Sheer grit and determination methods (plus any gadgets you found helpful)(24 Posts)
During both my labours I had to have the belt round my bump monitoring contractions - can't remember why - but I found it absolutely the best way to manage my contractions...I would watch the ticker as it would start to feel the contraction before me and as soon as the numbers started to rise I'd get going with the gas and air - it really made a difference getting started with it BEFORE the contraction was in full flow and meant it was the only pain relief I needed both times.
I will think about timings and come back.
Sounds a bit bizarre, but I found my dp pressing his fist very very hard against my sacrum during contractions v helpful during both my labours
It really did make a difference. If I was distracted and missed the start of the contraction the g&a definitely wasn't as effective.
In the early stages there was time to recover between contractions. Probably 2 in 10 minutes lasting a minute each. This gradually picked up until it was 4 in 10 minutes, each lasting about 2 minutes so I had less than a minute in between to recover.
This was tough and lasted about half an hour second time - I remember clearly thinking that if it was going to go on for much longer I wouldn't cope, but thankfully I had to push and even more thankfully the midwife let me!
I wasn't 'allowed' the g&a during pushing first time. 2nd time noone mentioned anything but I threw it away, quite dramatically!, when I knew I was going to push. It helped me feel everything and meant I wasn't distracted and could focus on the job!
I hope everything goes really well for you.
I had 3 days of latent stage, which meant I never got more than 20 mins doze. That was crappy. Basically I just remembered that it would end, that it was one less, and as soon as it ended that I was safe for a bit. The TENS machine did work for me, luckily. That surprised me - I'd assumed it was nonsense before. While things weren't too drastic I also watched an awful lot of House - get some new, cool, unwatched DVDs that don't require massive concentration is my advice!
One hippy dippy thing I'm almost embarrassed to confess to actually did work; I imagined the womb, like an egg, with the top crumpling up a bit more with every contraction, and the bottom pulling away in consequence. I don't know if it was just distraction - do know I didn't even need gas and air till the last 2 hours.
Waterbirths are a godsend, though.
My eyes focused on the windowsill. I allowed my eyes to follow the windowsill from one end to the other,
I picked a piece of music I liked and breathed in time to the music. I imagined breathing away the contractions.
I found that TENS worked for me, but you need to put it on quite early in labour.
It's definitely correct that you should start the g&a before the contraction, it's more effective that way.
I found it helpful to focus on the fact that it would pass, so that the gaps between were more important than the contraction iyswim. I felt out of control with my 1st because I was in fear of the next contraction when I should have been resting.
I also focused on one point in the room during the contraction.
The most useful thing by far though- although this is obviously a personal preference thing- was a birthing ball. I sat on it and rocked rhythmically with my contraction, and it helped enormously.
I don't know times, sorry, time kind of became irrelevant tbh!
Good luck with your baby
In the car, on the dual carriage way, me saying 'relax', 'relax', 'relax' and exhaling during the 'relax' - while trying to resist the urge to push. It worked and I managed NOT to give birth in a layby . DS arrived within minutes of getting to the hospital....
ooh - and whacking the TENS machine up to max at the start of each contraction, I didn't want to let it go....
Obvious really - why didn't I think of that ? . Perhaps you should place a job ad in local paper? Wanted - Personal Assistant, must be flexible, relaxed with a GSOH and available for hard labour at short notice.
I got through by thinking I would hang on as long as I could bear before asking for epi and that way I had kind of a safety blanket that if the pain got to much or I got to tired I had a way out.
After 23 hours I called the mw as up to that point I had only been measuring 2 cms and if there was no significant change was going to ask for epi so I could sleep.
She said I was 9 and a half at which point I was so excited I completely forgot about the pain. It really made me feel in control not having the epi as it made me feel I could opt out at any moment and it was all my choice then to suffer.
Don't know if this helps.
I counted (and used TENS). Early contractions I needed to count to about 15, by the active (4cm+) stage I was counting to about 30, and by the final stages I was counting to 30 a couple of times, then saying 'lots'
I used that online contraction master site as well at first, so I could see that my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart from the beginning. It was something to concentrate on <nerdy emoticon>
First time round, with DS, I was on the monitor while waiting for the anaesthetist, and found watching the numbers helpful.
This time round, in April, while I was still at home, I just kept muttering to myself "It WILLenditWILLenditWILLend" with each contraction until it did.
A really helpful thing my MW said when I was in hospital as each one subsided was "And LET that one goooooo".
This last labour was v fast, so I'd say I was having Cx every 5 mins, 45 seconds each one, which ramped up as soon as I got to hossie.....I'd guesstimate 4 in 10, but TBH, it all went so quickly.....I can't be 100% sure.
Yeah - I visualised skiing up and down a hill for some reason, with the final dying away of the contraction as an easy sliding to the foot of the slope.
This was with DS, though, as I needed the help more.
As i breathed out i imagined the pain leaving my body through my birth canal, like I was pushing the pain out.
Have no idea why it came to me but it worked - deliverd 10 pound baby in under an hour, with just gas & air as no time for anything else!
Good luck - would definitely not advise doing what I did in labour with DS2 (didnt realise I was in active labour at the time - thought was just early labour) and organise your handbag to take your mind off things. I binned loads of important things and left both my phone and the camera out somewhere!
With DS1 - mentally preparing me to hold out until at least 4cm before epidural helped (was induced)
With DS2 - breathing (did hypnobirthing course too), mooing when things got more intense and birthing pool really helped. Was visualising breathing in white light and out a blue ribbon until had to give in to the mooing...
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