Not all hospitals offer the environment or options she was able to enjoy. Which is why some women prefer a birthing center over a hospital setting. But hospital policies are changing, as are so many things about the collective birth experience...
What were your plans for the delivery of your first child? What did an ideal birth look like for you?
Originally, I didn't really have plans, but I started considering a med-free hospital birth around the end of my first trimester of my first pregnancy.
What factors influenced the decisions you made concerning your delivery?
The biggest driving factor for me in my pursuit of a med-free birth was a horrible reaction to a spinal tap I had when I was 19. I wound up in the hospital for two days with the. worst. headache. of my life. Also, my mom had all three of us med-free, and she was really an inspiration. Oh! And my first OB (who I left halfway through my pregnancy) told me I probably couldn't do it and basically laughed in my face when I told him I wanted to try. So, yeah, I was going to PROVE HIM WRONG. Ha!
Tell me a bit about your actual birth experience...
With both of my children, I have been blessed with incredibly amazing, positive birth experiences. They were both delivered med-free in a hospital setting. I was allowed to labor in water with both of them.
How did that experience shape any future births/birth plans you may have had?
After having such a textbook smooth med-free delivery with my first, I was honestly scared that I wouldn't get that "lucky" again. But, as it turns out, I wound up having an even better (faster!) experience with my second. I'll definitely move forward with the same type of birth plan with any future pregnancies.
Have you ever felt judged for the way you gave birth?
Before I actually had my first, people felt the need to tell me how "crazy" I was for even wanting to attempt a med-free birth. I felt that many people thought I was trying it so that I could "brag" or "show-off," which was so incredibly far from the truth. I learned to just not tell people my plans early on. However, since having my babies, I haven't felt judged, but I do feel that some people think I will judge them when I tell them I had a med-free birth. Again, that couldn't be farther from the truth, either.
Did you feel going into both births that you had a good support system? Were the people who really mattered behind you?
I decided to take a Bradley Birth class after my mom and several others suggested it. Our coaches were amazing and they referred us to a phenomenal midwife practice. The support we received from our coaches, midwives, and my mom made for a fantastic support system.
Jill has shared both her birth stories on her blog. She has an open, honest style many women appreciate:
Thank you so much, Jill, for participating in this series!