What got YOU through that nasty contraction? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 72 Old 02-06-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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My births (both natural) felt very different from one another. For labor #1, I got through the hardest contractions by breathing slowly and deeply. It was very calming.
For labor #2, I was taking slow, deep breaths and vocalizing, sort of humming.
In between contractions I focused on completely relaxing my entire body so that my muscles wouldn't tense up.
With both labors, I *had* to hold dh's and my doula's hand. It's hard to explain, but I really felt a powerful transfer of raw energy through physical contact that strengthened me.
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#62 of 72 Old 02-06-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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I *had* to hold dh's and my doula's hand. It's hard to explain, but I really felt a powerful transfer of raw energy through physical contact that strengthened me.
YES!!! I felt the exact same way. I had to be touching someone with every contrax. If I didn't have someone to hold on to it was so much more painful. At one point I was sitting on the toilet with my arms wrapped around the tummy of my doula and my head squished against her chest ...We became very close friends after (and during) my birth LOL

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#63 of 72 Old 02-06-2008, 06:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Mostly I just zoned out and rode it through if that makes any sense.

-Angela
That's pretty much how I did it too. Although the riding through it part probably wasn't what followed.

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.

Yup, zoning out was it for me.
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#64 of 72 Old 02-07-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post

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.

thalia loves Jesus and DH wordyeight and DD#1 : 8/2007 and DD#2 9/2010
and remembering: little turtle 5/23/2006 and poppyseed 7/15/2009
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#65 of 72 Old 02-07-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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when the contractions were their strongest I remembered 4 things:

1- my body will not allow me to experience anything I could not physically or mentally handle
2-my body has to contract a specific number of times in order to push this baby out,( I wish I new that number ) not one more, not one less, so I am closer to the end.
3-I considered each contraction as a FLEX, it just has a much better feel than the word "contraction"
4- they will never get any more painful than this.
(funny, you can realize the peak of their intensity, without the unknown fear that they can get any harder- and they don't) not for me anyway.

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#66 of 72 Old 02-07-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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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!

Carlyn - loving and caring for my family.
Married 13 years, mama to 12 (boy), 8, 6, 4, 1 (girls)
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#67 of 72 Old 02-07-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Here are some more ideas, of things I did physically, now that I read through all the replies. I rocked a lot. I made a "nest" of pillows and was on my hands and knees a lot of the time, rocking through the contractions. With the last baby, I had a rocking chair in the room, and it was awesome! I leaned on it with my arms, head, chest while my knees were on the ground, on pillows. I could rock back and forth, with my hips side to side, whatever felt right. When I was standing, I rocked my hips a lot too.

I go very internal when I'm in labour. I'm pretty much silent and concentrating. I think the midwives (who sat in another room except for checking in a few times and coming in the room for the actual birth) were quite surprised to see my husband sitting on the bed reading while I laboured, but it worked great for us! I wanted him close, but didn't need him touching or talking. Once I was close to pushing, he knew to be right with me, and seemed to know how to support me as I needed.

From all these replies, it's obvious that women labour in many different ways. If it is feeling right for you, I think that's what you should go with!

Carlyn - loving and caring for my family.
Married 13 years, mama to 12 (boy), 8, 6, 4, 1 (girls)
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#68 of 72 Old 02-26-2008, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Thalia View Post
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.
Wow, that's SO INFORMITIVE. Thank you!

-Caitrin

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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#69 of 72 Old 02-26-2008, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Carlyn View Post
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!
Don't be sorry! I'm glad you shared.

-Caitrin

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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#70 of 72 Old 02-26-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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Beforehand -

I'm embarrassed to say I read nothing; my mother, my aunts, my sister and cousin had all had NCBs and I knew that it was possible. I worried a bit that they were not telling me the whole truth about labor, but my sister reassured me about 8 months along that really, truly, it wasn't as awful as it looks on TV/movies - to just relax and not be scared.

(since then I've read quite a bit however; actually, since my second birth). I've had two NCBs (both in the hospital). I think that having a supportive HCP is crucial; our OB is very supportive and practical about NCB, in an "of course" sort of way. He didn't act like he doubted my abilities/commitment at all. And I've been lucky with my nurses, too. It helps that the women in my family labor quickly, and I don't go to the hospital 'til it's almost time (4 hours there with Ina, who was posterior; and 45 minutes with SJ).

When things got really intense with Ina, what helped were:

Pelvic tilts (since she was posterior) and the birthing ball
Remembering the women I knew who'd done this already
Breathing slowly/deeply
Laughing with dh (he defuses tension with humor, and he was nervous)
Relaxing (physically recognizing where I was tense, and relaxing consciously)
I found pushing to be practically painless (except crowning), and a relief.
....When things got painful, (around 8cm), I found myself thinking, "WOW, I can see how women who have been in labor for a whole day would want meds!"

With SJ:
See above, she wasn't posterior so this was easier as a labor.
OB and dh and I were all joking a couple times.
Again, relaxing - every time I felt like I was having a really painful contraction, I'd think, "I need to relax," and consciously relax - and the contraction would immediately feel better. I truly think that if we allow ourselves to focus on the pain/tension, it escalates - literally relaxing your legs, arms, cervix all helps your body focus on the contraction itself vs. the tension/pain.

And, when I thought, "WOW, this hurts a LOT" - I reminded myself that with Ina, I thought that right before I was ready to push, and that it must be nearly that time (and it was).

Thinking how ready I was to hold and nurse my baby and meet him/her outside the womb.

**
Since reading a bit more about NCB - I do think that it is really helpful that I labor at home quite awhile. Being busy doing other things (I sewed a dress for Ina, mended several other things, did quite a bit of cleaning/organizing that day) -- distracted me from even realizing that this was labor, not Braxton/Hicks, with SJ. I was mobile, moving around, and focused on other things.

HTH - it's been great reading what others have done, too!

Not all who wander are lost.
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#71 of 72 Old 02-26-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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My first birth was unmedicated but augmented with pitocin. The thing that got me thru contractions were putting puncture wounds into my hubby's hand...poor guy! Second birth I was a little more prepared, and it's a good thing because this birth was difficult. The things that got me thru the bad contractions were:

1.) When I felt the contrax coming, I'd relax my mind and body, close my eyes, and breathe, breathe, breathe. If I started to lose focus, I'd just tell myself "These feelings are good, they're moving my baby down, they're bringing my baby to me, just breathe, just breathe, I'm almost done with this one, just a few seconds more, just stay relaxed, stay loose, stay open, feel my uterus pushing him down...aaahhhhhhhhhhhh...nice deep breath, and I'm done!"

2.) Toward the end, my midwife was sitting behind me with a rebozo wrapped losely across my tum, then when I'd have a contrax, she'd gently pull in back, sort of helping my uterus (he was a big baby!!), and sway and rock with me (I was sitting on the edge of the bed). Then between contractions, I'd just lean back against her. Then she'd tell me how strong I am, how I can do this, etc. She was awesome in every way!!

3.) This may sound simple, but it helped! When I had a contrax and started my circling/swaying/rocking, my doula (who was sitting on the floor near the bed) would do what I was doing, circling and swaying and rocking. For some reason, this gave me a real feeling of comfort, and made me feel that what I was doing was the right thing to do.

4.) A nice tub of warm water!!! Woohoo, waterbirth ROCKS!

5.) Sometimes I just had to be left alone, silent and untouched. It allowed me to really focus. Vocalizing didn't really help me till the end, as I found myself focusing more on the noise that I was making than what my body was doing.

There was never ONE thing that helped. There was all different things during different phases of labor. Above all, I think, was the freedom to do whatever I wanted. With my first I was confined to the bed, flat on my back, not allowed to move. Once I got out and knelt at the side of the bed, and the nurses had a fit, telling me to get up and back in the bed, etc. But with my second, I could do literally anything that I wanted to!

Jess ~ RN & student CNM, Blogger (see profile), wifey to T-Rav & momma to sons Buggy ~7/04 & Newt ~1/08 & Tad 6/19/09 & Con-man 1/11!  <3
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#72 of 72 Old 02-27-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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I did hypnobirthing. For the really tough contractions of transition I was able to maintain my relaxation and told myself "let your body relax so you can birth your baby". I also had dh telling me "relax, you're doing great, you just have to get through this one contraction". I don't know why, but it was just what I wanted and needed to hear. Something about knowing it was finite, that it would end, that it was purposeful helped.

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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