How I finally got my natural birth! | Cleveland East Side Moms

How I finally got my natural birth!

Feb 17, 2019 | Meet A Mom, My Story

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Who doesn’t love a great birth story?? Today for our Meet-a-Mom Share my Story, that’s what we have! Local blogger Lauren Egger of healthymomproject.com shares how she FINALLY got her natural birth.

I have been dreaming of being a Mom since I was 3 years old.

Not. Even. Kidding! At 3 years old, you would find me feeding, holding & rocking the baby at my babysitters house. By 5, I was always asking to hold any baby we would see at family & friends get togethers. Everyone quickly realized I was the baby whisper at a young age and could calm a crying baby (even if Mama couldn’t!). I grew up telling my Mom I was going to open the biggest orphanage when I was older & save allll the babies in the world! By the time I worked as a nurse in the emergency room, the other nurses knew not to give me any young patient that was abused. I literally couldn’t handle it. I wanted to take them home with me, love them up to pieces and keep them safe. I’m pretty sure I called social services more than any other nurse there, at any sign of suspected abuse.

When we got pregnant with our first baby, I didn’t understand why anyone would choose a midwife over an OBGN. I mean, what if something happened? a midwife isn’t a real doctor! WOW!! Have my thoughts & advice changed!

We were blessed to have textbook pregnancies and deliveries for all 4 of our kids. I chose an OBGN for our first baby, and everything went smoothly, sort of. At the end of my pregnancy, my OBGN was insisting that I was induced at 39 weeks because he was going on his yearly family vacation around my due date. He said it would be completely fine and the baby would still be healthy because 39 weeks is ‘full term’. This is so interesting to me now as I know now that studies show that healthy, normal pregnancies can vary as much as FIVE weeks, or 37 days!!! I had just started my first job as a nurse in my second trimester, and I was very disappointed (to say the least) at what he was making me feel pressured to do . Although I worked in healthcare, I still didn’t understand why or how he could base my child’s delivery date around his schedule. I was so proud of myself for INSISTING that I just wait it out until my baby was ready to come on his own. The next week that I saw my OBGYN, he came in and said “OMG! how did you not have this baby? I stripped your membranes at last weeks visit” Another WOW moment for me. Fast forward a week later, my due date came and went, and my water broke a little after 3 am the day after my due date. My husband literally jumped out of bed when he heard it. It was loud! Being in labor for the first time, I thought we had sooo much time! I told him to take a shower since this will be a very long process. By the time he got out of the shower, I was hunched over telling him he needed to carry me to the car I was in so much pain!

By the time we got to the hospital, I was having consistent contractions but I was only 3 cm dilated! I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even talk in a full sentence, in so much pain, how was I only 3 cm?! I had to wait to go through questions in triage, and at this point, I was just begging for the epidural. By the time I got it, right after I said “ wait, help me up I have to go to the bathroom SO bad”. The nurse looked at me and said “no, let me check you again”. I was almost 10 cm already! The (house) doctor was delivering a mom who was having her 4th baby, so he told my nurse to let me start pushing since this was my first. I pushed one time, and the nurse told me to stop!! HOW CAN YOU STOP PUSHING WHEN YOU ARE READY? You literally, cannot NOT push! Somehow I waited for the doctor, but barely. At 7:21 AM I was holding the baby I had been dreaming of my whole life.

While everything went ‘fine’ with our first, I knew I wanted a much different experience with our next child. I chose Westshore Midwifery Group from Westlake. My husband and I attended a Water Birth class while we were pregnant with baby #2. I was SURE I wanted a water birth this time and wanted SO badly to have a natural birth with no epidural. If you’re a parent reading this, you probably know we say a lot of things, and things can take a much different route! Fast forward to my due date coming and going again. And I went into labor AGAIN at 3 am the day after my due date (3 hours past my due date)! Things didn’t progress as quickly this time UNTIL the nurse advised I do nipple stimulation. Say what?! I’ve never heard of this in labor, but Moms! It works!! 1 1/2 laps around the nurses station, the baby dropped, the rest of my water broke and I could barely make it back to the room. Even though I wanted a natural birth, once again I found myself not being able to bear through the pain and told my husband to ask for an epidural STAT! He even said “remember, you told me to make sure you didn’t get an epidural?” I think I used some swear words, and he was on it! Once again, right after I got the epidural (that did not work this time) I was 10 cm and ready to go AND the epidural wasn’t working, at all!! I remember looking at my arms and seeing sweat literally drip off my arms. Moms, we are amazing for going through this! I was in so much pain (as you know if you have gone through labor and delivery) I knew the only person that could stop the pain was me. I just wanted to push her out so fast (and I did!) The nurse told us I pushed her out in 30 seconds and that she wrote 1 minute on the computer because there was no where to write 30 seconds. I loved that I was able to delivery her when the midwife prompted me too. Super amazing moment to remember. I also had learned to wait to clamp the umbilical cord, which you can read more on my tips for a natural delivery here.

Moreover, I really regretted getting the epidural this time for many reasons. One, I was way further along than they thought. I was so close to having a natural birth, and ended up having one anyways just with the epidural in my system (not working, but still in my system and my baby’s)! Secondly, my daughter ended up needing deep suctioning a few minutes after birth, and I always wondered if it was because I had the epidural past 7 cm dilated. Props to my husband who started freaking out our baby was blue. The nurses were busy cleaning up not realizing my daughter was turning blue on my chest.

Baby #3 came only 12 1/2 months later. Side note, breastfeeding is not birth control. Take it from me! I did not feel fully recovered by his due date, and I said I wanted the epidural ASAP! So I got it, and it didn’t work at first They made some adjustment and it worked ok, just not like it did with our first baby. He was the longest labor & delivery at about 6 hours from my water breaking at home, to having him in the hospital. He also came a few days AFTER my due date, which was different from my previous 2 kids. He is, to this day, a man of his own. He marches to the beat of his OWN drum, and I love watching him, and all of them grow into their own.

How I Finally Had My Natural Birth

Drum roll. I had started Healthy Mom Project 2 years before I got pregnant with baby #4. And WOW, it has been amazing as I’ve connected with so many likeminded people and have learned SO much! While I was still working in the ICU ,a co-worker was always telling me I had to meet her sister-in-law as we think on the same page. I finally met her at my Raw Trainer event, and told me she was a doula. Well, oh em gi! I was newly pregnant! This was a game changer. It just made sense that I hire her to help me have my natural birth I had been wanting. I would still do the same things during my last pregnancies like trying to have a ‘chemical free pregnancy’ and ‘chemical free baby’, but this time with the addition of a doula!

One of my best friends had 3 home births, and now this doula said she also had 3 home births! I was super interested in having a home birth myself at this point. After much thought and consideration, we realized this may not be for me. My kids would be all over me right away, and if not right-away, definitely the next day. So, we opted for another hospital birth, but this time trying hard to make sure I was able to get into the holistic birthing center in Westlake, Ohio. If you are looking for a home birth yourself I have heard only great things about this local company.

Doula’s Role

The word doula is a Greek word meaning women’s servant. Women have been serving others in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact on the labor process. One of the many things I loved about having a doula, is that she was there for me during my pregnancy, labor & delivery, and even afterward! She met with my husband and I early on in the pregnancy to see what our birth plan was and how to ‘serve us’ best. She was there for emotional support all along my pregnancy. She gave me the confidence and empowered me to know that I could birth this baby naturally. Everyday I would say a quick mantra when I went to bed (& deep breathe). I would say “God designed my body to birth this baby naturally”. While I didn’t know at the time if that would make any difference, and have heard of hypnobirthing, I am now convinced it made a difference! This was my first pregnancy that the midwives were unsure if the head was down & in position. My doula was able to give me natural advice, tips and positions to get the baby to move to head down position. Even at 38 weeks, my midwife was not positive she was head down & asked me what I thought. I had no idea if she was head down ! In my mind, even if she was breach I was going to still deliver her vaginally if possible, so I just continued on staying calm, praying she was head down, and doing my exercises.

Birthing Naturally

The big day came, and of course it was one day after my due date (for the third time!) I woke up and thought my water broke but wasn’t sure. I was immediately going back and forth with my doula for support and what to look for (even tho this was my 4th baby! Going into labor, was different this time). I stayed EXTREMELY calm, all I could say is I had this cloud of calmness over me. After realizing I was probably in labor, we went to the hospital around 11:30am. The front desk sent us upstairs to check in and I decided I could definitely walk to get this show on the road! To our surprise, I was over 6 cm dilated 🙂 She hooked me up to see how often I was contracting and she looked at me and said, “do you feel those?! You are having consistent good contractions!”. I did feel them, but they didn’t hurt. It felt like pressure this time, instead of pain. I was able to labor for a little while in the water. It was nice, but I wasn’t feeling the delivery in there (for whatever reason). My doula was there with fresh, organic fruit, that I mauled! She was doing all of her tricks like massage, different birthing positions, essential oils, and just helping me along the way. The midwife broke the rest of my water after about an hour being there and feeling no progression. WAY TO GET THINGS PROGRESSING! Boom. Pain and all that comes with birthing a baby happened quickly. Our daughter made her debut around 1:30 pm. My husband always gets a little emotional during labor & meeting our baby for the first time. There are no words to describe meeting your new little bundle of joy! I love looking back at all of our pictures, and even watching my birthing video and hearing her first cry. Truly a miracle. The day I got home, my doula dropped off homemade tea infused vag pads to help with the healing. A few days later she brought an amazing healthy dish over that is supposed to help with milk supply. I also had my placenta encapsulated (for the first time). Support and Empower Strong Mama Doula Services does this. Having a doula can be a strange thing because it is a ‘stranger’ at your birth which is such an intimate time. But all said and done, I think all women should have a doula at their birth!

Quick Tips That May Have Helped :

  • Hired a doula
  • Daily raspberry leaf tea at 36 weeks
  • Eating dates every day around 36 weeks
  • Taking Evening Primrose Oil by Pure Encapsulations 5 days before I was due
  • Continuous Chiropractic Care throughout whole pregnancy
  • Daily prayer and having many people pray for my birth reminding me to surrender to God during the process
  • Taking a long moment to breathe and pray after my water broke at home telling myself all the things my doula and friends (who have done this) said to me
  • Daily routine of Juice Plus (the most researched nutraceutical in the world, and a great pregnancy study)

I hope this helps anyone considering having natural birth. It is truly amazing what the mind and body can do when they are in sync. I am grateful & blessed for this experience and want to empower moms or mom-to-be’s to do the same.

No matter how you birth your baby, natural or not, all that matters is that mom and baby are healthy! Don’t stress if you planned for one way, and another happened! Healthy and happy is all that matters.

Lauren Eggers

Lauren Eggers

Healthy Mom Project Cleveland

Lauren Egger is the creator of Healthy Mom Project, a blog she started to inspire moms to make healthy choices for their families. She’s a mom of five, wife, and certitied RN. Follow her on Instagram at @healthymomprojectcle or visit her blog at healthymomproject.com.

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