“Think of the gypsies who just head out and drop theirs in the field,” says my mum cheerfully, in an attempt to reassure me following a bout of pre-labour jitters. “Or your nana. After all, she had seven boys and me, and remember – I was a 12 pounder.” Hmmm, I wonder what poor Nana, bless her soul, would have to say about all that now?
The day that I am posting this also turns out to be the magical day that my big sister gives birth to her second baby – a little boy, my nephew! Our due dates have only been 8 days apart, and she has ended up going two days over hers. From the information I’ve gained so far, her labour was only 3 hours this time around. The happy news is all a little surreal, with the knowledge that I might not be too far behind her!
Yes, with 6 days to go now, I’m dreaming about meeting our bean too. Usually these dreams crop up in my subconscious at around 3am, when sleep has eluded me and my mind is doing a merry dance through all that could happen. From floating effortlessly in a birthing pool and doing my cat / cows during contractions, right through to being whisked off for an emergency C-Section: every possible birthing scenario has gained at least some air time!
While I’ve been preparing for this day for many months, I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t always easy to take a deep breath and remain fully calm and present. Letting go of my first labour and all it entailed has proved a challenge, and something that my yoga, mindfulness practice and swimming have been pivotal in helping me to process. I also know that once D Day swings around, these will all prove fantastic tools in my labour tool box.
But there are times when, let’s face it, even the strongest and most prepared amongst us, will break down and worry. It’s a completely natural part of the process. Without wanting to sound cliché, I really feel that the most important thing to remember is that each and every birth is unique. So take the stories with a pinch of salt. The ‘helpful’ comments with a grin and a thank you. Don’t stress over imagined scenarios. When the day comes, it will be your day. You’re fully in control and, trust me, you will know exactly what works for you.
So, in these coming days, I’m approaching things with a smile. Every twinge and sensation is bringing me closer to meeting the bean. My hospital bag is nearly packed, and I’m almost ready to get this show on the road. (Just as soon as the husband touches down from Dubai on Wednesday!)
Finally this week, I thought I’d leave you with something a little light-hearted – so here’s a list of my top 10 things not to say to a woman in labour…
1. So you didn’t make it to that waxing appointment then?
2. Should I cancel the golf tomorrow?
3. Mind if I order a curry while we wait?
4. Can I pop the footy on?
5. You’re at the top of the mountain! No, sorry, wait– make that just about half way.
6. Man I’m SO tired.
7. Are we nearly there yet?
8. Geez I could really do with some of that gas and air.
9. What the heck is THAT?!??
10. (Refer back to my mum’s comment at the top of the page!)
Sending my blessings to all the expectant mums and dads out there…
A grand adventure is about to begin.
Winnie the Pooh