Birth Stories

Releasing Her Expectations Helped Samantha During Her Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    When contractions became too much to breathe through. I'd had two previous births with no epidural and thought I had the know-how to breathe into each contraction. But I started to panic as they got more intense and the doctors were expecting me to have an 11lbs 7oz baby!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Initially, waiting on baby's time!
    In the end, the most challenging part was not being able to wait on baby's time. My 40-week ultrasound (to check on baby's amniotic fluid) measured high amounts of fluid and estimated the baby to be 11lbs 7oz. That was when I started being told; my baby was too big, I need to schedule a c-section, vaginal birth has high chances of shoulder dystocia and /or emergency c-section.
    I was crushed! This was "supposed" to be my spontaneous labor, beautiful and peaceful water birth with our midwife and photographer. Even with all of the chaos and fear that had so suddenly been thrown at us, I had a very strong calling to opt for induction over a c section. It could have been my personal fears around major surgery but I felt very confident that it was best for me and my baby.

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

    Releasing my expectations around what I wanted my birth to be and letting it happen the way it was already made to be.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    Absolutely nothing went as I had planned for the nine months of my pregnancy but it was my most beautiful birth and the perfect way to finish our family.
    No spontaneous labor, water birth, midwife or photographer. I was considered high risk. I was induced. I opted to get an epidural when my pain management was not enough.

    We had incredible nurses and my (brand new to me) ob was very respectful of my decisions and let me know even given our new circumstances that this was still my birth and she's there to support me. With hospital restrictions in 2021, I was allowed two support people, we had already planned on our photographer being our second along with my husband. Our photographer has four kids herself and was sick the day we were induced. It was just me and my husband and our birth team. It was intimate and more beautiful than I had imagined.

  • Trust yourself first and foremost! Your body and baby were made to do this. While there are things that we can't control, you still have options.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    Against my expectations, getting an epidural.

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

    This was our fourth and final baby. We did not know the gender and have an 8 year old girl, 6 and 2 year old boys.
    Holding her for the first time was overwhelming love and accomplishment in myself, my body and her for bringing her earth side safely the only way I know how.

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    Addison Grace Ryan Meade. Addison Grace has been in the running since our firstborn. Not a family name, just one we both loved. Ryan was added in as a second middle name in honor of my cousin who passed away unexpectedly while I was pregnant.

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

    Trust yourself first and foremost!
    Your body and baby were made to do this. While there are things that we can't control, you still have options.

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