I’ve shared my natural birth story, there is the lead up to birth and then there is the actual birth, because I felt like it was a good time to finally open up about my natural birthing experience. Truthfully, the entire pregnancy while single story was less than ideal but I thought that if I could just have the natural birth then I’d be happy.
Turns out, my birthing experience did not go the way I wanted either. Because that’s just life. I was nervous to share the story because I did not have the beautiful professional photos, I did not get the peaceful water birth, I didn’t even get the latch (save that for later). So there are those details.
At a deeper level, it wasn’t all that I dreamed up because there was a lot that I did not consider beforehand. Which is totally okay, this was my first rodeo and there were many lessons to learn. That’s why I want to share the things I wish I knew before:
You Will Want to Give Up
Now, I chose natural midwifery care because I did not want to be make a choice out of vulnerability. So in a way, I felt that there was a chance I would fall pressure to doctor recommendations and medical interventions. However, I believed that was canceled by leaving the medical model for natural.
During labor, the sensations truly do get intense! Very intense and unlike any other feeling I’d ever experienced (that’s the promise of birth). I remember a moment when I thought to myself, “I totally understand why women get pain relievers and numbing agents.” This was tough!
Actually to combat fatigue, my midwife gave me periods of rest throughout labor and I was milking every second. It got to the point where my midwife said, “okay, we’ve got to do this. No more sleeping.” A lot of that rest was helpful but it was partly a desire to give up by avoiding the HARD work of pushing.
All that to say that when it gets tough, you will experience a spirit that does not seek to endure.
It Won’t Go Exactly as Planned
If you’ve read my story then you know that my natural birth experience was not perfect. I felt that choosing these methods would make birth a lot more relaxing for me and therefore, easier and quicker.
14 hours of labor later, I realized that expectations are not truth. Without going into all the detail again, I’ll share one bursted bubble. I was worried about hospital birth because I felt like it would increase my chances of perineal tearing (that’s where that stretch of skin below the vagina tears during birth). My logic convinced me that this only happenss in tense situations and that relaxed muscles would prevent splitting. Well, that was not true either.
I ended up with a perineal tear and it was totally okay! I didn’t even care about it because I had my baby in my arms, my heart was full of motherly pump. Also, my midwife did a great job stitching me up. She even called it beautiful? Haha, so there’s that!
You Need to Eliminate Distractions
I [will] actually talk about this more on Facebook LIVE, however, I had 4 of my nearest and dearest women in the birthing room with me along with one midwife, one midwife assistant, and one doula. There were 7 people in the room besides me! This was a lot. When you hear talking, movement and all the busy-ness of 7 people, you will be distracted.
Now your body does go into this trance-like state called “Laborland,” where it focuses on the task at hand by mitigating the experience of birthing pains. In Laborland, you are not focused on what’s going on around you or in the world, not much matters besides the delivery of your child. So while I do think your body takes a defensive stand against distraction, I think that limiting the guests, sounds, and movements or lights (and so on) while you are in labor is crucial because some things will catch your thinking mind and take you right out of the zone.
There were several moments where I felt taken out of the zone because of a comment somebody made, because of the emotional response (crying, yes, crying haha), or even because the sun was rising and there was light shining through the window.
Prayer is a MUST
There was a beautiful prayer in the book ‘Supernatural Childbirth’ by Jackie Mize that really gave me a sense of confidence in God’s design for the mother’s body and God’s protection during childbirth. There was a point in my labor that I needed to hear that prayed over me. My spirit was affected by the happenings in my flesh and I
wanted needed a renewed mind so I asked my grandmother to read the prayer but the book was not to be found.
This truly saddened me and took me out of the zone a bit. But from there I just kept pleading to God in my heart that I’d successfully deliver a healthy baby. It was not as poetic or Scripturally versed as the prayer in the book, “God, PUHLEASE let this baby come!”
The old Christian adage goes something like, “in troubling times, you feel God the closest.” All I can say about that is that during times where you are bent in new ways, you will yearn to feel God closest! My heart was seeking his peace and strength to get me through this labor of love.
To sum it up, before natural childbirth: I overestimated my determination and underestimated the threshold of pain I’d enter, I did not consider how many distractions I’d face and I did not foresee how much I’d desire to hear God’s Word repeated and prayed over me.
Next time all of these things will be accounted for.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.Psalm 127:3 NLT