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Was this a typical birth experience?

(7 Posts)
newportstateofmind Mon 06-Jun-11 23:26:38

DH and I are currently thinking about going for baby #2, and it's got me thinking back to the birth of DS. Just wondering what people think about whether my experience was good/bad/par for the course.

Birth plan (ha!) was a water birth at a midwife led unit, but waters broke and contractions didn't start so that was out of the question. Luckily though they did start within 24 hours so I didn't have to be induced.

First stage of labour was very straightforward, midwife was lovely, she examined me and said I was 2-3cm dilated. Then the shift changeover took place!! Contractions started getting much more intense and I told the new midwife that I would like some gas and air. She said that as I had been examined quite recently (about 45 mins previously I think), and had only been 3cm then, she didn't think pain relief was necessary. (Is that normal - shouldn't I have been the judge of that???) When she did examine me again, about an hour and a half later, she said, "Well the good news is you're fully dilated!" At this point I was then offered gas and air.

After that it all went a bit downhill, DS's head was at a difficult angle and so I ended up having an EMCS. To be honest though, by that point I couldn't care less how he was born, and the spinal block taking effect was the best feeling in the world!!

But what I'm wondering is, should I have been given pain relief as soon as I asked for it? Is is typical for midwives to try to 'hold off' as long as possible? Should I have just been more assetive? What do you think?

Sorry for the long post.

michelleseashell Mon 06-Jun-11 23:44:53

A similar thing happened to me. I was examined on arrival and was 4cm. I told the new shift guys in town that I wanted gas and air about half an hour later and they wheeled it down. Then I decided in the next half an hour that I wanted the pethedine rolled in too. They asked me a whole bunch of are you sure you're sures but I was very sure so they gave me that too. No further examinations done. Baby's head appeared about two hours after that. I think you and your birth partner just need to be very forceful about what pain relief you want otherwise they try and bully you out of it.

StealthPolarBear Mon 06-Jun-11 23:52:29

I do think they like to hold off the pain relief as it can lead to cascade of interventions, but I liked my TENS machine, walking around, swearing loudly and gas and air for the final bit

StealthPolarBear Mon 06-Jun-11 23:54:42

TBH I'm glad I was bullied. I know it's not the same for everyone but there's a fine line to be drawn between strongly discouraging and denying.
With DC2 I went into hospital convinced I was giving birth. I was 2cm. While I was in I had a sweep. All the staff (apart from one, and MNers) were saying I'd be back in the morning. We got home. I sent DH to bed. 45 mins later I woke him up - he told me I wouldn't bemuch further along and we'd be sent home again. we got there, I was examined and was almost 10cm

newportstateofmind Tue 07-Jun-11 00:14:50

Sounds like I need to toughen up a bit then! I can see what you mean SPB about midwives wanting to prevent escalation of interventions, but I think next time (hopefully!) I'll definitely be more assertive and insist on what I think I need.

Thanks for the replies.

bosch Tue 07-Jun-11 00:25:42

Sounds a bit similar to me. Labour ward was v busy when I went in to have ds1. The mw wasn't around long enough to really show me how to use gas and air, and when dh told her that I wasn't coping with the pain she said something like 'well it will hurt, she's having a baby'. I went on to have pethidine and epidural and emcs as ds1 was op, stuck and eventually distressed.

Happily next time round I had vbac, the mw was with us the whole time (except when she had a 15 min break, pointedly mentioning to dh that dh's have sometimes been known to have a go at the gas and air when the mw is out of the room?!?) and she showed me how gas and air really works and so I didn't need any other pain relief.

Defo be more assertive!

Rosduk Tue 07-Jun-11 00:33:03

I had exactly the same experience as the op except dd was born by forceps instead of emcs. The spinal felt amazing!!! They refused to check how dilated I was until I screamed that i need to push and found out I was 8cm then dd got stuck. DP says I was a real trooper until they waved the spinal in my face at 10cm then apparently I whimpered 'help me, please help me!!'

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