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Au Naturale…

That’s the plan second time around… During my labor with Cash, I had an unpleasant experience with my epidural and I’m not so sure I want to go that route again. Unfortunately, I jumped when the needle went in, a nerve was hit, yada yada yada from there on out. I strongly believe that my epidural was a direct result of the daily headaches and temple pains I had afterwards, up until I got pregnant with Roman. Oddly enough (and knocking on wood) I haven’t had many during my pregnancy (thank you Lord). I could be completely wrong, and something else may be contributing to my headaches, but I’ve chosen to attempt a natural birth… no drugs, no epidural… nodda. Key word though… attempt. I’m not forcing myself nor am I dead set on one option or the other. It’s simply something I want to try.

With all that said, here’s why I’m sharing this…All you Mama’s out there who have experienced a drug-free delivery, I would greatly greatly appreciate any advice/tips/words of encouragement… because I’m in need of it.

While we’re talking about Labor… anyone up for sharing their birth stories? I LOVE hearing the stories from others of what they have experienced:) I find birth stories so fascinating.

4 Responses to Au Naturale…

  1. Justine October 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    This is exciting! I fully support the decision to go natural. I chose to do so with miss E and the end result had a happy mommy, daddy, and bright-eyed baby. It hurts…ohhhh it hurts. But not like the “I broke a bone, ouch!!” (which technically I can’t compare bc I’ve never broken a bone…) but more of a powerful, painful energy that was surging through my body. The pain pushed me forward.

    Unfortunately, the pain caused me to have a couple black-out moments. And they really were only moments…I never blacked out for more than a few seconds. And it also caused me to vomit once. Afterwards my nurses and doctor explained that it was my body’s response to the pain. Those moments happened late in labor, about 20 minutes before she was born. That was the worst of it for me. And because of my body’s response, for our next baby, I will train vigilantly in some sort of natural pain management whether it be visualization, breathing techniques, or self-hypnosis, etc. That way I can be a little more “in-charge” of my body rather than my body go into auto pilot for me. =)

    The sense of empowerment I felt when she came out was life-changing. The way Levi stood in awe of his new baby girl was moving, then the way he looked at me, I knew he understood what we just did and ultimately what I as a woman just did. It’s unbelievable, Ashley. And the way you describe Clifton, he will be the same way. He will be so supportive no matter how hard it gets on you. And that’s something Levi says to me whenever we look back on E being born. He says he could never have prepared for how cumbersome going through that last hour (the peak of the pain) of childbirth was going to be on me. Even when I looked over at him, teary-eyed and exhausted to plead with him to make.the.pain.stop…he stared right back at me squeezed my hands, kissed my forehead and told me, “Justine, you can do this. She’s almost here.” That moment and those words are the clearest thing I can remember…at least until the second most painful thing happened to me…

    “Oh my gosh that HURRRRRRRT!” I screamed LOUDLY when she crowned. They call it the “ring of fire” as I’m sure you’ve read. And wow did it catch me by surprise! I was so so fortunate to only have pushed for about 10 minutes (a feat I’m not sure I can live up to with another baby! I just can’t imagine I’m that lucky!), and boy I knew when I was ready for that first push. No one had to tell me, it wasn’t too early, I just knew. They told me they saw her head and they showed me in the mirror…I started to cry out of happiness at that point. But it wasn’t over, she was waiting to take her final toll on my body, because that little head popped through and, like I said, ouch!

    In no time, she was on my bare chest. They left her there with me and Levi. They didn’t take her umbilical cord from us just then. It was just the three of us…crying, happy. Then Levi cut the cord, they cleaned her up, she came back to us and I’ve never seen eyes so wide. She was alert and active. They said there could be a correlation between the natural birth and newborn alertness, but not necessarily the cause. Some babies born under anesthesia are just as alert as E, I’m sure and then there are probably babies just the opposite in natural births. But I liked to think that I might have helped that out a little with not allowing the drugs in my body.

    It was the best decision for us. I had the support and I was mentally ready. I am trying to find room for improvements from E’s birth…and not see it as having regrets. I was a first time mommy–a deer in headlights! No literature could prepare me and our child birthing class did nothing but terrify me of the internal fetal monitor thing ( I refused internal monitoring because I did NOT want them poking that thing into E’s head!).

    I support you and encourage you to go through with it. It will be an incredible journey…Clifton will be your hero and you will be his. I am so excited for you three and for the new sweet person you’re bringing to our world.

    Good luck. Call/text/facebook if you want to know anything about our experience! I’m sure you have lots of support out there, but I’m completely open to answering other questions. Good for you.

    =) Justine

  2. Sunshyne October 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    So far three babies, all induced two weeks past due, no epidurals. Another one on the way. It’s rough gong natural but worth it. The pain for me was more intense due to being induced and fibromyalgia, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Our bodies were built for this and women have beenn doing this since we been on this planet, so do not be afraid to do it. That being said don’t push yourself too much either. It totally zaps all your energy and if you are not sure just follow what your heart says to do.

  3. Heather October 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Oh Ash, you know my perspective on this!!! Oh my goodness, I am so happy to answer any and all questions about natural childbirth. First, I believe it’s important for me to explain my philosophy and the way I feel hospitals have medically intervened SO much in childbirth that it’s more difficult to go natural. I would recommend watching “The Business of Giving Birth”. I never watched it until a couple of months ago. Literally, years after experiencing two natural childbirths and I couldn’t believe that there was an actual documentary that so well aligned with my theory of how “medical” birthing has become. Don’t get me wrong, I am a worry wart and I wouldn’t do a home birth (not opposed but it’s not for me). I felt more comfortable being in an environment that in the unfortunate instance of a medical emergency, I was right there ready for the Doc’s. I believe you must go into a natural childbirth with a an absolute sense of “this is how it’s going to happen!” You also need to have a plan. Birth plan is essential, that way in the heat of the moment, your plan is on paper. If you need deviate, have a back up. Ash, I didn’t take any birthing classes. I read A LOT!! I read every page of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I read in entirety the section of the birthing experience so that I knew exactly what I was experiencing as it was happening to my body. I could tell, based on the information I read, what phase I was in and just how close I was to birth because of the things my body was doing. Now, that all being said. I didn’t go COMPLETELY natural with Holden. I did have one shot of Nubain and I truly believe it slowed the process down. It only took the edge off of the pain, it slowed my laboring and then I was right back where I started :) The crowing was definitely difficult! I let off of the push with the contraction because it HURT….then my doc gave me a shot in the perianal area and it was numb and 10 minutes later, Holden was here :) Now, I will describe my experience with Skylar from start to finish. She was completely natural :) Ashley, everyone asks me (those who think they cannot or should not experience childbirth without any drugs or an epidural) why did I want a natural childbirth. Let me tell you, it is the most exhilarating, inspirational, and incredibly empowering experience that I will have ever experienced in my life. Truly, unbelievable :)

    October 28th 2009, I awoke at 6am to what I believed may be the start of my labor. I was already dilated to 4 and 90% effaced two days prior, so I knew it was only a matter of time. I watched the clock…trying to decide if I should wake up Shawn. At 6:45, he was jumping into the shower to start his day and prepare for the office. I finally told him I had been awake for an hour and I thought maybe I was starting my laboring. I decided he had time to go on to work only to call him 30 minutes later and say “just kidding, you need to come back home!” lol
    We arrived at 9am at Southview Hospital and I checked in and was ushered back to be examined right away. Yep, I was in labor (as if I didn’t already know that..lol) and I was dilated to 8! SERIOUSLY….oh my goodness! This is going to go fast, I was thinking to myself! The nurse asked me if I wanted to be wheeled down to my room….uh, no thanks! I certainly can walk….took a little bit…but I made it! Now, my first childbirth I awoke at 2am, stood up and immediately, my water broke! This time was different. My water had not broken and my contraction timing was odd. I noticed that if I sat down, my contractions were minimal. So I kept trying to labor by standing and finally at 11:45am the doc came in and suggested they break my water because Sky and the sac were BOTH fighting to come out! Literally, minutes after they broke my water I was intense labor. I visualized myself pushing through this. I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. The pain was a sign that my body was doing something incredible! I would breathe slowly and I did not yell out. Not because I didn’t want to but because I knew I needed to be calm. Not fight my body. I needed to work with the process. Nausea, chills, lots of things started happening so I knew it was SO close. I looked at Shawn, who was my rock and muttered “GO.GET.THE.NURSE.I.NEED.NUBAIN,” He looked at me calmly and didn’t reply….that didn’t sit well! I said it again and his response was “You didn’t do that with Holden, did you?” I told him he didn’t understand I couldn’t take anymore (pain) then quickly in walked the resident. He explained the monitor (not internal, I agree with Justine!) said I was 2 minutes apart on contractions. He checked me and said, this isn’t going to take much! lol! Next thing I know they are calling in my OB and he walks in all smiles and says “Let’s do this!” I heard him say something like he had another patient waiting in surgery for a C-section but he wasn’t going to miss my birth (AND I’m sure he knew it would be fast!) My legs up in the stirrups and this time…I didn’t feel a crown. It wasn’t like the first birth! I felt her crown but I wanted her OUT! MY body was saying push, push, push! I pushed twice and born into this world my sweet, red-headed little Skylar :)

    Ashley, it is definitely not easy to give birth natural but it’s not even close to impossible! We are made to birth :) and you are a strong woman! I am with you all the way, sister! I love childbirth and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything! Just like your friend above stated, I am here to answer any and all questions! Rock on!!(I laughed out loud as I typed that last sentence..lol!)

    Love ya :)
    Heather

  4. Ashley Hatfield October 19, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Ok Ladies, every one of your stories made me teary eyed. It means to so much more to hear these stories from the ones I love and are near and dear to my heart. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to share them with me, and all my readers. It means to world to me. I’m feeling confident and excited about my decision. I’m so anxious to meet Roman! Love you ladies!
    Ashley Hatfield´s last [type] ..Drab to Fab

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