Depraved Indifference (Eric Ludy)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Unmedicated Natural Childbirth - How I prepared.

“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” 
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth


Unmedicated Childbirth
How I prepared

While I was pregnant and preparing for a natural childbirth I wanted to read everything I could find and research every detail. Almost every evening while pregnant I would search the internet and pinterest for blog posts I hadn't read about how other women prepared and what their experience was like. I have since decided to blog about how I prepared, and what it was like for me (birth story to follow in the future).

Every woman's body is different. Every woman's baby is different. Every woman's labor is different. We are thankful to live in a world that has come a long way medically so that we as women experience less complications and less loss during pregnancy and delivery. That being said I strongly believe inside every woman is the ability to labor and deliver her child without medications and interventions (given everyone is safe and healthy). Women do it everyday and they aren't any stronger than you. I hope these posts are beneficial in helping you achieve the birth you want whether it be unmedicated, with an epidural, or via a c-section.


Here is how I prepared (in no particular order). No doula. No hypnobabies classes. No frills.

1. Think positively about your body.
I love the Ina May quote at the top of this post because it is so true. God is not a careless mechanic. Everything that happens in pregnancy and birth has a purpose. The pressure and discomfort have a purpose. Fall in love with your body and what it is capable of. I can say that I never loved my body more than while I was pregnant, and even now after giving birth. It is a true testament to God and His intricate creation. If you don't think positively about yourself, your abilities and the process then you'll have a difficult time blocking out the negative and staying focused on your goal. The way I accomplished a positive attitude was through prayer. Praying for the perfect birth and that God would equip my husband and I with every tool we needed all while trusting in His creation. If I trust in that then there is no room for fear and doubt.

2. Don't tell everyone your plans to go unmedicated.
This was a personal preference of mine. When people asked I would say "we will see", and I only told close friends my actual plans. This mainly is because everyone has an opinion (although very few to none have had an unmedicated birth) and it is usually negative. So I kept it pretty much to myself unless it was someone who wasn't going to look at me like I had lost my mind. In the end I think that helped me stay positive. I didn't have many negative words or opinions to block out of my mind. Now that I have been through it though I'll tell whoever! (And YES you can have a successful natural birth with your FIRST baby!)

3. Have a husband who is on board.
My husband is a great motivator and coach, and without him I wouldn't have had the birth experience I had. My husband made it easy and flawless once it got down to "go time". You need someone backing you 110%. You need your own personal "doula" or "midwife", and preferably have it be someone you trust and are comfortable with like a spouse or relative.

4. Have an OB you trust.
When my husband and I decided we were ready for babies the first thing I did was switch OBs. My previous OB was fine for yearly check-ups, but I just wasn't feeling it for childbirth. After a suggestion from some fellow ladies I ended up at OBGYN South in Birmingham, Alabama. Each one of the doctors in the practice are phenomenal, and very natural childbirth friendly. I highly recommend them! 

You also need to make your wishes known, and ask questions. Most doctors aren't going to ask you your plans for childbirth so you need to tell them. Here is a small list of some of the questions I discussed with each doctor in the practice.

-If my water breaks will I be confined to the bed, or can I still get up and walk around? (Know difference between hind waters and fore waters)
-How often do I have to have electronic fetal monitoring? Do you have a portable monitor?
-Is there a time limit on how long I can labor before we have to discuss other options?
-How long can I push?
-How often do you administer an episiotomy, use forceps, etc?
-Do I have to be flat on my back with my feet in stirrups for pushing, or can I try a different position if I want to?
-Can I eat and drink?
-What advice or tips do you have for going without medication?
-If I come to the hospital, but I'm not in active labor can I go back home?
-What methods of induction do you use?
-How long overdue can I go if my goal is spontaneous labor and not induction?
-When should I come to the hospital if I want to labor at home as long as I can?

5. Eat right.
A big myth about being pregnant is that you can eat whatever you want and however much you want. That's a lie in my book. Just stick to your previous eating habits (if they were healthy) with a few hundred extra calories a day, and your weight gain should be right on target. Some days you will have insatiable hunger due to a growth spurt so eat when you're hungry not when you're bored. By not gaining excessive weight you will reduce your swelling, have a more manageable third trimester, and (I think) an easier labor and recovery.

6. Exercise.
I walked about 3.5 miles more days than not with my sister up until the last month or so. Before becoming pregnant I ran/walked several days a week at the local park so I just kept up my pace the best I could. Walking helped maintain my weight, gave me energy, and I believe helped me to have an easier pregnancy. The closer I got to my due date though the more my hips relaxed and started to give me pain so I switched to doing light cardio workouts at the house, and would also swim at the pool. (The afternoon before I gave birth I also walked a good bit. Walking really does help!)

7. Sleep.
Nap likes it's your job.

8. Massages.
During my pregnancy I had a total of 4 massages. One in the first/second trimester and three in my third. In my third trimester I got a massage a month and I honestly believe it is why I never had back pain or much swelling. Treat yourself and get massages! Plus, my last massage was the evening before I gave birth. I asked my massage therapist to hit all the pressure/trigger points she knew about to induce labor, and I guess they worked! (P.S. the two main ones were the web space of the hand and my heels.)

9. Eat dates.
Research it. They are said to shorten labor, thin the cervix, and increase likelihood of spontaneous labor. I started getting my dates in at the start of my third trimester. I thought they were gross so I blended them in my morning shake, but towards the end (around week 37) I started taking down 5 a night and chasing them with water. Bleh!

10. Do Squats.
Ina May says do 300 a day. I did about 30. I would do 2 sets of 15 squats and then 2 sets of 15 kegels.

11. Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
This told me everything I needed to know. It is a MUST read.

12. Relaxation.
There are all sorts of techniques for relaxation when it comes to childbirth. I tried listening to relaxation and hypnobirthing tracks on youtube and through apps, but honestly when it came down to it they didn't help me in the moments of labor. What worked for me were nightly baths where I would play my worship music playlist I had made for labor and delivery, I would pray and I would visualize my body doing what it was supposed to do while focusing on relaxing and trusting God and my body. I would visualize my cervix thinning and dilating as well as my baby getting in the perfect position and moving down. (I also did this during contractions while in labor). Another way I would relax was just by getting in my prayer posture and focusing on my breathing. I tried the progressive relaxation where you start at the top and work your way down, but I never got past relaxing my face while I was in labor (which is good since Ina May says the key to relaxing your body in is your jaw).

13. Prayer.
Just pray for the birth you want, and trust God. God answered EVERY prayer I had in regards to my birth. I was in awe of how perfectly it all went.

14. Visualization.
Ina May talks about it in her book, and I believe it plays a huge role. Just visualize your body doing what it is supposed to do.

15. Get your baby in the correct position.
Look up different ways to encourage your baby into the correct position for birth. I did some cat/cows and swam belly down to help him get to where he needed to be. You can tell how your baby is positioned based on where you feel the kicks, and I could also feel the outline of my baby's body on my belly. Believe me...a perfectly positioned baby helps in delivery. (Babies can still change position in labor so positioning is still key even then.)

16. Sit on a birthing ball.
I sat on a birthing ball for two months at work for almost 6 hours a day. It helped relieve a lot of pressure, and also helped open up my hips. During labor though the ball was useless for me.

17. Go spontaneously.
Try to avoid an induction. Pitocin contractions hurt worse from what I hear. Don't be afraid to go past your due date. Your baby will come when it's ready.

18. YOU have to be on board 110%.
The only advice my doctor gave was to be all in. He said in his experience the women who pretended epidurals didn't exist made it all the way, and the ones who just wanted to "try" almost always gave in.




I think that is the majority of my preparations for birth. Honestly, the main thing is believing you can do it and removing fear. You aren't crazy for wanting to go unmedicated. It is honestly the best experience I have ever had, and I would do it again and again and again. When people ask me how it went all I can say is I know why Michelle Duggar has 19 kids. It's addicting.


8.6 lbs/22.25 inches

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our Angel Tree Baby 2013!

Meet Breck!
 
 
He is our new Angel Tree baby for the 2013 Christmas Season!
Don't mind the pink! Breck is a boy, and tough guys wear pink!
 
Breck's Info (via Reece's Rainbow):
Boy, born August 2010
 Down syndrome
He can roll, sit, crawl, now can stand up, walk. Every time when seeing the aunts, his eyes will follow her ceaselessly. When the aunt walks pass by him, he will reach his arms to hug them. Breck likes all kinds of food and eats well.
He acts like a big brother when playing with other children, he will protect them. When there are no children to play with he will sit quietly there and plays with the toys near him.
Breck is a very sensible and active little boy, which makes all the aunts like him very much.
 
 
We are very excited to get to raise money for Breck this Christmas season. For those of you who haven't been around for our Angel Tree fundraisers in the past, here is some info to fill you in!
 
Reece's Rainbow: The mission of Reece’s Rainbow is to advocate and find families for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants and promoting awareness through an online community, media communications, and other events.
 
Christmas Angel Tree Project: When you donate $35 or more, you will receive a beautiful photo ornament of your sponsored child to hang on your tree. Our theme for 2013 is “CHOSEN”, because each one of the Reece’s Rainbow children who have been adopted was CHOSEN! As Breck's Angel Tree Warrior we have committed to raising $1,000 towards his adoption fund.
 
Angel Tree begins November 1st!
 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A new picture!

Angel Tree has begun! Yay! We are already 4 days in, and Dillon has reached $100!! Can't wait to see how this Angel Tree season pans out. I was completely in awe of the Lord last year, and I'm positive this year will be no different. If you would like to donate to Dillon's adoption fund just go to http://static.reecesrainbow.org/angeltree2012/ scroll down until you see Dillon, and click donate. You can also purchase an ornament for $35 with his picture on it! To purchase an ornament click the option under donate then scroll back up to click on your "gift basket".

I'm so glad it is finally the holiday season! Happy Holidays to all! I leave you with a new picture of Dillon, and a picture of one of the many trees in our home. I know it's only Nov. 4th, but don't hate on the fact that I love Christmas a little more than the average person. :) Enjoy.

Isn't he adorable?!?!


Our Reece's Rainbow tree :)




Sunday, September 16, 2012

Our new Angel Tree baby!

Meet our 2012 Angel Tree baby Dillon! Isn't he the cutest? I just want to pinch his precious cheeks. I am so excited to start fundraising for little Dillon that I already made two wreaths to sell this weekend! The Angel Tree doesn't officially start until November 1st, but I am hoping that we can get some funds raised for Dillon beforehand as well.

Unfortunately, Niles was not eligible for the Angel Tree this year. Niles is still waiting to be adopted, and I pray that his family will find him soon. Thank you to all who helped us reach our Angel Tree goal for Niles last year.

Precious Dillon



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A book I'll actually finish.

If you know me...you know that I am always in the middle of a thousand and one books that I will NEVER finish! Well, I'll be finishing this book!
The Boy From Baby House 10 is a true story about an orphan in Russia who was given the title of an "incurable" and was banished into an institution after he grew out of the Baby House. If you know anything about Cerebral Palsy then you will know that most individuals with CP do not have a cognitive disability...as was the case for this little boy. The more I read this book the more my heart breaks for all orphans...those with cognitive and/or physical disabilities and those without. I wish I had unlimited amounts of money to anonymously give full adoption funds to thousands of orphans so their families could come save them! One day it will be mine and Jamie's turn, and I absolutely cannot wait. Until then I will continue to pray, advocate, and raise funds until these babies find a home!

Here is a clip from the Dateline story on the little boy Vanya.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

GOAL!!!



I am in awe of the Lord! Never did I think that Jamie and I could reach the $1,000 goal for our Angel Tree baby. I thought that at best we could raise $500 by Christmas. Well, how wrong I was! It is only Thanksgiving, and the goal has been met and surpassed! It has only been 3 weeks and a couple days since the Angel Tree started! All the glory to God as this was not our doing, but His alone. God directed us to fundraise, we listened, and He did His work! To think that we almost didn't sign up to be a Christmas Warrior for a child because I was too afraid that I couldn't raise a dime, and now this little boy has over $1,000 towards his adoption with more on the way. Thank you to each and every one of you who have bought a wreath, or have donated! "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalm 100:4 I am thankful today and everyday to have such a wonderful heavenly Father!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

:)

$210 raised so far towards Niles' adoption fund! God is at work!

Here is a picture of Niles when he was just a baby! How adorable and handsome! God's handiwork at it's best!