When a Natural Birth Plan Goes Right
My ultimate goals as a pregnant woman: complete this process as prepared and as naturally as I possibly could, while staying safe. I believe most of it was in my heart and head. I did not have surgery. I did not take medication. My husband did not pass out. I slept in my own bed with my new family within five hours of giving birth. I was safe. I was healthy.
The morning of, I had a chiropractic visit scheduled that I considered missing because I was feeling "off." It was about a week before my due date and I was feeling a lot of pressure, not pain, that was a little distracting. I had trouble determining if I should lay down or go for a walk. I ended up running some errands and going to my appointment anyway. My chiro said, "let's see if we can move things along here," and that he did.
As I left his office, I felt my first contraction, but could hardly tell that's what it was. So tired of listening to everyone around me insist that all first babies are late, I felt strongly that this might just be it. I actually spoke to my belly at that moment and told my baby that I thought this would be a great day to be born and that together, we could do this, me and him, quickly and easily.
I was fearful of having a long labor and delivery. I can honestly say that if my labor experience was much longer than what it was, I'm not sure I would have made it through. I took many steps in preparation to prepare my mind and body for a smooth labor experience and I nearly made it a part-time job near the end. I was stretching, visualizing, journaling, practicing hypnobabies meditations, using evening primrose oil and read all the books I could on being ready for my birth.
Of course, my midwives were somewhat skeptical when I called to tell them I was in labor, but my husband trusted me when I told him it was time to head to the birth center. I showered, packed my bag, and put on my meditations on my phone as I breathed through the contractions. The hyponbabies class and tracks I listened to were, by the way, the only thing that kept me going that day. There were many moments that I believed I was more distracted by the music and voices than I felt I was actually under hypnosis, but it worked for me.
All of this started around 10am, and we got to the center around noon. I progressed as quickly as I had hoped and was in very active labor somewhere around 5pm. I was too nauseated to eat or drink but I very slowly was able to sip Smart Water near the end and trusted I would be just fine. The cool thing about midwives is they let you do nearly anything you want. If you want to eat, drink, dance, walk, squat, or sing, you can. I personally, chose to lie in the fetal position, moaning and breathing for the majority of my labor. I hardly used my essential oils, I ditched the hypnobabies near active labor and LOVED having a playlist of all my favorite songs playing in the room at that time. And I was really glad I didn't pack a freaking yoga ball in our car.
The vibe was calm and chill. No wires, no attachments, no IV, beeps, or machines. Just us. I was in a tub with my music, my husband and three rockstar women who held my life and my baby's life in their hands. And I wasn't even nervous. It's a funny thing about hormones, sometimes they help you exactly when you need them.
After a short while of pushing (which was the best part, for those of you wondering), my little alien-looking offspring came into the world and was in my arms. There were moments that didn't go exactly as planned, but he was here and he was safe. I practiced nursing and my husband went to grab us all pizza across the street. One of my favorite memories: I'm mostly naked, in a queen sized bed, with my husband and all 3 midwives around me, eating pizza and sipping postnatal tea, holding my son on my chest and reliving the last 5 or 6 hours.
Shortly after, we discussed the next few days of recovery and prepared to head home. How crazy is it that we slept in our own bed that night!? No nurses checking on us. No IV. No hospital. No problems. Just us. Some people would consider that a nightmare. Some people would call it heaven. I had a hard time putting the little guy down and actually sleeping during the next few days, but I figured it out eventually.
Our midwives checked in via text and phone calls and visited about 2 days later. That was really special. I think the worst part was leaving the house to see the pediatrician. That in itself is another story for another day. I stayed in bed for 2-3 weeks with my baby and built a little family nest in our bed, like I read about so fondly in The Kind Mama book by Alicia Silverstone. I highly recommend it for pregnant mamas looking for natural birth and baby care ideas.
It was an incredible experience. I didn't have many visitors. I hardly left the house. I was 100% tuned in to my body and our baby, and I focused on recovery. You could say I was lucky, or prepared. It could have been worse or it was a miracle. Whatever it was, it was a good story. I hope that my experience can encourage others to educate themselves on their options and follow their instincts if they feel called to have a similar experience.
My clients who are expecting can take advantage my coaching to support them during pregnancy. Know your options, trust yourself, and be ready for life to go in any direction.