Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Story Worth Sharing

I am so excited.

I have been offered the most amazing opportunity! I will be sharing the story of Evey's birth at Central Baptist's Laboring the Natural way class. On May 14th, our family will make its way back to the same class we attended almost a year ago as students... but this time, I'm the one with the experience! :)

I have a half an hour to share photos and tell all about the process of my labor and delivery. I hope that my story can help people realize how amazing childbirth is.

This time last year, I was unsure if I would be able to even have natural labor. I have a low tolerance for pain, and so I was going to "try" to do it, but would get the epidural if needed.

My turning point was the day I learned to make hairbows. It was a big hairbow making party of people that I knew through my parent's church, but they were more of aquaintences. They were talking about natural labor and I mentioned that I wanted to try. I will never forget the response I received. One of the girls said they'd never heard of someone "trying and succeeding." It was something that you couldn't try at, but you had to set your mind to it.

At that moment, I knew that pain meds were not an option. I wanted what was best for my daughter, and no matter what, I was going to give it to her.

People thought I was crazy. I had so many people ask me why I didn't want to take the easy way out. I had people who thought my tolerance for pain was too low.

But, my mind was set and there was no changing it.
     The benefits of natural labor far, far outweighed the benefits of an epidural or Stadol.

-Natural labor is not invasive, so there would be little-to-no side effects for my daughter.
-Pain medications enter your bloodstream, and reach the baby. So without the drugs, Evey would be more alert after birth.
-I would be able to push effectively, which meant shorter labor, since I could feel what would be happening.
-I would be able to get up and move around during labor since I wouldn't need a catheter and monitor.
-Christopher could be more involved as he helped me breathe through the contractions as opposed to just holding my legs and telling me when to push.
-You can walk around almost immediately after delivery, which makes it easier to care for your newborn.

Something I wouldn't understand until after enduring natural labor is that many women have a strong feeling of empowerment during labor and a sense of accomplishment afterward. For some women, being in charge helps lessen their perception of pain.

During my labor classes, our instructor, Annalisa, told us that the biggest reason for the pain is because of unknown. The more you know about delivering naturally, the more prepared you are, and the easier it is to manage your pain. So Christopher and I dutifully practiced my hee-hee-hooos and even though I felt silly sitting on the birthing ball breathing rythmically with him, I'm so glad we did.

A common misconception of "Lamaze" (for lack of a better word) is that it is supposed to take the pain away. That's not what the different breathing patterns are for at all. You use the different techniques as a way to distract from the pain. Positions like squatting, using the birthing ball, hands-and-knees and slow dance are more for assisting the baby with lowering into the birth canal and allwoing gravity to do what it does best rather than relieve pain... but they do help!

I would not change a single thing about my delivery. I conquered my fears, I made it through the pain. I had an amazing partner and delivery nurse who were with me every step of the way.

Since my delivery, I am an avid promoter of the amazing gift that women have the opportunity to give themselves and their children. I will tell anyone who will listen about how amazing my experience was!

I can't wait to be able to share my passion with a room full of pregnant women!!

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