Background: First baby I did hypnobabies and ended up with a poorly done transfer from a free-standing birth center. After 5 years and lots of therapy we are finally ready to try this again (or at least we thought so).
So after explaining everything to the new midwife, she recommends reading Birthing from Within. I tried starting it today, the first bit is awfully hippie-dippie for my taste and is giving me a bad case of the "well if I only...."s. Then it gets into the part about the most important thing you can do is connect with other women.... I think on a good day I could *maybe* put together 3 women to do anything for/with me. So basically it's making me feel awful, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel, but figured I'd see if anyone had any thoughts on where to look or what I might get out of plowing through it. Thanks.
A few things I got out of it, read it years ago. Worry is ok, it's a part of the process of working through and preparing for stuff. Artistic expression leads to self discovery. No one birthing method works for everyone, rigid plans may be counterproductive. Better to get people who are on board with your overall wishes than to need to give a list of demands and plans. Even painkillers have a place in an unusually difficult birth. Non judgmentally observing the sensations of contractions instead of distracting from them is one good way to handle them. Distraction IS great in early labor, to do a project or sleep. Transition (the intense part of labor usually just before pushing) often makes women feel like/ think they are going to die, and demands surrender to the process of birth. Obviously you almost certainly aren't going to die but in a similar way it's, well, a transition, into the baby's life earthside, your life as his or her mother and out of being pregnant. It's intense and you have to get out of your body's way for it.
Thank you. I've been struggling through. Still not really relating to much of it (except, oh yeah, I should've had a doula, but I knew that already too....) *sigh* makes me worry both about my reaction and that the mw seemed to think it'd be helpful and it's pretty much the opposite (well, except bringing to light something I should probably discuss with dh)
I think that if it doesn't speak to you, then that's also giving you good information. Many pregnancy/birth books are written from particular spiritual/philosophical viewpoints and there's no reason to feel bad if you find your feelings and views differ. Maybe it's a good opportunity to think more about what makes you comfortable and what sort of care and experience would be the best fit for your values and needs.
I'm an artist, pretty hippie-dippie, and I did not like that book. It totally irked me. You and your MW don't have to like the same birth books! As her to recommend another or tell you what it is she was hoping you'd get out of it.
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I'm not particularly hippy dippy, and I actually liked parts of it. I remember there being stuff related to birth art that I wasn't going to do, but there were things they mentioned that made me think about stuff. I also felt like it tried to encourage you regardless of your birthing place, which gave me comfort, since I knew I couldn't have a home birth, but then reading it I decided I wanted to have a home birth.
So it's been a long time since I've read it, and the only thing I particularly remember that I tried was the thing with the ice cube, and thinking of the various feelings that are interesting sensations. I used to try and use this technique with leg cramps, and I never could get through them without stretching out of them, so I don't know that it worked.
If you want an awesome birth filled with natural birth stories I really recommend to all my clients Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. The 1st half is filled with the good the bad and the ugly of natural childbirth and there is a huge relief from reading about others triumphs and floundering too. It helps fill some of those gaps from Birthing from Within. You don't even have to read the 2nd half if you don't want to.