I know talking about birth methods can be complicated. There is a lot of passion on both sides on which way is the correct way to give birth to a little human. A lot of people assume that in today’s world the only way to do it is to have a medicated birth. That there is no reason why anyone would want to go natural when you don’t have to. I feel like birth is very personal and that each mom should do what they feel would be best whether this is natural or medicated. However, I still think that going natural can be a really great experience.
I started looking into birth very early on. Part of that was because I had a sister-in-law who was a Doula and the other part was that I had a boring job where I could read a lot while I waited to answer the phones. I started with Baby Catcher which is filled with stories told by a midwife. I then moved on to books by Dr. Sears and Ina May Gaskin. Around this time I decided to go to a Doula training and my sister-in-law got pregnant with her third baby which was going to be a VBAC.
I knew I always wanted to have kids but we agreed to wait until my 25th birthday. We would have been married about 18 months then and figured having a baby after the two-year mark would be a good idea. However, birth was really interesting to me and I wanted to find out as much as I could before I even got pregnant.
I went to about 6-7 births as a Doula and they were all so amazing in their own ways. Most of the births were natural. Most of them were at the local birth center where I would eventually have our oldest son. I realized that I wanted the types of birth that those who had gone naturally had. They just drew me in and I wanted the same type of experience. I was the 2nd Doula for my sister-in-law and got to see how hard it was for her to get the birth she wanted at the hospital.
A few months later, I turned 25 and found out I was pregnant. I knew I wanted to go to the birth center. We even switched our insurance around ahead of time so we could do so when I became pregnant. It was such an amazing experience. The center had three midwives and one of them happened to be a family friend of my husband. I took turns seeing each of them at my appointments so that I would be used to the one that was on call when I went into labor.
While I was pregnant we signed up to take Bradley classes and learn the Bradley method of natural childbirth. It is a simple method all about working with your partner and your body to give birth naturally. This class combined with my research and time as a Doula really prepared me for going through birth.
My labor lasted from about midnight to 7:30 in the morning when I had my son. It was hard. A lot harder than I thought it would be but I had a great support system that got me through it. We walked around the parking lot stopping to lean on my husband during every contraction. I got in the tub for a while and was planning a waterbirth but ended up getting out at the last-minute.
After I had him I had a smallish tear and that was it. We waited at the birth center and got to go home later that day. A nurse would come the next three days to check on us.
When it came time for baby #2 I was in a totally different place. We were in Germany and I would have to give birth in a German hospital. The good part about this was that in Germany they are a lot more into Natural birth. You can still get an epidural there and they were not like the birth center but they did not push me to have a medicated birth. My mom was with me as my husband missed the birth because he was deployed. I told her ahead of time that I might say I don’t want to have a natural birth anymore but she would have to remind me that it was what I wanted. Unlike with my oldest, I knew there were epidural in the building and all I had to do was ask for one.
I didn’t and gave birth to my 2nd little boy naturally. I had such a good recovery after that. I didn’t tear and I felt pretty good other than being frustrated by the language barrier at the German hospital.
I am really happy I went natural with my first two babies. Their births were great and the way I wanted them to be. I went in to the births prepared and I think that paid off. I wanted a natural birth because I knew I could do it and I felt it would be best to not have any drugs during labor. I also liked the recovery.
However, by the time baby #3 came along I did it a little differently. That will have to be in another post 🙂
How did you decide how to give birth?
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