Natural Birth: Believe You Can Do It

I’ve always considered women who were able to have a medication-free, natural birth as some sort of superheroes. Like they’re all part of this super exclusive club of moms-who-are-doing-it-right.

As much as I wanted to be part of that club, deep down, I truly didn’t think I had it in me.

Labor and delivery with my first baby was difficult; I had to be induced after my water had broken and contractions hadn’t started almost a day later. I was hooked up to machines and given medication to start contractions. Later I was given more medication to slow them down, then more later to start them again. I blacked out.

I had an epidural that I didn’t want in the first place, and it ended up being much too strong. After 18 hours, I finally gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. But I was slightly disappointed in myself for not having had the birth I really wanted.

Now, I’m not super crunchy. I’m all for doctors and hospitals and epidurals if that is what mama wants and feels comfortable with. I thought I’d be fine with all that, but as it turns out, I wasn’t.

During my second pregnancy, I tried to gear myself up for a natural, calm, medication free birth. It helped that this time, I had more options because of where I live. I told myself and my husband that I did not want to be induced. I did not want an epidural (at least not a full one). I did not want to give birth lying on my back.

I researched and read hundreds of birth stories. I educated myself. I found a birthing center that was much less hospital-like than where I gave birth the first time and I found a midwife who supported and encouraged me to have the birth experience I really wanted. I also planned on having a water birth.

Still, deep down, I pictured myself post-birth, having to deal with the fact that I couldn’t handle it and broke down to be poked and prodded and medicated.

When the time came to give birth, I was excited. I was excited to meet my baby, of course, but I was also excited to try for the birth experience I wanted. Things were going well and looking positive and honestly, I was thrilled with the thought of being in labor.

I was crushed when I learned the baby was in the wrong position and couldn’t get into the birth canal. For a few minutes there, while contractions were coming strong and I was in pain, I felt totally defeated.

I can’t help but think that in another situation— like in my first birth— this would have stopped me from having my baby the way I wanted. But with the support of my husband and midwife, we were able to make the baby turn and continue with “the plan.”

When the pain was at its worst, I considered asking for an epidural. But I quickly pushed the thought out of my head and reminded myself of how far I’d already come.

At 3:31 in the morning, after a really long day, eight hours of labor and having gone more than 20 hours without sleep, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Moments later, I looked my husband in the eye and said, “I did it!”

My un-medicated birth put me in control. It gave me faith in my body. It empowered me to feel strong and capable.

I realize now that there is no secret super-mom club. I did it. And if you want and the situation allows, you can do it too.

By Cassie W.

Cassie is an American living in Germany with her German husband, their daughter, C (9/2011) and their son, L (3/2013). A reporter and editor by profession, Cassie is a graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. When she isn't playing with her kiddies or out walking her equally-needy dog Sadie, she loves cooking, baking, reading and attempting DIYs around the house. Her newest hobby is doing nail art and coming up with fun new nail designs. After months of trying parenting tips and tricks, Cassie now relies on her mommy-instinct to guide her through parenting and has found it to be the best trick in the book.

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One Response to Natural Birth: Believe You Can Do It

  1. Great advice Cassie! I feel the same way, that in most situations when you have a supportive partner and birthing team, it can happen.

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