I am terrified of child birth. Let’s get something straight, I am thankful I can carry and bare children. I am currently pregnant with baby number four (hopefully I’ll be snuggling a newborn when this post goes live) but I dread child birth. Every horror story you might have heard about child birth- I have experienced in some way. Horror stories that I could have sued over… ya- not cool. In times past, when my husband told me he wants to have another baby, I cringed. Does he know what he’s asking of me? Does my husband understand what kind of mind-game he’s asking me to play with myself for nine months? And yet, baby and newborn cuddles! Oh they are soooo cute! So here I am, weeks or hours (who knows) away from facing one of my greatest fears… child birth. How do I prepare for taking on my greatest fear? Taking charge of my fear with: the right labor and support team, education and creating an inspirational wall.
Choosing the Right Labor and Support Team
Without boring you with all the details of three traumatic births in the hospital and even in a low-intervention birthing suite, I decided something needed to change -IF- I was going to have another baby. I spoke to a friend who had a home birth with a certified Midwife and my wheels started turning. My third delivery was a non-medicated birth with a Douala. I labored at home for hours with peace and serenity and as soon as I got to the hospital everything went downhill. And so, with this last pregnancy I decided to take charge of my fears of labor and delivery in a different way and pursue a home birth. Now, don’t panic- I am in good hands with a Midwife and Douala I have done my research, asked the right questions and know what I’m walking into.
My dear friend over at a day in april is a huge advocate for natural child birth with a midwife. April has written tons of amazing articles on the “whys” for natural child birth, how to do it and even what a home birth looks like. If you have questions about any of these aspects, she’s the one to ask! April is one of the major reasons I considered having more than one child and now with a midwife. Seriously, I’m not kidding.
Why I Choose a Midwife:
Thankfully, in the last nine months my relationship with my midwife has proven to me I should have gone this route nine years ago! An average appointment time with Cyndi is over thirty minutes! I can not sing high enough praise for hiring a midwife that spends more than five minutes with their client before leaving the room! I know my midwife has my best interest in mind, because we have spent literally hours together already. Cyndi has listened to my fears, listened to me cry- multiple times. We’ve talked about my fears and how we will combat this delivery to be better and healing experience together. My midwife cares not only about my physical and baby’s well being, but my mental health as well. I can’t recall a time where any of my doctors with the last three babies sincerely asked me how I was doing or feeling since the last appointment.
Why I Choose a Doula:
During the chaos of delivery baby number three there was so much that happened at once. Doctors and nurses were not communicating, no one was listening to my needs and the baby was crowning. Amidst all the distractions, my doula’s calming voice was the voice of reason that got me through the Hell I had to go through. I survived and clearly healed enough to consider doing a delivery again. Thankfully with the change of venue and support team my home-delivery experience will be different. But if chaos were to happen again, I know April will be holding my hand helping me through this next phase.
I know being in the hands of these two incredible women who have taken the time to know me and my birth plan they can help me achieve these goals. I truly pray that this support is all I need to create the healing labor and delivery I would like. Ending my child baring years on a final good note.
Child Birth Education:
There is soooo much information out there about child birth and how to manage the pain, working with your body etc. If you are like me and a seasoned birth-giver… is that a thing? You know the basics on giving birth- and know everything because you’ve lived/survived through it. However, when I asked April (friend/doula/birth assistant) on what kind of books I should read to prepare for this birth- she dropped off a whole library.
I have only read cover-to-cover The Birth Partner and I love it. The Birth Partner talks in detail about different stages of labor. I didn’t know there were so many! With this birth experience, I wanted my husband to be more involved with the labor and delivery. Call me selfish- but I want my husband to be just as exhausted after delivery as I will be because we did it together. The Birth Partner talks specifically to all parties involved with the birth. How the woman might be feeling during a certain phase and what she might need. How the partner might feel and need to act in the same phase. This is a fantastic book to read for the woman who desires to know more and take control of her delivery and birth experience with her partner by her side.
The other two books April dropped off at my house I’ve looked through, but ran out of time. April however, chats about each of these books here if you are interested in learning more.
Creating an Inspirational Wall:
In The Birth Partner it discusses ways of coping with labor and delivery pains or discomforts. I realized I wanted to labor in the dark with twinkle lights hanging in the bedroom to create a peaceful atmosphere. I would use distractions to focus on something bigger than myself. Talking through what I was experiencing, talking about trips and visualizing those places. Lastly, I choose to create an inspirational wall that was visual pleasing to remind me of the “why”. Not that I would forget what the reward is after labor and delivery- I mean hello I’ve been growing something for nine months I’m not going to forget about him! But, the images reminding me of the “who” would propel me to move forward, even if I want to give up.
Our graphic designer Tiffaynee created some free birth affirmations that I printed off and taped to my wall. (You can snag a copy of those here.) I wanted to be reminded of my strength and power. Reminding me to trust my body- it knows what it’s doing. My motto: One contraction at a time. As I searched Pinterest for other people’s inspirational wall- I saw some people displaying baby clothes. I love thinking of my little guy wearing that hat on the wall. Gimme that baby!
On this wall, you can spy the name we’re using for our little man. Gosh I cant wait to hold him! You can also see some of the beautiful birth affirmations April created that I’ve printed and taped to my wall. Looking at this wall for the last three weeks only encourages my excitement nearly replacing the fear of labor and delivery… nearly.
Well friends, I have yet to deliver baby number four he’s a trickster who keeps teasing me on his arrival date. Has the fear of labor and delivery completely gone away because I have followed these three steps? No, not really. The pain of delivery is real, the fear of the unknown is still a large variable. BUT, I have done everything in my power to make this experience a healing one by collecting the right support group, educating myself further and creating an inspirational wall. Hopefully with these three key elements in place I will soon report that this delivery was everything I hoped it to be. Wish me good luck!
Hugely pregnant Morgan