Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Uncanny truths about Motherhood- Labor

My most recent work.

Since my BFF is ready to pop any day now. It’s time to write about the last stage of being pregnant-labor.
Well the term says it all. It involves work. If you think you are going to get out of there without doing any work, you’re mistaken. Ok, so if you’re the few who have C-sections, you have more work afterwards so it’s still Labor!!
This is what I have to say about this. Expect the best; want the best, but plan for the worst. I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, but having “a birth plan” doesn’t always work. As you know life is not always planned as is the same with labor. You can have what you intended to do, but if this is your first time, just know that it always doesn’t go that way. I say it’s better to be ready to accept what’s coming than be so bummed about what happened that you get sad or even worse, depressed.
You can of course, plan out your birth, i.e. laboring, walking, drugs, no drugs, epidural, all natural and what not and get just that.
If you start on your own, your water may break (if you have a puddle of water in your pants, or your bed, and it’s more than a tinkle, it’s your water) and cause you to start, or contractions just may come on and start your labor. You may or may not see a “mucus plug” and you may or may not know that you are having contractions. Yes, it’s true; you can have them and not know that they are actually just that, contractions. If you are one of those few, consider yourself blessed.
You will hear numbers. You are a 1, 4, 7. These are centimeters. This is them measuring and letting you know or the Dr. know, how far you have progressed. You need to be at a 10 or pretty darn close, before you will push the baby out. You can start dilating any time up to about 6 weeks before full term. I sat at a 1 and 3 from week 36 and 37 with no progression. It is possible to dilate and then nothing else starts.
After you have hit about a 7, it is transition time which for some is the hardest time, for me, I don't know and remember this time, so I am no help there. Sorry. It begins the time that the baby is getting into position and after this time is when the actual delivery occurs. You will want to “bear down” i.e. push like crazy and get that baby out. You will have to push, most likely on your first child. Don’t be a sissy about it, do exactly what they say and bear down and push. I pushed three times with my first 9 lb. 4 oz. baby and twice with my second 7 lbs 8 oz. I don’t mess around. When it’s time for me to push, well, that is what I do. You do want to be careful about pushing though, if you go too fast you can tear, and well, that is not fun or pleasant. Hopefully you don’t have anything in your intestinal tract either, or you will push that out too!
My best advice is to relax. Enjoy and be in the moment. Take it as it comes, and soon you will have a wonderful little blessing in your arms. I had to be induced both times. The first time I wanted a natural birth, no drugs, and well, little did I know what inductions actually entailed. If you are hooked up to pitocin to start your contractions, or at anytime along the way, this makes the contractions very powerful, very strong and well, drug-free is quite intense. I went 6 ½ hours. That was the longest 6 ½ hours of my LIFE. I wouldn’t recommend induction without drugs or an epidural to anyone ..EVER!! I’m sure there is someone somewhere that has done it this way; it’s just not the most ideal situation. You want to be comfortable during labor whether you’re walking around, in water, or laying in bed, so if you want your pillows, bring your pillows, music, bring your iPod, balls, etc. Make sure that you have those things with you. You may or may not use them, but if you want them, have them with you. I hope that you have the fastest, easiest labor ever, but if not………….

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Trying to savor the little moments in our lives that make the memories.