Thursday 17 March 2011

Dealing with the pain (week 37)

So giving birth can be a bit (a lot) scary. When I did my prenatal classes, I got a list of simple things that I can do, alone, with my husband or with my doula that could help ease the pain (by producing endorphins), lower my stress level and consequently make this experience more enjoyable for everybody (especially for me, ah).

I decided to share my personnal little list with you as it helped me figure out what I might like to do during those intense hours.

Connecting with your partner
Breathing slowly with an emphasis on breathing out
Massaging the lower back area
Doing hip movements (get that blue exercise ball)
Avoiding bright lights
Making your "nest" by understand your environement
Creating intimacy by only having few people with you
Having a contact with water: warm bath tub, cold facecloth, etc.
Resting between contractions (2 minutes can make a difference)
Drinking and eating light snacks
Not anticipating the next will happen eventually!
Accepting the pain, "letting go" and trusting your body
Relaxing your jaw
Listening to your "childbirth soundtrack" (music)
Laughing...I know, easier said than done

And if nothing works, there is always the epidural!

I'm curious! What helped you the most while you were in labour?


rita said...

keeping calm and focused, breathing and epidural
6 1/2 hours and alice was born :-)

Ali said...

Each contraction is one less until you meet your little Alice. I also Mooed like a cow and sucked on gas and air like there was no tomorrow!

I'm getting truly excited for you now.

oneeyedrabbit said...

The first time around, I bounced on an exercise ball. Then labor stalled so I took the epidural and pitocin. The second time around, contractions seemed much more painful so I figured, why suffer when I can have the epidural. After that I was so much more comfortable.

190.arch said...

Water is the best. Being next to your partner, there isn't nobody in the entire world who can share this experience with you.
I spent all my labor under the shower, I couldn't stay in a tub because my waters broken before.
That hip movement comes naturally : )

Leslie Mae said...

I had a birthing pool, and when the contractions got to 3 minutes apart, after 14 hours, my partner and I got into it. The rush of the warm water all over me helped immediately. At a time when I wasn't sure what to do anymore (I'd been moaning vowels for over 8 hours), the water changed my pain management. After 20 hours and more vowel moaning, I got an epidural. My baby was born 2 hours later.

UK lass in US said...

I don't remember laughing... I do remember getting on my hands and knees seemed to help (although goodness knows what it looked like in a hospital gown...). I also remember drifting in and out of sleep - it was overnight and I just seemed to drift in and out of consciousness as each contraction came and went. I had my husband put pressure on my back at one point, but shooed him away during one contraction and he took that to mean stop completely and go and watch the tv. I just couldn't find the words to tell him otherwise.

Pauper said...

Definitely warm water! I had a birth pool and the contractions in the water were sooo much easier than those 'on land.' I also did a lot of hip circles which helped a lot when i was out of the pool and walking around. And for some reason the loud 'vocalizing' really does seem to work wonders. All that got me through 30 hours at the end we unfortunately had to transfer to hospital and the epidural was the greatest relief of my life! Another 6 hours later we welcomed our little girl. You definitely have a good list there--all those things will help you through :) Hope you're starting to feel better from your cold! xx

(not to forget my lovely, partner, mum and midwife--would not have been without them either!)

The Franglaise said...

Hubby and epidural!!!! I'm so glad I was able to give birth without much pain. I've kept the best memory of my seven-hour labour. Bon courage with these coming weeks. They are the hardest. But your belly looks to pretty the bigger is gets!

Jennifer said...

Low lights and an epidural.

I really wish I would have had my Ipod with me to block out all of the outside noise and to help get me in the right mindset. My water broke unexpectedly and the husband and I both forgot it in the rush to get out of the house. I would have sent him back to get it, but I was afraid to let him leave the hospital.

My best suggestion is to try and let go of your expectations and embarrassment. It's an incredibly vulnerable situation that you're in and it's easy to get stuck thinking about how the whole world is seeing your girly bits (at least it was for me), but I think the experience would have been better if I could have let go of that.

Shannah said...

My doula was no help. She was talking about imagining a big ball of sunshine on a beach and I just wanted her to go away:) A warm shower definitely helped me along.

I remember crying so hard because I was tired and was frustrated at my lack of labor progress. I wish someone had reminded me that once you start thinking you can't go on, that is when the hardest part is just about over!

I did have a drug free delivery but I asked for them right after because I was getting freaked out about them stitching me up after I had torn. The nurse said it was the only time she had ever been asked for pain meds after the baby was born:)

You are going to do great!!! You are way more prepared than I was:)

ines said...

Water and my husband did wonders for me, I laboured in a tub and it was incredibly relaxing. I was able to deliver both of my sons without pain medication, I remember thinking that it was pain with a purpose and pain with an end. I was also lucky enough to have relatively short labours! Good luck with everything and thank-you for sharing .

Liz said...

I didn't have a choice - my son was breach so I had to have a C-section. I knew, for a month or so that he was breach. They had planned to try to turn him - an external cephalic version, but my water broke three days before it was to be done.

kt said...

Breathing, definitely. Also having my husband and his mom there--just keep breathing and know that you are getting a wonderful reward at the end! We had the greatest nurses, too; we got to have a student nurse witness his first birth! He was so honored, and we were happy to help his learning.

Keep the positive thoughts--you'll be terrific! Get lots of sleep now, if you can--nap WHENEVER you want to.

Anonymous said...

Hip squeezes made ALL the difference. I had my husband do them the entire time - one hand on each pelvic bone (lower than your waist) and squeeze together hard. It changes the shape of the pelvic outlet and gives a lot of relief. Some women just love it, and I've done it for entire births before (I'm a doula.) Also a TENS machine, I couldn't do without it. Practicing muscle relaxation really helped - when a contraction hit it really hurt, until I commanded all my muscles to relax and just breathed. Then the pain lessened a lot and it was totally managable (with the hip squeezes.) You can read my blog for the entire birth story- it may not be your style of birth, but there are a lot of coping techniques. x

madder said...

I found thinking about the baby was helpful. I was so anxious to meet her!
Breathing, water and a loving partner was also essential.