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Birth Stories

How, where and with whom did you give birth and how has it impacted you?

Tracey Rose

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I went from being totally freaked out because I was so scared of labour, to feeling empowered and experiencing a pain-free childbirth.I remember that day so clearly because the doctors and midwives were shocked, but for me, it was the happiest day of my life!But to be honest, just 9 months prior, I NEVER thought I’d be one of those freaky birth-junkies that talked about "beautiful water-births" and "empowering labours" That was for hippies!

I was NOT going to try and be a hero. All I wanted was a healthy baby.I mean, it doesn’t matter how it comes out. Right?I couldn’t understand why I would want to have a natural childbirth when there were medical miracles called EPIDURALS that would block all the pain of childbirth. (Or so I thought!)Anyway … I had been talking to some friends, who seemed to think it was a great idea to tell me every detail of their traumatic birthing experience …Seriously, why do people do that? 

So, I went home and tried to convince myself that it really wouldn’t be that bad. I buried myself in pregnancy books and magazines, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the pain I was going to have to endure. I started crying.

My husband came into the room and asked "What’s wrong?""How am I going to get through this and cope during labor?" I replied.He was lovely and comforting, saying encouraging things, but he just didn’t understand the PURE FEAR I was feeling! … then I cried out …"NATALIE TOLD ME SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!"

Immediately, he started throwing all the books and magazines I had been reading out of the room.

He yelled, "NO MORE OF THESE BOOKS, NO MORE OF THESE MAGAZINES and NO MORE LISTENING TO STORIES FROM FRIENDS""You can do this!" he said as he comforted me. "We’ll figure out how to do this together." Immediately I felt safe and with a renewed purpose to find out how I can make childbirth a positive experience for my family.

The next few months consisted of research about different methods of coping with pain during labor … and as I educated myself about all the options including c-sections, drugs (including epidurals) and natural methods, it became clear that the safest option for me and my baby was "Al-Natural" … but what’s even stranger is that I also became aware that this was also going to possibly be the MOST PAIN-FREE option of them all!

I know that almost doesn’t make sense, but let me explain it like this:

C-SECTION: When you understand the risks and complications involved, plus the painful and long recovery process, no one in their right mind would choose this voluntarily.

EPIDURAL: When you learn the risks and complications involved for you AND your baby in using any cocktail of drugs, you’ll want to steer clear of them too if possible.

Figures also show, once you start introducing drugs in the labor process your chance of having to have an emergency c-section is greatly increased! Terrifying!

NATURAL CHILDBIRTH: I would personally never tell anyone to just "wing it" and have a natural birth because it’s the "RIGHT" thing to do, but I would definitely encourage you and your birth partner to enrol in a childbirth education course (NOT a hospital one).

And .. that’s just what we did! We researched and found an amazing course that taught us everything about natural childbirth.

During the classes each week, I became more and more confident that I was doing the best thing for my baby. Plus it was a great bonding experience for my husband and I too.I practiced my relaxation techniques and also got more in-tune with my body.I know it may sound crazy (because it did to me) but during my classes I discovered that we actually have these hormones in our body to ease all kinds of pain. Most of us just don’t know how to access it! 

But even while I was learning, practicing my relaxation techniques and preparing everything, I still had my doubts. One night in class, I asked my teacher … "Can I REALLY do this?"

She reassured me I was doing absolutely everything to prepare for the birth I had always dreamed of.

She was right. I had done the prep work and practiced daily. I was watching and listening to positive birth stories and I was just convinced that this was going to be the most beautiful experience. And … GUESS WHAT? … It was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!

Mary commented on 29-Mar-2012 06:56 AM 
Oh, what a wonderful story!! Very similar to my first experience, which gave me the confidence to then have my second at home. As a recently gratuated midwife, I am so disappointed that most hospital antenatal classes are just not cutting it. I hope that
will change.

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