Did your child’s birth go the way you hoped it would?
Mine did. For the most part.
I was pregnant for the first time in my life, so of course I didn’t know what to really expect when the contractions finally started after 10 months, but I felt absolutely ready to take on the challenge of child birth.
I had taken a 12-week Bradley class with my husband that was given by my doula, and that was the best preparation (and investment). I learned so much about what actually happens during childbirth, what to expect, what being in transition means, to trust my body…
I ate what the Bradley method suggests you eat to promote optimal health for mom and baby, and I practiced Kegels and squats and other exercises almost every day to get my body in shape specifically for the birth (strong legs for squatting, etc.)
My husband was a yoga teacher at the time and I took my last yoga class the day before my son was born. I felt healthy, beautiful, and strong.
I labored at home, without my doula, for 7 hours. I didn’t think of contractions as pain, but as just uncomfortable contractions that were doing what they were supposed to, and that mindset helped immensely. I tried to just work with what my body was doing.
By the time my doula arrived at our home, I was almost pushing. We rushed to the hospital, my doctor ran some red lights to make it, and my son was born 20 minutes after I entered the hospital.
I had the birth I wanted — natural, without drugs, and with minimal interventions. I had a detailed birth plan and knew not to go to the hospital early to avoid unnecessary interventions.
I labored at home in the positions I favored, I ate and drank what I wanted, and I brought my son home from the hospital 7 hours later to get to know him and learn to breastfeed on my own terms.
Ideally, I would have liked to not have an episiotomy, but it was necessary in the end. The next time I would prepare for a natural water birth at home.
I would love for other moms to have the same empowering experience I had when giving birth to my son. I think getting educated about birth and your rights and options, and having a support system in place, are a great foundation to having the best birth experience possible.
Childbirth is such an incredible moment, and I’d love to know what went through your mind when you held your baby for the first time?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs October 17 to November 13, 2011. A random winner will be announced by November 15, 2011.