By Briana Padilla, El Paso, TX
I'm stationed in Texas and don't have my family close by to give me all the support I needed. So from the time I shared the news of my pregnancy with my mom, she had encouraged me to buy a Lamaze book and take a Lamaze class to obtain the confidence I needed. She knew and supported my birth plan. I wanted to give birth as natural as possible without risking my baby's health, which to me means drug-free and instrument free. My grandma, mom, aunt, and mother-in-law did it when epidurals weren't as common as they are present day, therefore I knew I could.
Being the procrastinator I am, I put off buying the Lamaze book and taking the class until the end of my third trimester. My husband and I finally bought a book and took a one-day Lamaze class. We read the chapters that pertained to us at that point in the pregnancy and took a lot in from the few chapters we read. The class was informative as well. Between the two, we learned how drugs interfere with the mother's body to release the hormones that it takes to give birth. The class taught me four breathing exercises and that breathing is important because when one holds their breath it actually makes the pain worse. Of course, during labor I could only do the simplest breathing technique. I also understood how important walking was to dilate my cervix and I wouldn't of been able to do that if I was numb from drugs.
My husband and I also were trained on how important his role is to the whole experience. Without him massaging me through every contraction and letting me know my contraction was half way over, I couldn't have done it. Before then I received a lot of criticism from my peers about my birth plan, but I wasn't as accepting of medical interventions as they were. However, on my baby's birth day with the information, techniques, and confidence the instructor and book gave us, I was able to get through my back labor and give birth 100 percent drug free. Our baby and I had no complications during labor. He came out healthy and I was able to walk to my postpartum room where I was able to get up and tend to him because I wasn't numb from drugs.
I know that with the combination of Lamaze, my husband, and my knowledgeable mother and aunt I was able to do it! Not to mention, my active labor went so quick. Of course, I really wouldn't of been able to do it without my AMAZING, STRONG, & SUPPORTIVE husband. I want other couples to hear our experience and know that they can do this too! I understand every women and every birth is different, but we are all created to give birth naturally and with the help of Lamaze, it makes it that much easier.