I am an RN, when I was in school I assisted in teaching two prenatal classes, and I have previously worked on a postpartum ward...yet I feel like I was not truly prepared for labour. I know all the stages of labour, I know what is suppose to happen when, but...this does not help DEALING with labour. With my first I thought I was prepared, oh how wrong I was. Now I don't think I had an awful birth experience, in fact it was quite nice. But it still nags at me that I never really gave the "natural" birth a good try. I had maybe a half an hour of painful contraction and I broke down and wanted an epidural (though a positive is we use walking epidurals which are better then the traditional epidural). Looking back on the experience I blame the fact that I was not prepared to be dealing with the pain. I went to a traditional prenatal class (one run by the health region) and was quite bored (same material I taught a year previous) but felt I have done my duty and attended my prenatal classes...bring on the labour!
I now realize that preparing for labour shouldn't be a passive act of just going through the motions, sign an attendance sheet and you are ready to handle any labour. You have to be an active participant. So this pregnancy I am determined to learn about different ways to help me fulfill my desire to at least try to find ways to have labour without resorting to an epidural. I won't say that I won't accept any pain relief but I do want to try.
So last week I was browsing through a bookstore when I came across "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both worlds" by Cynthia Gabrial. With a quick glance at the index it seemed to cover everything I was looking for. Part One covers preparing for the birth, part two is about giving birth, and then the final section was pulling it all together. I am really looking forward to reading this book and would love to share my thoughts about not only the book but how I want to incorporate the ideas into my labour. I am hoping to read part one and blog about it before moving onto part two. I haven't decided how I want to break up part two (as it is quite long) but I am thinking about doing posts divided into early labour, active labour, then pushing and after labour. Then the final post will be about how I am planning on bringing the techniques etc into my own birth plan. So hopefully if the nausea stays away (please see previous post) I will be able to do a total of 5 posts about this book. I may add a 6th section about the appendix in the book entitled "Common Medical Interventions and How to Avoid Them". Which sounds very interesting.
Please feel free to post comments about your own birth experience or techniques you found helpful in your own birth!