So to say an “all-natural hospital birth” might sound like a contradiction, but it’s basically occupying a hospital bed for a night.
At the request of my husband, I decided to have my children in a hospital setting. He was, of course, afraid of complications that could be life-threatening, and being the loving wife that I am, I honored his request. Giving up my dreams of laboring in a tub in my living room and then crawling into my own bed for the night with my new bundle of joy. However, after my first experience in the hospital as a patient (not an employee),
I have to admit that it was kind of fun being on the other side of the fence! I liked being a real patient for a day. No worries, just hanging out with my babies and some really awesome medical staff. I always bring chocolate to my births so I have lots of people coming in to say hello. Write that one down — nurses LOVE treats!
But, enough blabbering.
I delivered all three of my babies in a hospital. I just did it MY way. No medications, minimal assistance. I basically told them to worry about the others, that we had this! I had a doula with us for the first two, and then my husband took over for the third. We make a great team in the delivery room! I had AWFUL back labor with all of my births and he applied counter-pressure to my lower back with his hands that cut the pain in half! Write that one down too!
In my experience, you are more present with each subsequent birth. By my third, I was actually able to remember it all! I am telling my story here…
My All Natural Hospital birth
I was one week overdue with my first, five days with my second, and three days with my third. So, naturally, with my third labor, I had been trying all of the tricks to get the show started. Luckily I have a craniosacral therapist friend who came to my house the night before I had my son. She did some cranio work on me and had me do some inversions….on our steps. That was a sight to see! I felt a little crampy after she left, but no “real” signs of labor, so I huffed and puffed and went to bed. Another day still pregnant.
Woke up the next day feeling totally normal. Bummer. I sent the kiddos to our nearby in-home daycare so I could work. Went for a 4 mile run on the trails because it was an amazingly beautiful fall day. After my run, I started getting a little bit of low back pain. Promising!
Here I am right after my run
I had a midwife appointment that day so I showered up and headed in. I told them that things might be starting. They checked me, 4cm dilated! Nothing going on though. Well, naturally I requested a membrane strip. Um yeah, that took care of things. The cramps really picked up. I downloaded the contraction timing app for my phone in the parking lot and started timing the contractions on my drive home. Not the best idea. Almost had to pull over once and breathe through them.
Why did I go home? Because I had some laundry to fold! Of course!
12: 30: I cleaned the kitchen, swept the floor, and went downstairs to get some work done. On my labor ball, I went between working on my computer, folding the last load of laundry, and timing contractions while breathing through them. I put my suitcase by the door so I was ready to rumble! If you want to know what I brought in my suitcase, check out this post that I did all about that!
1: 00: My husband arrived home and buzzed around me as I doused myself in essential oils.
1:30: I started getting very annoyed at the sheer number of socks that I was folding, so I knew it was getting close to time to head in (I get really cranky when labor is progressing). We jumped in the car and I started texting my team of people helping me to make this my own version of crunchy labor: my chiropractor, my craniosacral therapist (who also happened to be my birth photographer), my Mom, and my placental encapsulation expert. We were ready to go!
2:00: All checked in at the hospital and seriously breathing through contractions. The hubs put counter pressure on my back with each one. Lifesaver! Erin, my photographer arrived and started to capture my labor on film. I kept oiling myself up with all of the essential oils that I brought along.
3:00: Moved from triage into my labor room, complete with giant labor tub. I jumped right in. The water felt great, but I could not find a good place in the tub so that Luke could reach my lower back. So, out of the tub and onto that lumpy mechanical hospital bed. Soon the animal in me took over. Anyone who has had a natural birth will know exactly what I am talking about. During contractions, I was in outer space, but between contractions, I was calm and conversational (I would like to thank this Hypnobirthing book for that calm). Keeping your head in the game helps you to maintain control and with the techniques, I learned in my Hypnobirthing book I was able to maintain a level of calm that made my labor enjoyable. Of course, I also kept asking my husband to oil me up with all of my essential oils. What a great smelling labor room I had!
I moved around the room and worked my way through to my neck cervical check. PLEASE let me be a 10. PLEASE! I was 9.5. Good enough. Getting “pushy,” my midwife asked me? YES!
4:50: Let’s DO THIS! On all fours, like an animal in labor, I started to push. I remembered what my doula had told me with my previous two births: keep your voice low and moan those babies out. If you get too high, you can start to lose control. So, I moaned through those pushes like a cow. I seriously felt like I sounded like a cow! Slow and low…Oooooo!
5:01: HE arrived. We did not know if he was a boy or a girl. Came out crying. Ten fingers, ten toes. Perfection. Enter: endorphins and oxytocin! My favorite part about natural labor, you transcend into a state of nirvana. A natural chemical high brought on by your body’s response to the pain. Bliss. Baby in my arms and endorphin high.
5:30: My Mom and the kiddos arrive to meet their new baby brother. I get cleaned up and walk to the new room where I will spend the night.
7:00: Everyone heads home and I settle in with my baby in my hospital room. I was lucky enough to get the biggest room on the unit with wrap-around windows and a beautiful view. I put on my icepack witch hazel “diaper” and headed to bed right alongside my new little bundle of joy.
8:00: The endorphins are amazing! The natural high on life is so blissful and now I have a little baby to celebrate with!
I think pregnancy and birth are the times in our lives when we should strive to be as healthy as possible, so we produce the healthiest babies. For this reason, I put together a Motherhood Page on my blog with all of my best tips, tricks, and information that I found helpful through my three pregnancies and natural births! Please share this page with others, we need to get the word out and keep our mothers and babies as healthy as possible to ensure a healthy future! XOXO
If you would like to see more photos from my birth, you can check them out on my photographer’s page Barstad Photography.
I would love to hear about your labor and delivery in the comments below. Please share your story!