I am due in [name_u]January[/name_u] and I’m super nervous for the actual giving birth part, it just really scares me. So I want to know what you guys did or what helped you get through it or what your experiences were. Thank you so much!
Spinning babies yoga, antenatal swim classes and GentleBirth app- it has a 7 day free trial.
Also educate, educate, educate yourself!
If you use Instagram I recommend mommy.labornurse, mamastefit, labor.nurse.mama and midwifemarley.
I would say to keep an open mind. By all means write a birth plan if that helps you feel calm and in control, but understand that birth is something that just cannot be planned with certainty and try to be educated about and flexible towards any interventions you may need. I know too many mothers who feel like they failed because their birth didn’t go exactly to plan, but it’s not something you can always plan meticulously for.
In labour, try and stay upright and move around as much as possible. It helps to get the baby into the best position and gives you something to do to distract you from the contractions.
Also, eat and drink lots during labour! [name_m]Even[/name_m] just energy gels, sports drinks or sugary sweets. I was in labour for five days with my first and didn’t feel like eating much. I felt sick and shaky and had a dry mouth. In hindsight, I should have forced myself to eat and drink because being in energy deficit like that does not help your body to progress through labour properly. I only realised this after my urine was tested during my second labour and I was in ketosis (i.e. using stored energy reserves) – and that was after a [name_f]Sunday[/name_f] roast a few hours earlier! I can only imagine what my body was doing trying to deal with no food for several days during my first labour.
Everyone’s experience is different, but I honestly found the experience manageable, and I was very lucky in not needing any interventions during labour itself. After birth with my first, I needed an injection to help the placenta detach, as I had lost a little too much blood (nothing major though), and I did need a few stitches, which was unpleasant but again manageable.
Best of luck!
I agree with everything @katinka said. The important thing is to get baby out as safely as possible for both of you and sometimes that means deviating from the plan a bit. And that’s okay.
With my first baby, it was a long labor, and it ended in a vacuum delivery when his heartrate started to mess up right before pushing started. I was glad I’d had the epidural because after so many hours I probably would have been exhausted. Everything was fine in the end and baby was healthy.
With my second baby, it was an induction as they thought he was measuring large, and I had my first baby in the room for the birth, so I had an epidural again so I wouldn’t traumatize him if I started screaming. No problems delivering that time and the birth was only 6.5 hours long.
With my third, I had no one to watch the older kids, so my husband stayed home with them and I gave birth solo at the hospital. It was fast, only 2 hours of active labor and pushing, and no epidural this time. It was extremely intense but again, no problems, and when I give birth for the last time, I hope it resembles the third birth more than the other two.
There is so much adrenaline when you’re in labor and your goal is just to push push push–and then suddenly the baby is out! And everything just kind of stops. They put the baby on your chest and you have your first meeting face to face, baby kind of snuggles in to you, and everything that just happened feels immediately worth it. You remember it all but it has a purpose. And I think that’s important to remember: the contractions are a good thing, they are bringing baby down. The pain pushing is a good thing, it feels almost good to push there’s so much pressure. And while so scary now, by the time you’re 9 months pregnant, you’ll probably feel more ready and over being pregnant and just want your baby in your arms. There’s like a progression of readiness throughout pregnancy to welcome labor.
By far my third was my hardest and most painful birth but I did it and you can too. It’s manageable. And it’s worth it once they give you your baby. This is all just my experience and opinion, so keep that in mind, others might feel differently. Wishing you lots of luck! It’s an amazing experience!
On the topic of birth plans, I suggest making a list of birth preferences for every different set of scenarios you can think of.
For example, I am planning a home birth so I’ve written birth preferences for my Plan A around that
However, I know that it might not go that way so I’ve also researched, considered and written birth preferences for a transfer to hospital from home mid birth, preference for vacuum before forceps in the event of needing an assisted birth, preferences for an elective and an emergency c section.
I know that an induction is not for me so that is very clearly stated across all three plans as non negotiable- my choice would be an elective c section over an induction for personal reasons so again that is mentioned and on all my birth plans.
For me, having researched the options for each scenario I feel much more in control and less scared at the thought of birth. I feel like even if I can’t speak up in the moment my partner and my midwife can advocate for me because they know my preferences for whichever scenario we might end up in.
Hope this helps.
This is very helpful! Thank you:)