A common misconception is that childbirth gets easier or that birth must just be easy for me. After all, after 14 babies it seems I’m just made for birth! Right?! If only this were true.
To start this post off I’m going to share what a lot of you already know, mainly for those that may be new here. I’ve had 14 babies, individual births, same daddy, all at home, zero pain killers, and with a midwife attending.
This post isn’t about using any particular program or technique. This is about what helped me the most mentally, spiritually, and physically giving birth to my last baby. I am going to go over everything I tried, what I thought about each of them, and how they helped me.
I’m scared of pain.
Now that all that is said, I’m scared of pain. This combined with the idea of childbirth is NOT a good combo. When it comes time for me to have my baby I’m already mentally worn down and physically sensitive to all discomforts due to just the normal pregnancy pains.
I always tell myself throughout pregnancy that every birth and baby is different and that God knows what I can handle. Therefore, He will not give me too much. This is a comfort to me to be sure but it’s also a comfort that I have to keep reminding myself of. A sort of affirmation to myself I guess you could say.
This fear led me to try Hypnobabies with my last baby, Clara.
I’ve thought about trying Hypnobabies with many of my past babies. I always hesitated because it didn’t seem to have any Christian teachings at all. I wasn’t 100% positive on this since I hadn’t purchased the program but after scouring all the advertising and reviews I never could find anything about God in it at all.
This was concerning to me because I didn’t want to offend God. If I was going to get any relief at all from the mental or physical difficulties I was only going to get it through Him. I was just looking for another avenue of getting there.
After talking a little bit to Ed about it, I decided to purchase the program. I started a little bit late and had to condense a few of the meditations and readings. I stayed pretty faithful to doing it daily.
The pro’s about this program was that it helped me not feel quite as anxious about the upcoming pain of childbirth. I was able to be more mentally stable and calm about having my baby. This was important to me as I tend to sit and dwell on things and make tough situations even tougher in my mind and, therefore, in real life.
However, the con was I felt like I wasn’t trusting God fully.
With no talk about God in the Hypnobabies program, I decided to add my own bits to the meditations, readings, and daily practices. I increased my prayer life and incorporated more Bible reading. I actually made it a part of my night routine to read and study my Bible (bought a special Bible just for this), journaled about any special Bible verses I found helpful, and increased my daily prayers.
And, of course, I reminded myself often that God isn’t going to give me more than I could handle.
How I Prepared My Material Goods/Physical Surroundings
We had just moved to a brand new state. To top it off, we were building our home and living in a fifth wheel. Yes, a fifth wheel, with 11 of our children. It was very snuggly to be sure!
I prepared my home by simplifying it. This wasn’t a huge task, honestly, because most of our stuff was in storage. We had very limited space so there was only so much there, to begin with.
However, with a baby coming I looked at every little thing in there and packed it back up if I didn’t feel it was necessary to be occupying some of our 435 square feet (at least I think it was that big). Every little bit helped me clear my head and simply life in preparation for my baby.
I had a dear friend offer to throw me a virtual baby shower as all of my usual baby items were still in storage and couldn’t be found. This helped me in two ways.
First off, I felt like my friends cared for my baby. They were acknowledging this new little life in me even though it was #14. This is something that people tend to not do anymore.
Many people figure if you have more than one or two children then any new baby’s don’t need a celebration. I believe every new life should be celebrated!! Even if it’s with a little bbq. Just something to acknowledge that this little baby is special and unique, not just one of many. <3
Secondly, it helped me feel special. I felt that they wanted to help me feel prepared and ready for my little baby. My friend saw that I didn’t feel ready materially and she helped me with this. I even received a few gifts that were just for me. It meant a lot to me.
I keep busy doing things for my baby.
I like keeping my babies in baby cocoons. These are my absolute favorite as they help me keep my baby warm and I’m also able to transfer a sleeping baby easier when I want to lay them down.
I also like making my own baby cocoons and try to make a new one for each baby. I’ve only done this with the last 5 or 6 but am starting to get a pretty nice collection!
They also take me a while to knit so this gives me a little task to complete before my baby is born. It’s a special way I can concentrate on this new life God is entrusting to me.
Being outside with Creation
God is in nature. Walking outside with the trees and sky has always helped me. Especially during labor.
Plus, the fresh air is so invigorating and clean! It clears my mind and heart. I actually feel stronger mentally when I’m walking outside. <3
And lastly… I prepare a postpartum basket.
I felt like I needed to put together some little pampering items for myself. I usually have a few items I put together in my bathroom for postpartum needs but this time I worked to make it a little bit more special.
This time around my basket included:
- a nursing nightgown for skin to skin
- perineal balm
- a deluxe peri bottle
- witch hazel pad liners
- nipple butter
- postpartum sitz bath
- postpartum tea to help with ppd
- calendula baby massage oil
- Ultima electrolyte drink
- disposable postpartum underwear
- organic washable nursing pads
- postpartum recovery tea
- tincture to help with afterpains
Each of the above items was kept in a little basket in my RV bathroom, right on the counter. The children knew to not touch mom’s little basket!!
With each baby, I can feel the need to stay on top of my physical fitness.
I get tired easier, my ligaments feel pain earlier, I show earlier, and the baby weight gets harder to lose after each one.
With each one, my goal is to only gain between 20-25 pounds, although this usually turns into approximately 30 pounds (twice I gained 50 pounds!).
Daily, I try and go for a short walk (at least a mile), stretch for about half an hour at night, follow the Spinning Babies daily exercises, and just try and stay active.
I admit that further on in my pregnancy this can get very difficult. Like, VERY difficult. Especially with #14.
Everything seems to hurt sooner.
I still try though. And Ed and the kids try and help me by offering to walk with me or stretch with me. Nothing like a little peer pressure, right?!? 😉
And, this is how I prepare for having a baby now. Do you do anything differently? I’d love to hear from you! <3