When did you realize you were really in labor?
When my water broke at 3:30 am on Mon July 17 . But I didn't feel any pressure or contractions at all.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Cool towel because during my transition stage, I felt every sensation, hot cold. My husband kept putting the cool towel over my face and my shoulder and that helped a lot. I felt like I would be fainted without it. Next thing I can think of is the support from your partner or someone who you believe in them and they believe in you, your decision. Going natural in the natural hospital birth set up is quite a challenge. Most people there, the doctors, mostly , they literally not concern on what you want or respect your decision that you want the birth unmedicated. Their world are just a tiny small small world. They don't listen or have at least an open minded to listen to your reasons why you wanted your birth experience that way. And the thing I hate most is when they looked down and disrespected my decision.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Hypnobirthing, breathing techniques, Ina May 's book. I think one thing that really helped me get through the unmedicated birth experience was the preparation for the worst. Both of dealing with doctor and my body itself. You really need to trust yourself and keep reminding yourself that you can do it. Because as in my experience, at one point when I was so close to "pushing stage" but I didn't know it yet. Because my nurse checked my cervix a couple minutes ago and told me that I still at only 4 cms ( I always was 3-4 cms before the labor start without pain or feeling contractions). At that point, the surge was the strongest, lot of loss of pressure on my front lower belly until I thought that I couldn't do it anymore if I had to go through another 6 cm to get my baby out. My husband saw me and thought how much I was in pain (which was not, really) so he said that having epidural wasn't a bad thing that he still be proud of me.
What surprised you about your birth?
That my body really can do the job! I actually surprised the hospital staffs that I had a spontaneous fast and semi calm labor ( no screaming, just moooo sound, crying and low voice counting 1-20). My cervix skipped from 4 cms to 9,10 and that alarmed the staffs rushing set up everything in the room as they didn't expecting me (or underestimated me, this was the doctor ) to have my baby. And a couple pushes later I had my little prince on my chest. Total 4 hours since the labor/feeling the surge or contractions started. One more thing was that it's totally true that when you hit the point when you think you could not hang on anymore that you might can't do it..that was when I was about to have my baby on me :-))
I believe in you and trust me, your body is perfect!
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Hypnobirthing mixed with low voice counting 1-20
What position did you end up delivering in?
Unfortunately they finally had me on my back. I was trying the side laying and later on they changed my position and I teard badly. I wish I have someone to helped me refused to be on the back position. My husband was too excited and he forgot. I couldn't focus or speak or move myself at that moment so... 2nd degree tearing was the experience.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Dizzy lol I was in shock too that I had him so fast. Everything was ways faster than anyone including me expected. I was so happy that maybe half of my concerns were done. Baby intervention concerns are next!
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
If you will have it at the hospital, you have to at least have one supporter. No matter how you think you are tough enough, there will be moments when you can't help yourself, speaking, moving anymore. Pressure from doctor is the hardest part. Do lots of research do your homework and educate yourself, I know it hard and it's not a good thing to stress out yourself during pregnancy but you have to be prepared if you really aimed for unmedicated natural birthing. Print it all out if you can, and last choice if doctors won't leave you alone is throw that paper to them. Joking but I am telling you, I did thought about that. Lol one of the doctor I talked to unfortunately, he worked on the night I checked in at this hospital and I will let you consider if he is a rude person or not because at one point when I refused to get medicine and mentioned that I too did educate myself and I would like to follow the midwife way. And he said why am I there anyway, why won't I have my baby at home.. Not the kind of tone when someone asked you a question to get some answers.. This doctor, he was irritated and just said it like that and all I and my husband could think of was what the hell.. lol So, be prepared mommy! I believe in you and trust me, your body is perfect!