A Perfect Birth! Freebirth After Previous Induction & Epidural (Guest Post: Birth Story)

6 12 2013

The following is a guest post from a first-time UC-er (unassisted childbirth). She has had one previous birth, with medical assistance (epidural and induction). She was joined by her supportive husband and older daughter. Names* have been changed.

Sorry for lack of times in the story. it was all too quick for me to check the clock. The whole thing was only 3 hours.

I woke up around 4:30 am Saturday morning having some stomach pain. This was not an unusual occurrence as I have been waking up in the middle of the night like that for weeks. Usually once I emptied my bladder I felt better. My husband heard me get up and asked if I was ok. I said I don’t know. He said are you in labor? I said if I am then this won’t take long because there wasn’t much breaks between the pain at all.

I went to the bathroom and closed myself up in their alone. I was trying to figure out if I was in labor or what was going on. I felt like I had a stomach virus, I was on the toilet with diarrhea 3 or 4 times. The pains didn’t come in measurable waves at that moment. My husband says he knew I was in labor lol. So I started to try and clean up the bathroom a bit. If it was labor I wanted to be able to birth in a clean bathroom lol. So I threw a load of laundry in, cleaned the toilet and lastly cleaned the bathtub. All this was quite difficult to do because i had to stop and breath through the contractions. The contractions were now coming in definite waves and there wasn’t much time in between. It went too quick to actually time it. I would say maybe two min a part. I filled the bathtub. My husband kept checking on me and I said I was fine.

I asked him to bring the laptop in and put on a CD my friend Rowan* gave me at my Blessingway. I had previously listened to it about a week prior and I liked the sound. It was beautiful and meditative. He put the music on for me, and lit some candles. He only came in the bathroom and spoke to me between contractions. I liked that he gave me my space. I didn’t need him there I could get in the zone better by myself and he picked up on that. He told me to call him if I need him.

He said he was going to run up to 711 and buy eggs and bacon, lol. Him and Sloan* were hungry, haha. She woke up and was very excited. I asked him to buy me two coconut waters when he came back I was in the bathtub laboring. He brought in my drink.

The contractions were intense, but in my head I never referred to them as “pain” and I never let fear creep into my zone. I just listened to my body and moved around with whatever position felt natural. I was mostly hands and knees. At the point that I got in the bathtub is when I switched from concentrated breathing through the contractions ( which is what I did though out the bathroom cleaning and prepping ) at that point I started moaning through. I honestly didn’t think I would moan like that but it really did help. I remember other friends telling me to try and keep the moaning at a low octave , so I did …

My back started hurting so I drained some of the water and turned the shower on instead to let the water run down my back: it felt nice. But standing was so intense. I just told myself the gravity would help and to just do it. Once it became too much to continue standing I let the bathtub fill up again and got back down. I have a standard tub so it was small but the water still felt good. The water started to get cold so I hopped out of the tub it was hard to move from place to place.

I asked Tony* to get me the birthing ball. I leaned on that for a bit, I was on my knees leaning over the ball. I rocked back and forth moaning. The rocking was good. All I can say is contractions were intense and yes I guess painful, but I kept thinking back to my induction, where there was no break in between the pain, there was no peak, it just felt like my body was being torn in half. So compared to that this was nice. Yes i got the epidural eventually but I still remember being confined to the bed and the machines and the pain. I liked how I could tell that the peak was reached and the sensations started to decrease from there. The breaks in between even tho short were heaven and made it bearable.

At this point I told Tony to get the bed ready. So he made the bed. Protecting underneath with plastic. Sloan helped move my drinks in there, I would have to haul ass to the bedroom. My house is tiny but there was so little time in between contractions. So once one was done, I got up and went to the bed. My lovely husband had more candles lit the bedroom cleaned up and ready and my music. I got up on my bed, hands and knees and this is where it got bad. I think transition. My back hurt a lot so Tony massaged it for a while, he also put massage oil and peppermint oil on it. This felt good during contractions. Sloan fetched the heating pad and we used that on my back too. Sloanie was so much help she got towels and stuff too. I started to whimper and whine and drop a few f bombs. And then apologized. Tony laughed.

I was talking to myself and told myself to get it together. Tried to keep deep growling moans, thought that was better then me starting to Cry. I begged my body for a break, because I wasn’t getting much of a break any longer. Tony ran and got the large pads we got to lay under me. I told him I didn’t know if I should push or what. I was afraid of pushing too soon because I know that can cause a cervical lip, but Tony said I think your pretty close babe, try to push. I still didn’t quite feel an urge, but it hurt so bad that I didn’t know what else to do. At this point I started saying “it hurts, it hurts” LoL. ” I’m crazy for wanting to do this!” Then I just started pushing. And then my water my broke. That was kinda my confirmation of like ok it’s time. So I began pushing and holy hell it hurt. I was definitely screaming.

I knew I had to push harder but I knew I was going to poop lol. Tony was like its ok, he had those pads under me, he was very encouraging, and told me I was doing great and to go ahead and push. I would say a few pushes and she was down there. I started to feel the ring of fire. And Tony and Sloan screamed they could see her head. I was like yeah, I know!!!! Haha. I was scared to push her out it hurt so bad. So she went back in a little, and then I pushed a little , I did this a few times. I told myself that it was good to do it that way anyways I wouldn’t tear. Finally I got the balls to push her head out.

Tony didn’t see a cord. I had to wait for the next wave to come because it felt I was going to need to really try to get the body out. So I waited for a wave, took a deep breath and pushed with all my might and the rest of her body came out. Tony picked her up and handed me her through my legs, he said its a girl!!

She was perfectly pink , let out a cry and starting breathing right away, so I was not worried. We just were looking at her and admiring her in front of us.

Tony asked about the placenta and I said I wanted to try right away, I gave a good push and out it came. Inspected. Looked whole. Sloanie got warm towels from dryer, Tony sterilized the scissors and string. When the cord was done pulsing , we tied and I cut. I tried to breastfeed right away but she wouldn’t, so I went to go clean myself up. I didn’t bleed a lot on the bed. But into the bathroom, throughout my shower and after I kept bleeding, thin red blood.

I was starting to worry even tho I didn’t feel faint or weird, I took two doses of anti hemorrhage tincture my lovely friend Miette* made me, then I made my way back in to be with my girl. Tony cleaned up the mess real quick as I gazed at our little girl. Beata Fayruz Fikru* was born at 7:20 am. Unfortunately the scale I got keeps giving me different readings but she averaged 9 lbs. still haven’t bothered to measure her length lol.

It was literally a perfect birth, exactly how I imagined it. Tony worked perfectly together with me. I was so worried that I should have him do more reading or tell him how to be there for me but ultimately I knew that we knew each other well enough, I knew he would be great. I love him so much. He never doubted me or had any fear from the moment I mentioned unassisted. His faith in me carries me through always


To learn more about the following subjects that were involved in this birth story, please see the following links! -Elizabeth

Pushing and Knowing When/If/How to Push

Pushing For First Time Moms, by Gloria Lemay, Midwife Thinking
Birth is better left alone and pushing should be at the mother’s cues.

Don’t Push the River, It Flows by Itself, by Laura Shanley (an excerpt from her classic book Unassisted Childbirth), Peaceful Parenting
It is more a matter of “allowing” it to happen rather than “making” it happen.

Pushing: leave it to the experts, Midwife Thinking
A birthing woman is the expert regarding when and how she pushes.

Cervical Lips (Pushing With/Against)

Pushing: leave it to the experts, Midwife Thinking
The most common reason for telling a women not to push is that her cervix is not fully dilated.

The Anterior Cervical Lip: how to ruin a perfectly good birth, Midwife Thinking
Telling women to push or not to push is cultural, it is not based on physiology or research… It does not require management and is best left undetected.”

What You Don’t Know About Your Cervix Can Ruin Your Birth, Birthologie
Not everyone dilates to 10 cm when their body is ready to expel the baby, and you dilate in an ellipse, not a circle.

At some point in labour almost every woman will have an anterior lip (meaning the top of the cervix isn’t completely dilated) because this is the last part of the cervix to be pulled up over the baby’s head.”

Happy One Year! Giveaway

30 05 2012

It has been one year since In Search of the Perfect Birth was published and our website and Facebook pages begun. It was a proud moment in my life and it’s been satisfying to know that my story resonated with so many of you.  I learned a lot from my own life and if anyone else is learning from my stories, I can be exponentially assured that this was not in vain. It is my privilege to have ever helped anyone because it gives my life added meaning. Thank you!!!

The Second Edition was just released earlier this month, and it’s better than before. Still the same book in content, it is more polished and hopefully an easier book to enjoy than before.

We are celebrating with a giveaway.

The following pages we are proud to announce as our honorary sponsors:

Unassisted Birth/Freebirth
Inside Vaccines

Our active contributing sponsor, we are happy to announce, is:

Pink Moon

Follow our simple Rafflecopter form here at our Facebook page for super easy entries/chances to win.


1. The Grand Prize:

One signed copy, one of the last remaining, of the First Edition of my book, In Search of the Perfect Birth.

One Cloth Diaper (plus microfiber insert) from The Perfect Birth. Your choice of colors from the new Scholar line!

One (additional) Bamboo Insert from The Perfect Birth

   One pair of crocheted baby shoes by Pink Moon. Have a variety of colors to choose from (winner’s choice) and sizes are as follows:

Newborn size fits foot up to 3″
0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″
3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″
6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″

One “Boobie Beanie” in your choice of size and color by Pink Moon!

1. Cream/Pink
2. Tan/Pink
3. Tan/Med Brown
4. Mocha/ Med Brown
5. Mocha/Dk. Brown
6. Chocolate/ Dk Brown
Newborn size: 12-13″
3-6 months: 15-17″
6-12 months: 17-19″
child: 18-20″
tween: 19-21″

This grand prize above is SIX great gifts.
The following gifts are single gifts to other lucky potential winners.

2. One of the last remaining First Edition copies of the book, signed.

Have a variety of colors to choose from (winner’s choice) and sizes are as follows
Newborn size fits foot up to 3″
0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″
3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″
6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″

3. 1 Cloth Diaper from The Perfect Birth. Color chosen for winner randomly; comes with a microfiber insert.

4. These crocheted baby boots from Pink Moon

5. A “Boobie Beanie” from Pink Moon, winner’s choice of color and size (see above).

So enter the Rafflecopter form NOW for a chance to win the Grand Prize of five prizes, or one of the other 4 single prizes! Many thanks for all who’ve supported me over the year. I promise that there is only more to come. Happy Birthday to Us!

How Knowing Your Body Can Help You Have a Better Birth Experience (Guest Post by Felicia)

29 05 2012


Felicia’s kids


The following is a guest post from our friend Felicia, who is a doula. She runs the Facebook page Peaceful Baby Doula Service. She’s had SIX labors.  ~ Elizabeth




Knowing Your Body in General
Having basic knowledge about your body, especially your reproductive system is extremely helpful in aiding you in conceiving, pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding, and postpartum experience. Listening to your body, and the signs that it gives you to communicate what is going on, or what it needs, will help you to have a better birth.

Pregnancy is a very important time and taking the opportunity to get in touch with your body will help the next 42 weeks go by faster, and with ease. Educating yourself about the normal birth process, knowing that all women’s bodies are different (so some women take a longer time to grow a baby), and trusting that your body is NOT faulty are very important things that need to be known in order to have a satisfying birth.

Felicia in labor. Home water birth is achievable for most women. Usually it just requires the right knowledge, planning, and support. At the minimum, it requires being in tune with your body and trusting your instinct.

During the period of trying to conceive, listening and paying attention to your body can make this period shorter and easier. Your body gives signs and you have symptoms of when the optimal time to conceive is. For more information about this, I recommend a really good book by Toni Weschler, Taking Charge Of Your Fertility.

The Cervix
Things like what your cervix is, what it feels like, normal complaints during pregnancy, and abnormal symptoms can all help ensure the future is more appeasing. Since your cervix plays a vital role in the birth of your baby, I find this is a very important aspect of the human body that is overlooked.

Felicia, seen here, is experienced in giving birth in hospitals and at home.

Most women rely on the doctor to tell them if their cervix is open, effaced, etc. — but they really don’t *understand* what this means, other than the day they are meeting baby is near. Most women don’t know that it’s ok to touch their OWN cervix and a doctor really never needs to check (but you can). Some are afraid they can hurt something trying to figure out their body, but since you are the one being touched, the likelihood of you hurting yourself is very minimal.

There is a higher chance of something going wrong with someone else (i.e., a doctor) having his hands in your vagina, because he doesn’t know what hurts, how hard to go, etc.

Knowing When to Ask For Help
Listening to your body can save you, on so many different levels. There are times when laboring women have listened to their bodies, and knowing that something was wrong sought out help-resulting in life-saving help for their selves, and their babies.

The end result: a perfect birth. May you all find yours.

What Exactly is a “Perfect” Birth?!

16 11 2011

Perfect. Such a provocative word.



1.conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.

2.excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.

3.exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.

4.entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.

5.accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.

Haters are always asking me– what IS a perfect birth, little missy? Well, above, for your convenience, I’ve included the definition of “perfect”. Now add labor/childbirth to this concept and you’ll hopefully understand.

“I always thought a perfect birth is one where a baby comes out alive.”  Well, you’d be wrong.

That’s not good enough! My baby and I deserve more than just to survive.

So much can go wrong for women and their babies in birth, especially in today’s childbirth culture. So, if you induce me because you don’t want to miss a special occasion, force me into compliance for arbitrary standards I’m held to even though my baby and I are in good health, forcibly do anything to my body which is not life saving, and remove me from your care because you cannot honor my needs or requests– these are potential imperfections in birth. And I don’t have to settle for that.

That’s what my book is about. In Search of the Perfect Birth may sound like a judgy title to someone looking for something to criticize, but you can’t be a true critic if you are judging a book by its cover (or, title).

Even though all my babies are alive, I don’t have to settle and gratefully accept the things which happened to me. Disliking my births and wanting more is not the same as disliking my children and being ungrateful that they are here, alive and well. These negative birth events didn’t have to happen, and they weren’t essential for saving me or my children. They were unnecessary. Some women aren’t as lucky as me, and even if their babies live in the end, sometimes those babies have lifelong issues stemming from the birth method. These are very real issues that I’m talking about here.

People find this threatening, though, because we’ve accepted sub-par care for so long now, that it’s threatening to define that some births may go “perfectly” and others do not. In fact, most do not. No, it’s easier to say that no birth is perfect, or to insist that an intervention-filled birth was perfect. The alternative is to admit that things didn’t quite go as they should have and that it’s not okay, and that’s either A) a threat to one’s very identity or B) too troublesome a thought to bear.

Women who go “searching” for a “perfect birth” are a threat to women who don’t. There is the implication that they settled, that they missed something. That’s my theory on why this is so offensive. But I cannot control who gets offended by this concept.

I have an obligation to tell my stories so that others can understand that their searching was not stupid or useless or selfish. I validate their dissatisfaction with the machine, a system that is built to churn people out, not to care about you the individual (mother or child). If I can help make birth and life any better, easier, or healthier for other mothers and their babies, then my pains were not in vain. I will not be silenced just because some out there deep down feel mediocre or inadequate and choose to take their feelings of inferiority out on the rest of the world.

Even on GoodReads, I am being judged as being “unprepared” and “expecting to coast through labor” because of my quest for something more.

It made me wonder about Rachel. It seemed like she didn’t even read the book, and got so much factually incorrect in such a short review. Is “perfect” this severely misunderstood? I think so.

Oh course, if you want blatant offense at the mere word “perfect”, you can take Serendipity (a troll) and her review of the book on Amazon:

Once recently, troll Florence stopped by my page to discuss what a “perfect birth” is. Apparently a popular midwife blogger asked me this in what I’m guessing was a challenging tone, and I had missed it because I didn’t stick around her page to watch the troll party go down. So, here’s what I said to Florence, and hopefully this is a good way to sum up for the world what a “perfect birth” is, and why one would search for one:

So, like I said, “perfect” is just a word. It happens to fit, but there is no personally judgmental or sinister meaning behind it. It’s innocent and pure in intention. Honestly, when I named the book, I did it on a lark, speaking totally from the heart, trying to capture what the essence of the book was so that people would understand its content. Still, regardless, you can expect in this life to be misunderstood by plenty.

From trolls, to nurses, to midwives, to doulas, to wannabe doulas, to wannabe midwives, and all level of cast and characters, the very people supposed to be the most supportive of women are the most maliciously speculative when it comes to pouring out the heart and soul of one feminine experience.

Now, do you really want to know my idea of “perfect”, in terms of childbirth? To me, a “perfect” birth is one that does not involve any physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional trauma to the mother or baby in the process.

But apparently, that’s too much to ask. I have some nerve. Hmph! “Perfect”.

“… and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything!”

21 06 2011

When someone says, “My birth wasn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything!” I can’t help but think–

— because I would.

Usually their tale is one of imperfection (hey, isn’t that like us all!?), but the heavy note is that they survived and the baby was healthy. Is this why people wouldn’t change their births for anything? It’s as if they automatically assume that to change the birth, the outcome for baby would also change. But what if you could have changed your birth to make it better, and baby still would have been fine? Or finer? Would you change it then?

I’ve heard this sentiment quite a few times, from friends and enemies and strangers alike. From induced moms, c-section moms, moms who wished they could have gone natural but ended up with a plethora of interventions, etc.

There are so few situations which are so perfectly ideal that the mother would not change a thing. Even if you thought whatever happened was for the best. And let’s just for the sake of discussion put aside the “everything happens for a reason” reason (which truthfully I believe in, even if it sucks sometimes as a consolation). Honestly– who among us wouldn’t do something to change our births to make them better? If you tell me you were disappointed you had this or that happen, but you wouldn’t change it… well, refer to George (above).

Even my recent more “perfect birth” still had some setbacks which, looking back, I see plenty of ways in which I could allow myself a better birth. I may not have any real regrets, but I don’t feel bad about admitting how we can do better (next time?).

Note that I said a better birth. Not a better baby. Your birth is not your baby. Your birth is not your baby. Your birth is not your baby. Changing the birth does not mean you would change your baby. Wanting a more perfect birth experience for you does not mean it is all about you to the exclusion of the baby. What is good for you is more often than not what is good for the baby, so wanting birth to be the best and healthiest for you is not selfish.

I mean, let’s face it– most things in life (even very good things) have room for improvement. And it’s not ungrateful of you at all to want to look back on your experience and admit what you wished had been different. I think the desire to not live a life with regret and to look only joyfully on the birth of our children causes us to look the other way on issues that seriously deserve more attention.

So, I had three births, and if I could go back and change them each, I most definitely would. What would you change about your birth(s)?