When did you realize you were really in labor?
My water broke, so it was pretty obvious things were going somewhere. Contractions did not begin in any intensity until the next morning when I went for several walks. That is what got them going!
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Honestly, this time it was all so wonderful! All the pain was in the front, unlike my first birth which was a posterior baby and very bad rectal pain every contractions from start to finish. Allowing baby to slowly stretch my tissues was a challenge at the end, but well worth it to have no tearing!!!
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
I followed Mama Natural's exercises for optimal positions for childbirth. I don't think I ever sat with my feet up the entire pregnancy -- just to be sure my baby didn't settle into a posterior position! I also used her birthing affirmations and, while I liked them during pregnancy, they were KEY during labor. It seemed that every contraction had just the right words playing in the background. I did not intend to listen to these affirmations my whole active labor phase, but they were so helpful, I did just that! I also made sure to pray regularly for a smoother experience this time around!
What surprised you about your birth?
How I felt SO GOOD the entire time! Sure, there was some intense feelings and even some intense pain, but it was all do-able! And my recovery was a great surprise. I felt almost like I didn't have a baby less than 2 weeks postpartum! This was great since I have a 2 year old as well!
The other BIGGEST TIP I can urge anyone to do is find out what position your baby is in. If not in the ideal position, pursue the exercises and postures needed to encourage baby to get into a good spot! It really will revolutionize your experience!!!!
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Being sure I did not tense the rest of my body while having a contraction. I spent almost all of my active labor in the tub (3 hours) and it was great to just "float" my arms and breathe deeply to pass each contractions. Then, as mentioned already, the birthing affirmations were key!
What position did you end up delivering in?
In the tub in a semi sitting position.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
Take Mama Natural's advice and pay the price to modify your ways during the 9 months of pregnancy! It will pay off in the labor! Also, be sure to think positive thoughts about your ability to have a natural childbirth. The birthing affirmations were so helpful for this as I did not think positively in my first labor and I also had fears b/c of that. Another huge help was switching from a hospital birth (w/ a midwife) for my first child, to a birth center birth (w/ a midwife) with this delivery. The midwives at the birth center helped me feel that pregnancy/birth were a natural (not medical) part of life and it was so laid back and wonderful. The other BIGGEST TIP I can urge anyone to do is find out what position your baby is in. If not in the ideal position, pursue the exercises and postures needed to encourage baby to get into a good spot! It really will revolutionize your experience!!!!