What to Expect When You Give Birth at a Birthing Center

What to Expect When Using a Birth Center

I chose to give birth at a birth center rather than the hospital or a home birth for both of my children. I knew that I didn’t want to give birth in a hospital because I have had some negative experiences in hospitals and knew that I wouldn’t be comfortable to have my children in one.  And, I wanted to be able to eat, drink, and move around during labor. My mom had very long labors, so I wanted to be able to move around to get things going as much as possible in the event of a long labor.

With my first birth, my husband and I decided that although we didn’t want a hospital birth, we weren’t comfortable enough to have a home birth. We wanted to be somewhere closer to the hospital in case we needed to transfer. We also wanted the mess of birth to be somewhere else to clean up rather than in our home.

So, off to the birth center we went. We couldn’t have had a more amazing and beautiful experience there. That’s why when we got pregnant again, we decided to go back.

Why I Chose a Natural Birth (Without the Epidural!)

Why I Chose a Natural Birth

Not long after my husband and I got married, we had a pregnancy scare. Not that it was a “scare” because we always wanted to have kids.

But I was scared.

I was freaked out, in fact. I wanted to have a kid, but I didn’t want to give birth. After I saw that minus sign on the pregnancy test and felt that sweet relief, I knew it was time to educate myself on birth and how to have a good one.

It was time to prepare for labor.

I knew that there had to be some positive experiences out there. But the culture I grew up in had so ingrained in me that birth was scary, painful, and dangerous even. And, there were stories to back this up.

5 Unexpected Tricks That Help During Labor

5 Unexpected Tricks that Help During Labor

When I was pregnant with my first, I remember meeting another pregnant woman who was in her third trimester. I was still early in my first trimester so I asked her if she was feeling excited or nervous preparing for birth.

“Oh, I’m terrified!” She replied.

I was shocked.

Why would you feel terrified of birth?

After all of the reading and studying about the natural process of birth, I didn’t see any reason to be afraid.

I felt sorry for her, but I also didn’t know what to say. As it was my first pregnancy, I had never been through birth to tell her that all her fears were unfounded.

3 Reasons You Need To Hire a Doula for Your Birth

3 Reasons You Need to Hire a Doula For Your Birth

I had doulas for both of my births and I loved them! Looking back, I wouldn’t give up having a doula even if you paid me.  

This helped especially during my long, marathon first labor 

If it hadn’t been for my doula during that labor, and if I had been in the hospital where different options for pain are available, I may have given up and probably would have ended up with a c-section.  

For both births, the doulas helped me cope with the intensity of contractions through various techniques such as changing positions, massage, and verbal affirmations.  

5 Secrets to Avoid Pain in Labor

Avoid Pain in Labor With These 5 Secrets

Whether or not you choose to get an epidural during labor, you will need to cope with a certain amount of contractions. Because hospitals recommend not getting the epidural until you’re dilated because it can slow down labor, you will need to cope with early labor contractions. But, contractions don’t have to be painful and you can avoid pain in labor.

What hospitals don’t always tell you is that they can only give you an epidural during a certain timeframe. And that window of time can be very small. Especially if you dilate quickly.

If you’re too far dilated, then it can be too late.

So, even if you want the epidural, you should prepare yourself and learn how to avoid painful contractions just in case you can’t get the epidural for some reason.

Essential Oils for Labor (that Actually Work!)

3 Essential Oils That Actually Work During Labor

I have been a long-time lover of essential oils. I loved them even before they were trendy. So naturally, when I was pregnant, I began researching which oils for labor actually worked.

I have done the work to narrow down that list to the top three. This list, is the three oils that I used during my second labor that I felt actually helped.

I had packed many other oils in my labor bag, but in the moment these were the only ones that I felt like I needed.

5 Ways Your Second Labor Will be Easier Than Your First

5 Ways Your Second Labor Will be Easier Than Your First

By no fault of their own, I had many well-intending people warn me that my second labor would be much harder than my first. This, as you can imagine, was not what I wanted to hear when pregnant with our second baby.

I would smile and nod.

When you’re pregnant, you have to work hard to not only grow a baby, but also keep a peaceful environment around you (and in your head!).

Take my word for it, if you don’t have something nice to say to a pregnant lady, don’t say nothin’ at all.

My Second (Pain-Free!), Natural Birth Story

I feel kinda bad telling people that I had a pain-free, natural birth. Not one… but two even!

It’s like I’m selling contraband.

Stuff like this just doesn’t happen!

I can see the resentment on people’s faces when I mention the words “pain free” and “labor” in the same sentence.

Some laugh. Some scoff. And some don’t believe that it’s possible.

It’s like I’m Carol from that show the Last Man on Earth. But, not quite like her because she had her babies in her sleep. Well, I got one hour of sleep while in labor. But that’s beside the point.

I’m convinced that a pain free labor can happen! Because it happened to me. And I’m not that special, so this must be available for anyone.

My Natural (and Pain-Free!) Joyful Birth Story

When I was pregnant, I devoured positive, natural birth stories.

Maybe it was because my mom had two emergency c-sections. Growing up, I heard her near-death, terrifying birth stories.

Going into labor scared me. What if the same thing happened to me?

I determined to give birth my all. To have a vaginal, natural birth if at all possible.

I tried my hardest to create a positive atmosphere surrounding birth. If anyone started sharing their fear-filled birth story, I would leave the room or politely tell them I did not want to hear that.