Hello readers, I want to spend today’s family friday telling you my story… not many of you know, but I was lucky enough to have a natural birth. I say lucky because it was one of the most beautiful times of my life. I did it…but not many women are able to {due to complications or just not knowing that was an option}. Anyways, I hope that when you read this it makes you aware of all the other choices that you have when you’re expecting. It is not as scary as society tries to make it out to be…

“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear.”

-Jane Weideman

I was due November 12th and when that day came, I was a big balloon waiting to pop. November 13th came then the 15th then the 18th…still no baby. After receiving pictures of a friend’s birth on the 18th, I started getting very mild cramps. I texted my midwife Beth to give her a heads up and then also text messaged my mother. She decided to drive down from Lindale, which is two hours away, and spend the night with my sister who lives about 30 minutes from me. Shane was under a lot of stress that day, due to a project in his graduate class that was due the next day {Nov 19}. I told him I thought I was in labor and he smiled and said “Are you just saying that because Brooke had her baby today?”, I was smiling thinking that that could very well be the cause, was I in La-La land? I spent the day cleaning and getting prepared just incase this was the real deal. I decided to get some rest and around 1:00 a.m. I woke up and could not go back to sleep. I am pretty sure I was texting Beth around this time and sending her questions and such, I do remember her telling me to try and get some rest because I was going to need it soon.

birthingpool

My contractions started to get pretty bad around 3 a.m. and I could not lie in bed any longer. These contractions were not horrible, but the fact that I was “cleaning house” was not what I was expecting. With each contraction I was throwing up, peeing and you know… umm that too. I was embarrassed and did not want Shane in the bathroom with me because I knew I needed to let my body relax and do what it obviously needed to do. I specifically remember sitting on the toilet with throw up on my round belly crying and saying “this is not the beautiful labor I wanted!” {I am so glad I can laugh about it now}. I was sending my contraction times to Beth and she was just telling me to keep timing them and text her in an hour. I finally got to the point where I was waiting for her to tell me to come to the birthing center, however my contractions were still not consistent enough. My biggest fear was getting to the birthing center thinking I was a 9 and only being a 3.

After waiting another hour on the toilet, I sent her my contraction log again and she told me to keep timing and text her in an hour. I felt very discouraged and even told her that I felt stupid for not knowing how hard it was going to be. She gave me confidence and told me to take a bath…well once I got into the bath I got a really bad contraction and ran to the toilet to throw up, as I was doing that my water broke. It was the weirdest noise but I remember how excited I was. I texted Beth telling her that my water broke, she replied by asking what color it was. I was unsure of the color because I had a blue towel under me, so I wouldn’t slip getting out of the tub. I was going into great detail about how my water broke and that as I was throwing up I accidentally pushed and it made a weird popping noise. The text I received was “What you’re pushing? You should have told me that an hour ago… we need to get you to the birthing center!” PRAISE THE LORD the words I was dying to hear! I went into the bedroom where my darling Shane was peacefully sleeping {grr!} and told him we need to get our butts to the birthing center- it was time. My discouragement quickly left after I knew that I had already passed the hardest part of the contractions, like I said, I didn’t want to go in expecting to be a 9 and only be a 3.

avaaa

After what seemed like every red light and me trying as hard as I could to not push during the contractions we finally arrived at Gentle Beginnings. We were sitting in the car waiting for Beth, when Kennasha, the backup midwife got there first. She had the sweetest most soothing voice ever. She really helped calm me down during my contractions. Beth walked in the room and quickly had me lay down to see where I was at…well a head was visible and it was time to get into the tub.

I was able to talk and be cheery in between contractions and I was just getting so excited to meet my beautiful angel. I remember sitting in the nice warm relaxing tub & thinking out loud…”should I call Monica?” {can’t remember her exact words but when along the lines of} “Oh yes!!…we need to do that, Kennasha will you call her” …Monica, incase you were wondering, was my birth photographer. I highly recommend having one of these, even though Ava was born before she got there…those pictures are still amazing and beautiful! After about twenty minutes of pushing, her head was finally out. The rest of her just slid out, like a slippery squid-like feeling and Shane just pushed her up for me to catch. Looking down into the water I saw for the first time my daughter. Her arms were out waiting for me to grab her and wrap her up into my arms. I am not going to lie, I totally imagined a Gerber baby as a newborn and she was far from that…but still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!

avaleigh

I soon got out of the tub and birthed my placenta, which was weird. I did tear a tad but Beth numbed me up really good and I was able to pee without any pain. YES! I had the best experience with the birthing center, they were wonderful and so attentive to my needs. Four hours later we were home and in our own bed with the new little addition.

Ava Leigh is now 15 months, and not a day goes by without someone telling us how alert and advanced she is for her age. I truly believe it was due to the all natural pregnancy and labor. This is the way my body was intended to give birth and this is the way I will continue to give birth. I am so proud of myself and know that this was my biggest accomplishment. If any readers are thinking about a home birth or birthing center birth, please feel free to email me & I will talk about questions and concerns that you might have, as well as help get you connected with the right people in your area.

Thank you for reading one of my favorite chapters in my life. Enjoy your weekend & make sure to snuggle extra long with your littles today!

Ashleigh is a stay at home mom who enjoys blogging about balancing the mind through meditation and conscious parenting, the body through plant based eating and yoga, and the soul through up cycling and sustainability. Keep your life balanced & subscribe to her weekly emails, like OmLivin’ on FB or check her out on Google+ for more.

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