This is my personal experience and remember everyone’s birth experiences are different!
A long early phase.
So many of us think of Labour in the way we see in the movies. Your waters break, here come the contractions and straight off to the hospital to push that little pickle out… WRONG. If this is your first pregnancy, you are highly likely to have a pretty arduous time of it. In other words, a bloody long and tiring evening/day of Early Labour Phase. Waiting and waiting until it’s time to actually get to that hospital/birthing centre and start pushing. Don’t get me wrong it may not be like this for you.. this isn’t in EVERY case but it is a lot more likely than not, as your body has never experienced anything like this before.
My labour was exactly as I stated above. Arduous (painfully long) and constant back and forth from the birthing centre. Continuously being told that I am not dilated enough to go in. My labour started at 8am on a Thursday morning and it wasn’t till 3pm on the Friday that I was finally 4cm dilated!
Deviation from birth plan.
My birth plan was like a religion for me. I went through it daily, practising my hypnobirthing techniques, reading it over and over again. I had planned to go to a birthing centre (birthing centres have no epidurals), get in the birthing pool and I was open to a little try of the Gas and Air. I would laugh in disbelief when family/friends would say that pain relief was the way forward.
So here me and Jack were. Finally in our little room with our snacks and waiting for our little man to make his appearance. Contractions getting more intense. For me, these were getting a little too much now. So our midwife comes in to check on us. “Would you like any Pethadine or anything to ease the pain?” (Pethadine is injected into your thigh and makes you a little drowsy and eases the pain for about 4 hours). Jacks response “I think she wants to do it au naturale-” Before he could even finish his sentence “Ohh yes please!” There it goes! Birth plan out the window, gone, never to be seen again. Birth plan? What birth plan??
So if your planning to get in that lovely warm birthing pool and have had Pethadine as I did, you cannot get into that pool until the drug has worn off. A drowsy Mumma in a pool isn’t a good idea! With me, I could tell by the length early phase that it was going to be a while till I was fully dilated. So I knew Pethidine would be OK and over for me to still get in the Pool.
Also, the oh so loved Birthing Pool can also slow your Labour down quite a lot. In my case a hell of a lot. So there I am rocking around in the pool, Jack sitting on the chair next to the tap, topping up hot water every so often and sipping his coffee.. Nearly finished my second whole tank of Gas and Air. Finally it was time to measure my progression… I went from 6cm getting in, BACK to 4cm! This obviously may not have been entirely the pools fault but it definitely had an effect. I was in that pool for 6 hours! So this for me was the end. Bye bye Birthing Centre. Epidural I can hear you calling me! Off to the Hospital I went with my ambulance friends with Jack following behind (I’m pretty sure I swore at the midwife in the ambulance a couple of times) Birth plan?? What Birth Plan???
Epidural for me, it was a life saver. At this point I had been told that Freddie was back to back with me, which was why I was in so much pain. So please don’t let my story scare you or make you think any of this will happen to you, Everyone’s Labour is different! I’m just telling you my story. I had a friend who flew through the whole thing with no pain relief whatsoever, you CAN do it!
If anyone could be crowned the biggest scaredy cat of needles/injections IT’S ME. Even I was happy to see the anaesthetist walk in the room with the juice. I had Jack standing in front of me. I was sat with my legs off the side of the bed, facing forward and the guy just made me arch my back as much as I can and stay very still. You feel a tiny scratch and its done within 20 seconds! 5 minutes later you’ve completely forgotten about those contractions you were so intensely feeling before. Me and Jack were sipping on tea’s/coffee’s. We even managed to get a couple of hours sleep until I was woken up to push on Saturday morning around 9am!
If you’re worried about baby/you with the Epidural. Your midwife will be continuously monitoring you and your baby’s heart rate. There is a slight chance of a headache with the epidural but it’s very very rare.
You may find it hard to pass urine with the epidural as you are numb waist down but you can have a catheter inserted (which I had).
The pushing for me, was very easy. As with the Epidural you can’t feel anything down there, so I cant really explain what that feels like without. I pushed Freddie out in 35 minutes which is quite quick! I was impressed with myself! Its such a special moment. All you think about is the fact that you are so close to meeting your little baby! When your birthing partners beside you, helping you through it and the midwives are encouraging you and telling you how well your doing. Everything’s just so positive. (I get emotional even thinking back to it as I’m typing).
Yes, you most likely will poop. You do not see it, your partner doesn’t see it. They get rid of that thing in a flash. You also do not care, your baby is almost here and you are pushing for your life right now!
Your midwife will tell you to start pushing as you feel a contraction coming. With the Epidural you obviously can’t feel a contraction so, on the monitor your midwife can see when you are about to have a contraction and she tells you when to push.
OUT COMES BABY
Once your baby comes out. If all is well, he/she can be placed straight onto your chest. This is what I wanted and luckily I was able to have this. It feels so surreal. This is YOUR baby. Jack was crying, Freddie was crying (obviously). I wasn’t crying in fact. Because I had suddenly come down with a high temperature. I threw up after about 10 seconds of holding Freddie. The midwife passed him to Jack and I was hanging over a sick bowl. (Not how I imagined it). The midwife will then clean up baby, do all the basic checks, vitamin K shot (if chosen) and get baby dressed. Jack helped with all of that. (I was still with my bowl). Then finally I was well enough to hold my beautiful baby boy and breastfeed him.
Your midwife will help with latching on, show you anything you’re doing wrong etc. They wont leave you till you manage to get baby latched. So don’t worry about it not going well as they are so helpful. Bottle feeding.. I’m sure they are helpful with that too!
You may need stitches after, I had 2 internal. With Epidural you can’t feel a thing. They will clean you up. You will probably want to have a shower, get dressed and just spend time with baby and whoever else is with you.
Letting Family know of the new Arrival
My mother is a huge worrier. She called Jack about 20 times during my Labour and also the Birthing Centre when I was there! The midwife had to tell her to stop calling that’s how much she called. It’s cute that she was so worried about me but I needed Jack during that time so he couldn’t be on the phone letting people know how the Labour was going every half an hour.
So if you have any family members who over worry or are calling a little too much. I would recommend maybe sending a text when you get to the hospital and just say “We need time to get through this together, please don’t worry or be offended, we will let you know of any important updates or when babies here!” Obviously if you want to update every 5 mins then go for it! Just personally for me. I waited till pickle was in my arms to send out the messages.
My birth, even though it didn’t go to plan. It honestly was and always will be the best day of my life. Its crazy how a mother goes through so much pain and would still go back to that day and do it all over again. In a heartbeat!
Remember, if birth was that bad. People wouldn’t go on to have 2,3,4,5+ children!
I hope you enjoyed my Birth story. Please Like/Comment if you wish. You can follow/subscribe via email on my Homepage! Remember this is my personal story along with some facts. Everyone’s Birth is different.