If you’ve never experienced it, it might be hard for you to understand it. When you do experience it, you will never forget it. The passion for it will be born along with your baby. Each Mother has one, and each Mother has passion for hers. It’s her story, it’s what she accomplished. It’s that thing she never knew she was capable of or strong enough to do… It’s BIRTH!
If you’ve followed me and my blog, you may know that I have needed c-sections for all 3 of my babies. I am very open and honest about how I feel about these surgeries (if you want to read my detailed birth stories they are all documented here on the blog). I never thought much about birth until I got pregnant with Lazar (my oldest). I always thought of myself as a tough person with a high pain tolerance. I wanted to prove to myself and everyone around me, that I could give birth naturally with no pain medications. I never thought in my wildest dreams that God would have placed me on the path of cesarean births, but He did and I am content with that now. After giving birth, I grew a passion for it. I not only love my own births, but seeing a Mother’s eyes light up and hearing the passion in her voice when she tells her story is such a fascinating and beautiful thing! It’s an intense process bringing another life into this world! Something to be proud of and celebrated, no matter how it happens, no matter how admittedly you were against that epidural or c-section… Your baby is in your arms and suddenly none of the details of how it happened impact you the way you thought they would. Suddenly you wouldn’t change a thing about it because it’s the exact path God designed for you to meet your brand new child! Poof! a passion is born!
Although every Mother’s birth story has it’s differences, they also have many similarities as well. After it’s all said and done, we all end up with a beautiful bundle of joy in our arms, making birth and all it’s gory glory completely worth it! I became so passionate about birth that I felt inspired to create this blog so I could document each of my kiddos birth stories… I never wanted to forget any of the details! I also have these beautiful Birth Posters from Sweden to remind me of those 3 very special days. They are customizable illustrations of your child the day they were born! The birth facts are listed on the bottom of the poster and the actual length of your baby is accurately displayed on the poster as well; which is so cool to compare sibling to sibling! I honestly adore the minimal look of the posters and will cherish them forever!
I came up with the idea to interview a few ladies about their personal birth stories. Each Mom has a very unique story from the other… A c-section Mama, a Hospital birth Mama and a all-natural/home birth Mama. Each of these ladies are strong amazing women who so generously shared personal information about their experiences and each of them have amazing children to show for what they went through!
First up, meet Ana! She is a fellow c-section Mama to 4 gorgeous children!
- How many children do you have? How did their births vary if at all? I have 4 children 🙂 2 boys, 2 girls! They were all born via C-section.
- Did you have a birth plan? If yes, did it go as you planned? If no, do you wish you had? I did not have a birth plan with my first . Like every mom I just hoped that things would go easy breezy and happen naturally. Things did not go as I anticipated with my first born however. I do wish it would have gone differently but I am also glad I wasn’t adamant about how I wanted my experience to go to the extent of creating a “plan”… this is just an added stressor in a very unpredictable situation in my opinion 🙂
- Did you have a vaginal birth or a c-section? If you had a vaginal birth did you receive an epidural? If you had a c-section was it pain free? All my babies were born via c-section. I was induced with my first born, labored for 12ish hrs ( with the help of an epidural of course!) and things just never progressed to the point of pushing. He never dropped down and his heart rate was stressed because of it, so they went forward with a c-section and then the next three were all scheduled. All of my surgery’s were “pain” free, with the exception of very intense “pressure” from the tugging and pulling and of course, the recovery. Recovery or post surgery was very different with every child. My body always goes through a complete shock mode and I usually get the uncontrollable shakes, vomiting, spinal headaches, dizzy, and just knocked out from the drugs. When your baby is born you just cherish those first moments or first hours with them skin to skin, however I can’t say I have ever had that. Post surgery has always been very rough for me. Each child brought a new experience and unfortunately it never got much better! I wish I could say differently!
- If you could go back and change anything about your birth experience(s) would you? If yes, what? Would I change anything?? Ugh that’s a tough one. I have 4 healthy kiddos and I am alive and well to be there Mom! But of course if I could go back and push for a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) with my second child in hopes that things would just go differently , that’s the only thing I kind of look back and say I wish I had done. But I can’t regret going with what the doctors thought was the best and safest route for me.
- What advice would you give to expecting Mama’s about birth? If I could give any advice, it would be to go into each birth with very little expectations. To always choose the the safest route for you and your babe, even when it means going ahead with that dreaded c-section that you so adamantly crossed out of your birth plan. I’d also advise mamas to enjoy every second, but that’s just not realistic considering what we have to go through to bring a child into the world, so instead, just reflect and embrace how miraculous pregnancy is and what an incredible gift it is. This makes a lot of the pain and stress of the process so worth it. And most importantly to pray. Non stop prayers.
Next up, Ally! She is the sweetest Mama of 2 adorable kiddos!
1. How many children do you have? How did their births vary if at all? I have 2 kiddos, Ivy Elizabeth is 3 and Greyson Alan is 11 months. I had two very different birthing experiences and when looking back, I am glad as I learned more about who I am. I was at little Farmer when contractions started with Ivy. All the information I researched at random hours of the night provided no help. After calling the nurse many times, I am sure they thought I was crazy, we went to the hospital. After 16 hours things finally progressed and I received an epidural at 7cm and Ivy came at 1pm, 8lbs 9oz. Greyson had a much different birth. I wanted to try natural, did no research, and invited my mom into the delivery room. 2 weeks before Greyson was due I went for my weekly appointment. I was 5 cms dilated and looked like a hot mess, everyone at work reminded me of that too- eyeroll, so they sent me to the hospital. My water was broke and I went to 8cm within the hour. My Doctor, whom I love and tell her it all the time, said “you can wait for this to progress which could be slow or we go fast and furious, up to you.” I decided fast and furious which included her stretching my cervix as I pushed during contractions. Greyson came within 20 minutes, 9lb 8oz.
2. Did you have a birth plan? If yes, did it go as you planned? If no, do you wish you had? Details are my thing so living in the unknown for 9 months was a bit of a challenge. I “researched” every birthing technique to determine what was best for me, often at 2am which I do not advise. There are so many different schools of thought- water birth, home birth, hospital, and more. A few months before having Ivy, Tommy and I decided, we will determine in the moment what is best for our family. I did not have set birthing plans which I am thankful for and feel like each birthing experience was so different but beautiful.
3. Did you have a vaginal birth or a c-section? If you had a vaginal birth did you receive an epidural? If you had a c-section was it pain free? I had two vaginal births and blessed to say no complications with either. I had an epidural with Ivy which I do not regret but after doing a natural birth with Greyson, I would certinly chose natural again. Story time, it all connects with why I would chose natural, after giving birth to Ivy the epidural began to ware off so I wanted to stand and use the restroom. The nurse helped me sit up and asked me to wait a bit so she could help walk me. While I waited and sitting on the side of the bed, I realized I had given birth as my body was beginning to feel the ache and after birth pain, if you know what I mean. The nurse came back and helped me stand and asked I wait. Since I was standing and felt fine I thought “I can walk, no biggie!” Five seconds later I was sprawled out on the floor laughing and crying. One of my legs was still “numb” and had given out. My sisters were laughing as I looked crazy from the photos I have seen, the nurse was not laughing and I was marked as a fall hazard the rest of our hospital stay. End of story and back to how it connects. I had Greyson within 3 hours of arriving to the hospital and was standing with no help an hour after birth. I loved having the option to move my body in more comfortable positions and being in-tune with what was happening. My doctor
and I were able to communicate when I was ready to push, when she would stretch, and how to breath. With Ivy, everyone had to do things for me because I couldnʼt feel those important moments. Greysons birth felt empowering and allowed me to be in control. I felt my body recover faster and heal itself.
4. If you could go back and change anything about your birth experience(s) would you? If yes, what? I would not change either experience. They were so different and special to Tommy and I in unique ways.
5. What advice would you give to expecting Mama’s about birth? Giving birth is a monumental moment, you become a mama. There is nothing better than that word. For 9 months your body has grown, nurtured, and sheltered a new life. You give birth and so much happens afterwards. Be gentle on yourself and your husband. It is a learning curve for both. Continue to seek moments just the two of you after baby is down, learn about who you are as a mother – learn about who he is as a father, and ask for help when you need it.
Lastly, Meghann! Lovely Mama of two cuties!
- How many children do you have? How did their births vary if at all? 2 children (Sage 2.5 years old & Kale 1 year old) Their births varied a bit. I had Sage in a birth center and had a home birth with Kale. With Sage my water broke 12 hours before contractions started. My labor with Sage was 8 hours and 5 hours with Kale. My placenta had an abruption with Sage. I was plant based (vegan) for my second pregnancy and believe that is why things went “easier”. Kale had to be pulled out by my midwife after I delivered his head. Literally his head was fully out of my vagina but the rest of his body was in (LOL). He was pulled out because he was having a little trouble breathing.
- Did you have a birth plan? If yes, did it go as you planned? If no, do you wish you had? Per say. I had a detailed birth plan for Sage. We were originally going to give birth in a hospital, but we transferred to the birth center when I was 33 weeks pregnant. We did that because I showed my hospital midwife my birth plan and her response was, “we’ll see.” After transferring care I didn’t have a birth plan outside of what we were going to accept and deny. The same went for Kale. I did go into labor early with Sage so I assumed I would with Kale and he ended up arriving 1 week late. I learned to never assume anything when it comes to labor, ha! I’m glad we didn’t have a plan because each of my births has had things happen that wouldn’t have been in an ideal plan. Next time I will definitely remind myself that all births are different. The waiting for Kale was tough.
- Did you have a vaginal birth or a c-section? If you had a vaginal birth did you receive an epidural? If you had a c-section was it pain free? Both births were unmedicated vaginal births.
- If you could go back, and change anything about your birth experience(s) would you? If yes, what? The only thing we would have changed is starting right off at a birth center vs. transferring into care at 33 weeks. Both births were definitely the highlights of my life. Getting married is a highlight, but nothing beats the empowerment of growing and bringing a baby into this world.
- What advice would you give to expecting Mama’s about birth? 1. Get educated. Seek information. Find facts.
+ Interview midwives or doctors. Ask them their statistics of vaginal births and cesarean births.
+ Watch “The Business of Being Born” (it’s free on YouTube).
+ Read “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin.
+ GET A DOULA!
+ Take birth classes.
+ Invest your money.
- Take one contraction at a time. Don’t even think about anything else but riding the current contraction. Contractions are much like waves — they slowly start building, they reach a peak, and then they wash away on the shore. It may sound kind of weird, but that is how I got through my birth with Sage. I had that imagery every single contraction.
- This is YOUR birth. You make the shots. Go with your gut.
AAAAAAND… just in case you were wondering, I thought I would answer my own questions as well!
1. How many children do you have? How did their births vary if at all? I have 3 kiddos: Lazar (almost) 4, Mila (almost) 3 and Leo (almost) 9 months. All 3 born via c-section, although they varied for sure. I wanted to have a water birth with Lazar and had seen a midwife my entire pregnancy with him. I was in labor for nearly 24 hours, trying my darnedest to be tough and avoid any pain medications (which I adamantly did), only to have the on-call OBGYN come in, per my Midwifes request, telling me my baby was large and not moving down my birth canal… it was hard to be “tough” any longer! He told me I would need a c-section and I sobbed! A c-section was the furthest thing I envisioned for my birthing journey. God had other plans in mind. Mila and Leo’s births were scheduled c-sections although I really wanted to attempt a v-bac (vaginal birth after cesarean) with Mila, but it was only 13 months after giving birth to Lazar and my OBGYN highly recommended against that for multiple reasons. The risks were just too high. I had no choice with Leo, so I scheduled the surgery on his due date only to go into labor a few days earlier, still needing a c-section though.
2. Did you have a birth plan? If yes, did it go as you planned? If no, do you wish you had? I did have a “plan” when pregnant with Lazar. As I mentioned I had hoped to have a water birth. I took the classes and was fully prepared for everything it entailed. Again, God had other plans in mind! I’m just thankful for c-sections because without them my Midwife and OBGYN agreed Lazar and I would not be here today!
3. Did you have a vaginal birth or a c-section? If you had a vaginal birth did you receive an epidural? If you had a c-section was it pain free? I had 3 c-sections and I think there is a common misconception around them. I’ve had people tell me, “well at least you didn’t have to endure any pain or the dreaded ring of fire.” The truth is, cesarean births are anything but pain free. Sure, everyone is different and for some, natural birth isn’t as painful compared to others. The same goes for c-sections. I was in immense pain during my first c-section (read Lazar’s birth story). My second surgery I swear an elephant was sitting on my chest the entire time (read Metting Mila). The amount of pressure, tugging and pulling that happens when the baby is being pulled from your uterus is a feeling that can hardly be explained… Along with a c-section comes a spinal. A spinal is like a higher dose of an epidural it just doesn’t last as long, so it wears off quicker. Unfortunately this means you can’t just get up and walk, or go to the bathroom on your own (hello catheter) and you are basically bed ridden until your legs get feeling back again. I RARELY hear Mama’s who experienced both a natural and c-section birth say they would rather have a c-section (in fact I only know of one Mama who preferred her c-section over her vaginal birth). The recovery is most likely going to double in comparison and the long-term impact can be lifelong (i.e scar, scar tissue, c-section pouch, the list goes on). I don’t want to scare anyone away from c-sections because they are certainly necessary and life-saving in many cases, but just make sure to educate yourself and have full confidence and understanding in your decision.
4. If you could go back and change anything about your birth experience(s) would you? If yes, what? This took me TIME to be ok with, but my answer is no. As I am positive you can tell, I would have never chosen a c-section. But like I have stated over and over again, it wasn’t up to me and I needed to let God take over and follow His plan for me and my babies wellbeing! God is ultimately in control, I prayed during all 22+ hours of that excruciating labor with Lazar and I knew in the end, God was answering my prayers, just not in the way I expected. I am forever thankful for His sovereignty!
5. What advice would you give to expecting Mama’s about birth? Pray! Don’t set too high of expectations for yourself, yet have confidence and believe in yourself! Give yourself grace and know God will see you through it all! Have faith that God designed YOU for this no matter the outcome!
Birth is a miracle and something God created for women to experience. After reading each Mama’s story I think you can see how it stirs a passion inside each of us! It’s not something to take for granted and it’s not something to be ashamed of, its a gift and something to be proud of and cherished! What a perfect way to remember it by displaying your babies birth poster on your wall! Each time I walk by them in my house, I smile reminiscing over those 3 unforgettable days!
HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… Remember, God will see you through your hardest obstacles and He will be there rejoicing with you during your proudest moments! Birth is no exception!