Pregnant Mama’s Guide to Peace & Preparation Part 1

So I mentioned in some earlier postings that I needed lots of stuff during my pregnancy.  But I must say, there are some things that are necessary-some may argue with that but hey, they were for me and that’s what matters!  We talked about maternity photos already, you already know that, and we talked about hospital delivery gowns so you’re probably thinking, what else could be necessary?!  Well, there are still a few!

Let’s talk sleep…people kept telling me, get all the sleep you can before the baby comes ’cause after that you won’t get any.  Uh, the advice should have been get all the sleep you can before you get pregnant because after that you won’t get any!  I had people telling me not to sleep on my right now or my back because that would cut off an arterie and hurt the baby and then sleeping on my tummy-never liked that pre-pregnancy and definitely didn’t during!  So that left me with sleeping on my left side only, except everytime I woke up, I was on my back.  Man that freaked me out everytime I woke up ’cause I was afraid something bad would have happened to the baby!  Then I was waking up every couple of hours to pee!  All in all, I did not get much sleep between the bathroom and my anxieties.  So then I looked online to see if there was something to help that (no not the peeing situation but the sleep positions).  I figured the pregnant mama/baby market is such a booming business, someone was bound to have come up with a “solution.”  Well, I found it, but I thought it was kinda expensive until my Honey convinced me it was worth it and if I used it even for 8 months, it would pay for itself!  It was the Snoogle Pregnancy pillow and it wrapped around between my legs and I would even tuck the end of it under my belly for some cushion.  It did mean no more snuggles with the Honey but just snuggling the Snoogle!  I bought mine here and I think I even found a coupon code for it too!  It didn’t solve all my sleep problems but eased a little of my anxieties and actually helped having just 1 pillow rather than 4+ (1 for head, 1 for between legs, 1 for behind back, 1 for under belly, etc)!  For those of you, like me, thought you could keep it for next baby or use it as a nursing pillow afterwards, don’t count on it.  The company sends you this card with pictures of different ways to use the pillow during pregnancy and also for nursing moms but my pillow after 7 months of use, it was ready for the trash after that!  By the end, the pillow was limp and flat, but I’m still glad I had it and would probably buy one again for the next pregnancy.

~$60 for Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow

Next 2 must-have things during pregnancy go hand-in-hand for me: a doula and an awesome birthing class!  I was super fearful of the birth, not knowing how I could handle it.  Some people (my OB included) said to watch some videos on birthing to educate myself and maybe I won’t be so scared about it.  Till that point, I’d only read a million articles and books, no videos yet so I thought, maybe I should and it will make it more “real.”  Oh boy, it was a BAD idea!  I borrowed a video from the library and only got through the video clips before turning it off and crying for a week straight!  I saw clips of a vaginal birth, C-section, and the administration of an epidural and that was more than enugh for me!  Everyone says, oh don’t worry about the birth, you can just get an epidural!  Well, not if you’re even freaked out about getting the epidural!  So what’s a girl to do at that point?! About 2 months before the EDD, a friend lent me a Hypnobirthing book that she took some tidbits from and found helpful. After reading the introduction and skimming the 1st chapter, I walked into the living room and told Honey that I wanted to see if there were any Hypnobirthing classes.  I didn’t want to plunk down $300+ for a regular birthing class that told me the same stuff that I already read off WebMD.com or just taught me to be a good patient.  So we decided if there was a class on Hypnobirthing, we would use the money towards that instead.  Luckily, there was an instructor in the city that just happened to be hosting a class within a week of me searching! 

Kathy Woo  was the instructor and this hypnobirthing series was awesome!  It really helped me so much, and even Honey, prepare and look forward to the birth.  I know hynobirthing sounds hoky and I don’t think I would have taken a class like that if I just heard the name (I think I made a funny face when my friend 1st told me about her Hypnobirthing book), but after reading the intro I knew it was for me.  It’s all about self-relaxation so the tips in birthing class is actually just good for everyday life and dealing with stressful situations!  It treats the labor and birth not as a medical procedure but as a celebration of life and a momentous occasion!  Also, the techniques taught in the class helps the spouse to play an integral part in the birth rather than be a back-seat passenger!  Honey and I got to spend time cuddling together during the pregnancy…and him giving me massages while saying different “affirmations” to encourage me about the birth.  Kathy was a great instructor, explaining to us how our body was changing to prepare for the birth and explained what was happening in our bodies and with the baby before, during, and even after the birth.  It talked a lot about natural birthing but also talked about what to expect and do even if a natural birth cannot be attained and how hypnobirthing can still help in cases of c-section and epidurals.  Taking that class gave me and Honey the confidence and peace we needed going into the birth…and helped give me more confidence about having Honey as my support system…that he wouldn’t just faint at the most critical point!  Well, he didn’t and he was amazing.  Before the D-Day, he put together a birthing soundtrack for me of some amazing songs with encouraging lyrics and guess what, we ended up slow dancing to “And She Danced” by Josh Groban during the contractions.  Then Kiggster was born to the song “Don’t Give Up” by Josh Groban!  It seemed too coincidental almost!  Someone asked me how my birthing went and I actually said, “It was enjoyable-not painless but enjoyable!”  Uh, if I hadn’t taken the class, I think I wouldn’t have had the same experience or response to that question.

This was us slow dancing during the labor.
Something we learned & loved in our class! 

As for the doula, we didn’t think we could afford one but Kathy Woo helped us send an email out to the doula community with our proposed budget, EDD, where we were giving birth, etc. and let available doulas respond directly to us.  We actually got a good amount of responses and doulas to choose from.  A lot were not as experienced (which we expected from our budget) but there were also some that were willing to give a price break because they didn’t feel anyone should be deprived of a doula just because of finances.  That was the case of our awesome doula!  Cindy Whitman-Bradley was great to work with and the first time we met her, we knew we could feel comfortable being in the L&D room with her.  I wanted a doula rather than another family member/friend because I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t feel guilty for my behavior during L&D if it was someone I knew.  I know with a doula, they’ve gone through birthing a million times and have seen the bad, ugly, mean, and grossest things so there wasn’t anything I could do to worsen that.  We met with Cindy about 2 or 3 times before Kiggster actually arrived and she assisted us in finalizing our birthing plan, worked on the different laboring positions, massage techniques…it helped to confirm the things that we learned and were learning from our class with Kathy.  During the L&D, Cindy was really good about assisting Honey.  The awesome thing was, I don’t remember Honey ever having to leave my side or his hands leaving mine because Cindy would run around getting the water, washcloth for my face, and helping us talk with the nurse when it was needed.  When we first arrived at the hospital, I was checked to see how far along I was, but within an hour, I seemed to have progressed a lot farther but I wouldn’t have known.  I told Cindy what I felt and when the nurse returned telling us that she would re-check me in a couple hours, Cindy explained to her what I felt and suggested that maybe I should be checked again because it seems I am farther along than anticipated.  She was correct because within an hour I went from 3cm to 8cm dilated!  After the baby arrived, while we were busy gawking over the baby, Cindy helped us with our paperwork for collecting cord blood and calling the place to pick up.  She stayed until we were more settled in but even came to visit us post-partum at home to see how we were doing with Rayne!  Even though we’d only known each other about a month before Kiggster was born, she made it easy to welcome her in to our new family!

Thats us w/Cindy moments after the birth!

So I think it’s too much reading for one posting, so lets make this Part 1 of my Pregnant Mama’s Guide!  Stay tuned for Part 2!

Update: You can now read Part 2 here!

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