I found this call for advice from a pregnant friend on my social networking feed yesterday…
Hey Mommas! Please PM me your labour and delivery stories! its time to go down that rabbit hole…how long? techniques? interventions? thoughts? feelings? thank you!
…a solicitation for advice! Ooooh, those don’t come along often so I thought that I would offer up my take on the labor experience and get a blog post in at the same time. Readers, please feel free to add your own best words of advice for this new mother-to-be in the comments.
I would start by saying that one’s baby has just as many ideas (in his own fetal way) about how he will be born as any parent, midwife, or doctor. So your baby might come three weeks early or five days late. There are no guarantees here, so embrace the mystery and see this as your first intense team-building exercise with your child. So often, we look at this new life as a passive participant but your child is moving and stretching and trying to “get outta dodge” during childbirth.
Two, abandon the notion of pain. As a mom-to-be, you’ve heard every analogy for childbirth already. Yes, it is vast and intense. And those labor “sensations” are the product of your body and child working in unison to bring that baby out, and by surrendering to the sensations you can let your body do the work.
Imagine what sort of birth you want to have, and abandon the notion of hitting every bullet point. If you go into it thinking it is going to conquer you, then it probably will on some level. If you remember to breathe and sink down into yourself then you are more likely to have an elated experience regardless if the birth is natural or with interventions. Ditch the three-page birth plan and choose the top three non-negotiables; discuss with your birth partner and care provider.
You’ve put hard work into choosing care providers you trust, and you are choosing who you absolutely want to be in the room. One of those people might not work out. If it’s a family member, have your birth partner ask him or her to leave discreetly. If it’s a care provider, your birth partner might have to sink into his or her masculine energies and shield you from that. It’s not likely to happen, but a birthing coach once told me that an overbearing nurse was quieted down immediately when the mama’s husband took off his shirt and embraced his woman. The onus should not be on you in the moment because…
You are going to be rocking this labor, literally! Walk, move, dance (yes, load that ultimate playlist; I am an over-analyzer and made one slow playlist and one booty-shakin’ playlist.) Think of how you remove a ring that is too tight on your finger. You move it from side to side, you might run your finger under water. It works with labor too. Amidst the dance party, you are naturally going to fall into a rhythm and ritual that suits you. I stared at things around the room during contractions, and went back to familiar objects when they got strong….and I made my birth partner breathe me through every contraction. You’re in labor, Woman. Ask for a back massage and a tub soak; no one will turn you down. I knew I was a visual person, so I placed special items around me during my second labor to bring me strength.
Lastly, you are nearing the end of your pregnancy. It has been a rollercoaster of physical and emotional changes, and yet every day you continued to create life. You are creating life right now! Prepare to let the pregnancy stage go as soon as you start to have those first contractions; it is an entirely new experience that will take you to a different apex. And the wonder of it all is that end of it, you are catapulted into parenthood – yet another unique experience. Regardless of whatever type of labor you have, you will be enthralled to no compare once you look into the eyes of this little person.
You go, Girl!