I was reading a UC forum today and someone had asked for advice- she's planning her first UC. I wanted to share my advice here because not only does it apply to UCing women, but to other birthing women and people in general. I've elaborated a bit more here than I did on the forum.
- Relax. Don't get impatient. Babies do come. Mine came at 43 weeks after a 44 hour labor, but she came nonetheless. It's kind of like when you're engaged, or when you graduate, or when a birthday is coming- you want it to happen now. Wait a little now and it'll all be worth it in the end. A friend of mine described it this way, "It's like Christmas is coming, but you don't know when." It is like Christmas, except much, much better. And enjoy the waiting period, enjoy being pregnant. Pregnancy can be so much fun.
- Don't be afraid of following your intuition. You have intuition for a reason- your gut can be pretty smart sometimes. If you feel like you should do something, do it! I tried sitting on the toilet during my labor, but as soon as I sat down, it was wrong. I even tried it a couple of times after that because so many people raved about how it helps you relax- still wrong for me. So I stopped. In labor, the best position you should be in will be the one you want to be in. Similarly, if you're thirsty, drink; if you're cold, turn on the heater; if your little voice tells you to phone a friend, do it. Don't sit around second guessing yourself- take action!
- Along with that, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you need someone there for you to hold onto during your pushes, ask. If you need someone to shove their fists in your back, kick them! (poor McKay...) If you do need a doctor or midwife's services, then get it. Asking for help is especially important post partum. If you need company, call people and ask for it.
- On the other hand, don't be afraid to try new positions. Something that didn't feel good yesterday might feel good today. It might take trying something new for your intuition to say, "Yes! That's what I want!" Even up to the day before I went into labor, I didn't want a waterbirth. It kind of sounded like a hassle- fill up the pool, drain it. It's not what I wanted to deal with. However, about 8-10 hours into labor, I suggested to McKay that we blow up the pool and fill it. It turned out that the water was the most comfortable place to be during my back labor. I'm glad that we had the pool on hand so I had the option.
- Don't be bullied. Don't let people scare you out of what you want. Fear is never a good reason to do ANYTHING. It's not a good reason to stay home and it's not a good reason to go to the hospital. People who use fear in their persuasions are really insecure themselves. When they're saying, "But what if..." they're really saying, "I don't believe I'm able to do that and so you shouldn't believe that you can do that." Don't listen to them! Don't let them project their insecurities onto you. You are strong. You can do it. And remember who it is that fear comes from. Fear does not come from Christ- faith does, support does, strength does. When people try to scare you out of your decisions, remember where the fear is coming from and have faith instead.
- Remember that you aren't alone. You aren't the first person to ever give birth- you have millions of women before you and their strength. This was something that I was reminded of about halfway through my labor. When it got close to the end, I thought about it again. Although it seems like we're treading on new territory, we're not.
And since I know picture-less posts are boring, here's a picture of the fountain at the Chicago Temple.