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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed that quite a few of us have been through labor at least once, and I could personally talk about it for hours
. I was just wondering if the first time moms would be interested in what we learned or think is important during labor....Heck, this would be great for all of us
 

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I think the most important thing about labor is to not have too many expectations. You may be amazed at how you like/dislike things you were so sure of. Last time I was so ready to soak in the huge garden tub. Once I sat down in it, I could only handle it for about 5 minutes. I HATED it. I couldn't believe it b/c I had visualized the birth happening there. I ended up needing to labor the entire time standing up, swaying my hips in a figure 8 pattern and vocalizing a LOT. I was completely surprised, but it was like my body "told" me what to do and it helped so much.
 

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ITA with what Paige said....Don't have too many expectations, or at least be flexible.

You have no idea what you are capable of and what you will/won't like until you are actually doing it.

I had a slight hang up during my labor because I was very surprised that I wasn't one of those moms who just sat there, moaned a little, and looked otherwise peaceful. All I wanted to do was pace and crawl around, cry, and moo like a cow (okay, not literally moo, but that's what it sounded like in my head). That scared me and I was a bit panicky. My DH reminded me that it was okay to lose control. I transitioned and birthed my dd shortly after I gave up on my vision of a peaceful-looking birth. It's okay if you have to act like a total nutty, whack-job if that's what it's going to take to get your baby out.
 

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the only exspectations i have of birth are things that are to help me relax. i have some music to listen to. i had actually listed to the SAME cd over and over and over......for about 12 hours when i was in labor with ds.....everyone else was going NUTS and finally changed it.....amazinly i didn't care (that they changed it or that it had repeated for 12 hours
). it was background noise that happened to be soothing.

for this birth i don't exspect to do anything.
ok not literally but i hear about people who want to have a water birth, or squat when the baby comes out or even stand pushing. i am going to print up a list (with pics) of birthing positions and choose when i get to that stage. if the tubs open (birth center) i will use it if i like it....if i feel good enough to stay there fine, if not i didn't have my heart set on it.

its easier to answer questions than to just write up everything.
the big thing is to know whats best for your baby. RELAX!!!!!! have someone who knows you and can answer for you if need be around. the worst thing is having a thought or answer to a question in your head and you are to "lost" in your head to vocalize it
the hospital wanted to break my water and kept asking and asking and asking (and i had a contraction everytime they asked...). before the birth i didn't want to have my water broke but i was so involved and muddled in the head i didn't know what to do (transition DUH!!!). they broke my water
: i wish i had vocalized more before the birth that it didn't need to be broken. its ok tho. it was a small thing in something that could be much worse!!!
 

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I walked a lot, just kept moving and moving and moving. I don't think it reduced the pain, but it did help me to deal with it. It's really hard to keep your consciousness in your head. Don't scream and try to escape. You have to stay inside your head, inside your body and work with the pain. If you go 'away', it has to be inside your body, not outside. I don't know if that made sense.

I focused on pushing just slightly down, as though evacuating the last of my bladder. Doing this kept me from tightening my pelvic floor. Whenever the pain was so bad I want to scream and run and climb the walls AWAY, I had to remember to push my pelvic floor down and out and to move move move move. Close my eyes and stay inside my body. I was afraid that if I let myself out of my head, I would lose control and start tightening my pelvic floor and screaming. Once I found this rhythm and understanding of myself I was able to keep at it and work with my contractions.

Having a homebirth will help this even more next time b/c I really need the mental space to work with my body. If medicos are interfering and interrupting, it makes it much more difficult.

Hope that doesn't scare anyone.
 

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The most important thing I learned in my (count 'em) 4 labour experiences is that it's okay to be bossy in that situation.

What I mean to say is that when I was labouring with my first son, there were so many people in the room that it looked like a press conference. (With about that many cameras, as well!
) Finally, I just couldn't handle it any longer, and I ordered everyone out. (Inadvertantly causing much mumbling and grumbling.)

The next 3 labours, I only had the people I wanted in the room with me (even if it meant that my then stbx was not invited to my daughter's birth, and that my sisters were my birthcoaches, instead.)

The point is, you are the star of this little show. If you want to listen to the same CD for 12 hours, you can. If you want the lights dimmed, that should be accomodated. If you want to lie in bed, walk around, squat, sit in the tub, do jumping jacks, whatever....then everyone else needs to honour that and get out of your way (or hold your hand, if that's what you want).

Don't be afraid to get a little bossy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kathirynne
Don't be afraid to get a little bossy.

Excellent advice! EVERY first time mama needs to know that. Remember if you are having a hospital birth that you are a PAYING customer and you deserve things to be how you want them.
 

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Don't think about how far you've gone, or how far you have yet to come, and swear off vaginal exams - YOU DON'T NEED THEM and they will only discourage you.

After 30+ hours of labour (in a total of 44) my mantra was, "I can do this right now, I am doing this right now"

Only, only, only focus on what you're doing right now - and how you're doing it. Pat yourself on the back: you're doing great!

If I moaned about how I'd gone 30 hours and was still only at 3cm I'd have just died. On the second night I called my midwife and said I felt like giving up and she came over at 3am after NO sleep and stayed with me to let me know I COULD do it.
At the very end I felt so great that I did do it, all of it, all 44 hours of it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Don't think about how far you've gone, or how far you have yet to come
Excellent advice! I am a big Ina May Gaskins fan and I heard her alot during my labor. I personally can't close my eyes in labor because I becomethe contraction, I totally go into it. So it was important for me to look around, and eye contact with DH and my MW really helped give me strength. One thing that Ina May says is "don't complain" in labor. When I first read that I thought, what a b****! Then I remembered it in labor, and realized she was right. I knew that if I vocalized my fears/pain/exhaustion and nobody did anything to make it better I would totally panic. So I didn't complain and I think that it is great advice! It's also important to remember that yeah, labor is painful, but the great thing about contractions is that they stop, completly, in between. How merciful that is. I would say it's a really great idea to try and sleep, or at least totally relax your body, between contractions. And try to see pushing as your active part in getting the baby out (I personally loved pushing, but some women see it as their least favorite part). Most importantly though....DON'T BE AFRAID! Our bodies are so amazing, and beyond capable of giving birth (I mean, we actually make a human being for 40 weeks, that in and of itself is totally amazing). Have confidence in your body and yourself, you can do it!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Piper's mama...but the great thing about contractions is that they [B
stop, completly, in between. How merciful that is.


Heh, during my labour they didn't!! I had 'aftershocks' and never got the "down" phase of contractions - it's kind of what screwed me up toward the end.
The cause of this? ME!!! ME being way, way too excited about being in labour for the first time and obsessing over clock watching so I didn't end up eating OR sleeping! That causes maternal exhaustion, which caused all the extra painful after shocks from being so weakened. I managed to get out of it, but boy... not doing that again.

I want to go back and shake my former labouring self and say, "Relax! It's just birth! This happens every single day to hundreds of thousands of women, stop obsessing!"
Eat, drink, sleep and be merry.
 

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This is all great advice mamas! Even though this is my 4th labor and birth, this is my first time going about it in an informed manner and at home. I love reading about everyone's experiences and advice. I know I'll need it when the time finally comes
 

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let's see....off the top of my head, these come to mind:

Be familiar with the choices you get to make during labor and birth. At the time they will ask you if you want this or that, is not the time to try to figure out what they are offering!!

Eat and drink as long as you are able to. Labor is an endurance event!

Change positions every 20-30 minutes. Pee every hour. If you don't feel like you have to pee, you're not drinking enough!


Leave your judgements at the door! Labor is unpredictable. Pay attention to your intuition, your gut. If your heart wants to roar and this is "so unlike you," ROAR, baby! If something doesn't feel right, speak up!

If someone is in the room who does not feel helpful (interns, mothers, MILs, friends) or is not medically essential, have your partner ask them to leave!
 

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Labor is not a creshendo starting out being very very small and getting larger and larger and then ultimately 10cm and pushing being the most painful. It's a spiral of contractions and rest. It will hit a point at which it won't get harder, it will get more intense feeling, but it is nothing you 'can't' do.

That's my answer when anyone says "If it is this hard at 5cm, how hard will it be by 10!?!"

Don't be afraid to make noise. Good labor sounds like good sex.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Golden
Be familiar with the choices you get to make during labor and birth. At the time they will ask you if you want this or that, is not the time to try to figure out what they are offering!!
I think this is excellent advice!! I remember reading in a book (don't remember which one) that if you don't know what choices you have, you don't have any choices. In other words inform yourself
Be flexable, but informed!
 
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