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Actual conversation with a prenatal/labor massage client circa Dec 2008:
me ~ Janis, would you like some water? Janis ~ I WOULD LIKE A BABY!!! Can you bring me THAT?!!!!!!
There are four kinda general reasons that people don’t go into labor,
So it absolutely is worth your while to think about these categories, and see what sticks for ya. Each number links to a specific post about that topic, so give a click to the one that speaks to you most. once you are there, poke around a little, see if you can get a little dialogue going with your labor to see what it needs. Good luck my love, Rowan not sure? leave me a comment and or jump over to our FB group.
Lets get Physical!
Fetal Positioning~ Here is the deal, optimal fetal positioning is an actual physical thing, and not a bunch of horse hockey. (You like that? It’s cause I’m trying not to cuss.) Anywhoo, sitting, driving, computering etc all contribute to stiff and underutilized muscles, and in general keep our bodies not especially labor ready. Some type of prenatal fitness is helpful, with of course WALKING being awesome, along with yoga or whatever else you were into prepregnancy. And don’t hate me when I say chasing a toddler doesn’t count.
Reason #2 It’s all in Your Head*
Welllllll heck, reason number two that labor doesn’t start is that there is an emotional or mental block that is keeping your baby from getting in synch with your natural “going into labor” rhythm. What’s that you say “I didn’t know that I could mind block my labor?!” Well sure you could, just like if your hang out up in your head to much you can stop (or significantly slow) other things, you know, that use that same general area. Just think about that for a minute. Ever tried to get dowwwwwnnnnn but your mind wouldn’t let you? Same thing with birth, but now instead it looks like anxiety about birth, or the postpartum period or work stuff, or “Can you wait to have the baby? Today is not a good day.” Anxiety will stop a labor in its tracks, so when control type A peeps get wound up because birth and labor aren’t carrying on according to their time lines, that in surging adrenaline stops oxytocin cold. Think Ice Ice Baby…. If we hop over to the emotional side of things, getting emotionally wound up is also a labor block. Ever been so upset you couldn’t think straight? Or so over the top pissed off your voice shook and hands were unsteady? In my family we call this having a red hair moment. This will stop your labor. So what if its more subtle than that? A nagging worry, or something that just keeps you emotionally off kilter? Like, I dunno, you hate your doctor, or the hospital, or some other person or place where you are birthing. Like a key factor, those types of emotional unease or trigger will keep you from feeling safe and ready to go into labor. So lets start here, get out a journal or the back of an envelope or a smart phone with Evernote or whatever and brain dump all the shiznit thats bothering you.
Here is my horrible attempt, but I think you get the idea.
So just to lay it all out there, when it comes to birth emotions and/or things we mentally chew over and over again, its either part of the solution or part of the problem. So if you have a list working (and most folks do), its time to address the points one by one and create a plan or workarounds or boundaries, or whatever, but the goal here is too have a mother trucking list of solutions in your hand. Alert: your action plan most probably needs to include the thinning of peeps attending your birth. So make your list, sling it on some social media, and tag it with #LaborWhispering so that way we can clap and cheer and give you our two cents (or not) for getting your head and heart clean and ready for a new baby in your arms. And thats how you Labor Whisper yourself through reason #2. xo my loves, Rowan *Let’s be clear here, “It’s all in your head,” is valid all freaking day long. Its not any less real or legit than an obvious physical challenge, like lets say if you had rickets when you were a kid and have a deformed pelvis or some shiz. Which you probably don’t, but I think you get me.
Does anybody even know how due dates are come up with? (and I love how the mac keeps wanting to auto correct to DUDE DATE ahahahha) Lets Review: According to Wikipedia (and personal knowledge corroborates this)
The rule estimates the expected date of delivery (EDD) by adding one year, subtracting three months, and adding seven days to the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). The result is approximately 280 days (40 weeks) from the start of the last menstrual period. Another method is by adding 9 months and 7 days to the first day of the last menstrual period.
And then look around at you Target or something and see if all the people with a uterus standing around you are wearing the same shoe size. Hmm, no. But they all are (probably) wearing shoes. Same sitch for due dates, all typically within the range of 37 -42 weeks, but its not like boom, have a box of contractions on your due date. Not even close.
All pregnancies come to full term at times, and it can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy for the same person. And I’m not even falling for the “Well, my mother did this, so I’ll probably do xyz.”
Preggers please, my mother birthed at an Army hospital in El Paso in the 70’s, I’m fairly certain that nothing flows the same.
So its super important to realize that you are not broken, defective, or otherwise forked up if you aren’t in labor and sail way past your due date. Cause guess what? That can stop a labor, the anxiety and feelings of “I cant even go into labor right,” will keep the labor train form leaving the station. Need help getting people off your dress? Give ’em the bird. ‘Cause most people outside of birth workers have zero idea about the entire process. Make sure and tag your bird pic with #LaborWhispering so me and the Secret Society of Labor Whisperers can hard core troll the peeps giving you the Vag TV. xoxoxo my loves, Rowan Ps Local gal Cole gets all up in your dates right here.
Over twenty years ago I became a massage therapist, and soon after that went to The Farm to train as a midwives’ assistant. In the space and time and bellies and pregnant peeps between then and now I learned the art of gently asking and coaxing a body to labor, especially when the labor wants to start but is held in check by a block. I figured this out in my massage room, one client at a time. I also listened to when someone had an old “(mid)wives tale”, cause many times they had truth in them. I’m teaching now, teaching folks how to whisper their labor, teaching other birth workers how to #LaborWhisper, and possibly our work will shape how our community treats a pregnant person. #Eachoneteachone
This is how I can help:
What happens when a so`so song gets covered by a funky little acoustic ish type band? You get this song here. Give a listen to the Mister Wives! Boom. Add it your birth playlists my people. Por why you ask? ‘Cause when the energy tanks in the birth room, having some songs that create an ambiance conducive to birthing is helpful. Example, mother of the laboring woman walks in the room and announces to everyone, “I thought this would be over by now.” Cue the appalled silence.
Would of been better if she’d made her entrance to some smooth tunes of Michael Buble’, or a rousing rendition “I want a Hippopotamus Christmas,” like this sexy version. Well, it was Christmas Eve. See, then she would of had what we call a social cue. See, even though Michael isn’t actually in the room crooning in his sexy way, the cue is still there to be smooth, easy, in support. All of us relaxed and supporting the laboring person. Then future grandmother’s oxytocin and buzz killing words would have had the counter measure of positivity, comfort, and support. It’s way better to start humming along to your favorite music instead of shrieking, ” Get out of here Mom. I don’t need your negativity!!!!!!” Sound sets it down, and by down I mean boundaries. Boundaries bring birth.
Tell me what songs rocked your birth, or what you are adding to your play list to facilitate your birth. Did anybody put a cool playlist together on Spotify or 8track? Inquiring minds and all that, and this is how we community share our knowledge. xoxoxo Rowan ps weirdly enough I gave Mr.Buble a massage about ten years ago when he was playing in Houston, Hi Michael! pps I think the funniest song I ever heard at a (hospital!) birth was “I want a Cooter” by Pandora’s Box. Lots of open mouth laughing for that!
Well poop. For whatever reason your previous birth ended up in a surgical birth, otherwise known as a C section. And that may or may not have sucked for you. Some people are wrecked, and some are like “Whateves, I’m good.” For those of you taking it in stride, you gotta start massaging your scar, like ASAP, before you get pregnant. LOOK, I found a video for you, and that would be one I did BEFORE I took Share Ross’s Rockstar Video course. so its less, um, polished, but the general gist of what can happen if you don’t work on your scars is covered. And by work I mean just “Get all up in there,” to quote one my client Angela. And get all up in there gently, like I demo~ed in this (low volume) video using silly putty. For those still reeling and processing, you might need more support. There might be more to it than searching around for a youtube video on scar work. Sometimes healing is a rougher road, a labyrinth, which I think is eloquently described in this post. Healing is intense and winding, but its important work my loves. Let’s really think about this through, its crazy important to do whatever you can to increase the odds for a successful VBAC. Local Houston doctor Christina Davidson was asked what’s the biggest downfall of VBACS, and she said ADHESIONS. That’s right loves, scar tissue and connective tissue thats gotten bananas. That scar tissue can pull your uterus out of allignment, and tuck it to your bladder, or stick it to something (like an organ) so that it isn’t allowed to perform its function. Go outside and step on the hose, and now turn the water on. That would be a uterus with adhesions. Decreased capacity for getting the job done.
Massage can loosen them up, so there is less crimping, more flow. And for sure much adhesions get remediated by the subsequent pregnant belly, but for reals maybe some proactive massage might 1) not give you the ripping adhesion sensation during pregnancy and 2) prevent or clear some of that up before baby is on board. So to clarify, more massage and scar reduction now equals less pain and tenderness in pregnancy, and increases odds for a successful VBAC. So what to do if you aren’t feeling all good about a DIY? I created this incredibly tender hearted step by step scar reduction course. Its hosted on Udemy for now, and soon to be moved over to here. I’d love it if you gave it a try. Remember, IMO the first step to a VBAC is scar massage. Ready to give it a go? Got a question for me? Leave a comment and I’ll tell you want I think. xoxoxo, Rowan ps thank you to my foot model Sam!