My Natural Labor Story: How it all began

I have really wanted to write down my whole labor story, for me, for you, and maybe even a daughter down the line who will ask for my advice and stories when her pregnancy time comes. I don’t want my post to go TOO long, so I will break it down into the three stages of labor. For those who don’t know too much about pregnancy and labor yet, I will give you some background. The first stage has three levels: early, active, and transition labor, where you are going through all those lovely contractions as your cervix is opening and getting ready to be able to have a baby come out. This stage is by far the longest. The second stage is right after the transition where your cervix is now fully dilated at ten centimeters and you are ready to push; this is the pushing stage. The last stage is right after birth; you have done all the hard work and the placenta just needs to be delivered.

natural labor story how it all begun

 Helping Myself get into First Stage: Early Labor

I am a very determined woman when I want to be, just ask my poor husband. 

As my due date approached, I wanted that baby out and in my loving embrace! A week and a half before my due date, I was looking up all things natural to help my labor come sooner rather than later. I ate and drank a bunch of pineapple juice (love making healthy Dole Whip, easy recipe here), did some acupressure, drank Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea, had sex, and even walked up and down my stairs a bunch of times. I had been reading up on drinking Castor Oil which people swore by to start their labor. I had read and agreed that you shouldn’t TRY and start labor BEFORE your forty weeks is up; why would you want your baby out before he is completely developed and ready to come out? All my natural encouragement would help speed up the process if baby was already ready. So Justin and I agreed to try the Castor Oil ON my due date, June 1st. I was really anxious to get this baby out by then. I knew my body was prepared since at my thirty nine week checkup I let them do a vaginal exam and I was two centimeters dilated and at least fifty percent effaced. This only really meant though that baby could come that day or still take a few weeks. My Bradley Method instructor (Rachel Benson, who I highly recommend if you live in Orange County) had recommended not even getting a vaginal exam early since it can cause false hope since even when you are a little dilated, no one can determine when you will actually go into labor. But of course I HAD to know, so I did the exam anyway, and was shocked I was two centimeters dilated. I hadn’t felt any Braxton-Hicks contractions so far, so didn’t know I could dilate without contractions.

 All that being said, I was prepared to try my hardest to start this labor on my due date! Justin had the day off and I thought it would be an awesome story to say I had my baby on my due date (most don’t come on the actual day). Another reason I wanted the baby out then, was so it didn’t get larger for two more weeks and have to push out a HUGE baby…’nuff said. So castor oil is a natural laxative, which when it starts working on your intestines and bowels, it can help stimulate the start of contractions; again, IF your body is ready. My birthing center gave me a great recipe for taking it, since it is a thick oil and can definitely make you gag if you just take it straight. Some people take it mixed with orange juice or grapefruit, but I think you might like this recipe better:

Castor Oil Root-beer Float

1 tbsp. castor oil
1/2 can of root-beer (I used Zevia Diet Soda – Ginger Root Beer  since it’s all natural and I believe you
shouldn’t drink regular soda…DEFINITELY when you’re pregnant.)
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream (I used Halo Top ice cream since it’s low on sugar content but still really yummy!)
I mixed it all together and had it for an early morning ‘breakfast treat’ at 5 a.m. Then went back to sleep because you want to be very well rested if you’re about to go into labor. Then at 7 a.m. I took the second dose. I was already clearing out my bowels by 7. It’s not the most fun experience, but just think, if you’re worried about pooping when you’re pushing out your baby, you won’t. 😉
By midday we decided to walk to nearby Downtown Disney to get out and exercise, the more walking, the sooner baby is going to come. I warn you, with the castor oil, make sure there are a lot of bathrooms where you are, lucky for me, there are a lot there. After an hour and half I was getting tired of walking and I was hungry. If I was going to start laboring that day, I wanted to make sure I didn’t skip any meals. After lunch I was feeling a little uncomfortable (but at forty weeks pregnant, when are you not?). I was frustrated that it was past noon and I had still hadn’t felt a contraction. So what is your last straw? Sex! Don’t be shocked, that’s how I got pregnant too… The funny thing is, right afterwards, I was really uncomfortable and crampy. Right after 1 p.m. I was feeling minor contractions.
“What? Did I actually start my labor?”

When pregnant I was really interested to know what a contraction would feel like. As I read up on other women’s descriptions, I realized a lot of people describe it in different ways. To me, as it is to many women, it seemed like an extreme menstrual cramp. A lot of pressure, and I knew it was an actual contraction, because it is distinct and different then anything I had felt my whole pregnancy. But as my Bradley instructor had kept telling us, don’t get an excited adrenaline rush or it can stop the contractions! So I calmly (as calm as I can get…) told Justin we should probably go on a walk around the block. As we were slowly walking, every three minutes I would have to stop and let a contraction go by. Yes every three minutes, not starting with one every hour, or even ten minutes, but every three minutes. And that is definitely when I knew I had started my first stage of labor.

Did you have any tricks for starting your labor? Would you even consider castor oil? Did you want to get this pregnancy thing over, or were you fine patiently waiting for your baby to stay in for the extra two weeks?

Click here to continue reading my labor story.


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  1. Cristina Mandeville | 21st Apr 16

    Thank you so much for sharing your labor story over at #bloggerspotlight link and Pin-it Party. I do appreciate it and hope to see you again! Pinned!

  2. Do men have labor stories? You bet they do | 4th Apr 16

    […] my husband, (you can read my whole birth story starting here) coached me through an amazing labor at a birthing center. We both really feel uncomfortable in a […]

  3. My Natural Labor Story: Stage One | 28th Mar 16

    […] you haven’t read My Natural Labor Story: How it all began, I recommend you start there. Otherwise, I will continue now into how my first stage of labor […]

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