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Lisa and Jacob
Natural labor and delivery without drugs of any kind

Jacob's due date was supposed to be on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 27th. That date came and went without incident. I thought that I'd be returning to work as usual that Tuesday, but I didn't. Early that Monday morning on the 29th, I started to experience very short and mild little "tightenings." I just thought that they were Braxton Hicks contractions and didn't think much of them. My husband, on the other hand, started to react as though there wasn't much time left before the baby would come. He was the one who started to "nest" that weekend, busying himself with getting my car's oil changed, filling the tank, cleaning it inside and out, planting flowers, pulling weeds, etcetera. All the while, I was calm, collected and taking it easy. Every time I felt something, I would tell him and he started to think about the spacing of the "feelings." This carried on for the greater part of the day, without any real rhyme or reason.

It wasn't until about six o'clock that evening that those "feelings" began to come closer together and with a little more presence than the ones that were happening earlier in the day. So my husband, Mark called a friend at work to let him know that he might not be at work the next morning, and justifiably so. Then he called our doula, (labor assistant) Amy and talked with her about what I was feeling. She said that she would take a shower and get ready to meet us at the hospital, "just in case."

At about nine o'clock that evening, my water broke and immediately my contractions began to get longer, stronger and much harder than before. Mark continued to run around packing for the hospital, while he checked in on me every one or two minutes. At around ten or ten-thirty that night my contractions were very intense and hard; it was definitely time to go to the hospital.

We got to the hospital between eleven-thirty and midnight. When I was all situated in my room, the nurse on duty checked me and said that I was about four and a half centimeters dilated. Ugh. I thought, "Here we go. No turning back now."

Both mentally and physically I had prepared myself to labor as naturally and drug-free as possible. That was very important to me and, I believe, to the health of my new child. As I labored for nearly two or two and a half hours sitting on the toilet; I endured very intense and excruciating pain. However, my husband, my doula and my inner voice reminded me that there was an absolutely normal and purposeful meaning to those hard labor contractions. I relaxed as much as I could under the circumstances, and accepted the purposeful pains of labor. That was crucial to me in dealing with my labor experience altogether. Reluctantly, and for the baby's sake, I then moved to a new position on my side on the bed.

It wasn't long after I changed positions that Jacob was born. I remember lying there as the contractions got even stronger and harder than before, and believing that there was no greater pain imaginable than the pains of childbirth. But I also knew that I had the power within me to give birth, and naturally so. I believe that God never gives a person any more pain than they can truly handle. When I suddenly began to have the uncontrollable and involuntary urge to push, I had to. The nurse told me to wait until the doctor could see how dilated I was, but I couldn't. I tried hard, but I just couldn't. At that point I was about nine and half centimeters, but I dilated to ten in a matter of minutes. The time came to push, and it was a relief to finally be able to do so. It was also extremely hard, painful and scary. But I did it! I pushed for about a half an hour, and at three fifty-three in the morning on Tuesday, May 30th, Jacob was amazingly born.

What a joyous and emotion-filled time. I don't think that I have ever known such a time to be more blessed and miraculous. How great it was to be able to receive this small and most precious gift from God into my heart and soul. What love, joy and awe both my husband, Mark and I experienced that wonderful day in May.

I want all those who have yet to experience the pains of labor to know that it can be done, fearlessly without medication. The key word is fearless. I believe that my preparedness to give birth and my acceptance of the pain to be was what sustained me through the very daunting task of labor and delivery. I had to convince myself to be fearless about what was to come. I also had to accept my labor however it unfolded. Although the pain is great, there is something very amazing, empowering and meaningful in experiencing the pain of labor in it's entirety. In everything, there is purpose. Remember that. So all those of you who have yet to give birth, know that you can. Just accept what's to be and do it without fear.

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