My Baby Valentine

I am just getting back into blogging again after a long break. My baby boy  finally arrived on Valentine’s Day and will be 5 months old this week. My husband will have a hard time topping this sweet Valentine’s Day gift. Miles was born after two very short hours of labor (if you don’t count the month of easy prelabor), weighing 9 lbs 2 oz (my biggest baby of the five) and having a head full of thick, downy, dark brown hair.

He was in such a hurry to get here that he came out without bursting his bag of water first and stuck his head through the looped umbilical cord. No worries though, our doctor is awesome and took care of it quickly. Since Miles came so fast, I didn’t get to experience the full benefits of having a doula but I am so glad that I had one. Christy, with A Balanced Birth, was very knowledgeable and supportive. I highly recommend a doula, whether you are having your first baby or your fifth.

Daddy got to meet Miles, by way of webcam, immediately after he was born. He was in the process of redeployment and was able to get home four days later. Miles took right to nursing without any difficulty and reached 16 lbs before he was 4 months old. Now, instead of hearing “Look at that hair!”, we hear “Look at those thighs!”

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Confidence in Childbirth

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Labor  n.  Physical or mental exertion, particularly for some useful or desired end; toil; work.  — v.i. To suffer the pains of childbirth; be in travail.

To date, I have had two medicated births and two natural births. There is definitely a difference during and after for mother and baby. What I learned from experience and research is that how you think about labor and birth will largely determine the outcome. If you listen to every birth horror story and believe the drama you see on television, then you will probably be filled with anxiety and fear when you think about your little one’s impending birthday. Most women in our culture have been led to believe that childbirth is something horrible and is best managed with drugs. Although you will experience pain during labor, it can be more easily handled if you are prepared for the stages and understand what your body is doing at those times. Fear and anxiety will increase your level of pain by working against your own body. Your body was designed for carrying and giving birth to babies. Women all over the world have been having babies for thousands of years and most have done it without medication. They have relied on the wisdom and teaching of other women who have had experience in giving birth and have learned to be aware of the natural rhythms of their bodies during labor. Having confidence in your body’s ability and being mentally prepared will help you to have a more positive birth experience.

That being said, there are no guarantees that you will have the birth you planned. Complications can arise on occasion and when they do, it is a blessing to have trained professionals available to help. But by being informed, you can be aware of your options and make informed decisions about the situation.

There is a lot to be covered regarding natural childbirth, so much that I couldn’t do it justice in a short blog post. So I’ll just give you some places to start for your own research. And I’ll leave you with my favorite advice: Be informed, be informed, be informed. Trust your God-given motherly instincts. Ignore negative comments and stories from people who have never had a natural birth. And remember that “birth is a natural process, not a medical procedure.”

Articles:

Myth #783 – Birth is Scary

The Confidence Factor

Birthing Naturally – Is It for Me? – Benefits of natural childbirth

How to Have Natural Childbirth in the Hospital

Websites:

Birthing Naturally

Giving Birth Naturally – “Natural childbirth empowers women.  It instills self-confidence.  But this is not why women choose it.  They are not trying to prove their worth or be martyrs.  It’s not about them at all.  It’s about making the safest, gentlest choices for the well-being of their child.” (from website) 

The Natural Family Site

Recommended Reading:

Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way

The Christian Childbirth Handbook

The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, & All Other Labor Companions

The Business of Being Born (DVD)

A Pregnant Pause

While I’m sure that most people don’t use this phrase with the same meaning as I am, it is fitting. After my last post way back in June, I began to have “the feeling” that I was pregnant and, boy, was I caught off guard.

image by Don Farrall

Two weeks after my husband deployed, I discovered that I was pregnant with our fifth child. We are expecting the arrival of boy #5 around early February. This pregnancy has been uneventful and pleasant so far, but as I’m more tired than usual and doing things on my own right now, I haven’t taken the opportunity to keep up with my blog. It is unlikely that I will ever be a daily poster anyway but I would like to become more regular about it. Lots of ideas are floating around in my head. It’s just a matter of taking the time to get them written down. Check back soon!