When did you realize you were really in labor?
I realized I was in labor during a CPR re-certification test I was taking. I kept an eye on the clock and realized my surges were regular and only 6 minutes apart.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about going natural for me this birth was the fear I might scare our 3 year old daughter whom we planned to have participate in the birthing experience. However she fell asleep and slept through transition and delivery.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Studying hypnobirthing really helped me prepare to trust my body to safely birth my baby. I felt much more confident this birth even though my first birth was also an easy natural birth.
What surprised you about your birth?
I was surprised at how intense yet bearable the surges were as I have birth to my son standing up. I kept expecting more pain but instead just felt overwhelmed when a short but strong sensation to push. I was also surprised at how much pain I felt hours after my delivery. The initial postpartum pain was much worse with my second pregnancy than with my first.
Staying calm and reminding myself that every surge was effectively preparing my body to welcome my baby was the best pain relief!
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Staying calm and reminding myself that every surge was effectively preparing my body to welcome my baby was the best pain relief strategy as it helped me feel confident rather than scared. Distraction and motion were also great tools to help me through active labor surges.
What position did you end up delivering in?
I delivered my son standing up with my husband holding my hand and supporting my back & arm.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
It felt incredible when I held my son for the first time. I felt strong, proud and extremely happy. I also felt very proud of my husband for all his support and care through the labor and delivery.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
Prepare! I felt a little like I had been earning a degree in natural childbirth the way I studied it but I had learned that I really wasn't prepared with my first child. I felt so much more confident the second. I studied a few different methods but gained the most help from hypnobirthing.