soon after my contractions picked up and denial wasn't going to cut it anymore, I was definitely in labor. By the time my midwife got to my house (around 8:30pm) they were 3-4 minutes apart and just as long. By 9pm or so we were well on our way, my mom had just made it to my house, my husband was running around town trying to find me Magnesium Calm supplement, and my midwife had told her birth assistants to head on over. By 9:30 I stopped keeping track of time, it was a blur.

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Honestly, I didn't find anything "challenging" about having a natural child birth in regards to the BIRTH itself. The only real challenge I faced was from those who didn't think it was possible for it to be done. Those who will tell you natural childbirth is "crazy". Those who only had negative comments/stories/feelings instead of positive ones.

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

    In no particular order:
    I read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth book and many more.
    I took a childbirth class (Birthing From Within).
    I thought positive thoughts about my birth throughout my entire pregnancy. I focused on how beautiful birth was instead of how ugly the world will tell you it is. I mentally prepared myself.
    I made affirmation cards and hung them up around my house.
    I also armed myself with the research and information supporting natural childbirth.

    But, above all else, the most helpful thing I did was read TONS and TONS of natural childbirth stories anywhere I could find them. This allowed me to be able to have the confidence and empowerment I needed during childbirth.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    My birth was extremely fast, especially for a first time mom. I went into labor on my due date, another rarity. I didn't tear (thank goodness). And while it was definitely hard work, the pushing phase went by in the blink of an eye... 45 minutes felt like 2 seconds.

  • Honestly, I didn't find anything "challenging" about having a natural child birth in regards to the BIRTH itself.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    I used my shower a lot. The water was beating on my back as I labored was blissful.
    Having my husband hold me during contractions was also so comforting. As much as I could, reminding myself that the contraction would only last so long before I got at least a tiny break and that contractions are the only way my baby is going to make it!

  • What position did you end up delivering in?

    I honestly cannot remember... I think I was like half squatting and tilted on my side. It's a blur!

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

    Words cannot describe. Think of every wonderful adjective in any dictionary ever and that's what I was feeling. Surreal, if I had to pick one word.

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

    YOU got this. You can totally do this. Have faith in yourself!!
    Childbirth is such a mind game. Prepare yourself mentally for your birth.
    Surround yourself with positive people and positive vibes.
    And if you're the praying type, pray that the Lord would give you peace, strength, and courage to have the most blissful natural childbirth you so desire.

    "...women are beautifully and admirably designed to give birth..." - Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth

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