When did you realize you were really in labor?
I realized I was in labor at about 6 AM when I went to the bathroom & realized I was bleeding very very heavily.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about going natural was probably the pain. Pushing Pushing him out. His head was the most painful. Also, remembering to hold my legs back was hard because I was in so much pain that I kept forgetting. Don't get me wrong though, I loved every single second of my labor & delivery. I strongly recommend going completely natural. I did without pain meds and if you can get through it do it. The only thing close to any medication I had was something in my IV to relax me for a bit, which didn't last long but it gave me time to regain my strength which was awesome. Giving birth completely natural, though is the most rewarding feeling in this world. Every day I'm grateful that God gave me the strength to get through it all.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
There are a few things I did to prepare for childbirth, actually. First is I put all of my faith & trust in God. I gave my labor & delivery to him. After that, I was no longer fearful of anything. It was still painful of course but with God by my side I knew I could conquer anything with no problem. Second, I had faith in myself that I could do this. Only about once did I doubt myself but it wasn't a strong doubt, it was basically nothing. Third, lots and lots of research to prepare my body and mind for what I was about to go through. I also prepared my body for pain. If at any time I accidentally went through any kind of pain I would mentally & physically train my body that this pain is nothing. And lastly, I exercised as much as I could. Did some walking to help and that's about it.
What surprised you about your birth?
What surprised me about my birth? I surprised me. I had absolutely no idea how strong I had become and how wonderful I did. Before I would never have imagined doing all of that & going through it all like it was a breeze. Also, my husband surprised me. He always does, but this time he did. He was so wonderful throughout my entire labor & delivery process. He helped me the best he could through the pain& he held my legs back for me & watched our son be born! He didn't faint or even feel like fainting. In fact, he said it wasn't as bad watching it all. And because of him being so supportive, we are closer than ever before.
Give it to God. Completely. Don't even worry about anything, God will get you through it no problem.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Breathing and relaxing through contractions.
What position did you end up delivering in?
I delivered on my back.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Amazing. Amazing isn't even the word. No words can describe how it felt, it was too precious to describe. But I will say that it was the best feeling I ever felt in my life. Every bit of that pain was worth holding him for the first time, I'd do it all again if I had to.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
If you are Christian, give it to God. Completely. Don't even worry about anything, God will get you through it no problem. Do your research on a natural delivery. I would strongly recommend, though going to a lamaze class where they teach you how to breathe during delivery or at least practice breathing.