Since Melody was born I've made a new group of friends. We met through various ways and all have babies. We all stay at home. We all have sought information and knowledge about unmedicated childbirth. As we hang out we compare birth stories. Half of us had our babies at home; the other half in hospitals. All of us attempted to do it without medication. All of us were changed because of our experience. We get together on Friday mornings. We schedule these times to be from 10 to noon, but usually we end up going out to lunch together and hanging out until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We talk about our birth stories a lot and ask questions like:
Would you do it again?
Who was at your birth?
What would you do differently?
What surprised you about your birth?
What was the first thing you felt / thought after your baby was born?
I will answer these questions about Melody's birth.
• Would I do it again? I do not know. Making the decision to have an unmedicated birth was a long process. Deciding to have a homebirth was an even longer process. It required lots of time, thinking, talking, and praying. Chad and I will have to go through a similar process again the next time we are pregnant. Lord willing.
• Who was at my birth? My husband, Chad. My midwife. And my childbirth instructor / doula.
• What would I do differently? This is probably the hardest question for me to answer. I am still unsure of the entire answer. One of the negative things about my birth is that I was "performing" for my instructor / doula. I was trying to do everything the "right" way so that she would think highly of me. I wanted to be her star student. I was not aware of these things until recently. Because of this realization I would probably opt for my instructor / doula to not be present. I might have my mom there the next time.
• What surprised me about my birth? The pain. I don't think there is any way to prepare oneself for the intense pain of childbirth. I watched many videos, read books, talked to other moms. I exercised and ate 80 to 100 grams of protein everyday. I felt so prepared. I thought my preparation would pave the way for an "easy" labor. This wasn't the case. The contractions were the most intense thing I've ever come close to experiencing. It is amazing how powerful they are. I couldn't believe it. I'm still dumbfounded by the power and instensity of those contractions. Another thing that surprised me was my lack of emotion when Melody was put on my chest immediately after being born.
• What was the first thing I felt / thought after my baby was born? Relief. Relief. RELIEF. The only thing I felt was relief. I had no joy and no tears. My body shook as I held her in my sweaty arms. She looked up at me with alert eyes. She had a scared look on her face. Soon I smiled and exclaimed over her, but the only immediate response was relief.