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What's your birth story? Tell me the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
66

Belle2210 · 29/05/2022 17:02

I'm a pregnant FTM and I have to say alot of the time already I am seeing the big push towards Positive Birthing. Positive is great but I've already had experiences in a pregnancy group setting where its been discouraged for a woman to tell her birth story if it's not classed as positive. I personally think this is undermining and Rose tinting but I'm maybe more of a realist and would rather know the worst along with the best.

Anyway! In this thread I want to hear everything whether your birth and post partum recovery were perfect or the worst thing you've ever gone through 💕.

For that reason it's probably best to have a trigger warning for anyone reading ahead too.

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calliopea · 29/05/2022 17:48

FTM had a home birth with gas & air.

Period pain like contractions started when I went to bed at about 11, I didn't think they were contractions to be honest as I'd been having then for a few days but by midnight I realised they were coming every 10 minutes and felt the same every time, cramps that rolled round from my lower back to the front.

I tried to sleep but couldn't so I put my headphones in and listened to my birth playlist and some visualisations that I liked.

By 3:30am they were 3 in 10 minutes and getting stronger. I woke my husband to call the midwives, and at 4:20am on the phone to then I had my first contraction that I couldn't speak through. It really sped up then.

Husband popped up the birth pool and I got in, closed my eyes and didn't open them again until I picked up my baby from the water and sat back with him on my chest.

I barely knew the midwives had arrived, I was completely in the zone. I refused all vaginal exams (not sure when they would have even had the chance between contractions though tbh).

I ended up with a third degree tear after some unwanted coached pushing ( I was too out of it to argue and I didn't know if she was saying it for a good reason - she wasn't) but to be honest I didn't care!

Baby had arrived safe and sound and I birthed him exactly how I wanted to.

We went in to hospital and I had to have an epidural and surgery to repair the tear and that really was not nice at all, but only because I just wanted to spend those first precious hours with baby.

We had trouble with him latching and I'm sure this is because we missed out on this time together, and the tear made it so uncomfortable to sit up and hold him in a good position. So that's the reality of that.

Postpartum is basically just getting over the shock of childbirth, even if you have your perfect birth, it's a very intense experience that takes a minute to process! I was very, very lucky and my husband was just the most Incredible support. I was pumping due to the latching issue so he did all night feeds for the first week so I could recover.

You really need as much sleep as possible, to be waited on hand and foot to be honest!

Lots of sitz baths and I really liked to dry brush and oil every day to help circulation as you're lying down all the time.

Baby sleeps a lot in those newborn days so take advantage of that time and take care of yourself.

I know what you mean about the 'only positive stories please' in the hypnobirthing world but I actually do think it's really helpful not to have the horror stories as a) they are so often a result of what they call the 'cascade of interventions' and b) we all know things can go wrong no matter how well you prepare so best not dwell on it!

Sorry that was so long, I find all things birth just totally fascinating.

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calliopea · 29/05/2022 17:48

Totally forgot the actual birth bit, he arrived at 7:20am! So very swift!!

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Belle2210 · 29/05/2022 17:58

Glad it went so quick and well for you (minus the tear) and thanks for the advice too! Really appreciate it! Think the most daunting part is having absolutely no idea how things will go in any birth really but more so first time round.

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calliopea · 29/05/2022 18:09

Of course! Even though I felt prepared, I was still worried about all the unknowables, but as soon as it started all the fear flew out the window, your body knows it got a job to do and how to do it.

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PinkPrawns2 · 29/05/2022 18:22

I'm a midwife so I thought I knew vaguely what to expect...

I couldn't stop vomiting when my contractions started and made it really, really difficult to cope with the pain. I went in and had pethidine and anti emetic, came home. Waters broke and it was thick mec, so back in again. Was in transition by the time I got back to delivery suite. Vomiting again by now and severely dehydrated. Asked for epidural and was refused. Started pushing but DC was not moving. In so much pain all I wanted to do was die. CTG was shit. Reg came to consent me for a trial, I refused forceps but agreed to try ventouse or section. Anaesthetist came to sort a spinal then disappeared without doing it. Eventually after 2 hours plus pushing and epis daughter was born.

After everything was fine, lots of skin to skin and BF established no problems. Epis has healed with no problems too.

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BoneWithTheWind · 29/05/2022 18:25

You're absolutely right about not only listening to/ reading positive birth stories. You wanna try and visualise, many times, your own positive and calm birth, but you wanna also be aware of all the things that can happen. That's what I did with all my 3 births - EXPECT a good birth but be PREPARED for anything.

All of my births were relatively easy and quick (small babies might be the reason behind that), small tears with first 2 but none whatsoever with the third (who was actually the biggest baby).

I had great experiences with midwives although with the last one, I found it difficult in triage - before moving to delivery ward. I felt I was not being listened to and had to beg to be re-examined multiple times as my pain was intensifying and I felt the baby was crowning (I fully dilated within 45 mins). Finally they did examine me and were like "Oh, you were right - this one is coming thick and fast"..

Postpartum recovery was fine physically, I would say I struggled more emotionally - hormonal imbalance, baby blues, feeling teary etc. but overall, I feel very lucky with how things went for me and my 3 boys.

Wish you all the best, OP. Hope you have a good and safe birth xx

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user7637293 · 29/05/2022 18:27

  1. Long labour, episiotomy, forceps, lost 1.5L of blood, contracted a fever, 2x blood transfusions

  2. Overall a rather pleasant experience!
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BoneWithTheWind · 29/05/2022 18:32

@PinkPrawns2 Gosh, that sounds intense. I found it interesting that as a midwife, you declined forceps. Myself, I was also very wary of them and said that to everyone I was dealing with.. Was your decision due to the things you've seen go wrong with them, in your time as a midwife..?
I'm glad it all ended well for you and your DD xx

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Cinnabomb · 29/05/2022 18:34

@user7637293 that’s so good to hear your 2nd went well - did you just have a spontaneous vaginal delivery?

my first sounds basically exactly like your 1st and currently considering what to do for number 2

@Belle2210 the best thing you can do is understand your options, and understand that whatever happens happens. Please ignore the blindly positive birthing lot - hypnobirthing genuinely is a good thing BUT it will not guarantee you an ‘easy’ delivery. Unfortunately sometimes things happen and no amount of positive thinking can prevent them. Anyone who thinks you can ‘imagine’ yourself into an easy birth is nothing more than an idiot, and a dangerous one at that.

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OurChristmasMiracle · 29/05/2022 18:35

I’m going to be honest I had a pretty good birth. Only had gas and air. No tears, stitched or instruments needed. Up and about an hour after birth for a shower.

the only part that took me off guard during my birth was how quick and strong the final contraction was- I literally got a breath in after having given birth to my sons head before the rest followed. The pain wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I was fine for most of my labour so long as I was able to move about and get in and out of warm water as I wished. - I would for this reason recommend access to a birth pool even if you don’t want or have a water birth

post birth take a cup of water with you when you wee so you dilute your urine so it’s less painful- also they do hot/cold packs for downstairs and they are heaven when your sore after.

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GinIronic · 29/05/2022 18:38

PinkPrawns2 · 29/05/2022 18:22

I'm a midwife so I thought I knew vaguely what to expect...

I couldn't stop vomiting when my contractions started and made it really, really difficult to cope with the pain. I went in and had pethidine and anti emetic, came home. Waters broke and it was thick mec, so back in again. Was in transition by the time I got back to delivery suite. Vomiting again by now and severely dehydrated. Asked for epidural and was refused. Started pushing but DC was not moving. In so much pain all I wanted to do was die. CTG was shit. Reg came to consent me for a trial, I refused forceps but agreed to try ventouse or section. Anaesthetist came to sort a spinal then disappeared without doing it. Eventually after 2 hours plus pushing and epis daughter was born.

After everything was fine, lots of skin to skin and BF established no problems. Epis has healed with no problems too.

Why were you denied an epidural? If a MW can't get one - what hope is there for everyone else?

To answer your question OP, giving birth is painful, bloody and life changing.

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Babyboomtastic · 29/05/2022 18:41

I chose to have planned sections.
They were very similar births but this was my first.

I went out for dinner and to the cinema the night before to take the mind off my nerves. Had since sleep and then we drive to the hospital about 8am. My husband was given a cuppa whilst they took my blood pressure etc. The surgeon and anethetist both came and introduced themselves, I gowned up, and then I walked down to theatre when it was time.

They put in a cannula and then did the spinal. My music was playing throughout. They then laid me on the bed and they tested me being numb. At some stage they put a catheter in and then they started the surgery. I asked them but to give me a running commentary so they didn't.

Baby was born within 5 minutes, totally pain free, and she was put straight on my chest for cuddles registry they sewed me up. I was then wheeled to recovery for about half an hour and she helped herself to some boobs.

I was then wheeled to the ward, and my feeling gradually returned. I felt so full of adrenaline I felt amazing. If I needed anything I just ordered the call button and a nurse came straight away.

The next morning I got moving. It was painful at first, but every time got less bad.

They said I could go home that afternoon, but it was to to me. I chose to stay another night as I had trapped gas pain. My actual section/incision gave me zero pain.

I was back to normal in a few days and in virtually no pain, although I took painkillers religiously for 2 weeks to make sure it didnt start to hurt. I went out shopping the day after getting back from hospital...

It was an empowering and virtually pain free experience. Hence why I chose the same route for my second.

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Vampirethriller · 29/05/2022 18:51

I went to 42+3, had two sweeps, didn't work. So induction it was.
Thursday morning, got to hospital, labour started Thursday evening. The midwife ran me a bath, which turned out to be full of sewage from a blocked toilet, and I got an infection.
Had painkillers and an epidural after about 12 hours.
Still no baby by Saturday morning and by then I had sepsis and pre eclampsia, so had an emergency section.
Had a horrible reaction to the second epidural and when she was born I was being sick into my left ear and onto a nurse. Daughter had to go to NICU because she'd caught the infection inside me.

Despite all that I actually recovered pretty quickly and my daughter was fine after a couple of days.

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meow1989 · 29/05/2022 18:54

FTM, went in for monitoring for itchy skin, had growth scan as bump measuring big - uss said 9lbs plus. I am -was- petite and was worried I'd go over by 2 weeks and end up with an 11lb baby so refused to leave until they agreed to do a sweep. Got sweep which was painful but worked - started having cramps there and then, drive home. Sent dh to bed in case things were happening.

By midnight I was doing a very bad job of maintaining my usual pain threshold and hospital agreed to see me. Had some pethidine, bloody lovely, dh went home as i was only 2cm and had to stay on ward.

At 7am was 4 cm so went to delivery with dh. Then nothing really happened - I went up to 5cm then back to 4 then that was it. Had an epidural (semi mobile) all good. Had drip to move things on but all that happened was ds heart dipped and emergency buzzer was pulled twice.

Eventually they said forceps or c section and I didn't give them a chance to persuade me - nothing was going in, baby was coming out.

Had c section and ds born at 00.06 the day before his due date. 8lbs 10 so scan not too far off!

Up to shower and catheter out by 12pm next day, 36 hours in hospital and home we went.

Despite lots of potentially scary bits, I would say it was a positive experience. We paid for a private room the night after so dh could room in with us whoch was amazing.

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Belle2210 · 29/05/2022 18:56

@BoneWithTheWind I love that. "EXPECT a good birth but be PREPARED for anything."

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Belle2210 · 29/05/2022 18:59

@PinkPrawns2 A friend of mine actually vomited all through her labour and birth too. Sounds awful 💕. Glad the recovery went smoothly.

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bakewellbride · 29/05/2022 19:03

First baby:
Was a week overdue. Had lots of 'is this it?!' moments every evening 4 evenings before it happened then I woke up at 5:30 one morning and just knew this was it. It started very mildly so rather than waking dh I left him to sleep and he woke at 9:30. If this is possible I'd really recommend this as it meant he was more well rested for when I really needed him later.

Spent about 12 hours relaxing at home with hypnobirthing and my birthing ball. Was really happy and relaxed then we went to hospital who tried to send us back home until they realised I'd arrived at hospital 5cm!

There was a bit of a faff finding a room for me but eventually I ended up on the labour ward and I stripped off down to just my bra and got straight in the birthing pool where things intensified and I had g and a. I must admit these last couple of hours were incredibly tough both physically and mentally. Hypnobirthing went out the window but I did find listening to music helped. I had to nip out of the pool a couple of times - one of which was to face a scan as they thought the baby could be breach and the second time my waters broke with a huge bang that scared me! About half an hour after my waters went my 20 minute pushing stage began and I gave birth in the water laying on my side. I held ds for delayed cord clamping and it was just so euphoric and magical. I was very calm and didn't even cry. I just said hello to ds and that was that. It was amazing. He was nearly 9 pounds. I had a second degree tear that needed stitches and it took 45 minutes of hard work to birth the placenta even though I had the injection so that was a bit of a shock. Wish I'd been warned that bit can be hard! Went home the next day. It was hard but an incredible experience. Dh was an amazing birth partner.

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Twizbe · 29/05/2022 19:03

I had a good birth with my eldest and a beautiful birth with my youngest.

Eldest, I went into labour at 3:30pm at 38+6. I was labouring well at home and then I went to the loo and saw blood. I phoned the birth centre and they told me to go to the labour ward asap.

We got there about 7pm and I was shown to a room and checked over. They were happy the bleeding was my sensitive cervix and not baby / placenta.

Midwife was amazing and got me moving around and labouring stood up with gas and air.

Things progressed quickly and she tried to get me on all fours but with the monitors and cannula I couldn't do it. My waters went when I pushed and DS was born at 9:32pm. Quite a quick labour.

I had a third degree tear and the midwife did my stitches and it all healed really well. No long term affects at all. I was discharged from labour ward at 11am.

With youngest I went into labour at 3am at 40+2. Phoned birth centre and went straight in as I was labouring fast. I got there at 4am to be met by the same midwife who delivered DS. We went into our room and basically asked for the pool and gas and air straight away. No bleeds this time.

Got into the water which was AMAZING and had gas and air. Waters broke when I pushed like before. She was born at 5:30am. Super quick. Surprisingly no tears or stitches. Baby had her first breastfeed at 45 mins old and latched perfectly.

No physical issues after birth either.

Yes, harder births happen, but don't discount the good stories. It does happen.

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Belle2210 · 29/05/2022 19:05

@Vampirethriller Omg that's awful! Can't believe it wasn't realised beforehand about the sewage. Thank god things worked out for you.

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PinkPrawns2 · 29/05/2022 19:07

@BoneWithTheWind I was just very aware of the higher chances of 3rd/4th Deg tears/pelvic floor dysfunction, and also even a "nice" forceps delivery looks brutal on both baby and mum. I haven't been involved in any instrumental births where things have gone wrong so it was just my preference.

@GinIronic I think because I was fully dilated, if my DD was in a better position (her head was asynchlitic) I could have delivered her before it was effective. Or maybe the anaesthetist was in theatre. I was too out of it to argue.

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Chanel05 · 29/05/2022 19:09

Contractions started at 6.30am. At 5.30pm, waters broke. Contractions went from okay and painful to unbearable and not stopping. Went to hospital, screaming in pain - 2cm dilated. Stayed in and was given gas and air. It didn't touch the sides. Had pethadine and I was off my face. By 11pm, I was 7cm. Still having relentless contractions. Epidural at 2am. Still felt contractions in my back. It was discovered my dd was transverse. By 9am I was 10cm. Didn't push until 12pm. Pushed for 2 hours with no luck. Completely exhausted. Taken to theatre for a ventouse which failed. After the doctors finally decided that my transverse (sideways) daughter wasn't coming out (obviously) I had an emergency c section. All the pushing caused more damage and I lost 2.5L of blood. Had a blood transfusion and a drain fitted post op. In hospital for 5 days. Treated appallingly and ignored even though I was spoken about in the midwife briefings to help me because I couldn't physically care for my daughter. I was left without pain meds and to wet myself because a midwife wouldn't help me up to get to the toilet. In for 5 days in the end.

Hugely traumatic experience for me and my husband, though my daughter was completely fine/safe the whole labour.

I'm now pregnant again 😊

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YoureAMeanOneMrGrinch · 29/05/2022 19:14

I had a sweep at 40+3, had had on and off back ache which didn't get worse but could come and go throughout the day and would be gone when I woke up in the morning. Then at 40+5 I felt the back ache getting worse, but everyone said the pain would come round to your front and it didn't. I tried to go to sleep but couldn't settle so stayed up and lay on the sofa. I rang triage as I started bleeding and didn't know what it was. They told me to have a bath as I didn't sound like I was in pain (I was). Had a bath at 2am and when I got out and went to the toilet blood was pouring out. At this point I called triage and insisted I come in as something clearly wasn't right. Got to the hospital at 3am and was 3cm dilated. Broke my waters at 5, epidural at 7 and then time to push at around 10? Baby got stuck in the birth canal - contractions started to slow and baby's heart rate was dropping so the doctor performed an episiotomy and forceps delivery, baby born just after 11am.

I was then left to my own devices holding the baby whilst my partner had left the room. The lady who brings you tea and toast came in and I had to ask her to take the baby as I couldn't move post epidural and felt like I was going to pass out. I ended up repeatedly passing out and had to be put on a drip - they didn't clarify what was wrong besides my iron may be a little low but I hadn't lost a lot of blood.

All round not a bad birth experience, just felt a bit out of the loop

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ThatsGoingToHurt · 29/05/2022 19:15

  1. With my first birth I went into hospital excited to meet my baby and emerged from hospital and physical and mental wreck. I agreed to be induced due to PROM. I was told I could use the birth pool even if I was induced as this was the one thing I wanted. When I was scanned it was noted that baby was back to back. Propess inserted. To cut a long story short contractions started shortly after and I was fully dilated within 4 hours. The bad news was that non of the midwifes believed i was in labour and I was in agony having a back to back baby whilst stuck in the bathroom on the antenatal ward. Eventually they belived me when I said I was pushing and wheeled me round to the labour ward at high speed! Unfortunately, DD got stuck and I ended up with forceps, tear, episiotomy and haemorrhage. I was in agony for months and could barely move and suffered birth trauma (no help available on NHS in my area as that would mean the NHS had to admit fucking up) . Written complaint to the hospital was un held due to sub standard care and pain relief being withheld for no reason!

  2. planned a home birth from the get home due to hospital being fucking useless last time. When into labour in the night. Jumped in the pool and called the midwifes who brought gas and air. Had ginormous DS at home with a small tear. Felt fine physically the day after and mental health was on a high even though we were in lockdown one!
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GraceL365 · 29/05/2022 19:20

My contractions started the same evening after having a sweep at lunchtime. They were uncomfortable and I couldn’t eat my dinner or concentrate on tv, no position helped and I couldn’t cope at home so went into hospital in the early hours. I was only 1 or 2cm but they let me stay in and I had pethidine straight away which took the edge off enough to let me sleep.

I spent the whole day slowly dilating and tried TENS machine, gas and a bath - none did anything for me. I had more pethidine (not as effective the second time round) and decided I wanted an epidural. Once I was dilated enough (seemed to take forever)! I was moved to my own room and had the epidural which was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be and this is someone who is scared of needles.

The pain disappeared and I could just feel an intense pressure which was slightly uncomfortable but not at all painful (just felt like I desperately needed to poo). I think I was about 9cm at this time but my midwife wanted me to wait an hour which was hard as I felt the urge to push straight away.

The time came and I started pushing. I can’t remember how long it took but I know I struggled. I felt like I was pushing as hard as I could and the midwives kept saying nearly there and to just push a little bit more. Eventually the head crowned but I couldn’t get him out. The doctor was called and I was about to have an intervention but then I managed to get the head out followed shortly by the shoulders! No pain but I felt a popping sensation when baby came out.

What happened next is a bit of a blur. I just remember baby being on my chest but then suddenly a lot of people were in the room and my partner looked very teary and worried. I had lost two and a half pints of blood and had torn quite badly. We were finally left in the room though and all managed to sleep and I spent the following night on the ward due to the blood loss.

As for afterwards back home, it initially hurt and then was just uncomfortable to sit down for probably about a week or so due to the tears and I couldn’t get down on the floor. Putting the pregnancy pillow in a circle and sitting in the middle so I wasn’t touching the sofa helped.

Fast forward 8 weeks and my little boy is currently lying fast asleep in my arms. Labour and birth seem like a distant memory now and it was honestly not a bad experience for me. I found the whole experience exciting.

Best of luck with your birth and motherhood :)

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Dinneronmybfpillow · 29/05/2022 19:24

First birth - planned homebirth, actually ended in BBA because they didn't realise how far along I was/how quickly I would labour. Ended up calling midwife to come back when we could see the head (well, I couldn't but DH could). She arrived about ten mins after DD was born and was incredible. I've never felt so cared for and attended by anyone.

Second birth was in hospital, delivery suite. It was crap. Coerced, patronised and consent breached knowingly. Fuckers.

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