Meet Theodore + My Birth Story
We call him Theo. He lives with us now. Full time. For at least the next 18 years or so. But he is a pretty cool little guy. We met him on August 16th of this year and decided to keep him. But his story starts long before then.
When I was pregnant, I was pretty set on having an all natural birth. I wanted a calm and peaceful experience for myself and the baby. I wanted to give birth to my son. That seems like a simple statement but it means a lot. I didn’t want the experience of birth taken from me. I didn’t want the doctor to decide how or when he was going to come out. I wanted to be in control. I wanted the full experience of labor and birth. The way I saw it, no other mammals (except maybe bulldogs) need as much medical intervention as humans do. They do it naturally because their bodies are built for it. And our bodies are clearly amazing at what they do.
During my pregnancy, people gave me funny looks if I mentioned that it was my goal to birth Theo naturally. I got a lot of judgement and doubt from people. Sometimes they would laugh and sarcastically tell me good luck.
I didn’t need luck. But I did need to actually put in effort for what I wanted. And you bet I put in the effort.
Here is my little journey and advice. Find yourself a really good doctor. Educate yourself. And have a really good support system during labor.
Our OB was phenomenal. The best in North County according to all the doulas I talked to. He specialized in natural births. I didn’t even have to worry about him trying to pressure me into anything. We saw him at every prenatal visit and he also attended our birth. I knew that I wanted a single doctor, not a group of doctors. I wanted to know exactly who was going to deliver my baby because I knew that would be more comforting to me.
Educating and preparing myself is kind of a big theme in my life. Whenever I have a new interest or hobby, my first step is to read a half dozen books on the subject. So when it came to having a baby, it was no different. We bought books, took hypnobirthing classes, and did a lot of research. I did prenatal yoga, practiced meditation and visualizations, and got regular prenatal massages. I clocked a lot of hours in mastering relaxation techniques and it paid off. I went into labor without a single fear or worry. I ignored people’s horror stories and only focused on having a positive experience.
Support during labor was another important factor. We hired a doula a few months prior to the birth. She was amazing and calm the entire time. I knew I only wanted her and Matt with me during labor. Being in labor and having contractions is a very vulnerable time. The people I had with me were there to support me with relaxation techniques and counter pressure. I didn’t invite anyone (or even tell anyone I was going to the hospital) because it wasn’t a show. I didn’t want people watching me endure hundreds of contractions. I didn’t need any distractions. I just needed to focus.
My labor went from “This isn’t so bad” to me screaming into a pillow for 5 hours straight.
Was it hard?
Was it impossible?
I did end up having Theo without an epidural (after 36 hours in labor). There were a few road bumps but I accomplished my goal. And am damn proud of myself.
This was just my experience. I’m not trying to push a natural birth on anyone. I know how hard and enduring it was. There were many times during my labor where I thought I couldn’t bear it any longer. And I can’t say an epidural didn’t cross my mind.
Theo is one month old today! He is a calm and content little baby. He can already grab things, hold his head up a little, and recognize faces. But he is still the most helpless creature in the house.