So so close yet my lack of patience is making it feel far away at the same time…

*I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and the baby is doing great!  The doctor said I am 50% effaced, 2 cm dilated and the baby feels low.

*I had my first leg cramp in the middle of the night this week.  I used to get those all of the time with Skye’s pregnancy but this one was my first with this pregnancy.  Back to eating more bananas each day.

*I miss loving Mexican food restaurants very much (Cafe Rio must think I moved out of the state or something).  Mexican restaurants are usually our go-to choice but it has been so long since it has sounded good.  Maybe that will be my first meal after having this baby?!  Overall, food in general is tasting better than it has this entire pregnancy.  Dinner is still a little hit or miss but I can eat anything and everything for breakfast and lunch.

*The other day I NEEDED a soup & bread bowl from Kneaders.  We went to Kneaders and when they told us that they were out of the bowls but they had plenty of soup (with bread on the side), Andrew knew exactly what to do…  We got back in the car and drove to another Kneaders.   He is beyond good to me.

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*We also had a caramel apple afterwards to complete my perfect meal at this point in pregnancy.   Smoothies are also happening most days of the week.

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*My Braxton Hicks contractions have been so crazy this last week.  There are nights where I wake up from them (they are not as consistent or painful as labor contractions… just intense).  If this was my first then I am pretty sure I would have gone into the hospital at least 10 times already thinking I’m in full labor!

*I stayed up until 11 the other night just for fun and Andrew was shocked.  I don’t think I have done that since before I got pregnant.

*30.29 miles of running last week and with each day my average pace is slowing down a bit more.  I’m very grateful for the movement I’ve been able to get throughout this pregnancy because it sure helps my brain with all of the hormone changes.

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*My brain and memory feel like they have officially vanished.  I am having the hardest time remembering simple things so I have to write down each and every little thing that needs to happen or else it will never happen.

*Skye has helped me out a lot to make sure I never have to bend down to get anything.  She hands me the laundry or picks up anything I drop as quick as can be.

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*The baby officially loves to kick my ribs now.  My right ribs are so sore right now from this little one which I really remember happening with Brooke too at this point.

*My belly button feels as though it is going to pop off at any moment right now too.  Those of you that have had twins or triplets… how did your body do it?!  (Sarah Marie sweatshirt)

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*The other day on IG I posted about how I am planning on getting an epidural.  I had a few people question (in very nice and respectful way!!) why as an endurance athlete, I can endure the pain of long races but want to get an epidural for birth.  I love whatever decision anybody ever makes when it comes to this and I think I figured out my why for wanting an epidural… I don’t go into a race after 40 weeks of puking on and off (fun fact.. that started up again this last week some nights) and exhaustion ha.    I’m feeling a bit done right now (rather than rested and antsy to get moving like it does before a race after the taper) so an epidural sounds really nice.  I will continue to be beyond amazed by every woman and any choice they make.

*I started packing my hospital bag but feel like I can’t remember the things that I REALLY needed there last time, can you help me remember the really important stuff?  With Brooke and Skye I ended up only staying one night at the hospital but I’m not sure what we will do this time.  I told my sister we might stay a week since she will have the other three kids while we are there.

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What did you choose?  Epidural or no epidural?

Can you think of anything random that you HAD to have with you at the hospital so I don’t forget anything!

Tell me if your dilation/effacement meant anything with how soon your labor was?

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48 comments

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You are so close!! I can’t believe you are already at 37 weeks. I had to laugh at your twin/triplet comment. I am a Mom to triplets. I delivered at 32 weeks after 9 weeks on bed rest (6 of those in the hospital), and anyways even though they are 19 years old I can still remember how uncomfortable I was the last bit and how I thought my belly button would most definitely pop. It’s amazing what a Mamas body can do!

I don’t really have any advice on what essentials to pack as it’s been almost 16 years since our youngest was born. Prayers for a quick and easy birth! Can’t wait to see if it’s a boy or girl 😊

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TRIPLETS!!! Louisa, you are my hero. I am so amazed by you and I bet it is so fun to have them as adults now. I will think about you each time I am complaining to myself about being uncomfortable ha. Thank you for sharing and for the prayers, I’m so excited.

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My first birth I had an epidural (and a 4th degree tear from being told to push too hard too fast). Second birth I had an epidural but the tube FELL OUT and was dripping on the floor, so I gave birth without medication and ended up being okay with that – so okay that the third time I did not have an epidural. What I wish is that all women could go into the birth experience in the most relaxed environment possible, with people they care about and helpers they trust and the supports (epidural or not) they desire. That will reduce complications and make it a positive experience. I hope it goes wonderfully for you Janae! I look forward to sharing in your joy with your growing family!

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I had an epidural the first labour (inside three weeks early) and really wanted an epidural the second labour but didn’t have time! The labour was only 1.5 hours long…..so that was a bit of a shock! Definitely pro epidurals though. They’re awesome. Can’t wait to hear the news baby is born!!!
And as far as must haves at the hospital, lanolin cream (nipple cream) was my number one. Other than that I think hospitals tend to have everything you NEED! Everything else is just nice to haves. Maybe some good swaddles to keep baby snug

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Hospital bag: waterbottle, robe, snacks, chapstick, chargers + camera/phone, breastfeeding pillow, pillow from home with a funky pillowcase so you don’t forget it/mix it up with a hospital one.

I had an epidural with my first 3, had one with the 4th but it fell out and I birthed unmedicated.

With babe 4, I was 4-5cm dilated, 100% effaced and he was at a 0 station for the last 3 weeks of pregnancy 🤪 why yes, it was uncomfortable and I was in a constant fear of him literally falling out or going into labor and then him falling out while I had 3 other kids in the backseat. It was nuts.

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My first baby I had a csection. I had my second in August with just IV pain meds- it was brutal!!! I really wanted to lower my chances of having to have a repeat csection though so it was worth it!
Really all you need are comfy clothes, clothes for baby to go home in, a long phone charger, flip flops if you’re going to shower and a water bottle (my first they gave me one but this time bc of COVID they only had those tiny foam cups)

Good luck!!

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First 2 kids I had an epidural. After my 2nd I got a spinal headache (undiagnosed for 4 days) ended up in the ER due to such severe pain (they first diagnosed as a brain aneurysm or spinal meningitis . Since it was the weekend, they couldn’t do the blood patch injection so I had to lay flat on my back for 2 days. Went in on Monday and then had to lay flat on my back for another 24 hours so the blood patch would “stay.” I was so drugged up and in pain that I barely remember the first week of my daughters life. Soooo needless to say, I went with a natural birth with my 3rd…I was shocked how fast my recovery going natrual vs having an epidural. However, my doctor did assure me that a spinal headaches were extremely rare and it was fine if I wanted an epidural with my 3rd:-).

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Almost 39 weeks here and a giant YES to an epidural for me! I am actually worrying about the pain this time because I remember how painful my daughter’s labor was prior to my epidural (which worked like a charm) :). I was 3 cm and 50% effaced 2 weeks ago so I got excited I may go a bit early because I’m just flat out miserable, but still pregnant over here. Oh well not much longer for either of us! Good luck with everything Janae!!

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ERICA!! I am cheering for you and hoping that tomorrow is the day you get to meet your new little one. I was really hoping that the 50% effaced would speed things along ha. Good luck and I hope you sleep well tonight! Enjoy the epidural!

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You are my good luck charm Janae! Baby boy arrived today and his name is Everett Douglas! I went in for my routine weekly appointment and they checked me and I was 6 cm (but not having any painful contractions), so I got admitted and they got my epidural going before the painful contractions started! Everything went quickly and smoothly and I praying yours does too! I’m so excited for you now and best wishes for your labor and delivery and sweet baby!

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I was 100% set on getting an epidural. I had just finished my
Obgyn rotation in residency and I did NOT like what I saw with the unmedicated births, haha. So at about 1 cm I was like YAH CAN I HAVE IT NOW?! And after I got it it was the best!!
Okay janae you guys have to try this soup!! I know you’re on a soup kick so I thought of you . I used evaporated milk instead of the cream. It was soooo good!! https://carlsbadcravings.com/white-chicken-lasagna-soup-recipe/

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OMG, I’m a super pro-epidural mom! I’m done having kids, but if we have a surprise, I’m in. I’ve got a lot to say about this, but I know you’re very positive and nice to everyone. Your choice. It’s between you and your doctor. I hate the discussion and questioning of women. On a very related note, I had to have an emergency root canal when I was 20 and no one questioned my use of pain meds…

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Running a marathon and giving birth are two totally different types of pain and endurance events! I had my first baby in February and I thought I would be able to have her naturally because I’m a marathoner, but no way!!! Giving birth/being in labor is way harder than a marathon in my opinion! Ha. Moms are amazing and labor and delivery is a huge feat, epidural or naturally :)

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I had an epidural, to which my husband pointed out that anesthesiologists are always the most attractive doctors (we had two different ones during labor and they were both handsome/beautiful and all the doctors and nurses agreed that it’s the prettiest looking professionals in the medical field). Every doctor or medical visit in our lives confirms this.

My delivery room was so fun. We laughed so hard with the medical staff and had just a great time. I think having the plan of “go have a baby” was the best. No overthinking about what I could/couldn’t control – let the professionals do their job and listen to their directions (and laugh a lot)

Don’t forget chapstick!

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Wow Janae you are almost there!! :) Following along this thread as I’m now 18 weeks – and have no clue what to bring to the hospital :)

I haven’t made a firm decision either way on epidural or not, but I totally understand that weird conflict of endurance races and ability to endure. But the way I look at it, we’re basically in the (40 week long…) marathon right now!! Labor is just the fun part at the end where they hand you delicious snacks and you get to put your feet up…right? :)

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I had an epidural! Best thing ever. I gave birth this summer and my advice is pack snacks!! With corona we weren’t allowed to order food and my husband even bribed a nurse to get us snacks at a vending machine but I’m not sure what your hospitals protocols would be. Also towels! If you or Andrew shower, the hospital towels are small and scratchy. Sending good vibes!!

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Your so close!!! I could totally see you having a Halloween baby :)!!

Ok all your food pictures made my mouth water this morning. That caramel apple…wow

I Had terrible Braxton Hicks with my third. They would take my breath away and when I would go for a walk they would make me stop until they subsided. No fun! Your doing amazing!
Hospital bag…outfit for you and baby-blankets-car seat cover (we have snow lol) a big container to carry home pebble ice ;) so excited for you both!!!!!!!

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Hospital must haves (for me) were: nursing pajamas, robe, your own grippy socks (the ones at the hospital were HUGE) and boppy/nursing pillow. I also tell everyone to have your own donut pillow at home…I popped a few of those blow up ones you get at the hospital which was NOT a good feeling (emotionally/physically) when you are post partum. They are just so flimsy so I think having your own is just better!

I did not have an epidural… however I think you need to do YOU! People think i’m nuts for not getting one. But if for some reason your labor moves so fast you don’t have time for an epidural, YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Us mamas are STRONG and we can do ANYTHING! A non-medicated labor was not the nightmare I had imagined it would be, I truly had built it up to be way worse than it was (just my experience ! but I like to share because I think the pain of labor is scary for so many people)

Wishing you an easy labor and recovery!

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Hi Janae,
Had an epidural with the first and signed the papers for my second…she just came too quick for the me to get the meds. I am so glad that you are bringing it up as a topic. This is a sneaky mom shaming topic that continues to come back up. Everyone gets their choice of how to parent without shame-isn’t it tough enough already?

Don’t forget a robe, socks, slippers, comfy pants and undergarments! An adorable blanket and beanie that will work for pictures of the baby’s debut. Protein sources and water!

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I had no epidural with my son. 22 hours of Pitocin induced back labor. D: Haha.

With my daughter, I assumed I’d do the same, but I got to about 6 cm and suddenly, I just looked at my husband and said, “Ya know… I’m not in the mood for this. I don’t want to do this anymore today. I want an epidural.”

So I got one and it was BRILLIANT! I gleefully listened to comedy shows with him as we watched my contractions spiking and coming faster and harder. Contractions I didn’t have to feel!! It was a hoot. I even felt my legs and was able to push just fine. 4 pushes and she was out and on my chest, and I feel like I was able to enjoy it so much because I wasn’t nearly gone with exhaustion and pain and so out of it.

SO, having gone through it both ways, if I did it again, I’d try to get to at least 6 cm and then Get The Epidural. :) But yes, its such a blessing to live in a place and time where we can (sometimes!!!!) have some control and choices out our labor and births.

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Epidurals are the way to go! So focused and present for the births of my boys but with my daughter (born in Italy) no time for meds and I was so distracted, exhausted and stressed by the pain. Not a very calm loving first meeting for us. Love following along with your journey!
(I’m running the MCM10k virtually with my Mom and Sister this weekend. )

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Two home births and one hospital/epidural birth. I wanted to experience both a medicated and unmedicated birth. In the end, I personally prefer the experience of home births. Husband got to be in the water catching our second baby. Such a sweet memory. Good luck with this sweet little one coming soon!

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— The epidural vs marathon question is interesting but for me, I think it mostly has to do with choice and control…you can choose to slow down, change pace, stretch, adjust form, etc in a race to adapt to the pain…but you can’t during labor, it is what it is.
— Kid1 => nothing…25 hours of natural labor, no tears despite a 99% baby head. I did it but it was tough…being so tired for so long was one of the biggest struggles. I didn’t walk normal for a week.
Kid2 => complicated pregnancy with early labor and bedrest…tried a modified epidural (I’m allergic to the anesthetic in regular ones) but didn’t completely work so only took the edge off the top of the worst contractions but that was still an improvement while we were trying to avoid an emergency c-section. No tears and I will say that I felt fantastic post-delivery and could have happily headed home 2 hours later.
Kid3 => 12 years later in a different state…started natural, then one round of IV meds that mostly worked, then natural delivery because he came fast while we were talking about whether or not to do a second round. Also no meds sewing me up (again, allergic to that anesthetic) which I think was harder on the NP-midwife than on me. (There were several things about my CA OB and delivery care that I was not thrilled about.)
So…you do you and whatever makes it best for you…each delivery is its own random crapshoot anyway.
— Early effacement and dliation with Kid2 started at 29 weeks and meant 8 weeks of bedrest fighting early labor. But with Kid1 (41 weeks) and Kid3 (39 weeks) it didn’t really mean anything…I still had 2-3 weeks to go.

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Every woman has their own reasons. I was not planning on one, but after being admitted on the 29 and my daughter not born till the 31…….and minutes away from a cesarean……….I ended up with one. In hindsight I would pick it again by choice., every day of the week! I was so present for the birth of my daughter and a moment I can still picture. It is one of or the one life memory I never want to forget. It is absolutely amazing what the female body can do!

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Well, I planned on having no epidural but things didn’t go as planned and I ended up having an emergency c-section and wasn’t even all the way under before they started cutting – so glad I don’t remember it! It took me a few days to recover from the thought of things having not gone as planned. You, and any other pregnant woman, can do what you feel is best for you.

Seems like I packed more than I needed. One thing I was glad someone told me to bring was extra bags for all the extra things and gifts you’ll be bringing home. And chapstick!

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Ignore anyone that shames you for getting an epidural. Those people are, pardon my french, a**holes. This is your birth and your baby, not theirs.

My mom had triplets and they were healthy but man…no thanks lol

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I so appreciate your positivity and supporting all women! I had the “best of both worlds,” so to say, with my baby. I was at 10 cm when I got an epidural, so I got to labor in pain to that point and then actually push her out painlessly. I had no idea I was already at 10 cm when I got the epidural – she was my first and I went from 0 to 10 in 2 hours (and also 5 weeks early), so I basically had no idea what to expect. Getting the epidural was the best decision – I felt so much more relaxed and in control – and I will do it again if I have the chance! Good luck the last few weeks!

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I have 4 year old triplets born at 34 weeks and I never remember thinking about my bellybutton! Just wondering if my whole stomach could handle it! (It did :-)
I love your reason for getting an epidural! I have had one for all 3 of my births. In nursing school I saw both kinds of births and the epidural was clearly the way to go for me!
My reasoning is the 4th trimester. With pregnancy you can’t go home for a massage and a long nap after the big event. It’s go time! I wanted to be as rested as possible (I have slept with an epidural!) and I wanted my husband to be as rested as possible too. He is amazing. With my single babies I didn’t change a single diaper the first week while he was home from work.
Wishing you a wonderful delivery and a healthy baby!!

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I did natural childbirth for both of my kids and I don’t recommend it. My son was 9.5 lbs and my daughter was 8lbs 13 oz. I wanted an epidural with my daughter, but by the time I asked, it was too late and she was born about 10 minutes later. Everyone should just do what they want. Everyone has a different experience. I also exclusively breast fed both kids. Neither one of them ever had any formula. It was so hard (and painful) and the only reason I did it was because I felt like I had to do everything “perfectly”. I do not recommend that for anyone. We are all just doing our best.

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Janae,
Internet secret – I am pregnant too! But not nearly as far along – just about 4 months but have been stalking your baby updates for months =). BUT the big thing is I CANT DEAL WITH MEXICAN FOOD EITHER and usually it’s my favorite! I can’t wait to love it again – it seriously makes me sad haha. You’re looking great – sorry sickness has come back – it’s so soon you’re almost there :).

Margot

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I had my first baby earlier this year and always planned on a medicated birth but when contractions started THREE days before I was admitted to the hospital, I absolutely felt I needed the epidural – I was in so much pain and had only slept like 10 hours total during the previous 72 hours. The epidural finally gave some relief but then made my blood pressure go so low that my baby’s heart rate decreased. They ended up turning my epidural off until baby recovered and then only turned it back on to 50%! I definitely FELT pushing and the ring of fire. I also needed stitches (second degree tear) so I felt a lot of that too, but the benefit was that I got feeling back in my legs and was able to walk around super quickly after delivery! If I ever have another baby I am definitely going the medicated route again!

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The Braxton Hicks comments reminded me of one of those family stories that gets retold all the time. My mom had Braxton Hicks contractions super-early with my sister (in the first trimester). So her doc put her on meds to stop the Braxton Hicks. He told her, “This may make you a little bit anxious.” That night, right after she started them, there was a gas line explosion in my hometown, and she woke up to a fireball in the sky (fortunately, no one was seriously injured). Mom said everyone in my town was on edge for a couple of weeks afterwards, but she was a wreck for the rest of her pregnancy!

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I got an epidural with both of my children’s births and it worked so well for me. I was calm and happy with both birthing experiences. I think our birthing experiences are so individual and different with each pregnancy. Doing what is best for you is so important. I have run a lot of races and I did hear that giving birth is like running a marathon, I disagree with this statement. I trained for my races but I couldn’t train for giving birth. With my first baby, I hurt in places that I couldn’t believe hurt. I am glad that people were able to respectfully ask you questions about your decision.

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I can’t believe you’re at 37 weeks!! So close!! I can’t wait to find out the gender :)

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I gave birth in a birth center where epidurals aren’t even an option. I was so glad I had planned for that because I had a very fast labor (5 hours start to finish) and almost gave birth in the car on the way over! So, I wouldn’t have had time for pain meds even if I had wanted them! Not going to lie, I felt like a bad a$$ after that :).

With that said, you do you! I had a lot of people tell me I was crazy for going without meds, but I think we should all go into our birth experiences in whatever way makes us feel most comfortable. There is no prize for giving birth in any certain way!
Good luck in the next few weeks!

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Epidural!! That childbirth pain is different than running a race. Can’t compete it!

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I love all your baby posts! Especially watching how Skye helps you out around the house, too cute!
I did an unmedicated birth and for me it was the right decision. While it was a challenge mentally and physically at times I felt it was right for me and my baby because I didn’t want any medication impacting my baby post birth and I wanted to feel connected to the process. I appreciate the discussions on here about it; I had never thought about recovery or the not getting much sleep when we go home from the hospital which someone mentioned above as a reason to do an epidural… based on our night labor I might consider that for a future baby because it was definitely hard for me to not be rested going home. But I also do not regret going nonmedicated at all. The nurses working with us were amazing!
Things for the hospital: a water bottle! I am so so thankful I had mine from home. Also, some music! Make Andrew be your DJ ;)

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I had to laugh at the why get an epidural if you’re an endurance athlete question! I remember being pregnant with my first and a friend telling me that if you give birth without pain medication, they don’t announce it over the hospital loudspeaker and present you with a medal! HAHAHA! I must have some weird spinal anatomy because they did not work for me. So I had two with an epidural and one without, and the one without was by far a better experience. That was the middle child. That’s the only thing that was the easiest with him! HAHAHA!

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running a marathon and birthing a baby are NOT comparable. haha! During a marathon you can stop or slow down if you want, there’s no backing down in having a baby.
Epidural all the way- though mine only worked on one side.

I wish I’d brought shower shoes- the hospital shower wasn’t the nicest. Also towels from home b/c the hospital ones are not soft. And you can never have too many snacks :)

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Oh mama, you are looking so beautiful. So so so close to meeting this sweet babe! Please have Andrew give us updates!

I had an epidural with one and not really with the other and I am team epidural all the way! I think it’s just one of those to each their own kind of things. For me it’s also about control, in a race I get to control when and how much I hurt, giving birth I am in control of very little so there’s that.

I am a notorious over-packer but I really like to be comfortable in the hospital so I really loved having my own pillow and blanket from home. I don’t like sleeping with stuff that other people have used so I do this when we travel too. Obvs. you are going to need your lip gloss, phone charger, hair ties and comfy clothes ;)

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So if an endurance athlete felt the pain of child birth while racing I am fairly certain something would be terribly wrong!!! You can not compare the two, what on earth is wrong with people.

I had natural birth with both of my girls and chose it that way because I went with a midwife run birth center ( you did have some drug options though). For me, I just don’t like hospitals and that was my motivating factor. Had I known what was in store I would have known I made the RIGHT choice. My first was born in the parking lot after maybe an hour of active labor? My 2nd was 3 hrs from cramp to delivery. I was at the birth center for 45 min before she arrived ( and home 6 hrs later!!

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Don’t let anyone make you feel bad or question yourself for wanting an epidural! There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting one, and being comfortable during labor. I had 2 babies with epidurals, and 3 without. I’m an L&D nurse, so I see labors all across the spectrum, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. I’ve run marathons too, and I’d rather do that for a few hours than go through labor pains for 6, 8, 10+ hours.

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For my 3rd, I didn’t need anything at the hospital. Lol! I did make sure to take chocolates for the nurses!! Was just so nice to have a break from taking care of the other kids and it was like a date night with my husband with no interruptions! Well aside from labor and delivery…Isn’t it funny how things change?

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Hi Janae! So excited for you guys and to see the little cutie joining your family! Random question- with everything going on with the pandemic, how will that shape what your post partum and visiting with family looks like this time around? I have a sister in law due soon and I know she’s been nervous about that! Crazy 2020 stuff to ponder. I trust you guys will find what’s best for your fam ❤️

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I absolutely think that the best plan/birth experience is the one you decide on, so no shame for any decisions you are making. A positive birth experience looks different for everyone, and each mama has their own unique situation and priorities.

The choice I made for my first two and am planning now for my third is no epidural because I believe with all my heart that the risks are not worth it for baby or for me. I personally feel the baby does better without coming out drugged up and my recoveries have been amazing compared to what I hear about epidural births.

Since that was how I felt based on my research, I spent a lot of time preparing myself physically and mentally for laboring and birthing. I think if you go into it just winging it with the expectation you can tough it out, you’re not setting yourself up for success. There are so many ways to endure the pain and get through it mentally (very similar to an endurance race in that sense: I definitely have birth mantras haha). Our bodies are capable of incredible things.

Cheering you on as a fellow soon-to-be mama of three. Can’t wait to see that sweet baby!

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Both my pregnancies were very easy. Actually so easy that I thought something was wrong. I didn’t have a belly, no nausea, no cravings. I have no idea why. I m definately not fit (unless changing positions on the couch counts as ecercise) and generally I did nothing to deserve such luck. My dilation was very “rapid” both times. I guess it had something to do with how fast I gave birth. 1,5 hour the first time and 10 minutes the second time.

The first time I wanted to give a natural birth and I did it. The secnd time I was like “give me ANY drugs you have in the hospital!!!” and I had an epidural. So Janae do as you please. Is totally your decision and nobody else’s business. I wish you the best. xxx

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I had an epidural with my daughter after an enduring pregnancy and it was the best! I am pregnant now and planning on the same. My only advice is that if you are set on an epidural to ask for it as soon as you are in pain/your doctor allows I asked for mine very early on and was able to nap, relax, and enjoy the entire process. No need to wait until the pain hits the unbearable level! Good luck!

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I learned a great trick for leg cramps in PTA school! If you can put weight through the foot that is cramping it will go away almost instantly. Either stand on it, or if you’re in bed when it happens push that foot against the top of your other foot or the base of your bed. Hope that makes sense! It’s like magic!

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