Am I crazy for not doing much to prepare for labor this time? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 03-25-2011, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just feel like I did so much to prepare for labor the first time around, and it totally blew my mind, wasn't anything I expected, hurt like hell, and lasted forever, that all that preparation didn't really "prepare" me. I feel like, with absolutely no preparation this time, I feel more prepared already having been through it once. I've been doing breathing exercises, because that was fairly helpful last time, but out of everything I learned, that was the only thing that was helpful. Is anyone else just winging it this time? I read Birthing From Within, took the class, did prenatal yoga, drank an insane amount of RRL tea, took evening primrose oil, everything I was supposed to do, and had a long, painful back labor, bled afterward almost to the point of the midwife having to call 911, and had a 3rd degree tear. I just don't feel like preparing anymore this time will help me at all. Am I crazy?


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#2 of 10 Old 03-25-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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I was like this both this pregnancy and last. Honestly, last pregnancy I slept so much that with another child and a full time job, there wasn't time to prepare.  This time, I'm trying but I'm just not as into it. I think maybe I will make a list of strategies for dealing with the pain for dh to suggest.  I just haven't done it yet :)

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#3 of 10 Old 03-25-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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I think you should still try and prepare mentally for your birth especially if you had a difficult time last time.  I felt like I did all that I was supposed to for my first birth and after things didn't go for as hoped I felt like what was the point of all that, but really it did make a difference over all.  My next two births I didn't prepare as much and I think it made things a little harder.  This time I feel like I'm almost over preparing to the point where I'm getting a little tired of it all.  I really needed to process my births and now I feel so much better about giving birth than I did earlier in the pregnancy.

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#4 of 10 Old 03-25-2011, 08:48 PM
 
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I felt this way before my second baby.  My first birth went without a hitch (for the most part - having clots manually removed from my uterus with no pain relief was not exactly a fun experience and definitely skewed my impression of the birth, I think), but I came away from it feeling almost a little traumatized.  I was SO focused on how painful labour had been.  It kind of consumed me for the first few days, I had some issues with pp blues (it was almost more like a short-lived depression, thankfully it got better quickly on its own, so maybe not a real depression, but worse IMHO than your standard baby blues).

 

Anyway, for #2 I read Birthing from Within and Ina May's book in like my second trimester, and that was it.  I didn't practice breathing or all those other things.  And I came away from my second birth (this one at home, without that nasty clot removal!!) feeling at peace with it.  It was just as painful and I just wanted it over with, but this time the memory of the pain faded so much faster and I fell in love with my baby immediately instead of a week or more after his birth.  I'm not saying that's because I didn't do much prep, but like Mrs Bone said I think having been through it once before prepped me in the sense that I was less overwhelmed by it all.

 

I am doing even less this time (I have Ina May's book on hold at the library, but it's taking forever to come through..I might have to cave and buy it if I want to get it read before baby!), but I have that nagging thought in the back of my mind that maybe I should prepare more.  I find thinking about all the women in my life who did this before me is the most helpful image to keep in mind; on that note, I am going to get my mom to bring a letter my grandmother (who birthed 9 babies) wrote to my mom when she was awaiting my birth. 

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#5 of 10 Old 03-25-2011, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepetals View Post

I felt this way before my second baby.  My first birth went without a hitch (for the most part - having clots manually removed from my uterus with no pain relief was not exactly a fun experience and definitely skewed my impression of the birth, I think), but I came away from it feeling almost a little traumatized.  I was SO focused on how painful labour had been.  It kind of consumed me for the first few days, I had some issues with pp blues (it was almost more like a short-lived depression, thankfully it got better quickly on its own, so maybe not a real depression, but worse IMHO than your standard baby blues).

 

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that has had this happen before...I had to have clots removed with my first as well...it was SO painful...I had to use breathing techniques to get through it.

 

To OP:  I don't think you're nuts...but if you are then I am too.  Before my 2nd I didn't do any prep...and he's been my easiest birth yet...I'm hoping this one is like his.  I haven't done much this time either...the extent of my prep is drinking a mix of nettle, RRL, oatstraw and Comfrey Leaf and taking my supplements including iron.  Otherwise I'm not doing anything special and really never have...last pregnancy I read through Ina May's book and took supplements again, but that was all the extra I did.  So I think you're fine and being not worried is a huge deal I think with being relaxed about laboring again.

 

Oh and if you count the chiropractor I see one as well...but I do that when not pregnant too so I don't think of it as extra prep.
 

 


S, mama to L(DD)-12/04, K(DS1)-12/06, C(DS2)-03/09 & B(DS3)-05/11

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#6 of 10 Old 03-27-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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Make sure you know about birthing positions and techniques to prevent tears. I found hands and knees to be a great position personally when it came to pushing. Keep in your mind that you need to do your best to relax during labor, etc. I don't think you have to do a ton. I'd just have my house somewhat in order, maybe have some meals planned and a meal ready to go (frozen or whatever), and that kind of thing. You know, just some basics. I personally feel like knowledge helps me relax and feel confident. Knowing exactly what I'd prefer to have happen and knowing somewhat how to handle things if they don't go as planned. 


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#7 of 10 Old 03-27-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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I'm with you.  Pretty much zero prep.  I prepared the first three times with Bradley and also used Hypobabies the third time.  Bradley did help with the first two (long, painful) labors, but I ended up with a C/S both times.  The third time I was even more prepared and never even got to go into labor.  At 41w + 3d my midwife dropped me and told me to go in for a C/S.  I felt I had no other choice.  This time, I feel I probably won't be supported to VBA3C (tried to find support and the only one even halfway supportive hasn't said "yes"), and will just end up with another C/S, so what is the point?


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#8 of 10 Old 03-27-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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I was going to say I haven't really done anything to prepare either (this is my third child), but I think you make a good point... knowledge IS preparation.  I feel pretty confident in my knowledge of good things to help me through labor (I just recently read The Birth Partner, which highlights a lot of this stuff).  But I'm also hoping to find a doula (currently looking). ;)  My husband has been gone since before I found out I was pregnant, so I'm actually more concerned about HIS lack of preparation (this is his first biological child, so he wasn't there for the first two kiddos) than I am my own. 

 

I'm sure I'd be doing more to prepare if I were planning a home birth or UC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dayiscoming2006 View Post

Make sure you know about birthing positions and techniques to prevent tears. I found hands and knees to be a great position personally when it came to pushing. Keep in your mind that you need to do your best to relax during labor, etc. I don't think you have to do a ton. I'd just have my house somewhat in order, maybe have some meals planned and a meal ready to go (frozen or whatever), and that kind of thing. You know, just some basics. I personally feel like knowledge helps me relax and feel confident. Knowing exactly what I'd prefer to have happen and knowing somewhat how to handle things if they don't go as planned. 



 


Beth
Mama to DD 2.18.03, DS 3.18.06, DD 5.7.11

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#9 of 10 Old 03-27-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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I guess I'm preparing more (mentally) for the birth than for the actual labor I guess. I haven't really read much, and I'm not taking any classes. I seem to more or less hypnotize myself "naturally" with my breathing, and my body just does what it does, seemingly with or without me. I just try to get out of the way!

 

My first two labors were nearly identical with the exception of back labor in the first and not the second, and I'm having a hard time imagining this birth being any different, yet trying to remember that nine years later and with my third child, it could be radically different.

 

My big plan is to get into a big tub of warm water as soon as it feels right and stay there! LOL.. but I know being warm (I was freezing) with my first would've helped me to relax and cope with the back labor even better (I've had fairly short labors, so that makes a big difference too) than I did, and I know being in the tub was insanely soothing during my second labor, even though I was unable to birth in the water (hospital rules - they had to lift me out because I wasn't going under my own power). I barely tore, needing no stitches, with both kids, and I feel like the only way I can improve on the second birth is to be in the water when this LO shows up. As far as positions.., I was always very mobile during labor so I don't think that will change, (walking and bouncing/rocking on a birth ball for the most part until the tub) and breathing slowly and deeply while focusing on exhaling with a vibrating "vvvvvvvvvvv" or "MMMMMMM" seemed to keep me fairly relaxed.

 

If all of that changes this time... it should be interesting. :)

 

ETA: I am doing RRL and nettle tea this time - didn't do it the last two times - and trying to keep up with walking, pelvic tilts and some *very* moderate pilates designed for third tri women, none of which I tried before. Hoping the tea in particular will help to tone down the post partum bleeding.


It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 05:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by feelinhot View Post

I think you should still try and prepare mentally for your birth especially if you had a difficult time last time.  I felt like I did all that I was supposed to for my first birth and after things didn't go for as hoped I felt like what was the point of all that, but really it did make a difference over all.  My next two births I didn't prepare as much and I think it made things a little harder.  This time I feel like I'm almost over preparing to the point where I'm getting a little tired of it all.  I really needed to process my births and now I feel so much better about giving birth than I did earlier in the pregnancy.



This was similar to my experience.  First birth I did HypnoBirthing course and NCT ante natal class, and was generally very absorbed in the whole experience of a first pregnancy and preparation for birth.  The actual birth was definitely tougher and more painful than I had been anticipating, though I still felt that the positive mindset that all the preparation had provided me had been worth it (if not the techniques themselves)

 

Second birth I guess I felt a combination of not worth bothering as lots of the techniques hadn't really made any difference, and as I'd now been there done it once, I would have any of the bits that had been useful internalised so didn't need to go over it again.  Though the second birth was very similar to the first in almost all ways, I felt I had a much tougher time of it and was on some level not "ready" and thus not welcoming/helping the labour along, and this was on a level that I had no control over once I'd started. 

 

It's funny actually because my husband insists that the second birth was much easier and smoother than the first (in his experience, sure, having much fewer anxieties the second time around) and refuses to believe that I feel quite the opposite. 

 

This time I'm trying to strike a balance and focus my preparation on what I feel have caused me difficulties in the past - the feeling of dread that hit me when the contractions started with my 2nd birth and I remembered what I was in for; as a result of this, trying to deny or push the labour away rather than welcoming it; releasing the fear that has built up inside me regarding birth, despite my generally "good" experiences (from the outside everything went very well!) and belief in the positive side of natural birth; releasing control and trusting in my body's ability to cope; cutting down on the techniques for relaxation and calmness that I call on that in the past have just confused me as I've been jumping from one to the other, not feeling any are really helping and focussing instead on one or two key ideas. 

 

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