Originally Posted 2/9/15
A BIG thank you to YouTube Mom, Heidi, for sharing Rosalind's birth story with us! Heidi welcomed her rainbow baby with a perfect water birth! Her channel is HeidiKimTV.
Heidi started sharing her YouTube journey as a diary to work through the stillbirth of her first daughter, Adelaide, but it has become so much more. Heidi has created a place of hope and healing as her family treks through the joys, fears and adventures of parenthood.
Here are some clips form the actual day of labor...
And here Heidi gives her full birth story...
Thank you, Meg Mother Clover, for sharing Dagney's Birth Story!
Originally Posted 1/20/15
Meg worked HARD to bring her little man into the world. He was born at home under the care of midwives and had to be transferred to the hospital afterwards due to "wet lung". That part was incredibly tough. However, Meg says, "I don't want others to be scared from it."
**This birth video is graphic and YouTube will require you to confirm that you are at least 18 years old.
I am so glad that Birth Boot Camp classes cover unexpected outcomes. This can make it easier for moms to process everything when birth doesn't go as planned. Doulas are also a great resource - strong relational support systems are imperative, especially when families are going through something like a NICU stay.
Interested in becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor or DOULA? Follow the links and tell them I sent you!!
Interested in ONLINE birth classes? CLICK HERE
Originally Posted 1/13/15
This week's birth story comes from YouTube mom, Dana, better known as MsDiaperD. Her channel is a treasure trove of information from breastfeeding and cloth diapering, to covering the highs and lows of working outside the home - and everything in between!
You can meet Dana when she hosts a YouTube Mommy Meetup, a Live online hangout!
Dana planned a VBAC for sweet baby Daisy. Watch the video to see if she got the birth she wanted...
Thanks for sharing Daisy's beautiful story with us, Dana!
Pregnant and interested in taking online birth classes? CLICK HERE?
Interested in becoming a DOULA? Get more information HERE and tell them I sent you!
Interested in becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor? Get more information HERE and tell them I sent you!
Originally Posted 1/6/15
I'm so honored to share Audrey's birth story on my blog! You can check out the Hale family on their YouTube Channel, KyleandCourt.
I really think this birth story epitomizes the importance of having a trusting relationship with your care provider. This is a longer birth video than you're probably used to watching, but things took a little longer than anyone anticipated. Unfortunately, baby Audrey was in an asynclitic position, which means her head was tipped to the side making it harder for her to pass through the pelvis. Often times, this kind of presentation results in a cesarean section.
According to Courtney, "I truly believe if I had been in a hospital they would have demanded a c-section when I really needed patience, time, and encouragement."
When it comes to birth, her advice is this, "Open yourself up to your birth experience. Even a difficult labor and delivery can be natural, wonderful, and positive. Perspective, knowledge, and a loving and supportive environment will lend itself to an awe-inspiring and momentous birth - and life - event."
Originally Posted 12/28/14
Who doesn't love a great VBAC story?!!
Thank you, Christina, for sharing the umedicated VBAC story of your 2nd baby.
I'm so thankful to Christina SubfertileFrugalista for allowing me to share her VBAC story on my blog! I love that she points out what worked and didn't work for her when trying to cope with labor. Her story is also a great example of how easy and do-able birth can be when you are being supported by your partner and a doula.
Feel free to check out Christina's YouTube channel where she shares shopping hauls, crafts, DIY projects, her experiences in motherhood, and more!!
Originally Posted 12/22/14
I'm so excited to share these awesome videos from YouTube vlogger, Britney, of Sharing Our Life. Hannah is Britney's third baby, but first to wear pink! Britney had a natural birth in a hosptial where she was cared for by a midwife.
In this video, Britney shares the story of her labor and delivery:
Britney was so smart to try to get rest during the early stages of labor! When labor comes on in the evening, getting sufficient rest is paramount!
In the next video, Britney shares some of the video clips and photos taken during the actual delivery. Notice how relaxed she is in the tub! She's even able to do some self care between contractions!
Originally Posted 12/30/14
My oldest son turned 10 years old today. A whole decade has passed since the December day when his fierce soul shot into my life to show me that there could, in fact, be someone more stubborn on the planet than myself. He wasn’t really stubborn to be born, but I rushed him out anyway… and I think I’ve been paying for my lack of patience ever since.
Colton was due on January 7th, but I couldn’t stand the thought of being pregnant all year and not getting to claim him on our taxes for the year. Heck no, I wanted him out and I wanted that tax deduction that came along with a December birth. Yes, I cringe at my former self. Especially this time of year when I remember his birth.
On December 27th, I was GOING to get him out. I consulted the internet – Google was this brand new phenomena that could be used to find any answer to any question out there! I remember looking up natural induction methods. When sex and nipple stimulation didn’t make me have any contractions, I started looking for things I could TAKE. Black and Blue Cohosh came up in the search with scary info and I didn’t know what the hell it was anyway, so I skipped that one. Next on the list was castor oil.
The site I looked at said to take 2-4oz every few hours until labor started. I obviously needed to take 4oz, right? “I’m pulling out the big guns!” At 7pm, I took 4oz mixed with orange juice. It was disgusting – the most foul thing to ever cross my lips in my entire life. But I downed it. Two hours later, I did it again, but threw it up. So I mixed a little more with some Dr. Pepper and downed it. I spent the following 4 hours alternating between hugging and sitting on the toilet. I never felt worse in my life. (Disclaimer: this is a RIDICULOUS amount of castor oil. DO NOT do what I did. My suggestion would be to ONLY use castor oil under the direction of your care provider. Also, do not try to induce yourself at NIGHT. It is STUPID STUPID STUPID)
Once my system was totally cleaned out, I started having regular contractions – painful ones. I drank a bunch of water, because I was sure I was dehydrated. It stayed down and the contractions kept coming. I wasn’t sure if I should go to the hospital or not. I wasn’t 100% sure if I was *really* contracting or if it was stomach cramps from the severe diarrhea I had experienced. So I waited a couple more hours.
Around 1am I headed for the hospital. I was only 2cm, but the machines said I was contracting every 5 minutes, so I got to stay. I was cool with this. My baby was coming, and that was the goal. But things took a turn. A turn that has always put a dark shadow on my son’s birth. I got the nurse from Hell. She was Satan in the flesh, or scrubs I guess. Womp Womp.
By the time I got to my actual L&D room, my contractions were really picking up with intensity. I remember thinking, "this is challenging, but I want to see how long I can do this." Those thoughts were obliterated by Nurse Satan. She demanded I allow her to do a vaginal exam. Her tone made me feel uneasy, but I didn’t argue. I didn’t know I could or should protest. I was 3cm. She told me she was calling the anesthesiologist. I told her I was managing and that I wanted to wait longer before I made a decision about an epidural.
This really pissed off Nurse Satan. She gave me a look that said, “You’re obviously an idiot, and I went to school for this shizz, so shut up and listen.”
How did she know I was an idiot?? I didn’t tell them about the castor oil!!
So… I felt like an idiot just by her look. Then she told me that if I didn’t get the epidural right now, I wasn’t going to get it later. This scared the crap out of me. I didn’t want to get to a state of vulnerability, and decide I wanted an epidural, and then have Nurse Satan judge me even more, or say “I told you so.” Tears rolled down my cheeks – a combination of my hurt feelings and the fact that labor was getting increasingly intense by the minute. I meekly told her, “okay” and off she went to fetch the anesthesiology dude.
I’m calling him an anesthesiology dude, because he wasn’t even an anesthesiologist. I didn’t know that. Not until this conversation happened…
Anesthesiology Dude: Okay, you’re going to feel a pinch…
A minute later…
Anesthesiology Dude: Okay, you’re going to feel a pinch…
A minute later…
Anesthesiology Dude: Okay, you’re going to feel a pinch…
A minute later…
Anesthesiology Dude: Okay, you’re going to feel a pinch…
After the 4th pinch… well, jab, it was more like a jab…
Me: Mom, how do people even learn how to do this?
Mom: Well, he’s learning on you right now.
That’s right. He was a student. And that’s okay. These people gotta learn how somewhere. But he was an unsupervised student. And he was poking me over and over and over.
My contractions were about 4 minutes apart and getting stronger. I told Anesthesiology Dude to please wait to poke me again until I was done with the contraction. Nurse Satan QUICKLY reminded me that she was in charge by looking directly past me, as if I weren’t even a human being, and said to Anesthesiology Dude, “Keep doing it – she can deal with both at the same time so we can just get this over with.”
Not only did my jaw hit the floor, but as I sat hunched over on the side of the hospital bed, my tears started to hit my eye glasses. They filled them with giant tear puddles until I finally had my mom take them off my face and wipe them. Anesthesiology Dude was kind enough to wait until I regained my composure. And he only worked on me between contractions. He was a nice guy, just an inexperienced one.
When he and Nurse Satan finally left the room, I felt like every little piece of my dignity had been stripped away. I felt dumb and inadequate for birth, even though my post epidural vaginal exam said I was 5cm dilated. I had been progressing great! I had gone from a 2 to a 5 about an hour and a half! Then, after the epidural debacle, labor just shut down. I stopped contracting completely. For hours. For FOUR of them. Just before shift change Nurse Satan came to check on me and update my chart. She stuck her fingers inside me. When she pulled them out, annoyed, she said, “Nope, no change.” Then she rolled her eyes and said, “You weren't even really in labor.” She angrily threw down her gloves and stormed out.
She left and I cried some more. Maybe I wasn't *really* in labor. Dehydration can cause this sort of thing to happen. And it was a definite possibility considering what I had done the evening before. But everything I had felt was real. And I was steadily contracting. Right up until I was treated like garbage by Nurse Satan.
To this day, I firmly believe that my labor arrested because of the verbal abuse I endured from a nurse who was having a bad day. Or hated her job. Or hated me, I don’t know. But she is the dark shadow that I think about each December. She is the one who has made me have to constantly remind myself that all nurses AREN'T bad. In fact, MOST nurses are awesome.
After shift change, I got a great nurse. We’ll call her Nurse Angel. I feel bad that I don’t remember her real name, but she was lovely and warm and kind. And she made me feel like a person and not a burden on her schedule. With my doctor’s okay, Nurse Angel started me on the lowest dose of Pitocin and I had a baby 45 minutes later. That’s right - with a little Pitocin nudge, and a little kindness from Nurse Angel, I went from 5cm to 10cm and baby OUT in 45 minutes.
I wish I had known more about self-advocacy a decade ago. I wish I'd had a doula. I wish I had known more about birth in general. I teach birth classes now to help other women know more about birth. I think my memories of Colton’s birth would have been much happier ones if I'd been more educated. I am lucky that I had a healthy baby, obviously. But I’m angry that his labor story is one that makes me feel kind of sad when I think back on it. There was no reason it shouldn't have been a completely happy day. I should have been treated with more kindness by Nurse Satan.
It is not incredibly likely that a Nurse Satan will ever attend your birth. Most nurses are really nice. Especially when you smile at them a lot and call them by their name – Don’t worry, I didn’t call her Nurse Satan to her face. I came up with that name while writing this blog. But anyway, if by chance you ever do encounter a Nurse Satan, just have your partner politely say, “Thank you so much for your help, Nurse Satan (use her real name), but may we please have another nurse tend to us?” It may just make your baby's birth a happier one.
Originally Posted 1/10/15
Everyone poops. It’s true. It’s a normal, everyday part of life that we don’t think twice about. Until we give birth and have our first postpartum poop.
True Story -
“When Abbie was one week old (Christmas Eve), Kevin went to work for the morning and mom had left the day before. I was all, I got this. It's four hours. When he came home at lunch I was sitting on the potty, half naked, crying holding a screaming newborn with a two year old crying at my feet. It was horrible. He still laughs to this day. At least he took the kids that day before he laughed in front of me. I wish there was a choice to poop or rip your arms off because I would have chosen the second!! Lol"
(Notice the “Lol” at the end? *proof that you can get through this and laugh about it later)
This story is not uncommon. Postpartum poop issues are probably the #1 physical complaint of mothers who've just had a baby. And poop problems don’t discriminate either. No matter the mode of delivery, cesarean or vaginal, emptying the bowels can be an intimidating process. If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, there are a few things you need to know to help you survive you’re first postpartum jaunt in the john.
With the help of several mama friends and fellow Birth Boot Camp instructors, I have created Your Ultimate Guide to Helping it Slide.
The first thing you need to know is that experiences vary greatly. When I solicited fellow veteran moms, the descriptions of their experiences ranged anywhere from “What’s the big deal?” to “I thought death was upon me.” The truth is, most women fall somewhere in the middle. Having a little background information is the best way to prepare for the birth of your post-baby food baby.
If you’re one of the few women who have absolutely no issue going #2 after giving birth, consider yourself lucky and give thanks. Most women experience at least some discomfort. After birth, many women have some internal swelling and/or bruising which will make things a bit more sensitive than normal. This can cause a fear of going number 2.
Just as in the case of giving birth, fears need to be addressed when you’re feeling nervous about the task ahead. You should work through these fears by talking to your mom, DOULA or TMI-Go-To-Friend. Address what you are nervous about: pain? stitches popping? someone watching you? (sometimes a nurse or other care provider will be in the room to assist).
Verbalize your fears and concerns. You will be met with empathy and nice words to help you calm down.
The food you’re putting into your body will have an impact on your ability to poo with ease. Instructor, Julia West, recommends eating plenty of fiber and eliminating white flour the first week postpartum. Also, don't forget to hydrate! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
Instructor Janine recommends establishing what she calls a “greasy gut”. “Many mothers find (it helpful to stay) hydrated, and get their gut lubed up by drinking lemon water, homemade bone broth, eating fermented foods, and avoiding things that slow digestion (dairy, sugar, too much "rabbit food", processed foods, etc). This keeps things moving so that first camping trip to the bathroom isn't too bad. In eastern cultures, fermented foods and soup are all a mother eats for a few weeks to recharge lost hydration, minerals, etc.”
Or you could just do this...
Positions & Comfort Measures:
Many moms report that they feel like they’re birthing another baby when they go for that first postpartum poop. The labor positions and comfort measures you learned in birth class will definitely come in handy!
You've heard of women who “breathe” their baby out? Well, breathing is helpful with working on a monster poop, too – take deep breaths through the nose and blow out through the mouth! Close your eyes and RELAX your bottom!
Some women like to enhance their squat with a Squatty Potty, a stool created specifically to enhance your squat while - well, going potty. If you don't have one, you could also use a foot stool, or a couple stacks of magazines. Some moms also find it helpful to lean forward a bit.
Instructor, Kristi Keen, says to be mindful of sphincter law. Yes, it’s a real thing. You should be learning about it in birth class! Our sphincters will clamp up if we feel uncomfortable or aren't able to relax - like how you get "pee shy" and can't go in a public restroom. Consider additional privacy if someone is watching you.
Also make sure your brow is relaxed and your jaw is OPEN. Our bottoms mimic the actions of our faces. I know, that sounds weird… I can’t think of a better way to communicate it, but try this: scrunch your face up really tight – you know, typical poo-poo-face style. Now, take notice of your butt. It’s all scrunched up too. Now relax your face and open your jaw. BAM! Your butt is relaxed! Good job, butt!
Supporting areas where you are tender can be helpful as well. Instructor, Melissa Kosloski, says it is comforting to support your lady parts as you go, especially if stitches are involved. Instructor, Courtney Alva, encourages her clients to buy cheap wash cloths at Wal-Mart (ones you don’t mind tossing). You can use those to support your sensitive perineum without toilet paper disintegrating and polluting your recovering lady garden. Supporting the incision site after a cesarean is helpful too. You can use a pillow or rolled up towel to hug or gently hold against your abdomen.
Some women find it helpful to make some noise or talk themselves through it:
Just remember, if you need to cry out in agony, low noises seem to work better than shrill ones. Refer back to sphincter law.
Don’t underestimate the importance of timing when it comes to evacuating a postpartum poop. When you feel the urge, GO! Don’t force it, but don't wait and hold it in – many women do this because they are afraid to go. This can lead to constipation and just makes things worse altogether.
You may not be able to time things out so that you’re home when you feel the urge, but what are you doing out and about anyway?? You just had a baby. No, you’re not sick or crippled, but staying home and resting and bonding with baby should be your top priorities. And when the time comes to poop, you’re in the comfort of your own home! Again, remember sphincter law? We want you comfortable! Pooping in public or at someone else’s house? NOT comfortable! Get it? Stay.At.Home.
Products & Remedies:
Stool softeners are the most commonly recommended remedy. Several moms who had scheduled cesareans said that after baby #1, they learned that it was helpful to start taking stool softeners a couple days leading up to the delivery date – this way, they didn’t have to wait for anything to kick in. If you have a vaginal delivery, ask for those stool softeners shortly after the birth. Don’t wait around. If anything, they’ll at least calm your mental state as you psych yourself up for for the big event.
Some moms enjoyed having a stash of wet wipes or Tucks pads to wipe their bottoms with instead of toilet paper. You want soothing products for your bum. You’ll be given a peri-bottle at the hospital. You can fill it with luke warm water and a drop or 2 of tea tree oil for a cool, soothing effect. I personally enjoyed Earth Mama Angel Baby products. They have a new mama bottom balm, new mama bottom spray and herbal bath sachets.
Sarah Clark (better known as Mama Birth) mentioned using liquid chlorophyll to help keep things loose. There are lots of other products to help move things along as well – Senna Tea, Colace, Miralax, etc. Apple Juice is also known for its ability to help loosen the bowels.
Cold packs are nice to have handy too. If your bottom is sore, a cold pack can help with swelling and may even give you just a bit of a numbing sensation to help with the pooping process. Make sure your cold pack is wrapped in a towel or soft cloth and that you aren’t getting things too cold down there – if it doesn’t feel comfortable, that means you’re done with the ice pack for now. Ten minutes is usually a good rule of thumb.
Dealing with Hemorrhoids:
Yup, these bad boys get their own section of the slide guide. Sometimes pregnancy and/or birth can lead to hemorrhoids, swollen veins in the anal canal that may cause pain and/or itching. Again, Tucks pads (especially the ones with witch hazel) can be very nice on a sore behind. Having a hydrocortisone cream on hand can aide with the swelling and itching.
In my quest for information, rutin was recommended. I had never heard of it before, but apparently it helps strengthen weakened blood vessels. Rutin helps vitamin C absorb better and is found in citrus, onions and broccoli and supplements are also available.
Essential oils are everywhere these days, and I can say from experience that they can be helpful to the ailing bottom. Make sure you dilute them with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil first! Lavender is helpful for itching and Frankincense is a good anti-inflammatory. I also like the cooling effect of peppermint oil – it is soothing and the coolness helps with itching. To be clear, these go on your bottom. I, personally, would NOT use peppermint oil on my vulva. YOWZERS!
*as with any medication, or OTC product, always talk it out with your care provider
- Use pain meds only as needed. Some are known to cause constipation, so you don’t want to over-do it.
- I think this was mentioned already, but it’s important enough to say it again... NO strained pushing – let it slide out.
- Take your time.
- It’s worth noting that urinating may come with a burning sensation – you can dilute your pee with water in a peri-bottle during urination to help reduce the sting. If you’re struggling to pee, you might get a whiff of peppermint oil or turn on a faucet to enhance the urge.
- Passing gas my seem uncomfortable too. Walking can help the wind pass a bit easier. When you hold the toots in, sometimes it can cause nausea or vomiting - get moving to avoid that jazz.
Take heart, maternal grasshopper! Being nervous about that first poop is normal, but it gets better! You can DO this!!
Think I missed something? How did you handle postpartum poop? Post it in the comments!
Interested in taking online birth classes? CLICK HERE
Interested in becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor or DOULA? Tell them I sent you!!!
Originally Posted 1/16/15
Sometimes homebirth doesn't go as planned. Mine didn't. I'm eternally grateful that I still had a good outcome, but if things had ended differently, of course there would have been a great deal of grief. For this reason, my faith is the most important part of my birth plan. This is my testimony.
The most spiritual moments of my life occurred when tiny, wet, delicate newborn babies slid out of my body and into this world. It has happened five times in my life, and if I think about it too much, I’m deeply saddened that we are done having children - and that never again will I feel the same way I felt on those days. The moments when my children were born were the closest I’ve ever felt to Jesus. When my last baby was born, He really put an exclamation point on that birth. It showed me how connected He was, and is, to my existence.
Throughout my pregnancy, I prayed for God’s hands to be on Taylor’s birth. My precious midwife did the same. At the end of each prenatal visit, she held my hands and prayed for me and my baby, for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth. It built my confidence and allowed me to really connect with the baby growing in my belly. I was at peace. No worries. No fears. Jesus had it covered.
When I was about 5 months pregnant, I got a wild hair to get certified to become a Birth Boot Camp childbirth instructor. I had been considering the idea for several months, even before I had become pregnant. But suddenly there was this overwhelming urge - I needed to become an instructor. I had about three months to read a huge stack of books, watch films, complete a study guide, attend two births, and do the 2.5 day workshop. It was a crazy amount of work to take on at the time - but there was this fire - this voice inside telling me to do it.
I got all of the book work done with a week or so to spare, and then attended instructor training in Dallas when I was 36 weeks pregnant. It was wonderful. It was inspiring. It was JUST what I needed to prepare for my own birth! And I got to meet the most amazing women. In fact, I got to room with THE creator of My Breech Baby, Lauren McClain, who taught me all kinds of interesting information about breech birth. I would later realize how big of a deal that was.
I left instructor training feeling so confident to birth my baby and to teach others how to do it too! Birth Boot Camp has a slogan, “You CAN have an Amazing Birth!” I was going to do just that - I was going to go home and have a freaking amazing birth! And I did.
I was blessed with a pretty easy and FAST labor and delivery. You can hear the full story about the labor here. But I’m going to fast forward to the actual birth, because that was when things got pretty interesting. My doula was helping me relax - I was in my bathtub and she was gently pouring warm water over my contracting belly and breathing in and out right along with me. I started to feel an intense pressure as my baby began to emerge.
Then, my midwife gently said, “The baby’s coming breech.” There was no panicking. She said it as if it were just an observation. In that moment a million things flashed through my mind. But not scary things. When people hear about breech birth, they often envision emergency cesareans or tragedies involving a baby’s head getting trapped - they imagine trouble. Nothing like that even crossed my mind.
As I used gentle, grunty pushes to nudge my breechling out, my midwife softly whispered, “Okay, Jesus. Okay, Jesus.” And the millions of thoughts going through my head were thoughts of peace and thankfulness. Thoughts about how Jesus had been openly invited to this birth throughout my pregnancy and how He was obviously sitting on the edge of my bathtub - I mean - that’s exactly how it felt. I had flashes of conversations with Lauren, the breech birth expert I’d met at training. I could feel that the baby was in a frank position (butt first), and I knew that was good. I felt so much peace and comfort - it was like all this proof of Jesus being involved was exploding in my mind.
Then I felt these little arms and legs literally flop out of my body, and it kind of snapped me back into the “here and now” of what was happening. I felt the sensation of a softball resting just inside the window to my womb; it told me that all I needed to do was push this baby’s head out and my work would be done. With confidence in my body and my birth team, I gave a focused push and the rest of Taylor popped into the world.
I cried thankful tears of joy, relief and appreciation. It didn’t take long for the gravity of what had happened to wash over me... I began to do a full-on ugly cry - I just sobbed. My baby stayed purple for a few minutes. My husband was getting kind of nervous, but I remained at peace. God was literally carrying me through those moments. I could hear my baby breathing tiny, squeaky breaths, and I knew she’d turn a lovely shade of pink if she was just given some time to recover from her backwards entrance.
And she did. She turned a lovely, perfect pink. She nuzzled my breast. We stared at one another as though our souls had already known each other for an eternity. We were completely wrapped in God’s love.
When I tell my birth story, I am often on the receiving end of raised eyebrows. People think having her at home was irresponsible and dangerous. If I’m being honest, there have been moments that I look back and wonder how I could be so content with a birth that is considered by many, I BIG risk. But when I really sit and ponder over the whole thing, I know that everything worked out because Jesus was invited to my birth.
No matter what kind of birth you’re planning, home or hospital, Jesus has to be there. This is not to say that God fearing women do not experience trauma or loss. But when Jesus is at your birth, there is peace. When things take unexpected turns, there is still peace. And in the rare event of a tragedy, even then, Jesus brings peace. Jesus carries you through the triumphs and through the hardships. He has to be invited for you to receive this gift.
When you have the peace that comes with having Jesus, you know that you will be carried. You know that you will be held up by something bigger than yourself. When I decided to have a homebirth, I knew that good, bad or ugly, He would be there. I knew that in the event of an unexpected birth outcome or trauma, Jesus would be my comfort. If I was going to have a homebirth, I knew I had to own it - I had to own it AND the results of it. Because of Jesus, I was able to do that.
Jesus was the voice that said, “Learn more about birth.” He was the one who, mere weeks before delivery, put me in a hotel room with a knowledgeable woman who could calm my heart for a breech birth. I didn’t even realize it was Him when it was all happening… until after my baby was in my arms. Then it all made sense.
No doctor, or midwife, nor friend, nor educator can guarantee you a risk free birth. And Jesus doesn’t make that guarantee either. But if you invite Him to your birth, whether you at home or at the hospital, He will show up. And He will bring peace to that birth. I trust birth. I know that it almost always unfolds perfectly; however, I respect it enough to know that sometimes, scary things happen - and I need Jesus to be there if it does.
Please, if you do nothing else to prepare for childbirth, at the very least, invite Jesus to your birth.
Of course, I still think you should take Birth Boot Camp classes ;) From my personal experience, they seem to be Jesus approved.
Love Making and Child Birth are probably the most sacred moments between a couple. When you really think about the two, they're quite similar. It only makes sense that creating a new little person would begin and end with such acts of love. Here are 5 ways Love Making and Child Birth are just alike.
1. Varying States of Undress
Like love making, there's a process as to how things start. This may be a vanilla version, but probably rings true for most. Sex starts with a couple climbing into bed, clothed in some sort of pajamas. They embrace for a goodnight kiss and something shifts. The kiss lasts a little longer, hands begin to wander, underwear are tossed to the floor and any other clothing like a night gown or flannel bottoms follow soon after. Getting completely naked is kind of a process.
Labor usually unfolds much the same for a woman. She may start out in regular clothing and get into something more cozy, usually a gown of some kind. At some point when things are increasingly intense, a vaginal exam is done and the panties come off and usually don't go back on. Many moms who birth outside of a hospital will end up totally naked or mostly naked by the time mom is ready to push.
In both cases, sometimes it happens slowly and sometimes it happens quickly. But regardless of speed, it happens nonetheless.
2. The Need For Security
Love making requires a certain level of security in order for a couple to become completely vulnerable to one another. Privacy is essential. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to "perform" with an audience? The best connections happen when couples feel safe - usually they are in a secluded space - often their bedroom (doors locked if they have children), under the covers and with dimmed lights, if any at all.
The security needs of a laboring woman are quite the same. If a woman has several people watching her, especially people she doesn't know, it can cause performance anxiety. Her labor may stall completely due to lack of privacy. Laboring women tend to do well when they get to be in the location in which they feel most safe - for some that's at home and for some that's at the hospital. They also do well when interruptions are limited and a dark, quiet environment has been established.
3. The Noises
Noises, whether we like the idea of it or not, noises are part of love making. Just as the state of undress changes during love making, so do the noises. It usually starts with slow, soft moaning. When the passion becomes more intense the noises get deeper and louder. Love making culminates with guttural groans and, perhaps some roaring.
The same happens as a woman works with building contractions. The rushes start out gentle and strengthen over the course of hours. Her noises start out slow and low. Her soft moaning may almost sound like humming. As she gets deeper into labor, those noises change and can really mimic the sounds of great sex. It's been my experience that THIS is the time when most women ask for an epidural - sex sounds in front of strangers- that's a "no, thank you" (this relates back to security). When it comes time to push, raging roars are common.
4. The Positions
I don't think I have to do too much explaining here. Great sex usually involves position changes. One position may feel fabulous for a while, and then becomes less fabulous - same with birth. And a change of position helps to keep things fun and interesting. Birth is the same in this respect, and almost every labor position looks like a comfortable pose for love making - side lying, all fours, upright missionary for pushing, leaning over a counter (hey sometimes sex happens leaning over a piece of furniture) - they all make wonderful options. Both experiences feel best when we just do what feels good.
5. Euphoric Connection
The best part about both love making and giving birth is the euphoria. The exhilaration that washes over you during orgasm is very similar to the one that washes over you when your baby comes out and is placed on your chest. Love overflows and makes you feel as though your heart may just burst right open. The connection and love you share with your partner during sex is multiplied by 1000 when you meet your baby for the first time.
They say that some women actually do have orgasms during labor, because the process is so similar to love making. The figure is supposedly somewhere around 20% - not gonna lie - I'm a little jealous that I never got one of those. I often joke with friends that since I have 5 kids, statistically, I should have had at least ONE! That's okay, because I still had that orgasmic rush of euphoria that came when my babies were born. It it was pretty darn wonderful.
Like love making, birth is extremely intimate. It deserves the same reverence that we place on one's virginity. Birth should be tender, loving and private. And couples should be able to enter these two different realms of adulthood with security so that they can allow themselves to be vulnerable during these life changing events.
Can you think of other ways love making is just like giving birth? Please share in the comments!
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