For as long as I can remember I wanted to have a natural childbirth. Strangely enough, it looked so appealing. In all the videos I watched, the women were so strong and powerful, and I wanted that. Sure, I saw the pain in their faces, but I also saw the beauty at the end. So after I found out I was pregnant, I watched even more videos and read two very crucial books: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and The Birth Partner.
Natural Childbirth is one of those things you have to firmly set your mind to. If you are thinking “oh I’ll try it and see how it goes” believe me, you will probably get an epidural, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are like me and REALLY wanted to go natural, you have to commit.
If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t say I had the typical natural childbirth experience, but then again what is typical? I was 40 weeks and 2 days, and after a miserable pregnancy, I was so done. I had tried all the cliche things to evict my little Evie nugget annnnnnd nothing. Someone told me to try castor oil, and frankly, I thought that sounded gross and wasn’t interested, but after some internal debate, I started researching. There were some people on Facebook that had done it, so I messaged them about their experience and posted to a couple of boards looking for opinions. All the reviews seemed mixed. Finally, I thought what the heck can’t hurt. So I took two tablespoons of that lovely little oil and went for a long walk. For those not familiar, castor oil is a laxative and cleans out your system. Some people said it had a…cleansing effect… while others said nothing happened. Because I have no form of luck, I of course had the former experience.
Cue 3am wake up call brought to me by my bowels. After three hours of “cleansing”, I went to go back to bed and boom! sharp pain to the abdomen. I texted my coworker and she reassured me she thought it was a contraction. Then they kept happening. But they weren’t small manageable contractions, they REALLY hurt. This couldn’t be right. Everything I read said I would have hours of early labor to prepare and get ready to walk out the door. I did not. My contractions were coming every 5 mins and they were intense. I could barely talk or walk, and I kept thinking “Crap. If this is early labor, I can’t imagine what transition will be like.” My parents live an hour and a half away and I just couldn’t decide if I should text them because I didn’t want this to be false labor and they drive all that way. Shortly after, when my contractions were 4 minutes apart, I said “enough is enough, we are going to the hospital.” I could barely move.
When we got to the hospital I was already 6 cm dilated, but also really dehydrated from all the time spent in the bathroom. Once they gave me that bag of fluids, my contractions felt about 1,000 times better.
When you read these books, the number one thing they harp on is relaxation. Let me tell you, it is the only thing that saved me. You have to surrender and give into the contraction. Focus on relaxing every muscle you can. All the positions I read about to help relieve the pain went to crap, and I laid there like a sack of potatoes focusing on relaxing every time I’d get a contraction.
The worst part of the birthing process wasn’t the contractions, it was the pushing. It was so hard every time I’d get a contraction to convince myself to move to push her out. Let me tell you, when they call crowning the “ring of fire” they were being kind. It felt like someone lit my loins ablaze, then used a team of horse to draw and quarter me. And then they made me just hold it there for a minute to slowly stretch (insert horror face here). After less than 6 hrs in labor and only 45 minutes of pushing, my baby made her appearance. It was surreal. Staring at this beautiful little face that had been torturing me for 9 months. She was perfect.
After all that work, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy my baby, but the dang midwife wouldn’t stop trying to fix my lady business. I seriously had the desire to punch her. When you go through all that trauma and finally have that baby in your arms, the last thing you want to worry about is more needles to your nether regions. I get that it was necessity, but at the time, I really didn’t care.
Its true what they say though, that time makes you forget the horror of birth. Because I swore to myself I wouldn’t do that again, but now two months past, I feel like Superwoman ready to bring forth life again!