Strong. Determined. Inspiring.

Three words I would never associate with myself at one point. Determined, yes. But, strong and inspiring? These words together are so foreign in describing myself I don't know how to react. I've recently recited my birth story to a few friends over the past few weeks and a close friend said I was inspiring. What?! Me? No.

I've written a post about my labor and delivery here, but I have not explained my mental and physical preparation before birth.

As soon as we found out we were pregnant and got over the initial shock of 'crap there's a real life human baby in there!' I started immediately stressing out over how this thing is going to get out of me?! I know, every woman probably goes through this, but I felt alone. First thing I immediately started praying for was strength, I knew I wanted to birth completely natural, for many reasons. Mainly, my bodies reaction to anesthesia (I've had several surgeries) is severe. I throw up a lot after it wears off and I knew I didn't want to deal with that after giving birth to our baby. YUCK. No, thank you. The only surgery I didn't have that reaction to was my sinus surgery and that was because they gave me the same nausea medication they give cancer patients orally and through my IV. I was told I could have that same thing during labor and it would be safe for baby, ummmm cancer meds and baby somehow shouldn't go together, I wasn't convinced. Therefore, I prayed for strength and no complications, my constant prayer went a little something like this,

"Lord, you know what I desired out of this labor and birth, you know my reasons. You have created my body to give birth to this baby naturally and I pray for the strength to be able to do it without any help medically or unnecessary interventions. Lord, please help me have the labor and delivery I desire. Your will, not mine."

Secondly, I started researching. Now as most people know me I probably don't come across as very health conscious, but I do try my best. Lately, (with the help of living in Boise) I have really made greater strides in moving our family to be more health conscious and stay away from processed foods. I personally don't think it's realistic to stay 100% away from them in this day and age, especially with our constantly traveling military lifestyle. Honestly, that's just much too hard for me, but we do our best and that's what matters.
Back to what I was actually talking about, research. I researched different laboring techniques, the bradley method, hypnobabies and water. Water has always intrigued me the most, but I was also curious about hypnobabies. I was THIS close to taking a class and buying the cd's for it to start. But then I had a reality check, I couldn't utilize ANY of these method's without God's help, so I turned all my energy back into talking to God about it and asking for His help in this. Now, if these methods work for you, awesome! But I haven't tried them in labor/delivery so therefore I don't know, I would love to hear about your experience. I wanted to try water and felt that to be a great option, but didn't know if I would utilize it in labor (thank goodness I did!).

Third, I trained myself to think drugs were not an option. Seriously, this sounds ridiculous but I didn't actually even THINK of drugs until 20 minutes before he came out. By that point I quickly mentally shook off the idea and told myself, 'don't be stupid it's way to late! Push this kid out, NOW'.

Lastly, I reminded myself to stay completely calm. I know, this sounds ridiculous but you can ask my husband. As I was getting to the last few days of pregnancy I was so relaxed and calm. Anxious and constantly talking about it, yes, but completely calm. After my water broke I laughed. At the hospital, I asked for fruit and joked with the nurse about nipple stimulation, yes you read that correctly. My nurse was awesome. Anyway, I taught my body to relax and it worked. The nurse even tried to put an IV in my arm while I was in the tub having terrible contractions, she failed, but Josh said I didn't move one bit. Crazy.

That's it! Let me know what you think about my techniques. Hope they help you in your labor and delivery.
Next up on the blog. Getting my butt back in shape and how I'm attempting to achieve it.

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