So the good news is that labor the second time around was definitely easier. Finally something about pregnancy that people didn’t lie about! (Glowing for 9 months my ass..)
I had a radically different labor experience this time. I think it’s because I was more prepared with the right questions to ask, and felt more empowered to say no to what didn’t feel right. As a result (or just dumb luck, who knows) my active labor was under 8 minutes this time! I have no idea if it’s actually because of the things I did differently, but I like to think it is.
- I listened to my body, not always my Doctor (Within reason, obvi)
- I got help/guidance from more ‘alternative’ perspectives
- I said no when it didn’t feel right (and wasn’t dangerous)
- I calmed the eff down. Knowing that I was in pain, not danger, was a radical shift in perspective for me and I think the one that had the largest impact. (Thanks to Dr Elliot Berlin for teaching me this one.)
- I knew what was coming. Ok, so technically this wasn’t something I did but rather a perk of having done it before, but knowing what was going to happen or what was happening took a lot of the fear and anxiety out of it for me.
Things I wish I could have told my first-time-labor self:
- You’re safe. This is one of the most natural things your body can do. You are in pain, not danger.
- Every contraction is one less you ever have to have again.
- Every contraction brings you one step closer to meeting your new little love.
- Relax into the pain (easier said than done) but when you tense and fight it, it hurts so much more.
- Listen to your body and say no to what doesn’t feel right. (Again, within safe and reasonable limits)
- Enjoy early labor, it’s the good part!
Almost 3 weeks later I can now actually look back on this labor with love and respect for what my body can do. I don’t have the same “Never am I fucking doing that again” mentality that I did for a good 6 months after JJ was born.
How did everyone else’s second labor/birth compare to the first?