I’m Pretty Sure No One Thinks About Labor the Way I Do

Friday I’ll hit the mark where I can safely go into labor at any time. I have a feeling Lil’ J will be stylishly early. Not by much, but maybe a little. She’s feeling cramped in there to me, and today she was making my stomach look like a scene from Alien. So much so I had to use Dr. Google to see if all of her squirming could break my water. … Doubtful.

I don’t picture labor like it is in the movies, but I also have some unusual preferences about the big day. Some things on my mind:

1. I’m bringing treats for the staff. Call it bribery, call me a teacher’s pet, or whatever you want, but I’ve bought a pretty basket I’m loading some goodies in, and adding my Birth and After Wishes to it on nice pretty card stock paper. I’m thinking cookies and/or muffins, and I don’t know what else… Still working on all of the contents. Who knows, maybe they’ll slip me an extra diaper or two when we’re leaving.

2. Speaking of my Birth and After Wishes, I finished it! Talked it over with my OB, and we’re on the same page. I narrowed things down and squeezed it all on one page (the after part is on another separate page)! It’s umm… Pretty. Yes, I’m sure it’s the prettiest list of birth preferences they’ve ever seen.3. We’re gonna be jammin. I have 4 playlists… About 10 hours of music and more created for the occasion: Relaxation/ churchy (no words, mostly instruments except for a few exceptions); Upbeat (quite a bit of gangsta rap– Quite the churchy contrast); Rock/Pop (slower stuff but not as slow as the first); and Meeting Baby (songs like “Isn’t She Lovely” to greet her).

I also have a playlist with birthing affirmations and hypnosis tracks. I have yet to listen to them all without falling asleep, and I’ve tried so hard… I hope I have the same problem during the process.

We have an ipod speaker system, one portable (although my husband thinks we may look strange walking the halls with a sort of “boom box” approach) and one that connects to the wall. I also need to get new headphones cause mine aren’t loud enough and I hate the kind that are suppose to stick INSIDE my ears… My ear holes are too small for those things.

4. I’m going to be looking FLY. I care about these things. And next to my freaking wedding day this is the 2nd biggest day of my life. I’ve already got my own gowns I’m bringing, and I’m planning to do my hair and makeup before we leave. I’ll also have manicure/pedicure and hair straightening appointments set up before the big day (maybe sometime in the next 2 weeks?). My nails in their current state, could be used as weapons and I should probably get them cut down to save my husband some blood loss, and so I don’t accidentally scratch my little one. A french manicure will make the pain of loosing them less dramatic.
I’m still undecided about a Brazilian wax. I want to do it cause I hear after you have a baby it’s pretty messy down there for awhile and it’ll just be nice to feel “fresh.” Plus, it doesn’t itch or anything when it grows back, it’s not like shaving, and it last a long time. The down side though is of course is oh, just the PAIN!! So we’ll see. If I make it my due date I may go do it in an attempt to start labor.

Fake eyelashes are on my “list of things to buy” before the big day.

5. I’m bringing a buffet. Nothing too crazy, but hospital peeps and my OB said I can eat… Not that I’ll want a 9oz sirloin, but I figured I’ll bring some snacks just in case. So far we have apple sauce, I’m gonna make some pasta right before we leave for the hospital, and some hard-boiled eggs. I’ll also pack some trail mix and string cheese. I’m hoping that’ll give me some energy boost but also not make me want to puke. I’ve also packed some water, Be Nice Prenatal drink mix, and juice! I have Popsicles too but I think I’ll just raid the hospitals if I determine a cooler won’t keep them frozen.

6. Class project anyone? I’m working on creating a poster board as a reminder with labor “cues” for my husband to use, and visuals of different labor positions we can try. I’ll fold it up and pack it for the trip!

7. In my Lamaze class we talked about pain tolerance, I decided I’m somewhere between a -3 and a 3. A tip it suggest for us is having a “code word” to getting me the epidural. That way when I say “I want it” he knows I don’t REALLY mean it, but when I say the code word, he knows I mean it. Something like “Sponge Bob” would be too easy for me. We need something more drastic. I’m thinking the code word should be F!#%. I’m not sure I’ve ever said that word out loud and my husband’s never heard me swear. I’m pretty sure he’d know I’m serious. Even though I’ve heard swear words can be typical for a woman birthing a baby… I don’t imagine that’ll be the case for me, hence the word choice. If I don’t say it… Well, I must not want it that bad.

8. Do I want a mirror? I think not. They’ll offer me one when I’m pushing I’m sure. I use to think I’d not only want to see, but I’d want it on tape! I’ve been obsessed with birth for a long time and I thought “why not see mine when I’ve watched so many others? But now I want nothing of that sort. In fact, the thought of watching her come out of me in a mirror makes me want to vomit. I know it’s beautiful but I don’t want to see it. And I don’t want my husband to watch. We’ve seen enough, I’ll be ok seeing her little head once it’s out of me, complete with the rest of her body.

9. A friend asked me if I’d want to hold her when she’s all covered in utro-sludge… I say yes. I don’t mind. My OB said she doesn’t do any mouth-suctioning stuff when she pulls her out, and that she’ll give her straight to me. Then hubs can cut the cord… And we can hold out sludge-covered baby, that’s ok.

So there they are, my random thoughts about the big day.

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  1. haha! You are so funny. How are you going to have time to do your hair and makeup if you are in labor? Trust me.. labor will hit you and you’ll be in pain and worrying about more things than how your hair looks 🙂

  2. In early labor, you might have time to get prettied up. I had a crazy long labor, so I’m not typical, but I spent early labor taking a long bath & shaving my legs and stuff cause I didn’t wanna look “fuzzy” in the pics, fixed my hair and make-up, and packed/made snacks to take to the hospital (part of which the dog ate while my back was turned). I guess it depends on how you labor is, and if you plan to go to the hospital right at the start or wait until you absolutely have to (btw, I also packed a baggie with makeup, lip gloss, and a hairbrush, because I knew I had a TV film crew coming for part of the birth).

  3. I love how much of a planner you are; just like me. The way I see it, if you plan it out, it might not happen the way you want it to, but you’ll definitely be closer than if you don’t plan it out. I hope your birth plan goes exactly the way you want it to.

  4. i love your plan! i am a planner and i’m sure i will have lists a plenty when the time comes. i will be looking to you for advice when it comes to pretty birthing plans. 🙂

  5. The reason I didn’t get a Brazilian is because I didn’t want to have to worry about ingrown hairs and irritation on top of the messiness that comes after child birth. Something about hairs growing in and 3+ weeks of having to wear pads doesn’t sit right with me. I felt kind of diaper rashy after week 2. Your choice, but I skipped it.

  6. That is so awesome your going to bring the staff a treat basket. I’m sure they will love you and their treats! You sound like your ready to go. I had my bag ready but was constantly adding to it throughout the week lol. I was also induced so it was a little easier to plan things out. Hopefully things will be the same for baby 2 in Sept. I wish you the best of luck and am very excited for you!

  7. =D

    One tip – you WILL puke. It’s part of the process, and actually a really good sign…I don’t know about the eggs. The pasta might be okay though.

    Everyone is different, I had no desire to do my hair and makeup – and I was under deep hypnobabies hypnosis…That and I just wanted to see my baby!

    I think you will do great! Plus this list might give you a good laugh after! (I remember all the things I thought I would do during labor, and it still makes me laugh to this day!)

    So excited for you!!

  8. I think it is a great idea for you to do your hair and makeup and get snacks for your team and the staff. You will likely have plenty of time to do it and those little labor projects will keep you distracted in early labor and you will be glad you took the time when you get to the hospital. The biggest rookie mistake is overreacting to early labor and getting exhausted. So try to rest when things first start if they start at night and then get up and do your projects. Keep trying to rest until your pressure waves are getting longer, stronger and closer together and you feel you really need to go.

    Falling asleep during Hypnobabies practice is fine. Just have the tracks playing during labor because your body will remember that relaxation.

    You are going to do great!

  9. Sounds like you are all set for the big day. Moo decided to come 2 days stylishly early! LOL. I slept right through my beginning labor. Her father finally convinced me that I was in labor and we should get moving to the hospital.

    I think that you’re going to have a wonderful birthing experience because you are so open and understand that labor is unpredictable. I made my birth wishes and talked them over with two of my OBs and I made sure they understood, I was a newbie and so there were probably things on there that couldn’t be done or weren’t feasible and I was cool with that. They helped me to narrow down and put things on there that I didn’t know about.

    Love that you’re going to be jamming to some Gangsta Rap during labor. That will certainly express your frustration during those hard contractions. I had my entire family with me to keep my mind off my contractions and then after two shots of Benadryl because I was allergic to the pain meds, I was knocked out until they woke me and said Moo was on her way out!

  10. The thought of the mirror intrigued me, but I never went for it. I knew it was available, but it just wasn’t for me. My aunt actually wanted to film my oldest being born. Hubby and I discussed it, but decided against it. Pictures were enough.

    I don’t wear make-up, but I can tell you that the only time my hair actually stayed nice was for my 6 month old. The other two, my hair got all tangled. In my pictures it seriously looked like I’d just had someone tease my hair for 12+ hours non-stop. If you keep yourself looking fabulous, you deserve a medal of some sort!

  11. I had all three of my children before the time of birth plans and mommy-centered births. The OB nurses pretty much ran the show; my opinion wasn’t considered all that much.

    Seems like it’s a better deal all around now.

    I DID use the mirror for the first two – it was amazing and surreal seeing my daughters arriving. There was not a lot of bonding, as they were whisked off to the nursery, where they stayed – they were only in my room for scheduled feeding times.

    My son, however (born 17 years after my second daughter) had rooming in, so I took care of him from the beginning. Since he was born via emergency C-section, I didn’t get to experience birth in the same way. I was just glad that he survived.

    I had no drugs for the first two, and the spinal for the third. I HATED the feeling of not being able to move my legs, but understood that the anesthesia was necessary for the surgery. The four hours in recovery (and away from my baby) were not a good time.

  12. oooh man! the thought of eating EGGS during labor makes me want to puke!

    I went in around 5am on nothing but dinner from the night before and I still puked.

    good luck!

  13. Jenn, I think you are hilarious for thinking this through so much! This is a big day… do it your way!! Just make sure you prepare yourself for NONE of your preparations to pan out =) If you are waiting until your water breaks to go in… hun, you may not have the time or the thought process to put those fake eyelashes on!!! And man, the pain AFTER the water breaks is much worse… and its quite uncomfortable– I remember when my water broke… I just broke in to tears and went to the hospital!! Cant WAIT to see the little one, shes gunna be adooooooorable!!!

    OH, just make sure some one is there to take a ridiculous amount of pictures!

  14. Hey! I think your plan is great too, Mine looked a lot like yours but a lot of it went down the drain, like making treats for the staff, doing my hair and makeup, and even wearing my cute hospital gown. I was too hot and too focused on hypnobabies. But I was glad I had gotten certain things done beforehand like the wax, packing my bag and a pedicure. I’m so excited to hear how things go!

    p.s. I never puked or even felt nauseous and I ate throughout labor. my sister did, but it seemed like it was a side effect of the epidural.

  15. You must be the most prepared mother-to-be ever! Hilarious! I admit, I had my nails done a few days before and took a shower/styled my hair/applied fresh makeup AFTER I went into labor and BEFORE we went to the hospital, but by the end of that process, my labor had gone from 0 MPH to 120 MPH so fast that everything else went out the window (I had music too…never played it!) I’m surprised they will let you eat…and I agree with the poster that you will almost certainly throw up at some point in active labor (mine was when I was almost 7 cm, right before I got the epi, and I had only been in labor close to three hours at that point!). I think the less you have in your tummy, the better, honestly. My husband was unexpectedly expected to hold one of my legs, so he got to see the entire birth, which was not our plan, but which turned out to be, in his words, “thrilling!” I opted not to have a mirror for the reasons you mention above, but after hearing my husband be so excited about witnessing the birth (and he is generally so faint-hearted LOL), I kind of regret not seeing it myself. My husband took pictures as our daughter was being lifted up by the doc and placed on my chest (no video for me!) and I loved that, and some of the utero stuff stuck to my fingernail for a few days afterward, but I considered that a badge of honor. It was the best moment of my life! Wishing you the best! I hope she comes early! And please, after she’s here, I think it would be neat to hear how the actual birth went compared to your wishes/plans listed above, so I hope you will share that with us!

  16. I love how prepared you are! You really know what you’re doing, and I know you’ll do great!!! Best of luck to you and your husband. And Spawnie!

    PS: Have you decided on a name yet?

  17. Hey mama, sounds like you have your priorities straight without being open to what “might” happen, and thats a good thing. I know all will go good for you. Hugs to you.
    This labor (see last two blog posts) was really quick for me, I hope the same for you. I do miss being preggers though, so even though the end is the toughests enjoy each minute.

  18. I am impressed by your planning! I hope you get to experience most (if not all) things that you want for your labor. I did my makeup & hair, but the time I delivered, I looked a hot mess. Sweaty, hair disheveled & running makeup. be sure to use the waterproof stuff! ;o)

    And I did not like the mirror either. It totally grossed me out, even though my midwife kept trying to get me to look at what was happening.

    Good luck Mama! You’ll be great! :o)

    btw-I gave you an award here:

  19. Just found your blog! That sounds like a great birth plan! I hope it all goes great for you! I just had my 2nd, 8 weeks ago…there was nothing about the birth that went the way I wanted…lol…other than that he was born healthy. So just remember, no matter what ends up happening…as long as you have a healthy baby at the end, that’s what counts the most!

    That’s great you stated you want the baby to be placed on you right away. They did that automatically at the hospital where I had my daughter…so I assumed that was protocol…with my son, they had him down on this table or something right below me when he came out…were suctioning and doing the umbelical cord and whatever else…I couldn’t even really see him for a while but at the time it’s so crazy I didn’t know what they were doing (I ended up with an on-call OB so they didn’t know me or any of the preferences I had talked with my dr about).

  20. PS- I hope you don’t end up needing pitocin! I was induced the first time and being induced is a more painful labor…I would recommend an epidural in that case (i got one eventually and it was awesome…I should have done it sooner)…With an epidural you can still feel the baby being delivered but it doesn’t hurt at all…you can just feel the pressure and feel the baby moving down…I loved the experience, I enjoyed the process of pushing with everyone cheering me on and then getting to hold her right away and enjoy it without being in miserable amounts of pain. With my 2nd, it was kind of crazy because I barely made it to the hospital in time (you can read the crazy story on my blog..I think my 2nd last post) and it was a pretty opposite experience.

  21. I totally regretted not putting makeup on as soon as I was able to with my first baby. The pictures of our family right after the birth are completely unusable, in my opinion. And I had straight hair for both of my deliveries, and life was just so much easier that way. I also made sure to get a pedicure so I could look at pretty toes while I was holding my knees up by my ears.

  22. Seeing how planned and prepared you are makes me realize how unprepared I am!!! I may have the car seat installed and a semi packed hospital bag in the car but that’s about it. I do have plans to get all glammed up though, brazilian and everything 🙂 I just had one done last week and it was not bad AT ALL. Totally do it.

  23. Oh man, and I thought I was prepared. I had my bag ready to go weeks in advance. Of course, my doctor’s warned me she would be early and I started labor at 34 weeks, which they stopped then finally had her at 36. I had special make-up and bathroom supplies that I purchased just for the hospital packed just so I didn’t have to worry about packing them on the way out.
    And as far as the Brazilian, I would go for it. I didn’t with my first baby, but this time I’m making sure everything is super clean before hand. It just makes the doctor’s and nurses’ lives easier. In fact, the nurse who helped delivered thanked me profusely for trying to clean up before hand and getting a pedicure, as she had just helped deliver a baby for a woman who “probably hadn’t done any grooming since the ’70’s and had the nastiest feet.” Apparently, they really appreciate the small things.
    Stopping by from SITS!

  24. I did the HypnoBabies self-study course from 32 weeks on and fell asleep during most of the sessions. I wasn’t tired going into practice, I just got so relaxed with the suggestions and everything! I always managed to wake up at the end though when the voice wants you to come out of hypnosis. It still helped during labor…although I didn’t fall asleep then LOL. I wish!

  25. Wow- you are so organized!
    I loved your birth plan, and used some ideas from it in mine, but now that baby is still breech and the external version didn’t work…we may be heading for a c-section anyway.
    BTW- the nurses at our hospital told us that if we don’t use up the package of diapers when we are there we can keep the rest of the package (because they are not allowed to use it). Since you are planning to be so nice to them anyway it is worth asking about at your hospital.

  26. No one offered me a mirror the first time. The nurse tried to get me to look the second time. I said HELL to the NO. It just wasn’t for me. She wanted to show me how much hair the baby had. I said, “I’ll see in a few minutes.” Ha!

  27. wow! your plan sounds so much like mine! Unfortunately, I had a stubborn one and had to get everything I didnt care for. But, I ended up with a healthy happy baby and that’s all that mattered to me. I had major stress about my hair looking presentable for my lil man to meet me but after 30hrs of labor and then a csection…I ended with a ponytail, but my edges looked right! LOL
    I soooo didn’t want a mirror either b/c I told the hubby that if I saw anything down there I would hold it against him for LIFE!
    You sound like you have a great plan, a great doc…so well wishes on a great pregnancy and a great baby!

  28. Your so cute and prepared! I would be too embarrassed to bring anything for the nurses and other folks but I know they’d love it!!!

  29. Your random labor thoughts make me excited for you!!! I’m glad you’re going into this so much more prepared then I was with my first (I was induced really for no reason..) I’m a total wimp when it comes to pain but I did my last natural and I’ll be doing this one natural as well! You can totally do it!! Our bodies are MADE to do this!!! Just don’t let people push fear into you that it’s supposed to be a scary hard thing, it may be difficult at times but it’s totally doable and very empowering!!! Good luck to you! I loved reading your cute lists! 🙂

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