Last week I mentioned natural birth in my post and had a few requests to dive into that sooner rather than later…so here we are!
But first let me preface – however you get that baby out is PERFECT. As long as baby AND mommy are a-ok, then all is well. There’s a lot of mess out there that say one way is better than the other, and it’s not. You do you, booboo.
About the classes:
Reese and I went to two classes…and they were a huuuuge waste of our time. The first was for newborn care, and the second was about pain management. The only reason I signed up for this one was because I thought they would talk about techniques on getting through labor. It was actually about epidural the entire time so I was a suuuper annoyed pregnant lady. Shouldn’t a hospital be offering classes on empowering women to give birth naturally and not just skip-hop over to a medicated birth??!! Maybe that’s just the hippy in me, but I was IRKED. Plus, we were somehow surrounded by straw-hat/cut-off-sleeves/barbwire-tattoo hillbillies. It was terrible.
When we got home I just watched labor videos on YouTube (THEY’RE OUT THERE) and squeezed my legs together and made Reese gag. That was WAY more helpful.
They do have classes out there that are for natural birth, but they can cost quite a bit. And we were in new-baby-money-saving-mode (we’re always in that mode, actually), so I decided I didn’t need them. I’m stubborn enough to make it happen without people telling me how to breathe.
Anyways. Here we go.
STEP ONE: KNOW YOUR REASONS
When it comes to birth, in my experience it was all about mindset. I decided from the beginning I wanted to give birth without meds so that was a big part of it. I’m stubborn and if I really, really want something, then YOU BET it’s going to happen. Dad would say that’s the German in me; mom would blame it on the czech…I say it’s a happy product of both.
Another thing along these lines is you have to know your reasons. You’ll have your own, but here were mine:
- The thought of not being able to move my body when I want to absolutely TERRIFIED me. And that’s kind of what epidural does to you. No thanks.
- The entire time you’re pregnant they tell you to be extra careful about what you’re putting in your body. And then they tell you it’s ok to inject some magic juice into your spine during labor? Ehhhhh, seems fishy.
- People have been pushing out babies med-free for thousands of years. In dirt and caves and stuff. And with the whole village watching.
- For me personally, the healing is always worse than the injury. So I knew if I could get past the actual birth, then the few weeks of aftermath wouldn’t seem so terrible.
- I wanted to say I did it.
So there are my reasons. If you want to do this, then you make your list and stick to it.
STEP TWO: KNOW HOW TO BREATHE.
Yoga and running have taught me a lot over the years in knowing how to breathe. This probably was second to the whole mindset thing in getting through it. In through your nose, out through your mouth…take it slow…you know. That kind of thing. Everyone says “focus on your breathing”…and you should. It doesn’t make the pain go away, but it will definitely help with your endurance. THIS IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT. Unless of course your birth is a sprint. In which case, I hate you. Just kidding. But not really.
STEP THREE: SUCK IT UP.
It’s going to hurt. A lot. But you know what? It will be over soon enough. For as many miles as I walked (waddled), as many squats as I did, as many dates as I ate and as many packets of raspberry red leaf tea I drank, I was expecting labor to go A LOT quicker. 13 hours. THIR-TEEN HOU-ERRS. Your back will hurt and there will be nurses sticking their hands in places they shouldn’t be and you will think your water broke 14 times and discover it was just you peeing yourself again.
I remember during it all I was thinking to myself WHY DIDN’T YOU GET THE MAGIC PAIN JUICE?!?!?! And then I just reminded myself that if I’ve made it this far, then there’s no way I’m giving up now. You just gotta suck it up. If you want to yell, then yell. If you want to say profane words, you can do that too. If you wan’t to call the doctor four times and tell him to pull the baby out of you, then do it. (He won’t do that no matter how many times you ask. A friend told me….)
STEP FOUR: PUSH. IT. OUT.
When you get to the glorious point that you can finally push (again, if you beg the nurses and doctor to let you get a jump-start on this, they won’t let you), this is when it gets good. This will also hurt, just FYI. But it will be a different hurt. So I don’t know if you want to take that as a bright ray of sunshine or not. Because the crippling pains you’ve been feeling in your back will finally subside! Yay!
This is where my squats came in handy (Once I hit third trimester I did 25 squats every time I went potty. Which was a lot.)
My lower body was supes strong and I was OVER the pain and ready to GET. THAT. BABY. OUT. I only remember pushing like 3 times because I was BOUND AND DETERMINED TO WRAP IT UP. After the second time my nurses said to take a breather and I was all like NOOOPE and did that little circle motion with my pointer finger that you do when it’s time to wrangle up your friends and head home from the bar. I miss the bar.
This is the BEST moment. Take a biiiig breath, grab your man’s hand (poor Reesey) and DO. IT.
Viola! Little baby is out! And this probably sounds ridiculous to most people, but this is the moment where you lean forward and can BREATHE because a little noggin isn’t jabbing you in your lungs anymore because he’s out in the big ole world!! And you will finally not be pregnant anymore. IT. IS. GLORIOUS.
And then you think to yourself (or say out loud…) “Should his head look like that?” or maybe some other things that shouldn’t be said on a blog. We were first-timers. 😉
Then it’s time to breastfeed and EAT ALL OF THE FOOD. Eating is a good way to distract yourself while the doctor does the rest of his things down there. It’s a blur but I think I had my Cliff bar, and then the best turkey sandwich I’d ever eaten, and some chips, and a popcicle. My options were limited at 2:42 a.m. Next time I’ll be better prepared and have a meal on stand-by.
So that’s it.
I will say, the aftermath isn’t quite as bad as I had mentally prepared myself for. As long as I had my aforementioned butt pillow. Give it about two weeks, and you’ll be good as gold. And then your baby will realize he’s out in the big world and stop sleeping and be SUUUPER alert ALL OF THE TIME. And hungry. Very hungry.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! After you have your baby you will want to tell the story to everyone but then you’ll have to wrangle yourself back in as you remind yourself that nobody really cares but you. 😉
Best of luck and happy pushing!