My midwife asks me every appointment, "what do feel about labor?" What do I feel about it? What's that supposed to mean?
So, I am going to attempt answer this question...
...labor is different for everyone. Some people have easy labor that lasts a few hours and others have hard labor that lasts for days.
...typically for first time mothers, labor lasts about 14 hours and is harder as those areas have never been so stretched.
...with the thought that I'm having a big kid, for my friend's biggest baby - over 9 pounds - she only labored just over 2 hours...but it was her 4th kid.
...that having the baby at a birthing center, there will be no option for pain medication.
...that having the baby in the water is supposed to ease labor pain - it's like a natural epidural.
...that with a water birth I am less likely to tear.
...that doing the perineal massage should help stretch the birth area out to make the 2nd stage of labor easier and help avoid tears.
...that taking the evening primrose oil is supposed to ready my cervix so hopefully there won't be a long pause in labor due to waiting on effacement.
...that having my husband and our friend as a doula will make a world of difference as I'll be fully supported the whole time.
...that contractions don't necessarily have to be painful, but are uncomfortable.
The thing I'm worried most about in labor is not knowing that it's started. Our midwife explains that I'll be getting contractions at a regular rate. I'm not even sure I've even FELT a contraction. On occassion I'll feel my tummy and note that it's hard, but the only reason I know it's hard is because I'm feeling it with my hand. Our plan is to go to my parents place to labor as we live rather far from the birthing center and they are just over the hill. If I figure out I'm in labor too late then we may have to be in the car for quite a while during the stronger contractions.
I know that the mucus plug is supposed to be a sign that labor's coming, but I can't see anything past my belly so I'm afraid I'll miss that little sign.
The next thing I'm worried about it having to go to the hospital. I have a very bad attitude toward doctors and don't know what I would do if I had to get a C-section. The doctor won't like having me there. I know that prayer works and that God knows the desire of my heart is NOT to see the doctor, but I wonder if He'd try to fix my attitude by giving me a reason to need a doctor. Yes, that's a messed up fear...
Honestly, I'm not anxious about the labor and birth. I can sorta blame by calmness on my husband as he just about never gets anxious over anything...which is one of the things I love about him. I won't know what kind of labor I'll have until I'm in it...by then, there's nothing I can do. Also, I'll be covered in prayer and have a lot of support. We have the basic necessities as far as what the baby and I will need right after labor so he can come out whenever he's ready.
Lord, help me keep this calm, patient attitude. It'll all happen in Your timing...