Childbirth Part 2

I wanted to say a little bit more about the things that I hope to be the same and the things that I would like to be different during labor and delivery with Judah. Obviously, some parts of labor are completely out of my control. You never know what will happen that will change your circumstances. Therefore, knowing that much of what I'm about to write falls under the category of "idealistic thinking", I will say that I am not counting on things going exactly this way.

1. I would like to have another drug-free birth. For this, I have been (and, am sure, I will continue to be) deemed "crazy" by many. :) And I totally understand why. Let me start by saying that I don't think there is anything wrong with getting an epidural. I would never look down on someone who did. I know how hard it is, and I know that everyone's circumstances are different. Each woman needs to do what's best for her and for her baby in the whole birthing process. So, just FYI, no judgement here. :) Nevertheless, I really liked (and by that, I mean, at the time, I hated) experiencing every feeling, and each painful part of the process. I think it made me appreciate it more. Also, I am not comfortable with being out of control...ever. Joe will definitely tell you this is true. Ha ha! I think that not being able to walk around while I was in labor and after delivering, would make me more nervous than the pain. I really liked the adrenaline of being in the moment and how wide awake Roman was when he was born.

Kim tells me that I must have a freakishly high pain tolerance...and maybe that's true...but it was crazy pain. Both my mom and my mother-in-law had drug-free births. My mom's labors were 4-5 hours ...I was really hoping I was going to get some of those genes passed on to me. :) My mother-in-law, Suellen, had labors that lasted DAYS - we are talking 30+ hours. Her shortest was 16 hours. They both endured pitocin as well. They are pretty much my heros. So, hopefully, I will have the strength to do that again.

2. Speaking of pitocin, I would really appreciate if we could all just take a moment and pray that I don't have to do that again! :) Seriously. My thoughts on how to (please God) avoid pitocin:
  • Wait as long as possible before going to the hospital. (Assuming that my water doesn't break on its own). Mmmmkay, I waited 7 hours last time...I thought that was pretty good. But, honestly, I didn't really need to be there quite yet.
  • Walk. A lot. Again, I thought I was doing well with this, but reflecting on the situation, I could have done a lot more...maybe go for a run next time? Yeah right....I don't run when I'm not pregnant.
  • If my water doesn't break, I don't think I will have them break it for me. For me, it did not speed up labor. At all.

To me, thinking about giving birth without pitocin, is like thinking about Heaven. It's got to be 100 times easier.

3. I would like to have a shorter labor. This, of course, I have zero control over. Just a nice thought.

4. I would like to have the Judah put directly on my chest after he is born. We couldn't do this with Roman because they found meconium when they broke my water. So, immediately after he was born, they suctioned him out to make sure he hadn't breathed any in. This also prevented Joe from being able to cut the umbilical cord.

5. I would like my baby to breastfeed well. Roman was not good at nursing. For me, this was, by far, the hardest part of being a new mom. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively...and I had read a whole bunch of books on nursing. I thought I was really prepared and that things would go smoothly. Each time I tried to nurse him the night he was born, he fell right to sleep. He had a lot of trouble latching on at all the first week. Later, the lactation consultants told me this had a lot to do with the shape of his mouth...his bottom lip was set back farther and so he had a hard time latching on. So, much of the struggle with nursing was also out of my control. It's hard to be convinced of that, though, when it's your body that makes the milk. I felt like I should be able to make it work. So many times Roman and I would sit and cry together because we were both so frustrated about it. We supplemented with formula a bit at the begnning, but he finally got the hang of nursing and I felt like things were going well. Then, we went back to see the lactation consultant, and found that he was losing weight. We were so frustrated to have to supplement again. The lactation consultants in Ames were awesome. They assured me that I was doing everything right and that I couldn't make him nurse. They told me that I wasn't letting him down by nursing and supplementing with formula. They gave me a lot of good practical advice for how to keep nursing and a lot of emotional support. To make matters worse, I had mastitis. TWICE. I was one of the lucky people to get flu symptoms with it - and, seriously, it's probably the sickest I've ever been. After the second time, my milk supply was never quite the same. I tried everything. I took herbal supplements, called Fenugreek, to try to increase my milk supply. I pumped like it was my job. I drank crazy amounts of water, and herbal teas that were supposed to help your milk supply. Nothing seemed to do the trick. So, we ended up supplementing with formula for most of the time that I nursed. I was able to nurse until Roman was 9 months old, which, considering how much we struggled, was pretty good. I would like to nurse Judah at least a year. Here's how I am going to try to make the nursing process go more smoothly:

  • Nurse right away. I did this with Roman, but hopefully Judah will stay awake!
  • More kangaroo care.
  • No pacifier for the first 2 weeks. I didn't specify this when we were staying at the hospital when Roman was born, because I am not opposed to pacifiers. But, until Judah is nursing well, I don't want him to have two different sucking motions to learn.
  • Hopefully, I will be more relaxed in general this time around, and the more relaxed mom is, the easier it is for baby to nurse.
  • Pretty much, I plan to do everything I did last time, just more of it. And just pray that Judah is quick to catch on. :)

Well, I think that's all for now. I'm sure there's more that I'm not thinking of right now. Any suggestions, let me know!!


  1. i'll pray for your suggestions to God about labor/childbirth! ;)

  2. I found your blog through Stuff Christians Like & noticed you were named Ruth AND you look about my age. I want to email you but can't find an email address on here. I loved reading your childbirth entry & was wanting to chat more about that. Please email me back. :)

  3. I hope you get all you hope for in this next delivery. It is nice to know, though, that when things are just completely out of our control... it means that God is completely IN control! And that's a comforting thought!! I know God's plan for Judah's birth is going to be amazing!!