We tried. For three years, we tried for our first baby. I knew I didn’t want to go the clinical, fertility doctor route, but my husband was leaning that way. I always felt that God would bless us with children, but those three years of trying were longer than I expected. When I finally agreed to start researching fertility doctors, low and behold, we were pregnant!
The excitement overwhelmed me! I enjoyed every.single.moment of my pregnancy. I never had severe morning sickness, though there were moments I felt a little green. But, I was grateful. I had waited three years for this! And I was thrilled to begin making plans for my first birth.
My First Birth – Plans for Natural Delivery
I knew I wanted a home birth. After all, I’m a daughter of a chiropractor. My brother and his wife are also chiropractors. My two siblings and I were born at home, and the only doctor at our births was my father! That was the way I was going to deliver.
My kids were never going to get vaccinated because I never was. My kids weren’t going to get antibiotics or over the counter meds because I never did. We were ‘crunchy’ and ‘granola’ before there were labels for us.
My pregnancy and delivery were going to be easy and textbook. You get pregnant, you push and the kid comes out. That’s it, right? Sure, there’s pain, but so many moms have more than one child. It surely can’t be that horrific or humans would be extinct.
I was ready. Or so I thought…
My husband and I both agreed that we did NOT want a hospital birth, so we began to seek out midwives. I quickly found Diane Albright from All Bright Beginnings and immediately fell in love with her and her staff. Diane is the kind of woman that lays all your options out there and lets you choose which route you’d like to take. She prepared me well for pregnancy, labor, and delivery. She was extremely thorough and offered a specific list of “practical needs” when it came to “D-Day”.
What I Wish I Would Have Known with My First Birth
But, what I wish I would’ve known is that you are never really prepared. No matter how much you read (this book is awesome!), no matter how much you study breathing techniques, birth positions, reflexology, pain management, hospital options, home births, birth centers, c-sections, epidurals, the woman’s body and ability to birth a child, how to pack a hospital/birth center bag, breastfeeding, Braxton Hicks vs. labor contractions, water births, placentas, umbilical cords, and newborns, no one has experienced what you are about to experience.
You and your birth story are unique to you. It is a miracle that will happen to you and your family. That exact birth-miracle will never be repeated, ever, in the exact same way. Ever. Be prepared only to be amazed, in awe, in love, and at the same time like you just lived through a category 5 tornado followed by an earthquake. At the end of it all you’ll be staring at the little face you’ve been waiting to see for 9 months, speechless.
Now, there may be some of you reading this that want a practical list of helpful hints and must-haves. You may love using them during labor; and you may hate it and then love it. You never can tell until that moment.
Things I Loved and What I Wish I’d Had with My First Birth:
Here are some things that I loved and/or wished I had on hand:
- Newborn diapers with crushed ice for my swollen parts after delivering
- ClaraDerm Spray
- Coconut/Pineapple juice or NingXia Red, through labor and post delivery
- Diced fruit, small so you can eat/swallow between contractions (prepare and keep in freezer for Labor Day)
- Labor/birthing sundresses (like beach cover ups)
- Ginger compress to soften and stretch vaginal tissues, just before pushing phase
- A hearty protein meal immediately following delivery
- Nursing pads like these (if you’re breastfeeding and use disposables, like these, you’ll use more than one box)
- Thieves Soft Throat Lozenges
- Gentle Babies essential oil
- A chiropractor, during and after labor (preferably the same one that you went to during pregnancy)
- Prayer – there were many times during labor I just needed my husband to pray for strength and peace
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What things did you wish you’d known with your first birth?