A beautiful pregnancy? Natural birth? This sounds too good to be true! Right?
Well I’m telling you it is possible. I feel so blessed to share this story with you and hope to both inspire and empower other women to experience their best pregnancy, childbirth and future life with their new families.
Pregnancy, childbirth and new life with a child teach us so many wonderful things about life, and ourselves. We truly learn about surrendering and getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Surrendering to the physical changes in our bodies, the emotional ups and downs and knowing that it is ok to release, you don’t always have to wear a brave face. The fact that some days you’re more tired than others and that it is completely ok for you to rest and rejuvenate. H E L P, it is ok to ask for help along the way! Letting go of the immediate need for routine in the first few months with a newborn and the need to constantly control. It just doesn’t happen and that is ok!
From pre-conception through to new life with your little one I found it so beneficial to truly nurture myself, and surrendering is a big part of that..
When I say nurture, I think nourishing and gentle. What beautiful words, and that is what I did.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a challenge! Society hasn’t programmed us to nurture ourselves. During my pregnancy I still had my occasional days where I felt lousy, maybe ate something that wasn’t so nourishing for my body. But feeling constant gratitude everyday for this beautiful little life growing inside of me kept me in check with myself to provide the best care for the both of us during this special time.
During my pregnancy I ate a mostly gluten, dairy and refined sugar free diet, as I find eating this way allows my mind, body & spirit to thrive. I didn’t take too many supplements- when pregnant it’s best to keep things simple. I took Blackmore’s Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Multi, Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA, Schuessler Mag Phos Tissue Salts & Herbs of Gold’s Red Raspberry Leaf capsules (35 weeks).
For my beautiful growing belly I used Weleda’s Pregnancy Stretch Mark Oil which smells divine and worked a treat!
Exercise. Before falling pregnant my routine consisted of daily walks and yoga.
This is pretty much all I did throughout my pregnancy, along with 4, 15 minute light weight training sessions a week on top of that. Like I said above, this is a time to truly surrender and nurture, not push yourself and set new fitness goals. So in saying that there was no marathon running or crossfit for me. I only did what felt right and what my body was already accustom to.
I’ve heard many women say that they have felt too tired to even try working out during their pregnancy, but seriously- I felt better on the days that I did, it knocks fatigue and morning sickness on the head! That along with eating a healthy wholefoods diet.
So now you’ve heard about my simple, “beautiful pregnancy”. Notice I said simple. I didn’t do any extreme dieting or fitness routine that allowed me to have a natural birth. I simply surrendered and nurtured the best way I knew how and that felt right for my body.
I had my baby in a small country public hospital with midwives.
Until I fell pregnant I had never really thought about how and where I would like to have my future child. I knew I had always wanted to have a natural birth as I had heard it was better for both you and the baby- it’s the natural way women have been having babies for thousands of years. But it wasn’t until I met pregnancy midway did I start to become anxious about the day I would meet my little boy.
You hear so many horror stories from family, friends, strangers, the internet, magazines- it starts to really get to you after a while and you prepare yourself for the worst experience of your life when people say, “You feel like you’re going to die!” I know I did.
That’s until I began my own research as I couldn’t believe this to be true.
How could giving birth to the child you created and have been carrying for 10 months be such a horrible experience. I just find pregnancy and childbirth so fascinating and beautiful on both a physical and spiritual level. I mean don’t even get me started on the love you have for this little being!
Women have been having babies naturally for thousands of years without any drug intervention. I doubt today’s women aren’t as strong as women back then! But society unfortunately has made us believe that perhaps we aren’t. Women opting for selection C-sections and taking all the drugs they can get their hands on during labour because society, even doctors and midwives, have made us believe we are not strong enough and to opt for an easier way.
If you ask me, taking drugs during my natural birth was not an easier way. It was a way to disturb the intimate connection between my baby and I as we prepare to meet each other for the first time.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I came across a book on a natural birthing website which I had felt very drawn to. The book actually fell into my hands when I won a facebook competition leading up to Christmas. I believe it was meant to be.
“ A Modern Women’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth” is the name of the book, written by Katrina Zaslavsky. The book includes 21 powerful and inspiring birth stories from real every day women. Through both the many stories and Katrina’s knowledge and own experience the book offers much wisdom and inspiration to draw upon in your own birth.
I can’t recommend the book highly enough. If you’re wanting to read up on the topic of labour or having a natural birth, don’t go past this one! I feel very strongly about sharing positive birth stories to encourage women to also have a positive story to tell of their own.
I woke up at 3.00am on January 5th with what felt to me as “a real contraction”, a little stronger than period cramps. I remember laying their looking up at the roof trying to figure out if this was the real thing or not. After another two contractions, only 10-12 minutes apart and lasting about 40 seconds, I decided to wake my fiancé, Zane. He completely freak out haha, as most first time dad’s do I’m sure. By 4.30 they were coming every 6-8 minutes with lower back pain now. Around 6.00am I was sick. I do remember feeling extremely hungry in the morning- I ate quite a big breakfast, my body was preparing for what lay ahead. The contractions stayed this way for most the morning until the afternoon were we felt it was time for hospital. During that morning, while contractions were still bearable to go about doing other things, I did some yoga poses to help him move on down futher and some hip swirling on the swiss ball. We left for the hospital around 2.00pm.
The midwives hooked me up to the machine to time contractions. But unfortunately by the time we had arrived they had spaced out longer only coming every 10-15 minutes, so they sent us home.
Deep down Zane and I knew we’d be back very soon and the hospital was at least 30 minutes away from where we live, so went stuck around town and went and had some lunch at a local cafe where my mum, brother & grandmother met up with us as they drove out thinking it was also the real thing. Sitting in the cafe contractions became a lot stronger, coming at more regular intervals, so after about an hour or so we decided to go back in and see what they thought.
Still, contractons were not lasting long enough, only lasting between 40-50 seconds. They decided to give me an internal just before they sent me home, again. I still hadn’t dilated.
This time we went home, they suggested a warm bath during the meantime and I felt the best place for me at this time, was at home. My own bath, candles, bath salts, relaxation music- ah, bliss.
By the time I had hoped out the bath the contractions were stronger than they had been all day. At this time I had lost my mucous plug. I quickly got dressed and kneeled on the floor leaning over my bed whilst Zane call the midwives. This was now entering “no talking” zone. When they came they were too strong to talk. I remember Zane giving me the phone to speak with the midwife and me having to put the phone down as they came. She told me to come in now, I think me having to put the phone down several times on her was a good hint!
As I walk into the room again the midwife says to me with some humour, “Your not in labour! Your still smiling!” What. I thought, is she for real! I tried to tell them I am, they are painful. Zane said to her, “That’s just Tay, she’s always smiling and happy”. Plus the fact that I knew this was it this time and I was excited to meet my baby.
They counted contractions again are were satisfied it was labour, they wanted to give me another internal to see how far I was now. Just before this I ran to the bath room to be sick.
“Wow! You have come a long way! Honey, well done, you’re 8cm dialated!” Oh it felt so good to hear those words! He was now well on his way and I wasn’t going anywhere!
By 9.00pm my waters broke. Wasn’t that an experience in itself haha!
I got changed into what I wanted to wear for giving birth and from there, well, started pushing! By 11.00pm I had Zane, his mum, my mum and grandma all spectating from the side quietly whilst Zane follow me around the birthing suite trying different positions. The room was dark with only some dimmed lights in the background and dead silent. The only voices were Zane gently whispering in my ear with words of encouragement, the midwife, and musn’t leave out the deep groning that sounded from me as I pushed with every contraction. The room was serene and calm, just how I had imagined it. I did listen to a relaxation playlist in the car on the way down to the hospital but was too “in the zone” to remember the music, essential oils and diffuser once reaching hospital. Zane and I won’t forget the beautiful pink sky and sun that set as we listen to such beautiful music on the way to meeting our little boy. It was such a beautiful moment that I will never forget.
At 1.32am on 6th January, our little Leo Zane Williams was born. A healthy 8.8 pounds and 54cm long. The midwifes in the room said it was the healthiest placenta they had ever seen.
It’s funny because that’s what they actually said to my mum when she had me.
So there it is. That’s my natural birth story. Yep, no drugs what-so-ever and only two stiches!
I couldn’t believe I had done it! I had read the book and heard all the inspirational stories and mentally prepared for no interventions, telling the midwives from the beginning what my wishes were. But I didn’t give in! I never once asked for anything! Truth be known I completely forgot the drugs even existed!!
I am so grateful to the midwives for respecting my wishes and making me feel most comfortable. I would also like to note that of course there are exceptions for interventions sometimes, if something had gone wrong during the labour and the midwifes had thought it was in my best interest I would have done what I needed to do to ensure a safe arrival of my baby. But in the avenue of pain relief, I knew my mind and body were both strong enough to naturally birth my child.
If you are reading this and are expecting or plan to have a child in the future, I hope you can find some comfort and inspiration in my natural pregnancy and birth story, and know that you too are strong in mind, body and spirit to birth your child naturally, if that is what you wish. It is all the power of the mind, and knowledge! I mean who knew that positive birth stories even existed! We need to share them with our soul sisters and help encourage others to do the same.I wish you and your families all the best,
Love + light,Taylah. xx