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Do you have crazy pregnancy nightmares?
Comment Below- What is your craziest pregnancy dream or nightmare??
I get those… and a reoccurring one for me is that I’m going into labor in random places.
I’ve dreamed that I went into labor in a grocery store, in an amusement park, traveling to visit family in another state… But by far the worst reoccurring labor dream is when I go into labor in the car in the middle of nowhere.
There’s no hospitals, no doctors or nurses…
Just me and my husband, who is always freaking out even worse than I am.
I usually end up yelling my best guesses of what to do at him as he ignores me and races down the road looking for a hospital. I’m much more profane in my dreams than I am in real life.
I usually have the babies (it’s always twins!!) in the passenger seat, and he finally pulls up at a hospital right after they are both born.
And then he sells our car because he can’t stand looking at it anymore.
Those nightmares are terrifying enough to motivate me to do some research. If something crazy were to happen, I wanted to know what to do! That goes for if I was the one in labor or if another poor mom needed help delivering a baby.
Dads- you should all read this! You can’t just drive and hope you find a hospital!
Moms- you too! For your sake and the sake of other women who might need you in some freak emergency situation, or a zombie raid, or whatever weird reason you might be stuck playing doctor for real.
It never hurts to be prepared, and a little prior knowledge might be just what you need to stay calm.
Let’s dive in!
1. Keep Your Head On
If you ever need to deliver a child, I’m sure it will be terrifying and crazy and freaky! Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Women all over the world have labor at home– without meds, without intervention.
- Women’s bodies are tailor made for labor and delivery.
- Most births aren’t complicated.
- Nature knows its stuff!
Remember that fact and stay calm! After all, if you’re freaking out, that poor mom is going to be losing it.
A woman once described her labor to me. This isn’t one of the crazy stories where someone delivers a baby in the jungle. She was in a hospital, safe with nurses, but she was having a natural birth.
She told me, “I’ve always been a screamer during labor.”
The nurse was repeatedly coming in and trying to calm her or make her more comfortable or offering her ways to help with the pain. But she wanted a natural labor, the screaming was more of a coping mechanism for her.
Finally, the nurse came in and said, “I’m so sorry, I really need you to stop screaming. There’s a 13-year-old down the hall in labor and you’re scaring her.”
So yeah, keep it relaxing for the poor mother’s sake.
2. Make Sure Help Is On It’s Way
Labor can go fast, and with all the fear and emotions floating around, things might slip your mind.
Above all else, make sure help is coming!
Dial 911, call a hospital, call the midwife (love that show!), light signal fires, or whatever- but make sure someone is coming.
(Side note- if you’re pregnant and close to delivery, keep yourself safely near cell phone service. Save long hikes into the backwoods for you until after baby comes. Who would want to do that with swollen feet anyways?? 😊)
This step is the part that might save you from having to deliver a baby at all. Cross your fingers for that! But just in case, let’s continue so that you know what to do in all cases.
3. Make Sure Help Can Find You
You might not think about small things that will slow down the help that’s coming.
Are your doors locked?? Then they can’t get in! Unlock everything!
Are you still driving?? Then they don’t know where to go to find you! Anyways, I can’t imagine delivering a baby without meds while strapped in a seat belt. If it were me, that seat-belt would have to come off, and that means it’s not safe to be flying down the road anyways.
Are you on a main road or trail? What landmarks are around? How can you make yourself more visible?
It’s natural to try to hide away, after all, labor isn’t pretty and it’s a private event. But make sure that you can be found so that you can get help.
Find the cleanest space possible. Best case scenario, you have a bed with clean sheets and blankets. For easier cleanup, put a shower curtain down on the bed. You might want to put towels over the curtain to make it more comfortable and absorbent.
In the best case scenario, sanitize means not just clean but disinfected too. Do the best with what you have.
The floor is a good choice because the baby won’t fall or get dropped accidentally. Babies are slimy and slippery after all.
Or maybe the cleanest area around is in the car or maybe it’s a patch of grass… Or just a zombie free warehouse, I don’t know.
Wherever you are, wash your hands or use sanitizer if you have it.
Other Great Reads:
5. Listen to the Mother
From here, follow mom’s direction.
What position is comfortable for her? Lying down, sitting, squatting, standing, walking, whatever.
She might want you to push her knees towards her chest (this can relieve pain) or help her breathe or say calming words of encouragement or just shut up.
Whatever she needs, do it.
And by all means, don’t cry about the mess in your car, in your house, wherever. You’re going to need new stuff. Accept that fact and help the poor woman.
Pray that the medics get there before you have to actually deliver. It’s normal for labor to go on for several hours, so hopefully you made it to the hospital before then or someone can come help you before then.
But labor can also be very fast in some cases… Again, just in case, let’s chat about what to do if you don’t.
6. Support Baby’s Head
You’ll see the baby’s head first.
Things often move slow in labor- so don’t try to rush it. Don’t pull or force anything. Just be patient.
Keep the head and neck supported by putting your hand under the baby’s head. It’s normal for the baby to turn as he is born.
Even before the baby fully emerges, you can help make sure he is breathing.
Use a clean towel to wipe the baby’s face clean. Just wipe the towel downwards across the baby’s mouth and nose to open the airways.
Don’t mess with the umbilical cord. You won’t be cutting it or messing with it at all unless it’s tangled around the baby’s neck. Don’t freak out, just hold the baby with its head closer to mom to avoid pulling on the cord. Then untangle it from the baby as the baby is born.
Watch out- once the shoulders come out, the whole baby’s comin. No more slow and steady wins the race- It’s fast and easy to drop the baby.
This is no time for selfies or a quick snack or a 5-minute break.
Just focus and be ready to catch. Expect slippery. It’s best to catch the baby in something- like a towel, a shirt, a coat, or whatever you have around- so that you don’t drop her.
Softly dab the baby to dry them, make sure they are breathing (if they are making any sound, they are breathing so no need to hit their butt. That’s a thing anymore.), and lay baby skin-to-skin on mom to warm up.
Don’t be worried if there is blood. Blood and fluid is part of this process.
Yes, there’s more.
I know, where does it end??
We can really really hope that help has arrived by now. In most cases it would have.
But AGAIN… Just in case… Let’s chat about the placenta.
This is the organ that a woman’s body creates when she’s pregnant to keep the baby alive. It’s not needed after the baby is born, so it comes out after delivery.
This usually happens about 10-15 minutes after baby comes. It’s important to let the afterbirth come at its own time. Don’t pull on it because it can tear and it’s important for the whole thing to be delivered. Any pieces that break off could cause problems for mom later.
Wrap the placenta up in a towel or something. The doctor might want to check to make sure that there are no broken off pieces on the placenta, just to be safe, so keep it around.
10. Keep Mom and Baby Warm and Comfortable
You can sit back and relax now!
If you’re in a safe place, just wait for help to come and they can handle it from here.
Pat yourself on the back and make a plan for a big reward/treat for yourself. You earned it.
11. Turn Things Over to the Professionals
Finally, they’re here! Just listen and do whatever they ask you to do. They know what they’re talking about.
Now you’re ready moms, and dads.
Knowing all this has stopped the nightmares and helped me sleep easy. If there were some crazy situation, I could handle it, and so could you!
The biggest thing is to trust nature. Trust a woman’s body to know what it’s doing. Don’t assume you know more and try to intervene more than you should.
Just support what’s naturally happening.
And get ready to tell all your friends, cause this is going to be the story of the century!
Have you ever had to deliver a baby on your own… Or known someone who did? Tell us about it in the comments below! And please share any additional advice!
For more resources on how to deliver a baby, check out theartofmanliness.com.
If you’re worried about complications during delivery, check this doctor approved resource.
Share this post with all parents who need to feel prepared!
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