This is the final birth story, in my series of childbirth’s; you can read more about my other birth stories here. Every woman’s response to birth, medication, and postpartum is different. This is my personal experience; consult your doctor before making decisions about your pregnancy, and labor.
After having my fourth child, my husband underwent a vasectomy. He followed doctor’s orders, and after two check-ups with the doctor, he was confirmed as infertile.
Nine months later, the Lord decided to override our plans, and the surgery.
We were dumbfounded by our little surprise! So much, that we kept saying, “How did this happen?” And every time we shared our story with someone, they laughed. At some point, we began to laugh as well, and we still giggle at the events. I’ll have to share more on this another time.
Because my last labor didn’t go as well as I’d liked, I did some thinking during this pregnancy.
Do I really want to go through a natural childbirth again?
Something that I haven’t shared with you yet, is that I honestly don’t enjoy natural childbirth. I don’t despise it, and the benefits far out weigh the work involved. But since I thought I wasn’t going to be having any more children, I was relieved to think that I wasn’t going to give birth again.
When it comes down to it, there’s preparation to be done, and it’s quite a bit of work. I entertained delusions that receiving an epidural would actually make my pregnancy and delivery easier, by providing less work for me.
After having four children, I knew it was a silly notion, but I thought about it anyway.
After much thought, I came to the conclusion that as much as I didn’t want to go through the work of labor, either way, I’m going to have to give birth. There’s just no way around it.
So, I might as well give myself the best chances for a good recovery.
In my past birth experiences, this is where natural childbirth has made all the difference for me. Recovering from an un-medicated childbirth was light years better than recovering from a medicated birth. Life has enough challenges when adjusting to caring for five children, so I decided it really is best to try for an un-medicated birth again.
Once again, I set goals for myself in regards to natural childbirth:
- Avoid induction unless absolutely necessary
- As always, leave the bag of waters intact for as long as possible
- Labor in the tub
Say what? Labor in the tub? Caroline, you must be really weird!
Alright, alright, I know it sounds weird to many people (I was one of them once), but think about the tub for a moment. Doesn’t it feel nice to get into a warm bath to soak?
There’s a reason for that.
The warm water has an impact on your body, and even though laboring in the tub is very different than soaking in the tub, it’s still an effective way of coping with labor pain.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on. 🙂
From my experience with the previous labors, I expected to be late. And as the due date came and went, I wondered if I would end up with an induction again.
Those last few weeks were difficult for me emotionally. I remember crying every day for no reason; I felt as if I was experiencing the baby blues before the baby came. And passing my due date, with no sign of progression or contractions, simply enhanced my emotional drama.
I began to fear induction, and tried to come to grips with it.
However, God is good! A week past my due date, at 10:30 in the evening, I started having contractions. And interestingly enough, it started while I was in the tub! They didn’t feel completely normal, so I called the local natural birthing expert again, my mother-in-law (who happened to be my doula, also). After talking with me, she knew I was in labor, so she started heading over to my house.
My husband called back about ten minutes later with the message of, “Get here now! Or we’re having a home birth!”, which would have made her happy.
We arrived at the hospital, and I was able to hop into the tub! Yep, the hospital had a tub, and I got in. No straps, no questions, no forms, just laboring in the tub like I wanted. Shortly after, the doctor showed up, and do you know what she did?
She held the monitor on my belly to listen to the baby, and watch the contractions.
She did not strap it on, and leave me. As a matter of fact, she stayed in the room with us until it was time for delivery! She really was an awesome doctor.
Did sitting in the tub relieve my labor pain? No, but it helped me cope with the pain.
When I felt the need to push, I got out of the tub, and into the labor bed. I was once again experiencing back labor (agonizing, I tell you, just agonizing), so my doula (mother-in-law) suggested I try birthing on my hands and knees.
Up to this point all of my births used the traditional pushing position: lying on my back with my legs in stirrups. Very uncomfortable, difficult to push a baby out, and increases the risk for tearing and hemorrhoids.
Sounds strange, but I did what she said. And it was actually easier to push the baby out! My doctor sat on the bed, and did a perineal massage to support the perineum.
The baby was born, and I felt like a champion! That was a three and a half hour
long short labor! Amazing, right?
This was by far my best recovery. I felt great after the other natural childbirths, but this time I did not tear, and I did not have any hemorrhoids! YAY!
I credit my fantastic recovery to several things: avoiding induction, using natural coping methods for pain, different pushing position, and the perineal massage.
After five babies, this was the first time I came home and didn’t even feel as though I had a baby!
I didn’t know that was possible.
I would have thought, that after five births I would be able to know what to expect in labor and delivery. However, that’s not the case; each birth has proven to be different. And regardless of what happened in my previous births, I can simply give thanks to the Lord for the gift he has given me.
The gift of life.
I’d love to hear your what you think, share your thoughts with me!