When did you realize you were really in labor?
I woke up at 12:47 to two large thuds in my belly and my water broke. I called my midwife as soon as I knew that’s what it was but told her I’d call her back when my contractions started to get heavier. Less than thirty minutes later my contractions were 4 minutes apart and stronger. I was hesitant to call even then because I’d been in prodromal labor for 3 weeks. I didn’t take my contractions seriously until it was time to push.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
I think the hardest part about going natural was sorting out people’s opinions vs actual facts. When it comes to natural birth everyone feels the need to voice their opinion without realizing what they’re doing. They can terrify a first time mom. I called my midwife in tears more than once because something I was told. Of course, she helped to educate me about everything. She kept her opinions to herself until I decided what I thought was best because unlike everyone else her intentions were to help me make informed decisions without forcing her opinion on me.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Educating myself in every way possible was the most helpful thing I did. By the time I made it to my birth class I felt like the instructor was affirming my knowledge because I was so well read there wasn’t much she said that I hadn’t already read for myself but I was able to ask her about things I wasn’t sure about.
What surprised you about your birth?
I was surprised by how fast my birth went. I expected at least six hours of labor because I was a new mom and they usually have longer labors... but my water broke at 12:47, I started having pushing contractions around 1:50 and he was born at 2:28. It felt like maybe 30 minutes from start to finish.
first, educate yourself, second, surround yourself with a good support group. Lastly, don’t feel obligated to share details with anyone.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
I didn’t use any pain relief strategies. I held my husband's arm and focused through it. I didn’t feel the need for any pain relief even during labor. It all happened so fast my midwife walked in as my mom caught my son. She was followed by the officer that clocked her going well over the speed limit. Thank goodness he let her go after walking in the house and hearing the baby cry.
What position did you end up delivering in?
We planned for a water birth but it all took place so fast that we weren’t able to get in the water. I ended up laying on my left side while my husband and mother-in-law held my leg up.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
There really isn’t a feeling like holding your baby for the first time. You can’t truly understand until you’ve experienced it. There is a rush of emotions. I was overwhelmed by a love I had never experienced before. It’s like my heart grew and all the sudden I was able to love stronger (it sounds super corny but it’s true). It caused me to look at my husband so different.
At that moment I also felt a mothering instinct kick in. The moment I saw my son so much changed. It wasn’t like an overtime change but in an instant.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
I think the best advice I can give to any mama regardless of their preference is first, educate yourself, second, surround yourself with a good support group. Lastly, don’t feel obligated to share details with anyone.