Labor and Delivery

Four Things You Need to Know About Labor & Delivery

I like to say that labor and delivery stories are like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same.

We have nine long months to think about this baby coming into the world -- Where will I be when my baby decides that they’re ready? Will my water break in the produce section at the grocery store? Will they come two weeks early? How long will I be in labor? -- And we do our best to prepare.

We read the entire internet, take birthing classes and commit all of our friends' and family’s stories to memory. We use all of this information to understand our options and come up with a plan that makes us feel prepared and gives us some level of comfort amidst the uncertainty.

And sometimes things will go exactly according to that plan, and sometimes they won’t.

I know what you’re thinking. Super helpful, right?! You’re getting ready to bring another human into this world and your carefully considered plan may be null. Even for the most laid back of us, this uncertainty is unnerving and can create a lot of anxiety!

While we can’t predict all of the details, there are some commonalities that all labor and delivery stories share. It is my hope that these four universal truths will provide you with a sense of confidence and peace that helps to make the days leading up to finally meeting your little one more enjoyable!

Be sure to check out these other blog posts that you may find helpful:

What I Wish I Knew During My First Pregnancy

My Must Have Products for Baby #3

A Friends and Family Guide to Helping with a New Baby

Four Things You Need to Know About Labor & Delivery

1) Trophies are not awarded for how you birth your baby.

The moms I know have done it all -- hospital births, home births, epidurals, unmedicated births, vaginal births, C-sections, hours of pushing, two quick pushes, twins, singletons, 2.5lb babies, 10lb babies, doctor assisted, midwife assisted, doula get the picture. And guess what? Not a single one of us got a trophy at the end of it! But we did get a precious baby(ies) to bring home!

So, if your plans go astray and your unmedicated vaginal birth turns into a C-section, or you don’t make it to the hospital in time for the epidural you were planning on, you have not lost a competition and are not being judged. The most important thing is that you and that baby are safe. Have trust in your medical team to help you figure out the best way to make that happen.

After an uncomplicated vaginal delivery with my first son, I was very optimistic about an easy breezy second delivery. When I found myself unexpectedly going in for a C-section, I was so disappointed and felt like a failure. But you know what? It was the absolute best thing that could have happened for both me and my baby. And at the end of the day, the result was the same. Our amazing son was here and he was healthy.

2) Someone else’s labor and delivery story has absolutely no bearing on yours. You will have an incredible story to tell that is authentically yours.

That’s right, your sister’s, friend’s and lady behind you in the grocery checkout line’s experiences will in no way predict yours! Even your own previous labor and delivery stories may not indicate how this one will go!

That said, try not to get too caught up in other people’s stories and unsolicited advice. Trying to conjure up every possible scenario or thing that could go wrong will steal the joy of this season! You are going to create your very own story that is beautifully and authentically yours.

3) Leave your inhibitions at the door.

There is nothing that your medical team has not seen before. You should also go ahead and let your partner know that there is no such thing as “staying up top”. Tell them to be ready to grab a leg, provide a steady supply of ice chips and hold back your hair. It’s all hands (and eyes) on deck!

4) You are stronger than you know.

You were made to do this and your body knows what to do. Your strength knows no bounds. Seriously, prepare to be amazed with yourself! (There’s a reason men can’t have babies after all...just sayin’!)

And remember, women choose to continue having babies, even after the toughest deliveries!

So, there you have it! The four things we know for certain about your upcoming labor and delivery. My hope that these help to bring a little more joy and a little less anxiety to the remainder of your pregnancy. It will be time to meet your little one(s) before you know it!

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