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Any positive birth stories? I'm a bit terrified!(41 Posts)
Due my first baby in October. Reality starting to sink in. Really very scared of the whole thing.
Would anyone mind sharing any positive experiences with me? Thanks.
The pain and being so out of control. I hate hospitals and would love to do it at home but dont think I can with first one, wouldn't feel safe. I just dread it going on for days and being so exhausted i cant cope anymore, stuff like that really. Would love a birth pool but only 2 at hospital and its first come first served obviously.
There's lots of pain relief available - talk this over with your midwife asap. Is there a midwife led unit available to you?
I'll give you one (wahey!) Waters broke (pop!) at 5 o'clock in the morning one week past my due date. Wasn't really sure what to do so rang the hospital who asked me to go in to be checked. I did, and they sent me home where I gently gripped the back of a chair whilst swaying from side to side and administering the TENS for a couple of hours as the contractions ramped up. I still thought I was in pre-labour, because it didn't seem that bad, and a bath slowed it all right down and made me feel almost completely normal again. But after a while, about three in the afternoon, I felt that I needed something a little stronger than TENS and went to the Birth Suite where the room with the pool was available and had my name on it. Quick exam revealed I was almost 10cm dilated. Laboured in the pool with gas and air for about three hours when the midwife asked me to get out and try on dry land which I did, and one hour later out popped my gorgeous girl.
The pain was intense, but I never felt overwhelmed by it. The water was an excellent pain reliever, and being able to stand in it really helped me feel like I was actually doing something. My husband was really helpful at the business end, which was not something I had planned or wished for, but ultimately I couldn't have cared less. I was totally in my own world.
I had planned to have a managed third stage, but was encouraged to do it naturally which I did and it only took about 15 or 20 minutes for the placenta to slide out. The three of us were allowed to stay in the Birth Suite for ages until I asked to be moved to the maternity ward so I could get some sleep, at midnight.
I genuinely loved every minute of the labour and birth, and I'm no lentil weaver! Don't be scared, go with the flow. What's worrying you? Is your birth partner a strong advocate for you?
I had a really good experience with my first. 8 hours from first twinge to delivering placenta. Wasn't the 'mind bending pain' I'd been led to believe - totally copeable.
I too was at home and planned to be in the pool, but in the end it was too fast for us to fill it up.
I actually am looking forward to labour again in the future and have trained as a Doula as am so enthusiastic about the whole thing. How's that for positive?!
Things to think about/read/do to help with your anxiety.
1. Try and think about what it is about it you are anxious about - it helps just to identify what it is.
2. Read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth (if you only do one thing, do this!) - loads of positive stories and a great explanation of how brilliant women's bodies are at having babies - something we've all forgotten
3. Would you consider going to a birthing centre, having a water birth or even a home birth - people generally find the experience overwhelmingly better in these places
4. Natal Hypnotherapy CDs are great for relaxing in pregnancy and preparing for labour
5. Make sure your birth partner is well prepared to support you through some good ante-natal classes
6. Considering having a Doula - if money's an issue trainees are cheaper and there's even a hardship fund for people on benefits.
You'll be fab - your body knows exactly what it's doing I promise.
I was worried about it too (who isn't?!) but found once I went into labour a calm came over me, and I have spoken to lots of other Mums who have said the same thing.
I had a nice normal eight-hour first labour, in hospital, and it was a wonderful experience. I can't lie and say it wasn't painful, but it honestly wasn't as bad I thought it would be. All the midwives were wonderful, and lovely to me and dh.
Hope that helps.
Have you had any complications in pregnancy? Any real reason to think labour might be anything other than straightforward? True, sometimes it does go on for a long time, but like rebeccacad says, your body knows what it's doing.
How far are you from your local hospital? If you went for a home birth, how easily could you get to a hospital if you needed to?
Here's another good experience one for you!
Waters went while I was sending a fax at work at 12.30pm, popped along to the hospital whilst having 'period pains' every 5 mins or so, they got more intense and then someone suggested going to the delivery room and bypassing the ward.
They didn't bother examining me as 'it was too early' but when someone decided to have a quick feel, they said 'oh, whoops, I can feel its head!'. I had a bit of gas and air and then they took it away so I could push without distraction!
A few hefty squeezes later (it hurt but it was like pooing a snooker ball - reeeally sore but not the end of the world) and DS was here, it was 2.23pm when he was born.
They logged my labour as 45min!
I had a tear but I was sooo surprised as I had felt nothing. They give you a jab before they stitch you up and you feel NOTHING.
It's obviously different for everyone but just keep asking questions and voicing your opinion - makes you feel more in control and it makes life easier for the hosp staff too.
I had a first birth that didn't go at all as I expected, but everyone at the hospital was fantastic and in the end, not only did I have my wonderful dd, I discovered that actually, I am very strong and brave and rather impressive in a crisis.
Second birth was far less dramatic, produced my wonderful ds but does seem a bit easy in comparison. I learnt nothing about myself from it, other than I don't look good in surgical stockings.
My first birth went smoothly. Quick, no tearing, managed just with gas and air - it can happen.
Good luck. Hope it all goes smoothly for you.
What I found most positive was how quickly I recovered after both births especially my first. Had her at 11pm, quite long labour (spine to spine) got up at 3am for a wee, not as bad as I'd been led to believe!. Woke up at 6am, bit stiff and obviously sore but could move, get washed, have a poo!! Couldn't wait to see visitors, really positive. You do enter a zen like stage the last 30 minutes of birth, and you will be able to do it. One piece of advice - don't be too hard and fast in ruling out pain relief
Thanks everyone for your replies.
habbibu and rebeccacad- I've just googled birthing centres (not sure what this means) and the hospital I am NOT due to give birth at is listed as one- it says its a midwife led unit too. Really confused dont even know what all these things mean and why they are better!
I loved my first labour, and am looking forward to my second. Stay at home for as long as you can, it's much more comfy and you can eat as much as you like. The TENS machine made a huge difference, firstly I managed to get some sleep while the early contractions went on through the night, then it kept me going till I got into the hospital birth pool. I had a birthing ball at home - sitting on it hurt like hell, but leaning on it and swaying got me through two DVDs worth of contractions (plus TENS). I was 7 cms by the time I decided to go to hospital, and after a bit of a wait I got the only pool (wait helped a lot by gas and air). The pool was amazingly peaceful, especially the sound of rain on the skylight above the pool, but it slowed everything down. Plus the gas and air started making me feel sick so I did the rest with no pain relief. When the midwife asked me to get out so she could check if my waters had broken (they hadn't), I couldn't be bothered to get back in and gave birth on dry land about an hour later. It was wonderful, and can't wait to do it again. At home, this time, hopefully!
Good luck! I hope you get a midwife as lovely as ours, she left us to it when we wanted and gave help and advice when we asked.
Oh, and don't forget to pee!
I am sorry to disagree, but if you do not feel safe enough to give birth at home, I suggest you go to a proper hospital instead of a midwife-led one.
My birth was not that smooth, but we are all here, safe and happy. This was my birthplan anyway. I never felt out of control, and would go through it again.
Don't be scared - you're designed to give birth just like any other animal - and no other animal screams in pain when they are giving birth, it doesn't have to be like you see on TV. Being scared just makes you tense up then your muscles won't work effectively. Most women don't have a medicalised experience - you just tend to hear the horror stories and not the good ones.
My first labour was 12 hours from when it got going properly. I just used a tens machine and a bit of gas and air when I was having stitches. I didn't find it particularly painful, more like a feeling of pressure. Yes it was hard work and took my breath away (if I let it), but I wasn't scared and never raised my voice.
Have you heard of hypnobirthing? It helps you keep calm by using breathing and relaxation.
I was a mess before my first was born, I was terrified. It was tearing that was my biggest fear, and the pain.
Didn't go as planned as I was induced by drip due to waters breaking and not going into labour on my own. I had an epidural as MWs were expecting it to take a long time but the contractions before I had it were bearable. I gave birth in 7 hours from the drip going in my arm. I did tear and needed lots of stitches but it healed very quickly with no problems.
I felt on top of the world when I was holding my DD in my arms and can't wait to do it again next month. In fact I'm so confident now I'm planning a home birth.
Even my friends who had a far harder time than have either had baby 2 already or are expecting again. It is so worth it for the baby in your arms.
Another positive story!!
Waters broke 6am and contractions started, but so gentle that I slept through them until 11am... Contractions became stronger through the day, a bit like period pains, but more in my back as though I'd been lifting heavy things for a while. Rang midwives in the afternoon, who came to check me over and they found I was 10cm already . Bit late at this point to start using the TENs I'd hired, but I honestly had not been sure I was in proper labour and hadn't felt I needed it. Pushed for 90 mins and baby arrived at 6.30pm. I didn't tear and I didn't need any pain relief - she was my first baby.
The things I think really helped were:
1. natal hypnotherapy classes. I went with my husband (birth partner too) and had listened to the CDs and practised the techniques beforehand
2. my midwife went through everything about the home birth with me a week before baby arrived and reassured us - husband was very unsure about HB.
3. Bouncy ball to sit on - I think I almost hypnotised myself bouncing on this with my 'whale music' in the background
4. knowing that pain relief (gas & air and TENs)was there for whenever I needed it. Biting mu husband's wrist however seemed to work just as well
5. being in my own surroundings made me much calmer that I'd expected to be and as it was December just gone, I was very happy to not need to leave the house and be driven to the hospital - the snow was just dreadful!!
very positive - was DREADING it.
waters went at 10pm in evening at 37 weeks, called hospital, they said come in just to get checked over due to waters going.
got ready and went in, contractions started about 30 mins after waters, got to hospital about an hour after waters (half hour faffing around at home, half hour journey).
contractions fast and furious, MW checked me out after about half an hour - when I insisted baby was coming.
I was fully dilated and started pushing.
1 hour pushing and ds1 was born - so 2 hours from 1st contraction.
I had gas and air and while it was painful (obviously!) it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be.
Just remember Eleanor Roosevelts words :
"A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
In other words, you can do this, you will do this, and you will amaze yourself, whatever way your labour and birth happens.
(And I've had 4, all induced, all copeable with with only gas and air and I am the biggest chicken in the entire history of the world ever)
Have you got any ante-natal classes scheduled? You can go via the NCT (you can look up your local branch online) or your hospital should run them. You generally go about a month before your due date, I think. It's a great opportunity to ask questions and get reassurance.
Birthing centres are midwife-led so they are great if you are confident about having a natural birth. Many are now attached to hospitals so if any problems arise, you are right near all facilities should you need medical intervention such as caesarian or epidural (and god knows I was glad of the latter with my first!).
Whatever route you go down, remember that your midwife is your friend. You'll be assigned one when you get to the hospital with contractions. She has been through many many births and she is there to help and reassure you, answer any questions and tell you exactly what is happening when it's happening and what to do if you are scared or worried.
My personal advice is to do your homework and get as much information as possible. Read the books, go to the classes, find out what you do and don't like the sound of. The people I know who didn't read up about the myriad possibilities were the ones who often ended up feeling confused and scared, which is not what you want when you have labour ahead of you!
OOOOH how swlf indulgent, I love it.
My waters broke at 02.00, had like strong period pains for a couple of hours, then I went into labour ward because they were getting closer.
I asked for some gas and airat 05.00 and went on with that until round 10.00
it then became quite painful so I had an epidural. I could feel the contractions squeezing but no pain.
Thenthe MW said I was 10 cm, so would come back in half an hour to start pushing.
Did that and after half an hour of pushing out she popped. No pain a fantastic atmosphere in the labour room, lovely little girl.
2nd was a bit different
But we'll leave that for now