One evening when discussing babies at my grandfather's my aunt planted a small seed in my mind when she described labor as "awesome," "amazing," and "beautiful." Surely she MUST be joking. I just couldn't even imagine...and unmedicated??? Whoa! Hold the phone! Bradley? Birthing like animals in nature? Envisioning your energy working to open a way for your baby to enter the world...all of this sounded so earthy and crazy! I mean...organic food? Check! Natural remedies? Check! Unmedicated childbirth? Um...maybe tomorrow...
Needless to say, after a few months of research, reading, meeting people and prayer it became clear that unmedicated childbirth was what I wanted as a wife and mother, and my amazing husband was willing to embrace and stand behind this desire. Even if it ended in an emergency C-section just as my mom's own birth experience with me, at least my intention was to bring my baby into this world without subjecting him/her to modern medicine for the sake of my comfort. I know that some women really can't bear the pain for millions of reasons, but I had to believe that I could do without the pain meds.
|Sweet Rita on her birthday!|
We did it!
That little seed blossomed and bore forth our first child unmedicated in January of 2011.
So to avoid an unnecessarily long rambling on this achievement for our entire family (it was a group effort for sure!), I'm going to try and keep this simple.
10:30pm membranes ruptured (water broke) and NO contractions followed
took a small nap (about 90 minutes)
2:30 AM contractions FINALLY started
Throughout the day we went for a few walks, I packed-up all of my mom's Christmas decorations, did laundry, watched a movie and just waited for labor to pick-up
Looking back, I was so exhausted and didn't feel like I should walk but so many people told me I should walk to get labor to pick-up so we tried. From now on in labor...follow what my body feels like doing!
5:00pm After talking with two midwives (one being my own cousin!) we decided that we needed labor to get more serious since my 24 hrs of having ruptured membranes would soon be coming to an end. We didn't want the hospital meds to speed labor until we tried natural methods. So Tyler ran to the store and got a couple of herbs for us to use (under one of the midwives recommendation) to regulate and intensify contractions, which were sporadically coming at all intervals: two, twelve, four, five, eight, ten minutes apart.
6:30pm Labor began to get intense and we called our friend to begin videoing our birth
9:30pm We left for the hospital
9:50pm We arrived at the hospital
At this point I don't remember too much
Contractions were intense, laboring in the shower and on the toilet (sitting backwards, thank you) were the best positions, although the birthing ball was a nice place at times.
Rita turned sunny side up during a contraction (ouch!) but eventually turned back down.
I remember that labor was most intense around 5:00 am with contractions double peaking and lasting minutes at a time.
There was a point when I was quite sure that a) the hospital would make me have a C-section because I felt that this was taking ENTIRELY too long and b) I was not going to have the baby at all and that I might as well leave.
5:30/6:00am Time to push! I was so exhausted at the end and when I heard the doctor mention that I wasn't going to have this baby by 7:00am - I nearly gave-up (not that my body would have allowed that at this point!). At this point I was nearly ready to ask for something to take the edge of the pain off, but it was time to push and I knew from our classes that this was the final lap. I'm glad I allowed my will to be resolved to an unmedicated birth and SO grateful for my husband, mom and friend who supported me the entire time. We also had an AMAZING nurse who was originally trained as a midwife in England - what a gift from God!
8:03 am Rita entered the world! Thank you Lord for her birth!
8:10 am The afterbirth (placenta) was born and what a beautiful organ that was to see! Amazing!
Rita breastfed immediately and had a beautiful latch! We were so blessed with her being a pro nurser from the start. We would have never believed that we would sleep with our baby, but at the hospital we couldn't imagine putting her in that plastic box that they called a bassinet! So cosleeping was the natural choice that started the day Rita was born and continued through 11 months. At 18 months she still climbs into bed with us some nights, but it usually isn't until around 3am and we are really ok having snuggle time with her for a few hours before Tyler leaves for work.
We are so glad that we chose to take Bradley birth classes, which empowered us to believe in our ability to birth naturally and unmedicated.
Our prayer is that all of our children will enter the world naturally and unmedicated!
What's your story?
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