Our entire Saturday was dedicated to learning about childbirth! From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Ryan and I were immersed in a class that covered everything from what to expect during the various stages of labor to relaxation tips and more.
After breakfast at home, we left our house and headed to the hospital to join about 10 other couples for a full-day Childbirth Prep class.
As instructed, we brought pillows and a yoga mat and arrived excited to learn more about what exactly we’ll be experiencing within the next 28-or-so days. (I seriously cannot believe we’re less than 30 days away from our due date right now. WHAT!?)
It was overwhelming, exciting and, if I’m being totally honest, pretty darn terrifying. As it turns out watching videos of women going through labor isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Thank goodness every video ended with a woman holding her baby because that is the image I’m holding onto as I start to think about my personal labor.
One thing that became very clear from watching a handful of birth stories is that everyone’s story is so, so different. When I first got pregnant, I remember talking with some women who asked me about my “birth plan.” My what? I thought the plan was just to have a baby. Well, detailed birth plans seem to be quite popular, but if watching birth stories taught me anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.
I think it’s wonderful to tell the doctor the type of birth you’re hoping for if you have strong thoughts about certain procedures or medications, but I also think it’s so important to be adaptable and understand that during labor, conditions can change in a second. I definitely have certain thoughts I’m going to share with my doctor but in the videos we watched, we saw moms with one plan have to make a quick change to help them have the safest delivery possible. It was really interesting to see the different labor experiences and while I definitely could’ve done without some of the graphic parts of the videos (yes, they showed the crowning and delivery on multiple occasions), in the end I walked away feeling like childbirth is something I can do, even if it scares me more than I care to admit sometimes.
Seeing a baby pushed out and seconds later placed on the mom’s chest was so emotional for me. I truly cannot fight the tears when I start to think about that moment in my life. It’s right around the corner and yet still somehow seems unreal to me. I know I cannot begin to imagine the way I will feel when I get that skin-to-skin moment with our baby boy, but if there’s one thing I’m going to focus on during labor, it’s that moment.
Aside from watching birth stories and discussing different options at length, the class took us through some laboring positions that might provide comfort and ways your person of support (in my case, Ryan) can help alleviate pain and provide distraction during contractions. (The “double hip squeeze” felt fantastic!)
We tried out about a dozen positions and though I obviously don’t know what will feel best to me in the moment, I was all about the birthing ball on Saturday. I loved the way it alleviated pressure in my hips and back and allowed me to roll around.
Another position I liked a lot was the simple sitting position where you sit down on a chair backwards and drape your arms over the back of the chair with a few pillows placed between you and the chair back.
The class was really helpful and I’m so glad Ryan and I were able to take it together. Neither of us realized how long many women labor at home before going to the hospital or that fact that only about 10 to 15 percent of women have their water break before they go into labor, so it was helpful to learn a bit more about what we can expect when everything starts happening.
After the class, Ryan and I decided to share some ice cream before driving home.
We split a small cup of butterscotch and a double scoop of cotton candy ice cream in a homemade waffle cone and it was fantastic. A great way to end the day!
On our way home, we started talking about dinner options and I, predictably, said I just wanted to eat my bodyweight in watermelon, so we swung by a local market to pick up a large watermelon.
We also nabbed a chicken pot pie and a key lime pie to eat that night and spent the rest of the evening on the couch with Sadie.
Saturday was jam-packed with a lot of information and even though parts of the class made me feel uneasy and a bit nervous, I am very glad I went and left feeling a little more prepared going into the final month of my pregnancy. We’re in the homestretch!
Questions of the Morning
Lots of questions for the moms today from this curious mother-to-be…
- Did you have a “birth plan” going into labor?
- Did everything go the way you thought it would?
- Were there certain positions you gravitated toward during labor?
- What helped you relax the most or provided you with the most comfort during labor?
Erin B says
My birth plan was to have a baby. Plain and simple. Haha I was pretty sure I was going to want an epidural but I wasn’t going to make a decision until I knew what labor felt like. I ended up being in labor at home for 2.5 days before we even went to the hospital and by the time I was in “active labor” it was too late for an epidural so I didn’t even have the option.
You never know how it’s going to happen so you definitely have to be very go with the flow about it all!
That’s so great you and Ryan got to take the birthing class together!! My husband and I never took that, but looking back it would have been fun!
We have two daughters – ages 3 and 1. With BOTH my girls, my water broke first! Guess I’m one of the lucky ones!! I liked that I knew I needed to go to the hospital right away rather than timing contractions. I also knew I wanted an epidural. I would say with both my births things went pretty smooth! But yes – expect the unexpected and just focus on the end when you’re holding your baby. Best thing ever 🙂
Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers says
We had no birth plan whatsoever, haha. I skipped the childbirth classes and the birth plan because I thought it would honestly stress me out more about the labor. Instead, I decided to “wing it”. Contractions started at 1:30am (watched “White Chicks” and “My Fake Fiance” on netflix to entertain myself for a bit, haha!), went to the hospital at 6am, epidural at 8am, baby delivered at 11:30am. It was way better than I expected for a first time labor and the nurse we had was amazing and super supportive. I totally agree with you about the moment the baby comes out and gets placed on your chest – it will be like no other moment in your life!
Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy says
My hospital actually requires a birth plan — each couple gets a private tour of the hospital, and that’s when you create it with a nurse. Most of my wishes are pretty simple (dad cuts the cord, let cord pulse for a little bit, avoid medication), but I took childbirth classes, and I know that I should be flexible too!
stacey coffee says
My plan was go as natural as possible with my son – no drugs and labor in the water. I ended up with the polar opposite -18 hours of induced labor (12 w/o a epidural) and then a C-section. I had a 2nd son 2 1/2 years later via scheduled C-section. You will do great no matter what your birth plan is. It is scary, but it is the most amazing thing you will ever do.
So exciting!!! With my first, I planned to do a natural birth (but was not adamantly married to the idea). My water broke at 9:30 pm, and I ended up getting the epidural at 7:30 am the next morning – the pain was too much for me after being up for about 24 hours. He was born the next day at 11:30 am after 3 hours of pushing, so I am really, really glad I got the epidural with him. With my daughter, my water didn’t break, but I went into labor at 7:00 pm. We got to the hospital at 9:00 and she was delivered at 9:20 by the charge nurse after 3 pushes – she seriously flew into the world. I planned to get the epidural with her and obviously it didn’t happen. Even with no epidural it was a waaaaaay easier birth than my son.
I feel like the combination of births showed me how much I have no control over really anything — I felt a bit let down after I gave in to the epidural with my son, but after my daughter I knew that even with the epidural it was harder giving birth to him, so I felt a lot better about the whole situation.
The only part of my birth plan that I was really married to (unless something medically prevented it – if that happened my husband was going to do it) was doing skin-to-skin with both babies for at least a couple of hours right after they were born – before getting measurements and everything. They both came out and went right onto my chest and stayed there for a few hours – and it honestly is one of my favorite memories. With my son, I thought he looked like an alien and couldn’t believe he was my baby. With my daughter I was still a bit in shock because she came so quickly, but it was awesome getting to snuggle her and nurse her and get to know that little person.
I didn’t really have any great positions that helped – mostly I tried to do what felt natural. Sitting back on a chair was probably my favorite position. The thing that helped me relax the most with my daughter was taking a bath – I got the first few contractions and hopped in the bathtub (with jets), and then was in there until we left for the hospital. With my son the epidural helped me relax the most – I was able to get a little nap before we started pushing, which was awesome. And in that time, I went from 8 to 10 centimeters in like 20 minutes.
Good luck, Julie!! You will be awesome – can’t wait to hear your birth story.
Alexandra Taylor says
Hi Julie! You guys look so happy–you’re doing great! I hope your nerve pain is abating a bit.
For me, I had a birth plan that was more like a list of preferences that I was not married to. I have talked to enough of my friends about all the things that happened to them during their labors, and that made me realize, just as you have, that it’s futile to get too hung up on HOW the process goes. I decided the best “plan” was just to educate myself about the possibilities (as you have done!) so that in the heat of the moment, I at least would understand most of the things that could happen. That way I at least would not have to add fear/ignorance to pain. I read a couple of books and took a preparation class at the hospital.
When labor actually happened for me it went as smoothly as I could have asked. It took forever! Almost 48 hours from my first contraction to my son being laid on my chest. And yep, it was really painful. But there were no complications and I never felt rushed or confused or even frightened…except at the end, during pushing. I had been told by a nurse during our preparation class to do a thing called “laboring down” and something about breathing the baby out. Yeah, that didn’t work at all and I wasted about 45 minutes of pushing until my OB finally got no-nonsense on me about pushing correctly. Pushing sucked!!!
I never had an epidural, but that was mostly because I’m scared of needles and the pain of labor never cancelled out the fear of needles for me.
Some tips–I needed almost nothing that I brought in my hospital bag. We stayed at our hospital for two days (I LOVE our hospital) and it was all such a crazy blur I never really had time to use any of the many things I brought. However–music was my best friend during labor. I made a long playlist of many different types of songs, and listened to it the whole time. I also bought my husband a big bag of specialty goodies from Whole Foods to eat during labor, and that was totally awesome for him. It made the whole process more festive and celebratory, even though we were so tired by the end. And when baby came I could have some of the amazing treats, which was a great reward!
You can do this! It’s hard, but it ends and then you have a wonderful, sweet-smelling little baby to love!
kelly b says
Sounds like a great class! I “planned” to do a natural unmedicated birth, however my boys were both very stubborn! I was induced with my first and in the end required a csection. With my second I was hopeful for a VBAC, however that stubborn baby didn’t want to come out so I had another csection. You will be fine, go in with an open mind, hold on to the things that are most important and surround yourself with supportive people!
I never really had any plans with my pregnancy. I didn’t know about birth plans either. With the second one I did my research. One of the things I insisted on was skin to skin contact immediately after birth along with the first feeding. When I had it down in writing they were still able to do this after my cesarean. I held him right when they took him out with the help of a nurse. I was able to breastfeed him while laying down. With the first one, he was taken away for all the tests and a cleaning- I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to hold him right after. My sister had vaginal births and she also had to let them know about feeding/holding the baby before they get their tests done.
I am a mommy of one. A little girl. We welcomed her into the world last year. I have always lived a healthy lifestyle and exercise daily. I exercised while pregnant. I had an easy pregnancy with no problems at all and because of that I was worried labor and delivery would be the worst. Luckily it was as easy as my pregnancy. My only birth plan was do what is best for the baby. My dr had the same plan. My water broke at midnight. I never had contractions that I could actually feel until they upped my pitocin dose. I knew before going into it I wanted an epidural because I had nothing to prove.. I praise the women that can do it naturally but I knew that wasn’t for me. I felt a few contractions before I received the epidural. On a scale from 1 to 10 pain wise I was at a 5. After the epidural I felt nothing until the baby started turning and I was crowning. At that point I only felt my side tightening up. It was no where near painful just uncomfortable but I delivered her at 7:39 that morning.
Only thing I didn’t like about the epidural is when my Dr told me to push I couldn’t feel that I was pushing at all because I was numb from the waist down from the epidural.
Every birth story is different. Some are long and some are quick. I hope you have an easy labor and delivery and no matter what happens the end result is worth it. 🙂
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment says
So exciting to be in the homstretch! I have not had a baby yet, but I would imagine maybe having more information is better so you can prepare. And like you said, it all ends with an adorable baby to hold in your arms!
I did have a birth plan. I wanted an unmedicated birth where I was able to labor at home for as long as possible, until I was in VERY active labor (couldn’t talk through contractions, they were coming every 2 minutes, lasting for 60-90 seconds). I did just that. But my labor went WAY faster than I expected, and I got to the hospital 3 hrs after my first contraction and was pushing within 45 minutes. Sitting on the toilet was the best position for me and having my husband push my hips together was AMAZING because so much pain was there. Having a support and really listening to your body, staying in a comfortable environment at home as long as possible was the best for me. Birth is unpredictable, but trying to just stay calm and remind yourself that your body knows what it’s doing may help. 🙂 And you get a baby in the end which is the BEST!
First of all whatever you decide or how ever it goes, you and Ryan will do great!
I decided to go naturally at a birth center with a mid wife, three months ago. I ended up being in labor for 3 days before our little one arrived at the hospital. I ended up dehydrated (cause I couldn’t keep anything down) and that is what prolonged my labor. The medicine ball helped me breath thru my contractions in the kneeling position. As well as breathing deep and slow thru the contractions. Once I arrived at the hospital and got some IV’s in me I ended up giving birth naturally on a birthing stool. It felt the most comfortable to me and I used gravity to help me in the birthing process.
My son Archer arrived fully in his sac which apparently is good luck if your Irish! And he was fully awake and alert and even started cooing that same day.
Do not let fear of the unknown overwhelm you, in my opinion it will only make the pain worse.
You will look back and be amazed of what you and your body are capable of!!
No birth plan! And we didn’t take any classes, either, so I totally winged it. My experience was that the epidural = awesome. The only time I felt anything after the epidural was when my son was crowning. Also, when I was asked to start pushing, I really had no idea what I was doing, but I had had a friend tell me to bear down like I was trying to go #2 (gross, I know, but seriously, this was the only way I had a clue what to do!). However, that wasn’t enough, so the nurse suggested a birthing bar, which attaches to each side of the bed. I put one leg up on each side and then wrapped a sheet around the top of the bar. So when a contraction came, I pushed on the bar with my legs and pulled on the sheet with my hands… it was the only thing I did that actually allowed me to be productive in pushing my baby out. I am asking for that right away next time!
I loved childbirth classes! Gimme all the necessary and unnecessary info!
The double hip squeeze is amazing and you will love love love it when in labor! Husbands are so handy for that!
I obsessively wrote birth plans for both of my births. And God had different plans for each one! His plans are always better than mine!
I loved being on my knees leaning forward on the ball my first time. And standing and swaying my hips the second time.
I’m so excited for you! You have an awesome attitude and will totally rock childbirth and mommy-hood!!
Interesting about the birth class! Do you recommend that every pregnant woman takes one?
I am 30 weeks pregnant and have taken or am planning a few classes like CPR/First Aid, Breastfeeding, and Newborn Care. I’ve always thought that come D-Day, I will probably blank out like how I used to do during my college finals and just let the day take me. But after reading this, I’m re-thinking my decision and considering taking a Labor class while I still have time…
I loved our birth classes! Such an exciting time. 🙂 My “plan” was no drugs if at all possible. Well, I was induced & all went well until labor starting picking up early evening, & we found out I had back labor (baby was face up instead of face down so the back of her head instead of the soft part of her face was pushing against my back). Getting on your knees & drapping yourself over one of those big birthing balls helps in those situations (yes, ass in the air… did not care!). I had an intern come in & check my cervix. He said I was dilated to 7 so I kept on keepin’ on for 3 hrs until the doc came in & checked me… it seems the intern made a slight error – I was only dilated to 4! Birth plan out the proverbial window – bring on the epidural! No regrets! Instant relief! I remember telling the anesthesiologist, “You are a wonderful man!” I proceeded to fall asleep(!!!) for several hours & while I was asleep I finished dilating to 10 (the epidural enabled me to relax enough so that I wasn’t fighting the contractions & was able to fully dilate) & pushed that bee-bee out in no time! Best of luck to you! You’ll do great! Just remember, that millions of women have done this, and you’re in great shape – if they can do it, you absolutely can!
It is definitely a good idea to go in with a flexible mindset. I didn’t have any really strong preferences with my birth plan and I’m glad I didn’t because it definitely went in a totally different direction than I expected. I wasn’t committed to a natural birth but I also didn’t expect that I’d end up basically having every intervention in the book! In the moment though, I totally trusted my doctor and nurses and had no regrets. I wasn’t sure I’d want an epidural because I didn’t like the idea of being stuck in bed. However, once my contractions really picked up the only way I could get through them was sitting straight up in bed. I tried some different positions that I had been so excited about in my birthing class but in the moment they totally did not work. I ended up throwing up a lot when I tried anything but sitting in bed! After about 12 hours of contractions where I was stuck in bed anyways I couldn’t take it anymore and was still only dilated to 3 cm, so I got the epidural. It took the edge off some of the pain but it didn’t work very well for me and I was still very, very uncomfortable. After about 24 hours of labor where I barely progressed at all, even with pitocin, I ended up with a c-section because my baby’s heart rate was dropping rapidly. By that point, I was ALL ABOUT the c-section and had no regrets. My baby girl is healthy and happy, and while I would like to try for a VBAC if I have another baby, I will definitely be prepared for whatever happens. In the end, it’s all about getting the baby out safely. You can never be truly prepared for labor because there’s just no way to even imagine what it will be like before you go through it, but it does help to know your options and be aware of the different things that could happen.
One thing that I was definitely not prepared for was the amount of fluid that came out of me (TMI, sorry). My water broke before I went to the hospital, but I thought that after that the fluid wouldpretty much stop for a while. I didn’t realize that it would continue through my whole labor! So just FYI, be prepared to pretty much feel like you wet the bed throughout labor. The nurses do change out the padding underneath you periodically, but still…unpleasant!
The epidural relaxed me the most during labor! Haha! I’ve had 2 children, with one birth being more stressful & difficult than the other. My only “plan” was to get my babies out with as few stitches as possible & that worked well for me. I think going into it expecting the unexpected helps & just focusing on the little human you get at the end of the process makes it all easier. When you see your baby for the first time it’s like time stands still & the weight of that moment surpasses any pain/difficulty of the actual birth. At least, that was my experience. 🙂 There is nothing better than being a mom. You’re less than 30 days away from the best ride of your life!
I didn’t have a birth plan with either of my pregnancies. My water broke at work with my first and ended being an emergency c-section 12 hours later because the placenta was separating and the cord was wrapped around my son’s neck. Gratefully he was delivered successfully. My second son was a “scheduled” c-section due to placenta acretta but he decided to arrive four weeks early! Again, very grateful he was born successfully though he has had asthma and breathing issues throughout his life. Can’t wait to read about your birth story and wish you health, happiness and a safe delivery of your son.
I did not have a birth plan at all other than i wanted an epidural and didn’t want to wait for it. The nurse was fine with that and said when i said GO, it would only take a few minutes. I didn’t take any childbirth classes because I, like you, was terrified and figured i was better off not knowing. I had some complications and had to make a quick decision during my labor, but everyone was very nice about it. The nursed asked all of the (MANY) doctors and other nurses to leave the room for a little so my husband and i could discuss. When i freaked out she was nice enough to give me her honest opinion even though she wasn’t supposed to. I would assume all L&D nurses are this amazing…she made a big difference in my experience!! I was induced after being 9 days overdue ( i had no idea they would let me go that long!) so i did not labor at home and asked for the epidural after about 5 contractions. with an epidural, honestly the labor part wasn’t all that bad.
I had the “no plan” birth plan….and that was okay with me. All I knew is that I wanted an epidural 🙂 We also wanted to wait to hold our baby until after the nurses cleaned her up a little, rather than seconds after she was born. In the end, we couldn’t have held her immediately anyway, because she pooped in utero (I forget the technical word for that…meconium?) and they had to immediately whisk her away to be sure she didn’t aspire anything. So, flexibility is definitely key – you never know what may happen! Also, not sure if anyone has told you this, but it’s not uncommon to vomit during labor. It just means things are progressing. I threw up a few times during labor, and I’m so glad my friend warned me about that, otherwise I may have been really worried that something was wrong!
Glad the class went well! I had more of a birth “goal”–first of all to have a baby, but my actual goal was to avoid medication for as long as possible and to breastfeed as soon as possible. The nurses were completely supportive of my plan and I met my goal (but I had a pretty easy labor/delivery compared to what some moms have had). I envisioned laboring on the exercise ball a lot and enjoying being in the water, but during labor I didn’t like either of these things. When I had a contraction on the ball, it was majorly intensified. Not exactly what my goal was, to say the least! As I was in the shower, I was thinking, well, this feels the same but now I’m wet. You will find what works for you. The great part is that you will have a supportive partner in Ryan–it will make all the difference in the world!
My plan was to get an epidural as soon as I had major pain. That was the whole plan, lol! Turns out, I didn’t have enough time for that because my son was born about 30 mins after I got to the hospital. A natural, med free birth for my 8lb 11oz little boy! Even though to think of that day still terrifies me (I thought I was going to have him on the expressway) I wouldn’t change a thing. My recovery was a breeze! You’ll do great and like you said, the most important thing is a healthy baby and mom!
Don’t be scared. It is going to be the greatest day of your life. With my experience, it did not go as expected (as it never does!), but was still perfect in every way. Yours will be too.
Yay! Getting close. I had my son 8 weeks ago so his birth is rather fresh in my memory. The birthing ball was great for the painful, yet bearable contractions. The deep hip squeeze was awesome for the transition/irrational phase. Ahhh! My husband couldn’t squeeze hard enough! For me I also found that if I changed positions, I would get a more intense contraction almost immediately after moving no matter how close together my contractions were. This was closer to delivery.
Also! When they said push, I used the same breathing as if I was doing a really heavy back squat. This was comforting for me. I am a cross fitter and my body just reverted to training mode. It also helped me get him out in 9 minutes as a first time mom!
As for the birth plan, we filled out a template and took it with us. Like you, I didn’t know that a plan was a thing. I’m glad I did it though. Our team was very respectful of our plan and incorporated what they could.
I didn’t have an official written birth plan but did have an idea of what I wanted my birth to be. My husband and I had discussed a lot during the pregnancy that I would try my hardest for a natural birth with no medication. I wanted him to be on board to help me when the pain got really bad.
Well, after 20 hours of intense labor and FOUR hours of full out pushing I ended up needing to have a C section. It was totally NOT what I had envisioned. They ended up having to make more incisions in my uterus due to my baby being so far down the birth canal which means I’m not a candidate for vbac in the future.
I am so grateful that I now have my beautiful two month baby girl, but I’m not going to lie if I say I don’t feel sadness for how things went. I honestly have had to “mourn” the fact that I’ll never experience that moment of pushing my child out and having them placed onto my chest immediately. It was something I had envisioned for so long. It’s hard to hear people refer to deliveries as c section or natural. I went through the whole labor and pushing but never got that moment. I feel like sometimes c sections are thought of as not ” true” childbirth, but for so many of us we went through it all and it didn’t work and wasn’t safe.
The hardest part was not having the opportunity to have my little girl immediately for skin to skin. My husband was able to while I was still in surgery which I’m grateful for. I was nervous that our breastfeeding bond would be hindered but luckily it wasn’t:)
So overall I think it’s good to have ideas of birth, but no definite plans. Go in expecting anything. Have a good support system (which I think you will have in Ryan!). Just get that baby out the safest way for you both. Once you have your baby you will be in awe of how incredibly amazing they are. I’m still everyday unbelievably happy that this adorable little one is ours!
P.s Thank you for asking us readers our experience, it’s honestly quite therapeutic to put those feelings about birth into words. 🙂
I agree with the flexible mindset – you never know what will happen, and what’s most important is having your baby born safely. I went into labor with my son at 36.5 weeks due to borderline pre-eclampsia. My water broke, and they ended up giving me pitocin as they were worried he had an infection. Contractions got very strong very fast, and I actually asked for laughing gas, which they have at the hospital where I had my baby. The nurse asked if I just wanted an epidural at that point, so I went for it, and never ended up getting the laughing gas. For me, it was amazing, and allowed me to get some rest and relax before I had to push. Whatever you do (in terms of pain management and such) will be right for you and your baby. It’s such an incredible experience 🙂
I did have a birth plan and my doctor reviewed it with us and was on board with everything. The only thing that happened from my birth plan was that we had a baby at the end and we were blessed enough that he was born. My placenta abrupted and I ended up having an emergency c-section. It did take me a little while to get over it that things didn’t go as planned because I was so sure it would. So yes, expect the unexpected and be okay with changes – they are for the best and health of your baby.
I had my son a year and a half ago, and we used the Hypnobirthing method. It sounds a lot more hippy dippy than it really was. It focused on visualization and deep breathing for a natural childbirth. I really liked it. We had tubs we could labor (but not deliver) in. The exercise ball and my husband putting counter pressure on my lower back helped me get through. It was also so helpful to remember that whatever was going on during the labor was only temporary. I repeated to myself “this too will pass” over and over like a mantra. And sure enough, it passed!
I read Amy Pohler’s memoir and one thing that stuck out to me as being so true when it comes to all things motherhood: what’s good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. It’s so easy to feel like labor is a competition to see who did it best. When your kid is in Kindergarten, no one will know or care whether or not you had a c-section, at home birth, or an epidural. We’re all just doing what’s best for us, and no one should tell you any differently.
Love your blog! These pregnancy posts sure bring back memories!
No such thing as a birth plan! I started contractions at 12am, got to the hospital at 3am and B was born at 4am.(arrived at 9cm, water broke when I arrived) First baby, no meds, it was amazing and nothing we could have planned for. As long as you get to the hospital, that is all that matters, you’ll be in good hands.
To note: I had “planned” on having meds, laying around waiting to dilate, doing crossword puzzles, sucking on jolly ranchers and eating peanut butter (midwive said I could eat). That all went out the window. As I said before, as long as you plan to get to the hospital, they will take care of you 🙂 I don’t think you can have a plan for your first child birth…how do you plan for the unexpected? lol I think being educated about it, like you and Ryan, is the best you can do
Danica @ It's Progression says
We definitely have a birth plan made up and ready to go for this birth – not because we’re writing down exactly how it’ll go (common misconception of a birth plan) but because we need for the hospital and our care providers to know our wishes. For example, it’s common procedure at our hospital to ask a laboring woman to rate her pain and they’re required to offer pain medication, but because my goal is to not have any medication (unless an emergency comes up), our midwife suggested we write on our birth plan “Please do not ask Danica to rate her pain on a scale of 1-10 and please do not offer her any pain medication. If you feel she could benefit from any medicine, discuss this with her midwife first and only administer after consent has been specifically given from both the midwife and Danica.” There are also a lot of newborn procedures we needed to include our wishes for, on things like the vitamin K shot, the Hep B vaccine, the antibiotic eye cream, circumcision, breastfeeding, etc. If our wishes aren’t specifically stated then the hospital pretty much goes away with everything. I think there’s a lot of value in making sure they just understand how to best take care of YOU and your baby!
For the first time in my life, I actually didn’t make a “plan”. I just wanted to have a healthy baby. I also went into the experience knowing that any plan was completely subject to change and I didn’t want to freak out when things didn’t go according to my plan.
My water broke in the middle of a staff meeting at work (hilarious) and I wasn’t having contractions. After 8 hours of contractions that even made my nurses flinch watching them on screen, I opted for an epidural and it was a great choice for me. I was able to rest enough that when it came time to push, it only took 7 minutes until my little man was in my arms and I was a sobbing mess of happiness. With great coaching from my awesome husband (apparently I forgot to breathe a lot), a lot of focus, and a super positive attitude, the process was super empowering.
Do whatever works for you and you feel confident with.
Annette Perkins (@FitnessPerks) says
That is awesome that you guys went to that class–it sounded super informative! With my first I totally loved the birthing ball during labor & the BATH. Oh my gosh, the bath is the BEST! It relieves a lot of pain.
I had a birth plan with my first and will have one with my 2nd, but am very open to anything changing if needed for the baby’s or my health. I like choosing a few things we’d wanted (dad cuts the cord, skin to skin right away with weighing after, no meds for me unless needed, etc.), and although my labor with my 1st was much longer than expected, there were still certain things I was glad we had chosen & done & hope to choose/have for baby number 2 next month!
Did you have a “birth plan” going into labor? YES. Thrown out window.
Did everything go the way you thought it would? NOPE. Had my daughter in the grocery store after 3 minutes of labour.
Were there certain positions you gravitated toward during labor? The cold floor of the grocery store freezer section was awesome … I just lay on my side as only way I could handle the pain. They used to birth mothers on their side (as seen in call the midwife) … it felt the best for me.
What helped you relax the most or provided you with the most comfort during labor? That they grabbed a blanket from the housewares section so that my vagina wasn’t on display for the entire fricking store.
I had a loose birth plan, but ultimately just had a goal to stay as calm as possible and put my faith in the doctors and nurses taking care of me. Labor and delivery didn’t go as planned for us, and I ended up with a c-section because my little man just wouldn’t move down and his heart rate would drop every time I pushed. It sounds scary, but it truly wasn’t. My doctor said that some babies just don’t like pushing and go into distress, causing their heart rate to drop, but said it was still safe for us to push for a while. We tried to deliver vaginally for two hours before we called it. My little guy had the cord wrapped around his neck, but my doctor reassured me that tons of babies are born that way and are fine. He’s totally healthy and happy. And I bounced back from the c-section like it was no big deal. My obgyn said I recovered so easily because I stayed active during my pregnancy, so keep it up! I’m actually planning a scheduled c-section for my next baby, if that tells you anything about how non-scary it was. My doctor said that if I wanted to try VBAC I could, but she doesn’t believe I’m a good candidate since my kiddo was average sized and just didn’t fit. You will do great–this is coming from someone who was terrified of child birth before. I had an epidural after three hours of contractions, and from then on, it was a piece of cake!
I didn’t have a birth plan and I was glad. I could have never predicted things would go the way they did. I was in labor and don’t fully know (ignorant bliss!) I finally decided to go to the hospital incase something g was wrong (thinking like a torn placenta or something). By the time we arrived I was admitted at 10 cm and delivered my little guy 28 minutes after walking through the door! It was amazing!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
We didn’t take any classes or have a birth plan. I didn’t want medication since I reacted badly to th e one time I had anesthesia, but during th e drive to the hospital I decided I did want an epidural. Long story short, I was way further along than we though (9.5 centimeters!) and my son came sans medication less than 30 minutes after arriving. I loved sitting on a yoga ball yhe last 2 weeks, and the weekend before he was born I spend every sitting minute on that ball. My water even broke on it!! I’d definitely suggest it, since I had such a quick labor!!
Heather @ Life In Leggings says
What an adorable outfit! You look so cute <3 Glad to hear the class went well! xo
I had no plan except for have a healthy baby and get me an epidural! I do remember hating the ball.and.pretty much any position once things got going. I was adamant about not cutting the cord immediately and getting skin to skin asap..and found out that’s my hospitals norm. One unexpected thing that happened that I loved and will hopefully.get to do again (I’m 37 weeks pregnant right now) is once my daughter came out enough that I could reach for her I helped pull her out. It was so awesome!
I didn’t have a birth plan with either of my sons other than “healthy baby, healthy mama”.
Both ended up being inductions due to hypertension.
The first was looong. Cervadil started on a Wed night, Pitocin started on Thursday, baby not born until Friday evening after 2+ hrs of pushing. Dr broke my water for me to get labor to progress. I had an epidural and didn’t have any pain at all.
The second was short and painful. Cytotec started on a Wed evening, water broke naturally within a few hours, he was here by lunch on Thursday. 3 failed epidurals, super painful, vomiting during labor, but only pushed 3 times and he was born.
Both gave me second degree tears. Sounds worse than it is.
Whatever way the baby comes into the world – it is alllllll worth it. Even with my last experience (my youngest is only 5 weeks old so it’s a fresh memory!), I’m still planning on a #3 someday. There is nothing more precious in this life than your child(ren).
I think you have the right plan, so many of my friends have had a set “birth plan” and more times than not they had to break them for one reason or another. I had the idea that I would be at home, my water would break and off hubby and I would go to the hospital. 3 weeks of bed rest led to an emergency induction (blood pressure too high). My epidural which I always had planned on getting did not work on half my body! I pushed for 2 hours and finally had our first daughter at almost midnight. Our second princess was a bit of the same, 5 weeks of bed rest, scheduled induction, but priss had turned and we did not know until my water broke after being in the hospital for 12 hours. By the time my doctor got there, I was almost 10 centimeters with no drugs, and according to my anesthesiologist father who was in the room with hubby and I would not been able to get one. My c-section went fine though I would have never have chosen to have one.
My husband though was amazed my strength. After pushing for hours with our first and without half my body numbed, I was overwhelmed to be a mother. When they took me to my room one hour after birth, I looked up at him and asked him when we could do that again. I think he almost fainted. Same with our c-section baby, I was calm and relaxed, to the point our nurse asked how much medication I had been given. Being a mother is a blessing and a lifelong joy
My wish for all new mothers is that they enjoy their experience, whether it is what they expected or not. In the end you get an amazing wonderful gift. And truthfully, your new experiences will help you forget the pain.
Liberty Hen says
Hi Julie, the birthday of your baby will be so wonderful – the days my children were born were 3 of the very most exciting and happiest of my life. It sounds ridiculous but concentrating on ensuring that my fingers stayed relaxed during labour really, really helped me. Just having something to focus my mind on doing during contractions was a big positive and thinking about my fingers stopped me tensing up against the contractions. Result – I was lucky enough to have 3 straightforward deliveries with no pain relief necessary. It’s worth trying anyway as it can’t do any harm! Thinking of you.
I really wanted a natural birth, but wasn’t opposed to an epidural if that needed to happen! Well, I did end up having a natural birth! By the time I got to the hospital, I was 7 cm!! I also was shocked because my baby boy arrived at 37 weeks!! My husband also ended up leaving the day before (military, was only supposed to be gone a week) and of course I went into labor the next day! I was im total disbelief that it was all happening, but all went well despite not having my husband!
My birthplan was EPIDURAL please 🙂 Ha ha. My water broke with both babies, so I didn’t really labor at home. Contractions come on pretty quick and strong, at least in my experience after my water broke, so I was all about that epidural. Both times I was almost not able to get it, due to my platelet count being so low. I really thought we were going to have to go natural with my daughter a couple months ago, and was scared to death. I had pitocin with both babies, to get things moving along since I was barely dilated when I arrived and things moved really quickly. I think women who are able to do childbirth without an epidural are rock stars, but that just wasn’t my cup of tea. It is just such an awesome and unique experience for each person. Can’t wait to hear your story soon!!!
My plan was to have a healthy baby by whatever means. Mind you I waited 18 hours in labor before an epidural. But other than that it truly was a relaxing process. I took a lot of showers before going to the hospital (I think 5). The hot water just felt sooooo relaxing and it was massaging my back like I needed. I did other poses like the yoga ball and squatting with each contraction but somehow just stand bent over in the shower felt the best! I thought I was going to need my music and calming scents but really I needed everyone quiet and I worked through it. My husband and doula both couldn’t believe how far I was along when I made it to the hospital. You surprise yourself with your own strength!
I had a small birth plan. Ie get the baby out fast. Lol
After my water broke it took 4 hours and she was in my husband’s arms. I wanted him to be the first one to hold her. He took off his shirt to have skin to skin. (:
I did all natural and was so thankful. As much pain as it was I was happy my body was connecting with my daughter and I could feel everything.
I labored in a birthing tub which was glorious. They put some essential oil in it that helped relax me.
You are going to rock this!!! I am so excited for you! I can’t wait for photos!
Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries says
Reading this brought back all the exciting anxiety that I felt just 3 months ago!
My birth plan was “give birth” but I honestly thought I’d be delivering vaginally. (I think you know) I ended up with an emergency c-section, and while it was NOT how I expected to give birth, I’m thankful that it was over so quickly. I had contractions for about 24 hours leading up to birth, but they felt like period cramps. That is, until we got in the car to go to the hospital and the HOLY SHIT THIS IS HAPPENING contractions started.
It’s easily the most terrifying thing you’ll ever go through, but it’s way more exciting and beautiful than scary, I promise!
I did not leave the ball for pretty much the entire time I was laboring at the hospital! I was so glad they gave it to me because sitting on it was the only position that made the contractions bearable to me. I had the same lower back/hip/leg pain that you’ve been having so I am not surprised you liked sitting on the ball too. When it was time to push they made me get on the bed but let me lay on my side which was way more comfortable than laying on my back. You can do it – you’ve been so active and are in great shape. That will help you in labor!
I just had # 3. The first 2 were all natural. I ain’t gonna lie, it was long and painful. The thing that saved me was the jacuzzi tub. The jets sprayed my back and alleviated souch pain and pressure on the contractions. This 3rd guy for some reason seemed to be the longest and after 2 nights of no sleep and contractions (and my water doesn’t break on its own) I was done. I got an epidural. It was heavenly. However, recovery has been long. Little guy is 7 weeks today and I’m still recovering. W/ # 2 I was running 5 days postpartum. Definitely expect the unexpected. You’ll do great!