My first labor left me completely shaken, even though I got the completely natural birth (and healthy baby!) that I hoped for. I have sort of forgotten it now, but I am having panic attacks about this February birth! Anyone else?? What helps? I really want to be present this time - I think I was trying to escape during the last one - but I need to overcome this complete FEAR. Advice?!
What did you do last time to prepare for your birth? What made your last labor and birth to leave you with such negative feelings? It's hard to know how to answer your question without more specifics. If you think you were just unprepared for natural childbirth, taking a class or perhaps a different study like Hynobabies might help. If it was the hospital experience, changing your birth plan or having a doula to help ensure you get the birth you want might help. Or, perhaps just talking to a counselor or birth doula about your experience might help as well.
Greenrose, I can completely relate! I had a med free natural birth in the hospital with DD but transition was INTENSE - I felt completely unprepared for the intensity of the pain and I have also had some fear regarding labor with this one. With my first pg, my main emotion with regards to labor was excitement and a feeling of confidence. With this one, it's been dread and a sense of, "I don't want to go through that again!"
What has helped me is that I'm giving birth at a birth center this time and can labor and birth in the water, which I think will help with the pain. Second labors are often shorter and less painful - I'm trying not to fixate on this too much in case mine doesn't go this way but in most cases it is true.
I talked about this with my midwife and asked her for recommendations for books on natural childbirth. Reading about natural birth again helped me get more into the excited phase and less in the fear phase. I am feel more confident with my midwife this time that she will do more to help me labor naturally - with my first pg I was concerned about giving birth in the hospital and concerned about interventions.
I also remember that even though it was intense, I made it through last time and I can do it again. I had a really fast recovery, only a small tear, no bf problems, and a very healthy baby - I attribute those things to the natural birth and so I have strong convictions that natural birth is best even though I am NOT looking forward to transition again, I know that I really want another natural birth. I was tempted to consider epidurals early in the pregnancy but just doing research on the procedure and side effects helped me.
I also have a lot of ambivalence about laboring again. My last labor was really, really long (50 hours) with lots of very intense back labor (DD had her hand up by her head). Everything turned out fine, I felt amazing afterwards, and DD was very healthy and vigorous, but nonetheless I went through a period of dreading having a similar labor again. Like bluedaisy, reading more about natural birth has helped - especially hearing stories of how different each birth can be. I'm still a little nervous (more so now about the challenges of having two kids!) but I'm excited to see what this experience will bring.
Also, my midwife has promised me that this one will be shorter. :)
1blueheron, if it is any consolation, my son had a nuchal hand, and though it was mostly back labor and sucked, it was totally doable. And my pushing was only 40 mins (I know not short, but not hours). It was my first labor, and I actually was one of those who never really felt the urge to push.
I could totally do without the back labor, though. It's funny, cause I wouldn't let anyone else push on my back, I had to do it myself. Otherwise, they did it wrong. :)
But the rest was pretty textbook. Water broke 9pm, mild contractions started around midnight, and active labor started around probably 10 or 11 am, with him being born at 5:40. So, definitely not a marathon labor.
I remember feeling nervous with previous pregnancies regarding the upcoming labor and felt great comfort in reading as many positive birth stories as I could. Spritual Midwivery has been my birthing bible for the last 20 years. With all 4 pregnancies I took a birth preparation class. Everytime I took the class I learned new things and felt confident again for that labor. This is our 5th child and have been reading Ina May Gaskins Guide for Childbirth and Birthing from Within, as I did with dc#4. I would recommend Birthin From Within for anyone who has any hesitation or fears regarding their current upcoming labor. This book has wonderful suggestions on how to explore your fears, understand where they are coming from and excellent exercises to emotionally heal from previous birthing/life experiences and prepare for THIS birth. It truly is a gift to yourself and your baby. The last birth prep class I took (with dc#4) was a Birthing From Within class. My dh and I LOVED it! She incorporated alot of art in her class too.
I'm continuing to read and mentally/emotionally prepare for this sweet little love bug due at the end of February too. I also love the websites http://yourbirthcoach.com/ , http://mamabirth.blogspot.com/ , http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ and of course mothering.com!!