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Old 01-06-2006, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What kind of mental/emotional prep are you doing to prepare for labor and PP? Do your midwives talk about this with you?

Anyone thinking of mantras?
Any hypnobirthers here?
Music?

So far I've decided on "6 pounds" - I'm just convincing myself that there's no way this baby is going to be more than 6 pounds, and I can handle birthing a 6 pound baby, and I'm just going to focus on that! Kind of silly, but I think it will help me from imagining wild scary things and keep me focused on the fact that I can do it (although he will probably be way bigger than that). I personally find background music when I'm trying to relax distracting and annoying so I don't be doing that.
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Old 01-06-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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I've been having a dialogue with my baby (got this from Birthing From Within) about working as a team to make the whole labor process go better. I like feeling like we are working together instead of feeling like he is just something I need to get out of my body. I tell him that the more he works the quicker he'll get out and everyone will feel much better.
I also got a mantra from the book (I made up my own) on how long it will take. Sort of a visualization excercise.
I signed up with a doula who will be teaching hypnobirthing, but I don't get to start the classes until the end of February (I'm due March 11th). This is my first, so I keep worrying that I'll be early, but she seems to think that is plenty of time.

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Mom to my little super hero superhero.gif (02/06) and our super hero-in-training femalesling.GIF (11/11).

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Old 01-06-2006, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendizbaby
I've been having a dialogue with my baby (got this from Birthing From Within) about working as a team to make the whole labor process go better. I like feeling like we are working together instead of feeling like he is just something I need to get out of my body.
Wendi
Hey that's good - I never even thought of that. Other things I got (mainly from ina may)

- most kinds of pain are a signal that your body is being hurt or damaged, which is what causes stress reaction - but this is NOT pain that means your body is being hurt, which should help your body not to react negatively
- visualize an ending point (because there is one)
- relaxed face = signal for the rest of your body to relax; tight face signals tension, stress to your body.

Anyone else?
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:17 PM
 
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Wanna-be Hypnobirther here.

I have really been working on positive talk to myself and a little to the baby. I'm really trying to psyche myself up that I can and will be successful with Hypnobirthing. I've been trying to re-name any negative thoughts/feelings I might be having to have a more positive outlook. I really need to finish the Hypnobirthing book (we also took a class) and crack down on listening to my relaxation CDs.

I've already found that since taking the class, I've been able to change my thinking on a few things. Let's hope I can keep this up through the birth! I ended up getting an epidural last time around 6 cms. I'm really wanting a more natural and relaxed birth this time around.

Jill
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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I fully expect labor to hurt, the pain doesn't bother me, rather it tells me what I need to be doing to facilitate the baby's birth. My MW was a little taken aback when I told her last time that I expected labor to hurt and I wasn't afraid of it. I want to work through some exercises in BFW but I don't have the resources to do hypnobirthing (financial or techinical, we have no radio or anything, lol) I keep reminding myself that I can do this, my body will tell me what to do all I need to do is listen.

I tend to get lost in the moment in labor and it can be disorienting at first so I want to focus on letting go of my need to control every little thing. But I'm really not worried about it, is that strange?
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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MamaChel: I really like your perspective and will have to consider the same! For most of this pregnancy, I have felt absolutely fearless...Then last weekend, I think I had some pain in my hip while I was sleeping, the baby starting kicking up a storm and I woke up in an absolute panic attack (heart racing, claustrophobic, etc) about not being able to handle pain. Ugh. Boy, have I been good about exercising, finally starting yoga class and practicing relaxation techniques since then!
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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Wow, what a great discussion!

What really helped me last time:

-the "pain" was something good, something helpful, something productive. In the end, I think this view of things really helped. One of the things that struck me post-birth was that I never felt what I would call PAIN...it was just intense, very intense pressure. Pressure I can handle.

-With each contraction, in some sort of trance state (especially later in labor), I'd imagine my body opening up. I'm a science girl, so I pictured what was happening...the baby moving lower, my cervix slowly opening, my uterus rhythmically pushing the baby's head toward being born. I tried to have an inner dialogue with my own body, emphasizing calm, working with my body to open, open, open. I didn't imagine flowers or waves, but rather my own *real* body. It gave me a certain peace.

-Someone else mentioned this, too...relaxed face, relaxed hands, relaxed everything. My dh worked with me to point out where I looked or felt tense, and then I'd concentrate on releasing that tension.

-Standing and swaying through each contraction, especially at the end and through transition.

-A physical point to focus on. For some people it's hip or back counterpressure, but for me it was a cold, wet washcloth against my head. You can't predict what you'll need, but by the time you need it you'll have found it. I could easily handle the worst contraction with that coldness against me...without it I'd lose focus and concentration. Dh's ONE job during the time from 6-10cm was to keep a steady rotation of cold washcloths coming. Goofy, but it worked.

Music didn't help me much, because by the time I was really laboring, everything that wasn't my body or dh's voice was completely tuned out. I could have been birthing in the middle of a three ring circus and I wouldn't have noticed.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
So far I've decided on "6 pounds" - I'm just convincing myself that there's no way this baby is going to be more than 6 pounds, and I can handle birthing a 6 pound baby, and I'm just going to focus on that! Kind of silly, but I think it will help me from imagining wild scary things and keep me focused on the fact that I can do it (although he will probably be way bigger than that).
(*chuckle*) I love that idea . . . but since I was over 9 lbs at birth and DH was just under, I am gearing up for a BIG baby. I will be happy if it weighs in under 10 lbs!

I have a hypnobirthing book and CD, and am going to try to start listening to it . . . am a little stressed that I haven't gotten started on that yet, but I still have about 3 months (give or take) to go.

Other than that, I am reminding myself daily that it will be PRODUCTIVE pain, not pain-that-tells-you-something-is-wrong. (I really like what RedOakMomma--and other moms on MDC--have said about not really registering the contractions as "pain", per se . . . just as intense pressure.) And keeping in mind that my body was built to do this, that I come from a long line of successful vaginal births, and that I have great support coming from many directions. I'm not really feeling anxious or scared--just curious as to how the labor will progress. Right now I am looking it as an interesting challenge. I wonder sometimes if I should be nervous about the fact that I'm NOT nervous, but am trying to just go with the flow and take things as they come.
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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We're doing Bradley classes right now, and practicing the exercises and focusing on teaching my body how to relax have been really helpful. I like how the classes talk about giving birth as being an 'atheltic endeavor' and just like athletes don't go into game day without having spent lots of time in practice and training, giving birth should be approached the same way so that your body and mind are the most prepared possible.

Also, your partner should be practicing and getting ready with you b/c i've found that labor can be very hard on them since they see you in pain and just want you to feel better, so if they don't know what to expect and how to encourage you they can end up wanting you to take the pain meds and undermining your support.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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I am getting ready to read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth again, that book inspires me so much. I read it once at the beginning of my pregnancy and once in the middle, and I said I would read it one more time at the end and I'm just about there, LOL! It just makes me feel like I can do this, so confident. And I really do feel confident. I am just so relaxed and happy, I almost feel like I don't need to do anything special. I am thinking I will probably have a big-ish baby, and I am fine with that. I want a big fat healthy one, and I am confident that I will be fine. I am envisioning a fairly short labor - no specific time frame, just something I can handle. I keep telling myself that it's only for awhile, whatever it is, and then it will be over soon enough.

I was induced with my son (at 39 weeks 5 days if you use my OBs calculations, and not quite 38 if you use mine ) so I really have no expectations this time. I don't know if I will go late or early, I don't know how fast my body will labor naturally, or what it will be like. I don't think I felt a single contraction last time, so my body has been giving me LOTS of BH this time to give me just a taste of the real thing, I think. I do know that I want to have ocean waves crashing, preferably on video, something to look at. I watched a birth video from my MW early in the pregnancy and there was a segment that was just footage of crashing waves and I just KNEW that that would help me while I was in labor. I am also going to have music that I can sing along to - I know that probably sounnds weird, but I am a singer and if I can sing, then my musecles will be relaxed!

I am also concentrating on relaxing my body when I have contractions now - my first instinct is to tense up, but I am reminding myself to relax when they come and hopefully I'll be able to do the same during labor...
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:12 PM
 
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ahwuko~

The only birth I attended, my friend was really worried about her ability to birth a "big" baby. I kept telling her not to worry, she'd be fine, her body could handle an 8-9 pounder no problem, etc., and she wasn't buying it. Then her OB (who was really great, actually) told her he thought she'd be having an 8 pounder. Kinda freaked her out.

When her daughter was born, she was 6.5 pounds. Totally healthy, adorable, and *light*....I think moms have an instinct for how big their babies are going to be. Don't freak yourself out by focusing on what the weight *might* be....your feelings that the baby will be small are probably right-on, so birth with confidence!!

(by the way, with my son James, the super-high-tech ultrasound given at 40 weeks said he'd be 8.5 pounds....when he was born, he was exactly 7 pounds. So much for what the doctors think! )

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 01-09-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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I don't do any classes

we are UP/UCing, but having 7 kids,I have learned... really you can handle anything for 60 seconds....contractions have a beginning, a peak and an end, so I would just focus on when it get's really bad, it's on the way down and it'll only be 20 seconds or so and that one will be over. And that is one more down and one step closer to holding my new baby!
as far as the weight, I have had 6lbers and almost 10lbers, and honestly, position and head size are what is going to make a difference...those 2+lbs are fat & fat squishes
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm fairly sure this baby will be between 6-8 pounds. But for my mental sanity, I'm fixating on 6! Even if I'm fooling myself, it still helps me cope with the idea of pushing something that big out of me.

Lots of great ideas in this thread. Thanks everyone!!

I feel like I'm on a roller coaster and about to go over the edge and I can't get off! Every new month DDC that gets posted puts me one step closer to going over....its really scary but I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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What a great thread!

I keep telling myself that animals do this everyday without drugs or assistance. I have watched cats give birth. Yes, it hurts for them, but they don't go screaming for drugs or anything. They do sometimes scream, so I won't feel too bad if I do. :LOL
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
So far I've decided on "6 pounds" - I'm just convincing myself that there's no way this baby is going to be more than 6 pounds, and I can handle birthing a 6 pound baby, and I'm just going to focus on that!
I truly believe that your body won't grow a baby bigger than you can birth.
Each of my previous babes was just under 9, and I would honestly like a nice 9 pounder this time. (ps no tears or anything from my waterbabies)

I love Birthing From Within, really used the books with both of my pg, and have Pam's Keepsake Journal that I've been working from.

I just wanted to pass along the reminder that affirmations need to be in the positive---your mind won't hear the negatives, so affirmations like "this won't" or whatever could backfire.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:51 PM
 
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DH reminded me the other night that I kept repeating "soon" in labor last time. Even when I was saying how I was "all done" and "didn't want to do this anymore" I kept saying "baby will be here soon" so I guess my labor mantra was "soon" last time.
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Old 01-09-2006, 10:33 PM
 
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All I really want in labor is my husband.

I need lots of touching, and at the end especially for transition I need to have pressure on my clitorus. I know I could never feel comfortable enough to ask for that in a hospital (and I don't know if dh would feel comfortable about it either).

So what I like to do most to get ready is just relaxing and touching dh

Of course you can't beat a hot tub for most of it
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:20 AM
 
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This thread is wonderful! I don't know if I have anything new to add, but I'll post just in case.

For the most part, I've tried to face the fears and anxieties I have about birth and see if they can be expelled or at least acknowledged and put to rest.

Then, I got a few mantras about the work my body's doing and the work the baby's body is doing during labor. One thing that helped me is to learn that besides a cervix dilating and the baby moving downwards, both of our bodies are making important changes that take time and are necessary in labor.

I've worked consistently with my husband on relaxation techniques and birthing techniques so I can feel like we won't be wondering "what in the world should we do!!" So, I feel very confident in us as a team.

I've read lots of other women's birthing stories from this site to blogs to get a real perspective on birth.

And mostly, I focus on the baby and holding her. I want her so badly to come out. I love her and can't for me, my husband, my 4 year old daughter, and her to all be introduced face-to-face.

And, I feel peace around bringing her into our family; feel peace about my body giving birth; and peace about our labor.

**Also, my first baby, my daughter, was 8 lbs. 10 oz.-it wasn't that bad. I pushed her out in 30 minutes. I would give birth to her a million times over if it meant having her in my life. Like other moms have said, giving birth is not the hardest thing you'll do for this baby. So, if your doctor starts telling you she's bigger than 6, don't worry, you'll be fine and you would do it again.
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birth Junky
(*chuckle*) I love that idea . . . but since I was over 9 lbs at birth and DH was just under, I am gearing up for a BIG baby. I will be happy if it weighs in under 10 lbs!

You know, I did the SAME THING.. lol. I was almost 10lbs and way overdue.. (6 weeks by the first EDD mom got, but the docs kept changing it as time went on, lol) and my DH was 9lbs or more.. Can't quite remember the kgs. So i expected our first to be at least 8.5 lbs or bigger.. he came out just barely under 8lbs at 7lbs 14 oz..

So interesting how it all happens. I love the differences and the similarities.. aaah!

I agree, knowing that it is not a pain that is your body saying you are hurt but are doing something productive (like menses) really helps. That said, i had a painfree labor completely. there were a couple hours where it was just so intense I had to be focused in my world of belly dancing (swaying my hips in figure 8s and doing 'yummies') and repeating a mantra of "I love you." which just came out and felt perfect.

This time, I am keeping my mind open to all possibilities and not trying to form any thoughts on how *I* think it should all happen, as you can freak out if it differs, lol.

A couple other things that are important to remember also, esp for those who will be having "progress checks"...

Is that 1. You will not be in labor forever. Each intense squeeze is one less to do to get the baby out. 2. If you are checked and nurse/doc/midwife says you are at 5cm... Know that you can dilate from 0-10cm (complete) within ONE contraction. I have heard so many stories about mamas feeling defeat at this point and thinking there is NO way they can labor for another 5 - 20 hours (or however long it took them to get to this point) until baby is born after hearing about their "progress".. So keep that in mind and don't get down if you are told this and think you still have so many hours to labor.. it may go MUCH quicker than you think once your body and baby get to a certain point.

Mum to DS (8yrs), DD (6yrs), and DS(3.5yrs). kid.gif

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Old 01-10-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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I will have two mantras this time: "I will do anyting for my child" and "this will end."
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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I have to agree aboutthe progress checks. MY MW checked me last time and I was between 3-4 and less than an hour later I was complete. She swore it would be hours yet and nope. It takes me a while to warm up but then things seem to happen quickly.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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for me, I have my dh promise me that I will have absolute total silence during my labor. No TV, radio, conversations (unless I initiate it) and no babies running about breaking my focus.
Now- is that possible with a 3 yr old and a 17 mo old? Not too sure. :LOL

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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