Last week, I shared Abby’s birth story. I knew from the moment she was born that I wanted things to go differently next time around. When we started Sisters ‘N Cloth, we started following many doulas and birth advocates on Twitter. I’ve learned a lot from their tweets as well as from many of the women I’ve chatted with during Twitter parties or chats.
For example, I thought Abby’s weight (8 pounds, 9 ounces) was bigger than “normal.” While she was in the hospital, her glucose levels were tested because she was “so big.” After talking about it with other moms, I realized that she wasn’t big and definitely not big enough to have her glucose measured!
Here are some other things that I’ve done this time around to be better prepared for the hospital.
I’ve read several birth stories and posts on natural childbirth this time around. Just reading successful natural child-birth stories (and even some that weren’t successful) has helped me to have more confidence in what my body can do. I also read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, which has reinforced the faith I have in my body. My body was designed to give birth. It didn’t fail me last time. I can do this.
Last time, I knew what I wanted, but I never said anything to my doctor or to my nurses. I tend to fall back into a “they know more than I do” mindset around professionals, even when I can rationalize where they are wrong. This time around, I wrote out my wishes and handed it to my doctor. While he agreed not to induce or give me an episiotomy, he also told me that once I’m in the hospital, I’ll be tied down and cannot get up to walk around. He did say that he would work with me on several other issues. Because I know where he stands on certain issues, I am planning on staying home longer. I also let my doula and backup doula know his stance on these issues, and they are both ready to support me and my decisions.
I have to say that I’m looking forward to birth because of my doulas! I feel so much more prepared after talking with them both, and their tips have made a big difference in how I view birth. We have gone over labor positions, massages for my husband to practice on me (!!), and some supplements (Red Raspberry Leaf tea and alfalfa) that help make labor and delivery a little easier. Both of them know my wishes for labor and delivery, and they are more than ready to make it happen. Just having their support has increased my confidence exponentially!
In all fairness, last time I had not explained what I would like or not like during labor with my husband. He had no clue what I was wanting or thinking because we hadn’t discussed it ahead of time. Because he has been there during the meetings with my doulas, he knows what I would like to happen and how I would like for him to help. Last time, I was afraid that he wouldn’t support me, but now I know that he’ll support me even on issues that he doesn’t understand just because I want it done that way. His full support is what has solidified my confidence in my decisions and in my body to do what it was made to do.
What did you do to prepare for birth?