Why I Chose a Natural, Unmedicated Childbirth

Why I chose to give birth naturally and without medication.

When I learned I was pregnant with my first child, I was overcome by a rush of mixed emotions; I was overjoyed and excited, but I was also scared and worried. I was anxious to meet my very first child, but I was also worried about all the implications and responsibilities. Would the pregnancy go well? Would my child be healthy? Would I be a good mom? And of course, the unavoidable "oh my god, I'm actually going to have to give birth!" - That in itself is a scary thought.

I've always been petrified of giving birth. Like, nightmare city. Why wouldn't I be? We keep hearing horror stories about it our whole life and most people are convinced that the epidural is the only way to go. You know what though, there's a lot of stories we don't hear, and nature is made a certain way for a reason. That being said, I realize that sometimes, things go wrong, and I'm glad we have modern medicine to help us; I'm not one to refuse help when I need it. Which brings me to the question a lot of you asked. Why did I chose a natural, unmedicated childbirth?

Before I continue, I want to say that I respect the choice of every woman. Childbirth and your body are two very personal things; no one has the right to tell you you're weak if you take the epidural and no one has the right to tell me I'm stupid for choosing to endure so much pain. We all do our research and make our own decision based on what we know and are comfortable with.

To be honest, I'd always been so afraid about childbirth that I always assumed I wanted a medicated birth. Somehow, deep inside, something just didn't feel right every time I thought about an epidural. I think I always knew that for me, a natural childbirth was the only way to go, and that's why I was so afraid. So, why did I choose a natural, unmedicated childbirth?

What kind of birth experience did you choose and why?
3 reasons why I chose a natural and unmedicated childbirth plan and experience for the delivery of my children.

Living a Full Experience

I don't do things at 50%. I never have. It's always been everything or nothing. So for me, my main reason came naturally; it's either no baby, or the whole experience at 100%. I don't think I could have lived with the fact that I had the chance to have a baby (when many women don't), and I didn't live the whole experience.



I'm a very curious person. I always have a bazillion questions (which tends to drive other people nuts), so a natural birth experience for me, was a way to satisfy my curiosity. What does it feel like? What really happens? Is the pain really that bad?


The Less Medicine the Better

Lastly, I'm undecided about medication. The less I manage to consume, the better I feel about my choices. I realize sometimes it's unavoidable, but I'm not one to take it "just in case" or just because I don't want to "deal with it". All pharmaceuticals have side effects, known or not, and I make a conscious choice to minimize my exposure. The possible side effects of an epidural on the mother are scary: longer labor, need of forceps, higher risk of tearing, increased need for Pitocin and/or a c-section, decreased breastfeeding efficiency, possible paralysis. Even more so for your baby (respiratory depression, decreased fetal heart rate, struggle latching-on to breastfeed). Like I said above, I don't rule out medical interventions completely. I'm not stupid; if I can't bear the pain or my baby's life is at risk (or mine), of course I'm going to take medicine and accept medical procedures! So far though, I'm almost always able to deal with things intervention free.

What kind of birth experience did you choose and why?

If you've read my first and second birth stories, you know that I'm very happy with my experiences and that were I to do it again, I would choose the same path. They were intense experiences that involved quite a bit of pain, but it taught me a lot about myself; I'm dedicated to my plans, curious about life, fierce in personality, passionate about the well being of my children, strong willed and, in control of myself yet able to let go. Basically, the experience truly empowered me and reinforced who I am deep within.

My Second Birth Story

My second natural birth story.

I was going through my saved posts and I realized I never posted the birth story of my second child. It was over a year ago, but I really wanted to share it because it was such a beautiful and positive experience that I feel it can reassure future moms out there.

Let's get one thing straight before I get started though. Giving birth is giving birth. Even though my experience was positive, it wasn't easy and required a lot of strength, dedication and self-motivation (much like anything of value in life).

It all started on a Monday night. I had only just stopped working the previous Friday and I was looking forward to having a couple of weeks to pack my bags, get the baby's room ready, spend some quality alone time with my first son and relax a bit. It turns out my little bundle of joy had another plan for us.

At exactly 37 weeks of pregnancy, Z decided to make a surprise appearance into the world. I was excited to meet him but at the same time I was a bit scared. I think that's normal though, doesn't every mom panic when she goes into labor? I was actually pretty worried I'd deliver on the side of street midway to the hospital seeing as my first delivery went so fast.

I had an appointment with my OBGYN earlier that day, at around 5pm. After doing an internal exam (you know the one), she confirmed that I was neither dilated or effaced; as in, ZERO. Pretty normal for 37 weeks of pregnancy. I returned home completely oblivious to what was about to happen. I quickly cooked supper for my family and rushed to my prenatal yoga class on an empty stomach. When I returned home, I was pretty tired, so I went to relax in bed a few minutes as I checked social media on my iPhone. My husband walked in to bring me supper, so I moved over to sit up and that's when I felt it, this weird kind of "mini explosion" in my stomach, sort of like a balloon popping. My first thought: "Um, that's not normal."

Then it happened; as I stood up to get out of bed, water leaked between my legs. I was freaking out, I was like: "Oh my god, am I peeing? Wait, no, I can't be... I can't hold it in!! Oh my god oh my god is that what it's like to lose your water? That's so weird!" So I quickly made my way to the bathroom as water was literally gushing out of me. I never lost my water during my first delivery, so I had no idea!

Since we had absolutely nothing ready, my husband rushed around trying to wipe water off the floor and pack as quickly as he could. I couldn't help because every time I tried to move, more water came gushing out and we had to clean it up, so I just sat on the toilet and handled the panicking and the phone calls.

I called our babysitter so she could watch over my older son (who was sleeping for the night, thank god!) until my father arrived. After notifying my dad, I gave my mom a call. She was with my grand-mother taking care of my very sick grand-father. She was supposed to be part of my delivery team, but she was so far away that by the time she arrived, the baby was born. Boo-urns. Anyway, I remember giving my sister a call because I needed someone to talk to that could calm me down and help me focus.

The babysitter arrived and Antonio (my husband) had finished packing the car. I ended up having to put a dress on so that I could put a big rolled up towel between my legs to absorb the water which would not stop coming out! I'm pretty sure I scared our poor 11yo babysitter with that towel.

So we're in the car and I don't really have contractions, some mild discomfort, yes, but nothing too wild. Panic attacks though? Um, yes. I was so worried I would die in labor. I know, ridiculous in this day and age, but I'm a worry bug when it comes to things like that. We arrived at the hospital, parked the car relatively far since the parking lot is quite small and there's rarely any space available. I had no trouble walking all the way to the maternity ward.

We arrived and the nurse gave some forms to my husband and asked me to come in. She wanted me to sit so that she could plug me to a machine which would monitor the baby's heart. I was like, plug? Sure. Sit? Hell no. She was not happy because she couldn't watch the baby's heart rate if I wasn't sitting. Um, you can use your stethoscope lady, or some other tool. I know it's harder, but I don't care about your comfort, I care about my well being and the safe delivery of my child.

At this point I started having mild contractions, maybe every 2 or 3 minutes? Nothing unbearable. I kept telling her to bring me into a birthing room, that it wouldn't take long, but she wouldn't listen and she kept telling me to calm down. I think she was annoyed at me but I knew how my first delivery went and I didn't want to deliver in the hallway.

After about a half hour, she finally took me into a birthing room and since she hadn't offered a hospital robe, I took off all my clothes (one less thing to worry about). She sent another nurse and a student to take care of me, both of which had no idea what to do.

I asked for a birthing ball because I remembered how good it felt with my first. Sadly, it didn't work this time. When I tried to sit on it, the pressure on my pelvic area was unbearable. I had no clue how to position myself so I just stood up, placed my hands on the side of the bed and put my weight on my hands.

Contractions started to be a bit more intense at this point. I swayed from side to side between contractions and during contractions I squatted like a frog while doing my disturbingly long and low-pitched "ohm" sound. My husband was trying to massage my lower back and do pressure points like the nurse had shown him during my first delivery. Alas, he didn't remember where, or how, and it was doing more harm than good, so he stopped. He rubbed my back instead and brought me as many cold compresses as he could.

I remember the nurse asking me if I wanted laughing gas at one point and I'm pretty sure I gave her a death stare. I kept asking for things like ice and a massage and she didn't budge. I was seriously disappointed in the service she offered. To top it off, my mom hadn't arrived yet. I was doing it all alone. Next time I'm getting a Doula for sure.

Anyway, after a while I thought: "If this is anything like the first, I must be at around 7cm dilated now. It hurts so much and I have no help! I'm never going to make it to the end." I should have remembered that usually when you start wanting to give up, it's because the end is near...

Low and behold, it starts to push. I was in complete disbelief. I was like: "It's pushing, it's pushing!" I struggled to get onto the bed as the nurse said: "That's not possible, let's see how much you're dilated." As I got onto the bed on 4 legs, my body pushed a second time (note: my body, not me) and the head came out.

After that, all I remember is the doctor rushing in while putting her gloves on and asking: "Are you really going to deliver like that?" I starred. Enough said. She said push, I pushed once and the baby came out. He was born at 3 past midnight.

I turned, they put his little naked body on my chest and he pushed with his little arms to look up at me. It was magical. I let him snuggled with me a bit before helping him to my breast to eat. But that's another story...

My 5 Basic Pregnancy Must-Haves

5 things you need during pregnancy.

Not too long ago, I decided to start sharing my pregnancy and motherhood experiences:

Today, I wanted to share 5 things which were a must for me during both of my pregnancies. I'm well aware that each pregnancy is different, and I'm not a doctor, but these are things that helped me during both of mine, so I thought I would pass the information along. It never hurts to share, right? :)

My 5 pregnancy must haves.


For me, this was an absolute must. In the beginning, I felt so sick and bloated that I was worried eating would make me feel worse. It didn't completely make the nausea disappear, but it did help a lot. I could only eat bland tasting foods like crackers and nuts, yogurt, stuff like that, and it had to be in small continuous portions.



With all the body changes, comfort was super important for me. At least, as much comfort as possible. I wore lose stretchy clothes (like leggins, long tank tops and cardigans), flat shoes and sport bras. What I love most about all of these items is that you can use them before, during and after pregnancy. Saving money is important right?



This is a basic item during pregnancy. My OBGYN recommended I take some to help me deliver all the necessary nutrients to my growing baby. I never say no to helping my baby grow safe and strong!



I heard a lot of hype about body pillow but they didn't work for me. I always ended up very uncomfortable. What I did find comfortable though, was having lots of pillows around me. One between my legs, one under my head, hugging one, and one in my back. Everyone is different so play around to see what works best for you. Essentially, this helps keep your spine straight and for me, it also helped with lower back pain.



I'm sure everyone knows about stretch marks. The bonus question is how to avoid them. Is it even possible? I was lucky and didn't get any during either of my pregnancies. I used Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula and loved it. It smells delicious and feels rich on your skin. I also used organic coconut oil. Even if it doesn't help with stretch marks, you can always ask your loved one to give you and baby a nice massage!

What kind of things helped you during your pregnancy?