I'm 8 days out from my guess date for my first birth, which is a planned home birth. I think I finally have everything in order physically-- the house is relatively clean, pantry is full, supplies are all in one place, etc. I have done tons of reading and research and preparation throughout the pregnancy.
Now I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions about how to prepare yourself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally for birth, especially your first birth, since there are SO many unknowns.
It was important to me to be well informed, so I did expose myself to less-than-perfect birth stories and information during my pregnancy. So far, two out of six ladies from my birth preparation class have had traumatic birth experiences (I don't know all the details because I didn't want to know yet) and that is making me nervous, to be honest. There are three of us left who have not yet delivered.
At this point, I want to block out all negativity and fear, and focus on creating a positive attitude and atmosphere.
What have you mamas done in the past to help with this? What do you think might have helped you feel strong and peaceful prior to and throughout labor when you were a first-time mama?
Thanks! <3 <3 <3
married to DH since 03/05/2005, new mama to E , 07/02/2011
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Something I wish I had done with my first: Spend some time thinking about what it might feel like to be in labor, what it might feel like to push, what it might feel like to feel the baby move down. I know that probably sounds silly but I'd only considered being in labor, I'd never really sat down and considered what it might feel like to push a baby out. I'm not really talking about pain either, just the sensations of having a baby move down and out of you. For some reason, those sensations scared the heck out of me with my first and I wished I had put a little mental prep work in because I think it would have been totally okay.
Mama to DS (6/07) , DD (6/09) , and DD (07/12) ..
Spend some time in nature. For me, anytime I need to recharge, I go to my home place, my grandparents' farm. I take my shoes off and walk along the pasture and watch the cows graze. I stroll through the garden and check out which plants are coming up. I stop and smell my grandma's flowers. I always feel at peace after a visit there. It just puts me in that mindset, like I'm at one with the universe. That's exactly the kind of feeling I want when I go into labor. I've been spending a lot of time there and at a state park that I used to spend a lot of time at as a kid. I tend to shut off my brain and just concentrate on the feelings, the sights and smells and the like.
I like what dogmom327 says, too, about thinking about what it will be like to push out a baby. I've been doing that, too. This is my second child, but she will be the first one that I push out, so I don't know what it's going to be like. I close my eyes and imagine what it's going to feel like, concentrating on just the sensations. I don't think about where I am or who is there or anything outside of what's going on in my body.
Sending you happy labor vibes, mama
Prior to labor?
-Watching positive birth videos, and reading positive birth stories. Avoid the negative ones from here on!
-Stretching while visualizing my new baby. Focusing on how the first moments might be... What it would be like to see his face, hold him for the first time, nurse him for the first time. Reminding myself that AFTER birth is the part that I was really working toward.
-Taking 5 minutes each day to just send love and energy to my baby. Feel the mama love wash over you... Let it flow inward, etc.
-Listened to a lot of my favorite upbeat music, in headphones, while walking :)
-Worked on a totally frivolous project for baby. Something unneeded, but beautiful (in my case, another quilt).
As for throughout labor?
I guess I had the impression that I would be in my head or heart enough that I would hang up on emotional attachments and fears. And to be truthful, it didn't happen. Once I was in labor, my body just did what it was supposed to do. "I" checked out of my body quite a bit... In the throws of really hard labor, there was no room to think about issues, or confidence. All I could do was take one breath at a time. And that one breath at a time thing is a pretty peaceful place to be. Don't worry too much about trying to feel strong, or peaceful, or feel anything at all. Labor will kind of force you to be in every second, every moment...
I think another thing that was really helpful throughout labor, was that I didn't need to focus on keeping my zen because I had surrounded myself with what I knew to be right. I chose who was there, I chose where I was, and I trusted that my people and my space would support my body to do what it needed to. And it did!
And yours will too mama. Tell yourself that, over and over again.
Your body will do it.
Wife to DH , mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11), and crafty and hardworking in my own right! In my parenting journey I've , , , , and. To each family their own!!
"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."
THANKS! I've been doing these suggestions all weekend and i DO feel better already! I've been having lots of quiet/mediation time inside and outside when it's cool enough, and I've been re-reading certain parts of Birthing from Within a few times a day. I also typed up some short, affirming birth mantras to tape around the house for before/during labor. I'm getting excited and feeling more and more welcoming of labor.
married to DH since 03/05/2005, new mama to E , 07/02/2011
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