Somebody once asked me why I don't share more natural hospital birth stories. Well- here is one! Some great lessons on how to make it happen for you.. Check it out and you can find more information on the blogger in the bio at the bottom.
Women have the ability to do one of the most amazing things in life: childbirth. We have the ability and privilege of carrying our sweet bundle around for nine months and we then have the task and honor to birth them into this world. We were made to have children.
For twenty six hours I went through a natural labor without pain medication telling myself just that, "I'm a woman, I was made to do this." It sort of became my mantra to say that; to remind myself that as a woman I was able to give birth without drugs. I was made to do just that. And I did it.
From the beginning of my pregnancy I knew that I wanted to have a natural birth with no pain medication. I was often asked along the way why I wanted this so badly and I could have given all the medical reasons or all of my fears of the epidural, but really my biggest reason was that "I was made to do it." We all were.
At one point I was tired of telling people my plan to go natural because I was tired of the smirks and the sarcastic remarks like, "good luck - I couldn't make it past four centimeters." It was almost like I was being made fun of or considered weird for wanting to do something that was natural and done over and over decades ago.
Well when I made it to around four centimeters I did doubt my ability to do it. As I laid in that hospital bed with my mom and my husband around me I was starting to lose hope that I could do it. Laying in that bed and feeling those contractions, each wave of intense pain, and knowing that I still had a long way to go left me feeling like it was impossible.
Around midnight of May 7, 2013 as I laid in the hospital contracting regularly after being admitted for monitoring, I knew and the nurses knew that I wouldn't leave that hospital without a baby. It was at midnight that my husband and I would try and get some sleep and although he did, my contractions were so intense and so close together that I never slept. It wasn't until 1:46 am on May 8, 2013 that I had my baby therefore making it about twenty six long hours.
I chose a hospital birth because of my fear that in the event of an emergency I wouldn't be able to reach our hospital if I chose to have a home birth. I admire those women that have a home birth; I would love to have the courage to one day do that. I'm very lucky that our hospital birth worked out so well for us and that my birth plan was accomplished.
After reaching that point of almost giving up so early in, my mother immediately turned into my coach and reminded me how badly I wanted to have a natural labor. She reminded me that I had to keep moving and get out of the bed and that is just what I did.
I walked circles and circles around the wing of the hospital that our room was in. I walked circles and circles around our nurses' station. I hugged the wall many, many times. Swaying back and forth, back and forth I endured each wave of pain. I breathed on my own and didn't worry about those Lamaze exercises that I learned. When you're in labor you just tend to do what feels best and what feels natural for you.
My husband thought it was neat how I just created my own world, my own zone, and stayed there. I didn't realize until after everything was said and done that I pretty much did do that. I'd hear people talking and hear conversations between my nurse and my family, but I rarely spoke. The voices were muffled and coming from another "zone." Sometimes I even wanted to speak back but couldn't always find the strength or will power to get my lips moving.
Throughout my long labor I found relief in a warm bath for about twenty minutes every hour or so. It was there that I could actually speak and leave my zone a little. It was also there that I ran out of that tub anxious to push. Prior to my labor I always questioned how a woman would know when to push. Well I am here to tell you that you just know. I jumped on that bed soaking wet with not a stitch of clothes on screaming that I had to push. A few pushes later and my beautiful baby girl was born into this world.
Now five months later I look back at it all and realize that pushing was perhaps the best part and is also the feeling that I can still remember. Pushing my baby out was such a distinct feeling that will forever stay with me. I can hardly remember the way those contractions felt for that long period of time, but I can distinctly remember the feeling of my child being born into this world. And that still makes me smile.
My doctor actually told me that somewhere in the bible it says that God will help a woman forget the pain of childbirth. Although I don't really need to remember the pain of contractions, I don't want to ever forget the feeling of pushing. That was the day I conquered my goal of a natural birth. It was the day I felt like the most empowered version of myself. And it was the best day of my life. It was that day that I gave birth to the greatest joy I've ever felt and the deepest love that I've ever endured. The love I have for this beautiful child of mine makes all of that pain seem like nothing and made every long second of those twenty six hours worth it. Natural childbirth? Piece of cake.
I hope you enjoyed my birth story. I am so thrilled to have shared it on Mama Birth. If you'd like to read more from me, please visit me at my blog, The Mushy Mommy. I'm a baby wearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, inspiring eco-friendly mama and I blog it all and so much more!