Yes. This blog post is about all the lovely things concerning birth, postpartum care, and the vagina. If you are easily disturbed by any of these things... Then I'm deeply sorry, but it's part of life!
Let's back track to my first birth, 3 1/2 years ago with my son. I wanted a natural birth, but did NOT prepare myself for the experience. I also was having kidney stones at the time so it just threw me for a loop.
This is going to be the short version.
~Labor was 12 hours (which is not terribly long for a first birth)
~Incredible pain, felt like I had no control over my body
~Felt disappointed in myself for getting epidural
~After my son was born, I could not see him for 8 hours because his oxygen stats were low and he had to be under a hood for oxygen. During this time he was given formula (without my knowledge) and a pacifier.
~No skin to skin time whatsoever, even when they brought him back to me. I wasn't informed about kangaroo care at the time, but the hospital staff should have encouraged it after our time apart.
~He did not want to latch at all. I had incredible, indescribable pain trying to nurse him.
~My LC in the hospital had never had a child, and had no experience in trying to teach someone to nurse. And yes, she was really the lc on staff.
Come to find out, only after the nursing journey with my daughter, my son also has a lip tie and posterior tongue tie. These could have been fixed in the hospital.
Its not hard to tell that my experience with my son was NOT at all what I wanted. I was scared, felt out of control, and like no one heard or understood what my needs were as a birthing mother.
...Then I got pregnant with my daughter and started to educate myself. Here are some pictures of my AMAZING experience with her birth
As you can see, it was a beautiful moment for all of us, especially for me. Although I was induced (Only because I was "overdue" and my midwife was going out of town for a week... I didn't want to birth with someone else.) I felt in control, and it was less than half the time of my previous birth. I labored for 5 hours, and pushed for less than 10 minutes, and my daughter was 8 pounds 11 ounces! She was no petite baby. My body was like a well-oiled machine, thanks to months of Kegals and other exercises. We did immediate skin-to-skin for 2 hours and nursed within 10 minutes of her being born. It was incredible. I never felt so connected to someone else before! We did delayed cord cutting also, so she literally came out of my body and onto my chest. Sweet, pure magic. She was BRIGHT eyed and full of energy. She didn't sleep until 6 hours had passed after her birth. Indescribable magic.
Now, let me tell you, I have NEVER felt so good in my life. The end of a pregnancy is usually miserable and seemingly infinite, and then postpartum has its own lovely drawbacks... But I felt GREAT after I had Natalee. I felt like I could have run a marathon. Energy was abundant even through cluster-feeding baby insomnia. When we left the hospital I told my husband that I couldn't believe how amazing I felt. I had nearly no pain "down there" and only had uterine pain while nursing. (Only from the uterus shrinking and going back to its non-pregnant size... Discomfort is totally normal.)
Here are some points that I found personally from having a completely natural birth and breastfeeding experience:
-Baby comes out alert and eager to nurse.
-No foggyness or headaches from epidural.
-Urge to push without assistance.
-Being in control of your own body.
-Can walk immediately following birth. (and I WANTED to!!)
-No drugs get passed to baby.
-Rush of endorphins as baby is born.
-Much more safe for both mom and baby. No risks of spinal headaches, or any other injuries. I won't list them all here, but there are many! Look them up. :)
-No long scary needles.
Here are some benefits of immediate skin to skin or "Kangaroo Care" following birth.
-Instant bonding between mom and baby.
-Security for baby.
-Regulates baby's heart beat and breathing.
-Faster baby-to-breast nursing and encourages baby to crawl to breast on their own. (Yes, I said crawl!)
-Calming for both mom and baby after such a wild ride down the birth canal.
Those are just some that I personally found. I would not trade this experience for anything. Your body as a woman was created to do this. You are SO much stronger than you think! YOU CAN DO THIS. Don't be scared by other mom's horror stories or bullied by the hospital to get/do things you don't want to do. Birth should be a beautiful experience, not a terrifying one. My next blog post will be about the benefits of having a doula, so stay tuned for that! :)