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My Positive Birth Story | A Natural, Unmedicated Labor & Delivery + What I Did to Prepare My Body

For those of you who have been following me on my blog, social media, and/or Youtube channel, you may know that I was expecting my baby in late July.  It has now been a couple weeks since we welcomed our little girl to the world, and I'm looking forward to sharing with you my positive birth story, and what I did to prepare my body for it! 

If you'd like the "TLDR" version, I do have a quick summary available below!  You can also scroll down to view my vlog version if you prefer listening over reading~ 

For reference, I'm a first-time mama who has been under the care of a wonderful team of midwives at my local birthing center.

Now, here goes! 

My Birth Story

I began having my first contractions on Sunday, 7/19, at around 4 in the morning. I wasn't actually sure what they were at first, because the cramping sensation felt very foreign. They came on and off for the next couple of hours, keeping me from sleeping.  It wasn't so much my belly feeling the pressure, but more so my lower back, and I worried that baby might be sunny-side up as that's an indicator of "back labor".  

A bit before my husband, Gin, woke up at 7am, the contractions began getting more intense, requiring me to use breathing techniques.  I ended up calling the midwife, who confirmed that I was in early labor.  I began timing my contractions and when Gin got up, he rushed to finish packing our birth bag (we were procrastinating on this because much of what we needed were being used around the house!).  

By 8am, my contractions were really ramping up and Gin helped a lot by applying counterpressure to my lower back.  We called the midwife back, who asked for us to meet with her at the birthing center at 9am. 

When we got to the birthing center a bit past 9am, I was in full-on active labor with contractions 2-3 minutes apart.  I labored for a while in different positions, in the tub (that initial dip into heated water is a blessing for lower back aches!), and on the bed.  The whole time, Gin was right beside me, helping me through every contraction with counterpressure, massage, verbal encouragement/affirmations, and modeling of breaths.  All of that helped make all my physical sensations so much more manageable. 

The last few moments leading up to the baby's birth came as a shock to me, because I didn't know I had gone from active labor to transition.  It felt like I went straight to pushing! At that point, the midwives recommended a birthing stool, which I found to be VERY helpful and efficient!  Gin was behind me, holding me and helping squeeze my hands to keep me feeling grounded. I had kept telling myself I was going to "gently breathe the baby out" during the pushing phase, which is a hynobirthing method, but I felt such a tremendous urge to bear down and the pressure was so intense that I ended up pushing with everything I had.  Baby came out in 3-4 pushes, and the moment she was placed onto my chest put both of us in tears. 

Baby Lena Rose was born after an 8-hr labor, weighing in at 6lbs 3.5oz and measuring 20 inches. She was calm, alert, and exhibited hunger cues a while later. Both skin-to-skin time and breastfeeding were wonderful experiences.  

We were able to leave the birthing center three-and-a-half hours after Lena's birth, and have been at home since.  I did experience a first-degree tear, but recovery has been going well with rest.  (Having as much bedrest as possible these first few days seemed to really help, so ladies -- please be kind to your bodies!) 

All in all, it was such an incredible experience to birth our baby and allowing my body and hers to work together in unison for this to happen.  We felt so grateful to have the natural and unmedicated birth that we had hoped for!

My Birth Story, "TLDR" Version!

I labored for 8 hours from the start of my first contractions. With my husband as a supportive birthing partner using strategies such as counterpressure, massage, verbal affirmations and prompts, and modeling of breaths, he helped me move swiftly through the birthing process. I moved from active labor to the pushing stage without even knowing that I had gone through transition. Baby was out in just 3-4 pushes, and I experienced a first-degree tear. Baby's birth weight was 6 lbs, 3.5 oz, and her height was 20".  She was born calm and alert, and latched beautifully for her first feed. We can't be more in love with our new little bundle of joy! 

Preparations for a Natural Birth

Below are some of the preparations I did for achieving a natural birth.  
Disclaimer: Please note that this is just a recount of my experience, and NOT meant to be medical advice!  You'll want to consult with your health provider first.

  • I consumed 6 dates a day starting around week 36 of my pregnancy.  Research has shown that eating six dates a day during the last month of pregnancy shortens labor time by hours, with less induction and less postpartum bleeding.  Watch this NutritionFacts.org video about the research! 
  • I drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, which is said to ease labor and delivery.  I started off with two cups at 28 weeks and worked my way up to four cups daily.  If you'd like to read more about drinking RRLT and the benefits of it, check out my blog post here.
  • I also took Evening Primrose Oil, which is said to shorten the duration of labor and help the cervix soften and efface (thin out).
  • I used a wooden massager tool for easing some of my lower back pain during the early, active, and transition phases of labor.  This was incredibly helpful as a counter-pressure tool and I highly recommend it for use during labor! 

Anyhow, I hope that this information helps, and that my positive birthing story inspires other mamas who are interested in going down that route to plan for it as well!  Should you have any questions about my experiences, you're welcome to ask in the comments below! 

Best wishes,