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MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Thu 27-Aug-15 17:05:08

Guest post: Early labour - "Is it supposed to hurt this much?"

Kirsty Smith didn't 'do' baby classes, so early labour came as a bit of a surprise for her - and her partner.

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Kirsty Smith

Eeh Bah Mum

Posted on: Thu 27-Aug-15 17:05:08

(4 comments )

Lead photo

"Of course it's supposed to hurt this much. Did you even read the thing on Mumsnet?"

That was when I knew we were fucked. I was probably three or four centimetres dilated, at home, in the early stages of labour and my partner, the man who got me into this mess was already panicking. I realised I was going to have to get us out of this mess on my own.

We didn't do the baby classes. He didn't want to and I did my own thing to prepare (yoga classes, planning a fantasy 6-week trip to China). I had also been down the business end of a few births filming for a television show so I had some idea what I was in for. Rather stupidly, as it turned out, I had assumed my other half would be aware of the fairly commonly known fact that giving birth can be a bit hurty.

"Of course it's supposed to hurt this much. Did you even read the thing on Mumsnet?"

He looked uncomfortable which was annoying. I felt quite strongly that I had the monopoly on uncomfortable as I was the one about to HAVE A FUCKING BABY.

Two hours earlier and 10 days overdue, I had been waving my legs in the air whilst a consultant at the hospital massaged my cervix in a process called a sweep. This isn't to be confused with Sooty's grey-haired doggy pal who is also called Sweep - even though both involve someone stuffing their hand inside a comfy sock-like object and waggling it about a bit.

He looked uncomfortable which was annoying. I felt quite strongly that I had the monopoly on uncomfortable as I was the one about to HAVE A FUCKING BABY.


To celebrate the sweep we went for dinner at the posh Italian we had been meaning to try for ages. I ordered pudding because everyone kept telling me how much our lives would change and I was unsure if life post-baby would include pudding. Better stock up while it's on offer, I thought. Immediately after ordering I regretted it.

Stuff was going on inside me I couldn't control. There are very few situations in life when pudding won't help and this was definitely one of them. It's hard to appreciate a good panna cotta when you are trying to look normal in a busy restaurant whilst jumping out of your seat shouting "ShitFuck!" every few minutes because of the pains shooting up your vagina.

I was hoping it didn't look like I was going into labour, because that would be embarrassing. I think we would have probably got away with it had I not vomited up all three courses immediately outside the restaurant door.

Back home, once we established that my boyfriend had no concept of the amount of pain involved with childbirth we spent the evening watching his choice of television to distract him whilst I rolled around on a birthing ball and he phoned the hospital.

"You need to come to the hospital," the midwives eventually ordered. "He's calling us every five minutes, it's doing our heads in."

So we headed to the birth centre, where it was established I was six centimetres dilated and ready to spend the next few hours in a warm bath asking "Have I pooed yet?"

The rest was a blur. I really wanted to crawl around the birthing suite naked and grunting, but eventually I settled on a delivery position I like to call The Angry Squat. I decided to ignore the midwife when she said not to push as I was desperate to meet my baby. My vagina has never really forgiven me for that.

We arrived at the birthing centre late at night, our baby girl was born early the next morning and we took her home that afternoon. It hurt. A lot. But also not that much. Every contraction was a step closer to meeting one of the most amazing human beings on the planet. (I know everyone thinks their babies are the best babies in the world, but everyone is wrong because mine are.)

Oh and in case you're worrying, life post-baby does still involve pudding, but often you have to make do with yoghurt.

Kirsty Smith's book 'How to have a baby and not lose your shit' is coming out later this year, answering the real questions modern women have about parenting.

By Kirsty Smith

Twitter: @eehbahmum

BIWI Sat 29-Aug-15 20:59:19

Oh look! Someone who thinks that their own experience of having a baby is the only experience of having a baby.

Really. Does stuff like this have to be stickied?

G1veMeStrength Sun 30-Aug-15 08:33:20

Actually I found it quite entertaining and well written. Though I don't really have anything to add because I wouldn't be as funny.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 30-Aug-15 15:12:52

No, my early labour didn't hurt that much stargrinstar

Micah Sun 30-Aug-15 18:15:29

My early labour hurt from the very beginning. I asked for an epidural at 1cm dilation.

I thought it was supposed to hurt. It was my husband who said it wasn't supposed to hurt that much and got me medical help. Very fortunately as it happened as the placenta was abrupting.

So in my case dh was right. I am glad he was taken seriously, and not treated like the o/p's partner- silly men, what do they know eh?

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