Six days past due date and going strong. There’s a chance she may be gaining 2 lbs a day. Or maybe my chocolate-eating has just increased. Either way, she’s a biggun’. (That’s how you say “large and in charge” in Texan).
I’m thinking of going au naturel this time. (i.e. no epidural or other pain meds.)
I was blessed with two very easy, beautiful labors with my first two — had epidurals with both — and have thought that I would like to try going without it this time for several reasons. I’ve mentioned this to a few people lately.
One (who had a natural labor recently) said, “It was euphoric.”
Another said it was miserable and she would never do it again.
Another said it was miserable but that she’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Another made a constipated face and just looked at me strangely.
I stumbled upon this post from perhaps the world’s most popular blogger, The Pioneer Woman, in which she wrote in a Q&A:
Dear Pioneer Woman,
I’m due to deliver my first baby (a girl!) on July 10th. I’m a little nervous about labor and delivery…any advice?
Gestating in Georgia
You shouldn’t be nervous. You shouldn’t be afraid. Women have given birth for centuries.
That said, labor is TERRIBLE. The pain—the crampy, all-encompassing abdomen-and-beyond experience is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. The sheer intensity of it blew my mind. I felt helpless, desperate, and alone when my first labor kicked into gear.
THAT said, my most wonderful childbirth experience was my third, when I pushed through and made it without an epidural. I felt every single contraction and I got to scream a primal scream when my boy finally burst forth into the world. It’s the birth I think most about, and, ironically, the one I remember most fondly.
THAT said, it really does hurt. But it’s not a sharp pain kind of hurt. It’s an I’ve-never-experienced-this-sensation-in-my-life kind of hurt. In the throes of labor, I would trade it for needles being driven into my eyeballs.
But don’t let that scare you.
My husband and I have been enjoying a fun banter about him coaching me through this au naturel thing. Mostly because we googled a popular “method of husband-coached natural childbirth” and found a funny Cliff’s Notes-like blog post where they give you the 5-minute rundown.
The first tip:
Coach is to remind woman in labor what muscles to relax
(head, face, arms, legs, hands, back, abdominal, shoulder, etc.)
Matt: “So I’ll just remind you to relax your face? I can do that. Relax your face.”
(He’s been practicing this phrase a lot the past couple of days.)
Me: My feet are swollen.
Matt: Aww, just relax your face.
The second tip:
Coach is to remember that the first need of a Laboring Woman is Darkness and Solitude
Me: Please don’t leave me alone in a dark room.
Matt: Shh, just relax your face.
All joking aside, it is something that I’d like to try — so we’ll see. I’m just hoping the hospital is stocked on those yummy frozen rainbow Popsicles. Though it may make it harder for me to relax my face with brain freeze.