When I had my first baby, I remember when the contractions got to be too much to bear and I was told I would need Pitocin to intensify my contractions. I broke down and got an epidural.
With my second pregnancy, we were in the midst of a pandemic and I wanted to stay as far away from hospitals as possible to cut down on germs. Hubby and I discussed my desire to have an unmedicated labor. He was nervous, but he supported my decision. Here is what it was like and here is how to get through it!
The contractions were getting to be so intense I wasn’t even keeping track and as they came into my body it was not specific to any area but the entire lower part of me. I started moaning and groaning my way through them and try as I might, I wasn’t able to relax. I distinctly felt my toes tighten up and constrict. I started to fall down on my knees in the tabletop position, with hubby behind massaging my back. Every time the contractions happened, the pain caused me to tighten up. Hubby had to continually put pressure to ease the pain while I writhed in agony.
Ok, I know that paragraph was hard to read – but I intend to keep things real in this post. The truth is, no matter how much you prepare for unmedicated childbirth, in my experience – it’s going to hurt. I did the Hypnobabies (click for 20% off, through Oct. 31, 2022!) course for both my pregnancies and I’m so happy I did. The program really prepared me to advocate for myself, and prep in a way that was focused on positivity and the fact that my body could give birth, no interventions required. And that was indeed (most) of my experience during my pregnancies. I also loved the affirmations recording that I listened to during the last month of my pregnancy for each of my pregnancies, and all of the hypnosis I did really did put me into a state of zen for the delivery. But it still hurt and here is how I got through it.
- Focus on at least one thing to get you through the pain. For me, when the contractions were getting stronger and it was time to push, I remember thinking of myself as a primal animal, who was meant to push a baby out of my body. Acting like a human went out the window.
- Hire a doula. A doula is an essential partner during an unmedicated childbirth. I had one for my first delivery and since the second delivery was during the pandemic and the number of people in the room were limited, we didn’t have one. But hubby was an essential and solid partner for me, because he learned so much during our first experience!
- Feeling like you are going to throw up, pooping, and other bodily functions are normal! When the contractions started progressing and getting stronger and stronger, I remember feeling like I was about to throw up. This is a sensation I had during my delivery with my first baby as well. I had never heard about this and it was strange but as I discussed with other pregnant ladies, it’s totally normal! I also had heard about the pooping, but it was still something that I wasn’t prepared for. The thing is: your pushing muscles are similar to the muscles you use when you have a bowel movement, so it’s all connected in a sense!
- Unmedicated childbirth means you have to get appointments for newborn tests that would otherwise be done in a hospital. After we gave birth, we had to make an appointment for our son’s circumcision (a cultural practice due to my hubby’s heritage) and his hearing test. This was a bit of a pain because during our first delivery, all of those elements were taken care of.
- I would do it again. Although my babymaking and delivering days are likely behind me, hubby asked me if I would have an unmedicated childbirth again, and I didn’t hesitate when I said yes. There is something amazing about giving birth in a way that nature intended. I truly believe that being pregnant is not a sickness or medical condition (as society has primed us to think it is) and because I didn’t have any issues that put me at risk, I felt comfortable and safe giving birth in that way.
Drop comments below if you would like to talk about your experience giving birth unmedicated!