A First Time Mom's Journey to Natural Childbirth: The Power of Stories

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By Laura
As a little girl I loved hearing my mother tell me her birth story with me. “I had a natural birth,” she would describe, “You came quickly, just three hours. You didn’t have any hair when you were born, but we knew from your eyebrows that you were going to be a redhead!”

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It’s amazing the impact positive birth stories had on my own journey towards natural childbirth. Knowing my mother had a natural birth with me sparked my interest from an early age. To me it just made sense. Women have been doing this for thousands of years… but could I do it?Then the summer before my husband and I got pregnant we visited some good college friends who already had two little
ones and another on the way. We talked about babies and my friend told me her birth stories. After being disappointed with her first medicated birth, she pursued a natural birth with her second. Seeing her glow with joy as she described her natural birth solidified our commitment to trying for a natural birth should we become pregnant…
A few months later we got the exciting news that we were expecting! Now the matter of preparing for our birth became a reality. My husband and I have a motto, “We’re on the same team: team Ankrum!” We knew having a natural childbirth was going to require a team effort so together we began preparing. We took natural child birth classes, practiced breathing techniques, carefully selected a supportive environment for my delivery, drafted a birth plan to discuss with our midwife, and spent a lot of time processing our hopes and concerns together.
I also read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth. The first half of this book is a collection encouraging natural birth stories. Often
the media portrays birth as this terrifying and horrific thing that a women must suffer through before she is rewarded with her baby. The beautiful narratives in Ina May’s book gave me a new picture of what childbirth could be. The more I read the more my confidence grew and I started to believe that I could do this! That I could trust my body to do what it was created to do and deliver my baby without medical interventions.
Another important part of our natural childbirth preparation was learning to be open-handed about what may or may not be. We knew that we wanted a natural birth and we committed to pursuing one. However, we also knew that ultimately we weren’t in control of our story and the first priority was the health and safety of our baby and myself. This is where prayer played an important role in our natural childbirth preparation. Because of our faith, we surrendered the birth of our son
to God while surrounding ourselves with excellent medical care.
Finally all we had left to do was rest, wait, and eagerly anticipate meeting our precious baby boy! I look forward to sharing our story with you later. Stay tuned!!!

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Wife, work at home mom, and bassoonist, Laura Ankrum lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to the arrival of her two children Laura taught elementary music and band in the Boston area. Now her home is her classroom and music studio. Laura is passionate about education, encouraging other moms, and eco-friendly living. She is the social media coordinator at Thirsties Inc.


Erin K. · December 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

I completely agree…one of the most important things to have when looking at having a natural childbirth is support. I, too, grew up with a mom who had two natural births and told me positive stories of each. I wanted so badly to do the same with my babies. While my husband wanted to be supportive, he didn’t quite know how and the nurses and doctors were not supportive when I actually went into labor. I did manage to still have natural births but it was difficult and not quite the experience I was hoping for.

    Laura Ankrum · December 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Erin, I (Laura) am glad you were able to have natural births with your babies, but I’m sorry to hear it wasn’t what you were hoping for. My husband and I had to spend a lot of time looking into hospitals to find one that was known for supporting natural birth. In the end, I’m sure your story will help others.

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