17 weeks into my pregnancy, I made the switch from OB to Midwife after deciding on pursuing a natural, unmedicated childbirth. This was my first pregnancy, so I had no idea what to expect. For the next 22 or so weeks, I watched tons of birthing videos on YouTube, and read all the stories and guides I could get my hands on. I was ready. Nothing was going to come my way that was unexpected. 
And then…my water broke. 
And the journey of a natural childbirth began.
1. How Fast It Goes – I know this isn’t true for everyone, but it was true in my case. Actually, I’ve found that labor tends to seem to progress quicker in moms who go the unmedicated route. 2 hours after my water broke, contractions began. I labored at home for about 3 hours and got to the hospital when the contractions were unbearable. 
(Now, when I say unbearable, I totally mean bearable. At the time, I questioned my abilities and even asked  screamed for the epidural. But, I’m still alive and well. So, totally bearable.)
But, by the time I got to the hospital, I was already at 8cm! You couldn’t believe my excitement when they rushed me to the room, saying he would be making his arrival very soon. Less than three hours later, and he was here!
2. How Fast It’s Over – This is not just a hill I’d been climbing for 6+ hours. It was a hill I’d been climbing for over 9 months! My slow and steady aches, pains, and discomfort had turned into an intense sprint to the finish. As the contractions grew, so did my excitement. Everything was building to this one single moment, and then…a cry. Your baby is placed on your chest. Your back no longer aches from carrying his weight. Your uterus no longer squeezes the life out of you. Your body no longer screams in pain. As fast as it began, labor is over. The pain is gone. 
3. How Much You Feel – You feel everything. From the first crampy contraction, to your baby exiting your body. You feel it all. I know you expect that going in, but it’s just incredible to actually experience it. Don’t let that scare you though! I knew when my baby was ready to emerge from my body. I felt when I was ready to push – no one had to tell me. It was incredible to listen to my body like that. Little A came out with his hand by his face, and his cord wrapped around both his hand and his neck. It was extremely difficult to get him under my pelvic bone, and it was AMAZING to feel him moving through my body. It also benefited me exponentially. I knew when I was pushing my body to its limits, and when to back off. In turn, I had ZERO tearing! Little A wasn’t a tiny baby either at 8lb 3oz. 
4. I Wanted To Touch My Baby – Birth was such an intense bonding experience. Not just for me and my son as we worked together to bring him into the world, but between all 3 of us as a family. Big A and I were bringing forth life, and our little guy was working so hard to meet us. When you think about it, it’s an extremely emotional experience. Near the end of my pregnancy, I had toyed with the idea of touching my son’s head as he was crowing, but the thought kind of freaked me out. As his head emerged, I just had an overwhelming desire to touch my baby. To feel him. I can still feel the way his little head felt in my hand that day, I’m so happy I had that experience. 
5. How Impressed With Yourself You’ll Be – You just had a baby! YOU. You ALONE! You didn’t need medicine, you didn’t need help. You, your body, and your baby worked together, and you brought a living, breathing little human into the world. Congrats, mama. 
Until next time, 
Savannah
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Author: Savannah Baker

Savannah is a full-time mom of one, and can often be found outside on one of her various adventures. She enjoys carving her own path through natural and holistic living, as well as discovering ways to use food as medicine.

  • Oh, I can't even imagine being in labor for over 24 hours. How exhausted you must have been. C-Section births are something else though, and I LOVE reading about them <3

  • Yes-it's such an empowering feeling!

  • That is so true, and I'm so sorry to hear you had to have an episiotomy. I pushed for over 2 hours, and I feel that my midwife was absolutely perfect for my birth. Every birth really is sooo different, as is every woman's body, and every baby. There are so many factors that can affect the outcome.

  • Definitely! Every single birth is different (:

  • I'm sorry you didn't get the birth of your dreams-it can definitely take some time to recover from. I hope you had your birth explained to you properly, and were able to work through all the emotions afterwards. <3

  • WOW! Less than two hours? How impressive. I had no idea an induction could go so fast. And yes, I totally know what you mean by being in the zone <3

  • Yesssss! I barely slept for like 2 days because of the high, haha! <3

  • Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear you had pre-e. That, honestly, was one of my biggest fears all throughout my pregnancy. I've heard induction is AWFUL, so way to go on not having an epidural!!! <3

  • Yes! <3

  • It truly is amazing, isn't it? My body amazes me all the time, haha. Thank you for your lovely comment <3

  • How awesome that your labor was so short (: I'm so sorry to hear about your tear :/
    My midwife massaged my perineum with Vit. C oil all throughout my labor and delivery and I really think that helped!

  • This is so interesting. Definitely my experience was soo different than yours. I had 2 c-section. The first one was an emergency c-section and the second one was a programmed c-section). I had epidural for both and the first one took for ever!! 24hrs in labour and only manage to do 4 cms I think!! Was a nightmare!! But I agree with number 3, 4 and 5!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS and for always commenting a lot!! You are the best! Hope to see you again this week, 🙂

  • I love reading about birth and this is a lovely post and so true. I remember walking out of the hospital later in the day when I had O and thinking "I just had A BABY. I rock!" #KCACOLS

  • So nice to hear that you had a positive birth experience, and that it was just what you wanted! My son came out the same as yours, with his hand by his face and the cord wrapped round, and I needed an episiotomy and ventouse to help him out – goes to show that each birth and each situation is different! x #KCACOLS

  • I can definitely see a benefit of feeling and understanding and having your body KNOW what to do. Mine didn't know anything haha. Being induced was something else. But who knows what may happen next time around.

    #KCACOLS

  • Wow what a great experience you had! I wish mine was as positive #kcacols

  • Love this. I had such a post birth high! I was induced and no one told me it could go fast, and although I was contracting for 12 hours my active labour was about 1hr20mins! They did offer to let me feel her head but I think I was so in the zone at the time that I just didn't want to. I don't regret that, though, so it's ok! #KCACOLS

  • Love your last point especially – I remember feeling on such a post birth high, I felt like superwoman! It lasted for days afterwards too. #KCACOLS

  • Great post, thanks for sharing your birth story! I had hoped for an unmedicated birth but ended up being induced early for pre-eclampsia. I managed without epidural, that was my moment of feeling impressed with myself haha! Great post #KCACOLS

  • So true! Felt like it won a marathon after both my deliveries xx #KCACOLS

  • What a great post, I can relate to this. My baby was born in a midwife-led unit and like you, whilst the contractions went on for hours, the birth itself was so quick. That's lovely that you touched his head. And you're right, I was so impressed with myself, I didn't know I could do that 😉 #KCACOLS

  • Congratulations. I had a natural water birth with Arthur, no pain relief and he was a similar weight at 8lb 1oz and labour was 4 hours so I can relate to this. unfortunately I had a really bad tear though, but they said afterwards that if I'd given birth out of the water this probably wouldn't have happened! #KCACOLS

    http://Www.arthurwears.com

  • Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment! I cannot imagine dealing with PUPPS, I've heard that it's terrible though. I wanted to deliver in the birthing tub, but my contractions got so intense and I was so hot and sweaty that the warm water made me claustrophobic and even more uncomfortable. I have also heard that pitocin contractions are way worse than natural ones so, who knows, you may not even need the epidural next time! You could just go in with the plan on going as long as you can without the epidural and then getting it if you need one – no big deal!(: Thanks again for reading and sharing some of your birth story with me.

  • Thanks so much for writing about your birth experience! I also switched from an OB to a midwife part way through my pregnancy planning a natural childbirth in a hospital and laboring in water, but I ended up with PUPPS pregnancy rash (horrrrrrible) keeping me from laboring in water, and, unrelated, ended up needing to be induced a few days early. I ended up getting an epidural and had a wonderful birth experience. Because my experience was great with an epidural, I'm trying to decide if I want to attempt a natural birth next time, or just plan on having the epidural. I feel like since I now know it can be pain free and still great, it would be hard for me to not get the epidural… but I love reading things like this while I'm making the decision! It's neat to think about actually being able to tell where your baby is while pushing and also knowing when to lay off pushing to prevent tearing. So ANYWAY, great article! 🙂