looking for some reassurance about giving birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-24-2003, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm due to have my daughter any day now, and this is my first time to even attempt a natural childbirth. I didn't do a childbirth class--tried hypnobabies but, while it was a great course, I didn't practice like I should and there was something about it that I didn't personally like, although I'm sure for most people it's great. I didn't take any other classes. I have read about 10 books on natural childbirth, and I have felt so confident and fearless about this birth.
Now that it could be any day, it just seems so weird to me that I'm actually going to go through this. It will be me, my husband and my midwife in a freestanding birthing center. I plan to just go with the flow during labor, doing whatever it takes to naturally relax my body during contractions.

Anyway, I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that my body actually *can* do this. I guess I shouldn't need reassurance, but oh well.
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#2 of 11 Old 09-24-2003, 06:58 PM
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First, know that the fact that you are having some nervous feelings is completely natural and shows that you understand the enormous undertaking and sacred journey you are about to embark on....

Your body was built for birth. What is amazing is that our bodies take the amount of pain we experience and create endorphins to help us cope. Women that have natural births often zone out and sleep between contractions - some worry that women are too exhausted to continue. While lack of sleep is one part of it, the greatest part are those endorphins kicking in - allowing her to ground herself and focus inward, resting for the next contraction.

Labor is painful for many women. However, unlike horrible menstrual cramps, or getting your arm sawed off, the pain of contractions come and go. Savor the breaks. In a 90 second contraction, the worst pain is about 45 seconds. Your body is working WITH you during this time - not against you. You are merely along for the ride. Trust the whole process.

Create your birth environment. If you're birthing in the hospital, there's nothing wrong with taping a sign on the door saying "quiet voices and dim lights appreciated". Every person that walks into your birth space will impact your energy. This sign - or the presence of someone to remind them - will ensure that your space is peaceful and intimate - the perfect atmosphere for letting go and birthing your baby.

(White Christmas lights are a nice way to have a soft glow away from fluorescents when you cannot have candles around - just a bunch of lights plugged in, atop a counter or shelf makes such a difference!)

When you will be giving birth, you can focus on the hundreds of thousands of women who will be birthing at the same time - most of them unmedicated. Use their strength. You're all in it together.

Use water when you can. Showers, baths, hot packs on your back or lower belly are wonderful.

You have all the tools you need to birth naturally. You could do it alone, with nobody around. Remember this. If somebody in your space is wrought with fear or anxiety, ask them to leave. Do not be shy about what you need in birth. It's YOUR experience. When you feel safe, you birth smoothly.

You have a deep cellular knowledge about birth right now. It has been handed down to you from the line of women who birthed before you. It's ok to ask (through prayer, meditation, etc.) for their assistance and guidance.

You CAN do this. Your body is perfectly designed to birth this way. Your baby is so wise - and works intuitively with your body.

I don't know if this has helped at all - but I know that the other wise, wonderful women here can offer some more suggestions and inspiration.

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#3 of 11 Old 09-24-2003, 07:17 PM
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You can, and you will do this! Like Pam said, we are made to birth!

I was nervous too, and no i did not birth in a birthing center, but at a hospital with a wonderful midwife named Allie, who changed my life with the birth of my third child. Believe in yourself. all will be well, and you will soon have your daughter in your arms.

I have no specific advice, as i only labored two hours and pushed twice, and to be honest, all i had to do was breathe deeply and let my body do what it does best. That said, i was nervous right until i went into labor, and then was not scared at all.

I am so excited for you. i love the birth forums, its where i come for my fix!
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#4 of 11 Old 09-25-2003, 12:51 AM
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Good replys!
I did a 21 hours birth with my first daughter in the hostipal and when I has my second I had a midwife and only thought about homebirth when all this SARS crap was going on. I looked into it and it seemed great but I just didn't know how I was going to get through it but you know what I did it becasue when the time comes you are SO comfortable being where YOU want to be is helps SO much! Lauren was born at home and it was under 7 hours start to finish!
You can do it, just remember we were made to do this!

~Erin~ Mommy to Emily June 8th 2000
and Lauren born at home on May 16th 2003
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#5 of 11 Old 09-25-2003, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I might print these responses off and put them in my birth bag for my dh to read to me. This has been so helpful, thank you. I guess it says something about our society now that you have to get on a computer to find a tribe of women who can provide some support and encouragment to you through something this important...I have some irl, but not like this. I really appreciate your words, encouragment, etc.
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#6 of 11 Old 09-25-2003, 12:35 PM
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if it is the pain you are worried about...remember...you can do anything for a minte...that helped me immensly-you will always get a break-then transition means the time is near...you can do it! your body will take over!

Me, 42
Hubs, 44
Married 22 years
Two boys 11 and 9
and a HUGE surprise: EDD June 4th - BOY #3

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#7 of 11 Old 09-25-2003, 03:08 PM
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I know how you feel! My first dd was a intervention-packed birth. I was given an epidural after they broke my water and I never even felt a contration, although I much residual pain afterward from tearing, cutting and vacuum delivery. I decided my next birth was NOT going to be like that. I planned a natural homebirth. The closer it got, the more I though "I don't even know what labor really feels like-Am I sure that I can do it?" I was so nervous b/c I'm a real wimp and was afraid that I couldn't handle "the pain". Dd #2 was 8 days late and the labor was 6 1/2 hours from first contraction to birth. I was so excited and filled with good feelings that I really, honestly didn't hurt (yes, some discomfort, but I guess I had prepared myself for something just horrible).
I remember so well that feeling of knowing that you might give birth any day, but it still feels so far off. Dh and I both felt that. He even felt it when I was in labor! He didn't believe it was the real thing and asked if he should go to work!:

I think the absolute most important thing to having a great birth is having a great attitude. You and your body will know what to do! It's amazing how everything just "fits". Experiment some in labor-find what feels good and works for you. For me, it was standing, leaning over my hamper, while swaying my hips and moaning.
Can't wait to hear your birth story!

Paige, mama to three girls, (10), (8) and (3)
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#8 of 11 Old 09-25-2003, 11:18 PM
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pamamidwife mentioned this in her excellent response, but I just wanted to restate it because it really helped me--

you come from a long line of successful birthers--that is why you are here--your mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, etc. going back thousands and thousands of years all gave birth. draw your power from all of those women--it really is a long line.

labor is hard work, but it doesn't last forever, and by the time you are in labor it means your baby will be out soon.
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#9 of 11 Old 09-26-2003, 07:09 PM
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I know that this post might be too late... you may have already had your baby, but I thought I would post just in case you are still preggers...

My first experience with labour (birth of Mac, sept 24,2001) was fairly negative - incredibly long (2.5 days of active labour - to go from 4 cm - 8 cm, and then over 4 hours of pushing and finally vaccuum...). What kept me sane and allowed me to get through it without meds was to count. Every time a contraction hit, I would just count slowly in my head - each time I just kept focussed on that contraction - between contractions (in the 10-15 seconds), I would repeat, another one done, one more to go...

With the birth of my second baby (Aislinn, born Sept 5, 2003), I had a much better labour. I am still on a high from the experience... Again this time I counted - it kept me focussed because each time I knew that by the time I reached 23 or 28 or whatever the number, it was going to end soon. I counted each time I did a full slow inhalation and exhalation.

Sending you positive thoughts,

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#10 of 11 Old 09-27-2003, 12:44 AM
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You can do definitely do it! I read about a zillion natural childbirth books, took 2 birth classes, and had a midwife-assisted birth at a waterbirth clinic. Want to know what the two biggest comforts to me were regarding birth?

1) Reading "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin, even though it is a little dated and groooovy, I felt very moved and empowered reading the women's stories about birth.

2) Hearing the birth stories that new moms came and told at my birth center's classes. Every week there were real stories from real moms who'd given birth at the birth center. They were old, young, fat, thin, shy, bold -- it really hit home hearing their stories, if all these women did it, so can I! Their births didn't all go perfectly, they had no illusions that they were dancing to Enya and smiling through labor like some would have you believe. They were candid, honest, and real.

My daughter's birth was not perfect -- it was fairly long, but felt even longer because I caught a nasty cold that set in right before labor. I was exhausted, and of course there was pain, and it was the hardest work I have ever done, but from the morning after to now when my DD is 2.5 years, I have no regrets and would absolutely do it all again naturally. People often make comments about me being so brave or a superwoman b/c I had a natural childbirth. I am none of those things! I'm a pain wimp and can't stand the sight of blood. But my body was made to birth, and I knew it could do its job.

Best of luck. Be strong, and at the same time relax, and you will be home free.

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#11 of 11 Old 10-05-2003, 05:51 PM
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If you were not meant to birth a baby, you would not be here....women have been doing this for millenia. Who else can improve on this?

During my last birth, I felt my consciousness reach out of my physical self,.. out to the reaches of the Universe for strength to push out my last child.

And I did it.

It was truly empowering.

"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get - acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy, allergies, diabetes, eczema, petit/gran mal seizures, ADEM, AFP, ASIA, CFS, GBS, JPA, JRA, LGS, LKS, MS, POF, POTS, RA, SJS, SLE, SPD, TPI, Henoch-Schonlein purpua, fibromyalgia, Retts Syndrome, encephalitis, Hughes Syndrome, neurological damage, coma, or death."

~paraphrased from "Forrest Gump"~
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