Natural Birth

Talk about your birth plan, ask questions, and share advice.

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Natural Birth

Postby lilbwitty02 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:44 am

Hey Ladies! I've been scouring the site for natural birthing stories. I'm wondering if anyone who has had an all natural labor in a birthing center or hospital would be willing to share their story? How did you go about preparing for it? Did you have an OB or MW? Were you satisfied with your birth? What would you have done differently? Trying to get as much info and hear as many positive stories as possible! I read too many that start with ...I was induced...or ...I got an epidural...or....had a c-section...Those seem much more common and I would love to hear more natural stories! Thanks in advance!!
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Postby fodla » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:52 pm

I would be interested to read more natural birth stories, too!
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Postby Zephyr » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:33 pm

Lots here: ... ories.html

Mine here:

I wanted to avoid the risks for mom and baby that come with an epidural and other medications, so I was aiming for a natural birth. I prepared by taking a birth class that focused on natural pain management strategies. I read natural birth stories and books by Ina May and others to give myself an idea of what to expect. I took about 40 inspirational sayings, Bible verses, and reminders about why natural was important to me and wrote them on index cards. Dh would later read these to me during the challenging parts of labor to help me re-focus. I delivered in a hospital with an ob who was known to be very pro-natural birth. I wrote a 1 page birth plan with my preferences and gave that to my delivery nurses. (Don't fear doing this by the way. They responded great, one nurse thanked me). I labored at home for a long as possible because I didn't want the hospital's time clock for my labor to interfere with what my body needed to do (after 24 hours, they get antsy). I arrived at the hospital at 8 centimeters dilated. There were parts of labor that were very difficult. But it doesn't go on forever. And the pain of each contraction is a productive pain, helping to dilate and urge baby down, not a wounding pain. Remembering that difference was helpful. I wasn't hooked up to anything so I could move around which was essential to manage tougher contractions. I felt my water break and had a serious urge to push. We paged the doctor, and after 20 mins of carefully coached pushing from my ob, he had delivered my baby out as far as her waist. He was using oil to lubricate me as well so that I didn't tear (and it worked, no tears). He asked me to reach down, grasp her and lift her out the rest of the way. It was really cool to be able to help deliver my own baby. She was warm and so soft. I put her on my tummy and Dh and I just marveled at her and the experience.

I hope you're able to tell a really wonderful natural birth story too.
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Postby JilliganJiggs » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:55 pm

That's lovely Zephyr! I plan on using many of your techniques as well.... especially the part about thinking of the pain as productive, not harmful.....much of our strength is in a positive frame of mind. I also read Ina May Gaskin's book......marvelous! I plan on reading it again just before I'm due. I'm hoping that by having my baby at home, it will be easier to handle the pain knowing that medications aren't readily available....because I'll have no choice! I'm so happy to hear a positive OB experience :) I wish there were more of them out there!
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Postby lilbwitty02 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:20 pm

Thanks for sharing!! I feel the same way-I want to labor at home as long as possible to avoid the pitfalls of hospital protocol and time limits. I have read Ina May's books, hired a doula, and have done extensive research/reading etc to help prepare myself. We also have a detailed (one page, bullleted, and concise) birth plan, and will make sure our wishes are known!! Fingers crossed all goes well :)
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Postby pinkbabydust » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:20 pm

I had a natural birth. It was 11 years ago so honestly, it's very very vague and I don't entirely remember a lot. But I'll give you the experience that I remember.

First of all, let me say, I was 16, so if I can do it at 16, you can do it too.

I didn't want to have an epidural or anything because I was afraid of how it would affect me and the baby. I labored at home. I was at my moms. I was in labor for about 30 hours. I don't remember it being excruciating or anything. I remember it was painful but nothing severe. I would fall asleep between contractions because I was so tired. But I didn't do anything for it. I just kind of laid on the couch or sat in any position that made me feel better. My contractions were very erratic. 2 minutes, 11 minutes, 7 minutes... so the hospital kept telling my mom not to bring me in because I wasnt ready yet. So finally, my mom said screw this and took me in. The point where we were about to leave is where things get blurry. I remember literally crawling back and forth from the house to the car thinking I had to have a BM. My mom kept ttelling me it was just the baby pushing down. Finally, we make the 20 minute trip to the hospital. we get in there, my mom tells them what's going on and the nurse tells me, "well check you, but we're going to send you home because with your contractions being so inconsistent, you're not ready yet. I remember them putting me in a wheel chair, taking me to the room, putting me in a gown, the nurse checking me and then yelling SHE'S CROWNING. Next thing I know, there are people everywhere. I got there at 2 p.m. They did put an IV in, but they said it was just for hydration. ? Anyway, three pushes and my beautiful daughter Sierra was born at 2:12 p.m. on November 17.

What I remember to be the most painful was actually the shower I took afterward. I fell asleep right after the baby was born, 2 hours later they woke me for a shower. The shower hurt my breasts sooooo bad, all I could really do was stand there and cover myself. I was bawling. I also had a an episiotomy (sp), so i had a very hard time sitting down.

So, from what i can remember, it wasn't that painful. I do remember telling the doctor to "get this thing out of me" lol. But I don't remember it being really really bad.

I honestly hope my memory serves me well because I'm actually petrified this time around because I can't recall much pain but I read tons about it! :roll:
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Postby NotBarbaraBush » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:40 pm

I had a mostly natural birth. (I did get pitocin at 9cm.)

I planned on having a natural birth. I wanted to take Bradley classes but DH didn't want to spend the money. I'm still mad at him for that.
I read lots of reading material about natural/gentle birthing. "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" was like my birthing Bible!

At 40w5d, my ctx started at 2am (exactly a week after my membrane sweep). My ctx felt like very concentrated menstrual cramps. Definitely bareable. I had a m/w appt. at 10 so I went to my appt. I was at 5 cm. M/w wanted to go ahead and send me to the hospital since I was GBS+ to start abx. I arrived at the hospital at noon, still smiling and laughing. I was 6cm after check-in.
Got the 1st dose of abx and heplock. Walked the halls for hours. Ctx were definitely getting more intense. Birthing ball hurt too much so I "danced" with DH by swaying and putting all my weight on him. It helped with the pain. Ctx weren't really painful but felt like very intense pressure. With every contraction, I knew I was closer so that helped as well.

I ate and drank water throughout my labor to prevent dehydration. The heplock wouldn't let them reenter the IV for abx so I agreed to let them just hook up the IV and we walked more while carting around the IV stand.

At 8pm, m/w checked me again and I was at 7cm. So in 8 hours, I dilated 1 cm. M/w asked if I wanted my water broken. I said no. I walked more and rocked in the chair. At about midnight, I tried to get some rest but couldn't sleep through the ctx.

At 2am, m/w checked me again. I was 8cm. I begged her to break my water to get things moving. She tried 3 times to break my water before it was successful. It felt really warm and gooey. I kept having pressure like I needed to poo. I sat on the toliet for a long time rocking. I did poo when I couldn't push the poo out, I had to rock it out. If I pushed, then I could feel me trying to push her out and I didn't want my cervix to swell when I wasn't ready.

They hooked me up to the monitors but allowed me to stand and sway w/ DH beside the bed. Those were the worst contractions. They were so intense and on top of eachother. I thought I was really close. The monitor wasn't registering what I felt though.

At 6am, m/w came in to check me again. I was at 9cm. I heard whispers of a c/s and I got scared. So I agreed to the pit. (They didn't know I'd heard them.) What was happening was DD was not descending and dilating my cervix. Her head wasn't near my cervix
They started the pit and my ctx stopped. They started back slowly and felt so much better. The ctx felt intense but different than the ctx I had been feeling the entire time I was in labor. I could feel my cervix dilating with every ctx. My body felt like it was working like it should. DH kept falling asleep on me but I was okay and could focus through the ctx as long as he was touching me. After a while, I made him sit behind me on the hospital bed while I sat upright and cross-legged. He kept falling asleep and head-butting me but at the time, I didn't even care. My tailbone hurt really bad and I remember punching myself in the lower back b/c it felt good.

I was about delirious when I was in transition. By then DH could stay awak. I felt so nauseous. DH kept bringing me cold washcloths for my neck and forehead. My legs were shaking uncontrollably. I had to pant and moan through some of the ctx. Most of the time, I was just trying to focus. There were a couple when I lost my cool b/c DH wasn't touching me but I just tried again with the next surge.

At 8am, m/w came in and was chatting w/ DH. She looked at me and said, "Those are pushing ctx. It's time to have that baby."
That's when I starting crying and told her I was scared. She was wonderful and talked me through it. She explained how I should push and breathe. She told me to take a deep breathe when my next ctx started.

That's when my body just started pushing. I felt DD move into the birth canal. It felt amazing! Another push and she was almost ready to crown. While DD was crowning, m/w was massaging and helping with a moistened cloth. Her head came out and I thought I was done.

I lost my cool next b/c I wasn't prepared. Another ctx came and my body was pushing again but I wasn't ready. When her shoulders came out, I screamed bloody murder and was thrashing around. It really frickin hurt!

After her shoulders, it felt really neat when her limbs were coming out. It felt like a little octopus. DD was put on my stomach. I wish I had put her to breast but at the moment all I could do was stare at her. DH cut her cord after a few minutes and squirted me with blood. DH took her and gently wiped her down a bit while I birthed the placenta. The placenta felt good when it came out. I felt such a relief. M/w gave me some local while she gave me 2 stitches.

Then DD nursed. Afterwards, I had to pee and nearly passed out on the toliet and I bled out and almost needed a transfusion. It was scary.
Then DD slept on my chest for hours until they kicked me out of the room for another mom.
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Postby ufgus » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:52 pm

Thanks for posting these stories ladies! They are very helpful! :)
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Postby mjg1127 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:16 pm

After being induced twice, I was determined to get my natural birth.

With DD3, I went into labor the day after my EDD. At my appt earlier that day I was already 5 cm's (had false labor the day before, only felt like BH but in a regular pattern). After my appt the ctx started a few hours later. We headed right to the hospital once they started b/c I was GBS positive and had to antibiotics. That was around 7pm. After getting a bag of pennicillin, I decided to get in the bath tub to help with the pain. That was WONDERFUL. The noise of the jets helped to take my mind off of the pain, and keeping the water luke warm, helped to keep my body from being so darn hot during the process. I just sat there visualizing our honeymoon and praying that the Lord would help me through. After 45 minutes in the tub I got a really nasty ctx and HAD to stand up. I got on the toilet feeling so much pressure, thinking maybe I had to go to the bathroom. I noticed blood and as I sat down, my DH goes "get off the toilet, she's coming out!". I somehow waddled to the bed, and once I was there, felt the urge to push. She was crowning as he was calling the nurses button to get the dr in there right away. He nearly delivered her! The dr got her gloves on JUST in time to say push, and her head was out, once more push later and she was here! That was at 10:33pm.

Use the bath tub. Relax your body, every ounce of it, and try to close your eyes and just "relax" through the pain. That is what helped me.
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Postby ete29 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:03 pm

I've had two med-free births, my stories are in my blog (posted in December 2010). It's really hard to capture what the experience was like but I tried :)

For my first birth my husband and sister were with me. By the time the baby was born they were tired, but I was exhillerated! I wanted to party! and they took a nap :roll: I should have expressed how I was feeling to DH and my sister.

If I could do it over, I would have brought sparkling apple juice for a toast, maybe some yummy dessert or something to celebrate. I felt like part of the bed, no one was paying me any attention after the baby was born.

My second birth was FAST! I had contractions 7-10 minutes apart all night. Then suddenly transition hit and I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I had the baby two and a half hours after things got intense. If I could have done that birth over again, I would have had her at home and skipped the ride to the hospital. That part was no fun.
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Postby BeccaM » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:40 am

I had an all natural med free birth experience and it was amazing! Here is my story (written to send to my Bradley birth instructor) copied and pasted below:

Isaiah’s Birth Story

This story starts with information that is kind of TMI, but so is the entire subject of labor! On Saturday all day (my birthday!), I had diarrhea and indigestion and lots of weird crampy feelings. I figured my body was gearing up, but didn’t expect labor to happen for several days, at least! Things slowed down later on in the day, but I did have a couple of strong “cramps” right before bed. I went to sleep for about 2 hours and was awakened at 1 am with what I finally figured out were contractions. They were about 30 seconds long and about 7 or 8 minutes apart. I had trouble going back to sleep because they were somewhat uncomfortable, and I kept wondering “is this it?” :-). So I finished packing the hospital bags, which I hadn’t really packed yet. I went back to sleep around 4 am and was able to sleep through the contractions for about 2 hours. I was awakened by a stronger contraction at 6 am or so. This time I didn’t go back to sleep.
So I did things around the house and tried to keep busy, while the contractions slowly began to lengthen to 45 seconds or longer and slowly get closer together. They were still sometimes a bit erratic though. We got everything ready and the house clean. Being on my feet that long brought my contractions to about 3 ½ - 5 minutes apart and most of them were 60 seconds long. At that point, I got a call into the midwife. I was pretty sure this was it now! At this point, too, the contractions were uncomfortable, but to me, no worse than my worst menstrual cramps. Just more intense and tighter, radiating from my front lower abdomen into my hips and lower back.
We left for the hospital around 10 am, and had fairly consistent contractions of about 4 -5 minutes apart in the car, lasting 50 – 60 seconds long. I was wondering if *maybe* it was a mistake to go to the hospital so soon, because I didn’t just want to be sent home for lack of progress! The car ride was pretty uncomfortable, but we got to the hospital in about 30 minutes. They put in me in triage and monitored the baby for a while. When I was lying flat on my back, the baby’s heart rate kept dropping after contractions on the monitor, but when I asked to sit up and was able to take deep breaths through the contractions, that resolved quickly. The midwife on call checked me after about 1 hour on the monitor, and I was dilated to a 5! I was so happy that I was progressing! They moved us to the birthing suite after this. The contractions were still quite bearable. Daniel helped me relax and breathe through them. I ended up getting the IV for the Group B strep antibiotics after all (because I had it in my original urine sample, I was still considered positive, and the midwife told me Isaiah would have to get antibiotics and be kept longer for observation if I did not).
Here I spent a lot of time walking and leaning on the wall or the IV pole and rocking back and forth through contractions. Later on, after the antibiotics ran out, I went in the shower and Daniel sprayed my lower back with hot water during contractions. They were becoming about 3 - 4 minutes apart and much more intense. Many of them were lasting over 60 seconds. It was several hours between my first internal exam and the next. Around 4 or 4:30, I was dilated to a 7 and 90 % effaced. The midwife had me bear down and push once to bring Isaiah from a negative to a positive station, which worked. Now the contractions intensified even more, and it was getting very hard to deal with them! It took all my willpower and Daniel’s help to relax through the contractions. Lying down during the intermittent monitoring was really hard. All I wanted to do is to stand and hang on Daniel when the contractions hit. I even took a few on the toilet, which helped me progress I think, but they hurt! I started shaking uncontrollably during this time. The feeling of being powerless was very overwhelming. My stomach felt queasy, but I didn’t throw up. I kept saying to Daniel, “I don’t know if I can do this!” or “It hurts, it’s so intense!” and he was amazing in keeping me focused and reminding me what we were doing this for. Even I knew deep down that this was transition, and I could do it, but it just felt so hard at the time.
Finally, they checked me again, and I was at a 9. During the check, my water broke on its own. The midwife got me on my hands and knees on the bed and told me to rock back and forth, to help Isaiah’s heart rate (which was dropping after contractions). I started to get strong pressure, then I starting to get the urge to push in that position. We moved to the squat bar for a few pushes to bring the baby down. The pushing was so intense and the urge took my breath away, it was so strong! It was more painful than I thought it would be. I guess I didn’t like pushing very much… The squatting bar helped bring the baby into proper position. He had been partly turned, causing some painful back labor for me during transition, but he turned himself at the end into a posterior position.
I started pushing around 6 pm and I had some trouble focusing and breathing properly during pushing. I kept breathing out during the push, which weakened it somewhat. Daniel started reminding me to hold my breath (as Bradley taught) and then my last pushes were much more effective. The crowning of the baby’s head was the most intense, painful thing I have ever experienced! But seeing the baby’s head in the mirror they brought for me, and having my midwife and Daniel coaching me and urging me on, I finally just made up my mind to get him out at all costs! So I bore down and pushed with everything I had, and Isaiah John was born at 6:41 pm, after about 40 – 45 minutes of pushing! (At the end I did a lot of yelling, so that the nurses at the nursing station heard me :-) I was kind of embarrassed afterward.) But somehow vocalizing at the end helped me get over that hump and push him out!
I tore in a couple of places, but not too severely. I passed the placenta within 10 minutes of him being born, using nipple stimulation instead of Pitocin to cause the uterus to clamp down and control the bleeding. After it stopped pulsating, Daniel cut the cord. Then the midwife stitched me up while Isaiah breastfed. Holding him on my chest for the first time was amazing. And he was born so healthy and strong, he could raise his head and push himself up with his arms on my chest right away! So impressive! He was very alert and just gazed into my eyes and tried to suck. It was such a special, wonderful moment.
After about an hour, they weighed and measured him, and he came out to be 8 lbs 2 oz and 20 ½ inches long, born at 39 weeks and 2 days gestation.
I could not have gotten through this medication-free, natural birth without the Bradley classes. Daniel was incredible in coaching me through. He said that he had so much drilled into his head from the classes, that he just started working automatically! The exercises kept me strong enough to get through 12 hour or so labor without giving out from exhaustion, and the relaxation and visualization kept me focused and relaxed through contractions. I think the most important thing is the preparation that the Bradley classes give. Even when I felt like I couldn’t do it, I remembered Alison saying that she felt the same way… that all moms feel the same way, but it only lasts a little while, and then the end result of all the pain and discomfort is our beautiful baby! Even though it was hard, I never felt the need to get medication, because I just knew I could do it. I feel so blessed that we were able to have this natural birth for us and for the baby. We both know it was best thing for little Isaiah. He is so happy and healthy and learning to breastfeed well now. He is such a strong, healthy little guy! Due to somewhat elevated bilirubin levels, we may not be discharged until tomorrow, but we are waiting to hear. Otherwise, everything is going great!
Isaiah, born Nov 14th, 2010, @ 39 weeks, 2 days. 8 lbs 2 oz. All natural hospital delivery.
Simon, born Mar 23rd, 2013 @ 39 weeks, 3 days. 8 lbs 4 oz. Our first home birth!!

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Postby fodla » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:02 am

These are really great stories- thanks for sharing!
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Postby victoria_1024 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:20 am

Here's my story. :)

Birth Story

At my doctor's appt on Friday, I was still only 1 cm dilated and 30% effaced so was a little disappointed at the lack of progress. Not only that, but after having several days of feeling a lot of pressure and the baby dropping, I was suddenly feeling really good. I figured it would be a while until baby came!

Sunday at about 11:30, I went to the bathroom. Then as I went to clean up lunch, I felt a couple of gushes of fluid. I thought this was weird since I had JUST been to the bathroom so felt pretty confident it wasn't pee. Went to the bathroom again and I was soaked, and while sitting on the toilet felt more gushes. I called out to DH that I thought my water broke and he brought me my phone so I could call my doula.

Doula confirmed it definitely sounded like my water. Since I wasn't contracting at all other than BH contractions, it didn't seem like there was a huge hurry to get to the hospital. I took a shower, finished packing my bag, and cleaned the house a little bit. Called my mom so she could drive up and take care of Jackson.

By 2, I still wasn't contracting but was continuing to gush. I was hesitant to go to the hospital because of worrying that they would induce me if I didn't start contracting soon, but I wanted to start antibiotics because of being GBS positive so decided finally to just go in.

3ish pm got checked into my room and started walking up and down the halls trying to get contractions going. Monitors weren't picking up contractions and baby seemed to be just fine. They checked my cervix and was still just barely over 1 cm dilated and maybe 50% effaced so not much change since Friday's appt.

6:30 pm the doctor came by, and I still wasn't contracting. She told me she thought I should have pitocin since it had been 5 hours since my water broke. I explained that I really, really did not want pitocin and wanted to deliver naturally. I could tell she wasn't thrilled about this, but said she could give it 24 hours after the water breaks, so she would probably want to do pitocin at 5 am if baby wasn't here yet. She said she didn't want to do any cervix checks unless necessary since the risk of infection goes up after water breaks. I was just fine with that!

9ish pm contractions finally started! 2-4 minutes apart and getting a little painful but not terrible. I decided to try and sleep for a while (I was exhausted from all the walking) before things got going. I wasn't able to sleep, but luckily my doula and DH both were so they got some rest.

12:15 pm the contractions started getting really painful so I woke up DH and my doula so we could walk more and try to find more comfortable positions. The contractions were painful enough that I had to start breathing really deeply through them and couldn't walk during them. Decided to soak in the labor tub, and it was WONDERFUL! The hot water felt amazing.

Can't remember the timeline very well at this point, but eventually got cold in the tub and got out to rest in bed for a while. It must have been around 2:30 am or so that the pressure of the contractions were so bad that I threw up. At that point, i was in so much pain that nothing I did helped so I just tried to keep changing positions and keep my body relaxed during the contractions.

By 3:30 am, I threw up a few more times from the intensity and pressure of the contractions, and my doula thought I was probably in a transition phase of labor. The nurse decided to do a cervix check to see if it was time to call the doctor in. At 3:45, I was 6 cm dilated. I was completely overwhelmed to hear 6 cm because it sounded so far away from 10! And the pain was so terrible I just couldn't imagine doing it for another 4 cm! The nurse did decide to call the doctor at that point because she thought I was getting close.

My doula asked what I wanted to do, and I remember saying I just wanted to stop being in labor, haha. She was very supportive and comforting. They had been running the water to fill the tub so I decided to get back in and see if that would help at all so that was probably around 4 am. The intensity of the contractions were getting worse and starting to make me feel like I had to push, but I still had fairly long breaks between contractions so it seemed like I had a ways to go yet.

I had a nice long break in the tub, probably about 5-7 minutes of no contractions and I fell asleep. Then all of a sudden, a huge contraction came and I sat up and said that something was different and I had to push. I expected the nurses to tell me not to because the doctor hadn't arrived yet! But they rushed over, and DH and my doula rushed over and they said just to do what I had to do!

I remember saying I just couldn't do it, there was no way this baby was coming out. Everyone kept saying I was already doing it but it felt impossible. It felt like my body was being ripped in half! I gave a big push and her head came out. They checked to make sure the cord wasn't around the neck, and then said to push again. So I pushed again and she came out!! Just 2 big pushes was all it took! She was born at 4:21 am.

They put her on my chest immediately and I just sat there staring at her, amazed at what had just happened. The doctor walked in about a minute later! I had requested delayed cord clamping and I had requested to hold the baby for at least an hour before they took her away for checks, so once I had her on my chest I just got to sit there looking at her, taking it all in!

After a short while, I started feeling really crampy and the doctor checked and saw the cord had stopped pulsing, so she had DH cut it and then a couple minutes later I delivered the placenta all while I still held my little girl. Then we were starting to get cold, so DH got to hold the baby while I got out of the tub and dried off. I got into bed, and got her right back on my chest again! I held her and nursed her until 6:45 in the morning. She was amazing at nursing right away, we figured it out very quickly!

6:45 am nurse took her to check her out. She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 20 3/4 inches long! Perfectly healthy. I was checked and looked great, a couple very tiny skin tears but no stitches needed at all.

I am so thrilled with my drug-free water birth! It was sooo different than my induction with my son, being confined to the bed with monitors and BP cuffs and everyone telling me how to push. This felt so natural and peaceful. And I am completely in love with this little girl!!!
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Postby lachney » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:14 am

I had a wonderful natural birth in a hospital! Here is my story:

I woke up at about 5am on a Saturday with mild period cramp-feeling contractions that were coming about 10 minutes apart. I got up and started doing housework hoping that they would keep going so I could get this baby out! (I was 40w2d) The contractions stayed about 10min apart for hours, I even went on a 2 mile walk with our dog, and they still were not getting any closer. They stayed very mild all day long, nothing I had to "breathe through" or anything. I told my husband when he woke up that I was in labor, and we called our moms to tell them. They finally got to about 7 minutes apart by lunch time, but still only slightly uncomfortable. I did some more housework, packed for the hospital, picked up dog poop in the back yard lol all kinds of fun things! We even cooked barbecue for an early dinner, and we ate around 4pm.

My husband's mom is a nurse so by 4pm she was bugging us to go to the hospital to get the baby checked out since she had "been under stress" all day from getting contracted on...I wasn't worried and we took our time, leaving for the hospital around 5. We got to the hospital at 6, and they hooked me up to the monitors for 20 minutes just to get a reading of what MY "normal" was. I was 6cm at this point, and contractions were like 3 or 4 minutes apart, lasting about 1minute and getting a bit more uncomfortable but still no big deal. After the initial monitoring, I was sent up to my birthing suite which had a jetted tub in the bathroom and then a big birthing tub in the room. (I had requested a waterbirth, and there are only 2 rooms in this hospital equipped for it.) I spent lots of time in the jetted tub because I had been dying to sit in a jacuzzi for my entire pregnancy!! The hot water and the jets made my contractions so much better, and it didn't slow down my labor at all (I've read that soaking in a tub can slow labor if you get too relaxed or something.) The contractions just got steadily stronger over the next few hours, and then they started to get really uncomfortable around 11pm. My water hadn't broken yet, and they asked if I wanted it broken to speed things up and I said no. Pretty soon my contractions started to feel unbearable. I started saying all sorts of profanities, then apologizing for my potty mouth in between contractions lol. My husband was great though, very supportive throughout the whole thing. We had both read the Bradley book, but didn't take any courses at all. He tried to remind me about the stuff that the book tells you for pain management, but honestly it all went out the window. It didn't work at all for me. At this point I was just trying to live through the contractions and not worried about "going inside myself" or whatever other bull-honkey I read about!

Anyway, at about midnight I felt enormous pressure on my bum and yelled at the nurse that my @$$ was either on fire, or ripping apart, I can't remember. Might have said both. Anyway, she said "I think you are pushing" and went to get the midwife. Sure enough, I was and about 30 minutes and 6 pushes later, my little girl's head popped out, and I was still contracting so I went ahead and pushed again and her whole body slid out. She was just there, in the tub and the midwife was like "pick up your baby!" lol I was just in shock I guess, but it felt so good to be finished! I picked her up and held her until the cord stopped pulsing, and it was great, she was beautiful, in hindsight I wish I would have tried to nurse her at that time but I didn't even think about it (even though I had planned to!). So we hung out in the tub til my husband cut the cord, then he took her over to the station on the other side of the room where the nurses weighed, measured, etc. and I got on the bed and the midwife stitched me up. I would've held her at this point, but getting stitched up was God-awful, and she was with her daddy so I wasn't worried about it. Once the midwife finished, he brought her over to me and I got to breastfeed her and just hang out with her. At some point, I delivered the placenta, and it felt like nothing. Just a blob of jello coming out. Breastfeeding is a natural stimulator for getting the placenta out, btw.

It all happened really fast once it got going. They say once you get to the point where you don't think you can do it anymore, it is probably time to push and that was definitely true for me. One thing I have noticed in reading about natural birth stories is that most of the time there is minimal pushing involved. I was so afraid of pushing for 4 hours or something crazy like moms do with epidurals. Everyone said since it was my first baby I would be pushing for a long time! But only 30 minutes, and it was only a few pushes because my contractions actually slowed waaayy down during pushing allowing me to rest in between.

Anyway, I am glad I stayed home as long as I did, I think being at home and relaxed in a familiar environment helps you progress better than being somewhere new and sterile and unfamiliar.

Even though it didn't help me while I was actually in labor, I am so glad I read the Bradley book, because it gave me the confidence to trust nature and trust my body to do what God designed it to do. I am also glad my husband read it because it really helped him feel included and like he had an active role in our daughter's birth.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your birth!!
Amy, 24; Patrick 26;
Abigail 6.27.10, 7lb 13oz, 21.25in;
Patrick, Jr. 2.2.12, 9lb 12oz, 21.25in

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Postby happymedium » Sat May 14, 2011 12:53 pm

I will tell all mamas new and experienced not lay down and go through labor. Get a birthing ball...use the Foster's method. Basically you lay on the ball with the base of your you are balancing on your tail bone. spread your legs and hand on to the side of the bed. Now bounce with contractions until you feel the baby's head bouncing onthe cervix. There is no pain and you will go from 1-10 in no matter of time. I did it, a friend did it and we laughed through labor. ANYONE who lays down during labor is NUTS! Bouncing is the way to go. Have your partner behind you to make sure you don't slip or fall and when you feel the contractions...BOUNCE!!!!!!! I'll find a video of the Foster's Method and post it!
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