Birth Stories

Pelvic Opening Exercises And Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Helped Courtney During Her Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    About two days before my son was born, I had some mild bleeding and realized baby was probably on his way. The next night, I woke up with mild, period like cramps that seemed to come and go, but were light enough to sleep through. I decided to take it easy the next day as contractions started to pick up. Around 11am, I called my husband home from work. We were admitted to the hospital at 2pm at 3cm and even then my pain level was only about a 4. By 5pm I was 10cm and by 5:30 he was here!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Honestly, fear of the unknown. Having lived a relatively healthy and pain-free life, I had no idea what my pain tolerance might be like and certainly nothing to compare it to. Also, my baby ended up being born in the posterior position, so much of my labor pain was back labor, accompanied by some very intense nerve pain along the sides of my legs. I don't even remember the contractions because the nerve pain was so bad and so constant. My nurse ended up telling me later that the pain was from the pressure of a posterior skull against my spine, and that an epidural may not have even helped had I opted for one.

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

    Pelvic opening exercises and red raspberry leaf tea. I was lucky to have a relatively easy pregnancy and made it a point to stay active and eat healthy throughout. Two days before delivering I went to the park and did about 4 million walking lunges. Also, in my 3rd trimester, I started drinking two cups of RRL tea every day, which I swear helped keep the contractions strong and effective. Lastly, I did a TON of research on effective pushing using pelvic floor awareness and breathe - it must have worked because with my first child I labored for about 5 hours, pushed with relative ease for 10 minutes and had an incredibly quick and healthy delivery.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    How fast it happened. I had been warned for months that I would probably show up at the hospital too early, would labor for hours and hours, and would push for at least an hour. Even my doctor seemed skeptical when she admitted me, telling me to hang in for a long night. I'm certain that as soon as we checked in, my body moved right through early labor and transition, and before my doctor could even get back to our delivery room I was already fully dilated and my body was ready to push. The funny thing was, right at the point where I felt like I couldn't take any more and was asking for the anesthesiologist, my body started naturally trying to push and it was too late anyway! To any moms out there who are considering a natural birth but are unsure if they can handle it, please know that you absolutely can! Trust yourself and your body, you can handle way more than you ever thought possible!

  • Trust your body. Also, go into it with intention but be ready to let go of expectation if you need.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    Breathing techniques worked at the beginning, but as the intensity picked up I just shifted my focus away from minimizing the pain to just surviving it. I remember counting up and down from 30 through the worst of the contractions. Let me tell you, I was not at all prepared for back labor pains and wish I had done more to prepare my husband on how to apply counter pressure.

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

    Surreal. He opened his little eyes right up and stared at me like he had known me forever. My husband was crying, the nurses were all smiling and congratulating us, and all I remember is the incredulous feeling of accomplishment and relief. It was not the rush of emotion I had been expecting, but instead a very powerful sense of calm and normalcy.

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    We had picked his name early on, as soon as we had found out the gender. We kept up a family tradition of using the same initials so we had already called dibs on a few names. The first name was easy, but the middle name wasn't decided until about two weeks before he was born.

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

    Trust your body. Also, go into it with intention but be ready to let go of expectation if you need. Don't let the experience be ruined by ego or disappointments if your delivery doesn't go according to plan. Your birth story is yours and yours alone, and I guarantee that in 10 years your child would rather you look back on their birthday with pride and joy rather than sadness over a 'failed' plan.

Learn to have an amazing birth

(without leaving your couch)

Baby Name Finder

Discover thousands of unique and popular baby names with Mama Natural’s NEW Baby Name Finder.