I never expected to give birth naturally. When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child’s birth in February 2009, I anticipated being in the hospital, an epidural in my spine.
In January 2009, I wept as we drove to our midwifery practice for a “Home Birth Information Night.” It was my birthday. I would rather have been going out to dinner. I didn’t want to give birth at home, but our finances could not handle the cost of giving birth in a hospital if there were other options. With my hands clenched atop my swollen belly, feeling my daughter stretch within, I stared out of the window for the entire drive, angry at the government of Canada for not processing my residency and hence my free health care faster, angry at my husband for saying we should go to this information session, and most especially angry at the thought of having to deal with the pain of childbirth.
It terrified me.
Animals give birth in their living places. Animals wail and shriek as they bring life into this world. Not me. I wanted to give birth somewhere sterile, not my living room. I wanted to give birth quietly, painlessly.
How that Home Birth Information Night changed my perspective!
Six months later, I revel in the fact that our daughter was born here in the living room. I look back at how I snarled and screamed through my contractions, how I sat there naked and sweating in front of my husband, his mother, two midwives and their student, and I am proud. It hurt, yes, but never did I experience true agony. The pain was never unbearable, and it became something inextricably bound to the miracle of giving birth, a part of the process as natural, important, and welcome as any other.
To prepare myself for labour, I did not read any books, nor did I attend any classes on how to “breathe”. I read other women’s birth stories. I realized how little the average hospital birth resembled the birth experience I had in my mind: it seemed constricting, medical, and impersonal. I wanted freedom to get up and walk around, not monitors strapped to my body and an IV forced into my arm. I wanted my army of support there, not to have to choose a certain few to be in the room with me while the rest waited outside.
I realized that the animalistic nature of birth, which had so frightened me in January, became the foundation of my strength. Millions of women had given birth naturally before me. “From queens to peons and all stations of women in between, they, too, had been forced to find their inner power, trust their bodies, use solid back pain management techniques, and conquer their fear.
My greatest preparation was learning to trust myself.
10 thoughts on “Natural Birth & Pain Management”
Congratulations. It’s like climbing the craziest mountain and just when you think you can’t go on you find yourself enjoying the most amazing view of how precious and powerful life is! thanks for sharing your story 🙂
Good for you! How interesting that your education was reading other women’s birth stories.
After a hospital birth with my first, I would have been fine with a homebirth for my second, but my husband was freaked out about the idea. Luckily, I had a drug-free birth at the hospital.
I felt like this for my homebirth — so much pain, but absolutely worth every single moment.
We no longer live in the same house where she was born, but we do sleep in the same bed and I love that.
What an amazing story.
My husband and I chose hypnobirthing and it was, also, a life changing experience.
You are right–it did hurt. It hurt a lot. But, I will birth every other child that we have the exact same way–naturally. There is just no more beautiful way to bring such a beautiful life into the world.
I can relate to your story – I too, was terrified of labour pains, and thought I would be requesting an epidural within the first few hours (maybe minutes). But as I learned more through my pregnancy, I became more aware of my options, and although I did give birth in the hospital setting, I was blessed with great staff, a great doula, and an assigned nurse who was in fact completing her midwifery courses, so my birth plan was well respected, and I’m proud to say I didn’t need any medication! Proud, because for me, Mrs. I-Can’t-Tolerate-Pain-At-All, it’s a huge step. Next time, I would like to consider a home birth myself.
Congratulations Tatiana! I can relate to your story and was thrilled to read it. Spread the word & tell your birth story to anyone who will listen.
The seeds will be planted and one by one we will turn the perception of “painful” birth & the idea that babies “must” be born in hospitals around.
All the best to you and your family!
I found this post so inspiring and helpful. I am about to experience my first natural birth at home (at least that is what we are hoping for). I am due tomorrow and am excited though scared too about what the pain with natural child birth will be like; thank you for sharing this . . . I’ve read it at just the right time, 🙂
I am so jealous, I wish I could have had a non medicated home birth. It wasn’t meant for me but I’m so glad you ended up with the birth that you wanted.
I am in awe of you. Total AWE.
I consider my three planned homebirths (2002, ’05 & ’07) the most transformative, enlightening and empowering experiences of my life (and hosp. birth would have cost me no $$$, just much more unwelcome interference). i am convinced my children and our relationships with each other are better for it. i highly recommend shelia kitzinger’s books on the topic.