How I Prepared For Giving Birth

 

If you want the real truth about what birth really feels like, and the process of planning leading up to birth, then keep on reading…

When I thought about the idea of giving birth for the first time it was damn right scary. I was literally going to be pushing a real life little human out of my vagina into the big wide world. For any men reading this, think about it like pushing a large roast chicken out of your nostril…ouch right!

When I got pregnant I found myself asking every woman I know who had given birth, what birth is really like. Is it really that painful? did they use any pain relief? did anything go wrong? I was asking these questioned just so I could prepare myself in my own mind for the worst-case scenario. Why I felt the need to keep on asking, urg I really don’t know!

I knew I wanted a water birth so i watched water births on YouTube to figure out if it as great as it seemed. I found watching the births eye opening and emotional, and in fact it helped put my mind at ease for when the time came.

After all my grilling to all the mummys’ I know, and watching births on YouTube, I prepared my birth plan. I kept my plan to preferences rather than making strict decisions, as I didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t go according to my “perfect” plan. Ladies please don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself, it really isn’t worth it. All that truly matters is that you and baby are both safe, whether that means you need lots of pain relief, or a c-section, so be it.

so – my birth story…

I opted to have a natural water birth, and I was lucky enough to get the experience that I hoped for. The prerogative word here is natural, this means I felt everything…yea ouch.

Monday 3rd July:

My labour started on early Monday morning 3rd July, the indication of this was I had my bloody show, and light period type pains. The light period pains lasted from about 5am to the afternoon and then it subsided, so I carried out my day as usual going for acupuncture and a midwife appointment.

Tuesday 4th July (baby’s actual due date!)

Light period type pains were back but my labour progressed very slowly, getting contractions every 20 minutes.  I decided I had plenty of time and I wanted to go pamper myself (as I knew it may be a while until I could go get pampered again). I decided to go and get a mani pedi, my sister calls me legend for this haha. I really don’t know what I was thinking to be completely honest, quite a silly move, my waters could have broken at any moment! During my mani pedi I could feel the contractions getting closer and stronger, and the walk back home was a struggle.

5:30pm – I got home and had a little something to eat and had a nap as I knew I would need as much energy as possible. I woke to sharper pains, and boy were they coming thick and fast! The last one worst then the one before and they started taking my breath away. The best way I can describe contractions are basically like your worst period pains x 1000. I have quite a high pain threshold, however I was even struggling, but using yoga breathing techniques really gave me the strength to carry on, breathing with some technique really helps!

Fast forward a couple of hours…

9:30pm – My husband called the birth centre to let them know that my contractions were getting stronger and closer, and that I wanted to come in to be examined. They agreed for me to come in, but said the likelihood would be that I would be going straight back home as it’s my first baby and probably would be a long while yet.

10pm – I got to the hospital and after examination they found that I was already 5cm dilated, half way to full dilation (no wonder the pain was taking my breath away), which meant I wasn’t being sent home, yay!

I got changed into a bikini top and a robe. My waters hadn’t broken yet and the midwife suggested that I don’t get into the birth pool straight away as this could slow things down. As each hour ticked away the contractions were getting closer and closer which meant I had less time to get my breath back between contractions, this was the most testing part of labour for me.

To help manage my pain I went from the shower, to the birth pool, to walking around, to leaning on a wall, to leaning on an exercise ball, and my husband massaged back etc. and cycled these techniques. The midwife checked the baby’s heartbeat after every other contraction to ensure everything was ok.

I got to a stage where I felt I needed pain relief and asked for gas and air. This didn’t work for me because I simply didn’t use it properly and found I went back to my breathing techniques after a few minutes. If you wish to use this during labour, I recommend asking your midwife how to use it effectively before you need it.

Wednesday 5th July

Around 4am – I was starting to get the urge to push, this basically feels like the same kind of pressure when you need to do a poo. The midwife checked me but I was only 7cm dilated, not ideal to start pushing, and so she told me to resist the urge.

About half hour later my water still hadn’t broken, and contractions were getting tougher as there was hardly a break between them. I decided to get into the pool and stay there for the remainder of my labour.

5am – my urge to push got really strong so the midwife told me to listen to my body. I decided to get into the squat position to help gravity do its thing. I pushed hard with each contraction, picturing the baby coming out. I suddenly felt a sting and pop below, this was my waters breaking, and baby wasn’t far behind.

Pushing feels like a huge relief, the best thing I can compare active labour to is constipation, and trying push out a poo, it’s really straining but a relief.

When the baby’s head crowned I got what they call the ring of fire, it wasn’t exactly pleasant but it was over very quickly. Each push after this felt like a bigger relief, and I could really feel baby moving down; suddenly the whole head was out, a further push had the shoulders were out, and the last push at 6am on the dot baby was born. Without this sounding like a cliché, all the pain I went through was over in a second, literally all forgotten.

We didn’t find out the sex of our baby during my pregnancy, as both me and hubby wanted it as a final surprise, and so once baby was out I was first to find out I had a beautiful baby boy, which was such a special moment for me, and for my husband.

Baby’s cord had to be cut quite quickly as he was born quiet, but as the midwife cut the cord and took literally a step to go and examine him, he started to cry, my heart literally stopped in that moment, but everything was ok. My husband was my rock throughout the whole process, and i don’t think i could have done it without him.

I was then helped out of the pool, and examined below, I needed some internal stiches as baby had torn me a little internally… all fixed up, I was back in the room with my baby boy and hubby, and the bonding process began.

I hope my story has helped you better visualise birth and not put you off!  If you are a mummy to be, I wish you a happy, healthy pregnancy and safe birth.

Please leave any comments or questions below.😊

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