I Was Designed For This

I’ve been reading a ton lately on childbirth. I’m about to experience it in a couple months for the second time. You’d think once you’ve experienced it once, you’re good to go… but that’s not exactly the way I feel. I actually hope that my birthing experience is much, much different this time around…

The first time around… I experienced: typical OB-style prenatal care, induced labor (on OB’s advice), difficult and long labor (due to the drugs for inducing), an epidural, and typical hospital post-partum care.

This time around… I hope to have: a natural start to labor (no inducing!), a shorter labor with more regular contractions (rather than 14 hours and contractions on top of each other the whole time, which was due to the inducing), no epidural or other medicated pain relief, and more control over my own experience (birthing positions, what happens to the baby immediately following birth, when to breastfeed, etc).

Isaac's little sister at 28 weeks along. Almost 3/4 way there! (Don't you just love my giant stretch marks? Battle wounds... and proud of it!)

My first birthing experience was wonderful, in that it resulted in my little man’s entrance into the world. He is my baby, and always will be. It was also pretty darn good, considering all of the horror stories I’ve read about outdated and pointless obstetric practices. Looking back however, the thing that I most regret (or “am sad about”, since it wasn’t exactly my fault) is that no one told me that childbirth was, really, nothing to be afraid of (excellent blog post on not fearing childbirth here) … that I was designed as a woman for it, and that I should trust my body and my baby to do what needs to be done (other than extenuating circumstances, of course).

NYGH (the hospital in which I delivered Isaac) has a ton of good practices such as rooming-in, understanding the importance of skin-to-skin, promoting breastfeeding, and allowing movement during labour. All of these are extremely important to me, especially now that I’ve learned more about the whole subject of labour and childbirth.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know enough to question the standard newborn care practices, such as the vitamin K shot and antibiotic eye drops. This time I know more, and my husband and I can make decisions together, and share our wishes with the hospital staff. I would absolutely love to deliver at home or at a birthing center next time with a midwife, but it will depend on where we’re living (there are no midwives in our area, sadly). I am beyond thrilled that I have a doula, however, who is in my small group. I think her support and presence will make a world of difference, in so many ways, especially since some of our wishes will be a little out of the norm.

This article sums up my current feelings quite well, and hopefully communicates why I am becoming increasingly passionate about the subject of natural childbirth. There is so much more to “natural childbirth” than simply not getting any pain relief (and there are non-medicated pain relief options, such as a hot shower/bath, which I experienced first-hand as incredibly powerful in relieving pain during labour). There is also a lot more to the whole idea than simply pain management. It’s an entire worldview on the subject of how you desire to labor and bring your child into the world. It views pregnancy and birth as beautiful and natural events, rather than medical events. I don’t know how you feel, but to me, this resonates strongly.

It’s not only for hippie-granola-unshaven-tree-hugger-chanting types, it’s for any kind of woman. This time around, I am actually looking forward to the experience of childbirth.

What do you think about natural childbirth? Have you thought about it before? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this important topic!

If you’ve given birth before, how was your experience? (Help me out here, I’m looking for the wisdom of those who’ve gone before me!)

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About redandhoney

I blog at www.redandhoney.com!
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8 Responses to I Was Designed For This

  1. naomi says:

    Ok, a few things.

    #1 – Wow, you look amazing. In a strictly non-sexual sort of way, I never really noticed before just how ‘sexy’ the curves of pregnancy are. (Forget the stretch marks, who cares…) You ‘wear’ pregnancy well. 🙂

    #2 – Speaking of ‘not caring about stretch marks’ I am curious what you have discovered in your reading or from your own experience about creams and crap that profess to eliminate stretch marks.

    #3 – That is AWESOME you found a doula. There is one here that I know and I hope one day to be blessed enough to avail of her services. 🙂

    • redandhoney says:

      That’s so sweet of you, Nome. I go back and forth between feeling sexy/cute… and just blobbish. The 2nd trimester is the best for feeling sexy, I think. As for stretch mark creams and stuff – I’m pretty convinced that they’re all crap. I used a cocoa butter one while preggo with Isaac (not religiously, but whatever), and obviously I still have stretch marks. I’ve heard that it’s more genetic as to whether you’ll get them (the elasticity of your skin, etc). As for eliminating them after the fact, well they fade pretty well on their own… and other than that, I really don’t care to try anything to get rid of them. Like I said, battle wounds, and proud of it. Besides, I’m not really a bikini-type, so whatever.

  2. Krista says:

    Being this is my 3rd time around, thoughts have natural childbirth have crossed my mind, but I guess I just haven’t had the courage to do it. With both Stephen & Josh’s labour and deliveries it was fairly short, and I didn’t get an epidural. Homebirth just isn’t my thing, but I have heard wonderful things about pain relief in a tub, which I plan to try this time. Wish I could give birth in a tub, but don’t have that option unless I was to give birth at home. There are no birth centers around here. I really wish there was. I did have some pain relief, through IV, for both labours with Stephen & Josh, but it was nothing major. Honestly, will probably this time as well, but like I said, will try the tub route first.
    Oh, and I went into labour naturally with both as well. I have heard that being induced makes it more painful and am praying I will have labour naturally again this time.
    I do admire women who are able to have med free labours, but just don’t think that is an option for me. I know some people thought I was “superwoman” or something for not using an epidural, but I really didn’t feel the need. Probably helped that my labours were shorter.
    Also have wished I could use a midwife or doula, but we just can’t afford them.
    I truly hope your labour & delivery this time around is a wonderful experience and no need for pain meds. 🙂

    Krista

    • redandhoney says:

      Hey Krista, I think it’s great that you at least know all your options… I didn’t really the first time. Oh, and in some provinces, midwives are covered by provincial health care. I know they are in ON and AB. Don’t know about NB. Doulas aren’t, but I consider it to be a necessary expense. I hope your delivery goes beautifully too!

  3. Krista says:

    Oh, and I totally agree, pregnancy looks great on you. I know what you mean about stretch marks. Worth it!

  4. Kate says:

    Grr, arg! I wrote you a comment, and my computer ATE it. Or, rather, wordpress ate it.
    Anyway, the gist of it was:
    Hooray! I’m glad you feel informed and empowered and excited to birth your small girl. 🙂 Hooray, too, for the doula. I am a big fan. Someone else gets to ensure your decisions are respected, and all you have to worry about is getting that kiddo earthside. I hope it goes wonderfully, and I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!
    more birthing blogs, for all that free time you have. haha. :
    http://navelgazingmidwife.squarespace.com/
    http://rixarixa.blogspot.com/index.html

    ps- re: vit k, if you decide against it, have you read about supplementing yourself? You’d start about now, with alfalfa…

    • redandhoney says:

      Hey Kate! I found your comment in my spam filter and rescued it 🙂 I’ve been drinking red raspberry lead tea, as well as a “third trimester” tea blend pretty well every day (the 2nd one has alfalfa and nettle, which are both good for Vit. K right?)

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