When did you realize you were really in labor?
I was hoping to go into labor on my own. If I didn't before May 30 I would have to be induced. I was admitted into the hospital on the evening of the 29th to prepare to be induced in the morning. A few hours after being admitted I started contracting and dialating. I went into labor on my own! I delivered at 10:40 that night.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about going natural was finding a way to deal with the pain. My first experience with labor I had been induced and received an epidural. I wanted badly to be able to have this baby without all the medications. It was very different from my first and very challenging but we made it through and I am happy to say that I had a natural childbirth.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
To prepare for my birth I was trying to make myself go into labor naturally to avoid being induced. I took my dogs walking all over town in the days before. I ate 2 whole pineapples as well as performing pregnancy yoga exercises to help move baby into position and maybe stimulate labor and soften my cervix. I'm not sure which of these helped or if it all contributed a little bit but something worked to get my labor going successfully.
What surprised you about your birth?
What surprised me about my birth was how I managed to go into labor and deliver my baby hours before I would have had to be induced. None of the nurses were expecting me to be in labor and my doctor was at home. I went from not being dilated at all to crowning within a few hours. Three pushes and he was out. It all happened very quickly and it was a surprise to my doctor who ran in just in time to catch my son as well as the nurses and my baby's father. We all were shocked at how it happened but I was very happy that my baby made his appearance naturally and suddenly just in time so I didn't have to receive Pitocin. Our family wasn't expecting to have to be there until the next day so it was just me and his father through the whole process. I am thankful that it happened so quickly.
You forget the pain once you have your baby in your arms and it is so much better for you and your baby to have a natural birth. Being able to say you did it naturally for your baby will make you feel great. It is a very well deserved accomplishment.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
The only pain relief strategy that really helped me was breathing exercises and trying my best not to look at the clock. I just thought about what it would be like when it was over and holding my baby and it went by pretty quickly.
What position did you end up delivering in?
I delivered while reclined in the hospital bed with my knees bent and holding my legs up.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
While holding my baby for the first time after delivery I was still breathing very heavily and I was trying to gather myself after all that pain I just went through. I was still pretty uncomfortable during the after birth process but seeing my baby and knowing he was healthy made all the pain fade away and it was well worth it.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
My labor progressed so quickly so if I wanted to get an epidural I couldn't. I didn't know if I could do it or not and I was scared at how hard it would be. My advice to a mother who wants to go natural is that you can do it even if you think you can't. You forget the pain once you have your baby in your arms and it is so much better for you and your baby to have a natural birth. Being able to say you did it naturally for your baby will make you feel great. It is a very well deserved accomplishment.