There is no perfect birthing method. Each woman needs a different method. That is why I asked some blogging friends to write on their favorite methods for the Ways to Have a Natural Childbirth series. Today’s featured blogger is Mandy of The Household Hero. Check out her post on how she had natural births in the hospital below.
If you are wondering if you can have an unmedicated, all natural birth in a mainstream hospital, the answer is YES! I delivered both of my children in hospitals through a successful all natural labor and delivery process. It is important to note that plans may have to change under extreme situations for the health of you or your baby. But a lot more is in your control than you may be led to believe. The most important thing is to know all your options, make sure explain all your plans thoroughly with your doctor and be sure to put in writing what your birth plan is. Then make sure to bring copies of your birth plan to the hospital with you and hand one to every person that puts their hands on you. Just show that you are confident in what your plans are and be assertive. Remember, it is your body and your delivery. Pregnancy is not an illness it is a process! Here are my stories:
On July 1, 2011 my son was born at 7:19pm just 2 days before his due date. I knew from the moment I started trying to get pregnant that I wanted to attempt natural child birth (true natural labor and delivery means no medicine intervention of any kind). Once we discovered we were pregnant, I researched all the options and side effects from any medications used in birthing these days. After my research, I was whole heartedly committed to taking the non-medicated, non-assisted labor & delivery route.
I admit, I was extremely nervous with the idea. And anyone I talked to about it gave me responses varying from laughing out loud to nods of disbelief that I will really do it to some actually telling me straight up that it is stupid to attempt. But I blew it all off because I knew what I wanted and I was not going to let anyone with no first hand experience at it sway my opinion. The handful of woman that I was able to talk to who did successfully and intentionally deliver without medicine all had great things to say about their experience. I wish I had gotten to talk to even more women, I know they gotta be out there somewhere.
I mentally and physically prepared for months. I even wrote motivational cards for my husband to read to me during the tough, strong contractions. After all, most things in life are mind over matter. Labor is definitely one of those things.
So the morning of July 1st, it started out as another normal day. I woke up at 7:00, ate breakfast and got ready to go to the gym. As my husband and I were getting into the car I felt something strange and went to the bathroom to check. My mucus plug came out in full! I was NOT anticipating that at all. Since I was in no pain and no water leaking, I didn’t think I was in labor. After some convincing from my husband, I called the doctor. She told me to come into her office to be checked. I will never forget her comment when she checked my cervix: “You need to go check into Labor and Delivery now because you are having a baby today.” I was dilated to 4.5 and 100 effaced. By the time I got a room in labor and delivery it was about 11:00 am. I was having some light contractions but nothing memorable.
I chose to labor on the birthing ball the entire time. I believe this helped me cope with the pain much easier than being in a bed. And since you have no meds you have the right to move around. Just make sure that you select a delivery hospital that has fetal heart monitoring that allows you to move around. Around 2:30pm the contractions had become much longer with less resting time in between with increased intensity. I had dilated to 6 by now. But around 4pm the pain was extremely intense every few contractions with some less intense ones in between which I welcomed because they helped me recover from the crazy strong ones. It is at this time that the concentrated breathing and my motivational cards played their part. When my doctor checked me around this hour she said it wouldn’t be too long now, so that gave me the gush of hope I needed! And I asked how will I know? Her response was that I will have an intense feeling to need to take a “poop.” Ok, that seemed strange to me but I took it as an answer.
At 7:05 pm I indeed felt the need to do something. So I told the nurse I felt that I had to push like I was trying to make a bowel movement. So she checked my cervix and had a panic look. I was ready for showtime! The moment I had anticipated was almost here, at this point I knew my goal of delivering how I dreamed was going to happen and my adrenaline skyrocketed. “Let me call your doctor, you are ready to push but try to hold the urge”, she said. That is not as easy to do as one may think. I was fully dilated and she could see his head crowning. I got off the ball and got on the table in a squatting position, ready to push and my doctor walks in just in time. I pushed twice, which took about 6 minutes. And Conner was here! There was the fire burning moment that you may read about but it was the most temporary pain of the entire process.
I want to be honest in informing you that delivering the placenta was the most painful part. I guess it was because my adrenaline was gone after holding my precious baby. Plus, I was not fully anticipating that I needed to push out the placenta in the same way that I did my son. I guess this important piece of information is often left out because the majority of women do not feel it due to the medication and those who do remember it choose to block it out of memory because they had their baby which is where the story usually ends. My son’s head was rather large, so I did tear quite a bit and needed to be sewn up, again unmedicated. It took about 10 minutes for the doctor to do while my son was being cleaned an checkout out.
People always asked me if I would do it naturally again with no medicine. And my answer is “Of course, now I know what to expect. The fear is in the unknown and insecurity of not knowing whether it can be done.” I know what it is like and that I can do it. Plus it is an incredible feeling of accomplishment to have fully experienced every moment of the miracle if birth.
So, when I found out I was expecting our second child, I knew I would do a natural unmedicated birth again. The labor went much quicker the second time but all in all the second experience was very similar to the first. I was able to walk around within an hour from the births and I went home in 24 hours. I healed both times very quickly in comparison to my friends who had medicated deliveries. I believe I am done with childbearing but if by some chance I am blessed with another, I will once again plan to do it 100% all natural!
Mandy is a money saving, crafty, event planning mama of two children. You can read more about her on her blog, The Household Hero where she shares recipes, die’s, coupons, and health tips.