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
Good Luck Sarah! You’ll do great. You can’t plan everything, or really anything when it comes to childbirth, but if you have a plan in the back of your mind and let the rest just happen, things will go your way. I’ll be thinking of you in the next few weeks and can’t wait to hear your peaceful news when baby comes!
Sarah Remmer says
Thanks Heather! xo
Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts and fears, Sarah.
This is all very fresh in my mind, too, as my baby finally arrived on Sunday (June 2nd). He is my 2nd child and I am amazed at how different my birthing experience was with him. It was incredible.
My midwives have said all along that no 2 pregnancies are alike. Of course it’s easy to want to compare everything to your 1st but certainly in my experience this one truly was quite different. If you’ve had a bad experience in the past, each pregnancy is like having a fresh start. I’m even finding breast feeding to be easier so far.
I’m so glad to hear you are following your heart on this, as challenging as I’m sure that must be some days as your due date approaches. You won’t regret it.
I look forward to your updates, to hearing about your birthing adventures and am very excited for you!
Sarah Remmer says
Thanks Crystal! I do hear that the 2nd birth is SO much different than the 1st. Let’s hope that Ben paved the way! Congrats on your new bundle! Looking forward to someday meeting him!
Lori Vickerman says
I also had a very traumatic 1st birth similar to yours. I just wanted to tell you that the 2nd time was much better. You’ve got this!
Sarah Remmer says
Thanks Lori! It’s so great to hear 2nd timer successful birth stories. It makes me hopeful!
Thank you for this post! I am that 4th time mom looking for a better birth experience this time around! I had a great #1, and #2, but #3 rocked my socks and I have massive anxiety about it! I too have hired a doula and have pulled out all the stops.
Here is a affirmation video I am finding to be incredibly helpful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSXc-a_AH2k&feature=player_embedded
Email me any time if you want to chat.
Sarah Remmer says
Thank you Alisha! I’m going to watch the video right now! Good luck with #4!! xo
Thanks for that blog. My son is 18 months this month, I’ve been wanting another so he has a companion but first time was the worst experience of my life I was sick with all day morning sickness for 30 of my 37wks of pregnancy. But hearing his heart beat & feeling him grow made me high on love. So all that made me want to feel that again 1 more time. After hearing you I think I am letting fear go & just do it.
Sarah Remmer says
I’m so happy that you’re planning for #2 and that my post had even a slight encouraging effect. Good luck!!
You go girl!!! Thanks for sharing what so many woman want to hide…the reality of many many women’s birth experiences. My first (and current) babies birth was really difficult and ended in a c-section and I was shocked at how many women did not want to hear about my struggle and current pain and just wanted to focus on my “happy healthy baby”. I think sharing stories are so important and help women feel empowered to do what is right for them…not what others feel they want! Your birth experience (separate from your baby, which is most joyous) is so vital to your life long well being and it is so important to advocate for ourselves! So you go girl!!!! Your body was made perfectly to birth this baby in a healthy way! Your baby knows what to do to come into this world! Birthing without intervention IS normal and healthy!!!
Sarah Remmer says
Thank you Danielle! This is really encouraging and I agree we need to talk about our birth experiences and raise awareness that there are other more natural and peaceful options:)