When did you realize you were really in labor?
I realized that I was in labor when my contractions started after my water broke. My water broke at 2:30 in the morning. I went to the bathroom because I was feeling nauseous. An hour later, my contractions picked up. I had painful back labor the entire time!
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The back labor! My contractions were all in my lower back. My doula and husband took turns rubbing my back.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
The most helpful thing we did to prepare for childbirth was taking my doula's birth class. I felt that she gave us realistic expectations of birthing naturally. She showed us different positions to use during different parts of labor to relieve pain.
What surprised you about your birth?
I was surprised how comfortable I was in the birth tub. The water took most of the pressure off of my back and I was able to work with my contractions to birth my baby.
I can't imagine what my birth would have looked like without her.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Horse breathing helped take my mind off of my contractions. Sitting reverse on the toilet and having my husband and doula rub my back helped me greatly too.
What position did you end up delivering in?
I birthed in a tub on one bended knee.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Amazing! I can't even describe the feeling! Right after I gave birth to my daughter, I held her in my arms. She didn't cry or scream. She was alert and looking at her surroundings.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
Hire a doula! Our doula provided us with immense support. I can't imagine what my birth would have looked like without her. She helped me write a birth plan. My doula was by our side for my whole labor. She encouraged and supported me when I ran into some breastfeeding struggles. A doula will empower you before, during, and after your birth!