This will be the last in my apparent “Labor & Childbirth” series, at least for now.
My sister is now 37 weeks pregnant. In my conversations with her, as well as other friends toward the end of their first pregnancies, I’ve noticed a common trend. I experienced it, too; the fear of the unknown.
You’ve read the books, taken the classes, and watched the videos; yet at your core you still feel unprepared. You’ve never done this before, you don’t know how to do it, you don’t really feel like you know what to expect.
Guess what? You’re normal. Those feelings are normal. And the best news of all: you’re likely way more prepared and capable than you give yourself credit for.
At the end of the day, no matter what happens, your body knows what to do, even if your mind doesn’t. It’s a crazy sensation to hear the words “You’re fully dilated, want to start pushing?”, and think… “But I didn’t do anything! And I don’t know how! I’ve just been surviving these awful contractions!!”. (Unless you’re getting a cesarean).
Let me attempt to ease your nerves with a few encouragements and reminders.
- Women have been having babies since the beginning of time. Literally. In every corner of the world- and many of them without the conveniences and care that likely all my readers have access to.
- It’s a natural process. Like I said, your body knows what to do, even if you don’t. Those instincts will kick in. When it’s time to push, you almost can’t help BUT push.
- Not every childbirth story is a horror story. I rather enjoyed my experience, to be quite honest. No one can say what your story will be, aside from God. Lean on Him, and enjoy the ride!
- You’re not the first “first time mom” to walk into your hospital/birthing center/etc. Not even close. No one (nurses, doctors, midwives) expect you to know exactly what to do, nor will they quiz you and confuse you. They’re there to walk you through each step and keep you as comfortable and calm as possible. So take a deep breath and relax… You got this.
- One way or another, that baby IS going to come out! Sometimes according to plan, sometimes not. Rest assured that no matter how prepared or unprepared you are, you will eventually go into labor and you will most certainly forget what you were so nervous about. Soon, it won’t be the unknown.