Birth Stories

Understanding The Process ff Labour Helped Karla During Her Home Water Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    Fortunately, my water broke before labour started so I knew that one way or another, labour was imminent. I knew things were picking up when the contractions and cramping began getting to the point where I had to focus on them to make it through. At one point I also tried to take a step to go upstairs and that wasn’t happening!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    I had extremely bad cramping and back labour, to the point where I couldn’t sit down due to discomfort. On top of the physical demands of going through contractions, I was exhausted from having to remain in a standing position.

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

    Understanding the process of labour, how our bodies are meant for this, and being flexible with what the final outcome might look like. I really went into labour with an open mind. My husband and I read books, did a prenatal class, and listened to tons of birth story podcasts. I think this helped me to be less likely surprised and thrown off guard by what was happening at the moment, and be prepared for multiple scenarios. It also allowed me to remain calm and focus on getting through each contraction rather than worrying about what is happening with mine and my baby’s body.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    How quickly it went! For a first-time mom, I had set my expectations low for how smoothly and quickly things may go so that I was less likely to be disappointed if things weren’t progressing as fast as I’d hoped to. When my water broke at 4:30 am on the day our daughter was born I was mentally preparing myself to go into the next day before she arrived. Thankfully, she entered the world at 6:34 pm that same day, just 14 hours after my water broke! I had no idea how my body would handle the intensity at each stage of labour so when the midwives checked my progress just after 5 pm I was blown away to find out I was fully dilated!

  • Educate yourself on the process beforehand, set realistic expectations (it’s easier to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed!), and know that your body was made to do this! At the end of the day, your little one will enter this world exactly how they’re supposed to.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    Counter pressure on my hips, pressing on my lower back, and a double hip squeeze using a rebozo scarf. Through each contraction, I would take a deep breath in and plug my ears so that on the exhale my breath was all I could hear and focus on. Lastly, the birth tub! My cramping was so intense that I couldn’t sit down, so after standing for 5+ hours going through intense contractions there was nothing better than the relief that the water provided.

  • What position did you end up delivering in?

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

    It was a huge wave of physical relief from the pressure and an overwhelming amount of joy. It was a really surreal feeling knowing that I had just grown and birthed this tiny human. We hadn’t found out the gender of our baby beforehand, so there was also the added excitement of finding out she was a girl.

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    Maeve Annie Ruth. Maeve is just a name we liked, and Annie and Ruth are named after mine husband’s and my grandparents.

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

    The sensations of labour are so much different than any other kind of “pain”. There’s something about knowing that they have a purpose that makes the whole process easier to get through. Know that, although at the moment things may seem unbearable at times, it is only temporary and you will be surprised at how quickly you forget about it all once your little one is in your arms. Educate yourself on the process beforehand, set realistic expectations (it’s easier to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed!), and know that your body was made to do this! At the end of the day, your little one will enter this world exactly how they’re supposed to.

  • How did the Mama Natural Birth Class help you in your childbirth?

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