Talk about It:
Durham suggests that parents think about their past birth experience(s). "What do you want to be the same? What would you change? What are your goals for this birth?" Talk with your partner about what worked and what didn't. Use your previous experience as a learning tool.
My husband and I discussed what helped (his communicating for me to the nurses and doctors when I couldn't talk) and what didn't (his coaching my breathing). During the second birth, his main job was to watch the contraction monitor and tell me when I had reached the peak of my contraction, which was extremely helpful. We worked more as partners through each contraction, which moved us closer to the reward: the birth of our baby.
Take a Refresher Childbirth Class:
"[Even] if you had an epidural the first time and liked it, don't ignore the breathing and relaxation in the refresher class—you might need it," says Schroder, who delivered her first child with an epidural and her second child without medication. "The second time the breathing really worked for me. I believed in it; I didn't believe in it the first time."
All the breathing techniques I learned in the six weeks of childbirth education class did me absolutely no good during the birth of my first child, but the second time I went into labor, I used the breathing techniques that I was reminded of in the refresher class and found I had much more control over my labor pains for a much longer period of time.
In the grand scheme of life, the three trimesters of pregnancy fly by and before you know it, you'll be meeting your sweet new baby for the first time. So even though you may feel you've "been there, done that," have a plan—but also have a plan B. Keep your options open and be open to the fact that childbirth doesn't always go the way you hope it will. And that's OK—you'll have different stories to tell to different children, each as unique as they are!