I suppose August 6, 2011, is when my little man's story really began (at least that's when we became aware of him), but the choices I decided to make to bring my baby into this world were made way before he was ever conceived.
I have more recently in my life found a love and passion for reading, researching and educating myself on alternative ways of doing things. From alternative medicine to a healthy lifestyle via complete and whole nutrition, vitamin and minerals. I suppose it really was no surprise that I'd want to research all things pregnancy and baby to make the best decision as to how I would have mine someday. After much research, reading and even some great documentary-watching, I decided that when I had m baby someday I wanted to have him free of medicines and I wanted a midwife to deliver me (some of you reading this may be thinking wow what a granola-hippie-loony…and I get it, trust me, I used to feel the same way about alternative medicine and the health benefits of whole foods. I have nothing against doctors and modern medicine, but this was what I knew was right for me and my baby).
Once we found out I was pregnant, the quest for knowledge only increased and I decided my husband and I would take a hypnobirthing class to learn calming and relaxation techniques to help with the intensities of labor and delivery. My husband, as some of you can imagine, was less than enthusiastic about spending three hours on Saturday for five Saturdays at a hypnobirthing class, but after just one class even he was hooked. He loved the theory behind it, and he loved that the classes weren't just geared toward mommas—they were all about the dads and their role in this too! The ideas behind hypnobirthing, as we learned, is to create a space free of fear for you and your baby, As I read the hypnobirthing book by Marie Mongan, it made complete sense to me that fear causes you to tighten your body and that tightening instead of relaxing your muscles causes you more pain. In our classes we learned relaxation breathing techniques and we practiced fear releases to get rid of those little fears and insecurities that creep into the back of your mind. We learned basic information about our bodies and information about birthing your baby. After our classes were over, I continued to practice these techniques on my own daily to get into a complete state of relaxation in preparation for the big day.
My baby’s guess date was April 15, 2012, but I was sure he would be a week or so late. He wasn't though! On April 16, I woke up around 4 a.m. having tossed and turned all night feeling lots of pressure. I decided to soak in the tub for a while and see if the pressure I was feeling subsided. It didn't, but I still wasn't sure whether I was having “real” contractions or not. I tried to start timing them but that didn't work out too well so I went back to bed and practiced my breathing and relaxing. Around 6 a.m. with my contractions (real or not) still not having subsided, I called my midwife. She told me to come into the office that morning to get checked out if things were still pretty steady. Around 10 a.m., I set off to the office to let them check me and sure enough I was 4 centimeters dilated and 100 percent effaced. My midwife told me I was in labor and could head to the hospital.
My husband and I went home to pack our hospital bags (yeah, we hadn't done that yet!) and headed over to Whole Foods to get some snacks and kill some time (I didn't want to be at the hospital any longer than necessary). After arriving at the hospital and getting settled in, my midwife checked me again (it was about 1:30) and I was 6 centimeters dilated. The next few hours were spent rotating from bed for monitoring to soaking in the tub to sitting on my birthing ball, all the while making sure I was breathing and staying loose and relaxed. This continued for a while and it wasn't until around 4 p.m. and 8 centimeters dilated that I really started feeling the pressure. I definitely needed the support of my husband through those last two centimeters I had left to go and through pushing.
I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't intense, but to say it was excruciating and unbearable would be untrue. I spent a total of 25 minutes pushing, and my 9 pound, 21 inch, little boy, Oliver Bradford George, came into the world at 6:32 p.m. on Monday April 16, 2012. The complete and total rush of oxytocin and endorphins was worth the intensity of labor and just as every other mother in the world cherishes the birth of her child, I would not change the way I decided to have him for anything. It gave me a newfound respect for how strong all women are and how amazing our bodies are! Having experienced this has only made me love my son that much more and has given me the confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to!
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