February 13, 2015

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

I finally finished reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth after going back to it on-and-off for the last few months. This book has made me approach this second pregnancy with new insight.

When I was pregnant with Cole, I made the mistake of not reading any books on pregnancy or the birthing process. My thought was, I could find any information I needed on the internet with a quick search. While that can certainly be true, it was very much like trying to register for baby shower gifts: overwhelming. There are so many different websites to click on, articles to read, opinions to receive, that it became easier just to ask the doctor at monthly appointments and hope I didn't forget anything, than it was to overwhelm myself with too much information.

I feel so much more prepared for this next labor and delivery, in part, because I've already been through it once, but now I also have an arsenal of ideas for positions to labor in, pain relief techniques, and I think most importantly, knowing that my body is doing what it's supposed to.

The book is set up so that the first part is labor and delivery stories. You get to read tons of beautiful birth stories that start in 1970's and go all the way through to the early 2000's. I especially loved that there were women who naturally birthed 10 pound babies-whoa! With Cole being born at 9lbs 13oz, I'm fairly confident I'll be having another big baby. How encouraging is that?!

The remainder of the book details the mechanics of labor and delivery. Even though I've been through it before, there were things I didn't realize could effect the laboring process. Now that I know a person's demeanor, the space I'm birthing in, hunger, etc., all play huge factors in my labor's ability to progress, I will have better control over the situation, which is incredibly comforting to me.

If all goes according to plan, I will be attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I'm still waiting to hear back from my doctor as to whether or not my cesarean incision was done to facilitate my hopes for a VBAC. Fingers crossed I will be given the green light.

As soon as Cole was born, I knew that I would do everything in my power to have a VBAC. Part of me still struggles with the fact that I had to have a cesarean. Was there something else I could have done? Maybe if I tried doing this or that, I would've been more successful. I know I need to stop beating myself up about it, the end goal was reached, I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy, that's all that matters, right?

In the end, I know that I will be overjoyed to welcome my second son, regardless of how he enters the world. If you are pregnant, and haven't read it yet, please give this book a shot, you won't regret it. Thanks to Ina May's beautiful book, I will be going into this birth with confidence and a positive attitude.

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