I'll be honest... the few hours of labor terrify me. I think it's the unknown that is the hardest to deal with. When labor starts, and then gets increasingly painful, you really don't know how much longer you'll have to 'do this'. Of course there is comfort in the fact that it WILL end. It never lasts forever. :)
So this will be my sixth delivery. I'll give a brief rundown of the kinds of deliveries I've had, and what I'm hoping for this time...
Drew: 16 hour labor, all natural, 2.5 hours of pushing, shot of Demerol near the end (Two days after due date)
Joe: Water broke, hospital induced labor with pitocin, stadol through IV, 16 hours (Two weeks early)
Harley: Water broke, hard contractions, quick delivery, 2.5 hours (Two weeks early)
Zach: 20 hour labor, slow start, picked up throughout the day, epidural for last two hours (On due date)
Jethro: 6 hour labor, fast and hard contractions, epidural last two hours (Two weeks overdue)
So I've had lots of different experiences. As an epidural is not an option for me for this next delivery, I am reading up on natural childbirth and how people deal, cope or even enjoy it. It seems like some women view this as a rite of passage into motherhood and feel very empowered by their experience in childbirth. I would have to say with Harley's birth, I did feel very strong and unstoppable. (Look what I just did?) So I am hoping as I practice my breathing and visualization techniques, that I will be able to stay focused, hold myself together, and even enjoy the birthing process this time. I know if you can stay relaxed, your body is more able to do what it needs to, and it is a good method to trust your body. I must not let panic creep in because that does no good for me or my baby. I really am looking forward to meeting this new child.
I recently got the book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and the DVD 'The Business of Being Born.' I would highly recommend both to any woman, but especially to those who may have another child. There are so many wonderful things our medical world can do for us as laboring women. But also so much that is unnecessary to the process of something our bodies are made to do. Even after having five children, there was much I learned from reading this book.
I have also read the book Hypnobirthing and it has some great breathing and visualization techniques in it that I am hoping to use.