What comes to mind when you think of birth?
Perhaps, pain. Uncertainty? Fear?
It's time we change the narrative of what it means to labor and deliver.
Birth should be empowering, fulfilling, extraordinary. Our bodies were made to bear children, labor, and birth. Once we change the perspective that has been attached to birth for centuries, we can begin to dive in to the beauty, the essence, and our capability as it relates to opening our body to bring a baby into the world.
Birth shouldn't be like the movies. In fact, it's nothing like the movies. We shouldn't have to labor and deliver on our back. Laboring and delivering on your back causes more harm than good for you and baby. Here's why.
Take back your control. Be confident in your ability as a woman, a nurturer, the portal to the world.
I share my intimate story with you below and hope that I can give you a little extra motivation to trust in your body.
Around 3am on 6/6/21, I had a huge [no doubting this is real labor] contraction. My eyes immediately popped open because I knew it was the day. Tossed and turned until about 5am. Finally dozed off and “slept through” the consistent 10 min apart contractions until 6am. Woke up. Told my husband and our three-year-old that today was the day.
My contractions were consistent throughout the day. They just never let up. Walked around the house, cleaned the fridge, played with the little one, took a nap. Around 4:50PM, I lost my mucus plug. Contractions started getting even more intense. Got in the pool [with the toddler] where I stayed until after she was born.
Kept the midwife in the loop the entire time. She kept saying “mmm, you’re progressing but you don’t sound too bad.” Honestly, that's just how well I was handling those contractions. The last time we hung up from her, I swear the contractions were then on top of each other. BACK TO BACK TO BACK.
I read a lot, watched a lot of home birth videos and I knew regardless of the pain, regardless of the God awful pain, I have to stay calm, relaxed, and simply hum baby down. Every contraction, I’d hum as hard but gently as I needed to. I’d breathe her down. I could feel her with every deep hum. As painful as it was and as much as my body wanted to tense up, I kept saying “this is temporary pain. I am not scared of this pain. This is my body doing what it knows how to do” in my head over and over and over.
My midwife arrived at our home and got settled around 830PMish. About 4 big contractions in. I felt a POP. Water broke. Those contractions that were stacked back to back now felt like one big, never ending contraction. No screaming. No yelling. Just humming. Deep breathing. Humming. “Once it’s over, it’s over.”
At this point, I started to transition. I prepared 9 months for this very moment. Everything matters right now. I must surrender + the pain is about to become so hard, so intense, so unreal that my body will go into shock mode. I will lose control but my body will not. I must trust that my body knows what do regardless of this temporary pain. I do not fear the pain.
All I remember saying is: she’s coming! Around 10:30PM. Her head was pressing firmly + ready to release.
I let go.
And my body completely took over. It wasn’t even me. At this point, during my transition, it was a true outer body experience. I had to *literally* surrender to the pain. I had to surrender it all. I had to trust that at this point, this is the only way she’s coming out. My body said yell and I did. My body said don’t clench and I didn’t. My body said be still and I did. She was coming whether I was ready or not. I could do nothing but let my body do its thing. My body opened and she slid out.
Born in the arms of mom and dad, at home, in the water. Big sis was elated. She got to experience something so natural + warming.
I had NO rips or tears after delivering my sweet 7 pd 2 oz precious girl. No coached pushing. Not one cervix check this whole pregnancy + experience. Just listening to my body and allowing my body to birth.
Born on international home birth day️
Tips for a successful home birth:
If there are people around you who aren’t supportive, do not share your birthing plans with them. This is not the time for you to be scared, frightened, or left to feel as if what you are choosing to do isn’t safe. Unless your are high risk or have underlying conditions, birth is not an emergency. Women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time. Negative feedback and unwarranted suggestions and advice are not ideal for preparing for a life changing experience. Share your birthing plans [only] with those who trust and respect your decision.
Read books and watch videos. I cannot stress this enough. From breathing techniques to understanding what transitioning is and how that will look is absolutely imperative. You could be in labor all day and if you’re screaming and unable to take deep breaths, you will become tired and possibly begin to doubt your birthing ability and this is how/when intervention usually happens. Knowing that you want a home birth is not enough. You must be prepared. You must know your body and the phases of birth.
Affirmations. I ordered some birth affirmation cards from Etsy that arrived about a week and a half before I gave birth. I read through them everyday and kept those affirmations in my head throughout my labor. It is important to feel confident and know that you CAN do it.
Hire a respectable midwife and/or doula.
Do not try to induce labor. When your body and your baby are ready to come, the laboring process will begin. The most important part of a natural home birth is allowing it to be natural. Bounce on a ball, go walking, relax. Do not take castor oil in any form small or large. It is not worth the risk(s). Read about why here.
BREATHE, hum, sing, sway baby down. Whatever keeps you from yelling + screaming. You need all of your energy once it's time to transition. Remember, we are not fearing the pain, the pain is temporary. The pain is not scary. We are in control. You cannot deliver without laboring.
Trust your body. Your body knows what to do. Your body was made for this. You can roar your baby into the world and feel empowered knowing that you trusted your body + instincts. They don't call us mama-bear for nothing.