I love reading about birth so I thought this would be a nice idea for a post. I get a lot of questions on how I am preparing for birth, if I’m reading any books, what my birth plan is…ect. I have been a little quiet on the subject thus far simply because your birth choices are just that: they are YOUR birth choices. You should not have to defend your decisions to anyone and I’ a firm believer that all births are beautiful. I would never look down for a moment on a mama who chooses to have an epidural (hey, been there!) or has a c-section. How you get your baby out is your business and at the end of the day, it’s all about healthy mama and healthy baby.
If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you may remember my experience with Grayson! You guys, as a first time mom to be, I did all the things. We went to birth prep classes, I read countless books, I hired a doula (who is amazing and still with us, btw). Turned out, NOTHING could have prepared me for that birth experience! Looking back, it’s not that it was entirely that long of a labor but I just had no idea how much labor was going to hurt. I totally freaked out, which made it so much worse. Let’s just say all the “hypnobirthing” I did went out the window. Epidural? Yes, please. I’m not going to re-write that birth story because you can read the whole thing right here if you want, but it was very hard for me. I felt like I couldn’t manage the pain at all and one intervention just led to the next. I finally got the kid out, but WOAH…I had a hard time and an equally hard postpartum experience. Wondering why there are no photos of my birth with Grayson, only Luke? Because taking photos during that labor was never even on our radar. Just surviving was. Hah.
Flash forward a couple years, and all my ideas of a strict birth plan for Luke’s birth went out the window. With my second, I knew how much labor hurt but I also trusted my body a whole lot more. I knew I was capable of birthing a big baby and my real goal was just to try to stay calm and get through it, which I did! If you’re interested in reading that story, you can do so here. In short, I was able to lean into the pain and not resist it. I had a much shorter labor and the whole thing was just very beautiful and very redemptive for me. Having a natural birth with Luke was probably the most transformative experience of my entire life. It truly changed me. Immediately after I got him out I said “well that wasn’t SO bad. I would totally do it again!”. Haha ? I felt so good after delivery, too. It was the stark opposite of my prior experience.
I actually decided that I wanted my third baby to be a homebirth right after I had Luke in the hospital. I had had such a wonderful natural birth experience and was SO DARN HUNGRY after, but all the nurse station had was carrot sticks and old hummus (I mean, it was 5:45am). All I wanted was the comfort of my own home, the softness of my own bed and….yeast-raised waffles with champagne. I mean, obviously! I told Adam that next time we are doing this at home and I think by that time he was already passed out asleep but just nodded along with me.
So what have I done to prepare this time around? Not much, really. Just knowing I don’t have to figure out childcare and head to the hospital when labor starts has been a HUGE stress relief for me. I was so, so, so stressed out last time because we don’t have any family nearby and I was so scared I would go into labor before my mom came from the east coast to watch Grayson. This time, I feel so much more at peace about it all! My mom is coming out a few days before my due date to help with the boys, but I also have a lot of friends I can call to come over and help with the kids should I go into labor early. And, I mean, if nothing else, we all will just be HOME so the kids can watch a movie or do their thing.
The only “birth prep books” I read are positive birth stories. This helped me immensely last time. Every night in the last couple months of pregnancy, I would read a positive birth story before falling asleep at night. I would say that was the biggest thing that helped me, actually. I don’t need any more “how to” books…I just want to be filled up with positivity regarding the whole thing. The truth is, our bodies were designed to do this. I know my “average size” baby is around 9lbs…but that’s just how God designed it to be for me. My body can totally handle that and I’m choosing to rest in that truth. Should a complication arise? I trust my midwife team completely and will absolutely go to the hospital if they think I need to during labor.
I have heard the old saying that “first babies are really hard, second babies are easy and third babies are total wildcards.” I know that this is just one of those things that I can’t control. I can control my attitude and my breath…but in the end, all births are so different and I truly have no idea how this little one will make his way into the world.
I was hesitant to share our homebirth plans only because I’m really not interested in hearing any negativity. I am not up for a debate in the comment section. This is our decision and I can’t wait. We have an awesome team (two midwives and my doula who has been with us for my past two births) and I know, whatever happens, it’s going to be an experience we never forget. I can’t wait to meet this little boy and introduce him to his big brothers! I’m so sappy at the moment that I’m basically tearing up at the thought of my older boys holding this new baby.