Preparing for BABY NOTO
PREGNANCY is a rollercoaster of events.
For starters, there's morning sickness. I quickly learned that it didn't make sense for it to be labeled 'morning'. I was sick morning, afternoon, night, midnight, midday. My body/baby didn't care what time it was or what I was doing. I could be walking to class at 1:00 pm and have to throw up in the bushes by the art building. I quickly learned what I could and couldn't eat in regards as to what made me nauseous. Looking back, I don't even remember what was off limits because by the end of the 2nd trimester, I was no longer throwing up and ate anything + everything. Well except sushi and lunchmeat.
Before I became pregnant, I had already decided that I wasn't going to find out the sex of the baby at the 20-week ultrasound like most people do. For me, it wasn't hard not knowing. I liked it. I had an intense feeling from day one that I was having boy (I ended up being right), but also daydreamed about possibly having a little mini-me as a daughter. Either way I knew God had created this little miracle that was going to change our lives for the better. At first, Anthony wasn't totally convinced on the whole "surprise" plan. I explained to him that not knowing actually somehow made the weeks go by faster, that finding out we had a son or daughter in PERSON would be so insanely special. This was just one of my intentions that made people question "why?" or "how?" I was doing it. Around my 30th week of pregnancy I got another "crazy" idea in my head: Natural Childbirth.
Once again, when I told family and friends about this personal goal, I got so many "Why? How?" Comments and surprised looks. Instead of being encouraging, a lot of women in my life went as far as to tell me that it was impossible and I didn't need to be a "superhero". Of course this motivated me more. First off, it's obviously P O S S I B L E. The female body is literally designed to give birth. I researched EVERYTHING. All day, everyday. Probably more than I should have, but I wanted to be prepared. Little did I know, no amount of reading could have prepared me for childbirth. However, there are a few things that I swear by and will implement into my next pregnancy/labor prep.
Raspberry Leaf Tea (RLT). I started drinking one cup a night at 28 weeks. I increased the cups + bags the closer I got to my due date. I became obsessed with it. I had read that it helped ripen the cervix but does NOT induce labor. It's important to not confuse the two - or else you may wind up disappointed. I made a habit out of drinking the tea and although it's not proven - I had an 8 hour labor, which is nothing compared to some. This is the tea I used and L O V E D.
Evening Primrose Oil. This is another product that is said to ripen the cervix, NOT induce labor. I began poking a hole in it, then inserting it (yep) at 34 weeks with the OK from my OB. It honestly wasn't my favorite thing ever and I still don't understand how it could have possibly worked when I was getting up out of bed every hour to go to the bathroom. It must have leaked out but who knows. I'll continue to use it on round 2 because why not. I got mine at wal-greens.
Pre-natal Yoga. Everyone knows yoga is good for you. It's great for you when you're pregnant too. My yoga instructor doubled as a doula and the class really focused on breathing and gentle movements that would prepare our bodies for active-labor. I liked this class because she wanted us to have the mindset of foregoing any pain medicine. I did end up using the techniques when it was 'go-time'. It was also somewhat comforting to be in a room with 10+ other VERY pregnant women. We all had lives growing inside us and were all preparing for the same incredible outcome.
Birthing Ball. This is something I wish I would have purchased way earlier in the game. I didn't start using it until the middle of the 3rd trimester. It felt so good on my back and knees and relieved a lot of the pressure.
Doula. I really don't think I could have made it through unmedicated childbirth with out one. I'll do a full post on one later that goes over what to look for in a doula and how they make everything about labor better for the mama.