This blog post will be my most vulnerable post, by far. I am typing right now thinking that I probably won’t even post it, but I want to make it up in case I get the nerve to actually share this with the world. Ethan’s birth story. I want to back this up to round 1, with Ella.
Before I delivered Ella, I didn’t know a whole lot about natural birthing. I just thought that if I could do it, great, if not, oh well. I was open to drugs, as well as trying a natural. I did have midwives as my care providers, and that was great. But they didn’t educate me on the pros of natural or anything. During labor, I ended up getting an epidural which stopped my labor, making me get Pitocin to ramp everything back up again. The epidural also must have hit a nerve and gave me a bum leg after her delivery. My leg would just give out and I would collapse at any given time without warning. This was scary with a newborn! I didn’t want to fall with her-and I didn’t, thankfully, but it definitely was a possibility.
After delivering Ella, I read “Ina Mae’s Guide to Childbirth.” That book changed my life. Seriously. It erased SO many fears I had regarding childbirth. I had so many preconceived notions, and they totally got eradicated. I believe that every new mom should be required to read this book. Just to erase those preconceived notions that we learn all throughout our lives about how “scary” childbirth is, or how painful it is, or that we can’t do it naturally, etc. etc. I’m sure you are thinking about all of the things you’ve heard throughout your life right now. Erase that! By reading that book, I came around to believing instead that we are beautiful human beings created by God, and that he made us to give birth! He does everything perfectly, so we should trust his design and our bodies to give birth! I want all women to believe that they can trust in themselves to bring babies into the world naturally, and NOT be scared doing it. I want you to trust in your body and that it was meant to do this. And by believing these things, it can be a joyful, amazing experience, instead of one surrounded by fear.
I’ve believed in this since I read the book, but I felt like until I had a natural birth myself, I couldn’t advocate for it. Like who could I be to talk the talk if I hadn’t even walked the walk. Well, now I’ve walked that walk. (Mary was a scheduled C-Section because she was breech, so as disappointing as that was, I couldn’t try for a natural birth for her.)
The following is straight from my journal::
Well, he’s here. Ethan Jeffrey joined us on September 12th. I was 5 days overdue and yes, impatient. But I wasn’t going crazy. It just felt like it wasn’t real that we would be holding a new baby at anytime. He was born last Wednesday, at 12:06pm after a short 9 hour labor. On Tuesday, after sauna, I told Matt, “it just feels like everything is right in the world.” We had traded massages, and everything was ready, except his room, which is almost done now. And I was feeling content.
At 3am, I woke up to Mary spunking and a light contraction. I helped Mary back to sleep, and started timing contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart, so I decided to give it an hour, and if they were still consistent, I would call someone. They were, so I started getting excited, called my sister Trina and woke up Matt to go get her. I got ready to go and when he arrived back home, we left.
The drive to Bell (In Ishpeming-hospitals in the Copper Country won’t do first time VBACs) went great. I went into the back seat, laid down and slept/labored the whole way there (it’s a 2 hour drive for us). The contractions got more intense as we drove and I had two more painful ones that I felt like the baby moved wayy down on. We arrived at Bell at about 7am, check in and got settled. IV in, monitors and blood pressure cuff on. I didn’t love being hooked up to all of that, but if it meant a successful VBAC, I wasn’t going to complain. I got checked and was at 7cm. Yay! I was actually pretty shocked. Labor had been VERY manageable so far.
I labored for about three more hours with no change, and then decided to have my water broken. Everything looked great with my water, no meconium, which was also awesome. After my water was broken, things started to heat up. I got to 8cm within an hour and once I was there, things really got intense. Keep in mind that I had no pain meds. The last half hour was INTENSE. I had a couple of contractions that I felt out of control on, and that was scary. I was sweaty and shaky and feeling a little wild. I asked if there was anything I could take, and they brought in the Nitrous Oxide. The contraction after I got that, I could feel the baby move down again and at the next contraction I was ready to push. I had the nurses running when they saw the head! Haha. At this point, Matt looked down and thought “What is that? Oh! That’s the head!” He was shocked, because with Ella, it still took 2.5 hours to deliver her once I started pushing. Once the doctor was ready, and I was on my back, I gave two strong pushes, and he was here! Yay!! I just started bawling and saying, “I did it! I did it naturally!” Matt was holding my hand and wiping my face and looking at my with what felt like awe and kissing my hand over and over again. I felt like he was so proud of me. And I just kept bawling and shaking. And the nurse told me many times, “You did SO good!” (I’m also remembering that when I pushed him out I roared. Like a lion. It felt really good.) Those moments were my favorite. Feeling SO accomplished. The next 10 minutes weren’t as awesome. I was shivering uncontrollably, and had to get a few stitches after delivering the placenta. But, they got me stitched up and cleaned up and then warmed me up with blankets. And Matt was itching to hold the baby. Then I got to hold and nurse him. It was an unreal experience. Yes, it was nuts for about a half hour, but I’m so happy to have done it naturally. In a way, it feels like I was reborn. I now have this renewed faith and confidence in myself-like I can do ANYTHING! I am powerful! I believe in ME!! It’s so cool. Because before, I believed I could, but there was some doubt there because I never had! Like maybe I couldn’t. And now I know I can and like I said, it makes me believe at a much deeper level that I can do anything I set my mind to! ANYTHING. Wow, what a transition. I can’t wait. And I’m not waiting, to bring the heat. Nobody can stop me-my best life is here and I’m living it.
Wow. even just going back and reading that gives me the chills! I am so thankful for that experience. Don’t you want to have that for yourself? All of those feelings after birth are so surreal. And the recovery was unreal, like no other. I took ibuprofen once, and have been feeling amazing. If you want this too, here are a few things I recommend. I highly encourage you to 1. Read Ina Mae’s book, 2. Believe in yourself and your body, 3. Have natural deliveries! (If possible-I totally get if you can’t and that isn’t something to beat yourself up for) 4. Be transformed. You were made for this!
There have been many women that I have talked to since Ethan was born that have had similar experiences to giving birth naturally. It is SO worth it.
I would also love to hear your story! Send me a message, or leave a comment. I love talking about birth.
I hope you enjoyed!