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Mom to Mom: My TWO Different Yet Beautiful Births

Posted by Becca on 9/30/2014 to Mom Madness
In a couple of weeks, I will celebrate the fifth anniversary of thebirthing day I became a Mom: in other words, my daughter’s fifth birthday. As usual, I’ll spend the day reminiscing about the precious details of the day she was born. The night before, I’ll remember how I walked nervously into the hospital, ready to be induced. During the night, I’ll remember pacing the halls as the first contractions started coming. At eight in the morning, I’ll remember how I finally got the epidural that I’d been begging for since six. At four thirty in the afternoon, I’ll remember starting to push, and at six thirty four in the evening, I’ll remember the painful and difficult vacuum assisted push that brought my beautiful, big little girl into the world. I’ll remember how I saw her squishy face for the first time, and held her for mere seconds before she was whisked to the other side of the room to be cleaned, vaccinated, and tested.

And then, I’ll remember when they brought her to me again— wrapped, cleaned, and perfect— and we snuggled and I knew I would never let her go. I’ll remember how we tried to nurse for the first time, hours later and how it took us an hour, but we figured it out and it was amazing.

baby birth

Hers was a beautiful birth.

Hers was a beautiful birth. It was an amazing and emotional experience where I was introduced to love in a way I never had before and where my heart became permanently attached to a human being I didn’t really even know yet. I wouldn’t trade that day and the euphoria that accompanied it for anything in the world.

My son’s birth was quite different. As beautiful and magical as my daughter’s birth had been, it wasn’t as healthy for me or for her as it could have been. The many interventions that happened could have taken a turn for the worst, leading us to a C-section or worse. I’m not saying that some C-sections aren’t necessary or that unnecessary C-section births aren’t beautiful, but there are many risks involved to both mother and baby that aren’t part of a natural birth. Also, delivering your first child via C-section or even with an epidural can set the stage for more births with interventions. These interventions always come with risks for mother and baby.

My son came on his own. The contractions were mine, the pain was mine, the pushing was mine. My body did what it was made to do in its own beautiful timing and cadence. It was textbook—if that is even a thing. Babies come when they come and he happened to come in the progression that doctors prefer. It was a midwife-assisted hospital birth. My midwife was amazing. She listened, affirmed, and followed my birth plan like it was law. My son’s birth started in the tub with the gentle swelling and waning of early labor contractions, and ended on the bed, a place I chose to be, where I delivered him lying on my side with no stirrups, no bed transformations, and minimal monitoring. In between was a series of moving, pacing, swaying, eating, and curling up in a ball to try to sleep. After only four contractions, he popped out on his own in a rush of fiery, bone-moving pain followed by a slippery warmth that I’ll never forget. He curled up naked against my skin for the next hour or two learning to breastfeed and snuggle while the nurses and midwife patiently waited until I was ready to give him up.

water birth

His was a beautiful birth.

His was a beautiful birth. It was an amazing and emotional experience where I was re-introduced to a mother’s love and where my heart became permanently attached to a human being I didn’t really even know yet. I wouldn’t trade that day and the euphoria that accompanied it for anything in the world. I love the memories equally. I remember both births with fondness. The excitement when it was “time,” the trial of labor, followed by the joy of delivery. Though I wish I’d done my daughter the service of letting her come naturally, it doesn’t make her birth less beautiful or less moving. I’m still blown away by the memory of her tiny body, the scent of her soft skin, and the way it felt when she latched on for the first time and became entirely dependent upon me in a brand-new way. For both deliveries, I did the best I could. I prepared myself for labor and delivery in every way I knew how and faced it with all the bravery I had. I never intended any interventions for either birth. The difference is the education I received prior to delivery. I didn’t believe my body could do labor when it came time to deliver my daughter. I fully believed in my body’s abilities when it was my son’s turn.

birth When preparing for my daughter’s birth, I was told to expect pain and I learned that I might not be able to handle it. I was given many pain medication options and told that there are lots of routine interventions that are to be expected during birth. I felt that the doctors knew best and that I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. When I was eight days late and so tired of being pregnant and my obstetrician asked me if I wanted to have the baby that night, I was like, “Oh yeah!” When preparing for my son’s birth, I knew more about what I needed to research.

I’d learned where the education prior to my first birth had failed. With my midwife and the wise writings of people like Ina Mae Gaskin, I discovered that my body is, in fact, capable of delivering the baby it grows. I learned that you can’t really put pregnancy or labor on a set timeline. Your due date is a suggestion. The baby will come when it’s ready. The duration of each stage of labor is also a suggestion.

Again, each baby’s entrance into the world follows a different timeline and most of them don’t really need medical assistance. Labor and delivery is not, in fact, a medical thing and shouldn’t be treated as such. With that information under my belt, I prayed, prepared, and learned coping strategies for labor. I entered the hospital room knowing that my body was capable and I was able to trust it throughout the entire labor. My labor with my son progressed quickly. I think this is mostly because it was my second birth, but I also know that the fact that I surrendered to each contraction and embraced each difficult change and transition without fear helped to lesson the amount of time I spent laboring. The difference between my two, perfectly and equally beautiful births was my prior education and preparation. I went into the first with fear of the process, and into the second ready to embrace it. I entered the first delivery not believing I was capable, and the second knowing I was.

While preparing for birth, you should really be as educated and empowered as possible. Know your options. Know what you’re capable of, and make a birth plan that you and your partner are familiar with that you give to your midwife or doctor ahead of time. If you have a doctor who seems to scoff at your expectations, switch doctors. That’s not the kind of person or the kind of energy you want present during delivery because your body responds to your emotions. If you’re stressed or upset, delivery is going to be more difficult and a presence like that will not be relaxing. The first step is in picking a doctor or midwife who believes in you and has beliefs along the same lines as yours. This labor is something you will be doing, not your doctor/ midwife. Their job is just to assist, or intervene only in the case of an emergency. Your job is to deliver the baby and you are the one who should have all the choice in how that should be done.

Comments

Date 9/30/2014
Ashley Seymour
Thank you for sharing your birth stories. Neither of my children came on their own. With both it was medically necessary to be induced. Now I am due in 4 weeks with #3. I'm hoping this baby comes when he's ready...hoping I won't have to be induced. :-) Birth is beautiful.
Date 10/3/2014
Nicole Carrasco
Birth is beautiful. :) I had to be induced with my son due to preeclampsia. Even then his birth was beautiful.
Date 10/3/2014
Mesha C.
What two very different stories with two very special endings. Thanks for sharing.
Date 10/4/2014
Cindy B
Blessings... thanks for sharing. I, too, had a hospital birth followed by a homebirth... both beautiful but very different experiences.
Date 10/4/2014
Sarah Elyce
I loved this piece. As a soon-to-be first time mom, I love reading different birth stories. It makes me more and more comfortable with what will happen.
Date 10/7/2014
Andrea Gardner
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I had 5 very different birth experiences. My fourth was scary and not so great. i was so thankful that my fifth was amazing and had healing in it for me.
Date 10/7/2014
Brenda P
Thank you for sharing. I agree, each birth is special and beautiful, regardless of how it occurs.
Date 10/8/2014
jilliann m
Great post. I have had two c sections now and while it was not what I wanted, time has helped me move past it a little and I'm grateful that I have both my babies no matter how they got here.
Date 10/9/2014
Tanya
Thank you for sharing this post! Mothers need to decide what is the best path for their babies' health and for their own. Sometimes a hospital is necessary, and sometimes it's not. We should all support each other. Birth is a miracle, no matter where it occurs.
Date 10/9/2014
Anel Winney
Thank you for sharing. This was beautiful. I could't agree more about effect the energy that you and those in the birthing room has on labor and delivery. I read Ina Mae Gaskin's book too, have written down all the statements that speak to me, and hope will get me through my first labor. May I ask how else did you prepare? Thank you!
Date 10/9/2014
Janet
Very moving. Research and do what's best for your family; be surrounded by support, love, and positive energy. Thank you for sharing your 2 birth stories.
Date 10/10/2014
Karla Morton
Every birth is unique
Date 10/14/2014
Melissa S
I love reading birth stories! The births of my children were completely different too - 24 hours vs 3 hours! Both had complications that caused the births to go differently than I envisioned, but both babies were born naturally and healthy. I was grateful for an OB and nursing staff who worked with us and respected our wishes while keeping me and my babies safe. For those giving birth for the first time, be prepared to go with the flow and for change to happen, but do your homework so you are educated on situations and choices before giving birth. :)
Date 10/14/2014
Roxanne Freeborn
Takes me back to our special birthing day! I love reading other women's birth stories, feel so connected through this wonderful time.
Date 10/16/2014
Kim Moore
Wonderful! I am doing a midwife birth this time around as well to try and let things go at their own pace. I hope I have as fond of a memory as you, and I love how you see both births as beautiful even though you had interventions with the first.
Date 10/17/2014
Janet Pratt
All birth is beautiful!
Date 10/17/2014
Erin B.
Wonderful stories! Great that you were able to have these experiences and were strong enough and courageous enough to do it naturally the second time around - still not sure I will be into that myself.
Date 10/17/2014
Aimee
Beautiful stories! I wish everyone knew how possible this truly is! Congrats on your beautiful births and babies!
Date 10/17/2014
Susan Spencer
Great stories! Each one of my three births were different but all gave me beautiful babies in the end.
Date 10/18/2014
Christina Royall-Elam
What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing, I always love to hear people's experiences.
Date 10/19/2014
Jaclyn Kolesar
Thank you for sharing your stories. I am due February 2015 with my first and am filled with nerves and excitement. I very much wish to have a natural birth. It's nice to hear from someone who has experienced birth in different ways providing inspiration and reassurance to trust our bodies in what they were made to do.
Date 10/20/2014
lindsey Moore
I enjoyed this story so much!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Date 10/24/2014
Sarah
such a beautiful post! I had two emergency c sections they weren't ideal and what I had originally planned but it brought both of my beautiful daughters into this world so I can't think but be thankful for them. Especially after I almost died after my second daughter was born.
Date 11/7/2014
Jessica M
Thank you for sharing your story :) I do think that a lot of first time moms are misinformed about that whole process of labor & delivery. I feel like the only reason why I was well prepared for the birth of my son was because I went to nurse's school & had to study the topic in depth in school (I even got to sit in on a few births, so exciting!). I gave birth to my son a full month before his due date. My water broke about 45 minutes before my first 'real' contraction. My husband & I went to the hospital after gathering a few things I hadn't already packed & showering (me husband knew he would need to take one before going to the hospital, otherwise it would have been a while until he had a chance to take another one). I had a natural birth & only spent 10 hours in labor. I was told that it would take a while for my sweet little boy to learn how to nurse & would likely have a weak suck because he was a little premature, but he caught on right away & had a strong suck (I guess he was really hungry!). I think it definitely helped things go more smoothly than they could have to be well informed, to have a plan for dealing with discomfort, & to keep in mind that the pain had a purpose. I also know that my outlook on pain helped a lot; pain has never bothered me too much & I kind of looked forward to the pain of labor because it was a new experience, a new kind of pain I had never felt before, full of beauty & purpose. The pain of labor & delivery is so unique in that way, it has a special purpose, it has a beginning, it has a definite end that you can count on & it brings about a wonderful outcome :)
Date 11/9/2014
Jessica Lawson
Thank you for sharing! Every birth story is beautiful in its own way!
Date 1/6/2015
Sarah Hayes
they are both lovely stories and I can def relate to them. I feel like my second would be a lot more knowledgeable with more of my own decisions made
Date 1/19/2015
Candace Suarez
Beautiful story, thank you for sharing.
Date 2/28/2015
Theresa Hover
Thank you for sharing, I have less anxiety about the birth process everytime I read someone else's story :)
Date 5/30/2015
Camille W
I. Love. This. I had my first baby 10 weeks ago and I prepared using Hypnobirthing. I knew I wanted to go into labour and delivery without fear and trepidation, trusting my body and the process, and that's exactly what Hypnobirthing did for me. I think that regardless of how moms get to that place of fearlessness and preparedness, it's so important. Thanks for sharing your story.
Date 6/6/2015
katie miller
For my next birth I want to go to a birth center so I could have a different experience.

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