Before we get pregnant most of us rarely if ever think about birth so we really have no idea how hard many of us will have to fight just to be “allowed” to have a natural childbirth.
Women and Babies rights are very quickly being stripped away one by one making it increasingly difficult to have a natural childbirth, especially if your plan includes a hospital.
Now I am not saying that natural childbirth can’t be accomplished in a typical OB and hospital setting, but you are going to have to work a heck of a lot harder than if you were to use a tradition midwife and birth at home.
But no matter how hard you have to fight it is worth it!
This article is all about how you can prepare yourself for a natural childbirth despite all the push for a technology centered pharmaceutical birth.
You Must Educate Yourself on Natural Childbirth Because They Aren’t Going To
So here we are putting our trust and faith in the medical establishment to assist us in our natural childbirths. As great and safe as that sounds it is actually quite the opposite and I’ll tell you why.
Medical staff learns what they know from going to school. In school they learn how to act in an emergency, how to artificially manage birth to get the baby out as quickly as possible.
So they are taught about the drugs, the machines, the tools, the surgeries, the emergencies. Now this is all great stuff to know, however the problem is that instead of having this knowledge on reserve in case it is needed they are using emergency means to treat every birth as if they are all dire life threatening emergencies even when they are not.
Most of them have no experience in natural childbirth, and have most likely never even seen a natural childbirth occur, so the thought of being part of something all new to them is enough to make them feel uneasy and nervous about it. So instead of taking themselves out of their comfort zone and trusting natural childbirth they try to force you out of your comfort zone and into theirs.
So how do you prevent them from interfering with your natural childbirth and turning it into a string of invasive procedures?
You will have to fully arm yourself to be informed, educated, and prepared to stand up for your right to have natural childbirth.
Step #1 For a Natural Childbirth Hire Natural Childbirth Professionals
If you want a natural childbirth you must hire people trained in natural childbirth. I have been told that there are in fact OBs that are natural childbirth advocates, but they are in fact rare.
OBs and Midwives
The ideal situation would be to hire an OB and a Traditional Midwife, that way you will be able to see for yourself the difference between the two and decide who you believe is better suited to support you in your natural childbirth. Also when your OB tells you that your natural childbirth idea is out because of reasons A, B or C you will have a real natural childbirth professional to double check with to see if in fact that is the truth or not. Many doctors work using scare tactics, “better safe than sorry you don’t want a dead baby” sort of thing. And yes this kind of manipulation works (unless you know better).
If your Doctor tells you that there could potentially be a problem do not take him at his word, and do not allow any final decisions to be made without first consulting a traditional midwife or maybe even two or three.
Most midwives offer a consultation where you can get to know them and propose any questions or concerns that you may have for free. So you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Get a Doula, They Make Natural Childbirth Easier to Accomplish
Now if you are for sure planning on birthing in the hospital I highly recommend hiring a Doula, they are there to help you to achieve your natural childbirth whether it is rubbing your back, bringing you water, or advocating for you by making certain that your wishes are being honored. Chances are that in the midst of labor you are not going to feel like discussing your options with doctors, you are going to be busy giving birth, this is where a doula comes in and translates your requests.
Enroll in Natural Childbirth Classes
Do not take any class associated with the hospital, they are fear based. Instead enroll in a local natural childbirth class or find one online. They offer a wealth of information that can save you from having to do so much leg work. Here is a link to an article giving you some good options for classes: http://mynaturalchildbirth.org/childbirth-classes/
Step #2 Find out What Things Interfere with Natural Childbirth and Avoid Them
I know that it can be difficult to know where to begin especially if you have never been pregnant before. So here are some important things to be aware of and to research further.
Prenatal Screening Tests can interfere with Natural Childbirth
Many of the standard tests that are performed while you are pregnant have a high false positive rate. A lot of natural birth professionals would agree that it almost seems as if they are setting you up for failure trying to find any reason they can to jump the gun, slap you with a “high risk” label and get you into the technological birthing system.
You have the right to refuse any and all tests. Some tests you may want to go ahead with if you know that in your family history there is a risk involved, but I do not suggest doing any test without researching it for yourself first.
If you are at an appointment and they send you for tests my advice is to tell them that you choose to postone the tests, and then go home and do extensive research before deciding if you do in fact want to go ahead with the test or whether you would like to decline.
Ultrasounds are not Exact Science
All too often women are missing out on their chance for a natural childbirth due to misinformation from ultrasounds. If a woman goes past her due date she will be recommended for induction by her OB. Also if a baby is guessed too small or too big it can lead to induction and/or C-section.
Ultrasounds are not an exact science, and there are many issues that are caused by treating them as if they are.
The first issue is with the determined due date. They get this figure using the assumption that every woman fits perfectly into an exact mold in which the length and frequency of menstruation is uniformly the same. We all know that each and every one of us has a different cycle making it impossible to come up with an exact date. They can not tell you with accuracy how far along you are, they can only give their best guess. And they absolutely cannot tell you when your baby will be born, only when both your baby and your body are ready will birth begin.
The next issue is with determining the size of the baby. Often times they will tell you for whatever reason that they believe your baby to be too big or too small and that you cannot have your natural childbirth. They then tend to reffer you for induction or even C-section. Please don’t fall for the wrong size baby card. All babies just like all humans are different sizes, unless there is truly a danger we should have enough respect for our babies to allow them to grow at their own speed.
I have had friends who have fallen victim to this wrong size baby lie and agreed to whatever the doctor suggests only to find out that they were way off about the weight, that in fact their babies were born within a perfectly normal weight range.
Just know that there is no sure method of measuring your babies weight, only guesses. The estimation from an ultrasound is also just an approximate guess, and can be off by + or – 2 to 3 lbs which is ALOT! It is the difference between a healthy 7lb baby and 4lb baby, or an 8lb baby and and 11lb baby.
There are also other risks associated with ultrasound, making it definitely worth educating yourself further.
Induction is Rarely Necessary
It sadly seems that induction has become the new norm. We may be uncomfortable; we may want our bodies back and our babies to come out, but there are no rushing these things. Baby knows best when it is time to be born. Induction is very dangerous and has a ton of risks associated with it. And as far as sound medical reason for induction, that is extremely rare for a healthy low risk pregnancy.
No matter what the doctor tells you do not agree to induce without getting a second, third or fourth opinion and not just from doctors but midwives as well.
Drugs in Childbirth are Dangerous
There is no safe drug. Pictocin, Epidurals and all other drugs should be avoided at all cost! Do further research into these drugs and they will likely scare the crap out of you!
Step #3 For a Positive Natural Childbirth Fill up With Positives
Once you educate yourselves on all of the risks of technological birth it is then time to put that aside and fill up with positive ideas, images and thoughts about natural childbirth.
Watch natural birth videos and documentaries that teach and show you how amazing natural childbirth is. A few of my favorites are “Birth into Being”, “The Business of Being Born” & “Orgasmic Birth”.
Also read as many great books on natural childbirth as you can. “Spiritual Midwifery,” “Ina Mays Guide to Natural Childbirth,” “Birth Without Violence”, “Birth Without Fear”, and “Birthing from Within” are all good ones.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Listen to these words and do not ever lose sight of them. In the end this is YOUR and YOUR BABY’S birth! All decisions about your birth are truly yours to make. Be sure to keep researching and educating yourself so that you can make informed choices. And do not allow anyone to sway you from your purpose, which is to give your child a sacred, respected, honorable and loving natural childbirth.
For us natural childbirth is a defining moment in our lives. It is said that during birth we truly meet ourselves and for the first time we are given the chance to allow our greatest potential to be fulfilled.
But this is not a journey we travel alone, and as grand as it is for us, just think about what an enormous and defining experience birth is for your Baby!
With all of the nervousness, excitement and anticipation it’s easy for us to get caught up in our own heads with our own agendas about our birth and we sometimes forget that we are merely here for the ride, and that this whole show is being put on for our Baby.
This is our child’s birth and it matters more than we can ever imagine! It is his first step in his new land. This experience teaches and imprints the child deeply.
We should put careful thought into what we want our children to learn from this experience, and what imprint we wish to leave with them. This is not something to be taken lightly, this event will set the foundation for the rest of their lives.
In this article we will explore childbirth from your baby’s perception and discover what natural childbirth means to your baby.
Challenging Society’s Beliefs About Awareness in the Newborn
There seems to be a harmful misconception in our society that newborn babies just aren’t quite full human beings yet, that because they are small, and they don’t talk, they don’t see, hear or move like we do that they must not be capable of experiencing the full range of emotions yet either.
Many may argue that this is not true, that of course we recognize babies as being human!
But if this is so then why would we possibly allow our babies to be treated with such carelessness, disregard and even violence upon their first entrance into the world?
This is a video that I don’t like watching, but it is important to be realized. To the medical professionals delivering these babies it’s just another day at the office. But for these poor babies it is a traumatic beginning that will be forever imprinted as their first experience and impression of this world.
Not all hospital births are this extreme, however they are definitely not ideal.
“Why must a child emerge from the quiet darkness of the womb into a blaze of blinding light and loud voices? Why must an infant take its first breath in terror, hanging upside down as its vulnerable spine is jerked straight? Why must the infant be separated from its mother after spending nine months inside her nourishing body?”
In an attempt to understand birth from a babies perspective I am going to tell the story of birth and I want you for a moment to imagine that you are the baby, and that this is your birth.
The Average ”Un” Natural Childbirth - The Baby’s Story
Imagine, you are safe, warm and cozy in the womb, surrounded by the familiar comfort of your Mother. Then suddenly your world is pressing in on you from all directions, you hear your Mom screaming and yelling, you feel her fear and it causes you to clinch with fright.
You are then drugged, you can’t think straight, you are scared and you don’t know what’s going on, you think this must be the end, that you must be dying. You are then forced down into a dark tunnel, and you hear strange voices shouting PUSH PUSH!!!
Then suddenly, you come out into a strange room, with these bright blinding lights and weird machines beeping. It’s filled with strange people. Your cold and scared, and the light makes it hard for you to open your eyes. Your groggy and disoriented from the drugs. People are shouting all around you, “It’s a BOY, it’s a GIRL! There loud voices pound through your fragile eardrums. And you are being carelessly clutched in the gloved hands of a strange man wearing a mask.
You look around for something familiar, something to explain what is happening to you!
You hear your Moms voice and want to go to her. But instead you are surrounded by strangers who roughly dry you off, then proceed to shove things in your mouth, poke you with needles and run tests on you.
You are crying and screaming profusely but no one seems to take notice or care, they are too busy congratulating themselves for a job well done.
If your lucky you get to meet your Mom for a moment before being whisked away down the hall and into a room with a bunch of other babies like you, who are scared and crying for the love of their Mothers, but she is no where to be found.
“Oh my God, is this what the world is like?”
What Kind of Message is That Sending to Your Baby?
I can’t imagine it sending the message that it is welcomed and accepted, that it will always be loved and kept safe. Rather I imagine it being a terrifying experience, that would make me just want to crawl back inside of myself and hide.
How can we raise confident children when with their first experience we strip them of their dignity?
Imagine The Alternative - A Sacred, Respected and Natural Childbirth
Your Mom feels her birthing sensations begin, she takes a deep breath and fills herself with the most peaceful and calm feeling imaginable. She lights some candles, turns on soothing music, or takes a warm bath. She talks to you and lets you know that everything is ok, not to fear, you’re birth will be a sacred event that you will journey through together in trust, faith and love, and that you will be born into a peaceful and loving home.
The birthing space is being held by the select few who your Mother has chosen to be with her, they are there bringing her comfort, making her feel safe and loved. They are there to honor her and to honor you.
As the natural child birth progresses your Mother does not allow herself to be swept away by fear, rather she soars into greatness and awakens to an inner strength that introduces her to her full exquisite and powerful self.
She embraces the power of her body, and for a moment in time feels connected with the ancestral wisdom of every woman that has gone before her. She is releasing, opening and allowing her body to lead her.
The walls of your world are tightening all around you, you are nervous and not quite sure what is going on, but then you feel the soothing and calm vibrations that she’s sending your way. You feel her love emanating through you and all around you. You take the leap into the unknown, release and let go!
You ease gently out into a dimly lit room, it is filled with peaceful and loving vibrations. No one is running around, or shouting. It is as if you are entering a holy temple, the space is respected, voices are hushed and peace fills the room.
You are surrounded by the gentle warmth of water or of a cozy room.
You are guided into life and welcomed for the first time into the loving hands of your Father. What an amazing introduction! But still you yearn for your Mother, your only true source of familiarity and comfort.
You hears your Mommas voice, look around and there she is, gazing at you with the warmest smile. You are placed in her arms, you feel welcomed, safe and loved.
Your Mother instinctively offers you her bosom, you yearn for that connection and happily latch on. You are wrapped snugly in her arms surrounded by her love. Your belly is filled with the sweetness of your Mommas milk.
You feel loved and safe, and so curious as to where you are. You are very alert and spend the next few hours looking around bright eyed and curious before drifting comfortably off to sleep. You have entered your new kingdom in peace, you are home.
The other night a guy friend of mine who saw the content of my Facebook page asked me, “so what’s the big deal with all these women and natural childbirth? And why do they feel the need to constantly talk about their birth and to get people to watch their birth videos and stuff?” My first reaction was to say, “You won’t get it, it’s a girl thing and it’s WAY too big of a topic to even get into.”
But then it occurred to me how little the average person knows about the current state of birth in our country. And that the only way to change that is to make it common knowledge and the only way to do that is to speak up and spread the word!
The truth remains that in our society most of us are either uninformed or misinformed. And most of what we think we know has been implanted into us not for the safety and well being of ourselves and our babies but for the monetary gain of the HCA (Hospital Corporations of America) one of the richest and most fraudulent corporations of all time.
I can’t keep quiet any more, this information is too important not to be shared. Women deserve to be given all of the information, only then can they be expected to make truly informed decisions.
Only when women are acting from a place of knowledge and not from fear will we have a real chance to reclaim birth as the sacred and empowering journey that it is meant to be and not as the dire medical emergency that is leaving millions of Mommas traumatized.
We Choose Natural Childbirth Because We Know the Facts
FACT #1- The Current Medically Engineered System of Birth Is Failing Us
In our country we treat birth as if it’s a medical emergency. Instead of allowing normal birth to follow it’s natural process doctors are interfering and are taking over with their own man made technology centered system of birth. As if they can somehow do a better job than nature. These methods are highly intrusive and dangerous. Over half of the women who give birth in the hospitals are leaving feeling abused, mistreated and traumatized. This system is failing us in a BIG way!
- The United States lags behind most other industrialized and even some developing countries in maternal mortality, currently ranking 50th out of 171 countries
- Our current C-section rate is 33% and rising
We Choose Natural Childbirth because it is Our Bodies, Our Babies, Our Experience and Our Choice
FACT #2- “Birth Rape” is Real and It’s Common
Since I have dove into this birth world I cannot believe the stories that I’m hearing every day. We’re seeing our fellow women, our sisters, and our friends going into the hospital to have their babies and coming out completely traumatized by what went on!
They say that they were manipulated by the hospital system and bullied into accepting unnecessary interventions and even c-sections without sound medical reason. The feelings some women have about their negative experiences are overwhelming. Many are claiming birth abuse, and some would even go as far as to say birth “rape” especially if they had instruments placed inside them without their consent.
This (rape) can include having Q-tips, speculums, scissors, forceps, vacuums, fingers, hands, and other objects inserted into a woman’s vagina or being given an enema, IV, epidural, or C-section without their consent.
Having one’s water broken without consent is another example of doctor’s taking control, which is basically what rape is all about. Being coerced, manipulated or deceived so that one will be obedient and go along with these treatments is another form of birth rape. Some even consider making rude and discouraging remarks to influence the mother rather than empower her to be included in the definition. Moving a mother into certain positions without asking and telling her what to do are further examples of mistreatment.
Some deny the existence of birth trauma in mothers or believe that they or exaggerating, especially being that misconduct is rarely reported.
Some 54% of women in one study had grounds for a complaint but did not file.
We Choose Natural Childbirth Because We Will Not Allow Ourselves to be Operated on For Profit
FACT #3- Despite the Poor Quality of Care, Business is Booming & Profits Soar for the HCA (Hospital Corporation of America)
One of the largest hospital operators is a gigantic corporation called the HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) it is one of the most profitable and corrupt multi-billion dollar corporations of all time.
Before you decide to hire them to be in charge of one the most important and monumental experiences of your life, the birth of your child there are a few things that you should know about them.
- The HCA has been investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services who served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company. Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Rick Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO. Who despite his wrongdoings still made off with $350 million dollars. In 1999, Columbia/HCA just simply changed their name back to HCA, Inc. and went about business as usual
- HCA also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.
- 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies.
- In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims. In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.
All of these crimes appear to be aimed at making more money from each patient as possible. Apply this to birth and suddenly the reason for a 33% cesarean rate becomes clear. They have no interest in a simple, intervention free birth but have such a huge interest in interventions that they are willing to risk a $2 billion fine as just a small cost of doing business.
Fact #4- Hospitals Make More Money Off of Birth Than any Other Condition
They have twice as much money coming in from each c-section birth than each natural vaginal childbirth, some employer based health plans give doctors an extra bonus of up a $750 per C-section.
This is a scary thought. We are putting our faith and trust into a system that is not working for us but rather for themselves. This is why you need to analyze for yourself everything that these doctors tell you. They can be crucial in spotting and helping with severe issues, but they also have a terrible record of inflating very minor differences into surgery requiring problems.
Most midwives on the other hand have nothing to gain from advising an intervention, their only motivation would be the wellbeing of the mother and child. This is a crucial separation of interests; it is never good to have the person with the most to benefit from a bad outcome as an advisor.
Hospitals most profitable service is birth; they’re charging a fortune but are delivering poor service. If they were a restaurant chain they would have gone out of business years ago.
But they are a multi-billion dollar business and they have something very powerful on their side: billions of dollars, enough to hire the most expensive cut throat financial consultants there are, people sitting at desks doing nothing but figuring out how they can make the hospitals more money!
They have the ability to manipulate using the oldest tactic in the book, by feeding off of peoples fear. They do this by creating the illusion of danger, they tell us that for one reason or another our bodies are broken but we are in luck because they are there to offer the solution to it, and one they get paid for.
We Choose Natural Childbirth Without Fear
It is the most natural thing in the world for us to have fear about birth. It is something that is huge! We’ve never done it before, it sounds impossible that our bodies would be able to pass another human through them. And then the pain, all the pain we’ve heard about, the anguish the horror stories, and then there are the movie scenes that all tell us that birth is scary and painful! Women are scared to death of giving birth.
And that is why WE are here!
We Share Our Natural Childbirths because…
If We Don’t Tell Women the Truth about Natural Childbirth Then They’ll Never Know!
“Pregnancy is Not a Condition and Birth is Not an Emergency”
I and many other women know this to be true! We know how profound, amazing, empowering, beautiful and completely encompassed in love natural childbirth can be! It is so powerful I feel like it has changed me right down to the core, it has awoken me to this powerful woman that I always thought that I could be but that I now know that I am.
I choose natural childbirth because I want to pass on to my daughter that she too is strong, and to lead by example that when you are faced with the unknown the answer is never FEAR, it is always to trust and believe in yourself.
Why do you choose Natural Childbirth?
When I heard Olgas story of her amazing natural childbirth it stirred something inside of me and I had to share it with you! Here is a woman who like many others fell victim to unnecessary interventions that left her feeling traumatized. And you know that saying, “ there’s no where left to go but up from here?” Well she rose back up in a powerful way and with the birth of her next child she set herself free!
Read this story and I’m certain that you will be just as inspired as I was by it! Enjoy!
(Thank you Olga for sharing your story, it is an inspiration to women everywhere!)
My Natural Childbirth
By: Olga Naden
I want to share a birth story of my second baby, Sylas Victor Naden born at home unassisted at 39 weeks and 2 days.
I had been preparing myself for the upcoming birth thoroughly, during the whole of my pregnancy I practiced Natal Hypnotherapy by Maggie Howell and read multiple natural birth books, like Ina May Gaskin’s ‘Guide to Childbirth’ or ‘Childbirth Without Fear’ by Grantly Dick-Read. I have watched many natural birth documentaries and videos and all episodes of ‘One Born Each Minute’ – to remind myself what I DO NOT want my birth to be like.
“After having a traumatic first induced birth, I vowed to stay at home this time, to avoid any unnecessary interventions.”
I feel very strongly about the importance and beauty of natural birth and feel that women should be given their primal powers back in this important time.
How I Prepared Myself for Natural Childbirth
During pregnancy we tried to stay as low-tech as possible: declined dating ultrasound, most blood tests and all Doppler testing. We had only the 20 weeks ultrasound, which revealed that we were expecting a baby boy – which we were very pleased about as our first child was a girl. Our consultant recommended conducting multiple growth scans, as per previous small baby, which I politely declined. Consultant then confirmed that my pregnancy was indeed very low risk and was happy for me to go ahead with my home-birth plans. Pregnancy continued relatively uneventful, though after bad hyperemesis I developed pregnancy SPD which left me in pain for most of the time.
Getting Closer Now
It was Tuesday, 5th April 2011. I still had 5 days left till my due date and was getting quite uncomfortable and impatient to meet my new baby. I was getting period pains for the previous three days, some of them contraction – type. I was reading up on natural induction methods and as much as I believe that they will work only when baby is truly ready, decided to try breast pumping to move things along.
I had used my double electric pump for 15 minutes, soon after my husband set off to work. During that time the period pains had intensified. After I had finished pumping, I woke up my daughter from her afternoon nap and realized that those period pains had become quite regular.
Is This the Real Thing?
It was 3.15 PM. I had decided to time them and they were lasting one minute each, three minutes apart. I was quite confused as to whether the sensations I was experiencing were meaningful or not, as they didn’t seem very painful. I didn’t expect them to be labour pains as I have never heard of contractions starting three minutes apart from the onset.
I made an afternoon snack for Freya and we started watching Toy Story 3 together. For some reason I couldn’t sit down so I started walking around the living room, timing the pains and rocking from side to side leaning against the table during them. I texts my husband that I had some sensations, but wasn’t sure that they meant anything.
By 16.15 they were still coming every three minutes, but started getting longer – lasting up to two minutes at the time, so I called Christian to come back home from work.
After one visit to the toilet, I found a jelly ‘blob’ of clear mucous, but dismissed it as nothing, as it didn’t have any blood in it. All that time I still wasn’t convinced that I was actually in labour as contractions were easily manageable – all I had to do is rock from side to side and breathe through them.
When Christian arrived at 5PM, I decided to have a shower as I felt quite hot and sweaty. I stayed there for about 30 minutes and noticed that the pains were getting slightly stronger. At 5PM I called my brother Victor to come round and look after Freya as something might be actually happening. At about 5.30 I asked Christian to put on my Tens Machine and started using its Boost mode during contractions, which felt great.
I was still convinced that I was only in early stages of labour and was quite happy leaning on my birth ball during contractions, visualizing cervix opening and ‘breathing in golden light’ – techniques from Natal Hypnotherapy.
I Began to Withdraw into My Own World
About 6PM pains were increasing in intensity and frequency – they lasted for two minutes, two minutes apart.
By that time I have become very withdrawn, didn’t speak to Chris and practiced hypnotherapy techniques most of the time. I have noticed that Christian has started to set up the birth pool. I felt very calm and detached from everything, withdrawn into my own world. I remember Christian asking me some questions and I couldn’t give him a logical answer and ended up mumbling incoherent words.
Finally I Realize that I Might Actually Be in Labor
At 6.30 my waters broke and I started moaning during contractions. Only at that point I have finally realised that I might actually be in labour.
J Victor arrived at 6.40 and immediately took Freya to the park for a walk. Christian then called midwives at 6.45 and they confirmed that they’re on their way.
After having two three minutes contractions that came only one minute apart, I went into transition and remember thinking ‘I bet that when midwives arrive I will only be three centimetres’ and that I would not be able to cope if that was the case, as it was starting to hurt by then. Those two contractions are the only ones that I could describe as painful; otherwise they just felt like warm pressure opening sensations.
Got in the Water and it Felt Great!
I got into the pool at 6.50 and it felt great! It was only about half filled, but warm water relaxed me a great deal. Christian started to pour hot water down my back, which was one of the best sensations in my life! I was hanging of the sides of the pool, in deep squat, with my pelvis wide open. My first contraction in the pool felt different, like everything was opening wide inside. During the next contraction I had to cling onto pool walls and shot up into half-squatting position with a loud roar, realising that my body has pushed the baby’s head out.
The Head is Out
I told my husband ‘The head is out’ – he couldn’t believe it but soon reached down and felt baby’s head. During next contraction the body slid out and at exactly 7PM I have scooped my son up from underneath the water into my arms.
Meeting Our Baby- As a Family
He was tiny but perfect, with ideally round head. He started crying straight away and was a lovely pink colour. Both I and Chris were in shock as we didn’t expect the baby to come so quickly and effortlessly. I sat in a pool staring at my perfect baby, holding him in my arms after nine months of anticipation.
We left the cord to stop pulsating for over forty minutes. Christian called Victor to come back from the park and he and Freya were the first to see newly born Sylas. Freya was very excited to meet her baby brother.
Here Come the Midwives
Midwives arrived at 7.15 PM and started filling in their paperwork. In a way I am really glad that they didn’t make it on time, as they would have most certainly disrupted my hypnotic state and natural birth process. I know that they were just doing their job, but I found their presence intrusive.
One of the midwives actually admitted to me that she was terrified of natural birth and decided to ask for elective cesarean section if she ever became pregnant. I am really glad that a midwife with an attitude like this didn’t participate in birth of my baby.
I loved the fact that nobody but family members got to hold Sylas during his first hour of life. Afterwards he was weighed – 2720g – 6lb and had his first breastfeed soon after. He was extremely alert and took to breastfeeding like a pro! Midwives have checked my perineum, which was completely intact – which they haven’t apparently seen before. Blood loss was minimal
“I felt like I could conquer the world. It was a true freebirth!!!”
I really loved my birth experience – it was much better than I could have ever dreamt of. Though I was toying with idea of unassisted birth during my pregnancy, I didn’t want to make that decision consciously. I am very happy that it turned out to be unassisted though. I now feel that this moment was too special to share it with strangers – our baby was welcomed to this world only by his loving and caring parents.
I also gained lots of confidence as a women and it was an amazing experience for us as a couple. The amount of love and power it gave us is beyond description. Both my husband and myself remained confident and calm throughout – we were not afraid at any point.
“I feel truly empowered by my birth, which now has completely healed trauma of my previous hospital birth.”
It is such a shame that more women don’t get to have an experience like this and are robbed of this almighty feeling forever.
It is very interesting how I experienced ‘Foetus Ejection Reflex’ as described by Niles Newton. I didn’t know it was possible until it happened to me –
“My body just ‘pushed the baby out’ without me having to do anything – truly amazing!!! “
I am also very pleased that I practiced hypnotherapy during my pregnancy – it has helped me a great deal. I was able to block out the pain – contractions felt like pressure, but weren’t really painful.
Most important factor was letting go of my fear and accepting that labour is something that female bodies are designed to do and have done for thousands of years, all we have to do is let go and let nature do its job. And it did.
“ What a miracle our bodies are and what a truly empowering experience natural, undisturbed labour can be!!! “
I understand that homebirth isn’t for everyone, but I wish it was offered to more women. In our culture birth became over medicalized, it is now seen as a dangerous emergency and women are expecting agonising pain.
The fact is, if women are left alone in their own environment, the whole process can be very calm, safe and empowering. Natural birth doesn’t have to mean that you’re a martyr and go through unbearable pain, but is an important rite of passage that empowers you to be the person that you want to be – nothing is impossible anymore. Just like Nietzsche said ‘What doesn’t kill me – only makes me stronger’.
Please don’t feel sad or like a failure if your birth experience was far from ideal. I know – I have been there. I believe that we always make the best decision with all the information available to us at the time. Medical staff can be intimidating sometimes and we feel pressured to do something that we didn’t intend to do and regret it afterwards. I was bullied into accepting induction for my daughter, without sound medical reason. The birth ended up being horrific and all that I didn’t want to happen happened.
We all learn from our mistakes, I hope this story will show that your dream birth is possible, but you really have to take charge of your experience – otherwise decisions will be made for you, and they might not be decisions that you would be happy with.
Thanks for reading…
For many of us the thought of bringing our baby into the world in a hospital is simply not an option in our minds, and for us the only way we can imagine is to have a natural childbirth, and preferably at home. But how in the world do we get our partners on board with us, and how do we even go about it without just sounding like a crazy hippy??
Oh yes, I had this same dilemma, it took me the majority of the pregnancy to convince Andy that I wasn’t just trying to be a rebel, but that it was the most educated thing to do. In the end he gave me his full support, he was absolutely wonderful during the birth, we had an amazing experience and now he is Mr. Home Birth!
My partner wrote this wonderful article on how you convince someone who is accustomed to thinking of birth as a medical emergency that it’s really not such a big deal.
Why Men Think Having a Natural Childbirth at Home is a Crazy Idea
By Andrew Briggs
The key is in understanding how they are accustomed to viewing birth. Imagine in general how uninformed women are about the birthing process and then imagine someone whose only experience in the matter comes from dramatizations they see on television.
Especially imagine the births you see in movies set in the Middle Ages, when I thought about birth before hospitals that’s where my mind went. So that’s how I thought a homebirth would be; dark and dank room with wet rags as our only tool against all the bleeding and screaming along with infections and dirt everywhere.
So that made me think it was going to be a dangerous, dirty and scary way to give birth!
When in reality that is not the case at all. And none of this view actually holds up if given a rational examination of the situation.
What you are going to need to show them is that home birth is just as safe as hospital birth because safety is going to be their only real concern.
How to Talk to Your Partner about Having a Natural Childbirth at Home
When you approach them you need to do so directly and let them know how important it is to you that they keep an open mind.
I was very stuck in the hospital mindset to begin with because I had used them often in the past so it was natural for me to think that everything they do there is for the best. So my initial reaction was to scoff and mock the idea but when April let me know how serious she was about the idea I became more open to evaluating it honestly.
Have Them Specify and List Their Fears
What you need to do is get them to analyze their preconceptions and actually specify and list the actual fears. Once the fears are listed they seem less overwhelming and can be refuted one by one. This will take some research, but from what I was told all the risks of home birth for healthy women can all be minimized by educating and preparing yourself.
When given enough information they will discover that there really is very little to fear, you just need to introduce them to that fact, and if they are anything like I was they really have only a vague idea of the potential risks.
Get the Facts on Natural Childbirth
Use as many hard facts as possible. If you can, get the actual percentages of complications they fear, show them how unlikely that situation happens in a homebirth scenario and what the midwife is able to do to help if it does happen.
Persistence is the Way to Get Them to Except Natural Childbirth
It can be very difficult to change an ingrained misconception. This is the key to getting them to adjust their opinion. It was for me, and without the persistent extermination of the causes of my fear it would have been difficult to imagine such a dramatic change in my paradigm.
The Big Whammy- Our Natural Childbirth
The birth itself I found to be a very exciting and fascinating experience!
Most of the birth I just tried to read what April needed and do anything I could to make her comfortable.
It was near the end when I went into the tub and got ready to deliver our daughter that I was most thankful to have the midwives there to reassure me that I was doing everything right. With them there I wasn’t really nervous or afraid of anything.
After Lileahs birth it seemed infinitely easier than I ever thought it would be! Everyone’s birth is different and I think I got off easy but in general I think guys are more afraid of not knowing what to expect than when they are in the middle of it.
It was great doing it at home because of how personal and peaceful it all felt. No body was running around screaming, and it was just me and April through the whole thing until the very end. I was in the tub and when she came out I brought her up out of the water. It was the most amazing experience of my life to be the first one to welcome Lileah into the world!
Seeing Natural Childbirth Made Me a Believer!
After experiencing the birth of my daughter and seeing the benefits of natural childbirth versus hospital births I was convinced that this is the only way to bring our children into the world. The difference in her and other kids I saw that were born on drugs in the hospital is amazing! Lileah could hold her head up immediately and had her eyes wide open and alert for hours after she was born. She was able to push herself up on her belly, she was unbelievably strong and healthy.
I was impressed and completely blown away by the experience so I have since been very much an advocate for natural childbirth! This is a huge change from how I thought just 6 months before Lileahs birth and it’s very much a result of Aprils research and our daughters beautiful entry into this world.
“ And remember be Persistant!” -Andy
Aww I love him! What a Great man! If you haven’t seen our birth video yet you should definately watch it, he completely surrounded me with LOVE and support, he was so Amazing!! Makes me cry every time! When you work together the possibilities for a great natural childbirth are infinite!