I’m curious to hear how other moms-to-be are planning for the big day (aka baby’s birth day). As a first-timer, I have been trying to set positive but realistic expectations for my foray into the labor and delivery world. I haven’t felt totally ill equipped, as I’ve been working at P&N for a few years now, but I know that writing and reading are very, very different from doing the actual hard work that is birthing a baby.
I’ve read birth stories. I’m reading childbirth books (wrapping up Mindful Birthing and next up is Ina May). Lee and I found a doula we love. We enrolled in a 16-hour birthing class. And more recently, we’ve started rounding up the things we’ll want/need to take with us to the hospital … like a birthing ball and lots of copies of my birth plan.
But no matter how much preparation I do, I don’t think I’ll ever feel 100 percent ready to have this baby because there’s so much that you can’t know or plan for. One thing in particular that has been stressing my husband out is the fact that we can’t know when active labor will kick in. Will it wake us up in the dead of night? Will it happen right during rush hour? (Atlanta traffic is not something I want to tango with during contractions.) Will I be at work when my water suddenly breaks and have to drive myself? There’s no way to know. And that is kind of bewildering.
In spite of all of the details that we can’t control, we’re still doing whatever we can to get ready for the main event that we know is inevitable. Some of my friends and family members have looked at me like I’ve gone off the deep end when I tell them about all of our prep work, specifically our four weekends of birth classes. And while I want to just trust that my body knows what it’s doing, I can’t help but think I’d like to be in the loop on what all that entails. Maybe that’s not how other moms prefer to do it, but that’s what makes me feel most confident facing the unknowns of labor and delivery.
So, I’ll just be over here reading, researching and practicing my labor pain coping skills. (We learned more than 50 in our class! That alone gives me so much reassurance that I can do this.) And you can, too! However you decide to approach it.