I've had a little over 2 weeks to think about and analyze my birth, so here's some of my analysis.
Things I'll do differently during my next pregnancy:
- I'll do yoga, for two reasons. First, I had a hard time moving around the first few days postpartum due to the fact that I pulled a few ligaments/tendons/muscles in labor. I'm not a very flexible person. Yoga could probably help me stay flexible. Second, yoga helps you focus on your breathing- something I think will be beneficial for next time. There was a point on the 28th when I had a lot of control over the contractions due to a lot of breathing concentration. I don't have the patience to concentrate on breathing for long periods of time, though, so it didn't last long. Yoga might help me with that.
- RRL tea. I'll drink more of it. To be honest, it's gross. Well, I tried to sweeten it with some organic maple syrup but what it really needed was lemon juice. Next pregnancy, I'm going to figure out how to make RRL taste good.
- Kegels. I'll do more of them.
- Possibly perineal massage. I didn't bother with it this pregnancy because I figured my body can figure it out on its own- a really bad tear would be unlikely because I wasn't going to get an episiotomy and I wouldn't be lying down, so I didn't bother. I did tear a bit, and I know scar tissue is less stretchy- maybe I'll do some perineal massage just for the scar tissue for next time. Maybe.
- Learn patience. Maybe you can tell, but I don't have a lot of patience (hence my lack of perineal massage and relaxation techniques this pregnancy). Well, I guess I have some patience- I did have a 44 hour labor after being 42/43 weeks and didn't go to the hospital because of worry of it being so long. You've got to be somewhat patient for that, I guess.
Things I'll do differently next time I'm in labor:
- Push less- or at least wait for a contraction to push. At the end of Margaret's birth, I was just pushing whenever I felt like it instead of waiting for my body to have a contraction. Although, it may have been better for her to have been pushed out quickly. We'll never know.
- Drink more. I did drink a lot, but labor is sweaty. I don't think I was drinking enough to make up for the sweaty factor.
- Birth pool. It really was the best thing ever. By the end of my labor, being outside the water was just too miserable.
- Try different positions. I'm actually pretty proud of how many positions I tried and that I kept moving most of my labor.