So I suppose this is a “FOR ME” post.  That’s all the disclaimer I’m going to give. 

Oh, and that there are some labor pictures.

——–

Today I’m sharing my birth plan for Porter.  I’ve got 22 days until my due date so his birth (and how I’m preparing for it) is certainly on my mind.

As I did with Clara, I plan to have a natural birth.

I’ve done it before. I’ve felt (and overcome) that pain. I can totally do it again.

In my mind, there is no other option.

In my mind, I’m confident in my ability to birth without drugs.  Without any interventions.

In my mind, I’ve made a plan of how everything will go.

If I’ve learned anything over the past 31 years, it’s that plans don’t always come through the way you want them toThings could change – interventions might need to be made to keep Porter or myself safe.  I’m completely aware that everything I’m envisioning in my mind might not come to fruition.  And that’d be ok.

But that doesn’t STOP ME from planning for the best possible scenario!

A Bit of Background

Henry’s birth:

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With Henry, I had not a clue what I wanted or what I was capable of.  I never questioned having an epidural.  Going in, I’m sure I hadn’t read any birthing books and I certainly didn’t have a “role” for Travis to play.  I couldn’t feel when my body needed to push – I tore a lot.  I was drugged out….so was Henry.  After the birth, nursing was difficult (but I stuck it out) and the bond I had with my son was anything but good.  I suffered for 5 months with postpartum depression.

Clara’s birth:

100_0901-1

100_0904

100_0914

All I knew was that I wanted something different.  I read this book.  I took classes.  I researched A TON.  Drugs weren’t an option.  I labored in a tub but ultimately gave birth to Clara naturally on the hospital bed.  Travis and I toasted with orange juice immediately afterward – he was my “coach.”  I didn’t tear one bit.  Nursing was totally natural and I was able to walk around just an hour after having her.  No depression whatsoever.

**(I’ll interject here and remind you that I’m not judging YOU by talking about MYSELF here.)**

Comparing the two births, one can see why I’d like to have Porter naturally.  I’ll never know for certain whether the drugs played a role in my difficulty after birth (with bonding, nursing and depression), but it makes sense that a more natural approach would contribute much less to those factors.

Natural birth – how I’ve been preparing:

-> Hiring Travis as my coach again.  He got me into this mess to begin with. Winking smile  Plus he’s pretty great at calming and soothing me.

-> Reading this book.  And this one.  And this one.

-> Maintaining my fitness level.  I’m a huge advocate of using exercise to prepare the body for birth!  The stronger my core, lower back and hips are – the stronger I’ll be during labor.

-> Focusing on “hip opening” techniques.  Squats, plié squats, lunges, cat/dog pose and hip rocks on an exercise ball – these are all wonderful ways to strengthen and “open” your hips.

-> Using a “food as fuel” mentality.  Childbirth is a marathon and I want to make sure my body is STRONG and FUELED PROPERLY leading up to the race.  Throughout this pregnancy (and the other two), I’ve focused on fueling my body with nutritious, nourishing foods that will support growth and health for myself and the baby.  Healthy food is especially important in these last few weeks leading up to labor.

-> Surrounding myself with positive, supportive people.  Not everyone has the same views as me and I’ve found that they’ll tell you so.  I consciously seek out people (especially during labor and delivery) that will speak positive, affirming words.  Negative Nelly’s are a downer, man.

——

So that’s the “plan.”  Wish us luck!

QUESTION:  You’re entering a NO JUDGEMENT zone!  Tell me about your birth(s) or what type of birth you hope to have in the future!

splendid…lindsay

  1. Denise G. says:

    My little man will be 7 weeks old tonight or rather tomorrow since he stubbornly waited until 12:01 am to arrive. I wanted a natural birth but didn’t prepare for it particularly. The nurses kept bugging me about an epidural when I had already made it clear – no pitocin, no epi. Luckily my water broke on its own and contractions were professing so no pitocin – until the very end when contractions basically stopped when it came time to push. She said she’d stop asking but yet when I made it to 5cm she asked again and I went for the epidural. That was the worst part of the whole experience- a mean anesthesiologist, painful sticks and I don’t think it worked quite right. Sure I would have loved to stick it out but I had been sick and was exhausted after a long day of labor, so I think it was the best thing at that point. My boy handled the whole thing great and came out totally aware and healthy. I did have to be cut and had a small internal tear- he had a crazy shaped/sized head. He’s absolutely perfect and I can’t say how things will go down for a future brother or sister, but my experience didn’t turn me off- ill definitely be doing it again.

  2. Brooke says:

    When Sawyer was born, I knew I wanted an epidural, but didn’t know enough to say “no” to other things. Like a doctor (not mine) ordering Demarol and a sleeping pill (can’t remember which one) to see if my contractions would slow down before I was admitted (I don’t know why since I was 39 weeks). It didn’t work, but did leave me extremely sleepy throughout the rest of my 21 hour labor. I could barely keep my eyes open to push, even though I was having horrible back labor. My epidural wore off before he was born, and the 2 hours of pushing we’re excruciating…and I had to have an episiotomy. Sawyer’s head was huge, then his shoulder got stuck. And he was so drowsy for the first week that he was very difficult to wake up to nurse and lost a pound before we left the hospital (he was 9lbs6oz at birth so he wasn’t going to wither away, but it was enough to make him slightly jaundiced). And I could barely walk for a few days! But I think that had more to do with his size ;)
    Norah was induced and I also had an epidural, but just a tiny tear and no other problems. I easily felt the contractions well enough to push and the epidural wore off completely about 2 hrs after delivery. I have such a low threshold for pain that the thought of natural childbirth just scares me, although I tried with Norah! I think you, and all other natural mamas, are superwomen!

  3. Emily says:

    What a great post! I’ve been thinking about you and the family so much – sending you all love and light – you’re almost there! :D

    As for me, I had a midwife and my husband coach me (mostly the husband) and planned for an all-natural childbirth, with the “but if shit goes cray I won’t be a hero” sub-clause. ;) I made it 20 hours naturally (LOVED THE TUB!) before my midwife became worried that I would be too exhausted when Harper finally arrived. After 20 hours she was still at a 6/10 and sunny-side up!

    So at hour 20 I had an epidural, slept for 4 hours, and then pushed her out for two hours with the epidural turned down. I had NO IDEA you could turn DOWN the epi! Helped so much so I could feel when to push. She came out fabulous, I didn’t tear, she nursed immediately, and I had no post-pardum depression or pain from the epi. SO LUCKY.

    If we have another kiddo, I’ll absolutely try to have a natural birth again. It’s such a rewarding experience, regardless!

  4. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) says:

    I first want to thank you for sharing this whole journey with us. I am so far gone from the birth of my children, but being there with you through the losses, the frustrations, the sadness, the fear, the joy, the vomiting and now the plan. It’s taken me down memory lane and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. I had two completely different births with my boys and honestly, if I could do it all again, I would do it completely differently now. I had pain killers for both, Jay’s birth was long and the epidural deadened me so badly that it took a day to wear off. He was born dehydrated, but healthy and things were good after that. Max’s was a planned birth (we have no family that lives close by that could be there for Jay) in that we checked into the hospital the night before. They put the stuff on my cervix that was supposed to loosen things up and well, apparently I was about to go into labor anyway because it sent me right into labor, which apparently rarely happens. Then, they did everything they could to stop that labor. It was a nightmare with horrible nurses to the lack of comfort and horrible back labor that even an epidural couldn’t stop (which they gave me earlier than they should have to slow things down so the doc didn’t have to come in until the morning). I was young, I was stupid and not educated in the more natural ways to give birth. I regret both for the way they played out, but they are my memories and I am thankful to have two healthy happy men in my life. I watched the Business of Being Born a few years ago. I thought it was beautiful and right on with everything. I hope things go the way you plan, but above all, I just want Mr. Porter to get here in the safest healthiest way possible. You are such a good mamma and I’m just so happy for you and your family. xoxo

  5. Leah says:

    Lovely post! I am so glad you’ve been thinking about this. How could any pregnant woman not right? I hope Porter’s birth goes exactly how you want it to and it sounds like Travis is a good coach to help you get there.

    I had two natural births and would do it again with a third (if there ever is a third!). I felt the same way you did and told my midwife I did not want an epidural. She was very supportive and so was my husband!

  6. Jen says:

    Good luck, Lindsay!

    I really wanted a natural birth last time, but my water broke and labor didn’t start. So pitocin started my downward spiral to needing more drugs. That being said, the birth experience was still amazing — and breastfeeding came so easily, too! HOWEVER, I tore very badly and Wyatt was a small baby. I’m definitely trying for a natural birth again this time because of that (and honestly the extra cost of having an epi). I just hope my body cooperates and starts contractions on its own this time!

  7. Annette@FitnessPerks says:

    I love this! And amen to focusing on what can go right & planning for it. I totally blocked out all the naysayers and did my thang. Baby girl was super healthy and did awesome during that freaking long labor. haha. I LOVED having a natural birth! (I had a bit of pitocin at the end b/c I was so so exhausted and had no energy left to get from a 9 to 10, but it was a small amount & only in me for an hr.) No side effects and I felt awesome after finally pushing her out! I too agree that natural births HELP the baby and our recovery do so much better….it’s naive of us to think that drugs don’t have an effect on us or the baby.

    Cheers to your upcoming happy, healthy birth!!! :)

  8. Megan says:

    Good for you! I had a positive birth experience with my first (labored at home for 16 hours, showed up at the hospital 10cm, pushed for 20 minutes) although I did tear a bit. Breastfeeding came easily, but it was a bit hard for me to get up on my feet after birth. This time, I hired a doula, specifically because I’d like to tear less and have a reminder I can push in different positions. My husband was a great support, but I would like someone to be a little more vocal/encouraging this time around. I also switched hospitals to one who has midwives available 24/7, the closest thing to a birth center in my area!

    Praying for Porter’s birth to go the way you want it to!

  9. Lia says:

    I love how you laid out your plan! Sounds good and I hope things go as well as they did with Clara! Whenever we have a baby we will be trying for the same plan. I already have looked up Bradley classes in our area and see midwives for my yearly check ups! Good luck mama!!

  10. Katie says:

    I love the comparisons with the births. Very interesting how different they were! I think giving birth is so so different than expected. I exercised a lot with drake, I think I probably did 20 miles of walking each week for the last month! Once I got to about 6 CM I remember just breathing, listening to Josh (he was a nervous wreak, he told me afterwards, but he did AMAZING for having a weak stomach;)) I closed my eyed & just listened to every single sign from my body. This post brought back so many memories. Blessings to you mama!! x0

  11. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says:

    I was open to whatever I needed to do before Hunter…I didn’t really have a “birth plan” to be honest. I didn’t have super strong feelings one way or another, but I knew I wanted to stay away from drugs as much as possible. This meant no Pitocin and hopefully no epidural. Unfortunately, due to our circumstances and Hunter’s health, we needed to get him OUT asap. This meant all of the above drugs plus some more. It was truly terrible. I was put on magnesium on top of pitocin and the epidural, and I couldn’t enjoy ANY of it…not even after Hunter was born for 12 hours. After hearing your experience and Annette’s with natural birth, I’m hoping to accomplish a natural birth next time around. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  12. Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength says:

    Good luck!!!! I honesty kind of went in with no plan for Connor and it worked out awesome, but who knows what I’ll choose when/if we are blessed with baby #2! I actually had a great experience with the epidural, but I know it’s different for everyone!!!!!!! XO

  13. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    22 days, eeek! So exciting. I love your description and comparison. I did the same research before L and knew I wanted a natural birth. Like you, it was manageable- tough but doable and I want that again. I didn’t tear, breast feeding happened right away, and Jared was a fantastic coach (we took the Bradley classes). L was born in the tub and I have really good memories of her birth!

  14. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries says:

    It is SO crazy that you posted about this today, as it’s totally been on my mind recently. I have several pregnant friends, and they’re all talking about birth plans (and each one is different, go figure!) For the planner that I am, I think when the times comes, my main plan will for the baby and I to come out healthy on the other side. Drugs, natural, water birth, etc…that will come, I’m sure, but the main focus will be: MAKE IT THROUGH ;) I’m so excited that Porter could be here any day now! I’m praying that your plan goes well! xox

  15. Melissa says:

    I had 3 completely different births. Scheduled induction with an epidural, one that decided to show up 2 months early and ended up in NICU for a month, and my last…Sweet Caroline was natural water birth!

    It really is amazing how much different each experience was and how different my bond is with each of them. Even more amazing how well your body recovers without any intervention.

    Sounds crazy, but I would give a million dollars to experience #3 again. Best moment of my life. I was lucky to share it with both my moms, all 3 of my sisters, best friend and my amazing hubs right there in the room beside me!

    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear all about your incredible story no matter what happens!

  16. Angie Bee Hotz says:

    Sounds like a great plan! I didn’t plan at all with my first and had a c-section. I did go on to have three natural births after discovering Bradley!

    I’m actually taking the teacher training course this summer!
    Best of luck to you Mama!

  17. Lee says:

    I had a scheduled C-section. I would have ultimately liked to have a vaginal birth but he was breech and they did not recommend a version to turn him. After going through a very difficult pregnancy, I just wanted him to be here safely and how he got here was really not of that much concern.

  18. Bex says:

    I’m super sad that I won’t have a homebirth for baby #5 (coming in September), but we’re just too far from the birthing center now to feel safe. But it will be all natural, daddy-coached, and hypno-blissed all the way. I can’t wait. Pain-schmain… I do it all for that euphoria and a healthy, alert baby. And yes, comparing two natural to two epidural births, you can see the difference in ease-of-nursing dramatically. I will never go back to drugs (given a choice).

  19. emily hassman says:

    I am planning for a natural birth exactly because of stories like this! I’ll be in the hospital, although I wish I had access to a birthing center. I’m scared that it’s going to be hard and painful, but I believe that it will be worth it and I believe I can do it. Did I mention that I’m scared? I’m scared. My husband is such a wonderful partner, though. I know he’ll be holding my hand and calming me, and that helps a lot.

    I wish my library had more of these books available! So many of them are marked “long overdue – lost” so I guess I have other mamas to thank for that. I just placed a hold on the Bradley book, though, so thanks for the recommendation :)

  20. Bonnie says:

    Wow! Makes me want to be prepared (although flexible because we all know how plans change, you’re right!) for our first when he/she comes! Interesting to read your different experiences. :)

  21. Linda Stewart says:

    I was among the few to experience relatively pain free, short, natural childbirth with both of my daughters. They were both born pre-epidural time so the only pain management option was hard narcotics which I didn’t want any part of. Both delivers happened quick and relatively pain free. As I said … I was among the fortunate :) Good luck to you on another successful, medication free, easy delivery.

  22. Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) says:

    Sounds like a beautiful plan and I wish you the best of luck! Sounds like you are prepared :)

    I was very focused on a natural birth my first time, but having to be induced at 10 days past due rocked my world a bit. I ended up with a vaginal delivery with an epidural. Luckily breastfeeding still came easily (well, painful, but easily ;)) and I never struggled with PPD.
    This time, I’m actually less focused on the labor. Knowing a lot is out of my control (and probably reading too many sad stories), I really just want a healthy baby and mom. I’d love to have as minimal intervention as possible and would like to do everything I can to avoid and c-section, but we shall see how it goes! <3

  23. sarah says:

    Though I am no where near ready for babies, I really would love to have natural births when I do start a family. I think the female body is more than capable and while drugs and medical intervention and amazing when needed, I would like to try and do it it on my own.

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