Our daughter, Jade, has arrived! We were able to have the natural, unmedicated, childbirth for which we had been preparing. Studying naturopathic medicine helped me in many ways, and I was able to use natural healing modalities throughout the entire labor, delivery, and recovery process.
The whole morning I felt like labor was coming soon because ligaments were stretching in my pelvis that I’ve never felt before! It was as if I’d done a strenuous 6-hour workout. Around 2:30 in the afternoon the bag of waters started to break, but it wasn’t a big gush, so I called my midwifery group, and they had me come into the office.
In the office visit, I was only 1-2 centimeters dilated, so the midwife instructed me to go home for a few hours and present to the hospital at 8 pm. With rupturing membranes before contractions begin, the risk of infection increases, so the topics of induction and antibiotics were discussed, and if we got to the 18-hour mark, they were strongly recommended. I decided to use all the tools in my naturopathic toolbox to speed up the process and avoid that!
Immediately upon leaving the clinic at 5 p.m., I started alternating three homeopathic remedies every 15 minutes for about an hour and a half: cimicifuga (to increase contractions); gelsemium (to increase cervical dilation); and caulophyllum (increases both). As soon as I got home, I had a castor oil smoothie to also help with contractions. The acupuncture clinic was closed, but a friend had been in communication with one of the acupuncture and oriental medicine clinicians earlier about specific acupressure points I could use, and another friend brought me some needles if I’d want to attempt doing acupuncture on myself. However, I didn’t have to use acupuncture or acupressure because within about an hour, I was in full-blown labor, contracting every 2-4 minutes. The intensity increased quickly, and at that point, I knew exactly why the majority of women get an epidural, and the thought definitely crossed my mind!
We got to the hospital around 8:30 p.m., and I felt the urge to start pushing shortly after. The midwife arrived at 9:30 p.m., and I was finally allowed to go into the birthing tub. Being in the water decreased the pain, although it was still incredibly painful in a way that I’d never felt before. It also was too soothing, and I was getting tired quickly. I moved to the birthing stool per the midwife’s recommendation, and two contractions later, at 10:24 p.m., Jade was born!
Some other homeopathic remedies that I used during the recovery process for the past few days include: high-potency (10M) arnica for achy, sore, bruised feeling; hypericum for nerve pain; and bryonia for feeling “worse with motion.” I successfully managed the pain at a tolerable level, so I didn’t have to take any medications at all. Contrast showers also helped me stimulate the vis (the body’s natural healing power), and I feel more refreshed when I take them.
Jade and I are both doing well, and Luis and I are adjusting to parenthood. Tired is an understatement, so I better take a nap now!