This morning at my now-weekly OB appointment, I learned that I tested negative for Group B strep. This is wonderful news because it means I will not be subjected to IV antibiotics during labor and delivery. Generally, approximately 20 percent of moms-to-be test positive for the virus.
I am always glad when I pass through a hoop that will cut down the number of medical procedures will be involved in my impending labor and delivery.
At today's appointment, my OB and I also went over my birth plan. She seemed amenable to all of my requests, including my desire to not have a Hep-Lock installed in my arm. Although I may recant on that one myself. Because if I do need IV-anything, I might be glad the line is already open and good to go.
She also said it may not be possible to talk the nurses out of asking me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10. This is a regular procedure for them. I'm requesting that they refrain because I am intending to have a natural childbirth, and constantly attending to a rating scale will probably irritate me, and possibly make me more aware of the pain. Not helpful.
Scott and I are dutifully practicing all of our counter-pain techniques daily. I listen to my self-hypnosis CD, or Scott reads the script to me himself. I hold ice cubes while we try different breathing techniques, chanting sounds, verbal cues related to the hypnosis script, or my favorite, where Scott tickles my back and gives me the chills — this last one is wonderfully distracting.
More fun than holding the cubes (many things are more fun than holding ice cubes, really) is the between-the-"waves" practices, ways that Scott gets me to completely relax and take advantage of the non-contraction periods. He did this one technique last night where he counted down from five-to-one, with each number representing a zone of my body, consecutively from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, that I am to focus on relaxing. And then just after he said "one," he used a physical relaxation cue: touching his finger to my "Third Eye" (the spot between my eyebrows, just above the bridge of my nose).
I was so deliciously slack, I couldn't open my mouth to tell him how well it worked!
Who knows what, if any, of these things will be useful on the big day? Maybe they will, maybe they won't. It certainly gives us something to do for now.
Did you have a natural childbirth? Did hypno-birthing techniques, or some other non-medicated method help you get through? Please share in the comments below!