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Natural Childbirth A Direction Of Choice

Mar 10, 2008
We have two beautiful daughters, aged 3 and 4. We also have the memories of two natural childbirth experiences we will always treasure.

Our first attempt at a natural home childbirth was almost a complete success. Almost meaning we had to go to the hospital for the final two hours before delivery. The complication was that when Laura's water broke, the meconium level in the waters was too high (meconium is normally stored in the infant's intestines until after birth, but sometimes it is expelled into the amniotic fluid prior to birth during labor). By law, when the level is too high, the midwife must abort the home birth and proceed to the hospital. An emergency baby team must be on hand at birth in case the baby has received some infection. Kaelyn was in perfect shape though, born at 4:35 am. We were back home by 8:00 am. A totally drug free birth.

Although Kaelyn was born in the hospital, the experience of going through the majority of the experience together, in our home, with a very caring and wonderful midwife guiding us is so special. The experience really helped to bond us in ways I don't think would have been possible in a hospital environment, not for us anyway.

Our second natural home childbirth was a complete success. Laura's labor was about 12 hours long this time. It went by so fast, our calculations of time between contractions were a bit off, mainly because we had this longer period of going through this phase in our minds. Our midwife was waiting impatiently for our call. It was her who called us to find out what in the world was happening and after we explained she raced right over. It appeared Laura was already quite dilated and baby was on the way. Huh?

I was totally unprepared. The same pool which was set up again in the basement had hardly any water in it yet. It takes long as you go through several hot water tanks full to get enough in it for mommy. The previous labor I had it timed to a tee. It was ready and waiting for Laura. Not this time.

What do I do, I cried to the midwife? "Get the bathtub ready!" she replied, in her usual logical and calm fashion. The bathtub was covered in baby art-scribbles from bathtub crayons.

I raced in, removed the glass shower doors and ran them downstairs. I had to disinfect and scrub down the tub and shower enclosure. The second midwife arrived and I did all I could to keep up to their requirements and requests.

Before we new it Laura was in the warm water deep in concentration and calm breathing techniques. The warm water (an exact temperature maintained at 36- 37C) visibly helped Laura get into a deep relaxed state. They say the pain killing benefits of the warm water can be similar to Demerol. After witnessing her state in the tub that night, I believe it.

The midwife's orders continued. "Turn up the house temperature! Where can Laura lie down near the bathroom to nurse after the birth? Get Laura more water to drink! Put some more warm wet towels on top of her! As I struggled to pull up a queen sized mattress from the basement to lay on the floor in our fireplace room, I could hear Laura.

"Tell Mark to get in here and get the camera, the baby is coming. The next second it seemed, I was in the bathroom with a video camera in one hand and a still camera in the other, just in time to see my second daughter come into the world...under water. A perfect birth. I was even steady enough this time to cut the cord.

Before I new it Laura was on the mattress with baby Talia in her arms, wrapped up tight and warm with her little white toque on her tiny head, waiting for her first feeding. Laura on the phone to her mother in Argentina telling her the good news. A scene so similar to the many childbirth videos we had watched in our classes with the Doula. A dream come true. I was so proud of Laura. I still am. A couple of hours later, Talia met her big sister.

Natural birth is the delivery of a baby without using drugs or surgery during birth. What we learned in our natural childbirth classes is that "birth is a natural process, not a medical procedure." Unfortunately, a radical concept for most doctors, but it is a true fact nonetheless. You really can have a beautiful, drug-free experience in childbirth if you have your baby in a hospital or at home. It is wherever the mother is most comfortable.

Take the time and learn about all of the advantages of natural childbirth when you take a class such as those offered by Doulas in your area.

Natural childbirth is much better for the mother. The mother has a completely different experience during birth if she is not drugged - a significantly more fulfilling and beautiful experience. She also feels much more in control of her body and the health of her baby.

Natural childbirth is also much better for the baby. The baby arrives in an un-drugged and more active and alert state. Try to find birth videos, showing the differences between drugged and un-drugged babies immediately after birth. Un-drugged babies are active and responsive. Drugged babies can barely move. A video of birth, from all types of birth, can be a very powerful and enlightening decision making tool.

When an alert and active (un-drugged) baby is placed on the abdomen of an alert and un-drugged mother, an amazing thing happens: the baby and mother bond in a more solid and real way. The baby will naturally find the breast and begin feeding. This simply does not happen when mother and child are drugged, and as a result breast-feeding starts off on a much rockier road.

Prepare and think about this early on in pregnancy. You will not have a natural childbirth in today's society unless you take active steps to make it happen. Read and learn about the almost non-existent need for caesarean section procedures in places of the world where home and water births a practiced regularly.

You and your spouse must decide in your own minds that you want a natural birth. You must find a midwife or doctor who supports your decision. The first time you look into birth plans, the number of options are confusing. Once you have done the research into the type of birth you want you will be focused and confident. You will be ready to manage pain and know exactly what to do at different stages of the birth.

With the right preparation and support, you'll feel empowered and deeply satisfied by natural childbirth. It was a choice we would not hesitate to make again. It is a choice we will always recommend. A direction of choice we will always cherish.
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