A Journey in Birth Confidence

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

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My handsome Littles

I appreciated the end result of both of my labors with my children. I was blessed with two healthy little boys who I cherish. I do want to share my feelings though on my birth experiences with both boys. My first birth was a medicated hospital birth and my second birth was an non-medicated water birth. What I learned during my first led to me convictions about the second. Both births taught me valuable lessons about the woman that I am and I hope it may encourage you to reflect on your own birth journey.

When I was pregnant with Little Man, I was not an active (or even an aware) member of the natural parenting community. I knew that my mom had natural births with both myself (8lbs 6oz) and my brother (11lbs 1oz) and had used Lamaze as her method of pain management. I had been on bed rest for 2 months prior to my labor and had attended a one day birth information seminar but I did not have time to attend other classes since I went into labor less then 48 hours after being released from bed rest. My intention had been a natural birth without pain medication but after 18 hours of labor, I asked for an epidural because I was exhausted and weakened from my lack of physical activity for 2 months.

Holding Little Man for the first time.

Once I had the epidural and the sleeping pill they gave me – I drifted in and out of consciousness through my second stage of labor until transition. At some point during transition my epidural fell out and I began to regain feeling. I begged them to push the baby back up and let me have a c-section (isn’t transition fun?) but it was too late. After 22 hours of labor I had my boy! He was red, screaming and 8lbs 13oz.

It wasn’t until the anesthesiologist returned to remove my epidural that they discovered it had fallen out. All of the medication had just dripped down my back. I took canada viagra pharmacies scam it as a small victory that I had actually given birth without medication since I felt the initial guilt of giving in to medication during my planned non-medicated birth. It also gave me confidence that I could experience natural childbirth next time.

Two years later and after listening to other mamas’ birth stories I made up my mind that I wanted three things for my next birth. I wanted a water birth, a doula present and I wanted to use hypnobirthing techniques to manage my labor pains. I had all three of those conditions present during Little #2’s labor and it was a very different experience. I had my experience of Little Man’s birth with me as well to guide me.

My doula, Kristie was awesome. She guided me through the hypnobirthing scripts and allowed me the space to follow my labor. Having an experienced labor support person was key to laboring effectively during my second birth. She supported me in following my instincts which shortened my labor time and also minimized any discomfort I might have experienced.

The most amazing experience for me though was having a water birth. For myself, being in the water was key to my labor. I had discussed how important I thought this would be with Kristie and she had warned me that I should not get into the water too early because I might want to get out during transition or the water might feel too cold and then I could miss out on birthing in the water. I had this in the back of my mind when she told me to get into the water and I kept asking if she was sure it was time.

We had only been at the birthing center for less then an hour and I was only 3 cm when we arrived. This was another benefit of the decisions I had made when I was preparing for Little #2’s birth. I had taken a prenatal yoga class and had made notes each week of the poses that would aid me during labor. I used those poses as well as visualization and chanting to open my birth canal. I still didn’t believe Kristie though when I was told to get in the water – she was right though.

Holding Little #2 for the first time.

I was in the water for two contractions and a thought crossed my mind – I should have gone to the hospital and had the epidural again (sneaky transition). I knew I was ready when I thought that. I was able to direct my attention inward while in the water. I could feel and visualize where Little #2 was and I knew I needed to push. I asked for my midwife and two pushes later he was born! Instead of exhaustion this time I felt elation.

Resources for further information:

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

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

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • I was Foolish Then — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes how foolish lack of preparation for childbirth led to a feeling of powerlessness and fear, but that in the end she had her baby in her arms, and that’s one thing she can celebrate.
  • Sometimes no plan is the best plan — Tat at Mum in search contemplates that maybe she doesn’t need a birth plan for her upcoming birth.
  • Disturbing the peace — Kenna at Million Tiny Things thought she would be a calm, quiet baby-haver. Ha!
  • Accepting the Unexpected During Birth — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM imagined herself laboring on a birthing ball but she never imagined where she’d really be most comfortable when the time came…
  • Sacred This Time, Too — Kimber at The Single Crunch learned enough to know that the way she birthed wasn’t they way she wanted to; but she also knew to enjoy it for what it was.
  • The Birth Partner: A Great Natural Labor Companion — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger thinks that the secret to her pleasant natural labors was having a great support system.
  • the Best Thing About My Labor ExperienceCrunchy Con Mommy realizes that amidst all the things that seemed to go wrong with her labor, the love and support of her husband was the one thing she could always count on!
  • Your Birth Was My FavoriteDulce de leche describes some of the highlights from each of her four births and explains why despite the differences, they are all her favorites.
  • Birth Story: Part One – Moon on a Stick! Gentle Mama Moon tells the first part of her birth story to share some of the delight of labouring at home.
  • Embracing My Birth Experience by Sharing My Birth Story — Dionna at Code Name: Mama made peace with her first birth by sharing the story with her son.
  • Focusing on the Beauty of Birth — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares the beautiful aspects of her birth center water birth.
  • A Joyful Induced Delivery — Amy Willa: Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work notes the meditations and perspective that helped her achieve an unmedicated birth despite being induced for medical reasons.
  • Finding Joy in an Imperfect Childbirth Experience — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells what she learned from her two very different childbirth experiences.
  • What’s to like about a c-section? — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is glad she her second child at home, but she also cherishes much about the c-section she had four years earlier.
  • What Story Will I Tell? — Rachael at The Variegated Life realizes that the way she tells the story of her second child’s birth matters — and could be exhilarating.
  • I Quietly Put My Hopes to Rest E — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her emotional ups and downs with the highly intervened birth of her special needs daughter, Bella.
  • Tale of Six Births — Jessica at Instead of Institutions appreciates that unique challenges and joys of each of her births.
  • Labouring naturally: nature’s gift — Caroline at stoneageparent describes the most beautiful, spiritual aspect of the labour of her son, the first stages along a bumpy road to giving birth.
  • All The Woman I Am. — Lindsay at This Woman’s Work shares a poem about letting go and surrendering during the thralls of labor.
  • A twin birth story: embracing the unexpected — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her twin birth experience and how she found the silver lining when faced with preterm labor, premature birth, and a two-week NICU stay.
  • Giving Birth With Eminem — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how fiery rap music contributed to an empowered homebirth with her third baby.
  • Two Different Births — Cassie at There’s a Pickle in My Life shares how she learned from her first birth experience and how to trust yourself and your body.
  • Embracing Our Potential: Birth as a Metaphor — Sheila from A Living Family guest posts at Natural Parents Network and expresses how birth has served as a metaphor to help her through other experiences in life.
  • Little Sister’s Birth Story: Our VBAC Adventure — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama describes the recent birth story of her baby girl, her pride in an epidural-free VBAC, and how her story isn’t exactly the birth experience she had planned for.
  • A Journey in Birth Confidence — Shannon at The Artful Mama shares her experiences with labor during both of her sons’ births.
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10 Responses to A Journey in Birth Confidence

  1. It is so amusing to me to read all of the mamas who have had more than one birth talk about transition. Isn’t it funny that we all just know when that moment occurs? Or at least we can recognize it immediately afterward – sneaky indeed :)

    • I have definitely noticed that trend in the carnival as I’m reading. It really does help to know what it is. During my first birth and I’m sure for the other mamas you think this is the worst pain ever and that it’ll never end. But it is the fastest part of labor – as soon as you realize what it is – it is over!

  2. You are amazing! I’m so glad you had the birth experience you wanted the second time around – and also the realization that you were capable of natural birth the first time around!

  3. Thank you for sharing your birth stories and photos. I had a water birth with my ds, it was such an awesome experience. Elation indeed!!

  4. jessica says:

    I love, love, love the water and can’t imagine birthing without it again! It is amazing how much we learn from our experiences :)

  5. Gretchen says:

    I’m using Hynobabies for my second and am really excited! Glad to hear of another mama who embraced the scripts during labor :)

  6. I think you may have just talked me into a water birth next time around. (If there is a next time, that is.) Great tale. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love your stories! Thank you for sharing :) I am also planning on a water birth for my first baby’s appearance into the world next month!

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