Birth Stories

Reading Birth Stories, Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea And Doing Miles Circuits Helped Ruth During Her Home Water Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    I had been having Braxton Hicks of increasing frequency for about two weeks, so I knew my body was warming up. Looking back, I can tell you the moment my first labor contraction occurred, in the car on the way home from a super bowl party! But at the time I didn't really admit that I was definitely in labor until went into transition about three hours later, 45 minutes before my baby was born!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Dealing with fear during transition. I had to keep telling myself "Labor is a good thing, don't fight these contractions, let this baby come down and out."
    This labor was so fast and such a whirlwind that it almost didn't have time to be challenging though!

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

    My last labor went very well, but the delivery was a bit traumatic. It was very helpful for me to talk to my midwife about that experience and process all the fears about pushing and tearing that came with it. I also read lots of birth stories in Ina May Gaskin's books to get out of my head and remind myself how primal and possible natural birth can be. I also drank red raspberry leaf tea and did Miles circuits starting and 35 weeks to get baby in optimal position. My contractions were so strong and effective and my baby came so easily, I really think those things helped!

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    That it happened on my due date, my first baby was induced almost a week late. That I recognized the first contraction as different, I thought I was crazy to really think I could recognize labor right away! That I felt the urge to push and my body did all the work for me, it wasn't scary at all! That I had a water birth, I was planning to get out of the tub, but that didn't happen. That it went really quickly! I asked the midwife to come when I had been in labor for three and a half hours and I started to feel scared (turns out I was in transition), and the baby arrived 35 minutes later as my midwife ran through the door! Overall, it was a pretty surprising birth!

  • Listen to your body! Following my instincts was the best part of this delivery!
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    Position changes in the early and active phases of labor. I sat cross legged, leaned on my birthing ball, walked a little, and lay side lying. Low vocalizations and breathing myself over the contractions helped until I was pushing. And being in the tub kept me alive through transition!

  • What position did you end up delivering in?

    Side lying in the bathtub. My midwife was on the phone while I was involuntarily pushing and I just breathed through each contraction while my body pushed. After each contraction, she asked me to reach down and tell her what I felt. It was so cool and surreal to feel as my baby began to emerge, my water broke (and I realized he had a bunch of hair!), and his head fully crowned! It was amazing to me how calm I felt lying on my side with his head fully crowned waiting for the next contraction and knowing he was about to be born. Meanwhile, my poor midwife was running into my house trying to get to me before the next contraction! I hadn't planned a water birth, but it was perfect!

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

    A little shocked by how fast it all went, and that he born on his due date, I had planned to go to work that day! Amazed at how beautifully the delivery went. Relieved to have him in my arms. And, as my two year old said when he came around the corner moments after the delivery, "Oh! It is a teeny TINY one!", he was just so small and sweet!

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

    Listen to your body! Following my instincts was the best part of this delivery! And if I had followed my instincts a little more, instead of talking myself out of believing that I was really in labor and it was moving fast, my midwife would have had a few more minutes to catch her breath before she caught my baby! But, going with what my body was doing and letting go of fear and control made this a really wonderful birth experience.

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