I started feeling contractions Thursday night around 8:30, but they were very mild. Having been induced with Andelyn I wasn’t sure if it was real labor or not. I spent that evening reviewing my birthing book while Royal finished up at work. We went to bed around midnight and contractions continued to progress throughout the night. Around 4am I was timing them at 5 minutes apart for one minute each so I called my midwife Suzanne, we dropped Andelyn off with friends, and met Suzanne at her birthing center.

During this pregnancy I felt strongly that the hospital was not the place I should have the baby. Our insurance changed so I had to start over searching for someone I liked and trusted to take care of me. Royal and I had a tour of the birth center and felt a lot of peace while we were there. That same day we checked out a different hospital and a different midwife clinic than I had had previously. While we were at the hospital I did not feel the same peace as I did talking with Suzanne at the birth center. I knew everything would be just fine if I was not in the hospital. So I followed my gut and trusted the Lord would guide my path…He always does.

I did the same research with Andelyn and felt very strongly that the hospital was where I needed to have her. So I followed my gut and everything went perfectly smooth. Having this little boy naturally was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But believe it or not it was a beautiful experience and more empowering than anything I have ever accomplished.

I have done a lot of yoga over the past few years and have learned how to meditate and breathe to relieve pain and create energy. I’ve read a lot about natural child birth, and took a hypnobirthing class before our first was born. Not to mention second children are often shorter labors since your body knows what is happening. Many births outside of the hospital include water birth and that is what I did. The water is often referred to as the “natural epidural” and it is amazing how much weight and pressure it relieved off my muscles and bones.

The hypnobirthing book I have was incredibly helpful and the techniques were so simple. (“Hypnobirthing: the Marie Mongan Method”) The best breathing technique I had I actually got from a friend, and that was to make as low of a sound in my throat as possible to relieve the pain during contractions. The best visualization came from the book and I honestly do not know what I would have done without it. It might sound a little funny but it works.  Visualize the horizontal muscles of your uterus as beautiful blue satin ribbons that are loose, free flowing, and allow the baby to slip out easily. There is nothing tight about these ribbons and they un-tie very easily helping the pain subside.

The book says that birth can be absolutely painless…maybe I don’t know how to meditate as deeply as other people…there was a point when I started thinking I was crazy to not be in a hospital with the wonderful medicine of our modern day, because the pain, yes, was very intense. But I let that thought last only a fleeting moment before I went deeper inside myself to find the confidence and concentration I needed to keep going.

I visualized the end result, told myself I wasn’t going to be pregnant forever, and really focused on seeing the baby come to me. I made deep breathing sounds, focused on the soft music, swirling water and found myself grateful no one was telling me what to do. This baby was going to come into the world exactly the way I wanted him to.

I was also grateful for the breaks in between contractions; there are no breaks with induced labor, pitocin is an intense drug! As labor progressed I began to imagine my hand on my belly and Royal’s hands on my back as beacons of warm radiant light sending relief and comfort through my contracting muscles. I imagined the baby as my little angel of light excited to come into the world. As he came closer I visualized him inside me (kind of like a cute happy cartoon character) helping me un-tie the blue ribbons. The more I visualized and the deeper I went, I really felt he was helping me instead of hurting me. I felt we were working together, and in the quiet of the room it was a very spiritual experience.

All the sudden I felt the need to push and lost focus for a minute not knowing what to do. I asked Suzanne what to do and she simply said,”Let your body keep doing what it is already doing.” I quickly tried to regain my focus. Sure enough the urge to push got stronger and in seven minutes and three pushes the baby was in my arms.

I was grateful for the peace I felt and that there was zero urgency to whisk the baby away to be weighed and measured like he was going to double in size. I loved the quiet voices, soft lights, calming music, and only having three people in the room. The baby cried only after having a look around first. He nursed and was content to sleep for a few hours. I was so grateful go home that same day to my soft bed and get some restful sleep.

On the financial end…the birth cost us $2,600 total and it was paid for four weeks before the baby was due. We will never get a bill in the mail. It is incredibly nice to feel completely independent of the hospital. Our maternity insurance deductible is $7,500 and with a tight budget I’m grateful we didn’t have to fit that in. It was a phenomenal experience all the way around and I will definitely be doing it again.

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Jennifer
I am a mom of two kids and the wife of an ice cream man…we are part of the Sub Zero Ice Cream franchise. My daughter was born in the hospital and my son at a birthing suite. I love learning about birth and the miracle of life. I am excited to birth naturally again when the time comes. I am grateful to have the knowledge of the beautiful experience a natural birth can be.