Let’s take a moment & be completely honest. Having a baby is a wonderful thing but it’s also very scary & confusing.
There’s so much information out there that we can get overwhelmed by it all. And again, being honest, some of it is just crap.
We read books, we take classes, we research registries, we hear horror stories from people who mean well (but really need to keep it to themselves).
And we mark the days off the calendar as the countdown begins.
But for most of the us, the scariest part of having the baby is the actual labor process.
Is it going to be painful?
What if I don’t make it to the hospital on time?
Is it braxton hicks or real contractions?
Or how about this big question…
How do I know if I’m even really in labor?
Related: Stay organized with a Pregnancy Manager
Let’s start with a story
My pregnancy with my daughter was pretty much textbook perfect. I got pregnant, had a bit of morning sickness, had a baby shower, water broke, & she came.
My son however was not as easy & had me on bed-rest several times.
After figuring out how to survive bed-rest while still caring for my toddler I ran into another situation.
At 34 weeks I started to dilate & he clearly had dropped down into birthing position. The doctors assured me all was well & my body was just preparing for birth.
That’s all fine & dandy but baby boy thought differently.
At 36 weeks at 8am I just knew I was in labor. So we rushed to the hospital. My water hadn’t broken & I was dilated further but they kept assuring me that my son wasn’t coming.
After seeing 3 different doctors, I put my foot down & asked to be kept for observation.
An hour later it was obvious that I was in labor. 10 minutes later, they broke my water, 40 minutes later I was pushing.
So why did I tell you this?
Because the absolute best advice that I ever received came from a midwife who ended up being the one to deliver my son.
Best Labor Advice Ever
She told me to trust my gut.
Stating that women are designed to know what to do & are able to handle what labor & delivery throws at us.
She was so right. Had I listened to some of the others then I would of probably had my baby in a car or at work.
For centuries women have been having babies & there wasn’t always technology around to tell them what was happening.
They learned to listen to their instincts & the signals that their bodies were giving them.
Some women may have horrible contractions. While some women will only have slight cramping.
Your water may or may not break.
Whatever your situation is, at the end of the day you’ll know when it’s time for your bun to come out of the oven.
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