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My biggest advice is to work WITH your body rather than against it. For this reason, I found reading the oddly-named Husband Coached Childbirth book to be very helpful.
 

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I'd recommend reading lots of birth stories, including Ina May's Guide to Childbirth if you haven't already read it. I feel like just reading other women's stories, knowing that through many different situations and perceptions they all got through it just empowers and enables you to feel confident in your ability to do it, too.<br><br>
There are also great birth stories, as well as great references for many aspects of birth, home birth, etc, here: <a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk/" target="_blank">http://www.homebirth.org.uk/</a><br><br>
I am really glad for you that you've chosen a home birth for your first birth - that is awesome! You'll do great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Your going to feel alot of different sensations- but just keep in mind your body knows what it's doing.<br>
(you mentioned panicking-- do you have panic attacks? because sometimes in labor you get the same sensations as a panic attack-- but it's perfectly normal and you won't panic)<br>
I don't really think of labor as "painful"-- yeah, it hurts, and some times it hurts alot- every one is different. The less scared you are, the less it hurts. But it's not like a pain of a broken arm, or rotten tooth... it's different, and you will just start dealing with it differently.<br>
Ida May's book is really good- I second that. Her first one "Spiritual Midwifery" is really good too-- tons of awesome birth stories. Women that are comfortable and not scared of birth.<br>
If you have back labor- your dh can push on your back-- your midwife can tell him how- and the bath tub might take alot of the "bad" feeling away. Breath, rock, dance, sing- you'll find a rhythm, I'm sure you'll do wonderful.<br>
Women have been doing this for thousands of years w/o drugs, your one of those strong women- that's why you chose it- deep inside you know you can do it.
 

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Try the water! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Do whatever you can to get the right hormones going during the birth. Whether that's through hypnosis or getting into certain positions or having warm water there, just like with running your goal is to create a natural euphoria (high) to reward your body for working.
 

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The key is your mindset. If you expect pain, prepare for pain, worry about pain, there will be pain. Now, I'm not one of those women who felt orgasmic during labor, but I also really would not classify the sensations as pain (at least not until my OB got involved, but thats another story). Water is very helpful, especially if you have back labor, because it relaxes. As a doula, the things I've been taught about labor sensations are this:<br>
1. Classify your contractions as what level of "intensity" not what level of "pain" they are.<br>
2. Alternating your activities and comfort measure will produce the greatest effect. If you are using a warm compress on your back or belly, it will feel great, at first. Once your body gets used to it, it doesn't give as much relief, so get a cold pack and alternate.<br>
3. The Gate Theory-Your body can only focus on one sensation at a time. If you use another sensation like deep tissue massage, hot shower, tickling fingertips up and down your spine, your brain has to choose between feeling those things and feeling pain. So, when a difficult rush begins, have your partner or doula do something to you.<br>
4. Relax, the more you relax, the more each rush can achieve and the less it will hurt you.<br>
Husband Coached Childbirth, I agree. Also try Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. The Bradley Method was developed more for a how to achieve natural childbirth even in a hospital, but it has good excersizes for relaxation and is helpful in preparing a birth partner for what to expect and what to do.<br>
Make a rice sock that can be popped in the micro for a hot pack or kept in a freezer for a cold pack. Also, throw a few tennis balls in a sock to make a great deep tissue massager; a must have for posterior babies, as "back labor" will exhaust your support staff's massaging muscles.
 

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After having two homebirths, the second being a waterbirth not two weeks ago, I would highly recommend something like hypnobirth as well as trying a waterbirth. My waterbirth was very successful! Even my first birth was manageable (pain-wise) because of my inherent belief in my body's capability. But this second birth was much easier (probably because of but not limited to the fact of it being the second). I believe it was mostly because I focused my energy during each contraction, pushed using my abdominal muscles as well as each contraction, and because of the water. It was VERY helpful <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Read anything you can get your hands on about positive, normal birth experiences. Then, while your body is doing all the crazy things it is going to do, you will understand what is happening (even if it is unpleasant) and know that it will lead to the next phase and then your baby. Trust your body.
 

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I agree that it's all a mindset. i had my first baby at home and I NEVER once contemplated leaving my house to go to the hospital and the thought of drugs NEVER crossed my mind. It was te very best thing I have EVER done in my whole life!!!!!<br><br>
You are stronger than you think!
 

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This will be my second child but my first was born in the hospital with an epidural. I'm planning on a waterbirth to help with the pain and right now I'm reading the book, Birthing From Within that my midwife let me borrow and it's REALLY awesome and inspiring.
 

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I haven't given birth either but I am a doula and childbirth educator so I know where you are coming from. I have been with many women in labor but don't know what to expect myself. But I am DEFINITELY planning a homebirth for my first.<br><br>
I love to see all of the suggestions for Hypnosis (I am a trained Hypnobabies Instructor, almost certified) because it trains you that you will not interpret your sensations as pain (and it seems that many people here didn't interpret them that way anyway! Birth doesn't have to be torture.) and it really addresses fears. I think that's an important part of preparation.<br><br>
Read all the positive birth stories you can!!!! Many of the descriptions on this thread are worth saving!<br><br>
I always tell myself that the women I doula for that don't do so well with the pain are also in the hospital - a place where most people are tense and uncomfortable! They are tied to things! They are unsure about things their doctors are telling them (sometimes)! This must cause some fear, tension, anxiety....none are good for a laboring woman. I tell myself that I will be more comfortable in my home than anywhere else.<br><br>
This thread has helped me too because I don't know what labor feels like either. I just know I can do it.
 

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I remember being well into labor, and saying 'Now I know why most women get pain killers for this, but I am not most women.' It is all about attitude. I wasn't scared of the pain, I had accepted that it would happen before it started, and I knew it wouldn't last forever. I read Ina May's book, which is exceptional. Let you midwife lead you in pain relieving positions, she knows what she is doing!<br><br>
You are probably too close to delivery date to benefit from all hypnobirthing has to offer but it is still great to read about the reasons for pain in labor, and how women have successfully overcome it (my sister being one). I practiced for months and still couldn't really execute it during labor, but the knowledge I had obtained still helped me know exactly what was going on down there.<br><br>
Oh, and don't look at the clock. Your sense of time is probably going to get messed up, I remember being surprised at how long I had been laboring, but w/ no clock it only felt like 1/2 the time!
 

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i would watch as many videos of homebirths as possible so you know what to expect. (do a google search or search on youtube.com)<br><br>
take rescue remedy each time you feel scared and do some deep breathing. many women find mantras or affirmations helpful. "i will have a positive and joyful birth." (or whatever makes sense to you) don't ignore the fear you have now, deal with it proactively. fear and pain is not a good combination. being empowered and in pain is a WAY different thing.<br><br>
i would also read the mothering article on "ecstatic birth."<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/articles/pregnancy_birth/birth_preparation/ecstatic.html" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr.../ecstatic.html</a><br><br>
"birthing from within" might be a helpful book to you also.<br><br>
you do not need to fear the pain of childbirth at home, there are many things you can do to effectively deal with it... trapped in a hospital bed, not able to move around and secretly given pitocin is something to fear...
 

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I read over and over Birthing From Within <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup"> , and didn't necessarily do all of the tasks, but did use all the coping tools. I think this book is a lifesaver! Also, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. PPs also suggested these, but ITA!!!
 

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I like to think of the pain of childbirth as productive pain. Yes, it hurts, but you get a wonderful, too perfect-for-words reward at the end. When you break a toe, have a migraine, or nearly slice off your finger, there is no wonderful reward at the end<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I had my first at home (it was great!) and I am a big weenie, too. Labor pain is very manageable if you can stay relaxed. And if you freak out during one hard contraction, you get a break, and then a chance to try again. Labor is nice that way, lots of breaks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Natural birth is such a high...it was seriously the best day of my life, and not because I got a baby at the end (although that was nice, too). Labor in itself was a rewarding experience.
 

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Regarding the pain - you are ALREADY doing the most important thing to minimize pain, you are birthing at HOME! The worst labor stories you will hear, with the worst pain, you'll notice were in hospitals, flat on back, with pit. and other interventions. You are headed in the right direction for sure! Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heidi_m</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6484142"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd recommend reading lots of birth stories, including Ina May's Guide to Childbirth if you haven't already read it.</div>
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YES YES YES!!!! Read the book!!! btw- my first was posterior, 9 pounds, and I was in a hospital, they did end up scaring me into taking the epidural. That was worse than the pain, what happened is that it numbed my legs, lungs, and stomach, but I felt EVERYTHING in my back. Then they stuck in a cathtater and tore my urethra. Mt labor was stalled and I wasn't progressing at all. Then a nurse came in who rubbed my arms and legs softly. 30 minutes later I was pushing.<br><br>
Long story short- relaxation is key, and where else but your home can you truly relax? Also- DEFINATELY read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth......that book is amazing lol
 
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