Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thoughts on Labor...

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...

I know...
...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 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...


Gombojav Tribe said...

I don't think God is the sort who will cause you to have a C-section just to teach you a lesson. He's a good Father who gives good gifts to His children. If you ask Him for bread will He give you a stone? If you ask Him for a fish will He give you a scorpion?

In your daily relaxation practice (that you should be having) meditate on the promises of God. Maybe get a Scripture CD or record comforting Scriptures on a tape. Play them during relaxation and KEEP A QUIET HEART.

Love you!

Flo Oakes said...

Even with my 2nd, I didn't know when labor was starting! That's because I get strong contractions building for like, 3 weeks before my births.
Every night, I would think I was going into labor, and then the contractions would go away! Uuugghh!
I guess I did know when it was for real, which was after I lost my mucos plug (both times) and the contractions got more intense and more consistent after that.
I have relatively fast labors..and even with my 2nd, after I started "active" labor, I still had about 5-6 hours before she was born, so I wouldn't worry too much about not getting to the birth center in time..I'm sure you'll know.
One thing I didn't realize, is that contractions can be very short, and it can still mean birth is close.
My midwife told me to call her when my contractions were 1-2 minutes long and 3-5 minutes apart.
They NEVER got that long! They always hovered aroud 45 seconds, but they got to be SUPER intense and only a minute apart, so she came over!
I knew it was getting to be the real thing, because they were so close together..sometimes I didn't get much of a break between them at all, but they were just short and intense.
I tore with Amelie (even though it was a waterbirth) BUT that is because her head is soooooo tiny, that I didn't realize it was out at ALL and accidentally pushed her whole body (head and all) out in one push!
So my one piece of advice to avoid tearing would be to really pay attention to when the baby's head is coming and SLOW down a lot so you (or the midwife) can massage and stretch the perineum.
Natural childbirth went from being the most frightening thing in the world to me, to the most amazing, sacred event that I would never, EVER trade in for a medicated birth!
I can say with all honesty that it was actually, "fun"...I know that sounds weird, but it was fun to get through each contraction with my husband,and it was fun having a support team cheering me on and being just as excited to meet the baby!

I can't wait to hear about your birth, every time I see an update on your blog, I wonder if it's time!