I didn't do any nct or antenatal class this time, thinking I know what to do. 38 1/2 weeks in though and I'm thinking I can't remember! I've been listening to a birthing cd at night, practicing some breathing, got the tens machine out, but still doesn't really seem fresh in my mind!
I didn't do antenatal with either of my births - did hypnobirthing with the first but not the second and it all just came flooding back! Also my second birth was much less painful, quicker and all together more enjoyable than the first. Just went with the flow and remembered my breathing. Good luck, I'm sure it will all come back to you.
It's like riding a bike! Even if your conscious mind doesn't know right know what you're going to do, your body will remember, plus it'll all be easier because the way has been paved by the last birth.
I didn't do any classes second time around and as I knew what to expect then it did seem more as if I knew what I was doing - well my body did at least. Also for ds1 I had gas and air but for ds2 it was too quick and I didn't have time for that so I was more with it and could actually feel properly what was happening with each push and as his head and body came out. Very hard to describe but it felt more in control and very natural I almost enjoyed it (other than the pain of course )
I'll second that lindsell, I was able to understand the sensations more the second time and tell the mw the baby was coming down, whereas the first time it was just this huge horrible tangle of agony which seemed to have no end.
I think in your second labour (bearing in mind I have the benefit of being able to look back on two "normal" births) you remember the pain and the sensations, you know how bad it's going to get, and that it won't get any worse than that. The first time you have no idea so you imagine it's going to get even worse than the crowning bit- you start to panic and suddenly they're out.
Second time it's like, I remember this, I can do this. Still hurts, mind! you'll be fine.
Some people count through contractions to help them see there is a beginning middle and end to them. What I did was just inwardly chant "it's just a contraction. It's just a contraction. I'll get through this one and then I can have my epidural" and I got through 90% of them like that, then the epi man came, it didn't work, tried again, it didn't work, he went to try again (well why not, its only my spine you're puncturing) and I said stop because it was too late as the baby was coming, and it was all fine anyway. I only wanted the epi out of fear from the last time, as it turned out it was just a lot of bloody unnecessary fiddling about and I coped fine without it anyway. I wouldn't/won't bother next time, assuming everything is normal again obv.
Hmmm ... only did ante-natal yoga 2nd time round, and mostly for social side. DS2 an unplanned home birth as I thought I wasn't as advanced as I must have been (Mum kept telling me subsequent births are quicker)! So ended up delivering him myself, on my own, while DS1 and DH were downstairs, DH on the phone to the ambulance as the MW hadn't answered her phone.
However, all was well, no transfer to hospital and no stitches required. I guess I remembered enough, or, instinct is very strong! Hope that helps
For some reason, I've only just read the replies! Very comforting- thank-you. My only stress now is please don't let the baby come before MIL arrives to look after DD1! I like the idea of the chant about getting through this one and then I can have an epidural!