When did you realize you were really in labor?
Contractions started at 4:30 am on 5/27/18 wasn't sure if it was real labor because I had prodromal labor the week before. My partner and I started tracking them on an app around noon and by 2 pm it was obvious there was a pattern. 30sec long contractions 3-4mins apart and were consistent the entire day until I had my baby.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Having to get stern with the medical field about my requests. It's not in my nature to be rude but I didn't trust them, I did not want a hep loc and was told when I admitted that it was required after my ob said it was ok for me to not have one, so this immediately broke my trust. After that I noticed myself get very stern, aggressive and defensive about my natural birth plan.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Surrounding myself with people who encouraged and supported me. My ob who always kept a positive attitude about my VBAC, and laboring at home until I was in serious active labor. I was only at the hospital a few hours till I had my baby, and this significantly eliminated the possibility for them to push interventions, as there was no time for it, in my opinion!
What surprised you about your birth?
It didn't hurt. Like, I waited and waited for this Hollywood type unbearable screaming my head off can't deal with it being mauled and dismembered by a pack of bears type of pain and it never happened. There was pressure, very intense at times, and the "ring of fire" stung a bit, but I've had more pain from sunburns, bug bites and falling off my bike and those type things.
Your body was made for this, trust yourself and don't buy into fear.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Breathing and looking forward to the break in between contractions. I would picture myself relaxing on a white sand beach in between contractions and it helped me relax and save energy for the next one
What position did you end up delivering in?
Laying on my left side, the nurse holding up my right leg.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Relief, I was exhausted and it was like holding her was 9 months of worry just fizzled out. I was just calm and relieved.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
Your body was made for this, trust yourself and don't buy into fear. Everyone wants to offer a horror story of some type, just walk away. Go to online support groups for birth that offers you supportive and empowering information!