5 Labour Worries You Need to Forget About Now
When you are pregnant with your first child, your mind can go crazy with worry. You worry that you’re not eating enough or that you’re eating too much. You worry that the aches and pains you feel aren’t normal. You wonder if your baby is moving enough. Though a lot of what keeps you up at night are legitimate concerns, so many of the fears you experience as a first time mother are simply due to fear of the unknown.
As your pregnancy progresses the biggest worry becomes labour itself. You’ve heard horror stories, you’ve seen movies but you have no idea what it’s going to feel like. Your mind can often be your worst enemy in moments like this, imagining something so much scarier than reality.
No matter what anyone tells you it’s difficult to not be afraid, but there are some things that really aren’t worth worrying about.
What are some things you can stop being afraid of when it comes to labour right this second?
1: Sticking to your birth plan: You have an idea of how you would like things to go. You may have even written it down. It’s great to be prepared but you have to be flexible when it comes to giving birth. Things can change in the blink of an eye. My plan was to go medication free but as the hours of labour ticked on and I stopped progressing my doctor explained to me that sometimes the epidural can relax you just enough to allow your body to dilate. After 23 hours of labour I finally agreed to the epidural and my doctor was right, within a couple of hours my son was in my arms. There is no point worrying that things aren’t going to follow your well prepared plan because it’s totally out of your hands.
2: Not making it to the hospital on time: In the movies it goes something like this; water breaks, contractions hit her both intensely and instantly and daddy to be races through traffic arriving at the hospital just in time for her to give birth to a beautiful baby. In reality it usually doesn’t happen quite that fast. For most women, labour with their first baby will not be less than 12 hours long. That gives you plenty of time to make it to the hospital. Have a back-up person you can call to take you to the hospital in case your main support person isn’t available. There are always exceptions but you will most likely know that baby is on its way hours, maybe even days before its big arrival.
3: Your spouse’s reaction: Many women worry that their spouse will be grossed out seeing them in labour. Will they faint? Will they want to look “down there” and if they do will they ever see you the same again? Fact is many spouse’s support their partner through labour and delivery and their love and respect for them just grows. Want my honest opinion? Who cares! Some people aren’t comfortable seeing their partner in pain especially when there isn’t much they can do to help out, but at the end of it all that’s their issue to deal with, you have bigger things to focus your energy on and how your partner feels during your labour should be the last of them! It can be an experience that brings you closer together.
4: Pooping: Pooping all over the table was one of my biggest fears before I went into labour. My entire pregnancy, I would cringe at the thought of pooping in front of my husband and doctors and nurses. I have been in labour twice and I can honestly tell you that I have no idea if I pooped or not. Reality is you just might poop. Not much you can do about that. Doctors and nurses really are used to it and are quite well trained in the art of making poop disappear quickly and discreetly. You will not be the first and you definitely won’t be the last. You may not even know that you did so why waste time thinking about it?
5: The pain: Let’s just put it out there. Labour is called labour for a reason. It doesn’t tickle. It hurts. There will be pain involved. It’s a kind of pain that cannot easily be put into words. I’ve been through it and I don’t know how to describe it besides it hurts. But it really is a pain that’s easily forgotten. The moment I laid eyes on my baby, the baby that I created and grew inside me, I couldn’t feel a thing but love, excitement and awe at being given the chance to be a part of such a miracle. It hurt but I chose to do it again. It hurt but I would go through that pain 100 times over to have my children. Plus, we are fortunate enough to live in the days of modern medicine. You have options. Research them. Don’t feel like not taking medication makes you a superstar. If medication helps you manage the pain just enough to allow you to enjoy you labour experience then just do it.
If you are pregnant for the first time. It’s perfectly normal to worry and let your mind run away from you. It comes with the territory. Yet as normal as it is there are some things that you need to stop worrying about right now. Be flexible and know that as overwhelmed and afraid as you might feel you are never alone. Enjoy the experience, take in every second because it really is a miracle that you are fortunate enough to experience. Once it’s all over you will feel like superwoman. And when those panicked moments hit take a deep breath in and remember that if it was that terrible there would be a lot more single child families in this world.