I have borrowed the title from a wonderful doula, who is an amazing resource of birthing wisdom on Youtube, search for Buildtobirth.
Ok let’s be honest here, I am laughing at my smug old self when I was pregnant for the first time. When you have a toddler, you simply don’t have the time to spend all the time on yourself as you did before and neither does your partner. You are happy if you manage to stuff your face with the four recommended dates a day and that’s it. Forget about trying to prove to yourself that you can still headstand at seven months and run at nine. Quite frankly even tilting your pelvis forward when watching a movie seems like a total fucking chore. You just catch yourself thinking: “whatever I think I can take that extra pain during the labour if the baby is back to back” instead of actually going on the floor to do some cat and cows.
There were a few things that I took the time to do. First of all I regularly went to a woman’s physio in the third trimester for pelvic floor health and releasing my ribs to alleviate the pain. I cannot stress the importance of kegel exercise, it’s so simple and it works and really quickly too.
I have also gone to several remedial massages. Not pregnancy massages at a beauty studio, but proper remedial massages from somebody who knows what they are doing and has a perfect pregnancy pillow and it has worked wonders.
Towards the end when I stopped working and finally had some time (but it was also the most painful time) I started doing some things to get the baby out. Tried to go out for a walk when the pain allowed me to. I went swimming twice on those good days. I have had acupuncture and a membrane sweep. I was eating spicy foods and I had a glass of wine too. I tried to eat those four dates a day, even though I hate them, so mostly I just blended them into a banana shake and I drunk raspberry leaf tea. In those days when I really couldn’t move I just did downward dog, cat and cow, low squat and a butterfly stretch.
When I was past my due date, I ran up the stairs, spent one day baking and another cleaning the apartment.
I also practiced my deep relaxing breathing, again this probably didn’t help much during labour as I simply couldn’t use it, but it did help me relax during those horrible days.
Now I am not saying that any of this is hundred percent the reason why I had such a quick labour with no painkillers or tearing, but I am convinced that it all adds up.
Especially because Sebastian was not in the ideal position even in week 40, I think the cleaning did the trick and he finally though: “right that’s it, I am out of here, I am turning back to front.
I do believe that the more active you are during pregnancy, the easier everything is. However I found that taking care of a toddler and working and being in constant pain just does not go together. Truth be told if this was my first pregnancy, it would have been my last. Each pregnancy is so different and giving advice is really hard. Having all those horrible pains that did not go away really does toy with mental health. I have a huge respect for people that are able to live with chronic pain and still keep their sense of humour.