This is my natural and positive hospital birth story as a first time mom. Learn how I managed labor and delivery without pain medication or medical interventions.
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Preparing for a Natural Hospital Birth
Being a first time mom, I took seriously what others said about preparing my mind and body to have a natural birth free from medical interventions. My husband, Ben and I took a birthing class at the hospital as well as a hypno-birthing class recommended by one of our friends. I also read several helpful books on natural birth; why it is important, what to expect and how to prepare. We also watched the documentary “The Business of Being Born.”
Here are some of the resources I found helpful as a first time mom preparing for a natural birth.
- The Business of Being Born
- Hypnobirthing: A Natural Approach to a Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing
- The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare
- Beautiful Babies: Nutrition for Fertility, Pregnancy, Breast-feeding, and Baby’s First Foods
- Redeeming Childbirth: Experiencing His Presence in Pregnancy, Labor, Childbirth, and Beyond
Another book I’ve heard good things about for preparing for a natural childbirth is Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. I’ve never read it but would still like to at some point even though I’ve had three natural births now.
I read a lot of books, I watch natural births on youtube and I practice breathing and relaxing. I prepared my body by walking everyday, getting adjusted by my chiropractor consistently as well as having several osteopathic manipulative treatments which were recommended by my midwife.
I know this is a lot, but I was serious about having a natural birth and wanted to do all I could to make it work.
While I think all of those things helped, I truly believe the real reason I didn’t give into pain medication was I didn’t even give it as an option for myself. I told myself if my mom did it the natural way, so could I!
**I do believe there are circumstances that can prevent someone from having the natural birth they desire, so please don’t feel bad if you can’t have a natural birth. It’s a good thing to aim for but to also hold loosely. Ultimately you just want a healthy mom and healthy baby.**
Positive Natural Hospital Birth Story – First Time Mom
The Night Before
It was the wee hours of the morning Tuesday, September 9th. I woke up and needed to use the bathroom for probably the third time that night. I was so uncomfortable and just couldn’t get back to sleep so I stayed awake and watched a YouTube video on how to make a wet bag for diapers. I had already spent a few sleepless nights sewing during the last few weeks, so this wasn’t unusual for me at this point in pregnancy.
During the time I was awake I started feeling crampy. The feeling came and went. I had gone to the chiropractor the day before and then spent several hours grocery shopping. I thought maybe I was just sore and crampy from those activities.
My chiropractor told me at my appointment that my body didn’t feel ready to have the baby yet and he thought I had a week or more left. But after starting to feel a bit crampy, I decided to shower, wash my hair and shave my legs just in case this turned into something more. Then I went back to bed.
The Next Morning
I woke up late the next morning and felt nothing, except slow and tired. I barely had time to get my breakfast before I had to head out the door for an appointment with my osteopath. I felt so slow and tired as I walked into my appointment.
My doctor asked me during my appointment if I was ready to have the baby. I said “yes!” I had been feeling like it was time for her to come out for a few days! I told her that I thought I had some contractions last night.
After working on me for a little bit, the doctor told me she also I thought my body didn’t feel ready to have the baby yet. She felt like I had a week or two left before the baby would be ready to come.
I left feeling so disappointed and discouraged. I was just feeling so done! On the way back to my car, I thought I was having another contraction. I called my mom crying because I was disappointed by what both my chiropoactor and osteopath had told me about my body not feeling ready to have the baby. I also told her I thought I was having some contractions and that maybe I was going to have to deal with this for weeks before the baby came.
My sister came by when I got home to pick something up. The entire time she was there I continued to feel crampy off and on.
In Labor for Real!
Here I was, 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant, possibly in labor and I still hadn’t packed for the hospital. I decided it was time to pack.
Around 2:30 I decided to see if there was a pattern to these mild cramps I was having. Sure enough they were 8 minutes apart! I let Ben know what was going on.
Then I noticed I had some bloody show when I went to the bathroom. I finally admitted to myself that I might actually be in real labor and my chiropractor and osteopath were both wrong!
I told my husband to stay at work and I’d let him know if things picked up more. He agreed but told me to please finish packing my hospital bag! It took me several hours to pack. I was feeling so distracted and indecisive about what to bring with me. Don’t wait until you are in labor to pack your hospital bag!
Contractions Getting Stronger
My contractions were mild but gradually got closer and closer together. By the time Ben came home from work at 5:45 pm, I was having to stop what I was doing during each contraction. They were around 5-7 minutes apart. That’s when Ben realized things were actually happening!
I had a huge chore list for Ben to do; things like install the carseat, pack his clothes, vacuum the floors and a bunch or other random, not important things. But they felt important to get done at the time.
I was trying to make dinner during this time. Dinner took forever to make and by the time we sat down to eat it was 7:30. After all that work, I had no appetite at all.
Then while Ben did the dinner dishes, I decided to get a bath. The water felt good but I had to stand up and bend over each time I had a contraction. Most of my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and I couldn’t talk during them.
Time to Go
While in the tub, I called my midwife group and found out my favorite midwife, Waverly was on call. I decided right then and there I was having this baby tonight! I had been praying for the right midwife to be there for my delivery. Waverly told me to call her in an hour or two and let her know how things were going.
My contractions were fluctuating between 3-6 minutes until about 9:15. Then they suddenly were around 2-3 minute apart. I couldn’t stay in the tub as I was having a ton of back labor. I just wanted to stand and bend over at the waist. That seemed to help.
I called my midwife again around 10 pm. She told us we should probably consider heading to the hospital soon. Then I called my mom. I told her I didn’t think I could have this baby naturally. I was having serious doubts.
When my mom heard my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart she started to panic and told me that we should be leaving for the hospital now! My dad overheard and texted Ben, “Tell Laura it is time to go to the hospital now!”
I was dragging my feet because I didn’t want to get to the hospital too soon. I’d heard how once you get there you are on the clock and pressure to start interventions soon follows.
Heading to the Hospital
However, I was starting to wonder how in the world I was supposed to get in the car seeing as how I just couldn’t sit at all during contractions. I really needed to stand, sway and breath during each wave.
It took about 10 minutes for me to get into the car. I just needed to have “one more contraction” before I had to sit for 30 minutes. It was now 10:15 pm. The drive was hard and to make things worse we hit construction traffic! I wasn’t happy! But the Lord was kind and my contrations did slow down while we were in the car, although they were supper intense still.
We got to the hospital around 11 and we were taken right up to the maternity ward. I had two contractions on the way up and had to stop. I walked very very slowly. They wanted to put me in a wheel chair but I said “No”! No more sitting for me.
I wanted to at least be 2 cm dilated and when I found out I was 5, I was happy. I was truly in active labor and these contractions weren’t for nothing!
Progressing to 10cm
For the next hour and a half they asked me a million questions about my healthy and my family health. I’m sure it took so long because I had to keep stopping to focus and breath during each contraction. I stood during most of the “interview” phase. I also sat on a yoga ball for a bit too.
My midwife got to the hospital around 12:30 am, I wasn’t keeping track of time though. The nurses and my midwife were suggesting different positions for me to try. I didn’t really care and nothing mattered to me at this point. I was on all fours, then laying on my side, then in the shower (which was terrible and it made me so cold, I couldn’t stop shaking).
After the shower, I got checked and was at a 9. All of a sudden, I knew I was going to throw up. After losing the little dinner I did manage to eat earlier, Waverly checked me again, I was still at a 9.
I started saying I couldn’t do it anymore and kept asking how much longer. I repeated those two phases several times. I had another contraction and my midwife checked me again. I was 10 cm! She told me I could push if I wanted but I didn’t need to rush it.
My contractions were super intense. They suggested if they broke my water it might speeds things up, but it also might make my contractions harder. I said I’d wait. I just couldn’t imagine my contractions getting worse than they were at this point. My water finally broke around 2:15 am.
There was some slight concern if there was meconium in my water but it ended up being a little bit of blood. I had no urge to push but I started pushing just a little bit. I didn’t tell anyone though.
Instead of my contractions getting worse when my water broke they almost disappeared. It was such a welcome break! I was so tired. My midwife asked me if I wanted to push. So I started pushing a bit harder. Little by little the baby descended. I felt no urge to push at all but I did feel that ring of fire!
All of a sudden my midwife told me I needed to push the baby out now! I think there might have been some concern about her heart rate, but I don’t know.
I pushed hard and then her head was out! One more push and she slid out the rest of the way. I was so relieved. I didn’t even process that the baby was born. All that mattered was the hard part was over. I was exhausted!
They brought her up to my chest. Her little eyes were so wide open and she stopped crying as soon as they laid her on me. I was overwhelmed and exhausted!
Everyone was saying she was so alert. I was shocked she had hair and that she was cute! Way cuter than I imagined her being right out of the womb. Everything was such a blur at this point. The nurses helped me to get her nursing right away. I was so fatigued and couldn’t stop shaking.
I needed a few stitches unfortunately and the resident doctor did the sewing. It felt like she took forever! But she needed the practice and I guess I’m glad I could help her out. Although at the time, it was hard not to feel super impatient as I was still shaking so much and hearing her ask how to do every stitch was so frustrating.
Our baby girl got a 9 on her apgar score, weighed 6lbs 8oz and was 19 in long. Everyone commented on her lusty cry. She was loud! (I guess that was a bit of foreshadowing as she’s still loud 6 years later!)
After a bit, I really needed to use the bathroom. With some help I got to the potty but as I was washing my hand I looked at myself in the mirror and my lips were green! I told the nurse I was going to faint. I never actually fainted but everything went black. That was a weird feeling.
Snuggling My Sweet New Baby
After that experience they wheeled me to our recovery room. They gave us the best room! It was huge so there was plenty of room for my whole family to come and visit us later! Ben went to sleep but I just couldn’t.
I held my baby girl and stared at her face. Did this little baby come from me? And I still couldn’t get over the fact that she was so cute!
After talking about names a bit more we chose the name Charlotte Rose with Lottie being her nickname. Almost 7 years later now we almost never call her Charlotte. She is definitely a Lottie!
How I feel About My Natural Hospital Birth Experience
I think my birth experience was the best it could have been as a first time mom, birthing naturally in a hospital.
It was a good experience. I’m so thankful it turned out how I was hoping (except for the tearing and needing stitches part) from getting my favorite midwife to a relatively quick labor and delivery. It wasn’t long before I was excited by the thought of being pregnant and birthing another baby.
Still to this day, my favorite part of pregnancy is the labor and birth part. I know I’m weird.
Read My Other Birth Stories
Accidental Unassisted Home Birth Story – baby #3