I am so thankful to my friend Ashleigh for sharing how essential oils made a difference in her birth story! I wish I had known about essential oils when Baby G was born….
My goal is to show you how wonderful essential oils can be in birth! Come hear my story!
For the last two weeks of pregnancy, I longed for my baby to come just a tad early! I didn’t think it would happen necessarily, especially since I was a couple days “late” with my first child, Lilleigh, but I was so over being pregnant and ready for the big debut. Well, lo and behold, around 2:45 on Friday morning I woke up feeling light cramping.
I figured the cramps were Braxton Hicks, which I had been having for days, always just for a bit at night, that were becoming increasingly more painful. I got up for some apple cider vinegar (amazing for heartburn) and a snack. The cramps continued…
Anyway I went back to sleep until about 4:30, when I began timing the cramps coming and going. At this point I figured I was in labor since they had been going on for 2+ hours, but I decide to let my husband, Brendon, rest up while he could. I knew I’d need him soon enough!
I woke up Brendon at 5:30 AM, knowing I was in labor. The cramping was consistent. It was also enough that I needed to get out of bed because I couldn’t rest any longer. The contractions actually seemed stronger laying down. We both began packing a bag for the birth center and a bag for Lilleigh for the day.
Around 6 AM, I got into the bath tub, knowing it would help me to progress. I stayed there for around 30 minutes, after which time I contacted my doula, Jen, to tell let her know I was indeed in labor.
Between my bath and Jen’s arrival, I began getting dressed in walking clothes and tennis shoes, so I could take our dog on a walk. Unfortunately when I opened the door, I realized it was pouring down rain, so I settled for walking indoors. I walked laps around our house. It was fortunate too because at this point I began having to physically stop during contractions and brace myself on a chair, wall, whatever was around. The contractions were beginning to need my full concentration.
Jen arrived at our house at 7:30, the same time Lilleigh woke up. Brendon told Lilleigh the big news, that today would be the day her sister would arrive. He got her breakfast ready and let her watch a show. They say when new people enter the scene, it interrupts labor. It was amazing how Lilleigh waking up and Jen arriving indeed slowed down my contractions. Jen predicted that when Lilleigh left, they would pick back up, and guess what – they did.
Brendon took Lilleigh over to our neighbor Holly’s house around 8:30. Sure enough, it only took about 10 minutes for the contractions to pick back up. Throughout the hustle and bustle, I continued to labor at home a bit longer. For the most part, I was either standing, leaning forward on the dresser or Brendon, or I was on all fours. Jen had long rice packs that she would heat in the microwave and place on back to ease the pain. Since she had two, they were constantly in rotation. Brendon massaged my lower back continuously.
I also used doTerra essential oils while I was at home. I had a labor blend that I had made with 1 tsp. of fractionated coconut oil, 10-15 drops of Lavender (for pain and calming), 10-15 drops of Frankincense (for the pain, much stronger than the lavender), and 10-15 drops of Clary Sage (to help me progress and make my contractions more productive). I applied this to my stomach and also held up the Clary Sage some just to smell, since it is effective that way as well. I did continue to progress well without any halts, so I do feel this was effective. At one point, I also used Peppermint for nausea, by just putting some drops in my hands, lifting them to my nose to smell/ breathe in, and then rubbed my hands on the back of my neck. The nausea subsided. Lastly, I also used Black Pepper oil on my back for back labor. I did indeed have back labor. Again. Pretty sure I always will. Anyway, I asked Brendon to put some Black Pepper on my back. He did, and immediately the pain was gone. It was amazing. But suddenly I felt the contractions intensely in my stomach, which I had not before because the back pain was overpowering that. I had no idea how to cope with this new pain, so I never asked for that oil again. Brendon actually had no idea it had worked at all until we talked later. That Black Pepper. Powerful stuff.
I labored at home until 9:30, when I called my midwife and we drove to the birth center. We arrived there around 10 AM, and I could tell transition was coming, though not there yet. (A big improvement from last time with Lilleigh, when I transitioned at home and was then fighting the urge to push in the car!)
My midwife filled up the birth tub, as my contractions got more intense.
Thankfully after not too long, the tub was full enough for me to labor in… really it was probably close to 45 minutes or so, but I was in too much pain to notice the time. When I got in, oh my word, it was so hot… definitely more like a hot tub than a bath tub. I didn’t mind because it helped the pain. A lot. But wow, really hot. I labored in there for about 45 minutes. Brendon got in there too and massaged my back. I began feeling the urge to push and was ready to get out. I totally was down for a water birth, but I just could not last in the heat one more second.
When I got out, my water broke. I pushed on the bed for about 15 minutes in a side crunch position. This part seemed much more painful that I had remembered, mainly because my legs were aching terribly. The back labor with Lilleigh diminished once she changed positions during transition. This pain indicated that this baby clearly had not finished rotating. Had I been able to talk and think, I would have had my birthing team apply pain-relieving oils, such as Deep Blue and Black Pepper, on my legs. (Note to self for next time.) Thankfully it only took 15 minutes to push her out! I had asked my midwife to use Frankincense on me as the baby was crowning, and I am pretty sure she poured the entire 5 ml bottle on me. But let me just say, I did not feel the ring of fire! Did it hurt? Sure. But no fire. So worth the money for that costly oil! I am also pretty sure this is why when baby girl came out (on her side! …hence back labor), she only let out one small cry. No crying. I have no doubt all that Frankincense helped her little head not to hurt. If I could recommend one oil for birth, Frankincense is it.
Finally labor was over, and we got to meet our precious gem! Adeline Elise was born right at noon on August 16, 2013. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and was 21 inches in length. We are so in love!
If any of you have used essential oils during birth, I’d love to know about your experience! Share below!
Ashleigh is a stay at home mom of two sweet little girls, Lilleigh (2-1/2 years old) and Adeline (2 months). She feels blessed to call Brendon her husband. Together, they long to serve the Lord, being faithful with all He has entrusted them with – their precious daughters, a steady pay check, a home, and healthy bodies. Essential oils are just one way they use God’s natural resources to promote good health. For more on their journey of conscious, yet thrifty, living, check out her blog, Thankfully Thrifty.