If you follow me on social media or are apart of my mama tribe you may have seen that our second baby has arrived!
I’ve been so excited to share My natural birth story with you! I chose natural deliveries with both of my kiddos and can tell you that delivering a child via natural birth is one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever been through – and it was so much better the second time around!
As birth stories go, mine was pretty normal besides that fact that I had no anesthesia (yup! you read that right) I used no pain medication of any kind. I am not only writing this for you, but also writing this for myself because I know that down the road I’ll forget the small details that I want to remember.
As I said, this was not my first natural birth. I did a natural birth in a hospital with our daughter but this time I chose to deliver our son at a birth center (which was the BEST birth center ever!).
Unlike my last delivery, this labor and delivery was incredibly fast. From the start of labor,to holding my boy in my arms was a total of 3 hours. However, a lot happened throughout the entire last month of pregnancy. So, let me take you back a little…
My Natural Birth Story
Last Month Of Pregnancy
My due date was July 25th and my husband and I were both thinking that I would likely go into labor early because starting into the last month I began having A LOT of pre-labor. I had every sign that labor was going to start soon except for two things, bloody show and losing my mucus plug (sorry a little TMI). Honestly, for the last four weeks was really struggling. I was very uncomfortable and always tired. It was really hard to even play with my daughter.
I started having Braxton Hicks contractions at 20 weeks! At 37 weeks my Braxton Hicks contractions where getting more and more consistent and intense.They were still not really on the painful side of things but just intense pressure for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. They would come between every 20 minutes to an hour but would not progress beyond that, so I knew I was not actually in true labor.
Also during this time, around 5 or 6 p.m. every night I would get slightly painful Braxton hicks contractions every 5 to 10 minutes but this would only last an hour and then stop. You may see why I would get frustrated and a little emotional. I kept thinking I was going to go into labor and then I wouldn’t. My patience was really being tested. This pattern continued throughout the last month of my pregnancy. Now, let’s move on to the last few days before going into labor.
Last Few Days Of My Pregnancy
Finally, 6 Days before going into labor I began to lose my mucus plug woohoo! I was so excited! We had our fingers crossed that labor was going to start soon. I continued to lose more of my mucus plug over the next three days, but other Other than that nothing else changed.
I had my 40 week appointment on Thursday July 25th. That morning I had noticed that our boy wasn’t moving as much in the morning has he previously had been and I was a little nervous. Due to this concern, at the appointment my midwife did a non-stress test to monitor his heart beat and movement. Thankfully everything looked just fine. During the hour long test, I was having painful contractions every 10-15 minuets. My midwife pointed out those contractions to me on the print off assuring me that this was also good news. Having been discouraged at the seeming lack of progress to that point, I asked my midwife to check me. I was thrilled to hear that I was 2cm dilated and 88% effaced. Labor really was going to start in the next day or so!
After my appointment on the 25th (my due date), my daughter and I went home, had some lunch. Once I got her down for her nap I decided to take one as well and I am so happy I did! That night I went to bed around 10:00 p.m. Around 10:30 p.m. I woke up to use the restroom and turn our AC on. Shortly after going back to bed I went into labor at 11:00 p.m. waking to intense and painful contractions. I honestly didn’t want to let myself get too excited because I was nervous that this might just be false labor, however, after an hour the contractions had not stopped and were now coming every 3-5 minutes.
1 1/2 Hours Before I Delivered
I texted my Midwife at 12:00 AM and told her that I had been having consistent contractions that were getting more painful and intense for the last hour. She texted back and told me to give it 30 minutes more and then text her an update.
During that long 1/2 hour I woke my husband, told him I was in labor and asked him to grab our TENS machine for me (which I used to help with my lower back pain). It worked so well! I didn’t feel my lower back contractions at all when I had the TENS Machine on.
After being awakened by the contractions while waiting to see if I really was in labor, I hung out in our bathroom (I sometimes felt like I needed to vomit and wanted to stay close to the toilet just in case – which I never did!). While there, I discovered that it was comforting to lean forward on our counter, breathe and sway back and forth when I would get a contraction.
Around 12:30 AM I texted my Midwife an update and let her know that things were progressing and she instructed me to come in to the birth center. At this point we called my mom and mother-in-law to let them know that it was GO TIME!
The Hour Before I Delivered
After receiving the word to come in to the birth center, we waited approximately 15 min for my mother-in-law to arrive with my sisters-in-law since they were coming to watch our daughter. Meanwhile my husband loaded our bags into the car.
We arrived at the birth center around 1:00 AM. My Midwife checked our baby’s heart rate, my temperature, and got me some cold water. An assistant also started drawing me a bath since my plan had been to have a water birth.
However, at that time, I didn’t feel like getting into the tub and instead wanted to be on my hands and knees on the bed. My Midwife brought out her large birthing ball for me to lean on. This was perfect and helped so much! I really liked leaning forward on it to support me in rocking slowly back and forth during the contractions as it allowed me freedom of movement and support.
This positoin also allowed my husband to help me by massaging my lower back (I no longer had my TENS machine) which allowed me to focus on my breathing. I progressed quickly and a half hour after we got to the birth center I began to feel the urge to push.
At this time my mom arrived, ran in and held my hands from the opposite side of the birthing ball.
Our Boy Finally Arrived!
I pushed 2-3 times and my water broke. Then pushed 3 more times and our sweet little boy was born at 2:02 a.m. Friday the 26th weighing a whopping 9 lbs 4 oz and was 20″ long. He was considerably larger than his sister older sister who arrived at 7lbs 8oz.
My Midwife and her assistants, my husband, mother-in-law and mother were all so supportive and encouraging during the entire process. Hearing them all reassure me that I can do it and that It was almost over gave me strength to keep going.
Looking back, these are the things that really helped me to cope with the pain the most:
- The TENS machine: I’d heard of moms who used this device in early labor and claimed that it had helped them, so I did a lot of research on exactaly how the TENS machines help during labor. This post explains the benefits. For me the TENS machine was a HUGE help! It completely numbed my lower back pain and made it so much easier to focus on my breathing.
- Hypno Breathing Techniques: I purchased an online hypno birthing course called Hypnobubs and in my opinion it is the best birthing course ever! The breathing techniques, visualization, meditation and hypnosis techniques I learned in this course helped me so much during birth. Also, the course includes soothing music soundtracks which I played during my labor and delivery. It really helped me to focus on the music and my breathing instead of the pain.
- Accepting: This was a big one. When I went into labor with our first, I was not accepting of the contractions or the pain. I was fighting against them which made them even more painful. This time around I really worked on letting go and letting the contractions happen. This made them less painful because I didn’t tense against them. Every time I felt a contraction start to come I mentally told myself “this is normal” and then I would focus on breathing through the contraction.
At the end of the day. I really loved how quick and relatively easy our little boy’s birth was. Not only did I prepare myself a lot more and better this time, but the envorinment of the birth center that I chose was warm and comforting and my midwife and her team were nothing short of AMAZING!
I loved the position I used. Kneeling (on the bed) allowed me to spread my legs far apart, the ball allowed movement and provided support. The kneeling position also allowed gravity to assist the process – all contributing to an easier delivery for for our baby!
I’ve had so many people ask me how I did it because they “think” they want to do it. Understandably, there are some high risk situations which natural delivery is not an option, but if it is an option I can tell you this…If you are thinking about doing a natural birth first off YOU CAN DO IT! And secondly, if you make that choice, to succeed, you have to commit 100%. You can’t just “think” about doing natural. It is a both feet in type of situation. You either do it or you don’t.
If you are really serious about doing a natural delivery, I recommend going to a birth center (check out several to find the right fit for you). Hospitals are okay at doing a natural birth in but my experience from delivering one baby at a hospital and another at a birth center they were completely different experiences. I will choose a birth center every time.
I hope you enjoyed reading my birth story with our son. It was such a beautiful, empowering, and amazing experience that I will cherish forever!