Mentally preparing for labour!

This is not me! Or my child! This is my beautiful sister-in-law Emma with my nephew Tristan in 2012.

This is not me! Or my child! This is my beautiful sister-in-law Emma with my nephew Tristan in 2011.

PREGGO UPDATE! I am currently 6 weeks away from my due date. On one hand that feels like a million years, but on the other hand I seriously feel like the baby could come at any moment.

Which really means that my mind has shifted from the blissed-out-zen-state-of-being I felt in 2nd trimester, to my brain totally being obsessed with labour. So much so that I dream about being in labour almost every night, and this past Monday I basically spent the entire day convinced I was in labour. (I realize I am fully going to be a crazy person for the next month).

So when a dear friend had a baby a few nights ago I immediately asked her how labour was, and all she texted back was “LABOUR IS BONKERS“.

Her response made me laugh (and of course pee my pants a little), but it also reminded be that there is no way to really prepare for labour.

But alas, I am still going to try! I love asking women about their experiences, and there are a few big take-aways I’ve heard from mamma’s recently and my amazing pre-natal class. Now remember I have personally never gone through this so I can’t speak to their accuracy, but here are some of those thoughts/wise words I’ve been told that I wanted to share that will hopefully help me (and possibly you!) move into a positive headspace for labour:

1. Intensity, NOT pain – Labour has a purpose, and is natural, so let’s change our mindset a bit. It’s not like you broke your leg in a ski accident and something is terribly wrong!

2. A lot of labour will be at home, even if you are doing a hospital birth. – Basically, the movies lied to us! All that RUSHING to the hospital may not be true (although for some people – it definitely is), as your labour may start or your water may break, and you could not head to the hospital for another 5 to 10 hours.

3. Your body knew how to MAKE the baby, it will know how to get it OUT. – Trust your body, trust your body, trust your body! That is a mantra to say over and over again.

4. Your body won’t produce pain that it can’t handle. – Basically no one passes out from pain during labour – RIGHT!?

5.  Make a birth “if this, then that” list, not a birth PLAN. – As we get ready for labour I have become increasingly conscious about not wanting to set expectations, as I don’t want to be disappointed (this is a general life rule I try to live by actually!). BUT, I do think it is massively important to go through all of the scenarios of birth to at least discuss ahead of time what you may want to do if that thing happens instead of having to decide in the moment (where I might be a bit out of it). SO, instead of calling it a “birth plan” or “birth wishlist” (which ensues if it doesn’t go like that it is wrong in some way), I think it should be called the “Birth if-this-then-that” list. That way you can make clear what your preferences are, without any pressure on the experience having to go a particular way.

Do you have any other advice for someone about to go through labour? Or who can’t stop thinking about it? Please, please, please share if you do!