I love reading about birth so I thought this would be a nice idea for a post. I get a lot of questions on how I am preparing for birth, if I’m reading any books, what my birth plan is…ect. I have been a little quiet on the subject thus far simply because your birth choices are just that: they are YOUR birth choices. You should not have to defend your decisions to anyone and I’ a firm believer that all births are beautiful. I would never look down for a moment on a mama who chooses to have an epidural (hey, been there!) or has a c-section. How you get your baby out is your business and at the end of the day, it’s all about healthy mama and healthy baby.
If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you may remember my experience with Grayson! You guys, as a first time mom to be, I did all the things. We went to birth prep classes, I read countless books, I hired a doula (who is amazing and still with us, btw). Turned out, NOTHING could have prepared me for that birth experience! Looking back, it’s not that it was entirely that long of a labor but I just had no idea how much labor was going to hurt. I totally freaked out, which made it so much worse. Let’s just say all the “hypnobirthing” I did went out the window. Epidural? Yes, please. I’m not going to re-write that birth story because you can read the whole thing right here if you want, but it was very hard for me. I felt like I couldn’t manage the pain at all and one intervention just led to the next. I finally got the kid out, but WOAH…I had a hard time and an equally hard postpartum experience. Wondering why there are no photos of my birth with Grayson, only Luke? Because taking photos during that labor was never even on our radar. Just surviving was. Hah.
Flash forward a couple years, and all my ideas of a strict birth plan for Luke’s birth went out the window. With my second, I knew how much labor hurt but I also trusted my body a whole lot more. I knew I was capable of birthing a big baby and my real goal was just to try to stay calm and get through it, which I did! If you’re interested in reading that story, you can do so here. In short, I was able to lean into the pain and not resist it. I had a much shorter labor and the whole thing was just very beautiful and very redemptive for me. Having a natural birth with Luke was probably the most transformative experience of my entire life. It truly changed me. Immediately after I got him out I said “well that wasn’t SO bad. I would totally do it again!”. Haha 😉 I felt so good after delivery, too. It was the stark opposite of my prior experience.
I actually decided that I wanted my third baby to be a homebirth right after I had Luke in the hospital. I had had such a wonderful natural birth experience and was SO DARN HUNGRY after, but all the nurse station had was carrot sticks and old hummus (I mean, it was 5:45am). All I wanted was the comfort of my own home, the softness of my own bed and….yeast-raised waffles with champagne. I mean, obviously! I told Adam that next time we are doing this at home and I think by that time he was already passed out asleep but just nodded along with me.
So what have I done to prepare this time around? Not much, really. Just knowing I don’t have to figure out childcare and head to the hospital when labor starts has been a HUGE stress relief for me. I was so, so, so stressed out last time because we don’t have any family nearby and I was so scared I would go into labor before my mom came from the east coast to watch Grayson. This time, I feel so much more at peace about it all! My mom is coming out a few days before my due date to help with the boys, but I also have a lot of friends I can call to come over and help with the kids should I go into labor early. And, I mean, if nothing else, we all will just be HOME so the kids can watch a movie or do their thing.
The only “birth prep books” I read are positive birth stories. This helped me immensely last time. Every night in the last couple months of pregnancy, I would read a positive birth story before falling asleep at night. I would say that was the biggest thing that helped me, actually. I don’t need any more “how to” books…I just want to be filled up with positivity regarding the whole thing. The truth is, our bodies were designed to do this. I know my “average size” baby is around 9lbs…but that’s just how God designed it to be for me. My body can totally handle that and I’m choosing to rest in that truth. Should a complication arise? I trust my midwife team completely and will absolutely go to the hospital if they think I need to during labor.
I have heard the old saying that “first babies are really hard, second babies are easy and third babies are total wildcards.” I know that this is just one of those things that I can’t control. I can control my attitude and my breath…but in the end, all births are so different and I truly have no idea how this little one will make his way into the world.
I was hesitant to share our homebirth plans only because I’m really not interested in hearing any negativity. I am not up for a debate in the comment section. This is our decision and I can’t wait. We have an awesome team (two midwives and my doula who has been with us for my past two births) and I know, whatever happens, it’s going to be an experience we never forget. I can’t wait to meet this little boy and introduce him to his big brothers! I’m so sappy at the moment that I’m basically tearing up at the thought of my older boys holding this new baby.
Lauren W.August 31, 2018 at 2:45 pm
Love this. All the power to you! I wish I was able to have better birth experiences but my I didn’t get to the right mental space to deal with the pain naturally. Sending best wishes for another great experience!
Kelli HAugust 31, 2018 at 3:09 pm
I’m so excited for you to have a home birth! Sending you so much positivity! I hope some day I can do that as well. My first birth was some what similar to yours in that I wanted a drug free birth but didn’t end up with one. I was at a birth center and after about 60 hours I transferred to the hospital fo an epidural so I could get some rest. I let the epidural be turned down and after 75 hours of labor my daughter was born. Definitely an amazing experience but I do look forward to the day when I can try it again! Maybe I’m crazy…haha
LaurenAugust 31, 2018 at 4:30 pm
Loved this! I’m pregnant with my second, but am thinking of going the other route. I had a drug-free water birth in a hospital birthing center here in Northern California, but had some PTSD for a couple of weeks after (I’m sure most mom’s do). I was pretty anti-epidural last time, but I feel so tired from this pregnancy and chasing my toddler, I don’t know if I have enough “Tiger Strength” to do it the same way (if everything goes to plan). So now I am thinking I am going to ask for the epidural. 😉 Love the blog!
AshleyAugust 31, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Long time reader here – also pregnant with baby #3! I had a natural hospital birth with my twins almost 4 years ago. Now I’m also planning a Home birth and couldn’t be more excited. I agree that SO much of the stress is eliminated by staying at home. Sending you all the positive vibes!!
How I am Preparing for Birth the Third Time Around – Gym BuddiesAugust 31, 2018 at 4:57 pm
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MelanieAugust 31, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Yay! Thanks so much for sharing this. My first baby (currently pregnant with #2) was born at home and I was so thankful to have my own shower and bed. The majority of people thought we were crazy for going this route, but it was absolutely right for us.
Kath EatsAugust 31, 2018 at 5:39 pm
I am right there with you on all the positive birth stories, trusting my body, focusing on the mental part, etc. While there are absolutely things that can happen that are physical and out of our control, I firmly believe that there are so many things that are affected by moms mental state so since that’s the only thing I can control that’s all I’m really doing to prepare. I’ve heard the same thing about #3 being a wild card and that one reason I’ll be done with 2 🙂
I’m curious to see which one of us has our baby first! I’m going to guess you and I’ll be a week late reading your (hopefully positive) birth story from a yoga ball!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress)August 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm
amazing-love this! After being in labor for over 50 hours with my first I caved to an epidural and pitocin because they were starting to worry I’d need a c-section. It worked out but I’m so hoping I get a more redemptive 2nd birth like you and I WISH I could home birth! I hated not being able to eat or drink (I just downed ice chips like a mad woman), I hated feeling dismissed all the time, I hated how uncomfortable all the monitors made me feel. You’re amazing and I can’t wait to hear how #3 goes!
LizAugust 31, 2018 at 6:22 pm
I hope you get to have such a sweet experience with your home birth! Obviously healthy mom and baby are the most important things, but I think close behind that is having a team behind you that you trust, because I feel like that can totally redeem a birth experience even if it doesn’t go as planned. I have had 2 emergency c-sections, and although I’d be lying if I said I never had any pangs of regret about that, I had such a positive experience both times with my OB and the hospital staff that I felt, and still feel extremely positive about both births. I never doubted for a second that the right calls were made and I felt so supported by the team around me that I have zero negative feelings about my scheduled c-section that I will be having in November for my 3rd baby. I’m actually looking forward to it probably more than either of my previous births! I still am able to read stories about natural births and feel nothing but uplifted and happy for those moms too, and i think that’s because I have never really felt regretful about my totally different experience. I know so many women who feel like they were not listened to or were pushed into having a birth experience they didn’t want, and that’s a hard place to be. I think it’s so great that you are able to go into this third round feeling confident in your choices, that is an awesome feeling! Good luck!
KirbyAugust 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm
My third baby was my wildcard in that he was my first successful water birth and it was redemptive, beautiful and quick! Love the idea of a homebirth and had considered it but chickened out. If we decide to go for #4 I will definitely be considering it though—nothing like the comfort of your own home!
KristinAugust 31, 2018 at 8:38 pm
This is so great. I’m so interested to see this baby boy’s birth story. Best of luck to you. Wishing you nothing but the best!
AngeliqueAugust 31, 2018 at 8:54 pm
Home births aren’t uncommon in Europe! My aunt in The Netherlands had both of her children at home (in the mid-90s) and had a great experience. You do you and what’s best for your situation! Congratulations and good luck!
CarolAugust 31, 2018 at 9:05 pm
Wishing you all the best Jenna! Do what you are confident with and everything will always work out!
JulieSeptember 1, 2018 at 4:43 am
I loved reading both of your birth stories and really appreciate and celebrate your attitude toward everything pregnancy related. Your story about Luke’s birth was one of the first not so scary birth stories I read and I loved your tip about ending each day with a positive story. Do you have any suggestions for books or places online to find more positive, empowering birth stories? I’m prepping for baby #1 and find that most birth stories out there are kind of terrifying and traumatic so I tend to avoid them.
AngieSeptember 1, 2018 at 6:27 am
I have to have c sections so I have no idea about home births. My neighbor behind just had her second at home and I had no idea until she texted me that afternoon but she was up and around like no big deal. Another close friend had her 3rd boy in Tyne ambulance because of Los Angeles traffic and didn’t make it time. She’s due with her 4th soon and she’s a bit nervous how quickly this one can arrive. At least you know what to expect with a natural birth. Good luck.
Ashley LSeptember 1, 2018 at 7:47 am
I had never heard that saying but it so true. I never really had hard births but the first definitely took longer. The second popped out on its own and the third was sunny side up. Praying for a smooth and positive birth for you this time around.
HeatherSeptember 1, 2018 at 11:06 am
I loved reading this post and also love reading positive birth stories. Our bodies are capable of so much and it is so empowering to hear from others. All the best for your home birth – my second was born at home and it was such a positive experience (though still hard and did it ever hurt!). Nothing like being able to take a shower at home and then crawl into bed with your babe beside you right after!
JessicaSeptember 1, 2018 at 11:20 am
I can so relate! I just had my third baby a couple weeks ago, and it was my second homebirth. I had conversations with my midwife about certain things I wanted or didn’t want during and after birth, but I made a point NOT to have a birth plan. I just know by now that you can’t really plan it. It will be what it will be. I also knew I could do it, and totally trusted my midwife and team. My only real prep was reading and listening to lots of birth stories (loved The Birth Hour podcast this time!). And when it came to labor, I leaned into the pain so much more and felt so much more connected to my body than in either of my previous experiences. In some ways it was harder than my other two labors because it was so much shorter, so the intensity was greater. But I also know that I chose the intensity… there were many times I could tell something I was doing – a position or vocalizing – was super productive, even though it was crazy uncomfortable. But instead of running from the discomfort I leaned into it and after only 2.5 hours my baby was born. Such a transformative experience in so many ways, and I feel like it taught me a lot about life and myself and the mercy and grace of God. Anyway… all this to say – sending SO much support and love your way, mama!! Whatever comes with this third labor, you’ve got it and it’s gonna be great. And high five for planning a home birth… sending lots of support your way for that decision. I know what it’s like to get negativity from people about that choice, but I also totally understand knowing that it is what is right for you.
SophieSeptember 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm
This is literally making me want t have my baby at home! My last one was 10 lbs 5 oz and I had to have a csection. You feel so yucky on all that med. I know being at home would be way more peaceful.
AlyssaSeptember 2, 2018 at 1:04 pm
I’ve heard that saying but my third was a piece of cake! The easiest by far. Granted they were all c sections but still. Fingers crossed you have the same experience re: third being easiest!
AndySeptember 2, 2018 at 6:42 pm
Thanks for sharing! My 2 boys were born within a month of your two, and I’m due again in January! My sister had a very pleasant, natural, home birth. I also have a good friend who had her first baby via c-section and the next three at home….the last one was 12lbs! All mommas are so strong!
LaurenSeptember 2, 2018 at 8:05 pm
I am so interested and curious about home births! It wasn’t the labor and delivery part in the hospital that I hated but just those few days after where I wanted my bed and shower and for people to stop coming in our room literally every hour all night. I am so excited to hear how it goes for you!!
KatieSeptember 3, 2018 at 9:52 am
How do you go about finding positive birth stories? I’m always nervous to start reading them online because I don’t know how they’ll end :). Any tips appreciated! Due with my first in three weeks.
HIlarySeptember 4, 2018 at 5:59 am
Wishing you all the best! My 3rd and 4th were homebirths and we love everything about it. It was such a wonderful experience for the whole family. My kids slept through the last birth and woke up to their new sister 🙂
RachelSeptember 4, 2018 at 6:18 am
A home birth sounds perfect for you, I hope it goes as you are wanting it to go and I wish you the best of luck!! I had my daughter in a birth center with midwives and it was an interesting experience! It wasn’t BAD, (it was actually mostly wonderful,) but I also was not prepared for how painful it was, especially since all pre-birth classes taught me that “birth is NOT painful. It’s pressure.” HAHAHAHAHA no, most painful experience of my entire life BY FAR. And I also had a really traumatic post partum period, which I’ll spare details but I think because I was in labor for 3 days with zero sleep, (prodromal labor that eventually progressed into the real thing,) a delivery, and then only 6 hours before being sent home, I was absolutely running on E. I had no strength, none at all. So next time I’m planning on all pregnancy care to be with the same birthing center and midwives, but I’ll be giving birth at the hospital with a midwife. The idea of a two day stay with plenty of round the clock help sounds HEAVENLY.
AnnSeptember 4, 2018 at 7:54 am
You go, girl! Sending love and positivity to you!
AbbySeptember 4, 2018 at 9:18 am
Love! Love! Love!
CBSeptember 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm
I think homebirths are wonderful. I had planned a home birth but ended up with a hospital transfer after 36 hours at home. I still think laboring at home that long, partly in a big warm birthing tub was wonderful. I really recommend still packing a hospital bag even if you don’t need it. We had to transfer to the hospital and literally had 30 seconds to grab a purse and hospital bag and we were so grateful for it.
AliSeptember 5, 2018 at 2:41 pm
Love this Jenna! I had both of my little boys (the first a few days after Grayson) at home and would never consider any other way! You got this! My mantra was always… “Your body was made to do this” and it was so true. God has his plans for us and we just have to give in and have faith in them. Wishing you all the best!
jessicaSeptember 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm
I LOVE this!!!! No mommy shaming!!! :o) My third was my fastest and quickest recovery – I also credit it to the fact that i didn’t require any drugs. With my first two, I opted for the epidural (neither of which were terribly long labors – about 10 hours total for my first and about 4 for my second) but didn’t have time with my third as I had him 1 1/2 hours after checking into the hospital. I breastfed my first two for around 6 months but with my third, I just couldn’t for various reasons and you know what, that was okay (i realized it was okay after A LOT of mommy guilt). So i love this, good luck and i can’t wait to read about your experience!
EmilySeptember 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm
Long time reader and mom of 3 (ages 4, 2, and 7 months)! I had three fairly different birth stories – my first was via scheduled c-section because she was breech. I was devastated when I learned I wouldn’t have the option of delivering naturally, but it was a calm and thrilling experience nonetheless. I went into labor naturally at 39 weeks, a few days before the delivery was scheduled, so we still had the surprise effect, and the experience made me realize how little the method of delivery mattered if it resulted in a healthy baby. My second daughter came one day shy of 36 weeks (thank goodness my first didn’t surprise us that early or I would have been terrified!). I was planning for another c-section, but I labored a little too long at home and arrived at the hospital 9cm dilated. My amazing OB strongly encouraged me to try for an unmedicated VBAC, and I am forever grateful for that experience. My baby boy came at 37 weeks, and I was again given the option for a VBAC which was successful and the easiest of the three. I treasure each of these experiences and am so thankful for how each birth transpired. I pray you’ll have a similarly “easy” childbirth with your third, but as you said, healthy mama and healthy baby are the only real indicators of success.
KristenSeptember 20, 2018 at 10:42 am
Thanks for sharing this beautiful post, Jenna! I’m a long time reader who hasn’t ever commented before (not that I can recall, anyway!). I just had my second daughter 7 weeks ago via water birth in a birth center – it was the most peaceful, positive birth I could imagine. Her sister (3.5 years old) was born in a hospital but without any interventions. It was a very empowering experience but much less peaceful than the one at the birth center. I’ve already said that IF we have a third, it’s got to be at home so I can have experienced all three settings! HA. We left the birth center about 4 hours after our daughter was born, and it was SO AMAZING to shower and sleep at home right away. Now I can see why it’s so appealing to have a home birth so that we wouldn’t have had to make that drive. 🙂
I’ve got to echo your plan to read positive birth stories! Ina May’s books were next to my bed through both pregnancies, and I totally credit them for preparing me mentally and emotionally for giving birth without drugs!
ErinSeptember 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm
Home births aren’t for me….give me a hospital, nurses, and pain meds. LOL But my niece had one in March and it was great for her! And my great-nephew told his mommy she did great in the pool. <3
How I am Preparing for Birth the Third Time Around – Buzz ParadiseApril 16, 2019 at 8:42 pm
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