I wrote this post a month or so ago and contemplated whether or not to post it since in some minds (mostly mens) it may be too much information and also I am a pretty private person in general.
So if you are of the male species, be forewarned that this post contains information regarding birth in general and feel free to skip it.
This morning we were blessed to have six different women and a passel of little toddlers running through the house. My one last Hurrah! brunch before baby!
Everyone was wonderful and brought food so all I supplied were local bacon, fresh eggs, a coffeecake and drinks. There was a plethora of food and talking and toddlers. A few of the women were ones in our district that I've been wanting to have over forever and a few were old friends. It was a nice mix and I hope everyone had a good time.
Now the house is quiet and I'll join the littles in a bit for a nap.
I've been thinking a lot about labor lately, since it is up and coming and since my midwife has been asking how it usually goes for me.
Miserable, of course. Does anyone like labor? I'm always excited at first and a few hours later wishing I were anywhere else doing anything else.
I've been in labor four times and each experience was different from the next one.
Without delving into the nitty gritty of labor or giving too much information, I will share some things that help me when I am in labor.
1.)Remember (and I tell myself this throughout labor) that God created my body for this function and it will do what it needs to do.
This is especially important if you are a first time mom or delivering VBAC and every feeling and twinge is new and scary. God is a master designer and planner and He did a wonderful thing in orchestrating how a baby is born.
A normal human response to pain is to pull away and stop whatever is painful. Viewing each contraction in my mind as pushing the baby down and out really helps. This takes the feeling of a contraction from registering as pain to registering as useful.
3.) Mental strength in labor is everything.
Having a strong support person to tell you that "you can do this" really, really helps. Nothing is worse than having someone with a negative spirit around. During my first labor, as afraid to offend as I can be, I actually asked for a new nurse to replace the grumpy one assigned to me.
4.) Make use of a hot shower or hot bath.
I truly think I would die (slight exaggeration) if I didn't have a hot shower during labor. It makes the discomfort better and pain more tolerable and progresses your labor so you can hold that new sweetie in your arms sooner.
5.) Don't panic at the adrenaline rush.
Right before the baby is born, the women's body releases adrenaline to get the job done. Often this is when a woman will start shaking or sometimes puking.
I puke. Pleasant, I know. and I won't mention the terrible things I have eaten right before labor. Neither will Sean. The pleasant part of it is that I know this job is almost over and the end is in sight. Usually when I feel this rush of adrenaline I frantically ask Sean to start praying, which I know he's already been doing, but asking him helps me feel better.
I love his prayers. They really do give me strength.
Again, having a mental picture in your mind of your body opening to let the baby out helps significantly. Keep your mouth open and loose. Keeping your lips tight and your face pinched actually make it harder for the baby to be pushed out.
7.) If you are having a hospital birth here are a few more recommendations.
a. don't worry about offending anyone.
b. feel free to say "no".
If the tech comes in to take your blood during a contraction, tell him to come back later. During my last labor, the tech came in so late into things that he got shoved aside and pushed against a wall with a look of panic in his eyes as I began to push.
c. in most cases you don't have to have an I.V. put in.
Say no thank you with that look in your eye that says "I'm a woman in labor, do you really want to cross me?"
d. speak up for yourself and your body.
With our last child, the doctor wouldn't admit me because he was sure I would have to be sent home. I literally looked at him (with the look I mentioned above) and said, "No. I know what my body is doing. I know my body." A kind nurse let me walk around the halls, take a hot shower and there was beautiful Miss Catherine with the nurses catching her and the doctor running in as an afterthought in his suit. The doctor was so upset that he didn't get his way that he refused to see me the rest of the time I was in the hospital. Real mature of him.
Can you tell I'm really looking forward to having this wee one at home?
Off to a nap now and then to order birth supplies. Anyone curious as to what you need to order for a home birth?