It’s exciting when you find out you’re expecting. I know the first time I saw that test confirm what I already suspected I was totally beside myself and practically vibrating with joy. I was calculating when we would meet kiddo, thinking of names and overall high on the awesomeness that is life!
But what if (like me) there are these weird, strange and the unexpected things happening?
And I was a 1st time Mom, looking for help and advice on how to deal with all the stuff that comes along with this change.
You ask your family and friends, and get smacked with advice and HORROR Sotries…
Yup, that was me.
The second people found out it was like “Oh My God! You HAAAAAAAAAAVE to do it like this….” que outline of their ideal birth and way more deets about what ever horor story they had around labor & delivery…
It made me want to scream!
At one point I even started cutting people off saying “That’s nice, I’m sure it was all worth it though” and walking away. And no I didn’t let them answer, I was just fed up.
It seemed like everyone wanted to brag about how horrible their pregnancy was, or how damaging the delivery. And it was giving me panic attacks!
So here is what I really deeply want you to know. THERE ARE POSITIVE PREGNANCY & BIRTH STORIES out there, you just have to look a bit harder to find them.
For instance, my 1st pregnancy was a dream. My main “symptoms” were sore
So how do we survive the “Pregnancy Horror stories” and the “Delivery trauma braging” that can happen?
#1 Arm yourself with knowledge!
Talk to your Doctor / Midwife / OBGYN or whom ever is your medical professional. You want to be asking questions about what is happening and what is normal for YOUR body/baby/situation. It’s true that not all pregnancies or labors are the same.
Look into the various stages of Pregnancy, and what you can expect along the way. This will give you an idea of what could be coming, but also don’t get caught up in all the things that can happen (some are scary and rare).
Read up on the Stages of Labor, and what it could feel like during the labor and birth. This will help you get ahead of the “fear stories”.
#2 Find the positive Stories
Seriously, ask people if they have positive birth stories. Mos of us who do have been conditioned to NOT talk about it (because so many others have told us that it’s not possible or not good enough to share). But when we are prompted we are happy to share. And there are likley more of them out there then you know.
#3 Read positive Pregnancy & Birthing Books
I personally used Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth as a go-to book every time someone tried to scare the crap out of me. I didn’t need or want the panic attack so I carried the book with me at all times.
#4 Enlist your partner to run
Family gatherings, we love them. But there is always that one relative who won’t leave you alone. Get your man to distract them so you can get away at family gatherings.
#5 Have someone to talk to that really listens.
If it’s a family or friend be clear that they need to support you and can’t say things that add to the fear. Personally I recommend working with a loacl doula for this, especially if your family and friends all have horor stories. Doulas are typically very knowledgable about pregnancy, labor and birth, mine was a God Send in “talking me back from the ledge” when ever I panicked. Seriously I would send the big, long emails with anything and everything I was thinking to my Doula Team (ours worked in a 3 woman team) and they would pick out what I was trying to say and find a way to help me address the issue and get back to enjoying our growing baby.
#6 Figure out where your partner’s head is at
Talk to him about what is going on in his head, is he calm and rational? Or more freaked out?
Some guys can’t handle the “my girl is pregnant” and others flip over the “I’m going to be a Dad” part. Asking questions to see where he is at will help you understand what kind of support you need to get elsewhere around some topics. Also, make sure you send him out for a guys night with other dads who already have kids they can help him come to terms with all the things that are changing.
#7 Pamper your self some 😉
All moms deserve to be pampered and spoiled especially as we grow this new life over the next few months. Enjoy it, revel in it even, and make sure you take the time to care for you.
#8 Enjoy the moment
I know it’s hard to think about anything else right now, so enjoy it. Even if you have some symptom that makes you crazy uncomfortable right now find those moments that you enjoy and hold them close. This time is special, and unique to you, your partner, and the life you are creating together. So take a breath, say a prayer, or what ever it is you do to stay in the current moment and enjoy it.