30 Days

Real Labour Stories

This morning I’m trolling through Facebook profiles of old friends and acquaintances that are recent mommies, and their baby photos are melting my heart. I can’t believe that I’m only a month away from meeting this amazing little being I’ve been GROWING IN MY BODY.

I used to really pride myself on the creative things I’ve accomplished in my life, but really nothing compares to making a person. For me, that was always a goal I wanted to achieve, but as I approached my mid thirties it seemed more and more like a pipe dream. I believe whole-heartedly that women everywhere can achieve great and wonderful goals without ever procreating, but to look back on darker times in my life when I really believed I would never have the chance to even try to get pregnant, I feel pretty damned grateful.

This morning at about 5:45 I awoke with my first for real, full-fledged contraction. I think it was like a super Braxton Hicks or something because I shifted positions and it eased up. There haven’t been any more since. It was unlike anything I’ve ever felt, different than cramping for sure. I felt my entire midsection give a squeeze, right down to my pubic bone. It didn’t hurt, but it did make me marvel at what the real deal might possibly be like.

I fell asleep watching ‘More Business of Being Born’ which is a follow up mini series to the Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein documentary ‘The Business of Being Born’. The particular episode I was watching featured various celebrities talking very candidly about their own birthing experiences. It was really touching and honest. I was seriously impressed with model Gisele Bundchen. She spoke of the whole thing as a very empowering, spiritual experience, and she seemed to have mastered the art of staying calm and relaxing through the birth. I figure if she (who has not been blessed with my wide birthing pelvis) can squeeze out a person so serenely, then surely so can I. My grandmother birthed twelve babies, so I’m going to believe that I’m genetically primed for this kind of work.

I am getting nervous. Not afraid, because I really do believe that I can handle whatever happens, and I’m prepared to do whatever needs to be done to bring the baby into the world safely, but I think I can say there’s some fear of the unknown setting in. I think it’s comforting to know that every single experience is unique, and that just because some people had a hell of a time, it doesn’t mean that I will. I think if I keep focusing on the spiritual and very positive elements of birth, it will help tremendously.  Everyone seems to swear by Hypnobirthing, and while I like the idea of deep relaxation, I found this book impossible to read because it’s so, so fruity.

So many of you have babies of your own. What kind of mental prep or labor coping tools did you and your partners employ?