"The best thing you can do during labor is to relax," she said. "You're going to want to tense up because it hurts, but if you can stay calm and learn how to do that, the rest will just happen."
She compared labor to a marathon - not something you just wake up and do one Saturday, but rather a physical endeavor, one that you prepare for. Besides keeping active, she suggested meditation or some other ritual that I do on a regular basis to teach myself to relax.
I was totally down, but had a busy evening last night and hadn't yet put thought into how I'd structure my relaxation. (Ha. Get the joke? I'M BAD AT THIS.) So this morning when I woke up and complained to Chris about how I hate getting showers, how I didn't feel like it, suddenly the light bulb went off: an opportunity.
Side note: I hate taking showers. Hate it! It's so boring, same thing every time, and it prevents me from getting my day started. One of the massive perks about working from home sometimes is that I can literally start work from my bed. Showers have always been a barrier to me, something I have to do BEFORE the fun starts. (Extra side note: I also just feel GUILTY about using all that water. I am a sucker for environmental campaigns and take the responsibility of the world's water usage on my shoulders. Also not good.)
This morning I decided that I would forget all that crap. I would ENJOY a shower. And you know what? It was pretty great.
Here's what I did:
- I only used the good-smelling shampoo (instead of trying to finish up the bottle that was almost done)
- I used my favorite shower gel (the expensive one that was gifted)
- I did a face mask
- I thanked and appreciated each of my limbs as I soaped up. I thanked my left arm for helping me type today, my left leg for getting me in and out of subways, meetings, and out to grab a healthy lunch. I thanked my right leg for telling me when I'm tired and encouraging me to rest when I need to. I thanked my belly (which I have a tough relationship with) for being a little flabby and providing a safe nest for Tiny and then I thanked my right arm for being my RIGHT HAND MAN and holding down the fort. Ha. Then finally I washed my face mask off and prepared my face to smile today.
The best! It didn't take that much longer than normal and now I feel ready to face the morning, having connected my physical self with all of the things I'm going to do today.
It's not a relaxation curriculum, but it's a start.