Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Tampa Bay, Fl
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Crunchy Mama to 3 boys '06 and '08 and '10
And a brand new baby born 4/12
Our family is now complete
Mostly I just zoned out and rode it through if that makes any sense.
I did have a Pitocin induction though so I guess I did not have an all-natural birth but I managed to get through it without the painkillers.
Me, too. So they were pretty much all painful. But never out-of-control.
Each time I had a contraction I would
1) hold onto DH's shoulders and lean into him
2) vocalize with a low ooooooooh and make sure to keep it low
3) concentrate on relaxing my shoulders
4) concentrate on relaxing my cervix
Those were the only things I could actually choose to do in the moment.
The things I chose to do BEFORE I was in those contractions:
1) I hired a doula. The doula brought an apprentice doula with her. They walked me through every contraction. They were massaging me, stroking my hair, all kinds of stuff. One of them talked me through a lot of contractions by telling me I was climbing a hill, crossing the top, and going down the other side, which helped a lot. I was mostly just aware of the visualization stuff: the rest of it was helpful but I was concentrating so hard I barely noticed.
2) I brought two friends for moral support. One is a naprapath and she was doing a lot of massage. I wasn't aware of it, but she was. They were both also praying a lot. In fact everyone except the midwife (well, as far as I know) was praying.
3) I made a tape of beautiful music and songs I loved that we played through the entire 12 hour labor on repeat. At one part I started thinking about getting the epidural and I decided that I would wait until the end of the CD to make that decision. This was more helpful than looking at the clock, which I wouldn't have been able to do. By the time the end of the CD came I wasn't thinking about it any more.
4) I had a labor necklace with beads from family and friends. I thought I might use it like a rosary, but that didn't end up happening. But I do clearly remember seeing it at one point and getting a big surge of energy from it.
With my first baby, I ended up thinking an ocean theme too! I hadn't planned it ahead of time, but with the waves of pain, I started visualising a place at the shore in Barbados where I used to sit to relax, think, write letters (I lived there about 4 months). It was not a calm beach, rather a dangerous, wild coast. The waves would come crashing in, spray everywhere. There were rocky cliffs. Yet I felt such peace being there, close by but safe. So that was what I thought of through those contractions. Of the wild and crazy pain that I could not control, yet were supposed to be happening. I felt very peaceful thinking that way.
With birth #2, I thought way differently. I would squat down with each contraction, and think to myself...I have to stay calm and just do this, if I want to have more children! And somehow that gave me strength to keep going
I don't remember a specific thing with baby #3, but I know that with all of them, I also really focused on steady breathing. I do that at other times too, like running or when I'm feeling tense.
With baby #4, I kept focusing on the contractions, and thinking, "Open and down. Open and down." So as I was breathing in, I would think about how my body was opening for my baby to meet us. As I breathed out, I thought about how the baby was moving lower, soon to be in my arms. That really helped the pain to be worth it!
Sorry this was long, but those are such great memories for me!