squat, breathe, yelp...

The Empress Marie-Louise of Austria Giving Birth to the King of Rome, 1811 Giclee Print

our prepared childbirth class is halfway over. 3 down 3 to go. every week we leave our house so we can get to class and get a back row seat. i am back row sitter. at everywhere but the movie theater. church, back row. class, back row. a meeting at work, back row. it's just where i belong. we claim our seats center back, and watch the cheesy slide show. i watch the other couples to see if they are reacting the same way we are to the strange things the instructor says, and the slightly disturbing animated pictures on the screen.

this week we went into the other room and practiced some positioning for labor. not positioning for birth, that would be extra weird, but the labor part. what positions might help with pain and make you comfortable, some things dad can do to make mom feel better. i was so awkward in this room full of people that i nearly had a panic attack. there is nothing natural about being on all 4s, with your husband standing behind you, applying pressure to your hip joints, in a room full of people who all are doing the same thing. matthew and i mostly cracked jokes and giggled. then all the laughing and positioning made me really really really have to pee... so i abandoned matthew mid positioning exercise. i almost escaped out the back door. i did not want to go back to that room with all these weird people i don't know groping each other and pretending to have a contraction. no sir... i wanted to run.

but then i looked in the mirror. and i saw the fear in my own eyes. and i knew i had to go back to that class. i am so scared to give birth. i am more scared to give birth than i am to be a mom. i am scared of the pain, and i am scared that matthew and i will fight. i am scared matthew will pass out. i am scared we won't make it to the hospital on time, i am scared we will make it to the hospital too early. i am scared i will have a mean nurse i won't get along with. i am scared i will have to have a c-section, i am scared the baby will be hurt. i am scared that i will throw up while in labor. i am scared that my mom and mother in law won't make it there to help me along. i am scared they will try to throw that slimy baby on me, and i will in turn freak out. i am scared of being out of control. i am scared of losing it all. i am scared. i am really really scared.

i need all the help i can get. i need to go to that class and look at the slides, and the creepy animated pictures. i need to practice my breathing and positioning, and i need to read as much as i can before the day comes. i need to know that women everywhere, for all of eternity have done what i am going to do. i need to know that God is in control and i am not. i need to know that we will be okay.

i bought 2 birthing books, and i am trying to educate myself. i am praying for peace and strength, and a quick and easy labor. i am walking, and drinking lots of water, and trying to eat right. i am making sure i am in the best possible place i can be in, to give birth to this little boy.

but i need your prayers, and i need your advice, and i need to know that this is not completely insane. is it normal to be this scared? i will be 32 weeks this week, and the time is coming soon, and i need to know you guys have done it, i need to know you felt the same, i need to know you are praying for me.

and i need to finish that last 3 weeks of this silly prepared childbirth class.

Mother Giving Birth under Hypnosis Photographic Print


  1. It's completely normal to be scared! There are so many horror stories. Plus, I mean, really, you are going to be pushing a 6-9lb human being out of your body! I mean, come on now, who thinks of this kind of thing?
    I've had two kids, and I went "natural" for my first one (no drugs). I was too scared of that epidural. And that labor and delivery was long (12 hours) and painful. I really don't remember much about it except misery and pain. It was really bad. However, I got my little boy and he was perfect and we moved on. Hubby and I swore never to do it again.
    Two years ago we changed our minds and got pregnant with #2! This time I was on the fence about the epidural (my memory of the previous labor was bad but not THAT bad) and after 7 hours of labor and only dilating to 4cm (for real!) I asked for an epidural. And, let me tell you, that changed EVERYTHING. Within SECONDS I was fine. Grand! I took a long nap. I woke up and the nurse told me it was time to start pushing. I did not feel a thing. Then they laid the little girl on my chest and everything was great. That labor was also 12 hours, so it was a nice 5 hour nap after that epidural went in. I went from being in such excruciating pain that I couldn't even breathe, to taking a nap. Let me tell you. I know there is a lot of talk about the bad parts of epidural, and I was completely on that bandwagon. However, I can honestly say that looking back at my two deliveries, I have a lot better feeling about the second one. I remember everything, I was awake and aware for it, there is no fog of pain overriding everything else. Also, I did not and have not noticed any difference in my two kids as far as being "drugged" or having any problems from the epidural. My personal opinion is that it is too late in the game to effect them too much. My little girl (epidural) was wide eyed and curious about everything right after birth, just like my boy was.
    That being said, if I had another baby, I think I would try to do it natural again. I have heard a lot about meditation and yoga and breathing exercises, and I would REALLY like to have a natural birth that I could stand. But I would be open for that epidural too.
    But don't be scared about the horror stories. There are just as many GOOD stories as bad ones. My aunt had three babies back before the epidural existed, and she said it felt like she had a big poop. She said with each one, she had ONE moment of what she would consider pain, but it was really like pushing a big poop. Also, a good friend of mine had two babies, one who was over 8 lbs, and she did them both naturally, and only felt pain the last twenty minutes. Even then she did not think it was very bad, and she does not have a high tolerance for pain. So you just never know. Some women are really just built for delivering babies. You may be one of the lucky ones! And if you're not, there's always the epidural. :)
    Hang in there and don't stress about it. The important thing is that you are spending 9 months to make a baby you will spend less than 24 hours delivering, and then you will get to have him in your life forever! That labor is just a drop in the bucket of time.
    I wish you good luck and I am praying you get through it with flying colors.

  2. It is super scary.
    Every time.
    All those fears.

    Matthew will not fight with you and he will be very quiet and helpful. I just know it. He is a goof...but when the going gets tough...he pulls thru like a champ.
    So stop worrying about that part.

    It's going to hurt.
    You will deal.
    God will be with you.
    I am a fast driver. I will be with you.
    You will breathe and relax and do your best!
    Then if you need it you will get drugs.

    If you need a c-section...it will be for Asher's health and you will be thankful to help him out.

    Tell yourself comforting and peaceful thoughts to combat those thoughts of fear.
    God does not want you to worry so much.

    He says 'fear not' 365 times in the Bible.

    One for each day...or in your case....one for each fear of birth.

    In with the love
    Out with the fear

  3. Jennifer18:56

    It's not fun. It's tolerable though. I always regret getting the pain killer in my IV. I swear it made me a little loco, but the epidural was great. Hopefully your baby will come quickly like your cousins babies did!!!

    I think everyone is afraid of it! You are not alone in that! It's a little scary, but just keep telling yourself that women all over the world do the same thing everyday. Our bodies were made to do it and you will do wonderful I'm sure!

  4. I know your fears of going into labor at the wrong time etc. I was worried because Andrew works at least 30 minutes away from our house in the town that our baby would be born in... SOO i was worried I would go into labor while he was at work and he wouldn't be able to leave to get me and we would have to drive a ton and on and on... SOO at 39 weeks when the DR said do you wanna induce if he doesn't come I was all for it! I was glad that we could 'schedule' when he would come! Well turns out he was on that schedule too as I started to go into labor the night we went into be induced. Make sure you let Matthew know your pain... That was Andrew's hardest part was he didn't really know how bad I was hurting... I tried to go natural but it was just a different pain and I couldn't get comfortable so I had an epidural. ANdrew almost passed out during that... But the actual pushing and delivery he was on target and there watching it all! I had a BIG baby with a BIG head and they had to use a suction to get him out and I tore... but it was ok I had my baby and he was healthy and amazing! You can do it!!
    -- oh and a side note on your previous posting about dyeing your couches I saw in the paper today about spray painting your couches with stuff called Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric paint... it says you can get it at Hobby Lobby... just thought I'd share...

  5. April22:32

    It's your first baby and totally and completely normal to be scared. I certainly was with my first! I didn't know what to expect either even after childbirth classes so it made it all that much more scary. After 2 more I know what to expect and I look forward to it-the last one I did totally natural with no drugs at all and I felt SO impowered! The most important thing is to have a plan-write it out if you want to but discuss it with your dr and your husband. If you know each scenario it doesn't make it so scary. Matthew will be fine and the nurses will help him understand what you are going through if need be. That's what they are there for!
    I live in Omaha and have delivered at Methodist 2x. Not sure where you are delivering but they are AWESOME. Relax...your going to meet your little guy OH so soon and it will be the most amazing thing you have ever experienced. Promise!


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