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Weekly Thread June 4-10

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies! Another week down, woohoo! Hope everyone is feeling well!

I don't know about you guys but I've been thinking more and more about labor recently. So for the weekly question, first time moms- what are you feeling anxious about regarding labor, and what ways have you found to deal with the anxiety? Ladies who've done this before- are you feeling any jitters? Any advice to first timers to help calm these nerves?
post #2 of 44

I'm honestly 100% confident about the labor part- it's the being pregnant part that I'm having issues with. For the last 4 years or so I've been really into reading books and watching documentaries on homebirth, waterbirth, ina may gaskin, labor complications, labor comfort measures, took a doula training, and have many friends who have had babies who were born at home with my midwife. I know I'll have a really easy and short labor, I have a really high pain tolerance and can drop in/out of my body and any unpleasant sensation easily-- I know I will be able to get out of my own way and just let my body do what it needs to do. I'm excited for the labor part... i feel like I've been preparing for a long time and i am very ready. So I guess I'd suggest to read all the books and watch all the documentaries and talk to all the mamas you can! Avoid fear-based birth literature, documentaries and stories. 

post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
I made the mistake of watching A Baby Story on tlc.. while there is always a happy ending, the births are usually unexpectedly complicated/ painful. I was feeling totally Zen about labor up until about a week or so ago. Thanks for the advice on good reading!!
post #4 of 44
I have given birth 4 times. All four were different. 1st back labour and fourth degree tearing. 2nd 4 days prodromal contractions every 5 minutes, easy birth of 10 1/2 pounder no tears. 3rd 1 hour labour unassisted after a car accident, cord first cord around the neck. 4rth 3 hours labour midwives, couldn't do birth tub for long as I had uncontrollable diarreah and spent half of it on the toilet (2 minutes in tub, 2 minutes in toilet) 5th we have to plan an induction at 37 weeks because I am on blood thinners and have very quick births. For a first time mom they would put me on heparin every 12 hours...but when you can give birth on your lunch hour...its not an option. My chances for a section as a result are huge. But since this is the "last baby" its all okay. And I am not excited about giving birth. Its beautiful magical but its also feels like that food poisoning you got on vacation where you were throwing up and had the runs at the same time. Shorter births are not "better" they do the same amount of work in a short period of time. So you get very little if any recovery time. I'd take a six hour over an hour any day. It is a black hole. You can prepare all you want but you are never actually in control. The books are BS. Chances are you will not get a textbook birth. Have a sense of humour, go with the flow. Its birth you could throw up, crap your self (before and while giving birth no you don't magically void always in advance so its all clean before you push...sometimes you keep voiding....lol) scream, cry, swear, grunt, bark like a dog, gnaw on furniture, threaten to leave and not come back, lock yourself in the bathroom and refuse to come out...or that might be just me. With natural childbirth there is very little oh I'd like to lie down gracefully and pant in a cute way like on the baby story....its primal...naked and you can't stay still. You can plan all you want, take classes, etc then have a baby in a weird breech position, develop complications, etc and end up with a section. You can plan a section and then go into labour and not have time. My friend I was her doula she had a nose presentation she ended up pushing to crowning then had to be rushed to the operating room with a nurse with her hand up her crotch.....she almost gave birth THEN had a section. Better to plan for the perfect birth but not to be disappointed if you get a healthy baby but not the birth you wanted. Dont feel disappointed if you cave and ask for medication or an epidural it doesn't make you "less" of a woman. Birth can be quite painful and the pain can also affect the labour (I've seen a woman on the babystory that refused to push because of the pain...) Do your research before hand and discuss things with your provider - Like episiotomies - when are they actually necessary, when are they just going to "speed things up" is it better to tear or to be cut (or both) We might not be able to avoid all interventions and when you are in labour you are in no position to make decisions then so draw up a birth plan discuss it with your partner, doula, family, health care providers before the birth so they have it in their long term memory and understand what you want. Think not just labour but your postpartum recovery period. We do so much planning for birth but postpartum you should research too. We need support after too! Birth is just one magical day in your life, but the baby sticks around :)
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
I'm not concerned at all about it going any set way, just more of a case of nerves about the pain i guess. I'm planning on an epidural, and that's the only part I'm banking on. I completely understand that every birth is different, and that it's not a predictable textbook thing.
post #6 of 44
Well then coach yourself. Go on the hospital tour, ask questions. Visualise yourself getting there, talk with your DP about what you will do. Make sure bag is packed, documents are in one place as yes they make you register in labour.....lol and the wrath you will unleash if DP forgot something :) A plan always helps. Then think of when you feel anxious or nervous what can dp do to help you (it helps to remind them there is no place for them being the comedian during labour :) ) Have a sheet with your doctor's, hospital, ambulance, insurance, mother in law etc phone number handy. Keep money for a cab as you might want your husband not driving but helping you labour. What makes you nervous? Write them out. So if going into labour alone makes you nervous make a plan to have people on standby. Or be honest with your dp and say work from home that week. Don't hide your anxieties with your providers thats what they get paid for not just medical but emotional care.
post #7 of 44
Thread Starter 
Haha oh geeze. So much to think about!
post #8 of 44

Shiloh, I love what you wrote.

I have had two fairly uncomplicated births, but they were two very different experiences, and I would also say that I would take a 6 hour (or 12 or 24) labor over a 1 hour labor ANY day. Our brains play a big part in laboring and how we process the experience, and I just don't feel like I ever adequately "caught up" after the last birth. 

That being said, my fear this time is that my last birth was so "easy" that my expectations are all wrong this time around. I think it is difficult not to picture something similar to your last birth when you are pregnant again. I know I did that last time, and the experience was not the same.

My midwife gives every mom a sheet of affirmations, and the second one is, "There is no need to recreate my last birth." That has been running through my head all through the first half of this pregnancy. I just hope I can keep that mindset in the throes of labor this time. You know...while I'm making guttural pushy noises, grabbing onto counter tops and stuff. 2whistle.gif

I love that I get to experience labor. I really do. I wouldn't wish it on my husband or anyone else, and for me, it is very much a rite of passage into the motherhood experience of each of my children. I hope I can keep that perspective, regardless anything unexpected that may crop up this time.


Things are going swimmingly here right now, which probably means that something big and stressful is about to crop up. I'm a pessimist. Please forgive me! Baby's heart rate has been nice and consistent, my blood pressure is staying right where it should, and I think I've finally conquered most of the dietary challenges the first trimester presented. I'm so excited to hit the 20 week mark on Thursday! I want to throw myself a party.


DH finally admitted on Sunday that he really does want to find out the gender this time. So we've agreed that I will go solo to the ultrasound - no peeking! - and bring the results to a baker to do a reveal cake. If we're going to go ahead and find out early, I will need cake. The shock of either a boy (3 boys!) or a girl (what do I do with a girl!?) will take some processing. Cake on the 29th it is!

post #9 of 44
I do not think about it too much. I worry about complications sometimes, and that is scary, but I do not worry about the pain or labor and delivery process. My husband can get me through anything. The pain sucks, but is short lived and I know I can do it. It's weird, but my biggest fear is a still born. I can handle anything else I think. I think, because I have had 3 missed miscarriages, I just think that my baby will die suddenly in the womb. I just want everything to go smoothly. I would rather the pain be unbearable than to have a complication. My husband and I are having our baby at home, and I am confident about anything I can control, but worry about things out of my control!
post #10 of 44
I agree with so much of what you said, Shiloh!

I've had three very different labours. My first was quicker than average for a first timer (7 hours), but he was malpositioned and I had back labour. It was annoying. Once I could feel the urge to push, I enjoyed myself. My second was the fastest and my most painful because I did the majority of my dilating in about 15 minutes...no breaks between contractions. However, if I'd known how quick it would be, it would have made it much easier. It is, so far, my favourite however. It was so intense. The hormones were insane and I was high for about two weeks afterward from it. I didn't push him out...my uterus did. The midwife wasn't ready (as she had pretty much just arrived at my house) and I was trying my hardest to stop him from coming. His head was out before I could get her attention. During my third labour, I had a total of two painful contractions...the rest were vaguely uncomfortable. My midwife kept asking me if I felt like pushing, but I didn't until I got into a kneeling position. He was born during the next contraction.

I absolutely love giving birth. The contractions are definitely not my favourite, but I love pushing and meeting the baby is such a huge rush. If there's one thing that really helped me last time (although I don't know if it helped me to barely have any pain or it helped because there was barely any pain), it was to remind myself that it ends. It can be so hard to remember when it's going on, but you will not be in labour forever. I wish I'd thought of it during my second labour.

Just got back from my anatomy scan. The techs aren't allowed to tell us anything, but if anything had been really wrong, they would have consulted with someone right then and there. I've had a bad ultrasound (missed miscarriage). I know how they handle it. They told me at the midwifery office that if I called on Thursday afternoon, they might be able to tell me the baby's gender then. I know the tech was able tell because DH asked her. During most of the scan, they keep the screen turned away and my DH in the waiting room, so I didn't see anything. When I had DS1, we lived in a different area and they told us at the ultrasound. I really wish they could do that here, too. I don't even care if it's a boy or girl, but I'm dying to know either way.
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Gracisue, I love the reminder that labor won't last forever. That is such a calming thought to me for some reason. I think most of the nervousness I feel is because I have no idea what to expect, having never done it before. I do have complete faith in my body and my ability to give birth.. it's just the unknown factor that I think I need to let go of.
post #12 of 44

With both of my previous labors, I kept telling myself, "This is normal. It is supposed to feel this way. It's okay." That helped me relax. 

post #13 of 44

I am nervous about birth. I think you can read all you want about natural labor, hypnobirthing, ina may, etc etc, but it might all go out the window when you find yourself in that moment. Not to mention the chance of things happening that are just outside your control, like a breech or transverse baby that just refuses to turn no matter what you do. I DO want a natural labor and a homebirth, but I am mostly scared of not being able to have that for reasons I will have no control over. The thought of a c-section is terrifying to me. I'm just moving forward planning for the birth I want and if it doesn't happen, then I will deal with it when it comes.

post #14 of 44
Our last pregnancy us was a mc too.
The scan yesterday terrified me.

The results came back 100% perfect except mild kidney enlargement like borderline will follow up in 3rd tri.

Yes after my 3rd birth from 1cm to done in under an hour at just over 36 weeks..I kept thinking I'd give birth when I sneezed I was shocked the next one took 3 hours - same size better position, no cord issues, water broke earlier...

They're all different and unique.
That's why we love to tell and hear labour stories!

Affirmations, a playlist, pictures of places of peace or people you love, many techniques out there.
post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
Mainemama, what affirmations are on the list your midwife gave you? I'd love to read them smile.gif
post #16 of 44

though ive had 3 kids--ive only labored & had a vaginal birth once.


i was bullied by doctors because i have long gestations.  i had a failed induction on my first that ended up in c-section.  an elective c-section on the 2nd because they told me my placenta was getting old (it was fine when i took it home & planted it--& according to the surgeon's notes) & that i was running out of uterine water.


the 3rd time i quit doctors at 30 weeks & avoided them like the plague.  i didn't know what to expect.  i would have labor at night that would stop in the morning.  that went on for about 4 nights.  then one morning i woke up in active labor & i had my baby at 1:30 that afternoon.  my cervix stays shut until active labor--so my labor was very very painful.  there was never a time in active labor when i could walk to the bathroom without having a contraction.  & i never had transition.  i remember telling my doula that i never got a transition--that the books said there would be a transition where i could rest.  she told me that my uterus did not read the books.


i am planning for another fast & painful labor, but i wouldn't mind a longer & calmer one.

post #17 of 44
Originally Posted by gracisue View Post

If there's one thing that really helped me last time (although I don't know if it helped me to barely have any pain or it helped because there was barely any pain), it was to remind myself that it ends. It can be so hard to remember when it's going on, but you will not be in labour forever. I wish I'd thought of it during my second labour.


This is what I'm going to be constantly reminding myself this time around. It was the one piece of adivce about labor that I gave my BFF when she had her son a couple months ago.


I went into my first birth feeling very confident and really not scared at all. I had read all "good" books, watched positive birthing videos, I had a midwife I really liked and was set to give birth in this really lovely warm birthing center.  Even though my sister had had two difficult labors that both ended in C-sections, I totally assumed I would have "easy" births like my mom. I was totally unprepared for the labor and birth I got. I had 24+ hours of back labor, an asynclitic 9lb 12oz baby,  pretty decent tearing that took a really long time to heal, plus a prolapse that I will be managing for the rest of my life. I am totally scared this time. I keep reminding myself that every birth is different, I keep reminding myself that it is a very short time in the expanse of my life and even when it feels like it will never end it will but I have to admit I am having a tough time getting over the fear.  I remember looking at images of birth before DS and feeling empowered and excited.  Now I cringe.   It really helps to read you third+ time mamas affirming how different each birth can be.


One of the things that has helped a little is learning about sterile water injections for back labor. I went totally unmedicated last time and though I don't want actual medications this time either everything I've read about sterile water injections has been really positive and there are no known side effects. Back labor was horrible and that is my number one fear this time. I had about 30 minutes during my last labor after my midwife ruptured my waters where the back pain eased and I felt just regular contractions and that was pain I could totally breathe through and handle. The back labor was a whole other animal.


Sorry if this doesn't help ease anxiety about a first birth. I guess I'm just trying to work through the anxiety my own experience has created for me.

post #18 of 44

Well, of course I feel some jitters, but mostly, I feel fairly positive towards birth. I think planning how I want to handle different scenarios helps my confidence.


I ordered a few things for the baby last week, and they arrived today. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but after multiple miscarriages, it took a long time to really start to plan for a baby to come this fall. I just started seeing the care provider I want to use for the birth. I just started ordering things for the baby (though this being my third baby, we already have some baby stuff). I feel excited now!

Edited by revolting - 6/4/13 at 2:45pm
post #19 of 44

Affirmations (I'm sure Heather picked these up from somewhere, but I'm not sure where!)


I am an assertive and capable woman.


There is no need to recreate my last birth.


I will relax, thus knowing that my pelvis will open, as it has been with all other women before me.


I will accept my birth as the perfect one for me and my child.


I accept the love from the people around me during my birth.


I will treat my husband with love and respect.


I am aware of what is happening to me.


My body is beautiful, and is my friend.


I alone can give birth to my child, thus accepting contractions.


I see my last birth as an experience to learn from; I am willing to grow and change.


I embrace the concept of healthy pain.


I am overflowing with love.


I am a strong, confident, secure, feminine, and active woman.


My baby knows how to be born.


I will provide all the security for my child so he/she can be born.




I will care for my wife during her pregnancy.


My wife is strong and capable; this does not threaten  me.


I will understand my wife during labor, and when she is in pain.


I can express love to my wife easily and frequently.


I know I will feel helpless at times, and I accept it.


I will be sensitive, tender, open, and confident.


I will accept the love and support from others during birth and pregnancy.

post #20 of 44
Thread Starter 

I love those affirmations! 


Ciga- get all that anxiety out :) It's what we're here for!

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