What are some books you like to read, videos you like to watch, things you like to do to get yourself mentally prepared for natural birth? This will be my 2nd birth but I am struggling more this time with "getting my game face on" so to speak. Dealing with labor pains is really about being in the right mental state- at least for me. I just want to make sure I am ready. I am currently 4 weeks from my due date.
Getting ready for natural birth
I liked Birthing from within. I read like crazy before my second natural birth. Ina May, hypnobirthing, various natural labor books. I wanted to be prepared, since the first natural birth I had took over 24 hours and was like a torture session. Then my second birth took 7 hours from start to finish and I felt like "well, what did I do all that work for"? Now I am too lazy to do anything to prepare for number three. I figure it will probably be fine. I have all the knowledge and have read everything out there, so I can make informed choices if I end up at the hospital. I think I am prepared for the difficulty of labor and birth mentally and physically. And we will be at the Birth Center, so we have supportive people around us. I do like to read natural labor stories at night before bed. ANd I watch some videos here and there with the kids. But that is really all the prep we are doing this time. I am still trying to review my hypnobabies material, but if I am honest, that just is not going to happen.
I read lots of natural, powering birth stories to see all the variations of how things happened for a wide variety of women, too.
I have been feeling this way too. Only this is my first natural birth. So I have been through labor and delivery before but with an epidural (which I really regret.) For some reason I have not had the patients to read any books on anything but I have been reading natural birth stories and watching lots of natural births. I should have my super supportive midwife here and her assistant is a doula. It has just recently hit me that I am having another baby, and in like 5 weeks. I know I can do this and I have just been trying to stay positive. Sorry, I guess I am not really any help here.
Well, I worked as a doula and childbirth educator for many years, so there is a lot that feels like second nature for me....but, I think it is still important nonetheless. I have a doula, I am practicing hypnosis, (although I fall asleep every time I put a recording on,) I re-read Mongan's HypnoBirthing, I have also re-read some Ina May birth stories, I have had my partner read The Birth Partner, and I do a lot of visualization about the birth. I also have a birth pool coming, and am thinking about all of the tools I would like to help encourage myself through the process...showers, small little nest-like areas throughout my home to labor in so the time will feel like it will pass more quickly, we have strung xmas lights along the ceiling of the room we will have the tub in, where I imagine I will birth, to try to create a calm atmosphere, and I am going to have my daughter create a playlist of music. I am also talking to dh about what the last experience was like, what would feel helpful (kinds of touch, massage, physical support.)
The past few days I have been really struggling to stay positive about my birth - and realize that I need to get back into a positive mental state. We had the flu then bronchtis in November and I just got off antibiotics that I had to cave in and get due to Vitamin C, Elderberry, etc not working.
Then Saturday night I pulled a muscle with a mild cough while trying to pull a shade closed in the kids room. Pulled a muscle so badly that I spent the day crying yesterday with tylenol left and right, showers, oil rubbing on the spot and spasms.
Ugh, luckily DH was coaching me through it but what a rough time it's been. Sorry to vent.
So my question is whether I need a doula?? I'm usually a introvert who is best when left on my own but I've never had a doula and I know that one could be helpful to me.
decreased mobility = inability to move around during labor, cascade of interventions, spinal headaches, continuous fetal monitoring, tired baby, IV fluids = over-inflated birth weight = baby loses more weight than it should after it's born, your stats could crash when it takes effect.
There are more, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
I know people who have had no problems, and people who have had terrible experiences with them. I'd do some research.
I agree with PamelaRRRR- I have known people that have had bad experiences (like me) and others with not much trouble. I had the problem where it caused my blood pressure to drop so low that I had to have an adrenaline shot (DD's heart rate dropped majorly because of mine dropping too.) Scared my poor DH to death because I kept saying I felt like I couldn't breathe and my eyes started rolling back. So I was like... never again. Not worth it. I have heard that it can cause problems with nursing too. I second doing your own research and watching "The Business of Being Born." Loved it! But it is ultimately up to you and what you think is best.
This is my mindset too, but I ended up with an epidural last time. I posted on your other thread about my experience. It was awesome with none of the downsides that Pamela mentioned and that experience makes it difficult to be dedicated to forgoing pain relief this time. I'll decide at the time how I'm feeling. Part of me still wants to try without any meds and the second time around is supposed to be easier, so we'll see how it goes.
There is an anesthesiologist who has written a lot about the research on epidurals - the downsides to using them to manage pain, the downsides to not managing pain, the effects on breastfeeding, on labor, etc., etc. Obviously, she makes her living in part by administering epidurals, but she is very honest about her biases and I've appreciated her insight when considering the pros and cons. Her blog is here: http://theadequatemother.wordpress.com/epidurals/
Apparently my recent contractions have been "real". I got checked yesterday at my 37 week appt. I'm at 2.5 cm, 70 % effaced and -1 station. The OB said that was pretty low for a 2nd baby. I am trying to not get to anxious because I really want her to stay in another 2 weeks. I tend to spread out my early labor and then have really fast active labor. My first came in 3.5 hours.
It is starting to feel real bc I had my 37 wks appt w my midwives yesterday, got checked (not really dilated but v softened and baby's head is what she called "a high low"). I wet from measuring at 36 wks on Thursday to 38 wks on Monday/ really feeling her grow.
I watched Ina May's Birth Story last night and highly recommend it.
If you download it stream it from the film's website directly today, you can add in holiday code (GIFT20) to get it 20% off. Well worth it. I am feeling more inspired and getting excited to push.