Birth – I could talk about it all day. How you went into labor, your birth story and your whole experience. There are always similarities and differences in these conversations. I have had two babies and two unplanned c-sections; however, I am not disappointed.
After learning about natural and alternative birthing methods over the past ten years, I was so excited to experience it in 2014 with my first baby. My friend, who knew a lot more than I did, and I had regular discussions about labor. Coincidentally, she was also pregnant at the time. I had a doula, went to a birthing class, wrote a birth plan, researched everything from hep-locks to vernix and even made a “labor playlist” on my phone. I planned to do skin-to-skin and nurse immediately. Following my first unplanned c-section, I decided to go for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I visited a chiropractor to help with pelvic alignment. But the second labor ended the same way.
A birth plan is just that – a plan. But not necessarily how things will actually go. And I’m okay with how it turned out ..twice.
For many reasons, I felt like I got the best of both worlds and that I didn’t really miss out on too much.
1. I went into labor with both babies, experiencing the gradual intensity of contractions and the utilization of different pain management techniques. Both times were very different.
2. The first time I was able to walk the halls to get things moving and try multiple laboring positions for 13 hours, until I chose to get an epidural.
3. The second time I labored in the tub for a while. Then later, I pushed for what seemed like hours. He was right there (but more like stuck right there).
4. After both c-sections, I was able to hold my babies on my chest and nurse right away. The team there was very accommodating to my requests, for which I was so grateful.
I had prepared as much as possible for what I thought would happen and even had a great team assisting me both times. Although both my labors ended in c-sections for which I hadn’t originally planned, I am thankful for the *very long* laboring I was able to experience beforehand. I cherish the labor photos I have from those hours and even have a few framed on our bedroom wall. Those photos are a perfect example of how different labors can be and that each one should be celebrated!