I think I’m writing this blog because I don’t want to forget. I won’t be offended if you prefer not to read about childbirth! But if you are expecting, here’s my story and what they don’t tell you…
I had two very different birth experiences.
My first with H was about 7 hours from when we got to the hospital. Contractions were painful, long and very close together. By that I mean about 30 seconds apart. I was exhausted. Gas and air did nothing for me other than make me throw up. I reached a point where I couldn’t take any more and I had an epidural. For some bizarre reason that I don’t understand I have always felt a failure for doing so. I was 10cm when H’s heart rate started dropping so I was given a spinal in preparation for a C-section, but was told I had three attempts at pushing with the aid of forceps first. (Really wished they hadn’t shown us forceps in my ante-natal classes). Luckily the pushing worked and out came this tiny little thing that turned my world upside down. It wasn’t a bad birth experience, it just wasn’t to plan.
With O it was very different. Contractions were again painful, long and very close together. However this time Gas and air was my friend. My best friend. My I’m never letting you go friend. (I still from time to time miss that friend)! I was 6cm when I had my first check. 45 minutes after that they broke my waters and 10 minutes after that the midwife said “are you pushing?” At this point my head had no clue what my body was doing but 8 minutes later little O shot into this world before the midwife could finish her sentence “there’s the head, oh and the shou…oh here’s your baby”. 1 hour and three minutes! defiantly a positive birth experience.
Every birth will be different and we all cope differently but here’s some of the things they don’t tell you about childbirth, or at least no one told me…
1 The journey to the hospital is horrendous.
Having contractions whilst in a moving vehicle feeling every bump in the road ind of feels like someone trying to shove back in the thing that is trying to come out. You will be telling your husband to “hurry up and stop driving like a granny” in between contractions, then “stop the ******* car” as another one comes, all the while making a mental note to complain to the council about the state of the roads!
2 your waters breaking can be very disappointing
I had my waters broken for both my labours. What came out in my first was what can only be described as a trickle. It wasn’t even like I wet myself. More like a little laughing to hard wee (post childbirth you will experience this no matter how many pelvic floors you do). I know this isn’t the same for everyone, but the movies always make it so much more dramatic. My husband had me sitting on towels for the last three weeks of my pregnancy just in case my water broke. So when they did I was disappointed. Was that it!
3 Your dignity goes out of the window
It is completely true what they say. When you are in established labour you will not care who wants to come and look between your legs, and you will forget entirely that you haven’t seen your lady garden for at least 4 months and are rocking a 70’s vibe down there. None of that will matter in the slightest.
Your dignity does return. And it returns too soon. For me legs akimbo, upstairs looking though it’s been dragged through the bush downstairs, suddenly very aware that there are two women staring at my bits whilst they stitch me back together. But don’t worry keep glugging on the gas and air and at least you’ll find it more amusing.
4 Time slows down when they give you your baby
It will feel like an eternity before you hear your baby cry. There are no words to describe the emotions and thoughts running through your head whilst you wait for the first scream but the relief when they do is beautiful.
5 Stitches suck
And there really isn’t much more to say about that other than your first poo after childbirth and stitches will be the scariest thing you have ever done.
Oh and don’t ever, never, look at the stitches. Trust me. Just don’t do it. No good will come of it.
6 You will have the biggest high of your life
Once you have given birth and have met your new little bundle you feel euphoric. And so you should. You feel empowered and amazing as a woman at what you have achieved, you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops and you’ll want a medal. People won’t want to know about your labour because they just want to know about the baby, but you will have an overwhelming desire to share with everyone. Husbands, tell your wife constantly what an amazing job she did, because you will never know what she went through and she will need to hear it. You can’t tell her enough. Even better buy her a gift to show her how grateful you are.
7 It’s all totally worth it
They do tell you that one but it is very true.