Scrolling through all my mommy groups this week, I came across almost this same exact post (or some variation of it) too many times to count!
"HELP! I'm 40 weeks pregnant today and seeing NO SIGNS of labour! How can I induce labour!? I don't wan't to go overdue or be induced!" *Insert all the crying, sad and panicked emojis*
Now. As a Doula, I try my very best not to comment on these posts other than to encourage mama to rest, eat, stay hydrated and maybe try some sex/nipple stimulation if shes up for it. Followed by "Don't worry, babies come when they're ready". That said, having birthed 3 babies of my own, I know my "sage advice" isn't likely to break through to the mom who's feeling tired, sore, anxious, disappointed and SO DONE with pregnancy.
In all honesty, I'm not surprised this is such a common post! In fact, given how we as a culture think about due dates and all the "why are you still pregnant" questions a mom gets as soon as she reaches her estimated...
I am going to start this off first, by saying that I am extremely grateful to have so many talented photographer friends, where with every one of my pregnancies, I've been gifted with maternity sessions. These are photos that I will cherish for the rest of my life!
For my first three pregnancies, we were very serious about getting those beautiful shots, and my husband was very cooperative.
Baby number one, with Amber Lee Photography
Baby number two with Amber Lee Photography
Baby number three with Amber Lee Photography
Then there was a change.
We discovered we were expecting baby number four, and a few months into my pregnancy, I decided to become a doula. So I don't know if it was the fact that my husband now considered himself a "birth pro", from watching me give birth three times and hearing a lot of birthy doula talk, or if he finally felt comfortable enough in front of the camera, that he now had a say in what was shot.
I got pregnant with my first when I was pretty young, 21, and I had done absolutely NO research or anything. We took the childbirth classes at the hospital, and when they mentioned C-sections I zoned out because I never imagined I would have one! I had trouble with high blood pressure at the end and was induced at 39 weeks for that reason. They broke my water and I immediately started having intense contractions. Thirty minutes in, I asked for an epidural and five hours later I was having a C-section due to fetal distress (knowing what I now know, it was a cascade of interventions from the induction on, but I was young and didn't know anything about birth).
Two years later I was pregnant again and had never heard the term VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). Looking back, Im amazed that my OB didn't at least give me the option! So my second son was born via elective C-section at 38 weeks.
Fast forward 5 years (2010) and I'm pregnant with #3...
Birth can be messy, beautiful, long, scary, uncomfortable; the list goes on.
How long did you plan your wedding? Was it days, months, years? Now, how long have you been preparing for the birth of your baby? I'm guessing you looked for the best health care provider, decided where you're going to give birth, found a Doula who fits right in with your personality, and researched your options for labour and delivery. Your all set, right? But what's your plan from the time you feel that first contraction, or water breaking, to the time of delivery? We all know birth can be completely unpredictable, but is your plan to lie in a hospital bed while you dilate from 4 - 10, and just wait for your baby to make his arrival, or do you like to be proactive?
What does “proactive during labour” look like? Our bodies are an intricate unit, and birth can be a complicated process where the intricacies of our bodies work together to bring a baby into the world. Muscles and ligaments have t...