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First baby due in a few weeks... Positive birth stories??

(35 Posts)
Toothfairy7 Tue 28-Jul-15 13:08:28

Hi everyone, I am almost 34 weeks now and inevitably thinking about the impending birth of baby!!! Lots of horror stories of pain but I'm not frightened at the prospect as such, because everybody is different.... but of course very intrigued to hear some positive strategies for coping from the very beginning and positive stories of labour and birth. I want to say I don't have a very good pain threshold ( first day of periods always painful and taking painkillers ) - does this have any bearing on labour? Others say they don't have good pain thresholds either but managed well? I think being positive is important so of anybody's got anything that could be of use, please share!! Many thanks :-))

nottheOP Tue 28-Jul-15 13:22:23

I read lots of birth stories and it seems like a correlation of how well you cope comes down to how long it takes. I had a great labour with DS but I was in labour stop/start for about 10 days beforehand and I had to get repaired afterwards due to a 3rd degree tear, which isn't ideal but nowhere near as bad as you'd think.

Actual birth story goes as follows;

6pm - bloody show
9.30pm ish contractions start (again! This had been most evenings for the last 10 days)
midnight - waters go
Off to hospital to confirm the waters and get booked in for induction
Home at 2.30, still contracting but ate some cake and went to sleep

Woke up in the morning, contractions have gone away
1pm go to the shop to get supplies. A walk get the contractions going again.
Labour at home - all very bearable but contractions steadily getting longer and more regular. Lots of pooing!

4pm - call the hospital as contractions are 1 in 5. My ward is closed as full - call the next nearest hospital who think I sound too calm so am told to wait a little longer.

From hanging up the phone, I think I panicked a little! Either way, the pain seriously ramped up a gear and there was a bit of blood so we got in the car to go to the other hospital. DH called to inform them and get directions. This takes about an hour to get there due to rush hour.

By the time I get to the ward at 6pm, after a seemingly long walk from the car park, I must have been quite clearly in labour as I wasn't assessed just put in the nearest delivery room. The checked me and I was 7 cm. I was crying and asking for pain relief at this stage.

Dh got sent to park the car and get the bags. By the time he got back, I was pushing and DS was born not too long after at 7pm.

I went into shock after having him. We said when we arrived at hospital that we thought it would be the next day and it was about an hour.

So it was a good experience but I would have preferred to not have spend the most painful bit in the car, or the repair afterwards. I'd also like some pain relief as I can remember it all far too vividly.

Advice would be to not go in during rush hour!

Good luck OP. They do get the baby out one way or another - this varies so much for each labour though so try not to obsess too much about how. I hope it is as painless as possible for you and that you recover quickly. Even with the tear, I felt very much like myself within a week or so.

summersnowshowers Tue 28-Jul-15 13:32:26

I wont lie I've had both ends of the spectrum. First horrendous long labour and emergency section (section not as horrendous as people make out).

My second was a dream really.
11pm contractions start 10 mins apart
1am waters broke (everywhere :-) )
2am contractions 3 mins apart went to hospital

Baby born just after 6am only had gas and air for pain and spent all of 5 mins pushing.

i had a third degree tear too which required surgery but i wasnt even aware until they told me and afterwards it was a little sore but nothing some paracetamol couldnt fix.

good luck every labour is different but chances are you will be so 'in the zone' you wont have chance to panic or fret, you just go with it.

gloria2088 Tue 28-Jul-15 13:37:38

The main thing is not to panic otherwise your body will freeze up. I have had 2 straightforward births - not to say they weren't painful but I remained calm throughout both of them and 'in control' and let my body guide me. I found gas and air helpful at taking the edge off the pain so would recommend that - it makes some people nauseous though. I had water births and think they also helped with the pain. GOOD LUCK!! It will be worth it in the end...

slightlyconfused85 Tue 28-Jul-15 13:42:14

My second labour was a good experience; my contractions started at 10pm quite far apart and got closer together over night. When i felt I couldn't manage anymore at home I went to the hospital about 12hours later. Was 5cm and then spent 4 hours in 3rd stage when ds was born. The difference between this and my first labour was that I didn't have an epidural; this meant I cod properly feel the pushing stage and it made it easier. Also I avoided tearing because I could feel properly and follow instructions for small pushes and panting to avoid it. Pain threshold goes out the window- my only advice would be if you feel you can stick to gas and air and avoid an epidural just because having done both it makes it easier and less damage without

ImperialBlether Tue 28-Jul-15 13:43:30

It will amazing.

I remember reading a horoscope for the day my daughter was due and it said, "Something will happen today and you won't be able to wipe the smile off your face."

Of course she was a week late so it didn't apply grin but on the night she was born I was the only one awake on the ward and I remember sitting there and I just could not take the smile off my face. I remembered the horoscope and kept rubbing my hand over my face and the smile just would not go.

Of course there's pain and blood and guts, there's horrible hospital food (be warned) and on the third day after the birth it's likely you will burst into tears without any provocation, but it is an amazing experience and you will sit there afterwards with this little baby who will be linked to you forever.


kitty1989 Tue 28-Jul-15 14:40:13

I think I had a "good" labour, judging by others experiences. Yes it hurt like hell but in a different way to what I expected - all my pain was in my lower back until crowning! Anyway, my labour went like this:
3.30pm - mild period type pains so went for a lie down
5.15pm - wake up, still have pains
5.25pm - go to toilet, bloody show
5.30pm - waters went (was sat on edge of bed, stood up & it went all down my legs)
5.35pm - phoned OH in tears, panicking as no hospital bag ready
5.50pm - OH home from work, both panicked & made hosp bag
6.45pm - phoned hospital as contractions fully kicked in, was told to go to maternity triage as 36+5. Had a shower etc , got myself ready, OH had some food
8pm set off to hospital, pain getting stronger
8.45pm arrived at triage, had a monitoring thing put on me, was supposed to keep it on for an hour but was in too much pain & couldn't stay still & was back &forth to loo.
9.45pm examined, was 5cm so taken down to delivery
10pm - on delivery ward, checked by midwife at 10.30pm, tried gas & air, puked everywhere.
11pm given pethidine (it didn't take my pain away as such, it relaxed me more than anything, helped me save energy in between contractions)
1am ish - midwife popped out of room for
a bit as I didn't need checking for another hour or so, lots of pain downstairs so put hand down - could feel baby's head - OH buzzed midwife back
1.55am - after a lot of pushing & swearing DD was born weighing 6lb 13oz smile all were shocked that I had had no tearing or damage. Born Tuesday 1.55am, went home Weds 9pm.
for me, the worst part of labour was being in triage, having that monitor stuck on me knowing I needed to stay still but being unable to (I felt like I needed to poo constantly but didn't so was back & forth to loo, kept being sick) once I got into delivery I knew I just had to get on with it& the calmer & less panicked I was the better, it was weird, instinct just kicked in.
Being in hospital was awful, I really struggled with breastfeeding so spent most of my time in tears with midwives squeezing tiny amounts of milk out of me. Obviously things got better & DD is EBF 20 weeks on.

I think the only thing I can advise is try & stay calm - it's the best thing for you & baby. Also try not to overthink things - nature will take it's course - if you need assistance in birth then so be it.

Good luck for your birth flowers

kitty1989 Tue 28-Jul-15 14:40:52

Sorry for the long post! Didn't realise I'd waffled so much

Toothfairy7 Tue 28-Jul-15 15:13:18

imperialblether I got all tearful there with your post!!:-)
Thankyou ladies... Really great responses and positive and real.. I think going with the flow has got to be the only way forward here!! I am a positive person but struggle with pain at the best of times! However, what will be will be!! And will be so worth it afterwards.
One thing though, would you all agree that the pain is nothing like anything else you could compare to or imagine? People tell me that sometimes. Like I am expecting sharp pains and agony basically shock grin .. Could I surprise myself ?

Toothfairy7 Tue 28-Jul-15 15:13:45

Don't worry kitty, thankyou for your time To share smile

Wolfiefan Tue 28-Jul-15 15:18:18

Great first labour.
Got to hospital about 10pm.
Checked and 5-6.
Waters went and suddenly I was 7-8!
In pool. DS born just after 12.30!
Pain in labour is not like other pain. For the most part my labour was fine with TENS or the water. Most of it was strong sensations rather than out and out agony like I expected!
Crowning hurts. Water on the area helps.
And just think that every moment means you are closer to meeting your amazing baby!
Good luck.

ImperialBlether Tue 28-Jul-15 15:25:27

Have sent you a PM, OP.

This water spray (for your face and body) from Vichy is amazing in labour.

slightlyconfused85 Tue 28-Jul-15 15:28:13

Definitely not comparable - don't over think it- agree with posters who say remain calm, it hurts but hundreds of women make it through every day- you will too! Good luck smile

Loraline Tue 28-Jul-15 15:37:59

Agree with nottheOP that length of labour makes a difference. It is really painful but I progressed really well so felt like things were moving forwards and the end would come. Can't imagine I would have coped as well if it had gone on for days without much progression - I think that would take its toll psychologically and emotionally as well as obviously physically.

Do have a think about tactics for coping though. I loved Juju Sundin's Birth Skills because it gave really practical tips for dealing with it all - from movement to breathing and visualizations. All sounds a bit woo but she also gives great tips for pushing if you've had an epidural as well as things to focus on and breathing exercises etc. to use to combat fear if things do get a bit more out of your control or it becomes a more stressful situation.

For what it's worth my birth story was pretty straightforward. First crampy twinges at about 5am. Progressed to more frequent and more painful by lunch. Got to hospital at 3.30pm and had DS in a birthing pool at 5pm. Things just progressed as they should, all by themselves. Had 2nd degree tear but healed well.

Toothfairy7 Tue 28-Jul-15 15:41:28

Thankyou so so much- I feel even more positive now. I guess it's just nice to hear it from others... Others I do not not know and all have their own experiences. You are right though- I think best not to overthink it !! Thank you all for all the well wishes.. I'm very excited and looking forward to it as well as apprehensive of course. :-) I am hoping for a water birth ( fingers crossed , who knows on the day ) and have a tens ready which may provide some relief too I hope. Everybody says it's a pain like no other! I don't really know what that means yet!

BotBotticelli Tue 28-Jul-15 19:01:55

For me, the pain was like a really strong version of the kind of belly cramps you get when you have food poisoning. A kind of strong squeeze feeling like someone was wringing out your guts!

It was unpleasant and very powerful but it wasn't the kind of sharp, scream out loud pain that you get when you accidentally cut yourself with a knife or stub your toe or something.

I am a total baby with a low pain threshold (cry when stub toe!) but I found labour was ok.

Good luck you will be fine

CatsCantFlyFast Tue 28-Jul-15 19:14:22

First baby - waters went at midnight. Contractions started at 2am - I took two paracetamol and had the tens on. Walked/paced/stamped up and down the landing for 4 hours while singing - my contractions were lasting 45 seconds and coming every minute from the start. I found the noise, movement, shaking my hands as a distraction technique really helped. They were like long hard period cramps and the boost button on the tens helped too. Manageable until 6am where I lost some of my calm (didn't realise I was transitioning) and DH bundled me to the birth centre - just 1 min drive down the road luckily as I found sitting down unbearable. Was 7cm when I got to the birth centre and leapt in the pool - it was bliss - pain relief like I couldn't have imagined. DD was born just over 2 hours later - I did very little pushing and all was lovely and calm. Honestly I had two or three contractions around transition that were breathtaking but the rest was hard work but bearable and once I was inthe pool we chatted and laughed for most of it.the worst part was the vomiting during contractions and the scary massive bloody show I had had when I got to the birth centre. Even during it I remember thinking I would do it again (unlike my first tattoo!) and I really look back at the whole experience fondly.
I did a lot of reading of positive birth stories (ina may etc) and some hypnobirthing too and would say that helped a lot with my belief that I was capable of doing it

LadyLuck81 Tue 28-Jul-15 19:18:34

I had two very quick (6hrs and 2hrs) labours, both easy, both delivered naturally, in the water, no assistance. I needed stitches with the first and that was honest to god the worst bit of the whole thing.

Yes labour can be long or difficult, but it is also able to be straightforward and literally the most natural thing in the world.

I hope you have an easy time of it.

ARunOfThings Tue 28-Jul-15 19:33:04

DS was born early, so I'd had no time to read up on how birth works (I mean, obviously I knew the basics, but I thought I'd leave the finer points until closer to the time, so if be freaking out for as short a time as possible). I have a really low pain threshold and have severe anxiety, so was very worried.

Waters went at midnight, and as I was only at 36 weeks I phoned the hospital straight away. Went in, hooked up to machines, scans etc. About 5am started getting mild period pain. By 6.30 thought I should mention it to the nurse, who gave me Paracetamol. By the time DH came back at 8.30 or so I was having to pull a face each time the pain hit. Nurse came to check up on me, and suddenly I was off to the delivery suite.

After a couple of hours on gas and air (so relaxing!), the pain got bad and I asked for an epidural. They said it would take about 6-7 more contractions before it reached fill effect, but in fact it kicked in basically immediately. From then on, DH and I were both totally calm. DS arrived at about 2.30pm to a nice calm, quiet room.

A really positive experience!

Pinksuitcase Wed 29-Jul-15 13:08:08

First baby, waters went after a sweep, then induced 2 days later, 28 hrs later, DD delivered in theatre with forceps, large bleed for me and 3 nights on post natal ward.

DS born 13 days ago, induced at 40+12 with pessary, went home, rested, was uncomfortable about 6am, had 2 paracetamol, went back to delivery at 8am, pain not too bad, but getting worse. Pessary fell out at ,10.30, pain getting worse, 2 more paracetamol at 11.30 and some codienes, few puffs of gas and air, then was going to be examined, but waters went and felt need to push, baby born at ,12.10pm, home next day, slight tear but much easier recovery.

Very different experiences but same result, scrummy babies to snuggle

DuchessofAnkh Wed 29-Jul-15 13:20:44

Have had two great births, one in Hospital and one at home....

Just don't do what I did the first time - as soon as contractions started (2am) I was AWAKE, EXCITED and timing them. Didn't actually give birth until 3am - 25 hours later! My advice is take paracetamol and try to sleep and not miss two nights sleep!

Bobian123 Wed 29-Jul-15 13:29:07

Another vote for the birth skills book! For the second baby two weeks ago, Used the techniques (foot stamping and repetition of words) in early labour along with my tens and actually kind of enjoyed it... Moved to gas and air but ended up with an epidural once I got to 6cm. First labour-made it all the way to 10cm on gas and air. Funny how each labour can vary and how my pain threshold seemed different!

Good luck OP-it's good to go into it with a positive mindset. Just be prepared to be flexible (I'm sure you are). Take what you need when you need it!

Toothfairy7 Wed 29-Jul-15 14:35:36

Hi everyone- thank you all for sharing your experiences!!!
I am feeling encouraged by your stories! I am looking forward to it and taking the challenge. Just have to go with the flow I suppose and see how it all goes!

InFrance2014 Wed 29-Jul-15 15:21:04

Another person here who benefitted hugely from the Birth Skills book. I also thought it sounded a bit fluffy initially, but it's actually totally based on physiology and methods for dealing with pain response.

My birth was very much faster than I expected for a 1st time, very intense experience but overall positive. I was 40+2, and had been having the odd braxton hicks but no real contractions. Waters went at 11.30pm, was told by hospital to come in straight away (different rules in France), I was hooked up to monitoring for about half an hour while contractions got stronger. Definitely like bad period cramps at that point. Then went off into our room about 1am, and it all kind of went a bit mental from then on - vomited a lot and had diarrhoea (at the same time!) in between contractions. Initially bouncing up and down on feet and leaning over sink helped me cope, and I had TENS too which helped by giving a different stimulus (it's a lesser pain I guess).
Then things got more intense until it was like BotBoticelli said, cramps like food poisoning but more severe and extensive. I found moving straight onto the "vocalising" technique (i.e. bellowing) was the most helpful thing at dampening the pain, couldn't concentrate enough to do anything more complicated. I think TENS did help too, husband was in charge of the boost button. Also, having him time the contractions and talk me through them, counting down 30 second intervals, made it so much more bearable as I knew when it would end each time.

At about 4.30am I said something like "f-cm this is pretty awful, might not be able to cope if it's another 12 hours like this", asked to be checked and was at 9cm - such relief (and obvious transition experience!).
It had also been feeling different, not like needing to push, but like somehow things were 'moving'. Transferred (waddled) into delivery room, and after some uncomfortable pushing in a squat by midwives to better position the baby, I had to get on the bed (again stupid rules) to start pushing. It was good to be able to feel when to push, it helped me be in control. After 45 minutes, I felt a weird very tight sensation that was her descending, and the doctor said I could feel for her head coming out. I was offered an episiotomy because they thought I would tear, and despite no anaesthetic, it wasn't as bad as I feared. Then the next push her head was out, and I remembered to pant lightly, and then one more and she was born. Couldn't believe I'd done it all with TENS and old-fashioned bellowing.

While it was a totally positive experience (and I feel very lucky), it wasn't "pleasant": very intense from early on, and very painful at transition (but crampy, not sharp pain). I had no sense at all of time. Also, was surprised it still hurt in between contractions - wasn't sitting there having a cup of tea like on One Born, all I could manage was zonking out/ even falling asleep for two minutes till husband told me the next one was about to start...
Plus, pushing, while not too long, was massively hard work, possibly not helped because I was on my back on the bed. Not only did the contractions hurt, but I found it painful to take deep breaths to do decent pushes during each contraction.

The whole thing was like climbing a huge mountain- full of physical discomfort and enormous effort, but such an amazing high afterwards. When my husband pulled her out and put her onto my stomach, all heavy but somehow so light, squishy, wet and smelling heavenly: BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE <3

Good luck- go as far as feels ok for you, do what you need to do in terms of pain relief, and focus on looking forward to meeting your baby. Plus, don't forget post-birth, i.e. thought I'd be able to read all about breastfeeding at that point. However once baby arrives, there seems to be no time for anything else smile

InFrance2014 Wed 29-Jul-15 15:23:02

p.s. sorry for essay, was trying to explain that even if painful and intense, labour can still be completely positive!

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