The decision to go “natural”, aka drug free, was an easy one for me and involved very little political ideals or hemp products. My mother had all three of us at home, so I felt secure in the knowledge that my DNA would allow me to channel my inner wild animal and pop a baby out a la carte! That said, I will admit that while I had publicly made up my mind, I was privately giving myself permission to scream “uncle” mid-contraction.
I went into labor 10 days before my due date. I am not really clear on the rules around how long people say they labored. Do you claim the time the doctor says labor technically started, the moment when you actually realized you were in labor, or the time when you start to feel like your body is splitting in half? For me: Doctor’s Time: 5 hours; My Time: 2 hours; Body Splitting Time: 30 minutes.
My water broke while I was at work. Since I was 10 days early and it was just a little trickle, I figured that this was the stage in pregnancy when you start peeing yourself. I was feeling a bit off all day so I had planned to leave a little early anyway. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to call my doctor and check in in case it wasn’t just pee. They had me come in to the office and discovered that I had in fact broken my water. They immediately moved forward with normal protocol telling me that I needed to check into the hospital and get hooked up to pitocin. I explained that I was not using pitocin or an epidural. My doctor warned me that it could be up to 24 hours for me to deliver if I didn’t use pitocin. I told her I had nowhere to be and that wasn’t a problem for me. One thing you have to prepare yourself for if you opt for a drug-free delivery is that the hospital is full of pushers. Around every corner there is a nurse saying, “just try a little, it will make you feel better.” I chose to treat the nursing staff like drug dealers and would yell out “drug free is the way to be!” It scared them enough to back off and was super amusing for me. Once my husband got to the hospital, the nurse had us walk the halls with an enormous towel, because if the rest of my water broke by the vending machine I would be ever-so worried that someone might slip. When we hiked back to the room and sat on the bed for some quick monitor action, the rest of my waters came out. For those of you who haven’t experienced your waters breaking on your own, I liken it to the lack of control my grandmother must feel when she soaks her Depends while playing bridge. It flows right out of you and you can’t do anything to stop it or slow it down. Once that wonderful, buoyant universe was depleted, I felt nothing but baby! That’s when the painful contractions started. Since pain is gauged due to the dramatic tendencies of the person, I’ll just say it hurt a 7, with 10 being the pain I felt when Sonny Bono died. I tried to focus on the purpose of the pain and the fact that in 6-10 years that purpose will do my dishes. Once the baby was out, the release of pressure was a huge relief. Your body is so pumped with natural adrenaline that acute pain isn’t really present. Your body is wound up really tightly. My legs had tremors for an hour after delivery. The recovery from a drug free birth is relatively quick and the percentage of women that get tears, etc, is lower because your body can feel what is happening and properly prepare—aka stretch. There is no missing out on the days of aftermath or the next 20 years of exhaustion no matter how your little one came into the world. Pick the path that is right for you and reserve the right to change your mind. Also know that the only thing that is 100% certain about childbirth is that nothing will go exactly as you planned. In the words of one maladjusted ice princess, “Let It Go, Let It Go!”
Suggested Natural Birth Playlist
“I’m Coming Out” Pink
“Burning Ring of Fire” Johnny Cash
“Push It” Salt-N-Peppa
“Hit Me Baby One More Time” Britney Spears
“Come As You Are” Nirvana
“Sunday Bloody Sunday” U2
“My Humps” Black Eyed Peas
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” Snoop Dogg
“Who’s Gonna Raise these Babies” Shovels and Rope
Written by: Alice