I love hearing birth stories. With my first pregnancy, I was a huge baby when I thought about the pain associated with giving birth. I remember thinking that Braxton Hicks must be true labor and had my husband drive me to the hospital, only to be told that I wasn’t even 1cm dilated and that I need to go home. This happened twice! I look back and laugh at how unprepared I was the first time around. I ended up getting induced after I was a week late and then immediately requested the epidural at 2cm. Yeah, I was a big baby!
Recovering from the highly medicated birth was more challenging than I thought. For months my back was in pain from the epidural, and it seemed to be weeks before I could walk without pain. I remember trying to stand up a couple hours after giving birth and I could not even stand without assistance. I definitely didn’t like the long recovery afterwards and thought that there must be a better way I could give birth the next time.
Fast forward two years and my son was due to be born on the same day as my daughter! Here we were again, facing induction, and I was praying that I could somehow make it through labor without an epidural. I was actually feeling okay while they started the process of inducing me (at 4cm) and then the nurse came in and told me it was my “last chance” to get an epidural and that things would get “a lot worse” and I needed to “decide now!” Yikes! Fear took over and I caved and got the epidural again. My son was born several hours later and I went through a long recovery process again. Not as long as my first, but still I didn’t feel like myself for a long time afterward.
Almost three years later, I was pregnant with my third child and I was determined this time to have a natural birth without intervention and induction. At this time I had my great friend as my doula who coached me through how to achieve what I wanted and to create a birth plan. Again, I was up against being induced when my daughter was 9 days past her “due date” and I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t achieve my goal of an unassisted birth. I walked and walked and walked for hours and hours and hours. I tried everything to get labor started! The morning I was to be induced, I walked into the hospital like it was nothing, smiling and chatting away. My friend thought for sure I still wasn’t in labor. They checked me and I was almost 6 1/2cm! I was thrilled! I knew that I could do this without being induced and I was happy that I was feeling so great this far into labor. Transition hit and I wasn’t smiling anymore, but I got through it with some amazing help and then about an hour or so later my daughter was born! I felt fantastic after she was born. Full of energy and full of awareness! Not groggy, not tingly in the legs, and not stuck in bed! I was up out of the bed about 30-45 minutes after giving birth and I walked around like it was nothing! I remember my mom being shocked that I could walk, since she had seen my other two births and remembered how sore and immobile I was after delivery. I bounced back incredibly well after giving birth to my third baby and I knew it was all of the months of preparation and motivation to achieve a natural, unmedicated birth!
Now I am pregnant with my fourth baby, a boy, and I have about 8 weeks left till my due date. I have been preparing again for his birth through many of the same ways I did before. This time around I have a few extra things that I will be using to assist a natural birth. I am a huge fan of essential oils. They have done wonders for our family and for me! I have been researching and reading personal testimonies of people who use essential oils during labor and delivery. I can’t wait to diffuse the oils and use them throughout the laboring process. I am consistently doing exercises that will prepare my body for a smooth delivery. I loosely follow the hypnobirthing method and had great success with it for my last labor and delivery, and will be following those same principles this time around too!
You can read about how I am preparing for labor with my 4th baby here.
To be continued… 🙂