I knew before I ever got married that when I had children, I wanted them to be born naturally with a midwife, outside of a hospital setting. When I was in high school, we had a career day and our local birthing center came to talk about midwifery. I was always fascinated by the whole concept of birth, and for a time, I considered becoming a midwife. Natural birth is something that was always embraced by the women in my family, as most of them delivered their babies at home with the help of a family midwife. So birth was always presented to me as this beautiful experience that shouldn't be dulled or avoided. My husband, Derek, was not so fortunate in this area. My mother-in-law often told me of her horrible births in the hospital and how they were some of the worst experiences in her life. And so this was the way my husband perceived childbirth. Knowing how he saw it, I was concerned that when it came our time to have children, he wouldn't be supportive of my choice to birth at a center with a midwife instead of a hospital with doctors and epidurals. But being the wonderful man he is, he was supportive (the fact that we would save a ton of money by birthing at a center sounded good to him, too). Even though, after Ian was born, he admitted that during the whole pregnancy, he was scared to death of what I would be like during the labor and delivery. He was afraid that at the last minute I would beg for drugs and then regret my whole decision to go the natural route. I guess he knew that normally, I am a bit of a weenie when it comes to pain and don't take it so well. But he hid all his reservations very nicely as I never once thought that he was worried. I had a very uneventful first pregnancy, aside from horrible all-day-long sickness, with no complications whatsoever. I went into labor at 39 weeks, 5 days at 2:00 AM. My husband was a lot calmer than I expected, but it could have been just because I was very calm. We went to my mom's house to labor until it was time to go see the midwife since she lived a mile from the birth center. My water broke at 4:30 and we went to the center at 5:00. My midwife, Jill, was amazing. She sprayed warm water on my back to counteract the back labor I was having and the time just flew by. At 7:45, I started pushing. I wanted to have the baby in the bed, so Derek was behind me, bracing me and cheering me on. At 8:20, Ian was born. Although, at the time, we thought that he was going to be a she because the two ultrasounds we'd had said girl. But he was the best surprise ever. Derek cried and I was just in awe of this beautiful life we had been blessed with.
Evan came like lightning at 41 weeks, 3 days after three hours of labor and two pushes. I couldn't believe how fast he was born. I looked up at my husband and said, "We have two kids!" I laugh when I look back on it, because it was so off-the-wall. But I blame the hormones.
I shared all of that to say this (I know, I beat around the bush long enough): looking back at all the choices I've made in my journey in motherhood, I shouldn't have been surprised by any of my decisions.
Had I not made the decision to give birth naturally, I may have not decided to breastfeed.
Had I not been breastfeeding, I may have not looked into babywearing as a way to breastfeed on the go.
Had I not worn my baby, I probably wouldn't have been introduced to cloth diapers.
Had I not been introduced to cloth... Well, I'm just so very thankful I was. It has been one of the biggest blessings to the health and finances of our family.
So thank you, natural childbirth, for leading me to cloth diapering.