This is the story of how our beautiful princess, Indira, came into the world…

It all started on the night of 7th August, when like most summer evenings my husband Giorgio and I were having ice-cream in the garden but this time was a little bit different. I was just not comfortable sitting. Indira was moving more than usual. We got to bed at about 23h30 and we spent a long time just watching our precious baby move around. I said to Giorgio ‘’You better make a movie because I think its the last time we will see her move like this.’’ And I’m glad we did because how right was I…

I always knew that Indira would arrive two weeks early, so when I was awoken, by a sharp pain in my lower back,  at 03h30 on the morning of the 8th of August 2007 (exactly 38 weeks), it wasn’t a surprise…all calm and knowing the time had arrived, I went to the toilet to investigate. The bloody show confirmed that I had lost the mucous plug….this was it, the labour process had begun.

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I should have known something was up on Monday. I always joked with my midwife that when I show up for the appointment in my sweats, I’m done and the baby will probably come soon. Sure enough, I went to my appointment in my sweats for the first time on Monday morning. All day, Levi, our cat would not leave my side. And around 9:00 pm, Evie started kicking like crazy and didn’t stop for TWO HOURS!!!

I woke up at 1:00 am and when I stood up, my water broke. I freaked out because at first I thought I was peeing my pants and couldn’t stop. Then I realized, hey… that’s not pee. I called the midwife to let her know and then the contractions started… five minutes apart and intense. After an hour, my contractions were two to three minutes apart and they stayed that way until second stage.

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I’m a big wimp. I always have been. In fact, I wouldn’t even learn to ride a bike as a child because I was afraid I’d fall and get hurt. My mother always said that they would have to hook me up to an epidural the moment I found out I was pregnant.

However, something in me changed when I found out I was expecting Adelle. I couldn’t imagine jamming a needle in my back, pumping drugs through both of our bodies, and taking a vacation from experiencing birth. I knew I wanted to try a natural birth and I my husband and I both knew we wanted him to be a participant, not merely an observer, of his child’s birth. After a good bit of research, we opted to take Bradley Method classes. After our twelve week series was up, I felt confident and ready to handle whatever labor I had.

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My name is Toni, I was 20 years old and this was my first pregnancy, and birth. I knew immediately that I didn’t want to birth my baby in a hospital, I wanted it to be natural with no interventions so I chose a free standing birth center. I was always interested in the birthing process, I thought it was the most beautiful and natural thing I would do as a woman (this was before I discovered breastfeeding of course!), so the thought of birth and labor never worried me, I knew I could do it, I was fearless.

It was 10 days past my due date on a Friday night, my husband and I went out to dinner with my parents. The whole time we were at dinner I kept having to run to the bathroom to “pee”, I was having these really intense contractions, which I assumed were just braxton hicks, and I thought the pressure was making me pee my pants a little. Well I had no idea my water had broke and that was what this liquid was.

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So, I decided I was sick of the early labor dance and I wanted to try and do something about it… so since Bella was going to my Dad’s for the day, John decided to come home and see if we could get this thing rolling! We did acupressure, nipple stimulation, went for a walk and I drank GALLONS of RRLT (red raspberry leaf tea). That did it! The contractions picked up around 1 pm and they stayed through dinner… Morgan insisted we go have a distraction, so we fandangoed tickets to see Twilight (woo-hoo) and went! The contractions REALLY picked up about halfway thru the movie and I started needing to hold John’s hand through them.

When the movie was out and we got in the car, I started shaking and the contractions were right on top of each other. So we called the midwife and she said to meet us at the birth center! We made a pit stop at home because I had to pee, and we were off.

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My ‘natural’ birth story, the story of Erik’s birth, truly begins three years before his birth when his older sister Roxanne was born.  Going into Roxanne’s birth, I did not feel empowered, I felt scared and sure that I would need an epidural.  My attitude about birth was formed only by the common lore that birth is terribly painful and I expected it to be managed by the hospital.  I did expect to give birth vaginally, and remember distinctly skipping over the information about c-sections, thinking I’d never need one.

I guess life has a way of turning things upside down on you and it gave me possibly the only birth experience that could have shaken up my world view sufficiently that I would end up changing my views on birth so dramatically.  After only a few hours of hard labor, rapid dilation to 8 cm, my darling daughter somehow managed to turn herself from head down to feet down, the cord prolapsed, she went into distress and an emergency c-section was done.

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This was my first natural birth and I was 3 days overdue with my third baby.   I started having contractions on Monday morning, November 25.  I was hoping that this would be the day. My contractions weren’t painful, but were coming consistently, but irregularly, if that makes since.  One would be 20 min. apart, then 10, then 7, then 10 again, etc…

We had my weekly midwife appointment that morning. When we got there, Sarah, my midwife told us that she was leaving town for Thanksgiving and that if I didn’t have my baby either today or tomorrow, she would be out of town.  Wendy and Joanna or Jen would be coming over instead.  I wasn’t too happy to hear this because I had chosen Sarah to be my main midwife because of the connection I felt with her.  I guess, being my third baby, Sarah thought I would have already had him by now and that it was safe to make plans.

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When I became pregnant with my first child I suddenly started to worry about what labor would be like. How painful would it be? Would I cope? Would I tear? Would it put me off ever having children again?! Then, to make matters worse, I found that other women were only too happy to share their “horror stories” with me and, although their intentions were to probably to help me prepare for what they believed was to come, I started to truly believe that pain and trauma were inevitable.

As a hypnotherapist, I had already experienced the power of the mind and how deep states of relaxation and visualisation can enable people to reduce anxieties and remove fear. This made me curious about HypnoBirthing and I decided to take the course.

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Thursday March the 12th I went to my midwives for my 38 week check up. I asked them to check my cervix and I was very soft and dilated to a 2. My midwife said I was going to have a great and speedy labor. I was so excited to give birth again. My first daughter was born with a midwife in a hospital and it was the greatest moment of my life and I couldn’t wait to experience it again at home.

I went to bed that night around 11pm and at 12:54am I woke with a start. I turned to my husband and told him my water was going to break and he just mumbled something. I stood up thinking it might be false labor and began to walk. Just a few steps and my water burst. It was so familiar, this is exactly the way my first labor went.

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My November 2008 birth story of baby D and a successful HBAC.

The 27th was Thanksgiving. We went to my moms for dinner and ate at about 2:30pm. We left at 20 to 7pm and came home. I was tired and just over done. About 8pm, I had a snack (popcorn) and Jason and I just relaxed. We were discussing Black Friday as he had planned on going out early in the a.m. to get a few things. We were making our list, I bought a few things online so he didn’t have a ton of things to shop for. Everything was fine and I was still pregnant and planning on being pregnant.

We decided to head to bed so he’d get some sleep and I was tired anyways. Went to bed at 11pm, put in a DVD of Golden Girls to watch while we fell asleep. At 1130pm, I started having contractions. They were stronger then my previous ones. I waited it out, I didn’t pay attention to how long they were or how frequent. After about 5 painful ones in a row, I woke Jason up and told him I didn’t think he was going to be heading out.

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About this website

Birth is inspiring, amazing, and empowering. This website shares a collection of real natural birth experiences from you, the readers. Births the way nature intended. No pitocin. No epidural. Just the beauty (and intensity!) of the human body at work. Whether you've had one natural birth, five natural births, or are considering natural birth in the future, our hope is you will find courage and joy in these stories. Enjoy.


Recommended Reading:


Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
 
Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth