The back story. First of all... can we say FINALLY... I mean, he's only almost 7 months old and I am just now getting this recorded!
So, naturally, when I discovered I was carrying life myself I set out on a journey to create an experience for our family. I read early on that your birth experience will change you, whether good or bad... so I wanted a say in how it would go. I started reading natural birth stories long before I ever even wanted to be pregnant (like I said... obsessed). So, I already knew that was the road I would persue. Another large influencer would be my health condition. I have Crohn's Disease, and there is a really long story there, but in short... it is now controlled (somewhat... pregnancy and beyond has me a little off track, but that's another story entirely) by a healthy diet and raw supplements. That should give you a vague idea of how I came to view conventional medicine and hospital procedures the way I do now. Necessary for emergencies, but harmful long-term if over or incorrectly prescribed. I saw my mother birth 2 beautiful boys largely unassisted. I knew it could be done. I knew I could do it. I also knew I would need help.
First I needed Chris on board, which thankfully he was - being on the same page with me about medicine having seen my transformation. Second, I had to find a caregiver. That was the tough part. You see, 'round these parts, there ain't too many natch'ral minded Docs. In other words, we don't have any birthing centers, and most of the local hospitals are not extremely comfortable with natural labor, and have some rules and guidelines we wanted to avoid. I knew I needed the hospital, because with my disease being auto immune, we weren't sure how my body would react to the extremely physical task of labor. We wanted to be reasonable and have all the advantages of modern medical technology in case of an emergency. However, I knew I didn't want to go with the practice I had been with for all my womanly needs thus far. I went there for my first prenatal appointment since I hadn't had any midwife interviews yet and the OB who saw me confirmed my reasons for wanting to go elsewhere. She asked me if I would be having a "traditional birth with an epidural and so forth"... I told her my plan was to go natural and her response came with a roll of her eyes at the nurse in the room (which I'm assuming she didn't plan on me catching) and "now why would you want to do that, Lindsay?" Yep, definitely not for me. I understand that this is not the path for everyone, but I would hope at the very least my caretaker would be supportive... and in a natural birth plan, support is the backbone of success. So, I did some research and asked around and found that North Fulton Hospital in Roswell was our best bet, and they even offered waterbirth as an option, which I was extremely interested in. I then searched providers who would deliver a waterbirthing momma.
That's how I came to the first midwife. We had a string of unfortunate mishaps, a gut feeling it wasn't right, and just all in all didn't mesh well with her or the practice. That pushed me into some more research and and we decided to move on. I hit the jackpot. This midwife was everything I had hoped for and more! She had been in the field for 30 years and even had a South African accent. I know, cool right?? She was warm, loving, a believer, and I had a good feeling about her from moment one! We had found our home... at 25 weeks gestation you can imagine what a relief that was! I only wished we could have been with her from the get go. My only issue was I did NOT feel comfortable with the OB there who would be my only option if my midwife was not on call. Did some major praying about that! He was just awkward, and uncomfortable and I knew that would kill my mental vibe on D day. So, eventually I addressed this very seriously with my midwife and being as awesome as she is, she gave me her cell and told me to text her when I knew I was in labor and heading to the hospital. She would be there no matter what. Are you kidding?!?! SOOO relieved! So we were all set!
That being said... 40 weeks is a long time... so, I was relieved when at 38 weeks my midwife gave me the go ahead to "shake him out". She was concerned he was too big for my frame (which I knew wouldn't be a problem but could make things harder) so, she said to have lots of sex (excuse my frankness), and try to walk him out. He was healthy and those things wouldn't force him to come if he wasn't ready, they would just help get it going if he was. I felt comfortable with that. (stay tuned for a subsequent part to hear how I feel about that now). So we set off happily that weekend with our instructions.
It was that next Tuesday - Valentine's Day... it all started.