When my husband and I found out we were expecting, it was the happiest day of our lives. Just the thought of a the new life growing inside of me made me smile all day (despite any morning sickness I may have had).
Naturally, I attended my monthly checkups with my OB with pure excitement. I had a great doctor. He was very friendly and warm, and had been practicing for a very long time so was very knowledgeable about all things birth related and that indeed was a comfort to me.
I was under his care for 8 months but at the end of my term we had decided to move across the country, which would clearly place me under the care of another health care provider.
Throughout my pregnancy, I had done quite a bit of reading. Specifically about birth, and how to best prepare myself mentally and physically for such massive (and daunting) transition into motherhood.
I also really wanted to have a natural childbirth, so I wanted to best prepare myself for what that might entail. In hindsight, no book could really prepare me for what that experience was like, however it did help me feel better prepared.
At our last meeting my OB wished me the best for my big move and although he knew my wish was give birth naturally, he very kindly said “If the pain gets to be too much, just take the epidural”. He was a very kind man, and I didn’t feel that he was disrespecting my wishes to have a natural child birth. I truly felt that he was simply speaking from his experiences as a doctor – that it would just be easier.
When I moved, I was taken under the care of a midwife as I had heard from several of my pre-natal yoga friends that midwives were amazing. So here I was, 8 months pregnant, getting to know my new care giver and preparing for the birth which was coming any day now.
I think what surprised me the most was that my midwife clearly explained to me that her job was to support me in the type of birth that I wanted. Natural or not, at home or in the hospital – it didn’t matter. She was there to support me, as a woman, and to empower my choice to birth my way. We continued to have many in depth conversations about my pregnancy, relationship and covered many topics that had not even been touched on by my doctor. I was impressed.
So the day came where my water broke and we were beginning to labour. While I thought I had wanted a hospital birth, the thought of moving around (especially in and out of a car) was simply no longer appealing.
“You can do this here?” I believe was my exact sentence.
It wasn’t an easy birth. It took over 24 hours for everything from start to finish. But I feel like having gone through the process I was enlightened with how my body works and felt honored to experience what my body was truly made to do.
However, I think there is something that everyone should know about natural childbirth – one that isn’t spoken about – or at least one that I have never heard before going through it firsthand. Sure, you hear that it will be hard, but that (in favorable circumstances) you can do it.
There was a point in my labour when my body hadn’t quite caught up with my labour pains. That is, my natural pain relief that my body would produce to assist me in this transition hadn’t quite shown up yet.
It was a “little late for the party”, let’s say.
I remember distinctly looking at my midwife who told me, my body would very shortly catch up and provide me with some level of “pain relief” and I would soon drift off to “labour land”.
I remember thinking that this woman is clearly ……nuts.
I wanted to run away from my body and the immense amount of pain I was feeling.
It was basically at the point where I just didn’t think I could do this naturally and had to go to the hospital, that thankfully, my body FINALLY had shown up to the party.
I remember at certain points not even being able to discern sentences being spoken to me as my body had started to produce such a high level of natural pain relief that I felt “stoned”. There was a massive transition and shift in how my body was handling the process of childbirth.
My midwife was right. I had held on long enough for my body to catch up.
Before going through it myself I had never heard of this in between stage where you are starting to panic but that natural relief is on its way. I had read so many books about child birth and no matter how many sources I had referenced, I had never been told this one piece of information.
“Your body will catch up”.
To this day I am still completely impressed at our body’s natural way to deal with pain relief. After all, most modern medicine is formulated to imitate our body’s natural capabilities.
I was so proud an elated when I managed to deliver my child naturally. This was without a doubt, the most difficult thing I had endured, yet the most proud and rewarding moment of my life.
If you are hoping to give birth naturally, I hope that you can take this piece of information to assist you through your labour. This knowledge allowed me to successfully give birth a second time naturally as I had trust in the process and in my body.