Since getting pregnant with Hazel, I have loved hearing people birth stories and their thoughts on labor and delivery. It’s such an amazing and special time for every mom, but it can also be overwhelming and a bit scary. The Let’s Be Honest Mamas group is back together this month (see our past posts here) to talk all thing labor and delivery. We’re sharing our own personal experiences, as well as giving some advice to expectant moms.
- Did you have a birth plan? If so, what was it. Did your labor go as planned? I went into my my first pregnancy not wanting to have a birth plan. I felt like you never know what is going to happen during delivery, so I wanted to be ready for anything, and not have any set plans. I’m a super planned person and get really stressed when things don’t go as planned. I knew that for my personality, going into it without a plan and with an open mind, would help keep my stress levels down, if that makes any sense. My only plan was to trust the doctors and nurses.
- Share your thoughts on a natural birth vs. a medicated birth vs. a c-section. I think any way you give birth is beautiful and amazing. Every person’s body, pain tolerance, labor etc. is different, so you have to do what is best for you. Some women have bodies made for birthing babies, some women need pain medicine to help their body relax in order to give birth, and some women need to have a c-section in order to have a safe delivery for both themselves and the baby. I always hear people say “Women have been having babies without pain medicine since the beginning of time. It’s what our bodies are made to do.” But before modern medicine, a lot of women and/or babies used to die during childbirth. I think that if you need or want modern medicine to help you have a safe and healthy delivery for both mom and baby, there is no shame in it. I’ve also heard people refer to c-sections as the “easy way out”, and I think that is very demeaning, rude, and ignorant to say. I can’t compare vaginal birth to a c-section, but I do know that c-sections are painful in their own right and require a lot of recovery time, on top of taking care of a newborn.
- Briefly share your birth story. Hazel was breech my entire pregnancy so she was a scheduled c-section. It’s such a weird feeling to know the exact day your life will change. The night before, I barely got any sleep and I remember thinking that maybe I wanted her to stay in a little longer. You can read her full birth story here where I share more on my feeling leading up to the c-section, what the process is like, etc. Because Hazel was a c-section, I’ll be having another c-section for baby girl #2. With Hazel, I never felt one contraction, not even braxton hicks, so I’m kind of hoping I get to feel a contraction this time so I at least have an idea of what it feels like. Although most people say I’m crazy for wanting that. Ha!
- What advice would you give an expectant mother in regards to child birth? I have two pieces of advice: The first is to have a support person with you who can advocate for you during labor. Whether that be your spouse, a family member, your best friend, a doula, etc., Have someone who knows what you want and who you trust to help you make the best decision based on what the doctors are saying and based off of what your birth plan looks like. Before I knew I would have to have a c-section, my best friend was going to be my support person until my mom and sister could arrive to take over. I knew seeing me in pain and having to pay attention to what the nurses were saying would be too much for Cody to handle, so I wanted my best friend to be there as my voice. The second piece of advice is to remember that at the end of the day, a healthy mom and baby is all that matters, even if the path to get their didn’t go as you had planned. I know several moms who had a very detailed birth plan and when it didn’t go as they had expected, they really struggled, almost like they had to mourn the loss of the birth they thought they’d have. If you want an all natural birth, but end up getting medicine or having to have c-section, remember that you got your ultimate goal, a baby. Keep the focus on your baby and you can’t go wrong 🙂
- Are there any books or classes you would recommend to an expectant mother? I honestly didn’t read any books or take any classes throughout my pregnancy with Hazel, and I haven’t read any books or taken any classes with this pregnancy either. I know there are a lot of great books out their about pregnancy and delivery, but I think what’s even more important than preparing for pregnancy and delivery (you have nurses and doctors to help with that part) is to prepare for parenting. Have you educated yourself on how children develop and what they need to develop? Do you know how to play with your newborn and why it’s so important? Do you know infant cpr? I’ll be doing a blog post sharing mine and my moms (she teaches child development and early childhood education) favorite parenting books in an upcoming blog post, but one of our favorites is Love & Logic.
Be sure to check out these amazing mama’s blogs for their stories, tips, and advice: