I would like to give a little insight as to why I chose this type of birth twice. I was fortunate enough to be my younger sisters birth partner in 2010. She chose a non-medicated birth. She followed HypnoBirthing®: the Mongan Method and began researching and studying all about it. I was concerned for her because I was not knowledgeable, but supportive nonetheless. I did not read the book at this time. I was really quite freaked out and afraid that she was going against the norm for birth. I didn’t understand why someone would want to feel discomfort and pain. I talked to several people close to me about this and they also shared my same thoughts. Although I did not understand at that time, I felt a strong, raw woman energy and power from her as she spoke about it. I trusted her intuition as a woman about to become a mother for the first time. I was in amazement at her strength and lack of fear, it drew me in and I was addicted to that energy. After seeing my nephew born into the world in a birth center with no medicine that solidified it for me. It was amazing, it was peaceful, it was beautiful, it was nature at its finest and I was hooked even more than before. My sister did an amazing job and I was honored to be able to help her through it. She labored peacefully for 17 hours and birthed an 8lbs 13oz healthy baby boy with no medicine. She did it and I was there right by her side every step of the way! Now I wandered, could I also succeed at a non-medicated birth or did I even want to? Hmmm, that was the question.
After actively trying, we became pregnant in March 2012 with our first daughter Giana Marie. I started planning my natural birth by calling Crystal Fedele, AP, DOM to see when I should sign up for HypnoBirthing® Classes. She was kind and chuckled because I was only 12 weeks pregnant at that point. My sister and I had gone to her class together and I was excited to share this experience with Mike. Choosing this method wasn’t easy, especially with a husband in the medical field. He did not understand why I would want to feel discomfort and pain (sound familiar?). He said to make sure that I wasn’t just trying to compete with my sister. This was a good point because I am extremely competitive in everything that I do. After doing some self checks, I assured myself that I at least wanted to try and attempt this non-medicated birth. If I wanted, I could always change my mind. Yes, yes, I could always change my mind and get the epidural if I wanted. I am also terrified of needles so this helped in my efforts to try this type of birth. Through my research and discussions about a non-medicated birth, I learned many things. Some of the things that truly encouraged me to keep going forward were that people who had opted to get the epidural said it did not take and they felt everything! In my mind I thought, if that happens to me, then I will at least be prepared for it a little and not be in shock for what I’m about to experience. Then, I also read that many people had negative lasting effects from the epidural. Things as little as headaches for a month or longer and other side affects more dramatic like not being able to walk for 6 months. Again, encouraging to at least attempt without the epidural.
The whole pregnancy with Giana, I was active working out 4-5 times a week. I did cardio and yoga and ate a healthy diet of course treating my sweet tooth as often as I wanted. I gained 32lbs that pregnancy and felt that was a healthy amount. I really, really wanted to make it to 40 weeks with Giana. I felt it was really important to carry full term. I did make it, made it to 41 weeks! I then became concerned about when I would go into labor naturally and not wanting my doctor to tell me I needed to be medically induced. I was dead set against that. I called Crystal and she prescribed some Chinese herbal tea along with some other homeopathic remedies to help encourage labor without needing Cervadil or Pitocin at the hospital. It worked! I went into labor on a Thursday evening and after 36 hours of back labor, birthed my first born daughter on Saturday morning at 2:17am with no medicine. I did it! Giana was a nice healthy baby. She weighed 8lbs 9oz and was 21 inches long. I did not invite anyone into the room family wise. Only me, Mike, my doula Crystal and the amazing Dr. Gilmore and other hospital staff. My mom was mad and worried the entire time. I was not able to communicate well to either side of the family because back labor needed some serious focus and concentration as well as calming from Mike and my doula Crystal! I was also extremely afraid of failing and getting the epidural and did not want anyone else to see that. Although I did not have my mom or any other female family members in the room with me, it was still an amazing experience. I was so incredibly happy that I had succeeded and accomplished a very important goal.
Moral of this is do not judge a non-medicated birth until you research and become more knowledgeable on the subject. I learned first hand that knowledge is power and I am forever grateful to have experienced two non-medicated births. Truly amazing and inspiring events in my life.