No one can ever prepare you for labour, absolutely no one.
No amount of antenatal classes, midwife appointments or girlie chats. It really is a one of a kind experience that you really can’t put into words.
Read my story & discover my 5 tips for labour!
The body is a wonderful thing isn’t it!? I mean when you actually think what one is capable of it is surreal. We create and harvest little human beings from a tiny cluster of cells. Over a nine-month period your little one develops into what will define them as individuals, and no two DNA is the same…it really is incredible.
On Friday 14th November 2008, the clock struck 11pm and bang the switch was flipped to ON. A wave of heat and intense pressure swept over me, not the subtle cramping which I had been experiencing. This was IT. Grabbing my Tens machine, which I had hired from Boots, it was strategically placed at the bottom of my back. I have to say it was a much needed distraction.
On arriving at the hospital I remember asking the Midwife to make it stop, how funny on reflection! She annoyingly gave me 2 paracetamol, only 2! Gas and air was provided and I was navigated into a room where I lay on a bed ironically in the foetal position not having a clue what I was suppose to be doing. What can I say its painful, bloody painful….where on earth does that magnificent force come from?
My contractions went into a steady flow from 8 minutes, to 6 minutes to 4 minutes and stayed at this pace until 05:45 when she finally appeared. After delivery you have what is known as the after-birth!? Who would have thought that this would be my demise?!?
The afterbirth is your body releasing the placenta. Once you have your baby in your arms this is the last thing on your mind and what a struggle I had expelling mine. For some reason my cervix likes to close up mid way through this process. I did receive an injection but my word that is one stubborn little sucker.
And each labour can be so different!
My second labour for example start to finish was 1 hour, it was really incredibly speedy however this time I knew exactly what I was doing! As soon as I was shown into the delivery room I stripped off and never laid down. There was a handy banister which I grabbed onto and almost like autopilot i was navigating this bambino out. With every single contraction I pushed down until my breathing was like a wild animal. Then out she popped.
I don’t know how long I was left but time seemed to pass very quickly and I was aware, all of a sudden, that there was a flurry of nurses coming in and out of the room. I was still resting after a few attempts of getting the placenta out but to no avail. I started getting a bit shivery and from what I can gather I think I was losing a little too much blood. One of the nurses was trying to get a drip into my hand but hit a nerve so my hand collapsed. My body started shaking and I could see the colour drain from my husbands face.
Next thing I knew I was up in the Labour Ward being spoken to about receiving an epidural to remove my placenta. After such a super birth I was a little bit peeved that I would have to be kept in over night because I couldn’t squeeze out my placenta how frustrating!!
The following day when I was about to leave the hospital I nipped into the toilet just to check myself over before I was about to be discharged. As the door slammed shut it dropped and jammed. The unsavoury looking chap visiting his beloved with a black and blue face from bed 2, gave my husband a hand to crack open the door (literally) apparently he knew just the know-how. There were no questions asked, just a very grateful tear infused thank you and off we went home.
It just goes to show you really can’t plan it! What will be will be.
So here are my 5 top tips for labour… I hope they help!
1. Go to a Reflexologist; they can give you a rough idea of how delated your cervix is and when you might go. Be Warned this is NOT a massage and can be very uncomfortable!
2. Have a bath – the warm water really can start you off
3. Do not lie down during labour, if one can erect the squatting position then great. The urge you can feel when you bare down, can be compared to having a poo, a very large poo! Its completely normal!
4. Birthing plan is for your own mental state but don’t be too fixated on it, if its not going to plan don’t worry
5. Take lots of munchies in your hospital bag. You will be awake at some stage or perhaps all of the night so take plenty of goodies as the Nurses go on to skeleton staff and don’t have the facilities to organise food for you.