Prepping for Childbirth...

You would think I would have this whole childbirth game perfected by now for baby #5 but I learned early on never expect it to go a certain way, just to have goals and to push for them.

All the boys births have been different but all ended how I wanted them to, in being natural. I am not a fan of pain of any sort, I cry when I stub my toe and purposely avoid hard workouts because I don't like the burning pain and feeling it all over, its just not my idea of fun. So its very weird that I opt to go through pain every single birth, its the weirdest thing. Ill try to give a quick baby recap and then wrap up with my goals for Teddys birth. 

What made my mindset be for natural births? Before our first son I watched the Business of Being Born and that's what sparked my interest, I was fascinated by everything childbirth and also the fact that 100s of years ago women had no option to have birth any other way and it sparked a fire inside me to learn as much as I could and try that route out. We toyed around with a home birth but when we asked them some scary questions like "what if I start hemorrhaging" we weren't comfortable enough being our first baby to try. So we instead hired a doula because Jordan and I had no idea what to expect and we read over and over The Bradley Method book. I went into the hospital with my "birth plan" all typed out, doula and "Bradley Method" husband beside me. It was the hardest, most rewarding thing I had ever done and it wasn't without pure craziness. My doula passed out while I was pushing, the OB on call kept telling my midwife to get me an epidural because I wasn't aware how hard it would be, they invited a team of interns in to watch me birth, and funny enough, after he was born I started hemorrhaging BAD, it was terrifying, I thought I was for sure going to die. Everytime they pushed down on my lower abdomen, golf sizes clots would come out, they had to quickly go back in and yank out a piece of my placenta that was freakishly still attached causing the massive blood loss. But in the end he was healthy, they stopped my bleeding and we succeeded in our first childbirth experience.  Heres his birth story.
After Vincent came Luke, where I expected his labor to be quicker and it proved to be much more mentally taxing than anything. I remembered the pain much differently and weirdly didn't feel as prepared with him, even though this was our second rodeo. Jordan was freaking amazing as a coach, and kept my eyes on the prize for a natural birth and praise the Lord, it was achieved. Here is Luke's birth story.  
My favorite birth of all time was Judes! My goodness if every labor could go this way I would be the happiest human alive. The only issue was that his birth spoiled me so much that I was stressed out badly nearing the end of Sams pregnancy and was in for a rude awakening. Jude came within 25 minutes of me stumbling my way into the hospital. My doctor wasn't even there yet and I delivered in my own clothes that I ripped off minutes before I said "I cant wait, I have to push". His full birth story is here and one that I will never forget. Its also one I still hope and pray will happen for Teddy.
And then came Sam, I was 125% certain his labor would be even quicker than Judes, so I was on high alert. We decided to be induced, because I was 3cm dilated and had huge success in the past with them breaking my waters and labor starting instantly for me. I was certain we would break waters and things would just FLY. WRONG. It was a painful 7 hours of walking, lots of hail Mary's, second guessing my decision and cursing. Here is his birth story.  

There's always a risk when you allow doctors to break your waters, I did it 3 times and thankfully each time it played in my favor and Pitocin was avoided. And then there's always a wild card like Jude tossed in there with a labor you're not even able to comprehend and before you know it, they are out.

Our 5th labor was Henry, at 20 weeks, and honestly this is the one that haunts me the most. If you didn't know in 2015/2016 we were pregnant with our 5th son, Henry. We lost him at 20 weeks pregnant. (you can read here) SO Teddy is technically baby boy #6 but because I don't feel like rehashing to every person I meet, I refer to Teddy as baby #5 so they don't wonder where the other child went. Clearly in my heart and mind, there is never a day that I don't think of Henry, he will always be my child. Back to the delivery, it was supposed to be semi-quick and not too awful physically. It was the complete opposite. Everything that could go wrong, did. They induce you and had to use the maximum dosage on me because my body just wouldn't go into labor. Everytime I thought I could push, it was blood clots upon blood clots. I lost 1/3 of my blood supply trying to deliver him, I begged the doctors to not let me die, and it was the most horrifying experience of my life. He finally arrived hours and hours later and I was crushed, crushed because I lost my child, crushed because my body was not functioning and it was horrifying. We had the priest in there twice, during labor because I was certain I wouldn't survive and needed God, and then at 2am after Henry arrived to pray over him. I had to stay a few days extra to receive blood transfusions which just made the crummy situation, even crummier. Even typing this brings flashbacks that are not fun as I sit here and cry.

Needless to say, I am VERY nervous for labor this time. As of now I have decided I wont be anxious to induce or break waters and I want to allow everything to happen as it should at its own time, no matter how anxious I get towards the end (so please call me out if I'm whining haha). I want to achieve another natural birth and my main goal is to get through this birth without insane blood loss or mishaps. This is also one of the reasons I am pushing to be as healthy as possible so I can go into this ready for the physical and mental battle that will be coming. I'm a whole ball of emotions, I am excited, I am eager, I am anxious, and I am terrified all rolled into one. 

SO I am going back to square one and preparing mentally as if this was my first birth, to go with the flow, listen to my body and keep my eyes on the prize, deliver a healthy baby when HE is ready. To be open to everything that could happen and to remember I am strong and capable through all of it. 

*I wont lie, I am glad I typed this out there, because I was holding a lot of emotions about this and its nice to lay them out there a little and see that I have delivered 4 beautiful healthy boys with no big problems and that with Henry we forced my body to do something it wasn't ready to do, to deliver a child 20 weeks early.

Now to cheer this post up and leave you some tips of what I have found helpful for my 4 natural births: 

1. READ EVERYTHING that you possibly can about natural childbirth.
I highly recommend Natural Childbirth- The Bradley Way and I did not read but have heard Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is excellent as well. ALSO a must watch is "The Business of Being Born"! I would suggest that even if I wasn't going natural. It is so informative. If you have Netflix, you can watch it online for free!

2. DOCTOR- Make sure ahead of time that your doctor/midwife supports natural birth, the last thing you need is your doctor and the nurses coming in telling you to get an epidural since your in is GOING to hurt obviously but having them tempt you is not cool or fair for your goal. I had the best midwives who supported me, the doctor on call tried actually ordered an epidural to my room, she claimed "She does not know what she is doing (since it was my first), she will want an epidural" When I heard that claim she enraged me EVEN more to do it naturally. It was so worth it! PS that doctor was a lady, that made me even more mad, where's the faith in fellow women??? lol

3. DOULA-/CLASSES I went with a doula over taking classes. (your choice) If you do not know what a doula is, it is a birth coach essentially. She came over and talked with us, kind of like a class, then she came the day of the birth to assist and coached us through it. This was so helpful with my first birth, she was amazing. If you think doula's are a bit pricey you can find a doula in training because they need to assist with a few births before they can be certified, that is what we did, I can not explain how helpful she was!

4. BE MENTALLY PREPARED- HAHA As if you could ever be mentally prepared for it. I mean have your head in the game when you go into labor. I honestly had envisioned the worlds moist excruciating pain the weeks before the birth and when the pain I experienced was not as intense it helped me put into perspective that I COULD DO IT naturally. (I am not saying that it does not hurt but I envisioned it as something way worse) Also I think it helps it you totally block out any pain medicines as an option from your mind, that is also another way I coped. I just told myself that there was no other option (I mean I knew there was, I'm not silly), it just helped me being in that state of mind!

5. PUT YOUR GAME FACE ON! haha Childbirth is not flattering, it is down right some crazy work! Just go with it, if you poop on the table, so be it! (Yes, I said poop on the table haha) Those things happen along with an array of other gross stuff, and things may not work out as perfectly as you had in your birth plan, but I can tell you that the minute you hold your baby any pain or drama during labor that you felt will be non existent! Every ounce of pain along the journey is well worth it!

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