Birth, The Way I Like It

Since I recently bought a one-way ticket to labor and delivery, I thought it would be interesting to write a post about how I like to do birth! This is for you, Carrie.

One: Natural and Untampered With

My first baby was born in a birthing center. I had the most fantastic midwife on the planet. I felt empowered and free. It was fabulous. Except that I had to get in a car and travel to the birthing center – 45 minutes away. Considering that my labor was only 2 hours and 45 min long, it was awful! Which leads me to…

Two: Stay Home

My second baby was born in the comfort of our own home with a (different) midwife in attendance. It was also a fabulous birth. I used a birthing chair, which I really liked and it was quick and lovely. There were two exceptions to this. The first was that we had made arrangements for my daughter to be at a friends house for the birth. I really would have liked her to be there. Also, because of the short delivery the first time, I called everyone at the first contraction, and so we were all together too long. Granted, that baby took only five and a half hours (my longest labor), but still…

Three: Call at the last minute – or Do as much labor alone as I can.

Birth number three was my least favorite. Not because it was bad, or anything went wrong. I just didn’t click with the new midwife. I knew we didn’t click at every appointment, but I didn’t think that mattered much. But, at the birth, it did matter. After she tried to micro-manage my pregnancy (which drove me crazy), it shouldn’t have been a surprise when she wanted too much control over the birth. It was fine, really. I just didn’t like her there. I wished that we hadn’t called her until afterwards, you know, like “Oops, baby came so fast, we didn’t have time to call you!” So,

Four: Unassisted

So far as it is possible, I prefer to go it alone. With babies four and five, I did just that. I invested in some important tools and supplies, read a few good books and found a midwife who gave me the confidence to do it on my own. Every second week of my pregnancy, I checked and charted things like my blood pressure, baby’s heartbeat, my hemoglobin levels and my overall health. Then, at nine months or so, I went to the midwife for a final exam. She checked me out and gave me the green light, plus her numbers in case I needed them. When the time came to deliver a baby, it was intimate and sacred. About a week after, I headed to the midwife for a check up and to have the new baby examined.

Five: Water Birth

When I got in the bath during my fourth labor, I had every intention of getting out before the birth. It was our first unassisted birth, and both the Man and I were not comfortable with the water birth idea at the time. But, when I tried to get out of the tub, I felt baby crowning and knew it was going to be a water birth after all. This led me to a wonderful revalation – water birth is fabulous! It was a happy accident that I will repeat again and again. Please, God, don’t ever make me deliver a baby without the benefit of a large tub of warm water!

Six: Have My Kids in Attendance

This point really could be it’s own post. I have so much to say about it. All of my kids who are over four years old have attended the birth of one or more of their siblings. They were all well prepared during the pregnancy and were all excited partners in the labor and birth. Two of them have cut an umbilical cord. They have examined placentas and weighed new babies. They have heard me scream and yell, have witnessed the great relief of birth, and have reveled in the joy of new life. I feel that it is important for them to become familiar with birth as a normal, natural part of life. It teaches them so much, not the least of which is the value of enduring great pain for an even greater reward. And, having them there has never distracted or bothered me in the least.

It is my hope and prayer that this next baby will be born naturally, in my home, in our large bathtub filled with warm water, intimately attended to by Papa and siblings. That is birth the way I like it.

12 thoughts on “Birth, The Way I Like It

  1. Sounds beautiful! I’m right there with ya on the water birth. Was blessed to discover that the first time and like you, I cannot even imagine doing it on dry land. EVER.
    Looking forward to a wonderful beautiful birth story! ❤

  2. Thanks so much for sharing, Shelly! Reading about your experiences gives me just a little more confidence that we really can have the birth we dream of. It didn’t work out the first time, but a waterbirth may be in our future yet! We’ve been discussing VBAC options with our midwife and have decided we absolutely feel it’s worth our best efforts (though we’ll probably have to drive an hour away from home).
    Can’t wait to hear the birth story for your next babe! *hugs*

    • I don’t think that I am very brave. I think it takes more bravery to do it in a hospital and take on all the medical staff, fighting for the birth I desire! Once I had a scare, and the possibility of a hospital birth came up, and that terrified me more than I can tell you. I told my husband to knock me out if it came to that. 🙂

    • Having the kids there *is* magical. I really should write a post just on that. I have a lot to say about it. 🙂 Still trying to decide if we are going to introduce the next kid to birth this time. She will be almost four, but she is a tender one, and I am not sure if she is quite ready. I have a few more months to feel her out, but right now I don’t think she can do it. We shall see.

  3. Oh! Look what I missed in a day away from blogland!

    This is really awesome, and beautiful, and speaks from your heart. I love it.

    My favorite birth is the at-home-waterbirth also. I went too fast with the last one to get the water ready! Never again. Must. Have. Water.

    And I *love* when the siblings are there (as long as I am not in charge of them, which I never have been).

  4. when you birth at home, unassisted, how did you go about getting a birth certificate? i’m not even sure were to GO in my state to apply for a new birth cert without going to the hospital. do yu have any advice?

    • Here in California, there are quite a few hoops to jump through. I call the Dept. of Vital Statistics and get a packet sent to me of all the paper work. We have one year to file, must prove that a)I was pregnant, b) I am a California resident, and c) I gave birth to a live child. (This is one reason that I do the before and after visits with the midwife. She officially documents the preg and the live baby.) I imagine that it varies from state to state, and I think that there are some states where it is illegal to plan an unassisted. It would be wise to look into it before hand.

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