My Body, My Baby, My Way

When I found out that I was pregnant back in May 2008, I was both elated and scared.  Having grieved a miscarriage the year before, I worried that something might go wrong.  At about twelve weeks (when I should’ve been relieved), I woke up one morning in the most excruciating pain I’d ever experienced.

My husband rushed me to the emergency room where they found that I had a twelve centimeter ovarian cyst.   I was given pain meds and went on bedrest for two weeks.  The medicine made me incredibly sick. After a lot of prayer for healing and pain relief, I woke up one morning with my mind made up that I was done with this medicine/bed rest thing.

I continued to see my ob-gyn, but I had this awful nagging feeling inside because she was so eager to do surgery to remove the cyst.  The nagging continued.


I wanted to do everything I could for my baby’s healthy birth, so I came up with this mantra – “My Body, My Baby, My Way.” Spunky, huh?

In finding “my way”, I did a several pivotal things which I highly recommend for new moms to consider.

  • Research everything about various ob-gyns/pediatricians and birthing techniques.
  • Don’t be afraid to change doctors if you are uncomfortable or even if something doesn’t seem quite right.  I did – right in the middle of my pregnancy, and I’m so glad I did!  I was open and honest with my new doctor. She respected my requests fully.
  • Take Bradley birthing classes. They are amazing and will prepare you and your husband for natural labor and childbirth.
  • Write a birth plan! I can’t emphasize this one enough.  Whether you are having a hospital birth or a home birth, it is imperative for you to have a birth plan.  My nurses followed my birth plan exactly.  They let me labor MY way.  They watched and encouraged.  (A birth plan can help immensely if you have to be transported to a hospital during a home birth.)
  • Stand up for yourself and your baby. Don’t feel like you have to just go with what your doctor says.  Doctors are human. They make mistakes. Follow your “mommy intuition.”  God gave it to you for a reason!
  • Tell “protocol” to go fly a kite! Doctors and nurses do what they do 24/7.  What they sometimes fail to remember is that every. single. pregnancy, labor and birth is different. They can’t all be thrown into the same identical mold – with the same identical “protocols.”  Don’t hesitate to walk against the crowd and to request something different in your birth plan.

{Off soapbox now}

My baby’s birth ended a little lot differently than I planned.  When my husband and I made our birth plan, we had no idea that I would be in labor for forty-six hours before Ridley would finally make his appearance.  Yes, I was in labor for 46 hours.


I had the most horrible back labor ever, but I stuck it out naturally for 40 hours.  Ridley was doing just great, but I was getting totally exhausted.  My contractions wouldn’t stay consistent unless I was on my hands and knees, but my nurses continued to let me make the decisions.  They gave me the option of continuing on or getting some help. I knew I needed help.

At this point, I’m confident that my other doctor would have suggested a c-section.  Looking back, I’m so thankful that I followed my “gut” and changed doctors!

My husband encouraged me because I totally felt like giving up.  I felt like a failure because it wasn’t going the “best” way that I had planned.

I got an epidural and pitocin (which finally regulated my contractions) and gave birth to our beautiful son six hours later.  I think he just didn’t want to come out of his cozy home. Ha!

There are things that I wish were different, but I know that I made the right decision for Ridley’s birth.  I’m 100% committed to pursuing “my way” for subsequent pregnancies, labors and births.

Won’t you join me in my mommy mantra: “My Body, My Baby, My Way?”

Linked to Works For Me Wednesday and Amy’s Labor Day Party.

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  1. says

    Thanks for writing this, Myra! SO important to be informed and know what’s best and what you want… even when it doesn’t turn out quite that way. In the end, knowledge is still power and you still have your beautiful baby boy. :)

  2. says

    This was a great post! And I am definitely with you on the mommy mantra. :-)
    I was so clueless with my first and ended up with a horrible birth experience and so with the second did the total opposite.(complete with midwives, at a house, in a tub! lol) The decision is still wavering a little on how we’re gonna do this one, but at least I know my options and am so much more aware of the choices out there now.
    And you are now officially one of my heroes after surviving 40 HOURS of labor naturally. I’m praying for another quick 4 hour birth with this one like last time. :-)
    .-= Tyra´s last blog ..Taking a Break…to Spend Time With Family =-.

  3. says

    My 1st birth was so shocking and bad that it took me a long time to admit to God I was disappointed in the experience. What that taught me was to hold it loosely. I prayed for the labor/delivery to go well but I tried to hold it as loosely as possible so I didn’t have the emotional trauma of the 1st time. Good for you for being open to something not in the plan the 1st time around!
    .-= Rikki´s last blog ..Fun, Fun, Fun =-.

  4. says

    This is a fabulous post that I hope many first time soon-to-be moms will read. When I was expecting my second child, I realized I had a lot more choices than I thought with my first. And I’ve gotten more bold since then. I’m glad you ended up having a wonderful miracle at the end of your journey.
    .-= Nikki´s last blog ..Something strange is going on. =-.

  5. says

    I agree with almost all of what you say here, Myra and think it’s a great post! I have a very different opinion regarding birth plans, however, which I wrote about almost two years ago on my blog. :) It’s right here:
    I think it’s great to have a general idea of what you’d like to see happen, but I believe too many women get hung up on their “ideal birth” and, when things may go wrong, end up feeling like failures. That being said, I could not agree more with your suggestion to change doctors if need be…. I did the same thing with my second child when my first doctor insisted I was an idiot for refusing genetic marker tests. My second doc was much more compassionate and understanding of my feelings and reasoning!
    .-= JessieLeigh´s last blog ..Can You Hear It? =-.

    • Myra says

      @JessieLeigh, actually I agree with you. Maybe that didn’t completely come across in my post.

      My birth went much differently than I planned, but I’m thankful that I did have a plan and that my dr and nurses respected it.

      There is an element of rolling with the punches that has to be there when giving birth/writing a plan because only /God knows how it will go. :)

    • says

      @JessieLeigh, First, you know I love you. :)

      Secondly, I disagree. In this day and age of “protocol” and 90% of women “going with the flow” and maybe regretting it, I feel it’s my *responsibility* to create a FLEXIBLE birth plan. Most doctors and nurses just *assume* that women will happily labor drugged up and on their backs, well… because most women do!

      It’s important for them to know up front that I’m not “most women” and that, barring any difficulties or emergencies, my husband and I are truly well trained and have it all under control.

      If I don’t tell them that, how will they know? If they don’t know, how will I get what’s right for me and my baby? And if I’m not allowed to walk around while laboring? Well… I might just walk myself right out of that hospital! 😉

      • says

        @Amy @ Finer Things, I love you too. :) I think if you have the right doctor to start with, this becomes somewhat of a non-issue. Certainly, you should think about (and make your caregivers aware of) how you’d like the birth to play out. That’s being prepared and that’s what any prepared childbirth class worth its salt will tell you. Maybe it’s just my perception of “birth plan” which involves a very detailed outline of exactly how everything should go down… THIS is what I’m opposed to and what I discourage. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve known dozens of women devastated when their “birth plans” didn’t pan out. And, as a woman who was DETERMINED to do everything humanly possible to never have a c-section, I can attest to how soul-crushing it can be to “fail” at your plan. Having a flexible plan? Good move. Following the “birth plan checklist” in the “What to Expect…” books? Bad move… in my opinion. :)
        .-= JessieLeigh´s last blog ..Can You Hear It? =-.

        • says

          @JessieLeigh, I think it is important to have a flexible plan (or “birth wishes” as I’ve heard it called). I’ve known too many women who say “oh we’re just going to see how labor goes and how I’m feeling and then decide what kind of birth we want.”

          Um, that doesn’t really work if you might possibly want a natural birth! Ask any laboring woman if she wants (or feels like an) epidural and I’m sure not many will turn you down! :)
          .-= Kelly´s last blog ..To Answer Your Questions =-.

        • says

          @Kelly,I can get on board with a *flexible* “plan”. Having watched my sister go
          through a first labor similar to Myra’s, however, I truly WAS one of those
          women who went in to have my first baby and told them, “We’ll see how it
          goes.” It went fine, and I labored naturally right up to delivery of my
          son. Like so many things, this is one of those issues where I think
          personality comes into play. I’m all for empowering women to take ownership
          of how they want labor and birth to happen! I hope that’s coming across. I
          just hope and pray no one gets her hopes so set that she winds up feeling
          disappointed and like a failure if, sadly, things do not go as planned.
          .-= JessieLeigh´s last blog ..Can You Hear It? =-.

        • Myra says

          @JessieLeigh, Great discussion and I’m not banning anyone from my blog!! :).

          I’m in 100% agreement with Amy and Kelly. I thought it was apparent from my birth that I had a flexible birth plan. I knew what I wanted and I did my best to achieve it, however when things didn’t go as planned I was flexible and went with it.

          I am passionate about women knowing and understanding that God created their bodies to do this and that they have the right to not just be another ” number” in the baby delivering process. Just because a dr. does inductions at 38 weeks doesn’t mean they have to go with it.

          Anyway, that’s my other 2 cents. :)

  6. bonnie says

    Amen! My *former* ob was so pushy and could be down right belittling. She was trying to schedule me for an induction so that Eden would come at her convenience. The last straw was when I asked a question and she said “What have you been reading this time?”. Praise the Lord, our hospital staff was wonderful!
    I can’t stress enough to read anything you can get your hands on and stand up for yourself. Be a good consumer of the services provided and a good steward of what God has given you.

    • Myra says

      @bonnie, Wow. Some doctors have no bedside manner. It’s their way or the highway. I’m totally agree with you about being prepared and informed! :) Great comment!

  7. says

    Great post! I am glad that your birth plan was something that was followed (as much as they can be in the unpredictable labor and delivery experience)! I spent so much time working on one, talking with my doctor (who ended up being out of town when I delivered) and then when the big day came – my birth plan was never even looked at. I brought it with me, I left it in a room somewhere and asked my sister to go get and one of the nurses actually laughed and said, “they don’t really matter anyways”. Not what a woman 41.5 weeks pregnant wants to hear! Everything went well but I was forced to labor on my side and, like you, had horrible back labor and being on my side was excruciating. I am iterested to see what happens if/when I have another babe!

    • Myra says

      @Shelley, Wow, girl that’s awful that the nurses said birth plans don’t matter. That is the problem. They think that they don’t matter. Ugh.

      And with back labor the only way I could get relief was on my hands and knees with someone digging into my back. SO not fun.

  8. says

    Great post Myra…

    I can’t believe that it’s been 7 years since I wrote my first birth plan- wow! But yes, I feel that it’s good to have at least a general idea written down for your practioners. I was spared the constant- “Are you sure you don’t want pain meds?” questions, the hep lock spared me the frustration of staying in bed the whole time and the assistance of our doula was fabulous…. That said……

    Things don’t always go so smoothly- Apparently in my early pregnancy, I was not properly examined as far as the “pelvic inlet” size is concerned. After a whole day of labor with no meds or interventions… and 3 hours of pushing- my midwife informed me that there was no way fo the baby to fit down through the canal…
    The words Emergency C-section are still etched in my mind!

    But 7 years later, a repeat C for little #2 and happiness and giggles…
    We are all just fine with how it all worked out!! :)
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..He Became A Father… =-.

  9. says

    Yes, knowing what you want – or at least having an idea- is so helpful. It also helps to think of the doctors/L&D nurses as experts you hire, not as gods who know everything. Think of them as your advisory council, but YOU make the decisions.

    At this point, having delivered so many babies, I kind of just ignore things that I know aren’t critical (like laboring on my back, etc.) I do what’s right for ME because I am the expert on ME.
    .-= Milehimama´s last blog ..When Homeschooling Isn’t Working, part 3 =-.

  10. teresa says

    All 5 of my babies have given me very diff. births. My first daughter was induced because of kidney issues, she turned out to be fine but the 56 hours of labor are something I’ve blocked out. My second daughter I had an epidural and loved the birth part, I actually enjoyed the process, but the recovery wasn’t fun. With my third daughter I waited a little too long to leave for the hospital and she was born 5 min. from the time we walked into the hospital, it was really scary but I felt fine 10 min. after she was born, I highly recommend this method!! My 4th was a boy and that was a long miserable birth, contractions weren’t regular and he didn’t want to come out, but after so many girls we were happy to be blessed with a boy. And my 5th, a girl, was born by emergency c-section, something I NEVER wanted, I was so looking forward to pushing her out into the world and felt so cheated that she was getting cut out of my belly. It has taken me a long time to be ok with the birth, which seems so irrational because she would have died otherwise, but I can’t help how I felt. So I think plans are wonderful, but in my experience you never know what is going to happen.

    • Myra says

      @teresa, You have an amazing story. I guess my point is that yes, every single birth is different, therefore doctors shouldn’t try to force each one into the same mold. And I’m a firm believer in a flexible birth plan. :)

      Thanks for your great comment!

  11. says

    Here from WFMW. Thank you so much for this post. We are currently expecting our first and have been concerned about how the hospital would let us proceed with a natural birth (I trust my doctor, I just don’t know if I trust the hospital).

    We are currently taking Bradley classes and just loving them! On your advice, I’m definitely going to look more into having a written birth plan.
    .-= Jendeis´s last blog ..Thanks A**hats for Proving My Point =-.

  12. kathleen says

    I tell everyone new mom ” follow your gut” . If you are open to hear it it will tell you what us right for you and your baby. No one knows you better then you. And no one knows what is best for YOUR children better then you. ” always follow your gut “.

  13. Grace says

    You go, girl!! Love all the points you make.

    Here’s some info you may find interesting:

    I’ve had three malpositioned babies and three back labors (1st one was asynclictic and ended in vacuum extraction, second was induced and posterior). I finally got some relief with my third, and it was half as painful and MUCH faster than my first two (he was born 15 min after I walked into the hospital—fabulous!)

    What changed? I had two sessions with a chiropractor who also does cranio-sacral work and myofascial release. Babe #3 turned sideways in the last few weeks, and I knew I needed help to avoid a c-section (the chiro also told me the baby’s positioning can cause problems for them too–my son has some torticollis from having his head jammed up against my hip in utero).

    The Lord guided me to the right chiro nearby (I had tried chiro with no success before and knew I needed her additional skills with cranio-sacral and mfr), and she worked-mostly massage–on my very messed up pelvis. Turns out it was tilted, and he couldn’t get himself into the right position. She worked a lot on my very painful hips–the muscles connecting the uterus to my hips were incredibly tight and had kept me up a lot at night. Yes, HE TURNED!! I went into labor the night after my second session, and it was so much faster and so much less painful that I almost didn’t make to the hospital! Woo-hoo!

    Lesson learned: a baby has to be in the right position in order to put the right kind of pressure on the cervix to dilate. Being turned any kind of a funny way will give you a long and often very painful labor. is a GREAT website.

    If you’ve had one or more difficult labors, PLEASE seriously think about getting some work done on your body. It is money very well spent for you and your baby.

    • says

      @Grace, Spinning babies is awesome! Lily was still transverse 36 weeks so my midwife suggested that website. We had tons of people praying too! :)

      I couldn’t find a chiro that knew how to help turn babies, so I opted for an acupuncture session. My midwife met me there and checked Lily before the acupuncture began- amazingly, she had already turned head down!! I truly believe it was the prayer and
      .-= Kelly´s last blog ..To Answer Your Questions =-.

      • Grace says


        That’s wonderful, Kelly! The Lord truly does answer prayer. It was through looking at the spinningbabies website that I saw that the site’s creator was trained by a chiro who happens to live near me. And she was in town with open appointments the week I needed her. God is good!

        My first choice for getting baby turned was an incredible osteopath nearby who does manipulation and acupuncture. But he was so expensive! If you have one of those near you, that could be an option too.

    • Myra says

      @Grace, Fabulous advice, Grace! I love chiropractic! I think acupuncture can be used similarly to turn babies (through the nervous system, of course). Thanks for the resource! :)

  14. says

    What a wonderful story. After being in easy labor for only 5 hours with my first born I never expected to be in labor for 42 hours with my second. I took a stand and said no way to a C section and although exhausted by the time my son came into this world I am glad I did it my way.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Purple Fly Poop =-.

  15. says

    Great post, Myra! Fantastic discussion following, Everyone :) Having had one child overseas (home delivery) and one home birth here in the States (with another one due in September), I found your ideas and comments showed a great balance and provided an enjoyable read!

  16. says

    I wanted to do a natural water birth with Barclay. I took classes, had midwives. But I had a 50 hour labor and was pushed pretty hard by my MIDWIFE to get pitocin and an epidural. Looking back I’m glad I was able to have it because it meant I could rest a little and be able to remember the birth of our son. But this time around I’m hoping for a shorter labor and more supportive midwives (I’ve since changed practices).
    .-= Helen Joy´s last blog ..A Mouse in my House! =-.

  17. Heather Han says

    Hi Myra! I totally agree with you! My Body, My Baby, My Way!! We wanted everything to be natural when Katie was born. People thought I was crazy for not wanting meds!! Thankfully my labor was very short and easy, so I was able to stick to the plan. Not sure I would have been able to if I had a long, hard labor! Katie was a week late, so they had to break my water to get things moving, but that was the only thing not natural… anyway, I love your blog :) Thanks for sharing about Ridley’s birth and your experience!



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