Calming Nerves About Labor and Delivery?

Any suggestions?

I am due in march. I really have not been nervous at all until just the past week or so, as things are starting to get more real! I start my childbirth prep class in [name_u]January[/name_u], and I’m hoping that helps. I am going into it with the attitude that I’d like it to be as natural as possible, but I’m also willing to go with the flow and see how my body handles things. I’m not so nervous about the pain necessarily. Hospitals give me some anxiety, as does anything medically related. Drug side effects scare me. So it is silly but I think I’m most nervous about having bad anxiety! I usually don’t have bad anxiety if I’m well rested. So I’m hoping with all my heart that I go into labor in the morning. It is at night when I get over tired that I start to melt down completely. I hate thinking about waking up in labor in the middle of the night, having to change, and go to the hospital dispriented and Exhausted! I’m also nervous about nausea, as I HATE nausea and that gives me anxiety too. Does anyone know if they allow zofran during Labor?

I’m just trying to keep my mind on the fact that most labors don’t have a ton of complications, and no matter what, it is only a day of my life! So no matter how bad it gets, it won’t be forever! And I am trying to tell myself that it will all be for my little boy! So that will be some drive as well.

Anyways. I would love some advice if you have any to offer!!

I have no idea if they allow Zofran but you are usually allowed to eat & drink while you wander around waiting to dilate, so bring some chamomile/lavender tea and that should help calm your nerves & keep you relaxed (and hydrated). Most women don’t need to run off to the hospital (that is all very Hollywood) so if you have your hospital bag packed ahead of time (and write yourself a little checklist for last-minute things to throw in there) you will probably have time for a nice warm bath or shower before you need to leave home. You will probably notice labour starting & then have some time to kill before your contractions or whatever get intense enough for you to have to head to the hospital.
Ask your doctor or midwife about the Zofran or if you can take Hyland’s Calms [name_m]Forte[/name_m] or Rescue Remedy, now as well as during labour - they are non-medicinal anxiety relievers. My doctor told me I can take Calms [name_m]Forte[/name_m] during pregnancy and it has been a lifesaver on a few of those restless nights. I’m not sure what they allow during labour & delivery but if not those they will have other sedatives they can give you if you feel stressed.
As for the nausea, that’s par for the course, I’m afraid. Happens to just about everyone. You can take Gravol if you like, and come to think of it, that would probably help you with your anxiety too, to some degree.

My experience with my first daughter was fairly unusual, in that my water broke first thing in the morning before I felt any contractions at all. I had some back pain the night before & it made sleep difficult, so even if you start labour in the morning it doesn’t necessarily mean you will feel well rested.
You will have a few moments of panic, definitely. But instincts are pretty awesome things, your body will know what needs to be done. If you can stay focused and positive (my husband and I were cracking jokes through most of my labour) you are going to get through it just fine.

Take your class in [name_u]January[/name_u], and after that you might feel more confident & prepared for what is to come. If you are still feeling anxious more than you think you should be, consider having a Doula there with you. A Doula can help you through labour & keep you calm, advocate for you if the hospital staff starts pushing for unnecessary intervention and things like that. They usually know about the side effects of different drugs, so if you are starting to feel like you need something a Doula can help you in making that decision.

I am not sure about Zofran during labor, but I know it’s ok during pregnancy so I think your odds are pretty good.

All I can say is that towards the end if you are able to, take naps if the mood strikes you. On the day I went into labor I randomly slept in for the first time in years and I think it was because my body just knew I would be needing that extra rest.

I was always a pretty anxious person and luckily I went into labor early so I hadn’t gotten into full anxiety mode quite yet! Once I was in labor I was really in the moment & not thinking about side effects or any future-tense anxieties. Not sure if that’s the usual way it goes, but for me I was so focused on getting through each contraction and learning how to push a baby out!

[name_m]Both[/name_m] of my labors weren’t a sudden “OMG I’M IN LABOR” sort of thing but more of contractions starting out not painful and getting painful and then more frequent and I actually took a nap before my labor really started with my son.

I just gave birth on Thanksgiving so it’s still very fresh for me. And I was very, very anxious about it as she was my first. My number one suggestion: hire a doula if you can. The cost varies from doula to doula (based on their education and experience level) but we put it on a credit card because it was so critical to my emotional well being. The fee for ours was $1000 (including 3 pre-natal get-to-know-you visits, birth, and 2 post-natal visits, unlimited emails and phone calls) and she was more than worth every penny. We interviewed 3 different ones and picked the one that fit best with my personality. And she was there for the entire 20 hours of contractions and she stayed thru the c-section until I got to recovery. And she stopped by last week just to check in. [name_m]Just[/name_m] having her there made a world of difference to anxiety level. Here’s some great references in case you don’t know much about them and what they do:

This is great information and you can click “Find a doula” to help you locate one close to you: http://www.dona.org/

http://americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/havingadoula.html

http://www.childbirth.org/doula123.html

Good luck and take care of yourself!

Zofran is most certainly allowed in labor.

I ditto hiring a doula, and also talking to a many moms you know who have given birth. Google. “Positive birth stories” and read those.
I chose out of hospital births with 3 of mine and they went well, much less anxiety however I know that isn’t an option for everyone.

You sound very much the way I did before I had my first. I Also hired a doula and have to say it was the best money I ever spent. [name_m]Just[/name_m] having her there helped me stay calm. I love my husband but neither of us had done this before so just having someone there to guide and calm me was amazing. I just focused on her and zoned out everything else. Here are the things that Were true for me that I wish I knew before I had my first:

  1. My contractions came on very fast (every minute and a half from my first contraction). The first thing I did was try to do something distracting and calming, in my case having a shower. I shaved my legs, dried my hair, etc. It sounds stupid but I found doing something mundane helped kill time and distracted me. The irony was that my water broke 10 minutes after I was all done and I was a mess again but distracting myself was good for me. My doula also recommends doing something like baking cookies.

  2. This was the biggest for me - don’t fight your body. My instinct was to clench and tense up every time I had a contraction. My doula kept saying over and over again, relax your neck, relax your shoulders. It felt like it was her mantra -haha. I found that the more relaxed my body was, the less the contractions hurt. It was counter intuitive and hard to do but worked well for me. I also threw up like a mad person and while this didn’t make me feel better I think just succumbing to whatever my body needed helped me.

  3. This was the hardest thing for me but my favourite part of labour for my was the crazy high I felt afterwards. I was insane for a full 24 hours post birth and there were no drugs in my system so I know it was just endorphins, adrenaline, etc. i will try to focus on this feeling next time I’m in labour although during labour if you had told me this I probably would have screamed at you. It actually helps me look forward to another labour crazy as that sounds. I felt like I could have run a marathon, climbed a mountain, etc. This feeling for me was separate from the elation I felt of the arrival of my baby which brings me to point 4.

  4. No matter how your labour goes you get to meet your baby in the end. Whether you do it with drugs or without, vaginally or by c-section, in ideal circumstances or not, you get to become a parent and it will hands down be one of the most life changing events if your life. I hope the stars all align for you to have your labour go according to your plan but even if they don’t, you should be just as proud of what you have accomplished. I think we are increasingly putting more pressure on ourselves to have “natural” births, be breastfeeding goddesses, and do everything as naturally as possible. The one thing I have come to appreciate as a new mother is that while it is good to have ideals, there is a time to stick to them and there is a time where it’s ok to let them go. Having a baby is absolutely incredible and your experience will be perfect for you.

Wishing you all the best!