How I Envision My Birthing Day: Birth Wishes Part 2


Read Preparing for Labor: My Birth Wishes Part 1 here.

My husband and I are 2/3s done with our Lamaze childbirth class. Although I thought I knew a lot about labor going into it, I’ve learned so much more.

I know some people giggle at the idea of childbirth classes but I think they’re great, helpful, and important. If anything, it’s a fun excuse to get out with your hubby once a week, and practice a new hobby together.

I’ve also been reading The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth With Confidence, and I have to admit, I was hesitant when picking it up, I sometimes feel childbirthed-out and like I can’t stand to think another moment about preparing for this single moment that will be eclipsed by my baby’s smile in a matter of months. However, I brought the book with me while I was getting my hair done and have been interested in quite a bit of content.

Lamaze has been a great opportunity for my husband and I to talk about how we want things to go, and how he’ll support me during labor, and it’s given me the backbone of my Birth Wishes philosophy. Their six healthy birth practices are:

1: Let labor begin on its own
2: Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor
3: Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support
4: Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary
5: Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body’s urges to push
6: Keep mother and baby together – It’s best for mother, baby and breastfeeding

And all of them you’ll see flowing into my letter of desires.

Along with Lamaze I’ve been listening to labor hypnosis tracks daily as well as pregnancy affirmations, and practicing prenatal yoga. All together I think I’ll be ready for my “pressure waves” (aka contractions) on my birthing day (labor aka D-Day).

I’ve thought a lot about how I’d like my birthing day do go and although I know anything could happen, and that I need to be open and flexible, I visualize it going something like this:

I envision labor starting on its own in the early morning hours. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night from contractions, but forcing myself to go back to sleep. It’s going to be a long day(s) and as exciting as it is, I’ll need some rest.

When I can’t take the pressure anymore I’ll get up and fill up the bathtub with hot water and turn on my relaxation playlist. I may listen to some hypnosis, and just breath through the contractions. I’ll also have my iPhone near by so I can time the contractions, or have my husband time them on my Contraction Tracker.

I know early labor up to 5cm dilated will be a good long portion of the process (about 2/3rds usually) so I’m going to try my best to stay relaxed, and get to dilating.

Relaxation helps with letting my body do it’s job, but the contractions are also working to push the baby down, soften, and dilate my cervix. So it’s also important to move and help with the process. Eventually my adrenaline will kick in as well as endorphins which should naturally help alleviate some of the pain… That could be later as I’m progressing more to active labor though.

To help speed things along I’ll use my husband’s help to keep me moving and help the baby thin out my cervix (efface). I’ll practice a technique my OB suggested, which we also learned in Lamaze class, and wrap my arms around my husband’s neck, stick my hips back and sway in my husband’s arms. I will also sit on my birthing ball, do jumping jacks, yoga, whatever the heck it takes. All the while listening to my “upbeat labor playlist” (which is a work in process, so if you have tips, please add your suggestions!).

When active labor kicks in I’ll be getting contractions every 3-5 minutes and they’ll each last about a minute long. I’m going to try to relax or keep moving on the ball, whatever my body tells me feels right at the time. …This totally goes with the principal of healthy birth practice #2, “walking, moving around, and changing positions during labor.” You can see some good examples of this watching this video:

My OB suggested a lot of movement during natural labor and said women hardly… If ever prefer to be lying down during contractions, so while I’m at home, I plan to use the techniques I’ve learned. I’m also thinking of printing out photos of positions beforehand so they’re readily available and all in front of me during the process.

Another key to me is staying home as long as I can stand it. Staying at home will help with avoiding possible medical interventions. Of course some I think could be necessary, but if I’m doing ok at home and feeling safe I’ll stay at home as long as I can.

My OB asks that I call when my contractions are four minutes apart and one minute long for one hour. My iPhone has an alarm for the same time frame, but I changed it to two hours.

One thing I worry about it getting to the hospital, wreathing in pain only to find I’m about 2cm dilated. It’s going to take us long enough to get there, passing three other hospitals on the way, I’d like to get there and be ready to stay.

I’m going to of course check with my OB during that time and make sure it’s ok that I wait it out a little longer before doing something that could put me and my baby in danger, but I also think my instincts will kick in when it’s time to go to someplace safe.

“Most mammals seeks quiet and privacy when they’re in labor, and if they sensee danger of any kind, labor stops. This frees them to move to safety, or lets them wait until danger passes to deliver their babies.

Humas labor fits this pattern : Early on, it can be shut down by anxiety, fear, or anything that makes you feel unsafe. That’s why it’s important to choose a birth site and caregiver that help you feel confidant and secure.” (The Official Lamaze Guide p. 98)

So, I’m hoping I’ll feel safe at home, but not SO SAFE to where I’ll deliver the baby right then and there.

Once it’s time to go I’m grabbing my Baby Time hospital bag and a coordinating matching bag packed with extra goodies raging from treats for the staff, and my two Hot Mama Gowns, to music, my laptop and a picture of Spawnie… My focal point.

After, I’m predicting about 10 hours of early and early-active labor we’ll make the trek to the hospital which isn’t THAT far away, but with the 24/7 traffic in our area, it’ll feel like planets away.

I’ll practice hypnosis in the car and keep my cool for when we reach the hospital.

Now, besides Spawnie coming out beautiful, healthy, and looking quite un-spawnlike, the ONE thing that would make my Birth Dreams come true is if I get the awesome compliment of “you can’t be in labor you’re too calm.” That will be my big goal. Even if I have to hold it in and fake it just until I hear someone say it, that’s what I’m shooting for.

I’ll hand off the basket of goodies to my first attending nurse with my pre-thank-you letter and Birth Wishes printed on hard paper, with ribbon tied through some punch holes. I’ll bring about 6-8 copies. One for my husband and I and some for the attending staff.

Tomorrow, I’ll share the ever-evolving letter.


Mommy Measure Winners (I actually have 2!): #50 AmyLynn and #3 Mrs. Understood. CONGRATS! Please email me your address (babymakingmachine{at} and I’ll get it sent to you!

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  1. You’ve described my births almost to a T (except for the minor detail of birth location)! The movement, changing positions, using Hypnobabies, making myself sleep through my contractions…all great stuff. Your OB sounds like a gem. And I totally hope you can get someone to tell you “you can’t be that far along!” But of course if you end up being a really, really vocal laborer, just go for it 100% too!

  2. I’m glad you wrote these as goals but it is important to remember your body might have a completely different plan. I had similarly plans but when the actual moment happened, everything sped up. The pain was stronger than I imagined and I had 4 hours from contractions to hold my baby. Obviously, mine was lucky but also didn’t give me much mental prep. My friends goals were also similar to hers but took 27 hours and ended in a c-section. I truly believe it is good to have goals but be flexible so you can avoid as much stress as possible! Good luck!

  3. Sounds devine. I had nearly the exact same plans with my daughter (I wanted a water birth) but unfortunately baby decided to turn posterior and I ended up being in active labour 17hrs with so much intervention : (
    But to this day I think it was an amazing labour and can’t wait to do it all in October with my second.
    Just don’t be too dissapointed if all doesn’t go to plan. Once you have Spawnie you’ll be so blissed out.
    So does Lamaze teach breathing etc? That is definately something I would like to know more about I remember holding my breath during contractions which wasn’t good.

  4. I’m new to your blog and so excited for you, I had my first with an OB/GYN and my second with a Midwife, still in a hospital, with a doula. Doula’s aren’t cheap but they are SOOOO worth it, esp. if you are giving birth for the first time with an OB, an OB means that through 90% of your labor it’s just you and your coach and having people tell you what to do rather than gently guide you and since neither of you have done this before, nor will he ever really, it can get stressful and you can miss great opportunities to relax because you simply don’t know how to or that you’re even that tensed. I wish I had with my DS, I had a doula along with the Midwife for my DD and it was such a loving, nurturing environment that minutes after having her I was ready to do it again.

    I would also recommend reading “Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method” it has a lot of great information and really helps you to visualize your birth in a beautiful and relaxing way, although it is a bit different from Lamaze I think you will find it to be a great addition to it, it’s also a short fast read.

  5. Just have to say that your vision of labor is inspiring!!

    It’s inspired me to go out and start thinking a little bit more about how I’d like mine to be. Even though it’s still far away.


  6. All I can say is make sure your hubby knows your plans cause when that real pain kicks in, you won’t remember a thing. I will say, even though epidurals didn’t work for me the best thing for me was a focal point and that wasn’t something to look at but actually sound. And in each case it was the sound of the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor. Kept me calm because I knew the baby was well and as long as I knew that, it kept me calmer through the pain. It’s all about being calm while in pain.

  7. It sounds like you’re pretty much ready to go. I would certainly recommend walking around as long as you can. It will help the baby to move down and into position. Not to mention, when you’re walking around and talking your mind isn’t focused as much on the pain of the contractions. I think that three copies of your birth wishes would be fine. After all they just put the copy you give them in your chart. So, you won’t actually have to give a copy to everybody.

    Just hand it to the attending nurse and she will be sure go over it and put it in your chart for the next nurse. I would recommend giving a copy to your OB now and going over each item step by step. I think it’s cute that you’re taking goodies for the staff. I wish I had thought of that for my nurse. She was super sweet.

    Just trust your instincts. Your body will let you know when the time is right.

  8. I’m not a hero and will completely admit to begging for my epidural but I did at least try to plan ahead for to go as long as I could without the drugs. Unfortunately we were forced to deliver a couple weeks early due to complications so I was hooked up to pitocin and couldn’t really do the things I wanted. And I wouldn’t change a thing now that my daughter is here and was brought into the world healthy. With all that being said my husband and I took a class here in Austin that you might find interesting. It’s a one time birthing class offered by Yoga Yoga for couples. It was really fun and informative. They gave us a lot of great positions to use where my husband was supporting me and it was also a nice change of pace from the more traditional Lamaze. Check it out if you have time. 🙂

  9. Very well thought out. Its similar to what mine was (just not the letters part – never heard of that and I know that the staff would love that) but that was thrown out the window when I had preeclampsia. You should think about including a what if/just in case section. I was induced and had four stinkin contractions before I demanded and epidural. I didnt want the epidural (dont like not feeling my legs) but I dont think I could’ve done it without it. Apparently,I’m much more of a whimp than I originally thought :o)

  10. I like the comment “you can’t be in labor, you are too calm”…and wanted to tell you that it is possible! During my second labor, I was induced but still determined to go without any drugs like my first labor. The nurses were amazed and commented “you don’t see many women smiling like you are when they are 9 cm dilated in a natural labor on pitocin, it’s refreshing to see you labor.” Wow! It wasn’t my goal to impress them by any means, but what a compliment. You can do it!

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