Sunday, December 4, 2011

Laborious Thoughts, or What Have I Gotten Myself Into Now?

The clock is ticking! The countdown is on.... we are roughly two months out from baby's arrival, give or take a few weeks. And as that unknown date approaches, I find myself - once again! - intimidated by the thought of going through childbirth again.

Really, I thought I'd gotten past all of that. After all, I've had two unmedicated homebirths. While they were tough and extremely challenging, they were also empowering, transformational, and life-changing. I'm very happy with them.

But.... they were also hard. And the thought of doing it again is quite intimidating.

Of course, it doesn't help that - aside from the usual Bradley exercises - I haven't really done any preparation for this birth. We briefly considered taking childbirth classes, but the astronomical cost (class + babysitting = big bucks) was a bit off-putting. And my free time seems to have dwindled to near-zero, so the thought of listening to a 30-40 minute Hypnobirthing or Hypnobabies tape every night - when I am dead tired and just wanting SLEEP - is less than motivating.

So there it is! I find myself fearing this upcoming birth. Which I shouldn't, of course. My body was made to do this, I can trust God to get me through it, and I have an amazing birth team to support me - DH, one of our doulas from last time, and a great valley midwife.

And I know I'll get through it. It's just the challenge of doing so!

One thing that I know will help is the fact that we have a great doula. The difference between my first and second births, doula-wise, was amazing. With our first birth, we had a lovely woman as doula, but she was just too hands-off for what I needed. I'm the wimpy kind who needs coaching and hand-holding through each and every contraction (though I didn't know that at the time). With my second birth, my two doulas were absolutely awesome (they're the hand-holding type!), and it was so much better. I had no idea what a difference a doula could make!! Absolutely phenomenal.

And of course, it always helps to have done it before. At least there's no fear of the unknown.

So... Does anyone out there have any suggestions for labor prep? Advice, suggestions, stern lectures, etc.? If so, bring it on!

In the meantime, I'll just get back to my chanting - "I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!" (Or maybe not, since I can't stand that children's book. Must find new mantra.)


  1. I'm a rookie compared to you but my labor might be longer than both of yours combined ;)

    My only advice for every woman is that I think that this habit of creating a birth experience is very American, and at the very least, very first world. No matter what happens, even if you end up in the dreaded hospital, you have it better than most of the rest of the women around the world, so try not to concentrate too hard on creating an experience. At the end of the day, the safe birth of your child is what matters. And God already has all of the details in His hands and knows the final outcome. Rest in that.

    Love you. And now that I'm home (FOREVER!! I swear I'm never leaving again!), I do want to get together with you!

  2. Hi, Jen! So nice to have you back home! We'll definitely have to get together soon - just let me know what works! (Loved the pics and updates on your blog!)

    You're definitely right about the birth experience phenomenon! I will definitely have to focus on that. I think my main problem is just not dealing with pain very well - I really do tend to panic, despite my best efforts. And "relaxing through contractions" is something that lasts about, oh, maybe five minutes, LOL!! But we'll see. Maybe I'll have one of those fast and easy births - that would be fun!!

    Love you!!! :)

  3. p.s. Yes, your labor was longer than both of mine combined (Mine were 18h7m and 7h11m). :)

  4. But you don't have to get through another labor, or even think about it. All you have to do right now is think of getting through that first contraction. After that one, just think about getting through the next one, after that think about getting through the next...and soon you won't be thinking anymore and then baby will be here! :)

  5. Becky - you are so right! That's what my doula always says - just one contraction at a time. I'll keep that in mind!! :)


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