Choosing Natural Childbirth The Second Time Around

Choosing Natural Childbirth

A woman’s birth preferences are so personal. And, contrary to popular belief, a woman’s birth experience can impact how she feels about the very special day she welcomes her child into the world.

When I was pregnant with Brooks, my husband and I attended the hospital’s birth class. After weeks of classes, I walked away¬†thinking I was fairly well informed about birth, the process, and the options that were available to me during birth.

But I was not fully informed.

There were so many things that I did not realize, that would profoundly impact my birth experience:

  • Induction can take a long, long time.¬†With my first pregnancy, our induction began at 10pm on September 28th. I gave birth close to 6pm, the next day.
  • Pitocin contractions can be much, much more intense than “natural” contractions. I had hoped to avoid any interventions with my first birth, but I quickly realized, as pitocin contractions kicked in, that it I couldn’t avoid an epidural.
  • Epidurals don’t always work. In fact they can “kind of work,” affecting only half of your body. I had an epidural, and it affected only the left side of my body. I was eventually given a second epidural, which helped with both sides.
  • If you spend a lot of time on IV fluids, your body can swell, and that swelling can take a long time to go away. My legs swelled so badly, that the fluid began to weep from my legs. Yes, it was coming from my skin. First I developed swelling, then water blisters, and eventually they began to drain. It was horrific, to say the least.
  • You may have to spend more time in the hospital than you anticipate, even without complications. We were in the hospital for a total of three long days.
  • The hospital staff will not always be kind, and caring. In fact, nurses, lactation consultants, etc. can create stressful situations after baby has arrived. The staff came in multiple times throughout the night to check nursing stats, and baby’s pees/poops. After giving birth, I just needed to rest but, between the baby waking, and the constant traffic in and out of the room, sleep wasn’t happening. And, the postpartum care nurses had the most horrific bedside manner. Three days of this, and I never wanted to step foot in that hospital again.

Some of these issues can be unavoidable. A natural childbirth experience isn’t always possible. And I am completely supportive of interventions when they are needed for my survival, or the well-being of my baby. But I am not supportive of interventions that make my birth experience more convenient for my care providers. I also don’t support those practices that interrupt my ability to successfully birth and bond with my baby, or my ability to have a wholly positive experience.

This time around, I am going to work hard to have a natural childbirth experience.

To me, that means:

  • I want to avoid induction, unless it is medically necessary for my health, or the health of the baby.
  • If induction is necessary, I want to try natural induction methods first. I am not sure if this is something that my OB will support, so it may be something I need to do on my own (with sufficient research, of course).
  • I would like to labor at home for as long as possible. Research shows that the longer you are able to labor at home, the less likely that interventions would be necessary.
  • I would like to give birth without pain medications. Instead, I would like to manage pain through movement, meditation and laboring in the shower.
  • I want to be able to move freely, using wireless monitoring as necessary.
  • I would like to minimize the amount of fluids I receive, to avoid complications that I experience last time.
  • I would like the baby to be able to nurse immediately, and I want to delay the bath for a bit.

I am not a typical crunchy mom. I do want my son to have the typical treatments and care. I don’t want to remain attached to the placenta for long. I don’t want to keep my placenta. I don’t judge other mom’s who choose this route, but it is just not for me.

Instead, I want to be able to recover quickly, and look back at my birth experience with sweet memories. I am not looking for a medal. I know that there are no gold stars for mom’s who experience natural childbirth. But, for me, natural childbirth would be incredibly fulfilling.

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About Me

Hi! I am Amy, the creator of RunawayTeacher. I am a mom to two boys, and I married to my best friend. I love mom life, crafting, and blogging. Read More.

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