I've been wanting to write a blog about Orion's Birth for some time now. Some people think I'm crazy, which, if you know me at all, you know I have my own way of doing pretty much everything. I have some pretty strong opinions about natural birth, I'm not trying to offend anyone, but my experience of birthing in a hospital versus at a birthing center was like night and day. As I prepared for Orion's birth I started learning that things that happened with Aiko's birth didn't necessarily need to happen. At all.
His birth was perfect. It was one hundred percent natural with no complications. It's the birth Aiko and I were cheated of. I can't really say any super positive things about little Aiko's birth. Other than having her of course. I lost control the moment we stepped into the hospital. I mean, they wouldn't even let me walk into the hospital. It's not like I was dying or even having really bad contractions, they just wouldn't let me walk. I decided that the next time we had a baby, I was just going to have the baby at home somehow or find a birthing center. Luckily, someone told me there was a birthing center, just a few miles away from my house!
We chose to have a water birth at the Arrivals birthing center. I wanted to be somewhere where I was in control, surrounded by family and a midwife who made supported me. Somewhere comfortable, away from the monitors, needles and sometimes impatient people. (I had some really awesome nurses at the hospital and then I had some really terrible ones.) I was recently asked why I would have a birth without any kind of drug. Well, because I wanted to feel everything! God made it so we could have babies, our bodies know exactly what needs to happen.
I think that Hollywood and society in general have made birth much too scary. Plus, we live in a fast paced world that's somewhat negative. Especially about birth, I mean really, can you even name someone who had a positive birth experience? Orion's birth was just like I read it could be.
A good experience.
It's crazy how your body really knows what it's doing. My contractions started pretty regularly around 7:30 that morning. We went into the birthing center around 10:30 AM. I was able to breath through the contractions pretty easily. We got in the tub as soon as it was ready. At one point, my legs were going numb and then my hands. My midwife calmly told me that my body was working with me to get this baby out.
It wasn't until we started pushing where things got kind of loud. In my mind, I had planned to birth Orion nice and quietly...in the end I sure wasn't quiet. But, as I explained to those surrounding me, it wasn't all from pain, it's like how tennis players grunt with each swing. It helps get more power out!
My midwife says that at some point every birthing mom says "I can't do it." But they all do anyway. When I said it, I suddenly felt my sisters grab my hands and squeeze. I can't even tell you how much strength it gave me. It was 12:30 and then, he was out.
This was the way I wanted it, quickly and while "easily" isn't the word to describe birth, it was. He came out and they placed him on my chest and in my arms. He was mine. I could still feel the umbilical chord pulsing. It was just like I imagined, but even better. With Aiko, they placed her for a second and then whisked her away. I still feel this ache where I wanted her more than anything and they wouldn't give her to me. Even as I write this.
It also made such a difference to have Derek supporting me. Not that he didn't during Aiko's, he actually had to support me WAY more. It was just different. It was a much calmer environment, we didn't feel any pressure. I know he feels that natural is the way to go. It really was amazing. These pictures capture the moments perfectly.
When I was ready, my midwives cleaned and measured little Orion.
He was extremely alert through it all.
I was able to get up and shower shortly after delivering little man. Three hours later we packed it up and went home. I can't even explain how good I felt. Yes, I was tired, but I also very alert and quite happy.
I know, I know, you may think, please, this is all set up to look wonderful and easy. This can't be the way it really is. I really, truly believe that most women can have a birth this wonderful. I can't tell you how many negative experiences I hear and how sad it makes me. Surround yourself with positive experiences, books and people. Educate yourself. Find support groups, find a Dr or Midwife who will support you in every way. Make sure your Midwife is completely qualified as well. I know that there are extreme cases where things can go wrong, but for the most part, it doesn't have to be a scary thing.
It's a wonderful thing.
I recommend that everyone read Hypnobirthing. (Husbands, siblings, parents.) It's a good book that easily explains birth and how it is possible to do it naturally.
Photos taken by the lovely lady of Auburn Soul Photography