Updated: May 6, 2021
It was my goal and prayer to have both of my children naturally, with the least interference possible. Giving birth is the most amazing ability a woman's body was created to do. From the moment of conception to nursing, each stage was uniquely designed to happen without our control. My first son was breeched and wouldn't budge (that's a whole other story), so we had a planned c-section. Being pregnant with our second child gave us another opportunity to have a natural birth. Every mother has their own beautiful birthing story. I am writing this post to encourage someone who wants to have a natural birth and help someone to know what to expect.
Stage One: Laboring at home
Early in the morning while in bed, I felt a balloon pop and rush of water. I jumped out of bed and ran/wobbled to the bathroom before I could feel any water running down my leg. "Here we go" I said to my husband. It was important to us to have a stress free labor and a peaceful welcome for our new baby.
Before the contractions started, we sat on the couch, held hands and my husband prayed a prayer of intention, blessing and peace. It completely settled my heart and set the tone from labor to delivery. We wanted to labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. This would decrease the chances of being sent back home or for unnecessary interventions.
And then the contractions began. I tried to lie back down in the bed, but I found out real quick that lying on your back during labor was a bad idea. I sat in my comfy recliner and closed my eyes during contraction breaks. When I felt my muscle began to tighten, I got on the floor and laid over a medicine ball. It felt good to no have pressure on my bottom while contracting.
After a few hours, the contractions were 7-8 minutes apart. My husband ran a warm bath, lit candles and used lavender essential oils to help me relax. I had a preset worship playlist ready to go. A warm bath was just what I needed to ease the tension in my hips and sooth my muscles. Before I knew it, my contractions were averaging 5 minutes apart and it was time to go to the hospital.
Stage Two: Getting through Triage
At this stage my contractions were becoming a little more intense and and lasting longer. I felt more pressure in my pelvis. My husband drove me to the hospital trying his best to avoid every bump. While the worship playlist played in the car, I closed my eyes and just breathed.
Once I got to the hospital I was already 4 cm dilated. WooHoo!! They admitted me right away. I thought “Thank you Lord. This is moving right along nicely”.
The first thing they did when I got in my hospital room was strap me to a mobile monitor.
This was hands down the most important device during my labor. I didn't have to labor in bed on my back. It allowed me the freedom to get up and move around. I was able to go to the bathroom, stand in the shower, walk around the room and do whatever I needed to get baby Oatmeal (baby's nickname-coined by my oldest son) out.
After a few hours, I had only dilated 4.5 cm and this is were I stayed until about 6:00 pm. One of the most frustrating things is to feel your body progressing in intensity and not have any progression in dilation. The nurse would say, “We are waiting for you get into active labor”.
I was like “Wait….I have been actively laboring this hold time. What do you mean?”. I was soon about to find out.
By this time, I had been in labor 17 hours, but we stayed encouraged. There were many trips to the bathroom, accidents on the floor (sorry husband), various birthing exercises and countless gestures of support. Finally we had to make a decision since my water had been broken for so long. My doctor recommended the smallest dose of Pitocin to help move me into active labor, which is at least 6 cm.
Stage Three:Oh!...This is Active Labor
The nurse gave me one dose of Pitocin and one round of Fentanyl to help me rest in between contractions. We dimmed the lights, stayed in worship and rested (until a contraction came of course). Suddenly, I was awakened by the meanest contraction I have had all night. It caught me completely off guard.
Up until this point, everything I had experienced had been somewhat descried to me. But this was completely unexpected. While in the middle of an intense contraction, it felt like someone squeezed my uterus as tight as they could. I let out a loud “Ahhhh”. What was that?!!!!! It was my uterus telling my baby “its time to go”. They were eviction contractions. The nurse checked me and I had jumped to 6 cm. I had finally reached active labor.
From here, everything moved quickly. Although this stage was the most intense, it was my favorite stage of all. God puts something in mothers that kicked in like a second wind does for a marathon runner. My strength had been renewed. I knew that no one else could push this baby out but me. Everyone else was only there to assist me along the way. (If you are into church at all, you know that could preach). I felt empowered like never before.
After a few more eviction contractions, my doctor checked on me one last time. She said “It looks like you're ready to have a baby. The next time you feel a contraction I want you to push”. Now, I had in my mind what I thought pushing would be like, but I completely blew my first set of pushes. I was breathing like I had been during all my other contractions. WRONG! When it is time to push hold your breath, then push.
It went a little like this….Take a deep breath, lean your head forward, curl your bottom in, hold it, and then pushhhhhhh, exhale, repeat 3x’s. Then, take a break until your next contraction. That is considered one whole set. You repeat this as many times as needed until your baby is born.
Pause: Let me take a minute to discuss the ring of fire. That is a real thing.
It is the moment the baby crowns and your body amazingly stretches to its limit.
But don't tighten up mommas. This is a time to rejoice. Bare down and embrace that sensation. Your baby is literally on the other side of your next push.
Fifteen minutes and three sets later precious Micah was lying on my chest. So much joy and relief flooded my soul.
After a mother gives birth she realizes there is nothing she can't do.