We are just a few weeks away from meeting our son and we are getting so excited!
A lot of the worries and stresses of preparing for your first child are not there when you are expecting your second: the heavy research on finding the exact right baby products from diapers to bottles to strollers and more, or wondering how to put the car seat in the car, preparing for baby classes and touring the hospital, etc. In some sense, expecting my second boy is much more relaxed.
Most of my focus while pregnant with Leo was on preparing for baby, the nursery, and making sure we had everything we needed. And after looking at both mine and Cody’s hospital baby photos, I spent a lot of time praying Leo would somehow be a cute baby. Besides enlisting the help of our doula, Megan, and knowing that I wanted a natural birth, I didn’t spend a lot of time anticipating the birthing process. I get queasy easily and didn’t want to watch any birth videos, nor did I want to write out a birth plan because I didn’t want to feel like a failure if I deviated from it at all. My birth plan was very similar to my parenting style: we are winging it, and just going to figure it our as we go.
I am very happy with going through with a natural birth, which you can read about here.
This time around, I know what to expect, and exactly how it feels, and am very, very focused on preparing for the pain management needed. This time, my concerns are not on car seats or packing a hospital bag but instead on the mindset needed. This time I know that we don’t need to pack so much stuff it looks like we’re moving in, and I know that my regular jeans can stay in my closet for a few more months, I will not be walking out in those. Actually, I won’t be walking out at all. Leave the wedges girl, you’re cruising in a wheelchair to the car.
(Maybe I need to find a photo of my hospital bagS from last time so we can all have a good laugh…)
I’ve been asked many times why I would want a natural birth. Although it is the hardest thing I have ever done, it is also the most rewarding. I wanted a natural birth with Leo and desire one again a second time because of:
-my desire to be in control of pushing, and my belief that by feeling everything, I may be less likely to rip and need an episiotomy
-my desire to be able to labor in different positions, including a bath or walking around, etc. that you are not able to do with an epidural
-my personal belief that babies born naturally may be more alert and have a higher APGAR score
-my personal belief that an epidural may more likely lead to a c-section (my #1 fear)
-the empowerment and achievement I would feel
This time around, I’d like to be more mentally prepared and physically ready. (read: fewer dinosaur noises and “just let me die”s)
Here are the ways I am preparing for natural birth a second time:
-enlisting the help of my favorite doula, Megan, once again (she is AMAZING! And now also offers prenatal massage.)
-frequent stretching, working to loosen my hips in hopes to not have back labor again
-perineal massage to help prepare the lining and hopefully not rip and require stitching
-visiting a chiropractor after 37 weeks to align my body for birth
-working on my mindset and affirmations that will help me in the moment.
-practicing my breathing and working through the pain: eyes open and head down, not eyes closed and head back.
-visualizing the end result: a healthy baby boy in my arms
Have you had a natural birth? What tips do you recommend for preparing for labor?