Going Au Natural
When I got pregnant with my first, we decided to take natural childbirth courses. “The Bradley Method of Childbirth”. This was funny. It was funny because up until this very point when I heard of other women giving birth naturally, I would wince and say “HA! I’m soooo getting an epidural!”. Everything changed when I felt that baby move. Once I knew there was life growing inside me, I wanted the finest, best, most wonderful care I could give her. That meant a natural childbirth, among other things. We attended class once a week for ten weeks, each class was 3 hours I think. Mental preparation it was indeed. Not only were we focused on pregnancy and birth for those several hours each week, we were also focused on each other. This carried throughout the week as well. Before we knew it, the pregnancy and childbirth had consumed our lives, in a good way.
I couldn’t learn enough. I read every book on the shelf. I started to wean out the “bad” books and only read the good ones. I learned that not only would having a birth without intervention be a physically healthier option for both Mom & Baby, it would also encourage healthy relationships. It would promote bonding and increase the likelihood of breastfeeding along with many other fantastic outcomes. Natural childbirth became my ultimate goal. We wanted to give our child the greatest start possible. I had taken good care of my body & the baby inside up until this point, why risk anything by changing? We knew this was the best choice for us and our new baby.
I exercised my mind and my body. I did kegels, pelvic tilts and yoga almost daily. I ate healthier. I meditated all the time. I was training for a marathon. My body was ready and my mind was sound.
By the time labor began, I wasn’t going to take any alternatives. There was no other option besides having a drug-free, intervention-less vaginal birth. In the back of my head, there was always room for the exception in case of extreme emergency, but I was in positive thinking mode & there was no turning back. I delivered my first baby after about 24 hours of labor. Au natural.
The second time was even easier because I had so much knowledge under my belt. For the 41 weeks I carried my son I read even more, studied even more, did even more research. Ina May Gaskin became my “BFF”, she’s written some of the most powerful books in the birthing world. (If you are still in child-bearing years & haven’t heard of Ina May, please seek her knowledge.) I engulfed myself in everything pregnancy & childbirth related. I surrounded myself with an unbreakable support system of wonderful family and friends who would help me thrive. I delivered my second baby after about 14 hours of labor. Au natural.
They were both incredibly alert, incredibly healthy, happy babies. We were incredibly happy parents. I felt such a natural high both times, like I was on top of the world. My recovery time was short. Though we had bonded before birth, the bond grew much stronger. It all felt so right.
It takes a lot of preparation. Having a natural childbirth IS like training for a marathon. What better gift to give your child than a beautiful, healthy start to life?! Women need to realize it’s okay to trust our bodies. This is what they are intended to do. Embrace that wonderful bestowal and let it come into existence. Naturally.
My sister would quote the famous Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.” I have met so many soon-to-be Moms who say “I’m going to try for a natural birth.” Everyone with a slight understanding knows how that will end up. I feel so worried for these women because I remember being in that position. However, it’s such a sensitive topic for some reason. I don’t understand this. Sure, it’s a personal decision, but why not educate yourselves so you know all your options going into it? The result is worth taking the time to research as well as the time to labor and deliver. Without preparation, the result could be devistating, and often times is. It’s only temporary. This too will pass.
Another quote that ran through my head during those trying labors, mind over matter: “Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.”*
Finally, this was my mantra toward the end of my second pregnancy, a daily affirmation:
“My body has everything my baby needs.
My body knows how to give birth.
My baby knows when to be born.”**
You can look forward to the Pregnancy & Childbirth Resources coming soon.
*from The Scientist by Coldplay