You’re now somewhere between 32-36 weeks pregnant. From 24 weeks onward pregnancy changes almost every day and certainly every week. This feels so different from the first 20 weeks. This is just the beginning of feeling uncomfortable again. Your uterus pushes your stomach up so you can get heartburn. Your lungs are pushed outward and you may experience shortness of breath. You’re beginning to feel like a washing machine out of balance. A bit later you’ll feel like a beached whale. You can put a plate on the top of your uterus! And your baby is growing bigger every day. You may or may not be attending childbirth preparation classes.
From a Birthing Better point of view now is the Time (32 weeks pregnancy) to start the skill to do the Internal Work … prepare your baby’s birth passage. It takes about 8 weeks to soften, make pliable and stretch the muscles and other soft tissue deep inside your vagina.
Characteristics Step #9
- You’re ‘seizing the moment’. Birth is soon to unfold or is unfolding.
- You begin to face the ‘consequences of change’ … both your improvements and setbacks will become obvious
- You are still in the ‘special world’
If you are ‘seizing the moment’ by attending childbirth education classes pay attention to how much time is spent giving you practical skills for use during birth. Fewer families are going to childbirth preparation classes than in your parent’s generation. Everyone is busy. There’s google! If you go to a class it might be just a few hours and covers so many topics your head spins. On the other hand, you might be waiting until 36 weeks or so to attend a class.
As you’ve moved through these steps you might understand more deeply why Birthing Better families have been encouraging to prepare your pregnant body for birth since 24 weeks. Learning skills doesn’t take heaps of time. However, practicing is the only way to ‘own’ the skills much like learning to drive a car. You had to practice regularly. Thankfully Birthing Better skills take much less time to learn and practice. Just like learning to drive, there is a test coming. Compare your driving test to your test of giving birth! Evaluate how important each then determines how you are seizing the moment because there are ‘consequences of change’ … your improvements, setbacks, reluctance to commit or can’t be bothered attitude all begin to show up between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy.
Seizing the moment
You and your partner have either learned, practiced your birth and birth-coaching skills and plan on using them OR you haven’t and now begin to feel that common sense of disconnect, bewilderment, passivity and overwhelm so associated with birth today.
How’s your Birth Plan unfolding now? If you’re ‘seizing the moment’ by learning skills now you really begin to deeply understand that even if your Birth Plans change that you’ll still stay focused and capable. Without skills, you might be crossing your fingers that your Birth Plans unfold as you want. Either way, there is never any way to know how your birth will unfold. You can’t ‘plan’ a birth. You live it and you will live with the memories. You do it. Seize the moment and drill down on becoming skilled.
Birth is an activity that you are required by biology to ‘do’. You have either chosen to face the unknown of birth with learning skills so you can ‘do’ the activity of birth the best you can or you’ve chosen to not be bothered and now find yourself being swept away by the experience.
There is a reason Birthing Better is not Better Birth … besides, there is a book of that name. You birth better when you use skills but you can only hope for a better birth without skills. Knowing how to birth better gives you and your partner the power and control no matter what unfolds. You might want a better birth but that requires external forces to give that to you.
Remember all the way back at Step #1 … ‘limited awareness’. Seizing the moment means you now face the reality that 30% of all pregnant women will have a cesarean. 75% will have one or more medical intervention. From a Birthing Better perspective, none of that matters when you use Birthing Better skills because you choose to use skills throughout that journey and just plan work with and around everything that happens to you or around you. For those who haven’t learned skills those statistics mean you are going to face a lot of medical care which may give you a better birth or not but will never lead you to birth better. Choose to birth better!