When did you realize you were really in labor?
I had gestational diabetes and this required me to have extra ultrasounds. During my final growth ultrasound (at 38 weeks), it was discovered that my baby had not grown in the last month and that he was sending a lot of blood to his brain. The midwives said that this is a survival instinct babies use when the placenta is not functioning at 100% anymore and this was a consequence of having the GD. Due to this complication and the midwives concern for my baby's health, I was opted out for delivering at the birth center and scheduled to induce labor at 39 weeks. My husband and I went in the night before and I was given a small pill to "ripen" my cervix. After just a half an hour I went into labor on my own! My midwife had told me that this was extremely rare and not to get my hopes up but my body must have just been ready because I had contractions less than a minute apart within the first hour and my water broke an hour after that. Yay! No Pitocen! :):)
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The unknown. Was I going to go through 20 hours of Labor just to have to have an emergency c-section? Would all of my work going with midwives, taking natural birth classes, and encouraging all my relatives that this was a good idea be for nothing?
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Take this class! And also talk to my sister-in-law who has had three natural childbirths.
What surprised you about your birth?
I was able to do it! I am a small person and my mom had 6 C-sections so I didn't have a lot of confidence that my body would be able to do it. But I did! 🙂 I was also surprised and how little I was able to do anything while in labor. I had brought books, pictures, music, and o didn't even think of using any of them while in labor. I guess my brain just couldn't focus on anything besides that baby coming!
I was able to do it! I am a small person and my mom had 6 C-sections so I didn't have a lot of confidence that my body would be able to do it. But I did! 🙂
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Counting aloud. Listening to others talk around me. A hot shower!
What position did you end up delivering in?
On all fours.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Amazing. :) Oh it was so fun and relieving! I remember the feeling of familiarity and that surprised and pleased me. I was expecting a stranger that I would get to know, but instead I got a baby I recognized and just wanted to get to know better.
How did the Mama Natural Birth Class help you in your childbirth?
It helped me know that I could labor in different positions, things to say or not to say that would help me, ways that I could utilize the nursing staff and my husband during that time, and just helped me know that so many women were out there supporting me.