On Labor and Delivery

As my birth approaches, I have been thinking a lot about it. 
Which, is probably quite obvious if you read my blog. And I’m sorry if you’re getting sick of hearing about it, but this is just what’s going on in my life right now. I have a lot of things on my mind about birth and labor and pregnancy that I want to get out. A lot of you are going to have different ideas or opinions about birth than me, and let me be the first to tell you that is totally fine. Ta-otally. 
This… is just how  see it. 
{And, this is probably going to be very scatter brained and un-organized, but that’s just how my brain works sometimes. Or, like, pretty much mostly all the time.}
{Oh, and also, I had a natural birth with Lucas which is probably why I feel the way I do about most of these things and why I’m terrified of not having a natural birth. It doesn’t mean I think  “un-natural things” are “bad.” I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m telling them that a c-section or an epidural or vaxing your newborns or taking a medication or whatever the heck ever– is the bad or a wrong way to do it. It’s not. It’s just different and not for me. Please don’t take anything I say the wrong way. You know it’s not my intention at.all.}
Let me just get on with it now…. 
I believe birth is one of the most natural things there is. If you think about it, how there is a child, A HUMAN PERSON inside of you, GROWING, it’s pretty incredible. Almost weird/crazy/freaky in a way. A person is inside of you. It is THE most amazing, incredible, God willing thing. EVER. Birth… the whole process of that child coming out of you and into the world is so natural and amazing.

I would honestly be fine with having my baby on the bathroom floor. I see no problem with that. I just don’t worry about things going wrong or all the “what-if’s.” This is funny, because I worry about everything with Lucas and think about all scenarios, but with birth, I’m just so…. I don’t know the word. 
I am absolutely terrified of having a c- section. It scares the living night lights out of me. The whole idea of having surgery is scary and unknown, but it’s more just the fact that I can’t push the baby out myself and hold him or her immediately on my chest. I don’t want doctors taking my baby out of me. I want to do it myself. I am wishing on every star that I won’t have to have a c-section, but you never know what could or may happen. 
Getting an epidural terrifies me because I don’t know what it does or how it feels. I would rather have a birth that hurt like Hell but was done on my own than any other way. I want to be present at my birth.  NOT saying you are not present if you decide to have an epidural, I’m just sayin’. 
I got lucky or blessed or whatever you want to call it with my first birth and it was amazing and I can’t wait to do it all over again, but I don’t feel this way because of my first. I felt this way before I had my first birth, before I knew it would end up the way it did. 
Our bodies are SO strong. Our minds are even stronger.  Our bodies are CRAZY. They are growing a HUMAN, remember? A PERSON comes out of you!! And, even if I end up having a c-section or an epidural with my next birth for whatever reason, I will still think birth is natural and amazing…. just different. It will be very different and hard for me, and I’m just being honest about that. 
For me, it’s not just about “getting the baby out.” It’s about the whole experience of it. For some, it is just about having the baby, no matter how he or she get’s here. And that’s fine. But for me? No. It’s about labor and delivery. It’s about the entire labor and the pain and the exhaustion and the moment and the feelings and the first minute when you see your baby that has been growing and living inside of you (inside of you!!!) for 10 months. It’s about doing it just like it was created…. push that baby out of you. 
If you are able to get pregnant and are able to birth a baby, you are so lucky. We are so lucky and blessed. How many people ( I mean, a lot, sure, but you know what I mean) can say they are able to grow a baby and then push it out of themselves??? I am one of the lucky ones and I want to do it as naturally and intervention free as possible. 
If I have to use medicine or surgery to get my baby here because it is absolutely necessary, than that is fine and I will be SO thankful for it! Obviously.

People automatically assume my labor with Lucas was “easy” because I talk about how awesome it was. No, that’s not the case. It hurt like I was pushing out a seven pound person out of my… my body. When Lucas came out he was blue in the face for a few seconds. My placenta came out too late after. I fainted when I walked to the bathroom. I peed on the freaking floor. I sweated five gallons. It hurt. But it was still awesome because I did it!  Then there are those really sweet people who think you are somethin’ special because you delivered your baby naturally. And, I’m like, no. I just delivered my baby the way it was meant to be done. The way it was done years and years ago. The way my body was meant to do it. 
{my body.}

Some people are like, “well, what if this goes wrong? What happens if this and this and such n’ such happens?” Then you know what? God will take care of it and we will do interventions if necessary or surgery. What happens is going to happen. You shouldn’t be afraid to deliver your baby naturally “just in case.” It is AN EXPERIENCE. One I really love. 
I just LOVE birth. Oh and I am so excited for this one… hearing if it’s a boy or girl when he or she comes out. I know not all things happen according to my perfect dreams…. and maybe they won’t… and that will be a real bummer but I can’t do much about it. I can do what my body can do, which is a lot, BECAUSE I AM STRONG, but I can’t do some things that are simply out of my control. 
Point is, birth is pretty freaking awesome. And I love babies. 
Over n’ out. 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

24 thoughts on “On Labor and Delivery

  1. You go Mama! Get that baby out however you desire! Yes, babies and births are awesome! Mine is totally opposite of yours but I love hearing about them all! Can't wait to hear your story.

  2. I think it's great you have such a perfect mindset for going into labor! My experiences have not been the same…my first was a terrifying emergency csection. My second was a scheduled csection, and I tell ya—it was a wonderful experience, I don't feel like I missed anything by electing a repeat csection. I am now 12 weeks pregnancy with my third, which will also be delivered csection, and although I have moments of fear about surgery itself, I choose to remain focused on that moment that we love so much–that first breath, that first look, that first chance to hold your new baby!
    Good luck…looking forward to the birth story!

  3. Posts like this make me so jealous because my births were so… forced. All those months of bed rest, being induced, cervadil (or whatever it was) and pitocin, artificial water breaking (the first one only), epidurals both times (and the second one was so botched that my back still feels bruised 19 months later) and vacuum assistance both times. They were just plain awful, but you're right when you say whatever it takes. If those are the things that had to happen to get my babies here, then so be it, and the moments I met both my sons were magical. I just wish it had been more on my terms!

    Good luck with No. 2. I know you're going to do great! I'm so excited for you!

  4. I'm fairly certain you can't choose an elective C section for your first child–'getting them out' as you say. No one 'chooses' that –it's more risky so they don't let you. Not anymore anyway, insurance companies wont' allow it… As for me…my choices were taken away from me, one by one. I wanted to STAY pregnant. We were in a massive transition at the time, and I figured I'd have the baby late, you know 2 weeks late like everyone else.

    My water broke 3 weeks early (strike 1) and I labored and labored and labored and.. well you get the point. I'd been up almost 48 hours/laboring 20 (strike 2) when I finally took some 'sleepy' medicine. I still woke up every 30 seconds to contract (I was induced, ya know, because of the water breaking), after that, the pains just never stopped…the nurses said if I'd gone much longer without the epidural, I'd have passed out and they'd have to do a C section anyway. As it was, I made it nearly 24 hours. The first one didn't work, I could tell because they were trying to turn my baby (strike 3) because she was in the wrong position. I could feel them. Once they got it in correctly, I was basically numb, not tingly numb, just no feeling. It was fine. I pushed for 4 hours, but she wasn't coming out. Then we had to wait for the doctor and I think I went to sleep. I remember waking up when they annouced she was there. Now let me remind you that THIS IS NOT NORMAL. The epidural doesn't make you tired or out of it. Not at all. I'd been up for well over 48 hours by then and was exhausted. I had a friend who a month before couldn't get dialated and they did a C, and she was awake and chipper and thrilled. I get the idea that my doctor doesn't do VBacs and as much as I'd love to do it, if I have to do a C, I'm fine with it. I've already had 3 abdominal surgeries (Appendix 2005, C section 2008, hernia repair 2009)–one more shouldn't hurt–well any more than the others.

    At the time, though, I was so… angry. My mom was under the opinion that I CHOSE to have the C section. Weeks later she made a comment and I said, yeah, or both of us die, she was turned the wrong way I didn't HAVE a choice. I think that's the real issue, we're so worried about what other people THINK because of the 'chosen C Sections' that took place a few years back and moms that had DONE the laboring were understandably secretly jealous — like you're secretly jealous sometimes of the people that just drug out of the world–no responsibilities, etc. or an animal that just does what they do and no one judges them “must be nice” : we get the criticism all the time — she didn't have to go through any pain– tsk tsk and etc.

    I'm glad you had a good experience. I am 'over' the anger now –okay except at the nurse who had me doing END STAGE labor during hours 10-15 where the contractions were backtobacktoback for FIVE HOURS when they weren't supposed to be. MAYBE I would have not been as tired and MAYBE I would have opted OUT of the meds had that not happened, because I was cool before she did that, and all she did was say OOPS, I had you turned up too high. Her? I'm still PISSED at her, even if I've forgiven her. 🙂 ps I'm not preggo, but hubs is ready and TTC is underway (yeah!)

  5. I still don't know how I completely feel about labor and delivery, but it's great you do. I had to have a c-section because my daughter was breech and I was also terrified (and I knew it was coming.) Maybe it can be a little piece of mind that IF you have to have a c-section, it isn't as terrifying as it seems. I'm sure you know plenty of people who have had c-sections, but if you are looking for more viewpoints feel free to email me. I'd be happy to share my experience.

    emily(dot)pulliam(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I love this post girl! we are planning a home birth in march and are sooo stoked about it after a previous section myself (due to circumstances I couldn't control at the time, not that I couldn't birth him)

    has the babe flipped yet?? still praying for you!

  7. I agree with you! I was completely scared to death of an epidural with my daughter and did not want a c-section. I feel like I am in control until I give that to someone else, and who the heck wants a stranger sticking a needle in their back!? A bunch of people I guess, but not me!! Labor and delivery is AWESOME!

  8. amen, amen, amen. with my first they threatened me into getting a epidural and then it did not have time to work, I did not go to the hospital until i was 8.5 centimeters. with the last 3 they were just too quick to even think about pain meds. I am amazed at how well our bodies work when we let them work

  9. “Then there are those really sweet people who think you are somethin' special because you delivered your baby naturally. And, I'm like, no. I just delivered my baby the way it was meant to be done. The way it was done years and years ago. The way my body was meant to do it.”

    This is exactly how I feel. Exactly. I feel the same when it comes to breastfeeding too. Nothing special, I am just doing what I need to do.

    Love it. I felt like we were sitting down chatting.

    and lol @ all the disclaimers!

  10. well I had TWO c sections and I really enjoyed this post! You have a great way of saying things and I know what you mean through all of it.

  11. (Mom of 4 here) I've delivered naturally at a birth center and I liked it but I think I preferred my last epidural birth better. The only thing I hate about having epidurals is that you have to be at a germ-factory hospital and they make it extremely hard for you to check out before the 24 hour mark. I loved going home at 6 hours pp when I birthed at the birth center.

  12. Thank you for this post!
    Our first is due in 2.5 weeks and we are planning a home birth. Nobody seems to understand why I am so sure that this is the right thing for me to be doing or why I am so freaked out by epidurals, c-sections, etc. They all seem to be the exact opposite.
    I am not frightened or worried or fearful of labour or birth and want the full experience… i am prepared for the most difficult work i will ever do (even though i have no idea what that means at this point).
    Thank you for openly sharing how you really feel – it isn't easy to do.

    good luck!!!

  13. Hmm, I don't know where to start.

    Epidural: I didn't want one either. I already have back problems and didn't want to add to that. I'm also very afraid of needles. I laid there in agony for hours upon hours because I was afraid of the epidural. The down side to this was that my body was so tense from the pain that I wasn't progressing. I simply would not dilate past 4. I finally caved to the epidural and it relaxed me so much that I went from 4 to 10 in under an hour and had my firstborn with in 90 minutes of getting the epidural.

    That said, I was still afraid of it for my second birth. I had no plans of getting one if I could help it. I was induced due to complications, and 10 minutes after having my water broke, I was taken into emergency surgery because my baby's heart stopped. They had to knock me out because I had passed on the epidural and there wasn't time to get one started and let it take effect. So, I missed the birth of my child and everyone saw her before I did. I also had to be tubed since I was put to sleep, so I had horrible coughing fits after waking up. Coughing is the worst thing to do after a c-section, obviously.

    Do I wish I had gotten the epidural when it was offered to me? Absolutely. Am I saying you should have one? No. Because I don't know all the details of your situation. But my advice to you is this: Don't think you have to make a decision right now about how you want to handle labor. Plans change. If your baby flips around and chances are labor and delivery will go “normal” then by all means go natural! If the baby is still breech, and a c-section is more than a remote possibility, consider the epidural. I've read your blog and talked to you on Twitter enough to know that your desire to go natural doesn't trump your desire to be “there” when your baby enters the world. Don't worry over it right now, instead focus on and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. When the time comes, consider all the info you have been given by your doctors, and think about the comments from your readers. You'll know what to do.

    I really hope you are able to labor and deliver the way you want, and that it is as easy and goes as smoothly as possible. But if it doesn't, that will be okay, too. As long as you and baby are both healthy and happy, that's all that matters in the end 🙂

  14. Loved this post. Having just had a baby myself 12 days ago, labor and delivery and the wonderful feelings of my natural birth are still fresh in my mind. I, too, am scared of the very idea of a C-section and though I had an epidural with my first two babies, I had new ideas with my last three births and I will never go back! Hope you get the birth you want. Whether it is on the bathroom floor or in the hospital, birth can be a wonderful experience!

    Come read my birth story!

  15. I have said many many times I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be pregnant and give birth again but I am so complete with my two boys. I feel so good while pregnant and and both my natural water births were the most empowering experiences ever. I never had any doubts I could do it, I just *knew* my body could handle it. I'm forever grateful for my births, they shaped the strong woman I am today.

    I love birthing babies! And that feeling will never go away ❤

  16. I'm due with my first baby in November, so this post is inspiring to me. We're hoping for a natural, water birth at a local hospital birthing center that is very natural friendly and not like most hospitals. We've been studying hynobabies and I'm hoping for a peaceful birth! 🙂

  17. I really (REALLY) wanted a home birth but because of a transverse baby had to have a planned c-section.

    I was pretty devastated but actually it really wasn't as bad as I had thought. Best surgery I ever had – spinal blocks are fantastic and I'm never having surgery below the lungs without one again.

    My big piece of advice is to make sure your birth plan includes planning for a c-section because I know too many ladies who didn't and feel to this day that they somehow “failed” because they ended up having a super-medicalized birth instead of the natural birth they'd decided was for them.

    In my case, Elizabeth would have died in natural child birth (in addition to her sideways profile she had the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck) so it's easy for me to understand that the c-section was necessary but even so I still occasionally grieve that the birth didn't happen the way I had wanted.

    I know my body could have handled a natural birth, but now I also know that I can handle a c-section too.

  18. I had my 1st baby in April. I had wanted a natural birth… found out baby was frank breech @ 38 wks. Wanted to still try to deliver vaginally, but baby went overdue, so we didn't have a choice & had a c-section. I was soooo disappointed. I hope & pray with any future deliveries I can have them as natural as possible. I am jealous of those who do!

  19. Thanks for sharing this. I had my son naturally, too, and it was hard as heck and good, too. That said, I am totally open to the possibility of an epidural next time. But getting over my fears of INTERVENTIONS will take a bit of research on my part, and the research may not help me. 😉 I think for me birth is about having the baby and having the baby healthy. I don't think I care about the experience of birth so much. . . But I do worry that interventions will result in harm for myself and my baby.
    Anyway, birth is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, and I really appreciate your thoughts. 🙂

  20. This is awesome. We are expecting our first baby in April, and I feel like natural is the way it should be done because it's, you know, natural. But I am SO. SCARED. But when I read this, I'm not so scared. I'm just going to say this to myself everyday. This is what my body is made to do. I AM STRONG.

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s