Labor can be an awesome experience, an awful experience or a little bit of both. After birthin’ two babies, I have learned a thing or two about how to make it go a little smoother. Hope it helps some of you out there. enjoy.
Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
During my third trimester, I drank red raspberry leaf tea every day. It is supposed to tighten your uterus up so it is strong like bull when it comes to poppin’ that watermelon out of your lady bits. If you have read my son’s birth story, you may want to punch me, but you will for sure know that I must have done something right for how smoothly it all went. Whether it was the tea or just my child birthin’ hips, it is worth a shot. FYI, it has to be red raspberry LEAF, not just red raspberry flavor.
Another thing I did to help with my labor before I even started thinking about episiotomies and c-sections was exercise. I hit the gym a few times a week to keep my body in decent shape. I did light cardio, but I also did some strength work. I think my body being strong had a huge affect on my birth experience. I did squats, arm weights and pushups off raised bars right up until I delivered—man did I make the dudes in the weight room REALLY uncomfortable. Everything I did was pretty easy stuff, but it is damn effective at keeping you in shape when you add in an extra 20 pounds of baby and burritos to each rep.
Don’t Sweat the Small (literal) Shit
When I was pregnant with my first, a very wise friend gave me a great piece of advice, “Don’t study up on the birth, study up on the baby. The birth will be over in a matter of hours, but the baby will be here for a lifetime.” After two kids, I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Birth plans are kind of bullshit and can set you up for failure. Don’t read up on and analyze every single step of the birthing process. Chances are you will deliver in a hospital, where a whole floor full of trained specialists will walk you through everything while nature does what it is going to do no matter how you plan it. And don’t worry about shitting on the table. If you are that concerned about people seeing you poo, do what I did and keep the hubs above shoulder level. All the people below that have seen more hooha than Ron Jeremy. What’s a little turd between friends, anyway?
Go With the Flow
When you get to the hospital, just do what the nice people ask you to do until you get checked in and then kind of do the same throughout the process. Resist the urge to micromanage, especially your nurses. They are saints that deal with crazy ass pregnant ladies all day. God bless them! Overall, just trust the experts but feel free to let them know if you have a concern or questions. And most of all, BREATE. Hyperventilating when you are having contractions is not fun.
The first most important rule of labor is: TAKE DRUGS. The second most important rule of labor is: TAKE DRUGS. Not only should you take the drugs, but you should take them the second they are offered to you. God put someone on this planet smart enough to invent the epidural. Say a quick thank you to the big man above for being so generous and order yourself one up. There is no reason to go through any pain. I didn’t and the most painful part of my entire birthing experience was getting the IV. Thank you, Jesus. Oh, and for all of you strong women out there that give birth without drugs, here is a small round of applause for you. Hippies. (Just kidding. Go, Ricki! Go, Ricki!)
|Drugs are good.|
Labor can be a long process and there is only so much entertainment your smartphone can provide. Bring movies, books and other things that you like to do when you are in horrible pain and unable to walk or move your legs. Or just when you are bored. Whatever.
For my second birthing experience, I did a little research on hypnobirthing. I know, I know, I know, but hear me out. I didn’t take a class or read a book or anything, I just perused the internet to see what it was all about and learned a few things. It is kind of awesome. Basically, while you are in labor and waiting for the baby to make its a debut, just close your eyes, breathe, think peaceful thoughts, keep saying to yourself that you are doing an amazing job, that your body was meant to do this, feel your body opening up and the baby moving down. (Make sure to tell your partner to shut the fuck up before you do this so you don’t stab him with your IV for asking you if you care if her grabs a bite to eat since you are just “sitting there”.) I swear to god, this worked for me. My nurse came in and checked me and I was at 6 cm. Then I decided to try hypnobirthing. I kind of “blacked out” for a while and when I “woke up” I felt like I had to poop, got checked, was at 10 cm and the rest is history. I swear. Hand to Wine.
Make friends with your nurses
If taking drugs is rule number 1 and 2, all the rest of the rules are “be nice to your fucking nurses”. Seriously, if you walk in and are a bitch to your nurse right away, I can pretty much guarantee you will have a bad birth experience. Those ladies and gentlemen are there to help you, not be your servant and take your shit because you are in pain. Say “please” and “thank you” to them and after you are done birthing, give them a gift to thank them for all that they have done for you. Preferably chocolate. Or wine. Or both. Also, be prepared to have more than one nurse as you will possibly be laboring through a shift change. This sucks balls once you get attached to a nurse, but it is just the way it works. Be nice to the second nurse too. Even if they aren’t as awesome as nurse #1.
Now that you have birthed a tiny little human that you never want to be apart from, hand that pink pile of perfection off to the nurses for the night and get some shuteye. Seriously, don’t have the baby sleep in your room while you are in the hospital. Whether you had a great labor or a terrible one, you are exhausted and now is the last time you will have uninterrupted sleep for the rest of your life. Take advantage of it so you are the best and most alert mommy you can be when you head home. Leaving the hospital already strung out from lack of sleep is going to make the journey home and the settling into your new life HARD.
Take More Drugs
Be sure to take drugs after your delivery, too. They prescribe them to you for a reason. Your “area” will have received a beating 18x as bad as a pack of midgets could deliver with their tiny fists. You are not going to get hooked on aspirin and leave your baby crying in its crib while you get your next hit of Aleve. Take what the Dr prescribes you as directed. Once you feel pain, it is too late and you will be a crabby mommy and have a crabby baby.
Shit (sometimes doesn't) Happen(s)
Since you have now taken drugs and are a comfortable and happy mommy, one more note: take some stool softeners. Both while in, and after you are out, of the hospital. Believe me, after delivering your baby, pooping will become the scariest idea in the world to you. Painkillers tend to slow down the poop pipes. The last thing you want to be worried about when you are already in enough pain in the nether regions is a painful #2. If you take the stool softeners everything will go a little more…um…smoothly.
Oh! And take the hospital snot sucker home. These work 100x better than the ones at the store and when you need one at 2 a.m., you don’t want one that sucks (well, that doesn’t suck).
That’s all the wisdom I have to lay on your for now, ladies. Good luck and Godspeed!
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