When did you realize you were really in labor?
I had to be induced, which was really unfortunate for me, because I felt like I was pressured into it. I had a whole plan that I was going to give birth at the birth center with my midwife and then they told me that the fluid surrounding the placenta was low and that it was concerning. After later doing some research I found out that it would not have been a big deal to wait longer. I was only 41 weeks and I really wanted our baby to come on his own. We went into the hospital at night and did a Foley Balloon to try to get things moving. And didn't get induced until the following morning.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing was the pain, however I am told the pain is worse because of Pitocin, so I don't know if I qualify as going natural. Doing a vaginal birth was rough, but that was my goal and I achieved it, so I was happy overall.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
My husband and I took a childbirth class, which I believe was extremely helpful. I also read the Mama Natural book twice through! Once before I was pregnant and again as I was going through the weeks of pregnancy. I also read the baby book, "The Other Baby Book" and I loved it. I felt very prepared for childbirth.
What surprised you about your birth?
I was surprised at how the pushing actually felt pretty relieving. The contractions were so rough, that once it was time to push it felt like the finish line! Knowing our baby was coming also made that transition a lot easier.
Go with your instincts because you know what is best for you and your baby! Do not let the doctors or nurses make you feel uncomfortable about wanting to go natural or not take certain interventions. You are strong and women were made to do this.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
I tried slow breathing, low groaning sounds, walking around, trying all fours, and squeezing my mom and husbands hands during contractions. I got all the way to 9cm and got stuck there and was in the worst pain of my life and needed to rest. I just wanted some sleep. I ended up getting an intrathecal shot that only lasts for two hours so that I could take a nap and resume. Thankfully I reached 10cm by the time it wore off and it was time to push!
What position did you end up delivering in?
Unfortunately I ended up giving birth in the "Dead Cockroach" position where you are on your back. I tried squatting and side laying, but neither were yielding results. Our baby came out ok and that is all that matters. :)
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
I cried! It was so magical. All that hard work and he was finally here. They put him right on my chest and I was instantly in love. I looked into his eyes and I knew this is everything I ever wanted.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
Go with your instincts because you know what is best for you and your baby! Do not let the doctors or nurses make you feel uncomfortable about wanting to go natural or not take certain interventions. You are strong and women were made to do this. Make sure you have a strong support team and always ask questions. Practice your different strategies for when contractions hit.