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Did anyone have a reasonably straightforward first birth?

(71 Posts)
TwitchyTail Fri 26-Oct-12 07:42:46

I am due in March and have been increasingly scared by all the birth horror stories I am hearing/reading about. To clarify, I expect there to be pain/discomfort/exhaustion, but am really worried about risk to the baby from unidentified distress, tearing badly and being left with long-term continence issues/prolapse etc...

I do have the option of a an elective C-section due to pre-existing health issues, but have been told it's not strictly necessary. I know that comes with its own problems.

Just wondering if anyone actually had an ok time (either during labour and with recovery), or if I should grab the ELCS offer with both hands and run?

Puffykins Fri 26-Oct-12 07:45:34

Yes my first birth was totally straightfoward, no pain relief except gas and air, and I was out shopping the following day - so good recovery too. Good luck! And congratulations.

2beornot Fri 26-Oct-12 07:46:05

I woke at 2.40 am with contractions, dd arrived at 10.45am same day. Managed with just TENS machine for pain relief (never needed anything more, was not being a martyr!). Bit of damage but all healed fine.

Good luck. Hard decision I know!

earlyriser Fri 26-Oct-12 07:47:34

I had a very straight forward 1st labour and birth. 11 hours from first contraction to birth. Was in a midwife led unit and had a waterbirth. Tore a bit, but bot enough for stiches

TanteRose Fri 26-Oct-12 07:50:56

my waters broke at 1am, contractions started in earnest at 3 am and DD was born at 6:30am...

I arrived at the small hospital and was labouring on my own for most of the time - in the early stages I walked around the ward, grabbing onto the nearest bed or trolley to get me through the contractions and then started walking around again.

Gravity is a wonderful thing - try and keep upright for as long as possible smile

emmyloo2 Fri 26-Oct-12 07:51:14

I did. I was induced but it was straight forward. A long labour but all went normally. My waters finally broke after 24 hours of labour and the baby came about an hour after that. No tearing. I just had gas and air. Recovery was absolutely fine. I left the hospital 6 hours later. Bit sore but could walk around the shops the next day.

I am pregnant with number 2 and will be pushing very hard for natural birth again. I wouldn't choose an ELCS having had a natural birth. The recovery is much harder from what I can see.

It is difficult and painful but it's not unmanageable. And your midwife helps you through it.

Pochemuchka Fri 26-Oct-12 07:51:52

Same as puffykins - long labour but when it finally happened it was fairly quick, great midwives, gas and air, no tears, cuts or problems. (DD was born with her hand in a fist next to her face which i understand can cause tearing so i feel even more lucky).
They had to make me get in the wheelchair to go to the baby ward as I was ready to walk there! blush

All the best with your decision and your baby!

dizzy77 Fri 26-Oct-12 07:52:47

I did. I wouldn't call it a picnic but it pretty much followed the textbook (including "this is impossible, I can't take it anymore" when it came to the final pushes. I'm now 8wks w DC2 and trying to maintain confidence with what I know smile. I wouldnt say I was terrified, but I didn't know what to expect so did all the antenatal classes etc & tried to keep an open mind. Recovery was fine - I needed a two week holiday which I didnt get with a squawking newborn but my body whilst surprisingly tender and oddly injured did sort itself out (mostly) over the course of the following 4-6 wks.

I have a few friends who had a CS - a couple emergency and one elective due to positioning. Their recovery was longer, they needed a lot more support around the house particularly after their OHs went back to work. The elective sounded very calm and predictable, ie you come in a 9 on Tuesday and leave with a baby in the next 24 hrs. When my labour started I didn't know when it would end: it was 20 hours later with the last 5 being the difficult/proper painful bit.

funchum8am Fri 26-Oct-12 07:53:23

My (only) birth involved induction, long labour, episiotomy and forceps but I was still out in the car with baby on my own after a week and fine other than a bit of soreness (stitches) and mild bladder issues which are mending now (dd is 3 weeks old). So even if it doesn't go completely straightforwardly, you may well be fine pretty quickly. Good luck, whatever you choose to do!

panicnotanymore Fri 26-Oct-12 07:59:08

I'm due my first next spring too, so this thread is very reassuring. I have found that the people who are most likely to tell their birth stories are the ones who went through all kinds of horrors, and it is a bit terrifying.

To balance up with some not so great ELCS, my friend was on the ward with a women who was taken back into surgery the day after her ELCS because the surgeons had left a swab inside her. Another friend got MRSA in her caesarian wound and was very ill for a long time.

strandednomore Fri 26-Oct-12 08:12:53

I didn't because dd1 was breech so I had a (very calm, lovely) ELCS but I know plenty of people who did have very straightforward first births. Stay positive, stay upright, stay calm, eat, pee, rest. Understand there will be pain but it is positive pain - it's not your body telling you something is wrong, it's your body telling you the baby is on its way.
Good luck!

coldcupoftea Fri 26-Oct-12 08:19:59

Yes, me! V straightforward first birth, in a birthing centre, just gas and air and a birthing pool. Second degree tear, but it all healed fine. Second time I was induced, but still had a normal birth when things got going, on just gas and air.

Ignore the horror stories and do what feels right for you.

Pagwatch Fri 26-Oct-12 08:22:48

Very straightforward - although incredibly fast. No pain relief at all although I used gas and air when I needed stitches.

My sister had a straightforward birth too. Over the last twenty years I have been intrigued by how increasingly complicated and dramatic it has become - and also longer. Very odd.

Florin Fri 26-Oct-12 08:28:35

Waters broke 5 minutes after my due date contractions started a couple of hours later ds born at 6am with no pain relief not even gas and air. Soon as he was born I had a cuddle then was straight up and showered and dressed. Was out of hospital at 6pm, we were shopping the next day and out to lunch the day after. We had a holiday in Jersey when he was 3 weeks. It doesn't have to be awful, yes I won't lie to you it hurt like hell but I view it as a really positive experience. I found the contractions more painful than the actual pushing. I did have a tear but it didn't hurt them stitching it up and didn't hurt after when I went for a wee etc

TomsBentPinky Fri 26-Oct-12 08:28:52

First labour was 8 hours. In hospital pool then out to push. no pain relief.

Was fine.

Scrummybump Fri 26-Oct-12 08:30:54

I haven't yet gone through birth, but won't allow myself to get worried because of what is shown on TV or by the numerous horror stories people like to share - most births are ok and you could perhaps start with your mum - what was her experience like, and your grandmother. Here's couple of links too for positive birth stories

Good luck with your decision! And congratulations on your pregnancy

Bunbaker Fri 26-Oct-12 08:31:45

Yes. My waters went at 2pm. I had a straightforward labour using TENS for pain control and DD popped out at 8pm. Job done.

DreamyParentoid Fri 26-Oct-12 08:34:22

Yes I did. It took a long time for the labour to establish itself and luckily we had a private midwife who was gutsy and just encouraged us to stick with our plans for a home birth. Once it did firmly establish itself it took about 4 hours and she was born in front of the piano in our front room!

I was pleased we had a midwife who could be with us the whole way through, though a doula can do that too, and also that I'd got things to call on. What I mean was, during my contractions I was really breathing, making weird low cow sounds and saying 'thank God for helping me open'. I found that I believed in the strength of the Earth and the support of countless women before me and could really call on that to stay low with the sounds and breathing so when it really hurt, I could breath the pain out and it felt like it just kept it all moving.

So I didn't use any actual pain relief at all.

Being on all fours and moving into my hips helped, as did having someone to push the base of my spine when the pain got intense there.

I don't have any nasty memories of it and am completely un scarred / torn etc. The midwife had never had any of her ladies have a tear. She said the trick was, when you went into the pushing stage, NOT TO PUSH! The body will do the contractions and kind of convulse the baby out, you don't need to force it and push yourself (quite contrary to what we normally hear).

Good luck

twolittlebundles Fri 26-Oct-12 08:35:46

First labour was 12 hours from first contraction to placenta out. No complications, only a graze and no drama at all. At home, in a pool with 3 midwives (1 was a student). Yes, it hurt, but with pressure points and support from family I did it. I had a hard time with pregnancy and actually preferred labour and birth.

Second birth was longer and more complicated than the first!

AnneElliott Fri 26-Oct-12 08:37:06

I had a straightforward first birth. Labour lasted 3 hours and 20 mins and DS arrived with only 2 pushes. Felt fine afterwards and had no pain relief. I guess these stories are boring which is why no-one tells them!

Woodyhels Fri 26-Oct-12 08:42:59

I did, i was lucky and had a textbook pregnancy and then labour, 1cm at 7pm (mil panicked dp into taking me to hospital) laboured at home through the night with tens, 5:30am decided I needed to get back to hospital, booked at triage 6:40am labour room 7am, baby born 7:20. I was totally coherent and incontrol every minute (except the head, I swore in my head when she crowned)

3rd stage they wouldn't give me the vitamin k because of blood pressure worries (super low) so I waited 20 mins then laboured it out in 3 pushes.

Most painful bit for me was the internal when they checked I was all clear after.

Good luck and remember, everyone's story is different but our goal is always to get the baby here safe no matter what you choose!

Nb on my medical records from previous it states I have a high pain threshold.

FaintingGoat Fri 26-Oct-12 08:43:22

I was really frightened about the birth. I had such an easy pregnancy, I thought that an easy labour as well was just too much to hope for. But it was fine, I was having contractions for about 36 hours, but once my waters broke it was only 2.5 hours til DD was born. A slight graze, no tearing as such.

Conflugenglugen Fri 26-Oct-12 08:45:42

I had a straightforward birth too, for the most part. 8-hour pool labour and then gave birth squatting. Just gas and air. I tore, but that was quickly stitched and healed well. They had to induce the placenta to avoid blood-loss, which worked. So while there are often unpredictable things in a generally 'normal' birth, you should have the support you need so that these are dealt with with minimal impact. Note: I am very aware that many births do not go as smoothly, and I am deliberately limiting my comments to my experience of a relatively intervention-free labour.

StyleManual Fri 26-Oct-12 09:06:16

Yes! I had a lovely birth. If I could repeat one day in my life it would be that day. It took ages, and obviously wasn't easy. I used TENS and g&a and hypnobirthing techniques. There was a slight panic at the end and nearly had intervention, but I popped her out before that happened. I had a few stitches and obviously my bits were sore for about a week. But we were out and about when she was 2 days old.
You don't hear these stories because of the conspiracy!
Don't worry about it. Just get on the birth rollercoaster and go for a ride. You can't control what happens and for most of the labour you don't even have to do anything! Keep up your energy with sports drinks and whatever you can eat and stay as relaxed as you can. Then you'll have loads of energy for the tricky bit at the end!

WheresMyCow Fri 26-Oct-12 09:07:17

Another straightforward birth here. Had been having mild contractions all day, but told myself they were braxton hicks and there was no regularity to them so I didn't worry.

At about midnight in bed I wondered why I couldn't get comfortable and then realised it was because they were actually contractions and that they had got stronger and more regular.

Waters started to trickle at about 12:30 then broke properly as I was stood at the doors of the delivery suite waiting to be buzzed in at about that was grim grin.

I was monitored until about 4 when they were going to send me home, until I stood up and my irregular contractions started coming every 2 or 3 minutes! They examined me, I was fully dilated, and 1 hr 35 minutes (and some gas & air) later DS was born. I did tear, at both sides and I think I used more gas and air when I was being stictched up than I had in labour!

Congratulations and good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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