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Experienced Mamas Preparing for Labour...(or been there, done that)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

This is my third baby. For my first two I took Birthing From Within classes (Birthing Again for the second one) and I really enjoyed them partly because I really liked the instructor but also because I found that there was quite a bit of focus on the mental aspect of preparing for labour (facing fears etc.). My own philosophy about labour and birth is that in terms of prep, that's the most important part because at some point all your pain coping, breathing, distraction techniques etc. are going to fail you and it's going to become a mental game.


This time around I'm not bothering with a class and haven't been reading much either because most of the books focus on stuff I know already (stages of labour, interventions, etc.). So I haven't really been doing anything to prepare. It's hard to think of WHAT to do to prepare or even IF I need to prepare.


My previous labours were relatively short and easy - good births. Home births. No real interventions. Not a walk in the park. Painful but obviously I made it through. I know that I can do it and that's all good.


Yet, I feel like I ought to be doing SOMETHING to get ready. I just don't know what to do. I started reading some books and watching birth videos with the kids recently but honestly, that's actually put the fear and dread in me!! I remember how much it hurt and how NOT fun it is and I'm just starting to feel like "ugh, I don't want to do it" - it's making me feel like maybe I shouldn't bother with the books and birth stories etc. because they are causing me to stress out.


I normally love all that stuff but right now, a video of a crowning baby just makes me clamp my legs closed and cringe!! When I'm not pregnant I look forward to the birth in the sense that it's such a rush, the challenge, the euphoria, the kind of out of body-ness of it...but right now, um, not so much.


Anyone else feeling this way?? Ideas for coping? Thoughts? Commisseration? Experienced mamas - what do you usually do?

post #2 of 14

I read Birthing From Within with my first and really liked it. The mental prep served me well. With my second baby, I decided to try hypnobirthing. It didn't really jive with me and wasn't very helpful during labor.  I fell back on my BFW knowledge. With my 3rd and 4th babies, I didn't even bother to get the book out.  I'm pretty sure I won't this time either, lol! I feel like I just know what to do to get through. One thing I plan to do that really gave me the best birth was to stay completely busy doing something else during labor until I absolutely need to turn inward. We cooked and did chores during one of my births and it really kept my mind off the contractions. With my other babies, for various reasons, we ended up just sitting around and waiting. With my last especially, I felt like such a watched pot! This time, I will absolutely avoid that.

post #3 of 14

I'm in a similar position... from time to time I catch myself thinking, "Oh, no... I got this thing in and now I've got to get it out. censored.gif" Haha. 


I had a short but very intense birth. I have zero recollection of any pain when his head came out...I even tore, but I honestly think I was so out of it and he went so fast that it didn't register - now when his head turned after it popped out, THAT hurt and I asked my midwife not to touch me, to which she informed me that it was the baby...but we didn't know that I tore, and I'm sure that's why it hurt when he turned. But I think that is why I'm really "GALIKWEFOIJAWEF" just thinking about the "ring of fire." I'm afraid I'll actually feel it this time, especially since I am hoping to slow down the pushing this time to prevent tearing.


But I also have to remember that last time I didn't get in the water for quite a long time (everyone was afraid it might slow my labour down and no one, except me, had any idea of how fast it was really going). But when I got in I had almost no pain (I overacted my contractions so they wouldn't think it was slowing down and make me get out! lol.gif)... I actually think it was transition when it started feeling overwhelmingly painful again and was no longer helped by the water. SO, with that in mind, it helps calm my worries a bit. This time I plan to get in the water ASAP...like the SECOND I get to the birth center I will be climbing in that tub. I'm seriously going to ask my midwife to fill it when we call to tell her we're on the way. I'm also in slightly better shape this time, so I'm hoping that will help as well.


And, the most important thing I keep telling myself is that I've already done this. I did it then, I can do it now. And if THAT fails me, then I just remind myself that the massive, massive tooth abscess I had just over a year ago was, BY FAR, much worse than childbirth. At least you go into lalalabour land and have breaks and get a cute kid at the end of the birth...my abscess just left me with useless pain meds and a chipmunk cheek from hell. orngtongue.gif

post #4 of 14

A few appointments back my midwife and I were discussing my birth and she said, "I remember your birth as a whirlwind of a birth in which no childbirth classes could have prepared you." 


That pretty much summed it up perfectly, I think. I did a lot of reading and took hypnobirth classes (which didn't do much for me - I think I'm just too ADD for that, heh)... but when it came down to it, it was all instinctual. I never once thought about a single thing I had read, it was all listening to what my body told me.

post #5 of 14

I second it being instinctual...I prepared the first time around by reading as many birth stories as I could (mostly positive), reading up on the different stages of labor, different positions that might help, etc.  When it came right down to it, though, the only thing that truly mattered was the trust I had in my body and my instincts to get me through it.  Deep breathing, moaning, changing positions...it all was fluid, I didn't have to think about it.  It helped that I gave birth at home with just me and my husband...I know that if there had been other people there it would have been more difficult for me to let go and trust the flow.  Do what works best for you!

post #6 of 14

I don't think I was really that prepared the first time. I thought I was but I didn't prepare enough mentally. I read BFW during my second pregnancy and that saved me! I was able to handle labor and delivery the way I wanted. 


I didn't do anything to prepare for #3 and haven't done anything for this one either. I kinda know how I labor and birth now, yk? I do not have a problem slipping off into that mental place to get through the pain.


Am I looking forward to it? No. But I will do it and I am sure I will feel great afterwards like I always do.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

I  agree with all of you. I remember a few things that we're helpful but on the whole, I just went this instinctual place in my brain and did what needed to be done. I didn't actually use any of the techniques we practiced.


I guess in a way, there's not much more I need to do...except maybe stop reading/viewing things that are making me feel panicky/stressed.


I appreciate all of your responses.


Smeep - I'm looking forward to the water too. The shower was amazingly helpful in my first labour and I was all set to have a water birth with my second but it went to fast and we couldn't get the pool filled in time. Dh and I are strategizing how we can try to make sure that tub is ready this time. Also, I only had the ring of fire the first time (pushing 45 min). My daughter came out in pretty much two back-to-back long pushes and I didn't have the ring of fire. Yes, the splitting in two feeling, but no burning thankfully.


Spatulagirl - I guess that's part of it too - knowing how you labour. That I know. And I know I'll be able to do it.


But it also helps to know I'm not the only one who's not looking forward to it.


Thanks everyone!

post #8 of 14

i have gone from being petrified of pushing, at the begining of this pregnancy, to feeling (semi) ready to "do it better!" this time around. with my first we took a natural child birth course, during the middle of which i learned that she was transverse and stuck in her cord- so, that information wasn't used (but, in retrospect, i don't think it was so great anyway.) for the next birth, i read a bradley book, and practiced quite a bit- and i have to say, that i did use what i had practiced. unfortunatly, i skipped reading about the pushing stage. maybe things would have gone ok if i had been able to squat as i instictivly wanted to, but b/c i was a vbac, i "had" to lay on my back, and had a terrible tear and awful recovery..


so, this time, dh and i have reviewed some areas of the bradley method, and are now, finally practicing the pushing stage. i don't know if i will use the techniques, but mentally, it is helping a lot to feel prepared.


i wonder why are you are feeling anxious, but it seems like you are right that you should stop reading the birth stories and focus on the fact that you can!, you have!, you will have! another good birth experience.


good luck to us all! lol

post #9 of 14

For me this time is all about positioning.  Last time with an OP baby who turned OT before making it all the way around, labour lasted forever, and I ended up with an epi.  (I still have NO idea why anyone would voluntarily sign up for one of those... and mine worked perfectly and I slept for 6 hours) All I wanted to do was push, and it was really hard to wait.  I'm hoping it doesn't take so long to dialate this time!

post #10 of 14

Hi, as soon as I read this thread I remembered how much the advice I read on this site helped me. My fouth birth. 


post #11 of 14

I though i was being weird!!  I had my first as an induced hospital birth with no doula and an OB.  My second birth was a hospital waterbirth with a doula and midwife.  My third birth was also a hospital waterbirth, but my doula didnt make it to the hospital in time and the hospital was so busy that my midwife/other nurses were only in the room for about 30 mins before he came out.  Its  like my first one sucked and I didn't know any better, so I had my second birth from a better place then my third to be sure that my second wasnt a fluke.  i was so excited to do numbers two and three but know that I am like two months away with this one all I can think is "crap I have to do that again".  And i have really fast and easy labors! i am not looking forward to it this time around which worries me.  Am I worried because on some intrinsic level that i cant identify, my body already knows something that I dont?  Like something is going to go wrong? Or am I just bummed out becasue as easy as my labors and births are, they still freaking hurt and I am  a human and therefore want to avoid pain?  All stuff to think about

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tri31 View Post

Hi, as soon as I read this thread I remembered how much the advice I read on this site helped me. My fouth birth. 


Thanks - I'll check it out.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

terese17 - maybe it's because the first couple of times, a big part of it is just fear of the unknown...whereas now, we have actual experience with what we're going to be getting ourselves into??


I feel like TTC anxiety gets a bit worse with subsequent babies for the same reason.


Twinklefae - my babe is currently LOT. My other two were ROA from about 24 weeks so this baby has been giving me some stress with its switching back and forth from OP to LOT. But I also decided to look on the bright side and thought that considering my last birth was only 2 hours of active labour and I don't really want to experience anything faster than that, maybe it's a good thing that baby isn't optimally positioned just yet??? I dunno...

post #14 of 14

I could have written your post. This is also my third and I haven't read or did anything like my first. I did at least take a 10 week yoga class that was it. I am also too busy with the other 2 kids, organizing the apt. we just moved in a few months ago and getting back on a cleaning/cooking schedule which will all come to an end in a month/month and a half.


I am only now started to get ready for the baby also.

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