My birth journey began when I decided I better just try to birth unmedicated because that’s what one of my two amazing big sisters did. I didn’t know much about it, I just knew that if I didn’t try it for my first, I may never think to try it again. My friend lent me her HypnoBirthing course and CD’s that I attempted for weeks at home. I was not connecting with the program. As my sister (who was my doula) was processing with me on my fears to do it naturally when I hadn’t attended a birth education course and wasn’t connecting with the HypnoBirthing method, she had me write down all of my fears. On a separate sheet of paper, she had me write down, “Susie’s birth tools.” I was certain I wouldn’t have anything to put on that list. First she asked me to retell hard things that I had done in the past, and then it opened up my mind to more and more of my own “tools” and the list kept growing.
The next two days I experienced slow and gradual labor ensuing. I went to the hospital when I was fully effaced and dilated to a “good two”. I was told to not come back “until I was ready to push.” I took that directive literally. I went home for several more hours and labored almost entirely in the tub and on the toilet. My birth team kept bringing me pots of hot water to refresh the tub temp. We had dim lights and calm music with reassuring words from my loving team. After I lost my mucus plug, we decided to head for the hospital. I went through transition in the car and was able to enter the tub soon after admittance. A few contractions later, my water broke and I proclaimed, “I feel the urge to push!” Nobody taught me to say that, it just innately came out!
They hurried me over to the bed where my birth team reminded the medical staff of my plan requests which included being able to birth in a squatting position, if it felt right. My husband was behind me, cradling me in his legs, and letting me lean back on his comforting chest in between contractions. This remains my favorite of all birthing positions. After a couple hours of pushing, my perfect little gal came tumbling out of me. The relief was out of this world as she came tumbling out of me and my joy was exquisite.
After this birth, I learned I could do unmedicated birth again and that the tub would be one of my greatest tools for managing the intensity of labor. I also solidified a truth I innately knew: I am mentally, a very strong woman.