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Labor worries...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Mamas, I don't know if I just need to vent or reassurance or what!  innocent.gif  Anybody else feeling apprehensive? Is this just normal as I approach my due date (I'm 37w5d)?  I thought this time around I'd be so confident!

 

Here are my recurring worries:

 

- Due to the horrible sleep deprivation from pregnancy insomnia I've been having I'm worried I'll be too tired for the hard work of labor

 

- Back labor (baby has been posterior for 2 days now!)

 

- There's a chance the tub at the hospital won't be free (it was basically the only thing I needed for pain management last time) and I won't get enough relief from moving around, positions, relaxation.... or I will run out of ideas about what to do to get through the pain

 

- My only birth support is DH - this birthing place is very supportive of natural births and run by midwives, but they are very busy and don't have time for labor support.  (Last time I hired my own independent midwife, this time I figured I could do without but now I'm like what was I thinking...! duh.gif)

 

Thanks for reading and letting me get all that off my chest... advice?

post #2 of 9

I feel for you! I'm also apprehensive - 37w3d and cannot believe it is coming so close!

 

I've been assured by friends that all the pain you feel during the last few weeks kind of goes away during labor, but definitely try to find time to rest, even if it's just a half hour nap here and there. I'm a terrible napper, but as DH says, this is good practice for when the baby comes and I need to squeeze in short naps.

 

So sorry to hear that you are having back labor! I don't know how that feels, but as my braxton hicks get more uncomfortable and I deal with really sharp pelvic pains....all the time....I've been practicing the breaths I learned in hypnobirthing and it's been great. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look up hypnobirthing "slow breathing" and "sleep breathing".

 

About the tub....maybe have your husband call before you go to see if the tub is free; if so, tell them to keep it free because you are on your way, and if not, spend a little more time laboring at home?

 

In terms of labor assistance, is it too late to find a doula? Maybe it's not necessary to hire a private midwife, but a doula could be really helpful...

post #3 of 9

i was thinking about posting a similar thread!

i also thought i'd be fine this time since i've birthed before, but i think i'm actually more apprehensive the second time around.

 

as far as labor support, have you talked with your husband about what you need? was he pretty helpful last time? if you are not both really confident that he will be enough support, i'd second looking into a doula. i know they are expensive, but some cities have volunteer doula organizations where you can get a doula for free or much cheaper than usual.

 

as far as sleep, your body can do amazing things, and not just talking about giving birth. you can function on so much less sleep than you think you need. take the naps you can get, but if you can't get them, you will still manage. we are built to birth and care for our babies in all sorts of circumstances. and if you get exhausted during labor your body may just take a break and then start back up.

 

with dd i was a "high risk" pregnancy, and ended up induced, so i was too busy thinking about all that to think much ahead of time about labor itself or the realities of having a newborn. i think i also just sortof checked out once i found out i was having an induction...it was a disappointment, and i felt a bit disconnected from the birth.

this time, with midwives instead of ob's, and no risks, and a birth that will happen in its own time, i feel a lot more nervous. even though this is the way i want.

part of it is being alone until 39 weeks. i've got a lot of worries centered around what would happen if i went into labor before then and didn't have someone to watch dd or any labor support. 

but i'm also apprehensive about pain management. last time after 20 hours laboring flat in bed (i had a broken i.v. tree so i couldn't walk around, and was on a constant monitor for my BP and baby's heart, and had my water broken and was leaking everywhere), i had an epidural. the pain of laboring with a posterior baby, laying still, was awful to the point where i was so tense from it that i couldn't dilate even with the pitocin at 22. it was a really really hellish pain, and once i couldn't feel it i dilated 8cm in 2 hours, but getting the epidural still felt like failure. i know this time with the ability to move around and use the ball and stool and tub it will not be nearly as bad, and it will be natural rather than pitocin contractions. but i think it's just the fear of the unknown....and the fear that i'll not be able to handle it again and end up having to transfer from the birth center to the hospital for an epidural. the fear of feeling like i've failed again.

i think the closer i get to this birth the more of the feelings from my first birth are coming up. i cried every time i thought about it for like the first year after, and now i just don't think about it, but the feelings are still there and not dealing with them is making me worry. i really don't want this birth colored by the last one.

i want this birth to be the empowering experience that i hear mamas talk about, just not sure how to get there.

post #4 of 9

Sleep - like mamadiamond said, your body will be able to do it, even if you've been lacking in sleep.  Could all the worrying be part of what is keeping you awake at night though?  Have you tried the cal/mag before bed?  You can do this! 

 

As discussed in the other thread, your baby can easily still switch, even if it's at the last minute or even if it's during labor, back to anterior.  I would not even consider this a concern at this point.  And as mamabeakley wrote - it doesn't even mean that labor would necessarily be any harder for you should your babe remain posterior.  If it would help you feel more prepared, maybe read about ways to deal with a posterior labor to keep it moving along - just in case. 

 

Can you rent a tub from somewhere else to have there, in case that one is being used?  Or can you do most of your laboring at home and head to the birth center only when necessary (so that you can soak in your own tub in the meantime or even rent one for home as well).  Also, the longer you wait to go, I think the faster your labor will progress and the more you'll be able to relax in your own home setting.  And as far as labor support goes, if you can afford it, there is still time to hire a doula.  But if not, I think you should discuss your worries with your dh - not to put the pressure on him and not specifically any worry that he won't be enough;) - but your other concerns about the birth, just so he knows that you really need a lot of extra support right now as well as during the birth.  Has he read any books this pregnancy (such as The Birth Partner) or have you taken any natural childbirth classes together?  

 

Like mamadiamond brought up - fear of the unknown, of what might or might not happen, is normal and we all experience it, but if won't be helpful to your labor.  Tension and fear can slow or stop your labor faster than a posterior baby or not having a tub on hand.  With my first babe (18 years ago!) I had a 48 hr labor, posterior baby, non-supportive midwife, and a 19-yr-old boyfriend who napped during the birth;) - but I really felt afterward, that what made that labor so long and tortuous was how afraid I was.  I tensed up and tried to control the situation and all I did was slow it down.  In every birth since that, my main goal has just been to let go of my fears, open up to the pain, and let the baby be born. 

 

It seems like you're in a bit of a panic right now and just really need support and reassurance.  And it's good that you're dealing with these feelings now so that you won't have to once you're in labor.  It's totally normal to be apprehensive about the upcoming birth, but at the same time, I think you should focus on meeting your baby, and all the things that are going to go *right* during your labor and birth, and try to move past the worries and focus on the positive.  I do think it's important that you are being honest about your concerns with yourself and facing those fears, but I just don't want you to spend the last weeks of your pregnancy giving in to them.  You are going to do so great!  You're going to be strong enough, your baby is going to be in the right position, you're going to be able to labor through the pain, your dh is going to be there for you the whole time.  Your birth is going to be amazing!  xoxoxoxoxox

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac11 View Post

Mamas, I don't know if I just need to vent or reassurance or what!  innocent.gif  Anybody else feeling apprehensive? Is this just normal as I approach my due date (I'm 37w5d)?  I thought this time around I'd be so confident!

 

Here are my recurring worries:

 

- Due to the horrible sleep deprivation from pregnancy insomnia I've been having I'm worried I'll be too tired for the hard work of labor

 

- Back labor (baby has been posterior for 2 days now!)

 

- There's a chance the tub at the hospital won't be free (it was basically the only thing I needed for pain management last time) and I won't get enough relief from moving around, positions, relaxation.... or I will run out of ideas about what to do to get through the pain

 

- My only birth support is DH - this birthing place is very supportive of natural births and run by midwives, but they are very busy and don't have time for labor support.  (Last time I hired my own independent midwife, this time I figured I could do without but now I'm like what was I thinking...! duh.gif)

 

Thanks for reading and letting me get all that off my chest... advice?

I haven't read all the responses yet, but here is my 2 cents on it  in the order of your concerns:

Get sleep whenever you can but don't stress about it. Often times you will miraculously get a full nights sleep the night before spontaneous labor starts~~~it is the universes way of working it out for you ;)

Buy the book Back Labor No More off amazon--it is cheap, can be read in an hour, and will explain what you can DO in labor to handle back labor.

Can you buy a fishy pool of your own and use that in the room in the event that the tub isn't available? Ask! If so, BUY ONE and if you have to use it you will have it ; )

Interview a doula{s} NOW and consider hiring one--it;s not too late--and it is important to have proper labor support--if you feel like your DH isn't all you will need then hire someone--ask about sliding scale fees or barter or trading services--reduced fees. Talk to DH about his role in labor and what you need.

All of these things you can do something about, mama ; ) so, no worries--just tackle the things you need to tackle and get your peace of mind ; )

 

post #6 of 9

kel said most of what I was going to say. Mostly, that the fears & concerns you have are very normal. We all have to face fears when birthing - first time mamas wonder if they can do this, if they will be any good as a mama, etc. Second time mamas wonder how they could possibly love another person as much as they love #1. Etc. It's part of the 'eye of the needle' that birth provides for us, and, IMO & as evidenced by my research, it is a necessary part of our growth as people.

 

Yes, sleep. Yes, see if you can find a doula if you feel you need one. Yes talk to Dh & see about a pool, etc. But mostly, just allow yourself to have these fears & concerns, do what you feel you need to do with them, and move forward.

 

Blessings to you!!!

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac11 View Post

Mamas, I don't know if I just need to vent or reassurance or what!  innocent.gif  Anybody else feeling apprehensive? Is this just normal as I approach my due date (I'm 37w5d)?  I thought this time around I'd be so confident!

 

Here are my recurring worries:

 

- Due to the horrible sleep deprivation from pregnancy insomnia I've been having I'm worried I'll be too tired for the hard work of labor

 

- Back labor (baby has been posterior for 2 days now!)

 

- There's a chance the tub at the hospital won't be free (it was basically the only thing I needed for pain management last time) and I won't get enough relief from moving around, positions, relaxation.... or I will run out of ideas about what to do to get through the pain

 

- My only birth support is DH - this birthing place is very supportive of natural births and run by midwives, but they are very busy and don't have time for labor support.  (Last time I hired my own independent midwife, this time I figured I could do without but now I'm like what was I thinking...! duh.gif)

 

Thanks for reading and letting me get all that off my chest... advice?

 

Sometimes doing some birth art, birth affirmations or just talking things out can help immensely.  All those questions you have, completely normal!  Things you're worried about, also completely normal.  

 

This isn't your first (I take it since you hired a mw 'last time').  I will say that the posterior labor usually is more of a serious issue in a first timer.  My third was posterior (for his own reasons, nuchal cordx2 we figure) and yes, back labor was really intense.  None of the labors were quite like that one otherwise, HOWEVER, you get through it one contraction at a time.  Actually DH was surprisingly handy for that as I really had him dig his fists into my back.  It was akin to basically having my lower back on fire if I'm remembering right.  Hands and knees exercises can help this as well and look up optimal foetal positioning.

 

I'm hopeful as this is not your first that you will have a shorter labor than the first.  My first labor I too had weird sleep before (night before woke up for a large chunk).  And, I was out of it exhausted at the end.  However, with the second it was so much shorter that I wasn't even close to exhausted.  Same thing with the third through fourth.  Exhaustion is not guaranteed...it depends on the sleeping patterns before and when you actually start labor.  The best thing is, if you think you're in early labor to get as much rest as possible.  Nap, nap, sleep sleep if you can in early labor (though I know the excitement can overrule this is especially important in the first timer).

 

When you are in labor, listen to your body.  It's so important to be as instinctive as you can, even if there isn't a tub available there are other things you can do, shower, warm compresses, swaying, rocking, etc.  Your body will eventually figure out what works...and if you get to the point where nothing is working really then likely it's transition and baby is going to be there in a matter of minutes or a couple hours!

 

Just some thoughts!  I think it's so important to feel as emotionally prepared as physically prepared for birth.  I too am going to have to do my 'own' preparation here. My last birth was so unexpectedly quick.  Maybe 3-4 really painful contractions (not even as close together as you'd think for the end weird in itself), and I need to mentally prepare myself for it being a lot more difficult this time as I know it is a possibility.  Take it one contraction at a time.  When you start playing mind games with yourself during labor that's the ultimate sign that it's near the end!  Even with my last super fast birth the contraction before I felt him move down the birth canal I was thinking "OMG I can't imagine doing this for another hour"....well, there you go...I didn't have to.  

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Mamas, thank you all SO much for your thoughtful advice and experiences, it reallllly boosted my morale and I am getting over the Labor Worries hump!!!

 

Logistically, about tubs & doulas:

 

- only one labor support person is allowed! so I could have a doula but then DH couldn't come. (I did have a friend who did this though!)  DH was a great partner last time, had total confidence in me and was at the same time in awe, not easily flustered, and perfectly willing to help me with whatever I asked him to (the catch is that he won't have many ideas of his own as a midwife or doula would, and last time I was in another birth center with my own midwife).

 

- Bringing my own tub isn't allowed, but thanks to your suggestion I thought through it! so here's my plan: if I get there early enough and the birthing room with the tub is taken I can take a shower (in "my" recovery room).  Not the same as submersion but might be good.

 

lovingsong, I'm no good at napping either!  Thanks for the breathing exercises recommendation.  Wishing you much positiveness as you prepare too!

 

mamadiamond, I feel for you about the fear of the unknown in hoping/planning for a totally different birth this time.  It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into it.  I think it is great that you are dealing with your feelings about your last birth now and not avoiding them - that will definitely help the healing.

 

kel, your post and your goal of "to let go of my fears, open up to the pain, and let the baby be born" struck a cord and made soooo much sense to me.  Reading your post made me suddenly realize that there is another fear I have which is of being very vocal or reacting in a way that the midwives/nurses (who I don't know) would judge.  I am sooooo glad I realized this fear ahead of time, so I can deal with it and get over it.  Because now I have identified it I can face it.  My midwife last time was against being vocal (and I managed more or less to be quiet) but I think I have a memory of feeling like a failure for having had to fight that impulse - this time if it happens I will just go with it (and I know DH will be helpful on this front).

 

mamaharrison, thank you for the book recommendation and the affirmation that each of my worries can be addressed in their own ways!!

 

segolilly thank you for the blessings and the encouragement about facing my fears now, and this being normal!!

 

phatchristy, your experience with a posterior birth is very reassuring! and also the reminder to listen to my instincts.  I was feeling like a bad student for not practicing and memorizing all the different positions and techniques in the books, from my class... and your reminder that my body will find the right relief for each moment if I listen to it is so right on.  And yes, yes, the point at which I literally said "I can't do this anymore" was indeed transition/so close to the end!  I am wishing you a great preparation for the unknown of your upcoming birth too!

 

 

Thank you mamas love.gif I think I am getting over the worrying hump.  I plan on enjoying the rest of this pregnancy as much as possible and staying positive about the birth.


Edited by Lilac11 - 11/21/12 at 7:21am
post #9 of 9

SO glad that you are doing this good work now ; ) clearing the way for the best birth for you and babe ; ) and glad to be of some help and reassurance, too.
Just wanted to say that I found the shower to be very helpful during labor--even more so than the tub--it had a detachable shower head and there was a stool in there to sit on and I really enjoyed it a lot! I think your plans sound very good!! You do whatever you need to do to birth that baby--nothing you could do would be wrong! Sing, shout, moan, yell, curse--OWN IT! haha

light and love~~

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