I have two and a half weeks left in my pregnancy (I’m pregnant with my 2nd) and I’m getting to that really uncomfortable stage… you know, when you just want your baby to come already?! I’m really trying to be patient and know that she will come when she’s ready, but time seems to have slowed down in the last couple of weeks and it seems like an eternity waiting to meet this little one. At the same time, I’m trying to enjoy these last couple of weeks of pregnancy, knowing that it might be the last time that I experience it.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted here and I think that it’s mostly because I haven’t been overly inspired to write about nutrition- mainly because I’ve been pre-occupied with thoughts about labour and birth, not to mention having two kids and how THAT all works. Don’t get me wrong- good nutrition is so important during late pregnancy, but for now, I feel the need to write about something a little more…uh…personal.
That being said, here’s a word of warning for my husband’s buddies, my dad and my brothers who have all signed up to receive these blog posts as a supportive gesture… you may want to stop reading this post now as there will be some talk about birthing, breastfeeding, lady parts and other things that you may not want to read about… but hey, if you’re interested, feel free to read on!
In January, I wrote about my New Years Resolution to plan to have a more peaceful birthing experience this time around. Long story short, I had a somewhat traumatic birth experience with my first, which I know is not completely uncommon. It involved a series of interventions that I did not want or plan for and then a vacuum delivery because my son was in distress. I suffered a bad 3rd degree tear and a pelvic floor injury that took over 8 months to heal. Breastfeeding was a struggle because my milk did not come in until day 6 and I couldn’t sit without being in extreme pain for weeks. Despite all of this, I nursed and pumped until he was 6 months. It wasn’t easy. Nursing did not come “naturally” to me. I was an awkward sweaty mess trying to nurse and my son was never satisfied afterwards. Let’s just say, breastfeeding wasn’t the peaceful, bonding experience that I had hoped for.
So, I actually stuck to my New Years Resolution because I so desperately want to have a better experience this time. My choice to be followed by a team of midwives and Doula this time was one that I have struggled with over the last 9 months for a few reasons, but mainly because of close family and friends (and my family Doctor) who have lovingly encouraged me to “just get a planned c-section”. And I know that the reason for this is because they love me and worry about me going through the same ordeal as last time. I considered this route (planned c), knowing my history of injury and tearing, but it just didn’t feel right to me- it seemed unnecessary for so many reasons. Something inside of me knew that I could experience a more peaceful birth and have a better shot at breastfeeding if I took another route.
So I did.
I’ve been followed by midwives, a doula, a pelvic floor physiotherapist, a chiropractor and a birthing psychologist over the past 9 months AND I’ve even read a pretty cool book called “hypno-birthing” which can help with staying calm and at ease during labour. Yes, I’ve gone ALL OUT! Why not though, right? I must say that my husband, family and friends have been a HUGE support and have cheered me along. I’m trying not to have any specific expectations about how things will go during my labour and delivery, but I’m thinking (and hoping) that it will be a completely different (and better) experience.
Now that I’m starting to have those menstrual-like cramps and experiencing some other signs that labour is approaching, I’m getting nervous and anxious (even though I’ve managed to deal with most of my fears). How will I handle the pain? Can I actually do the whole “natural birth” thing? Will I tear again? Will I re-injure my pelvis? Is this baby going to be big? Is she going to be ok? The frustrating part about labour and delivery is that we really don’t know what we’re going to get- it’s a complete mystery for every single one of us and for every single baby that we deliver. For people like me who like to plan ahead and be in control, this is a scary thought.
Anyways, I wanted to share this with you because I feel that there are other women out there who have felt disappointed with their birth experiences and who want to try a different route the 2nd, 3rd or 4th (bless your hearts, whoever you are) time around. I cannot tell you yet if all of my birthing dreams will come true this time (I will keep you posted though!!), but what I can tell you is that it is SO important that you follow your intuition when it comes to pregnancy and birthing. Don’t base your decisions purely on what you have experienced in the past or what your friends or family have experienced (or what they think is right for you). YOU are in charge of your experience and you should follow your heart and intuition when it comes to your pregnancy care provider, where you plan to deliver your baby and how your want your birth to play out. There is no “right” decision. There is, however, a “right” decision for you. Whether you choose to have a planned c-section, an epidural, or a natural birth, just make sure that it feels right to you. Ask questions and become empowered with knowledge. You are ultimately in charge. And even then, there may be surprises that come up that are completely out of our control.
Wish me luck! xo