Why Labor Naturally?

I remember when I was pregnant with my first. The end was drawing near and that prompted people to ask the question of whether I would be laboring naturally or if I wanted medication. It was something I thought a lot about and did quite a bit of research on. I knew I wanted to do it naturally but telling people that often got me laughed at. “Yeah, most women say that but then end up screaming for an epidural! Good luck with that!” It wasn’t nice to hear. I even got some of that from my doctor and his nurse. Apparently natural labor doesn’t happen that often.

It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, as I stated before I researched it. I love to research and find answers to probing questions. I also don’t like surprises so I wanted to know all about labor and delivery. Every aspect of it. I read many stories by women that did it natural and many that used the epidural and some that had done it both ways. I also read a book entitled Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition by Susan McCutcheon. I have talked a lot about this book in previous posts. It is the one thing that really helped me.

Yes, I did deliver naturally and I got to tell everyone that I survived. It was fun rubbing it in the faces of people who said I couldn’t. That’s mean of me I know but if someone wants to do a natural birth they really could use encouragement and not a sarcastic tone.

The next question I got asked is why? Why would I want to feel the pain of childbirth if I had an option to go without? Well I am happy to tell you!

Keep in mind this is my own opinion. I don’t think anything less of women who have opted for the epidural. I know many strong capable women who have had it! It is just not the path I wanted to take for me and my baby.

First off I don’t like drugs. I have to have a major headache for me to even think about taking a simple pain killer. What I don’t like about them is they mask a problem. I have a headache for some reason and usually its because I haven’t had enough water or I am in need of some fresh air.

Although the epidural cant be compared to simple pain killers it does numb pain and can cause other issues in the process. I understand it effects people differently but to my understanding once you get the epidural you are no longer free to move around. You are numb from the tummy down and as a result a catheter is put in place.

I would hate not having control of my body. If I couldn’t simply get up and walk around it would scare me. One woman who opted for the epidural said whenever she had to get checked or in position to push the nurses had to move her legs around. That resulted in a very uncomfortable experience she said. I can see why. I don’t want to be so numb that I cant move my legs! Maybe that is just a bad experience with the epidural but I could also have one like that. Who’s to say how it will go?

The side effects the epidural its self scares me. It can cause major headaches and fevers which leads to more medications. There are of course more severe side effects, the worst leaving you paralyzed. And even though they say the drug doesn’t harm baby it can effect how baby reacts when he/she is delivered. Many women who experienced natural and medicated births said they noticed their baby was more alert when it was naturally done.

Going through a natural birth the first time went really well for me. I did have a little medication put through my I.V. that lasted a couple hours. It helped me catch up on some Zzz’s before the hard contractions kicked in. I think it was called Demerol. I can’t be 100% positive about that. It was three years ago.

Going into labor then I had no idea what to expect. However this time, I think I can say I am more nervous just because I know what will happen and how it will feel. To get through it I keep reminding myself of these simple yet important facts.

  • When baby comes out its over. No more pain. Just recovery (Yes recovery can still mean a little pain but nothing like labor itself).
  • I can walk around through contractions and this time I want to try the birthing ball.
  • This being my second delivery it will go by faster.
  • I want to be able to feel when to push. I don’t want to be told when or how to do it.
  • Baby will be born alert and healthy.
  • Chances of a cesarean birth greatly decrees when done naturally.

I also keep reminding myself to stay calm. I did this once I can do it again. Its a natural every day occurrence. My body was built to handle this. Its just muscles contracting and the pain will only last for a little while.

Labor really is a small part of the whole pregnancy process. Its not a bad part either. Sure it isn’t easy but once its over and you realized that you survived it can be really empowering. Its a time in your life you will never forget. You will look back to it with a smile not with resentment or fear. That’s the day your baby was born! The day you dreaded but ended up surviving.

I am as mentally and physically prepared as can be. I hope baby Eli makes and entrance into this world soon! There are a lot of people excited and ready to meet him!

Danny’s Birth Story

As we arrive at the hospital and begin the journey from car to birth room our excitement started growing. I say journey because with every contraction I had we stopped and waited till it was over. Dustin wanted to get me a wheel chair but I did NOT want a wheel chair!

We arrived at check in and they showed us directly to our room. The nurse instructed me to take off my clothes, put the hospital gown on and make myself comfortable. She also said before leaving the room that I needed to take my panties off.

That statement has forever stayed with me.

I did not want to lay on a strange bed, in a strange room, with strange people walking in and out, with no panties on! It was something I just didn’t want to do. I looked at my husband and said “I am leaving my panties on.” He said “No your not. The nurse just said you have to leave them off.” We actually argued about this for a while and some how, he won.

A few hours later my mother arrived and that’s when I was really ready for all the happenings to begin. They hooked me up to an I.V and put a band around my belly to keep track of our babies heartbeat. After they had everything in place all we could do was wait.

I was doing it natural, I knew from the start that was how I wanted it done and I had full support from my husband. The nurse was wonderful and never asked twice if I wanted any medication.

I read a book I would suggest to any expecting mother. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. It really encouraged me to stick with my “all natural plan” and it helped me develop the mindset I needed to accomplish it. I will read it again before the birth of my second son.

As the contractions really began to set in, I have to say, it was a feeling I never could have prepared for or expected. I don’t know if pain is the correct way to describe them. Its not like I was writhing in pain, it only hurt in my abdomen and it was on and off with each passing contraction. I wanted to scream and a couple times, I actually did. When I lost control it only made things worse. So I laid there as still and relaxed as possible. I tired to instead, focus on relaxing every muscle in my body. I know it sounds strange but to get through the process your mind has to be thinking and focusing on other things.

My husband and mom were excellent at helping me in labor! I only got super testy with my husband once when he was leaning on my leg. It made it my contractions hurt so much worse! I looked at my husband with devil eyes and said through gritted teeth “Don’t lean on my leg.” The look on his face was priceless. He instantly stopped leaning against me and looked a tad bit shocked. I love you honey, I really do 🙂

When I felt the need to push, I was told not to! I wasn’t dilated enough. “What?! I can’t stop!” I said. It was seriously something I could not control. Crossing my legs and squirming all over the bed was all I could do to fight the ever increasing erg! Finally I was given the “go ahead” and man did it feel good! The only part I struggled with was the breathing process. I remember my husband looking down at me with a very concerned look. “Breath!” He yelled at me! I instantly took a breath and was shocked at how much air I sucked in! Dustin said I had turned blue.

After 25 minutes of pushing out came our little baby boy Danny! He was born at 5:36 p.m and was 7 lbs 20 1/2 inches long. I was in awe! I couldn’t believe that little human being was just inside me! I looked at Dustin and saw him crying tears of joy and relief. Our little boy was finally here!

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“Oh my gosh. This is really happening!”

I want to share Danny’s birth story. He was born over three years ago, but I want his story documented here like his baby brothers will be. Also, I don’t want to get the facts of their birth stories mixed up 😉 I am always inspired by a good birth story and I love hearing about what others have experienced. So here goes…

My whole pregnancy was an extremely easy one. When we found out I was pregnant I was scared to death. Quite literally. I started shaking and told my husband that our lives were over. Yes that was rather ridiculous of me. Looking back we laugh at the situation.

I am not one of those people that never wanted children. I love kids! But we were not prepared at that particular time to have one of our own. As, scary as it was we were left with no other choice than to start preparing for this little bundle to be. After the initial scare we began to get excited with every baby item we purchased and every appointment we attended.

As the due date started drawing near my husband and I could hardly wait. I was afraid of the whole birth process, at the end of my pregnancy and was so uncomfortable I didn’t care if it was going to hurt, I just wanted my baby!

My contractions started at about 1 a.m. on May 24th, five days before my due date. Up until this point I had never felt a contraction, but I could feel my abdomen contracting so I figured it might be starting. I left my husband to sleep as he was suppose to head out of town that morning and I wasn’t at all to sure what was going on, then I realized my water had broken, it wasn’t a huge gush like in the movies so it took me a while to realize what happened.

My contractions weren’t hurting at all, it kind of felt like a muscle spasm. So I sat down to watch some t.v. and started timing the contractions. They were about 8 to 7 minutes apart at first and gradually they got closer and began to get stronger.

When in doubt call you mother I always say. It was so early though, I text her 😉 She called right back and said “I think you are in labor!” I was a little shocked to hear it. I was thinking that maybe I could be, now I was being told I was in fact in labor!

“Ahh! Its starting! Its going to happen today!!!” That is all I could think. I went to wake up my husband who was completely oblivious to everything going on. He is a hard sleeper, in spite of what he says. After I told him he looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Really? Well I guess I’m not going out of town today.”

Uh yeah. No you are not going out of town. Actually your not going anywhere unless I say its okay. As a matter of fact you are going to do exactly what I say and when I say to do it! I didn’t say this out loud but it was being shouted in my brain…

Keep in mind I am scared, nervous and excited. Being in labor, well, it changes you. It did me anyway. I wanted to be in control and I wanted everything and everyone in place!

My husband got up with me and I explained everything that had been going on since one o’clock that morning. By this time the sun was up and it was about 6 a.m. I sat down and continued to track my contractions until they reach about five minutes apart and they begin to hurt a little. I called the hospital and they said come in at 8 and we will have a room ready and waiting for you.

“Oh my gosh. This really is happening!”

Dustin loads up the car as I sit on the couch. I start crying a little and then he takes my hand and we head for the hospital.