Or at least have more experience with birth ... I guess in the olden days family and friends helped out in each others' births, but now that's pretty hard to come by. If you ever get the opportunity, go to a birth!
The birth of my little girl was wonderful. I've had a few people ask how in the world did I do it without anything?? Well honestly, anyone can. Your body knows how. You just go with it.
After contemplating things a little more, I've come up with a few tips that worked great for me:
- First and foremost: birth is 100% do-able. Our bodies were made to do it, and we as women do know how. We know better than doctors do. Don't ignore their experienced advice, but do not doubt yourself.
- Hire a doula.
- Make sure your birth partner is positive and confident. If he/she is not, definitely hire a doula.
- Ignore labor until you can't ignore it any more.
- Find some way to relax. Either fork out some dough to do a hypnobirthing or bradley method class, or just figure it out on your own. For me, it was moving and deep, slow breathing. The stronger the contraction, the deeper the breath I took. I decided if I could still breathe, then I was doing just fine.
- With each contraction, do some sort of downward motion with your body, and whisper outloud or in your head, "Open open open open!" The thought translates physically ... give it a try.
- Don't pay attention to the clock. Everyone else in the room will do it for you. Just get through the contraction, and rest or joke around between them.
- Try to smile. It will make you and everyone else in the room feel better. Set the exapmle for how you want everyone else to behave ... I promise, you're not dying.
- Underestimate your progress. It's always better to be pleasantly surprised.
- Worried your baby will just fall out? You'll feel it before it comes. That urge to push is something else!
- Worried about the ring of fire? Yes, it's intense. So try to back off on the pushing, give your skin a chance to stretch out a bit. But if you're like me and the urge to push completely overrides that burning sensation, then don't worry about it ... a couple of stitches are fine.
- I'm sure you've heard this over and over again, but it's true ... once that little on is lying on top of your belly, all the pain will be completely forgotten. And if you did it without drugs, you'll be amazed at how you feel like normal almost instantly. Besides a slight case of the shakes. :)