With my 5th baby only weeks away from joining our family, I figured it was a good time to write this post not just to help others but to remind myself as well. Having a stress free labour and delivery is really what I am hoping for especially as this birth for me is going to be very different from any other birth before it. This time I am having a midwife-assisted home birth with a doula with no pain medication compared to all the others that were born with an epidural, an OB and in a hospital.
I am a tiny bit nervous about what to expect in the sense that I think I am sure I can handle the pain on my own as I could have done without the epidural that didn’t work anyway with my last one but I am not sure how the whole home birth experience is going to be overall. I already know that I am in capable hands with my midwives as the experience thus far has been stellar. The main difference I have found since I started seeing them compared to an OB is that I don’t feel like just a number. I really feel like they are listening to me and really taking the time to get to know me as a person not just another pregnant lady in the office. I have been completely as ease at all of my appointments and I feel like they are close friends not just midwives.
For me choosing to have a home birth was really a no-brainer. With 4 other children to find someone to care for when I go into labour as well as the fact that I hate staying in the hospital after baby is born really made the decision easy for me. This way my kids, if they want to, can be part of this final chapter with us. My daughter has already said she wants to be there when he comes and I am okay with that. The boys are welcome to choose to be there or they can just go about their day in their own home as they normally would. Thinking about some of the thoughts I have to make my labour and delivery easier, I figured I would do a post of my top 4 tips for a stress free labour and delivery from my perspective.
- Be Prepared. I mean this in the sense that if you have never done this before, educate yourself. Read lots of books, online articles and even ask your family and friends about their deliveries. Take a childbirth class which will help you prepare as well. Don’t take every single piece as the be all and end all but learn from everything you can get your hands. At the end of the day, your delivery will be your delivery and of all 4 of mine, not a single one was really the same. Knowing all of your options for medication and pain relief is a huge help as well. Also make sure that you have yours and baby’s hospital bag packed. I have it ready around my 36th week just in case.
- Create a Birth Plan. Make a plan and write it down. It doesn’t have to be complicated or detailed but just a little list of how you would like your birth to go. Although keep in mind that you need to realize that giving birth is not an exact science and you have to be open to changing your plan based on what’s going on. Always know that things with birth can change in an instant and try not to get disappointed should something not go they way you planned. At the end of the day, a safe delivery that has baby and momma safe and well is all that matters.
- Make Sure You and Your Partner Are on the Same Page. There is nothing worse than going into labour and your partner has no idea what is going on. Make sure you communicate with them about how you are feeling, how they are feeling and definitely about what you are expecting from them. I know that just having my partner with me during labour was comforting and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without him. I know that he is feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea of a homebirth, but I am hoping that the times we have spent talking about it have put him more at ease. Also make sure they know what you would like for your birth as well so they can be your support and advocate for you if you can’t.
- Breathe and Stay Positive. Women have been giving birth for a very long time and you need to trust that your body knows what to do even if you don’t think you can. Just try to relax the best that you can and stay positive. Take deep cleansing breathes during contractions and should you choose to have pain medication don’t feel like you have let yourself down or that you are no longer doing it the proper way. I have had an epidural for all 4 of my previous pregnancies and I never once felt like a failure. You know your body best and what you can tolerate and don’t let anyone tell you different.
At the end of it all, you will have that precious little one that you have been waiting a long 9 months for and how they get here doesn’t matter as long as you and baby are both happy and well.