I'm Only Half Planning a Natural Birth

Welcome to the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.


Humorous photo of hour 18 during labor. I used lavendar to calm myself and will again.

I discovered Natural Parenting after the birth of my son, and have allowed myself some liberties with how this looks in our family.  I have prided myself on extended breastfeeding – although it was not always exclusive breastfeeding.  I cloth diaper but occasionally slip on a “greener” disposable if the need arises.  I vaccinate, send my son to daycare and will stop for fast food because I am too tired to cook.  But I am still a Natural Parent and I have the credentials to prove it.  But my biggest confession is that in my world of homebirthing mommies – I am having another hospital birth.

I will admit that I am a little envious of my fellow Natural Parents when I read their birth stories and how The Hippie HouswifeHobo Mama and Code Name: Mama all had accidental-unassisted home births.  Or the inspiring two part post from Anktangle of her pre-term labor and her delayed but successful home water birth.  But despite all those beautiful and empowering birth stories – a home birth just was not the right choice for our family.  Still, I am going to incorporate some natural practices into my hospital birth.

More Birth Stories

I have begun developing my birth plan for my semi-natural hospital birth.  I am having an OB attend my birth despite the fact that the practice I use has a midwife on staff.  I feel more connected with the OBs on staff as women then I did when I met the midwife.  I have some ideas that are less then mainstream like a water birth and placenta encapsulation but I have made arrangements to do those things as part of a hospital birth. Which turns out I’ll be the first water birth and the very first request to take my placenta that my hospital has ever had.  My OBs and the hospital’s pathologist have been very supportive and have been interested in the research I have provided and that they have found themselves.  I am again planning for a non-medicated birth but like the first time I will trust myself to say when and if I’ve had enough and need some help.

So how does someone go about planning for a “natural-hospital” birth? The same way you would for a natural or hospital birth – research. Sarah from Parenting God’s Children is also a doula and gave me an awesome information packed pamphlet to help me plan my birth experience. I liked that it did not push one way of birthing over another but discussed birth in terms of the individual. It also has a section for mothers who have previously given birth that allows for reflection on your prior birth experience and what you may wish to do differently or the same. This was especially important to me because even though I am birthing in a hospital, I would also like to recognize that birth is a journey more then a medical procedure.

Resources for Natural Birth


I'm a Natural Parent — But … Blog CarnivalThis carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that “natural parenting” means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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46 Responses to I'm Only Half Planning a Natural Birth

  1. Thank you for this!! I am both strangely fascinated and deathly afraid to do homebirth but figure, since I had an emergency c-section with my last, I better go for the “natural hospital birth” instead and even then I cannot promise I won’t turn into a big wuss and opt for the epidurl again. I ma not even pregnant though so I will cross that bridge if and when it happens. It’s crazy that I already carry “crunchy guilt” about an event that has yet to happen.

    • Christy – your birth should be what you want it to be and not what anyone else thinks it should be. Birth is something only we can do and experience for ourselves. How we choose to walk down that path is our choice alone. If you come to this path again choose to surround yourself with a support network that wants only the best for you and your baby. We have enough to feel guilty about but our decision of how to birth shouldn’t be one of those things. I am going to pat you on the back for even considering a VBAC in the future and tell you that you are amazing!

  2. I love the fact that you have the heart and the tenacity to not back down, even though the hospital is not making some of this easy on you. You, my friend, are paving the way for future mothers to have their perfect births. You should be proud, and who cares if you’re not having a home birth – the point is to birth where *you* are comfortable. You are an inspiration 🙂

  3. aidan says:

    I totally can understand how you feel. I was a planned home gone hospital birth….being my first I didn’t do all the research I should’ve cause I’m a doula and I knew how to help a woman in labor, but all that went out the window when I was in labor. After 20 hours @home with my shower constantly running and contx coming ever 2 min, lasting 1 minute and not fully relaxing untill right before the next one, (we found this out when I got to. Hosp) so I guess me being so tired and having the stress of people saying id never be able to do a homebirth and my mom crying on the phone begging me to go to the hospital….I gave in and my midwife came with me. Turns out I was having reverse uterine contrx….instead of pushing baby out….she was being pushed up. I was dilated barely a fingertip (at 41 wks,6 days-no inductions for this mama) and after 3 hrs in the water I finally got an shot of demoral and I went from o-4 in 15 min, then 4-10 after another hour and a half, and then BAM..baby. so I didn’t get my fully natural birth, but I avoided an IV and no epi or episiotomy….I was so bummed about NOT having a home birth. But I finally realized she wouldn’t have come anyway because I couldn’t relax. Can’t wait to try again

    • Aidan – it really is true that what we know in our heads goes right out the door when we are the ones in the situation. I am glad that you did finally have your little girl. I wish you luck in your next birth.

  4. This is going to be a great carnival. I really enjoyed your post. This is what birth is about…..birthing where you feel comfortable, and who you’re comfortable with! I think it’s amazing that you will be the first to waterbirth, and take home your placenta.
    Also, thank you for sharing all three of my birth stories.

  5. Shannon says:

    I think it’s so great that you are blazing a trail for future mothers at that hospital. Hopefully after your experience, they will start to offer those kinds of things to mothers who don’t ask. After all, if you have a birthing tub, why not use it?

    • Thank you Shannon. It is hard for me to think of myself as a trail blazer. I was just doing what I hoped for myself but if this opens the door for other women to have the birth that they wanted or an experience they were not aware of then I support that label.

  6. I, like Dionna, am also inspired by your perseverance on the path to having the kind of birth you want to have. It really is all about doing what is best for YOU and YOUR family, what makes you the most comfortable and able to birth your beautiful new baby. You truly are changing things at this hospital you’ve chosen, whether you realize it or not. <3

    And thank you so much for what you said about my birth stories!

    • Thank you Amy. I really loved reading them. You an Jaymz are a very special and supportive couple and Daniel’s story is amazing. I love the photo of him in your post today!

  7. Laura says:

    I had four natural births in the hospital. Only one, which was pre-term, had interventions that could not be done at home. All the other three had very little to no medical intervention- no CEFM, no IV (hep-lock), no AROM, no pain medication. I’ve had some people tell me they weren’t natural because they weren’t with a midwife at home… whatever. They were awesome and empowering and got me a baby… and in the end, the baby is all I wanted! People can have a natural hospital birth and I’m so thrilled to hear about all the “new” things your hospital is doing for you!

    • Thanks Laura. I definitely consider your births natural and you are right – you had a baby just like everyone else. The setting isn’t important – the experience the mother wants and the result is what matters most.

  8. Wolfmother says:

    I think what is important is that you feel comfortable in your birth setting and trust your birth team. If you feel that this is what is right for you and you enjoy birthing this way, you are following your instincts and that is beautiful. How you perceive it is what matters since you are the one who has to deal with the emotional and physical ramifications for your choices. A happy mum makes happy children and so however that comes about is really up to each person’s preferences.

  9. I too love the idea of a home-birth and my ideal birth would be a home-birth, but I don’t know if confident enough to go through with it.

  10. Melissa Vose says:

    I sometimes feel sad that I didn’t get a home birth and a bit wounded by assertions by the home birth community, but like some of the other women who commented above, I had beautiful hospital births. One C/S, two VBACs. The hospital shouldn’t be a place to avoid when giving birth. It should be one of several options when considering a place of birth. I’m very glad your birth team and hospital are responding positively to your requests and are supportive of you!! In my mind, what is wrong with hospital birth is not necessarily the hospital. It is that hospitals CAN be such unsupportive or bossy places to be. If hospitals are more supportive, such as yours, birth can be very comfortable and empowering there. I loved my births. Choice empowers, wherever it happens.
    I’m excited to read your birth story when it happens!

    • Wow Melissa! That is amazing that you had two VBACs. I am so glad to hear that you had positive birth experiences. I am lucky to birth with this hospital and the team of OBs that I am working with have been extremely supportive and interested in my ideas for my birth.

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  12. I loved this post. I too believe that you will (without meaning to or not) bring change to the hospital where you are birthing and make great strides in bridging the gap between the homebirth/hospital communities.

    I am horrible at submitting entries to blog carnivals, but I did write a post (better late than never)! http://theclearscamandrach.blogspot.com/2012/02/switching-to-gasp-disposable-diapers-im.html


  13. Sara says:

    I am going to start off saying I love the hospital! Different doctors aren’t always the best – like when they have 33 week pregnant woman pysche evaluated becuase she doesn’t know what the heck is happening and she has 2 kids at home and she has a bit of OCD. But I love the hospital. Most of the nurses are great- they went out and got me veggie broth when I was on a liquids only diet the first 48 hours and the hospital only had chicken broth. I love having help because when I leave I am a mom with one extra child and it is hard to admit but it is sometimes hard and lonely when you are sleep deprived and no one is there to help and you have to entertain the older kids while taking care of a baby. I love that they can watch my baby so I can sleep and he would be safe.
    My middle son was the most natural of natural births there – I was in the hospital for 3 minutes before he was born. The doctors are tollerant there. I was alloted 5 hours of pushing with my oldest before I had any medical intervention.
    Use the hospital for all its worth. You will appreciate the help they are there to give. Besides they do custom ordered room service!

    • Sara – the room service is a bonus. That was really great that the nurses did that for you. Thank you for your positive comments and for sharing your story.

  14. Thank you for hosting this liberating carnival, and I’m so glad we got to meet in person the other day! As you know, I am also planning a natural hospital birth, and I’m proud to be doing so. We’re going to have amazing birth experiences, and I’m so excited for both of us! <3

  15. Thank you so much for your work in hosting this carnival. I feel even closer to all my crunchy mama friends, knowing that we all have certain things we let slide a little bit.

    When it comes time for my second baby, I know I’m going to have a hard time deciding whether to go for a home birth or not. I love what Dionna said, you truly are blazing a trail for future mothers to have natural births at your hospital!

    • J – I’m so glad this helped bring us all closer. I definitely feel that way too. It is such a weight off our shoulders when we can be honest and say this is my life, accept me for who I am.

  16. Thank you for co-hosting this fun carnival, and best wishes for a lovely birth!

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  17. Wonderful post! I think the biggest part of being a Natural Parent, is knowing how to tap into your inner wisdom and do what is natural for *you*…not trying to live by the “rules” of any given philosophy. I’m so happy to hear your careproviders are on board with your plan!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I really appreciate this post. I’m due in a couple weeks with baby #2, and planning another hospital birth. #1 was a med-free midwife assisted waterbirth in the hospital, and it was a mostly positive experience. I have thought a lot about homebirth, as there are a couple ways in which I’d prefer the freedom that a homebirth might offer. But my options where I live are A) to birth with midwives at the hospital and pay nothing out of pocket or B) birth at home with a midwife who is not technically allowed to practice in my state, and pay several thousand dollars out of pocket. Option B would involve going into debt, and I don’t feel good about that choice for our family. I’m trying to do everything I can to set myself up for another positive hospital birth experience.

    • Elizabeth you get to decide what you take from your birth experience. If you want something – ask for it and do what you can to make it possible for yourself. I wish you the best of labors and a beautiful baby.

  19. Tat says:

    I had a hospital birth the first time and a birth centre (again at the hospital but more homely settings with midwives only – the second time). My second labour was only 3.5 hours, the baby was born less than an hour after we got to the hospital. I was half considering water birth, but I didn’t even have time for that. For my next baby I’ll do birth centre again, if I can make it (they say labour gets shorter every time). If it is home birth, it’s going to be an accidental one 🙂

    If you are going to have a homebirth that you are not comfortable with and that would stress you out – that would be far less natural than going with your instinct and having the birth you want.

    • Thank you Tat! I’m happy to hear that you had a positive experience with both of your births. I am hoping that I have time to get the pool filled when we get there. The last time I was there for a long time before but who knows what this will bring.

  20. Birth is one of those areas I always feel like an outsider. My three births were all very different, and my best experience (by far) was my planned hospital induction (with epidural, IV, and antibiotics) at 39 weeks. I think I just violated about 7 natural parenting laws with that one sentence. But it worked for me, for us, and I have three awesome babies! (Okay, so two of them aren’t exactly babies anymore.)
    I wish you happy, wonderful, peaceful labor and delivery thoughts. Please do share your story when the time comes! Thanks so much for hosting this carnival; it’s been so much fun. Looking forward to reading more posts now.

  21. Thank you for this! Although I will not be having another baby, I just do not feel like I could do a VBAC at home. MAYBE a birth center but I had way too many complications with my c-section to feel comfortable being 20 minutes away from a hospital. I see birth as natural. Where you do it really makes no difference so long as you are able to advocate for that which makes you comfortable.

  22. Thank you thank you thank you for all the wonderful resources and links in this post! As my hubby and I consider having another baby, this weighs heavily on my mind. My first birth was beautiful and wonderful but not exactly what I wanted, so I am starting to look at other options. I can’t wait to check out these resources.

    Good luck with your birth and continue being true to yourself!

  23. ha! I love that you have the credentials to prove it!!

    And I know how you feel, it was pretty amazing to read those awesome accidental un-assisteds, but I’m really happy that you’re not threatened by those. Or that you feel like you *have* to make certain choices about your birth. When it comes down to it, you’re making educated choices based on your needs and that of your family, and that’s pretty crunchy, if you ask me! 🙂

  24. I think it’s wonderful that you know exactly what’s right for you and that you’re working so diligently to make it happen. I trust you’re going to have an empowering and inspiring hospital birth, and I can’t wait to hear your story!

  25. Lexi Conklin says:

    i wish the hospitals in my area were more supportive of natural births and non mainstream ideas such as placenta encapsulation and water births. i would have had a much different birth experience if they were all like that. thank you for sharing your views i really enjoyed reading this!

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