Natural Birth at RPA
When I found out we were pregnant for the second time, all I knew was that I wanted pictures of the birth! So my search began for a birth photographer.
Being due in busy October, most were booked out. In my desperate search to find someone available and book them ASAP, I stumbled upon information about Doulas. After doing some reading about what they do, and the benefits they offer, I thought that using the services of one might be a good idea for us this time around. Double awesome if they take pics too!
I don’t recall how I came across Virginia’s Natural Beginnings page or information, but luckily I did. She seemed pretty down to earth from her bio, took birth pictures and was available for my due month! Lock it in!
During our initial meeting with Virginia, all I knew was that I wanted a drug free birth. To me this simply meant no epidural. I wanted to feel it. All of it. What I didn’t know was they there was a whole host of other things I would end up wanting, thanks to Virginia’s knowledge of pregnancy and birth.
Virginia played a critical role in educating myself and my husband about our options, routine intervention, alternatives and the pro’s and con’s of each. This is something that I think is significantly lacking in pre-natal care, and found that hospital’s have a ‘everyone does, so it’s right and normal’ approach. Virginia was able to help us (but mostly me) make an informed decision around things that would impact me during pregnancy, during the birth and after. I ended up feeling firm and confident in my decisions, rather than our first birth where we took a ‘whatever happens, happens’ approach.
During our pregnancy journey, I came to conclusion that I still wanted an epidural free birth. I was however totally open to (and slightly looking forward to) using gas. I wanted a natural third stage, not simply one managed with drugs, which I felt took a massive toll on me the first time around. I wanted delayed cord clamping. I wanted my husband to baby catch and announce if it was a boy or a girl. I wanted it to be on my terms. And we wrapped it all up in a birth plan.
I previously thought birth plans were for control freaks, but now I see and understand their purpose and value. A birth plans makes you think about, and decide on what you really want and don’t want. They easily and clearly communicate to medical staff of your wishes and wants. And they empower you.
Baby #2 announced their impending arrival very differently than the first, with my waters breaking at around 10:30pm. Things progressed quickly and easily, which I felt was due to me feeling secure and confident, and calm about the process. My midwife read through my birth plan when I arrived at the hospital, and agreed that it was all do-able. They did however try to sway me back to active management of the third stage (syntocinon injection to deliver the placenta), yes while in labour, but I stayed firm in my decision to do it naturally.
Baby Mason arrived at a healthy 4.285kgs, after about 1 hour and 45 minutes of active labour and little pushing on my part. Drug free, I could feel my body bearing down and pushing him out. I clearly felt each contraction and despite enjoying the gas a little too much, I still felt it all and remember it clearly. Virginia was able to ground me when I began to panic, and reminded me of why we were there. It took about 45 minutes to deliver the placenta, which to my surprise, I ended up asking Virginia to take away and encapsulate.
I ended up getting the birth I wanted, with a happy and healthy baby, with pictures to boot! My physical recovery was significantly better and quicker than with my first, and I feel content about the whole experience. Breastfeeding was still a challenge, with it taking a good 6-8 weeks to feel as though it is well established. Mason is a big, healthy boy, and I feel very bonded to him, which I attribute much to his birth.
Virginia is a fantastic doula, and person all around. She is very knowledgeable about pregnancy and birth, and takes a natural, holistic approach. This I feel provides good balance, in contrast to the heavily medicalised environment in hospital based pre-natal care and birth. In addition to all of this, Virginia operates her business professionally and effectively, which makes the whole process even easier.
Thank you Virginia! You are wonderful!