I had a wacky labor with DD1 - I'm pretty sure she was posterior and I had a "support" team that was severely lacking and a personal deficiency in both childbirth education and backbone (sticking up for myself). I was in transition for 7 hours. It wasn't pretty.
With DD2 (and this is one of the many reasons why I love MDC), I was much better educated, more comfortable with my body and more prepared to stick up for myself and make my needs known (and DH was way better prepared to help me with all those things).
Things I loved in that labor included
- gentle hip swirling motions
- standing in the shower
- DH using his very strong hands to apply pressure to my hips (pushing them together)
I was sure beforehand I'd want to labor in the tub they had at the hospital, but when the time came, it just didn't sound right - I liked the shower better.
I have very few memories of "the other P word" associated with laboring and DD2 until the very very end of labor. And that was mostly because DD2 didn't descend until the very end, when DH recognized that things were slowing down and got me to start doing deep yoga squats (wide legs, upper body supported by the side of the hospital bed). That was...ehem, uncomfortable, and of course pushing an 8lb baby out wasn't exactly a cake walk, either (DD1 was 6lbs and I could feel the difference during labor. And I'm a little proud to say that everyone in the room guessed about her birth weight and said 7-ish lbs, but when they asked me right before they weighed her I said "She's 8 lbs" and I was right).
But for the actual contractions part, whatever combination of techniques we used (mostly just keeping mobile, lights low, quiet music/ocean sounds, showers, etc), my state of mind was right for minimizing my perception of the P word. My focus for preparing for labor this time is very much on preparing my mind to embrace whatever p*** may arise and allow it to pass through me and do it's work instead of resisting it.
FM - I LOVE ocean sounds for labor. Where we're living right now in SF, I can literally walk up the hill and see the ocean and in my head, the beach is such a liberated, tranquil place. The guitar-by-the-sea music I used for labor with DD2 still makes me feel so zen and peaceful, I definitely plan on having it with me this time. I'm adding some other music that currently makes me smile on a separate playlist (call me crazy but that Coldplay song "every teardrop is a waterfall" is on the list, along with a wildly varied hodgepodge of other stuff).
Cristeen - I am still wincing from reading about your DS and his nuchal hand. I have had at least one birth dream where this baby was born that way and I can feel hands down by my nether regions...that coupled with the fact that DD2 only moved her hand at the very last minute...I have to say it's one thing I'm a bit worried about this time around.
I'm worried that DD2's birth was so easy that it will throw me for a loop if this birth is less of a breeze...I don't even really remember transition other than one point when I went to sit on the toilet and immediately said "I don't want to do this any more. Let's go home." and my MW looked me right square in the face and basically told me I couldn't run away from that part. With DD1 transition was so long and involved me coming totally unglued and also, lots of barfing. But I blame that mostly on total dehydration and hunger. The hospital where I had DD2 (where this baby will be born) strongly encourages moms to eat and drink basically whatever they want throughout labor
Anyway...I'm in such a navel gazing mood today I could probably yammer on for hrs about DD2's birth and how much I'm excited about the impending arrival of this baby and how excited I am to "try" labor again (<---pssst. she's totally nuts).
But yeah...counter pressure on hips is a big winner in my book.