I am getting so many braxton hicks contractions at the moment. Baby Carr is so active and the movements cause these "practice" contractions and they really take my breath away. They are not painful at all but I do have to stop and concentrate on them at times. I am hoping this will get me all primed and ready to go into spontaneous labour before 42 weeks gestation.
I am happy to be patient and wait for baby to come when he/she is ready this time, however I do really hope things start before 42 weeks. If baby does wait that long I will be having regular monitoring to ensure babe & I are healthy and well and, assuming all is fine, we will be waiting for baby to arrive in his or her own time.
At around 20 weeks (when others were having anomaly scans which we chose to avoid) I was beginning to wish we knew the sex of our baby. Other's started talking about their babies using "him" or "her" and I began feeling that it would be kind of nice to be able to speak in a more familiar way about our little one. But having made the decision a long time ago (after reading many articles suggesting that ultrasounds may not be as safe for baby as is commonly thought) to avoid unnecessary scans, we were stuck not knowing whether I was growing a little boy or another little girl.
I can happily say that I am so glad we don't know. I am a believer that there are not many true surprises in life and this is something that we feel will add to the experience of birthing this baby. We didn't know with Molly either. I am getting so excited about giving birth and welcoming a new life earthside to join our family. Molly can't wait and is beginning to feel impatient about when babe will arrive.
For the record, my hunch is that it is a boy and that I will come into labour on March 5th 2011. It will probably be wrong but I thought it was worth recording in case I am right!
My feelings about the birth itself swing between a serene sense of calm anticipation to a little bit of panic and anxiety about how I am going to handle the pain. I have a good understanding of the physiology of birth and the way hormones interact to assist a mother to naturally manage the pain however I only have a medical induction to compare it to... the induction was absolutely awful and I did not cope at all. I know from hearing stories and reading lots of information that a chemically induced labour is vastly different to one in which the woman comes into labour spontaneously and goes on to feel safe and supported through her labour and birth without stimulus to bring her out of "the zone" and affect the steady release of oxytocin.
Something that eases my mind about these fears is that I have made plans to give me the best chance possible of being able to have this kind of birth. I am birthing at home as long as baby & I remain well, I have an independent midwife who I really like and respect (and more importantly, she respects me and my choices), my support people (John and Mum) are on board and agree with my choice to birth at home, I am keeping well and healthy and I am staying out of the hospital system unless there is a medical need for me to enter it.
The number one factor influencing how you birth is your choice of care provider (should you choose to have one). If you have a care provider (Ob) with a high caesarian rate or a high episiotomy rate, you are likely to be an addition to their statistics. On the flip side, if you hire a midwife who usually sits in the other room knitting or reading and allowing the mother to do the work of bringing a baby earthside in privacy, you will probably have this kind of experience yourself.
What I am saying, is DO YOUR RESEARCH! And choose the care provider who fits with your own birth philosophy. If your philosophy does not match that of your care provider, you will find yourself fighting your way through the whole experience- this is NOT what a birthing woman needs.
If you want a VBAC, find the care provider who has the most experience and the best stats in supporting women to achieve this.
You are the CEO of your body and of your birth. YOU make the decisions. Just let them be well informed decisions..