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Happy Birth story- advice from a brand new mum

(46 Posts)
HannahG315 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:12:38

Thanks for the support and advice over the past few weeks. My LO was born March 16th and settling in great- here's some tips for those still waiting:

- when waiting for labour to progress get up and about!!! I don't mean walking up and down corridors. I ran up and down four flights of stairs for over an hour, squats, jumping jacks, even Irish dancing! And various speeds up and around the hospital grounds- therefore my labour progressed quickly and without intervention (after waters went, had 24 hours to get myself going naturally)

- EAT AND DRINK RUBBISH FOOD!! My midwife told me to eat a McDonalds or fry up from canteen and drink full fat lucozade or coke- gave me the energy to get through the day and run around getting labour going.. You need fatty stodgy food

- have TWO birth partners- if you're there for a long time they can take shifts! My mum took the long slog and my OH got to have his last ever decent sleep- he was nervous and cleaned the house instead, but it was better than waiting around with me

- demand!!! My mother was good at this, she ensured that nurses and midwives did what they promised and when!

- grunt don't scream 'put your voice in your bottom' when you're trying to control those contractions screaming makes them last longer, if you feel like you can literally growl through it you can move with it

-- be wary of pain relief- gas and air for me was awful. I felt out of control and then I was given diamorphine (not sure how its spelt) and I no longer had the ability to feel the contraction build and release- suddenly loosing this control and being OFF MY TITS made me panic.

Once you have accepted the pain it is doable, you just need to think of it as a driving force- like an acceleration up a big hill! I'm sat here now with my little boy and that seems like a blip in the grand scheme of things!!!

Just wanted to share this with anyone still waiting or with any concerns. I've found these posts really reassuring and brutally honest!!! Hope someone else gets that from this!

Mummyk1982 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:45:38

Huge congrats! Sitting here at 39+6 desperately wanting labour to happen!! Am wary of pain relief anyway so your points about gas and air and morphing are interesting.
Enjoy your baby!! :-)

Tomkat79 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:52:32

They gave you diamorphine?! I'm a nurse and would only really give this to patients who are for makes their eyes roll into the back of their head so can only imagine what it was like in labour. Not surprised you panicked.
Glad your little boy arrived safe and well x

TheSlug Tue 18-Mar-14 08:54:51

2 threads on this?

Sweetpea86 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:23:18

Awww what a lovely post I'm 36 weeks and I'm shitting my self about labour.

Nice to hear it was a positive experince smile

Glad you little boy is here smile

MummytoMog Tue 18-Mar-14 09:25:53

Good lord woman, you've had one child, you're not a midwife. Gas and air can be bloody brilliant. Running can be difficult if you have SPD. I vomited for most of my first labour, so eating not really on the cards. Pain relief is the dogs bollocks when you've been pushing for six hours and you think you might die. And while keeping active is great during labour, it's not a panacea. Sometimes labour doesn't progress smoothly and it's not because anyone did anything wrong or didn't do anything. I'm glad you had a good experience, but I do find the hint of "do it like me and it will all be fine" slightly sanctimonious.

ChicaMomma Tue 18-Mar-14 09:27:49

Thanks Hannah, and congrats!
Did you decide against an epidural?
I completely agree with you about staying up and active in teh days into labour by the way, most people sit on their arses watching boxsets and then wonder why they go 10 days over!

How heavy was your little boy and what did you call him?
I cannot wait to meet mine!!!

squizita Tue 18-Mar-14 09:40:48


I've not had my 1st (because I am high risk and lose previous PGs) so I can see where MummytoMog is coming from. It doesn't matter how healthy and active I am, I will have a medicalised pregnancy and my delivery (given that I get that far) might well be slightly early or require intervention/painkillers.

It actually makes me feel bloody awful when I see 'advice' which only applies to people if they're lucky/normal, because I think "what will people assume about me when I'm strung up to a drip? That I didn't do things properly?"

peeapod Tue 18-Mar-14 09:50:31

I was thinking the same Squizita. I was at ante natal classes last week and I was feeling really sick and horrible with myself because I have a C section booked in. What sort of freak must I be if I cant cope with labour. after all its a perfectly normal experience and you dont experience "pain" (then we went on to talk about pain relief.. go figure)...

Completely disgusting the way epidurals were discussed. They prolong labour, you cant garuntee youll get one because all those "emergency c section mums" get prioity on the anisteist, just pointing out all the negative and not the positive. IE that after 12 hours a bit of a break might be a good thing?

I am absoloutly dreading my C Section. It is for me the lesser of 2 evils. I know its my only choice to get any chance of a non traumatic delievery but I am still scared and its still going to be a massive ordeal which I will compare to labour (6 week recovery so it lasts longer)

Ultimately however women chose (or don't) to give birth it is for the best reasons. I think what people need to realise is everyone is completely different and no 2 labours or deliveries are the same. moreover, that doesnt make you a good or bad person. The way you deliver your baby is the safest and best for you and your baby.

Toadsrevisited Tue 18-Mar-14 09:53:56

Congratulations OP! So nice to hear positive birth stories. Not enough of us share them.

I had my first baby two months ago and agree with lots of your points OP: being active, eating and drinking, having a birth partner and being firm in what you want are all things that made my labour go (mostly) as I had hoped. I'd also say that gas and air worked for me- and if you don't like it.', a few deep breaths clears it from your system and you feel normal again which isn't true of some other pain relief. I had a mental list of the order I would try pain relief rather than just saying No to anything, based on possible effects on the baby. In the end gas and air was enough even though he was back to back. Being in a birth pool was the best way to control pain. A good birth is one where you are happy with the choices you make on the day, not one where you stick to a plan you made before you had experienced it, in my opinion.

Nahmate Tue 18-Mar-14 09:54:42

Congratulations, glad you had a good experience.

But I do agree with mummytomog post.

Gas and air - bloody amazing for me, got me through when my baby was stuck and trust me I couldn't just "grunt" through that.

sometimes keeping mobile isn't doable, I will have to have monitors, drips attached etc so I will be bed bound.

What worked for you doesn't mean it will work for another.

Rooble Tue 18-Mar-14 09:59:02

Peeapod - please don't dread it. I had a heavily medicalised delivery which ended in an emergency c-section and had the same negative feelings about it (albeit afterwards) that you're having. Until my grandfather pointed out to me that if I'd had my DS when my grandmother had hers, at least one, but more likely both of us would not have lived. Phew. Puts it into perspective.
Let the others feel virtuous about their natural deliveries. You can feel virtuous about the fact that you're doing the best and safest thing for you and your baby.

Mummytobe2014 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:00:03

Congratulations thanks really pleased to hear your birth went well

squizita Tue 18-Mar-14 10:07:48

Peeapod There's no shame in using whatever facilities are needed to keep you and baby healthy! Back in the day, how many women had one baby because afterwards their plumbing was knackered or they were just plain traumatised? Had at least one stillbirth? Died in childbirth?

Natural birth is often seen as a choice when it isn't for everyone. And that's the key thing: those without the choice look just the same as the others so no-one knows.

I liken it to an inexperienced teacher/playworker feeling they're being 'right on' with class with some children with a hidden disability and talking about how we should all run outside and play football, all you need is a simple ball to be healthy, don't go slow and lazy... well maybe not if they're partially sighted or have arthritis.

Even my NCT supermummy RL mates swore by gas and air and epidurals (if someone needs interventions).

squizita Tue 18-Mar-14 10:12:55

PS. I know I have no kids. But I have RL BFs with premi babies. Plus, this comes from 14 weeks of being tutted at by the assistant bloody pharmacist for all the horrible chemicals I'm injecting into my body plus aspirin ... to keep my baby alive. I've had comments like "in the past you'd have adopted and saved a child from a life in care, by treating an illness which pregnancy aside puts me at risk of stroke if untreated you're being selfish and wasting NHS money."

RaRa1988 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:18:53

Glad to hear you had a good experience, OP - for me, it's nice to read things like this as I'm 28 weeks and starting to get nervous! I didn't find it sanctimonious at all - just one person's experience of what worked for them, and I'm trying to absorb all the information I can get!

dats Tue 18-Mar-14 10:37:03

Surely we're all aware it's a given that just because something works for someone, it won't work for all? I don't think OP is saying 'my way or the highway' at all - just passing on her experience that folk can pick and choose to take as advice or insight as they see fit. Or not.

I've got SPD and can't run for the bus any more, but just because I can't run, I wouldn't dream of expecting OP to have to add a disclaimer to everything - it's her experience, not a political manifesto with pressure to subscribe.

My whole approach to this pregnancy has been to read, listen and absorb as much as possible so I have an armoury of suggestions and possibilities to choose from as aside from being reasonably intelligent and possessed with (by?!) a degree of practicality and common sense I am utterly clueless. If there's one thing from this post that helps, then that's great. I think it might be to put 'my voice in my bottom', because I am a big child and that made me chuckle smile

Congrats, Hannah - I'm always happy to hear from someone who has made it through to the other side!

dats - 35w today (fuuuucck)

ChicaMomma Tue 18-Mar-14 10:43:59

I didnt find it remotely sanctimonious either, and tbh, it's just nice to read something positive for a change- we need more of that. All she was doing was giving her opinion on what worked for her, i didnt get the impression she was saying it was the B-all and end all.

Peeapod- dont be nervous- plenty of my friends have had elective sections (after emergencies on teh first baby) and all say that the recovery of the elective is so much shorter, and the actual operation itself is so much more straight forward. As you say,it's the lesser of 2 evils so accept it as best you can and try and make it a positive experience. Hypnobirthing have 'postive section' tracks so you should look into that.

Pregnantagain7 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:47:11

In my experience the only advice I would give is do what is or what feels right for you, your body and your baby. But well done op I loved that " I am woman" feeling after giving birth! smile

squizita Tue 18-Mar-14 10:49:30

Ah. Bit of confusion... she's posted over on the childbirth topic calling this post "advice". I thought I was replying to that one.

All the tips and the pain relief comment though, I can see why even here some people felt bad ... sorry but I did find it a bit 'let them eat cake' ... who needs gas n air?!? hmm

Madratlady Tue 18-Mar-14 10:56:42

Glad to hear you had such a positive experience but I'm not sure I like the way this post comes across, it soubds a bit patronising and as if anyone who has a less positive experience is doing it 'wrong'. A lot of your advice wouldn't work for everyone, I had spd and struggled to walk never mind run!

That said, I would guess you don't mean it like that and are just pleased that you had a good labour and birth.

peeapod Tue 18-Mar-14 10:57:51

its not the op. though... its the whole bloody nhs. as you seen from my post i am currently going to antenatal classes run in my hospital which are really really hurting me because its making me out to be a weak human for not being able to "cope" with "pain".

Unfortunately its the current attitude that natural is best, which yes, i suppose it is, but when that agenda is being pushed by an NHS intent on saving money they are potentially putting Mums at risk and failing to give them appropiate advice and support over their birth choices.

The problem you have right now is a catch22. Mums who are (like the op) able to have a positive natural birth are going to get attacked by the people who can't for whatever reason and visa versa. It is the way the NHS has set it up, us vs them. Natural vs. medical.

The whole thing is it is a lot more medical than when Mary gave birth in the stable a few thousand years ago. Ironically in order to have a natural birth you need to be proven to be having a normal pregnancy. How is that done? medical intervention...

It is a contentious subject and because the NHS has clearly sided with the natural option it is going to make it seem even worse for those who cant. We do feel attacked from all sides.

thanks for the replies everyone smile

ChicaMomma Tue 18-Mar-14 11:17:34

Peeapod- it's all down to funding- the NHS favour natural as this is the cheapest option for them!! And seriously, be thankful for the NHS- i live in Dublin and our health system is pretty under-resourced, forcing anyone who can at ALL afford it down the private/consultant route (approx 50% of women go private it seems) and costing about 3k. So honestly, the NHS is pretty great in comparison to the rest of the world.

Why let it bother you what other people think anyway? You know that for you, the section is the best option- so dont take a blind bit of notice what everyone else says. I wouldnt! Loads of my friends have chosen elective sections and there is a lot to be said for it- i considered it myself (it's easier to request one of course when you are private) and wouldn't rule it out yet. I couldnt give a f* what anybody else thinks and neither should you. It's your baby, your responsibility.

As for Mary and the stable argument- infant/mother mortality rates were incredibly high 'back then' (whenever that was!!!) but even since the 1950s infant neonatal mortality has reduced 12 fold. I would tend to agree that most labours are probably overly medicalised now, but if that's to the benefit of mortality rates then surely that's a good thing.

ElleDubloo Tue 18-Mar-14 11:29:31

Congratulations Hannah! Thanks for such a positive post. I don't think it came across as "this is how it should be for everyone", but it was just your account of something that went well for you, that you're happy about.

I'm planning to ask for an ELCS (don't know if it will be possible or not, as I've practically no risk factors) so I'm not one of those women who want their labour to be as natural as possible. I just want it to proceed quickly and safely. As a student 3 years ago I witnessed a large number of births, including completely natural, ventous, forceps, emergency and elective C-sections. The women went through various amounts of suffering and trauma, but ALL of them were delighted to see their babies and appeared to forget their pain the moment they held their babies in their arms. Except one Chelsea footballer's wife who had an ELCS and then proceeded to update her Facebook still in theatre while the midwives cuddled her twins.

squizita Tue 18-Mar-14 11:31:09

Why let it bother you what other people think anyway?

I would usually think this but women can be cruel - unintentionally (or not) and the papers/internet will always blame someone. sad

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