When did you realize you were really in labor?
I was having contractions that felt different from Braxton Hicks around 10pm so I went to bed to get some rest. When I woke up around midnight, I knew I was in labor.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about have a natural birth was the unknown of how long labor would last. I knew I could handle the contractions, but for a limited amount of time.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
I did several things that helped me prepare for childbirth. I wrote out birth Affirmations and listened to Mama Naturals audio affirmations, I prayed every day for a wonderful birth, I ate a healthy, organic diet and stayed active. I also made sure I surrounded myself with supportive people who respected what I wanted for my labor and delivery. My midwives and doula were the best!
What surprised you about your birth?
I was surprised during pushing. Yes, it hurt. But I'm between contractions there was such relief and calm that I was actually laughing and smiling. I knew I was almost done and I would have my baby soon!
Do all the hard work while you are pregnant. That will make labor easier." Prepare yourself! Read, get educated, prep your body, prep your mind and spirit. Do all the hard work to prepare for labor while you are pregnant and delivery will go so much smoother!
What pain relief strategies worked best?
I had a bit of back pain during labor and an electric heat pad worked well for that. The birthing tub also did wonders to help relax my whole body. However, the best strategy was one suggested by my midwife. She told me to think of an amazing memory that made me relax and in the weeks before labor she had me practice thinking of that memory and go into total relaxation mode. Every time I had a contraction I thought of that memory and it helped keep me calm and distracted from the pain.
What position did you end up delivering in?
I ended up delivering in the birthing tub. I was in a one leg squat (on my knees but then I put one leg up the allow my pelvis to open as much as possible).
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
It was breath taking to hold my baby for the first time. My first birth was so traumatizing and I had an epidural so I didn't feel that euphoria most people speak of. So this time, to have rocked labor and have my precious baby in my arms was perfection. I just kept kissing him and telling him how much I loved him. I waited 10 long months for my sweet baby and I will never forget the moment I got to meet him!
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
My midwife told me something I had never thought of; "Do all the hard work while you are pregnant. That will make labor easier." Prepare yourself! Read, get educated, prep your body, prep your mind and spirit. Do all the hard work to prepare for labor while you are pregnant and delivery will go so much smoother!