52 Days

32 weeks
No hiding it for sure, huh?
Well, if you can believe it, I'm down to less than 8 weeks (assuming the baby isn't late or early). You might remember that my airman and I have been taking Bradley birth classes for the past two months to help us with our attempt at a natural VBAC; we have 2 classes left. I still don't know how we got this far along so quickly, but praise the Lord for it! :o)

Lately, I've been asking friends who have had natural births to share any tips/books/relaxation techniques/labor positions/exercises/whatever that helped with their births. I only recently had the brilliant idea to post this on my blog -- duh, Arlene! I honestly don't know why I didn't think of this sooner! Aside from what I've learned in class and read online/in books, I haven't been given a ton of tips/advice because most of my "real life" friends haven't had completely natural births.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with that if that's what they've chosen to do, but it's not exactly helpful to ask friends who have been induced, for example, what relaxation technique really helped them get through transition, since they had some sort of pain management drug in their system, know what I mean? :o)

Anyway, who better to ask than my bloggy friends? I can think of at least five ladies that have had natural births (two of whom had one or more home births), so I can imagine that there are others of you silent visitors who have had natural birth experiences... perhaps you would be willing to share some knowledge with me? I would be extremely grateful for any wisdom you might be able to impart -- or even any positive birth stories you want to relate.

We're really getting down to the wire, and I could honestly use some support and encouragement from friends who've been there (as opposed to some of the crazy looks I have received in the past when I mentioned that I want to have this baby without any drugs and without a repeat cesarean!). :o)


Jenny said...

Arlene you look great and such a BEAUTIFUL mommy! Love ya and Praying for you

Amy said...

Sarah was born via a natural birth despite her prematurity. My best advice is to be ready for anything and to have no expectations. We had planned for a home birth. I assumed she'd be a later arrival like most babies are and a long labor as I was a first time mother. I thought all of my contractions would be the typical tightening bands around my stomach and that my fluid would need to be ruptured. I wound up being wrong on all counts. My water broke at 35w,3d around 8AM and we had to go to a hospital with a NICU, not knowing if our baby was okay, why I have gone into labor early, or if our baby would come home with us in a few days. All of my labor was in my back. I had Sarah at 7:03PM after just a few hours of hard labor and less than twenty minutes of pushing. None of this was what I expected nor what we prepared for in childbirth class, so I just went with the flow.

In light of my go with the flow stance, I hesitate to share any real tips for specifics. Every birth is different and different things work for everybody. I think having an openmind is the most important thing for a successful birth irregardless of what one plans for birth. :)

Rachel said...

Yeah, I got no tips for ya. :)

But I'm praying for you and trusting that everything will go well! I know that you will do a great job. Can't wait to see pictures of the new little one!!! :o)

Vicky said...

How exciting! Almost there! :)

And to be almost finished with your Bradley class is great - they are really thorough, so I've heard! So hats off to you both for completing that, yay! :)

Sorry to say I won't be of any help. Had 2 epidurals, even though I really wanted to go natural (I have really long labors and a very hands-off husband, ha ha!). I think next time (Lord willing), I would like to use a doula. Aside from that...

I have talked with friends who went natural and said that you need to enlist as much help from your husband and the nurses as possible. Change positions, use the shower or jacuzzi tub (the warm water will really help with transition, so I've heard), pull out all the stops with your breathing. Praying for you to get some really supportive nurses on staff that can help you guys through this.

Like I said, I'm not much help, but I'm sure you'll get some people who've been there, done that, to give you lots of advice! :) Best wishes, Arlene!

JenT said...

You STILL look cute! How is that possible?! lol
About your question. I honestly don't know how I relaxed during labor. Most of them went pretty fast. But when it came down to the end I just TOLD myself to relax. With our first we tried to do the whole focus on a picture, listen to music, etc., but it didn't work for me. I'm more of the type that turns in to myself during extreme pain. I don't even want anyone touching me. Actually, I really don't want anyone touching me. lol So there went the soothing massage idea. :) A shower with my first homebirth really helped me. But with the others we only had a shower stall and I didn't want to get caught in there having the baby like I did with the first hb. (Yes, my first homebirth happened in the tub). Anyway, I'm not sure I'm much help. Think about when you are in pain. Do you like someone trying to comfort you, rub you? Or do you just want to be left alone? BTW...remember that walking during labor usually helps speed things along. Toward the end of my labors (when I could) I would pace my bedroom and/or bathroom until it came time to push. It always helped. Oh and breathing. Don't do short fast breaths, but long slow ones. Fast breathing can bring on hyperventilation (sp?). Well, hope this helped a little. :)

Sarah said...

Just remember that you have a plan but to keep an open mind. Because every birth experience is different. Love you and I know you will do great no matter what happens.

Dear Abbi said...

Pictures of the BABY, of course. :)

Dear Abbi said...

I've had three natural births, but the best piece of advice I can give you is to reiterate what everyone else said and that is, have an open mind. Anything can happen. The birth process is not promised to be a blessed process, in fact, quite the opposite, going back to the Garden. Be prepared for anything. And everyone labors differently. I was a silent laborer. It helped me to be as still and quiet as possible, and have my husband rub my hand and have them sing the same song quietly to me during contractions. But then there are noisy laborers and those who rock, change things up, massage, shower, etc. The tub worked for me. Just take it one contraction at a time. Each labor is different too. My first was slowish, my son was lightning-fast, and my baby girl was almost as fast, but even more pleasant.

I hope everything goes well for you! Can't wait to see pictures!!

Mrs. C said...

Love that belly! :)

All four of my deliveries were natural. My last was the smoothest, with the help of a midwife. I was so much more relaxed with her than at the hospital.

Just keep taking one day at a time. Go into things with an open mind. Hope for your "ideal", but don't think you've failed if the VBAC doesn't work.

Praying for a smooth home stretch! :)

Sherry said...

You look great! Praying for you!

RSMacias said...

Because of complications, our first two were not natural - so I was very determined for the third to be completely natural. I used the hypnobirthing technique, but you may not have enough time to read up on it and get prepared. I thought it worked great and several times the nurses came in to ask if I was still in labor - they had to check the monitor to make sure I was still contracting. It's really just going with the pain instead of fighting it. Only the last 10 minutes were really painful but were still bearable since I was pushing. We're planning on using it with this baby too. It may not be for everyone, but it worked for me. You're going to do great! = )

Tori said...

You look beautiful!!

We had our two youngest at home naturally and it was wonderful. No tips to give though, sorry!

NiftyMama said...

Hi! I just got back into blogging and was reading all blogs on the kjv blogroll and was very excited to come across your post! I had my first born naturally, took a bit of the laughing gas during my second, and my most recent one was born unassisted at home! I can tell you that for me the best things I did was to read Ina may gaskin's guide to childbirth (a bit of a hippy but really great for fully understanding how relaxing in birth will make the biggest difference). I read lots of birth stories and spent lots of time in prayer. If you want my son's unassisted birth story is on my blog! Good luck! Just trust that God made your body to give birth and the word 'pain' is only part of the curse if you read the niv!

samantha said...

You're getting so close to the big day! I bet you're getting really excited. I keep checking in to see new posts, but I bet you're staying busy nesting and preparing all those last minute details. Can't wait to meet you new little man!