I’ve officially hit my due date and then some, and, alas, no baby. I know she’ll be here soon: I’ve been having contractions fairly consistently since 2:00 this afternoon, and I’ve got that crampy feeling that accompanies the onset of labor. So, we shall see.
This afternoon I debated whether or not to put together a meal plan for the week because I like to have a plan in place, but since we have a freezer full of meals, I figure we will just eat those if need be. Instead, we’ve been tidying up the house, doing laundry, and resting. Oh, and I finally caught up on writing some thank you notes — something I have not been on top of like I should.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the books I’ve been reading and how I’m biding my time until this labor starts because waiting for a baby can be a real lesson in patience when you’re uncomfortable, not sleeping well, and just ready to get it over with already.
My Favorite Childbirth Books
First of all, here are my go-to books that I read every.single.time before I have a baby. When I was pregnant with child #1, I became a die-hard natural childbirth advocate, and my husband and I attended a 12-week long class on The Bradley Method.
God humbled me with child #2, and I had to forego much of my natural childbirth enthusiasm due to a breech baby, which resulted in a C-section — not the end of the world.
With my third child, I was determined to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) and, thankfully, God enabled that. And here I am awaiting child #4 and a second VBAC.
These books are all about how to labor and deliver without pain medications and with minimal intervention, so if you are interested in a natural childbirth experience, which I highly recommend for your sake and the baby’s, then these books will be a great source of information and encouragement.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Ina May is a natural childbirth pioneer, who, with her team of midwives, still runs The Farm, a commune here in Tennessee and the home of The Farm Midwifery Center. This book couples research with birth stories to provide the information about pregnancy and labor/delivery you need with real life stories of people who’ve experienced every possible natural birth scenario imaginable. It’s just a wealth of wisdom and insights from an experienced midwife with a knack for weaving stories.
Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley
Written by the founder of The Bradley Method, this book is one for husbands and wives to read together. It’s narrative style makes it easy to read. There are sections on the husband’s role in childbirth, how to live with a pregnant wife, the husband’s role in breastfeed, and dad’s coaching tips. I love how with The Bradley Method my husband is actively involved in every aspect of the birth of our child. He’s not a bystander, but my coach, my encourager, my support and the one who speaks on my behalf when I’m in labor. This book will help your husband feel comfortable in his role as coach.
Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
If you’re interested in The Bradley Method, then this is the book for you. I love the diagrams, pictures, and illustrations — although some are bit graphic — because they show exactly what is happening in your body during the stages of labor and delivery. For me, information is a form of pain-relief. It helps me to know that the “pain” I’m experiencing is for a reason and what that reason is. Plus, the exercises in breathing and relaxation really do work. I highly recommend this book — the education you’ll receive is phenomenal!
What I’m Doing
I admit that I haven’t had the best attitude lately. Not sleeping well and feeling large and uncomfortable has led to a lot of grumbling of which I am not proud. Here are some things I’ve been doing to combat my negativity and prepare my mind for a new baby:
Reading & meditating on scriptures to encourage me and help me relax as I prepare for labor and delivery
Continuing to homeschool a little bit each day
Trying to stay positive while feeling uncomfortable
Resting as much as possible
Staying hydrated drinking lots of water and red raspberry leaf tea
Trying to laugh as much as possible 🙂
What are your favorite childbirth books?
Do you have any tips for surviving those last few weeks (and days) of pregnancy?