Birth Stories

Reading Natural Childbirth And Writing A Birth Plan Helped Angela Achieve Her Natural Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    I had a regular check-up that morning with my OB 10 days before my due date, and she told me I was 3cm dilated. I hadn't felt a thing before that, no cramps, contractions, nothing, so was very shocked when she told me this. I went home, made a snack, tidied the house, carried on as usual, and decided to lay down for a nap. This was about 4 hours since my appointment by now, and I woke from my nap feeling a bit of cramping, and sensations in my uterus. I kept laying down and breathing, and after some time passed, I noticed the cramps getting a bit more intense and regular, and I started timing them. They got closer and closer and I called my husband to get home, and let him know today was the day. I was able to labor at home for a few hours, and when I got to the hospital I was 8cm dilated. My boy was born about 2 hours later.

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    A challenge I unintentionally set myself up for, as I didn't practice any relaxation techniques for labor. Luckily I was able to breathe through most of my contractions before going to the hospital, but after I got to the hospital and entered the transition phase, all I could do was scream. I felt like I was losing my mind! The Dr had to scream at me to relax, and breathe, and the nurses coached me on some breathing techniques. When I was finally able to calm down and relax my body, my baby was born after a few quick pushes! It was amazing.
    I'm pregnant with my second now, and I'm definitely going to work on relaxation techniques this time around!

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

    I read as much info as I could on natural childbirth, and I committed to doing it. Learning about the "cascade of interventions", the "fear-tension-pain cycle", and all the benefits of natural childbirth really helped solidify my choice. I wrote a birth plan and made sure my husband was aware of my wishes and prepared him to be my advocate (which he did amazing at!) I also made him a document of info about the different stages of labor, what each one may look like, and how he could help. It was so motivating hearing Him say things like, "your body knows exactly what it's doing!" even if I did script it for him...
    And I reminded myself constantly in the weeks leading up to labor that birth is a natural process, and there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of!

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    How quick it was, and how my confidence and determination helped get me through the early stages of labour at home. I also had no recovery time! No stitches, no tearing, nothing. I remember a nurse coming in to check on me after birth and I was sitting on the bed "criss cross applesauce" and she was so shocked! I felt great.

  • I felt so relieved when he was finally born. I was honestly in shock to actually hold him. But I felt great! I was energized, I was happy and so proud of myself and my husband.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    I found just breathing deeply through my contractions in the early stages, and trying to focus my mind on relaxing really helped. I had my eyes closed almost the entire labor, and really just went into my own headspace. I tried to make my mind go blank as much as possible and really stay in the moment without worrying about what was going to happen next.

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

    I felt so relieved when he was finally born. I was honestly in shock to actually hold him. But I felt great! I was energized, I was happy and so proud of myself and my husband.

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    Our boy is William Leo, after his grandfather and great grandfather. Both on his father's side.

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

    Flood your brain with as much positive information as you can find about natural childbirth. Convince yourself that you can do it because you can! Learn about the history of the medicalization of childbirth, and how generations of women before us have been (mis)treated during the birth process. Know that you have a choice! I would frequently remind myself that some women, historically, and perhaps even still today, didn't have or didn't feel like they have a choice in how their birth process went, and for me going natural was a way of honoring them. And don't be afraid to go into that delivery room and tell the doctors and nurses what you want. This is your life, your baby's life, and your birth experience, no one else's.

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