I watched my video from my first pregnancy last night. I had a
friend film the entire thing, but she left all body parts out of it so
it's PG. I got some ideas for how to do things a little better this
time and thought I'd share. I had a natural delivery so most (but not
all) of this applies to those not getting epidurals.
1. Once you hit transition and get towards the end of labor you tune out the entire world. My nurse in the delivery room would give me instructions and after repeating herself 5 times, I still don't remember her ever saying that to me. Tell your husband to repeat only necessary instructions to you. Tell him that "his voice is probably the only voice you will hear, so if the nurse is saying something important please repeat it to me." Also, it's best if people give you instructions just after a contraction has finished. During a contraction you are in too much pain to hear anything, and between contractions you may fall asleep (believe it or not, I did).
2. If you plan to use the birthing bar and sit in a squatting position, make sure to elevate the head of the bed to help you into the squatting position. You will waste too much energy pulling yourself up. I LOVED the birthing bar. It felt like holding on to a roller coaster bar...and labor is a lot like a roller coaster ride. I believe you can use it with an epidural too, modified to keep your body supported and help baby down the birth canal.
3. When you start pushing and they have you do the "count to 10" routine, make sure that your pauses between counts are very minimal...ride out the entire contraction. So it's "1,2,3....10" quick breath, "1,2,3...10" quick breath, "1,2,3...10" until the contraction subsides. Do not take a break or lie back down. I found this to be the most effective and produce the quickest results.
4. When you get to the pushing phase they will keep telling you to let the contraction peak. Well, it's really hard to tell when it's peaked while laboring...you just want to start pushing once the contraction starts. Ask hubby, or your nurse to let you know when it's peaked based on the monitor...or just go with it when you feel the overwhelming sensation to push.
HTH and wishing you all a fast and safe delivery. Feel free to add to the list.On a side note, I thought it was really funny that DH would wipe my face down with a cool rag, then quickly give me a drink of water in between contractions. I looked like a boxer getting ready to get back in the ring, only he was the one getting punched, LOL.