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So when you find out that your pregnant the biggest worry for any woman is labour! You get told all these horror stories about how painful it is and how that you should have as many drugs as possible etc etc etc... So when I found out that I was pregnant and I had to start writing my birth plan I took everyones advise and asked for all pain relief possible. So I was basically a nervous wreck up until that point... I was due the 12th of September but was advised by midwives and friends and family that there was no way the size I was that I would have him then and I should prepare for labour on or around the 28th August. So I did, I wanted to go to antenatal classes and was all set to go with my sister so that I knew what I was doing and what to expect as we have no one in the family with children (well apart from mams!) then they got cancelled due to the swine flu out break, PANIC STATIONS!!! I was literally s***ing myself over what was to come. So the 28th of August came and went, the 12th of September came and went... seriously baby where are you stop being lazy I want you now! well thats what I thought, I eventually after 2 stretch and sweeps off my midwife went into labout 12 days over on the 22nd of September and 3.30pm whilst sat at my partners mums having my first ever chicken parmo! (dont think I will ever forget that) I was only having irregular contractions so I didnt do anything came home and had a nice hot bath and went to bed. By 11pm I was in agony so I asked my boyfriend to take me to hospital, off we went in the car I didnt have a clue what to do so went straight to labour ward with my partner and we spoke to the midwives who put us in a delivery room and she came and again checked me and baby over and told me that yes I was in labour but I should go home as it was going to be slow and I should just take paracetamol and some codeine for the pain. So I did took the drive home and went to bed for all of ten minutes and I spent the rest of the night with my head down the toilet after taking a reaction to the codeine. My partner was due in work at 7am so after the night from hell I asked him to take me to my mams so I wasnt on my own. I landed at my mams at half past 6 she was there with a cup of tea and some toast for me and we sat for what felt like hours to me. I was there till 8am and had to again call my partner to take me to hospital, he works quite a distance away so he got back for me at 10.30 by this time I was in absoloute agony :-( we took the 10 minute drive to the hospital and I was again placed in a room and given 2 paracetamol (which came straight back up) and was told I was only 3cm dialated after almost 8 hours of labour. My midwife Cathrine told me to go for a walk and try to eat something and come back to see her in 3 hours or so... so I did as I was told went to the canteen felt like an idiot having contractions every 4 minutes and nearly crying every time as I had no pain killers that I could take due to not having any food. So Darlingtons Memorial Hospital has quite a nice garden which we walked to and at 2.30pm I went back to see Catherine. But by this time she had finished her shift and I had a new lady called Maggie. She gave me some gas and air and I had only dialated to 4cm (not good news) we were in for a long day!!! So after my go on Gas and Air again came the head in a bucket, I just couldnt stomach it. My waters still hadnt broke so they decided to give me a dose of pethadine to help me sleep and to monitor my little mans heart rate to make sure he wasnt stressed. I eventually got to sleep after an hour of delerious ranting on pethadine (was brilliant :o)!!) I woke up at 7.30pm and was about to go for a wee when woosh waters broke and I was ready to have my little man! After the longest hour of my life he came into the world, I had a few problems pushing him out as he had twisted in the birth canal into a very awkward position and his heart rate had dropped to 60 beats a minute and it was very touch and go as to whether I was going to have to have an emergancy C Section. He had his cord round his neck and was not crying when he was born and I though my whole world had ended when this happened but after some amazing doctors and nurses saw to him a scream emerged and there was my Aiden James :) After a very long 29 hours of labour I still now do not agree that labour is as bad as people make it out to be. The pain is bad yes while it is happening but as soon as you hear that cry and your baby is given to you it goes straight away! If I was to have another baby I would opt for a natural birth again it is amazing (unless there is a medical reason that stops me from having a baby naturally). I was placed on a ward with 2 other ladies both had c sections and both relied on the nurses so much but I was able to walk around have my shower and look after my baby on my own. Every one is different but dont be scared it is such an amazing thing to do the pain is nothing in the end! :o)
When I was pregnant with my son (now 21mths) the thing that terrified me more than labour, was the thought that I may need a c-section. I went to 2days overdue and right up until that point, had myself convinced something was going to go wrong. I may seem paranoid but I had reason to be. You see, pregnancies in my family are never simple. My Grans first baby died shortly after birth, my Mum went to 42weeks with my oldest sister and the baby died during labour, my sisters first baby had spina bifda and hydrochephalus and she has suffered many miscarriages before having her 3 children. At 9 weeks gone came the bleeding I had feared however I was reassured at my scan when my babies heartbeat flashed on the ultrasound. The rest of my pregnancy was straightforward except 3days at 22weeks when I was admitted to hospital with gastroenthiatis. So my labour..I went into labour at my mother in laws whilst watching a dvd with my fiance. It was 10pm at night and I phoned the midwife and was told to take paracetamol and have a bath..I would see the point in this if my baby was early but I was 2 days overdue! At midnight, my fiances uncle picked us up and drove us to the hospital. We had to wait for 25mins in a waiting room..contractions every few mins so waiting was the last thing I wanted! When I finally got seen, they did the examination and I was told i was already 10cm dilated. My sister arrived and we were taken to the delivery ward. My midwife was lovely and I was given gas and air which never left my mouth except when it made me sick and I had to have it changed..they had a hard time prising it off me though! I kept my eyes shut apparently through my 12hour labour and I believe it was due to the harsh lighting in the room. Anyways, after a few hours of panting and contracting, little Boo still wasn't here! They tried to break my waters..yes that was just wonderful..however I had none and was having a dry birth. At 7am my sister who was 5mths pregnant and the time and my fiance left me to get breakfast..thanks for that you two! I was determined I wasn't getting an epidural however I did opt for some diamorphine as i recall but it took 5midwifes and eventually the big scary anethiastist guy to get the drip into me. Eventually have 12hours of pushing and a little accident (I won't go into detail here but I am sure I am not the only lady to have ever done this) and our beautiful son was born at 10.40am. I needed a jag to deliver the big juicy placenta (this hurt, I won't lie) but chose not to get stitches on my slight tear, I decided to let it heal naturally. Labour is not as bad as everyone makes out, well not for me but I suppose everyone has different experiences. I was put in a ward with 3 ladies who had cesareans and were bedbound, I was able to walk around and go to the loo (that is when i braved it). Unless there is a medical reason why I cannot have a natural birth then I would not hesitate to do the same with any future babies I may be blessed with.
This might be sensitive to some to begin with - but it ends well! I've tried to keep it non-graphic in case anyone is reading it by accident. I never intended to have a natural birth. After the birth of my first baby (induced, epidural), I had a serious post-partum haemorrhage which resulted in blood transfusions and a hospital stay of several days. I didn't think about it much at the time because I was so glad to have got through it, but once I was pregnant again I started to dwell on it more and more. I particularly remembered looking at my husband holding my newborn baby - while I was lying on the bed with my blood pressure dropping through the floor, the midwife calling for a doctor because she couldn't stop the bleeding and the student midwife yelling at me not to go to sleep - and thinking that this was all I was ever going to see of my son, because I was struggling to stay conscious and I believed I was going to die. I was determined to have another hospital birth the second time around. The thought of going through that again, without instant access to medical help, was terrifying. Of course it's by no means certain that it would have happened in the first place if I hadn't been induced, since there is a higher incidence of PPH with assisted births, but there was no way I was taking that risk. Plus, being induced is like breaking your leg - there is no gradual increase in intensity to help you acclimatise to the pain. The first contraction is as painful as the last. The memory of that was enough to make my choice for me: I was having a hospital birth with whatever pain relief I needed and that was that. Of course, it didn't quite work out that way. I went into labour at about 11pm and my second son was born less than four hours later, at home with an ambulance crew in attendance. We'd left it too late to leave for the hospital, and once my waters broke everything happened too fast. We were lucky that the ambulance arrived in time, even if the midwife didn't - she arrived about a minute after the baby, carrying the gas and air, which was rather superfluous to requirements by then! It was the most astonishingly different experience. I hadn't realised how much the epidural had taken away from the birth the first time (not that I regret it, I was begging for the damn thing, as I recall). To begin with, the contractions were easily manageable; I was sitting on my birthing ball watching The Bourne Supremacy - a film that I will now never be able to watch again - for a lot of it. Once the contractions started to get more intense, I spent most of the time walking around, which helped. When they moved into the region of excruciating, I would hang on to something until the worst of it had passed. Of course, at this point I still intended to make it to the hospital. I remember thinking that it wouldn't be much fun having a contraction in the car. I also remember thinking that I was going to be pretty annoyed if I got to the hospital to be told I was only two or three centimetres. But I didn't really believe that I was. I knew that I was further along than that - I could feel it. That was the most surprising thing about the whole experience - how much I could feel. I never expected to be able to feel what the contractions were doing or to *understand* the sensation of it in the way that I did. I can't explain it very well - it was almost as if I was remembering feeling it before, even though I had been completely numb. It was familiar in a very comforting way - I felt that I could trust my body to know what it was doing, and that I just needed to let it get on with it. My poor husband might have been having kittens, but I felt nothing but the most amazing confidence and calm (between contractions, that is!). Despite everything that had happened the first time around, it never occurred to me for a moment that anything was not going how it should. It was, of course, the single most painful thing I have ever experienced. But in an odd way, I didn't mind the pain. Unlike the first time around, when the sudden onset of contractions following the induction had me begging for an epidural within an hour and half, my brain could clearly distinguish that this was not pain to be afraid of; that it didn't mean I was injured, or that anything was wrong. If something that painful can be enjoyable (not in that way - get your mind out of the gutter), it was. I'm not an earth mother type. I don't believe in being in pain if you have a choice, and I wouldn't necessarily opt for a natural birth in the future. But I will always be grateful that I got to experience giving birth without drugs, and I admire enormously anyone who has the courage and the conviction to decide to do it above all the other alternatives. Even if you don't manage it - hats off to you.
Even before I became pregnant with my first child I was pretty sure that if I ever did have a child I would want a natural birth. I knew plenty of people who had given birth and the majority were adamant that natural was better and they all had horror stories about projectile vomiting caused by gas and air and temporary paralysis caused by epidurals! Once I found out I was pregnant my first decision was to give birth at home to guarantee myself a natural birth. I know a lot of people think that having your first baby at home is dangerous or they feel they need the security of the medical expertise available in hospital but I trusted myself and my body to be able to cope with the labour and birth. When I first spoke to my midwife about the home birth she was very enthusiastic and encouraging which went a long way to persuading my husband that it was completely safe and natural as he had wanted me to go to hospital. During my pregnancy I did a lot of research in books and on the internet about natural births and home births. I found lots of information about herbal pain relief and hypnosis techniques to help you through labour. I also bought myself a Yoga for Pregnancy video which was very helpful. I found www.bounty.com and www.babycentre.co.uk had lots of information and the best book I read was by Sheila Kitzinger called The new Pregnancy and Childbirth book. Shortly before my baby was due my midwife asked me if I thought I would need pethadin as this would need to be prescribed by my doctor. I declined and said I would manage without it. I was getting very scared by this point because I was facing the unknown and being expected to know if I needed any pain relief. I still wanted to be able to trust my body but was feeling more unsure by the day. I eventually went into labour the day after my due date and as I had a problem free pregnancy my midwife was happy for me to labour at home until I felt ready for her to come. My waters broke at 7am but contraction didn't start until 4pm. My husband is a dairy farmer and he went out to milk the cows as normal and returned at 6.30pm. I had managed until then with no pain relief at all and I was finding the yoga breathing very helpful indeed. I think it was more to do with concerntrating on breathing in and out that took my mind off the pain than anything else. I had also spent some time sitting on a gym ball which was very comfortable and enabled me to circle my hips during a contraction which also helped to ease the pain. When my husband returned from milking I asked him to put the TENs machine on as the contractions were growing stronger and were coming every 2 minutes. I found the TENs worked for me by confusing my brain so I didn't know if I could feel the pain or if it was just the sensation of the TENs. I think this is the idea of the TENs machine as it stops the pain messages getting to your brain. My midwife arrived at 7.30pm and found that I was already 8cm dilated (You have to reach 10cm before you are ready to deliver) so I was really pleased that I had managed so far on my own. After the examination my contractions started to get really strong and were coming so fast I barely had time to get my breath in between them. I was still managing with just the TENs and had refused the gas and air. My daughter was born at 8.27pm and as soon as she was out I felt perfectly normal again. I was exhausted but the labour and birth had not been half as bad as I had expected and I instantly felt like I could do it again. I have had two more children at home and with the other two I didn't even have time to get the TENs machine on and the midwife didn't even bother to bring her gas and air. After each birth I have been able to sit straight up and have felt really well and not like I have just given birth. I have been able to feed and hold my babies straight away and even gone off and had a shower as soon as I liked. There is a picture of me holding my son shortly after his birth and no one believes that he is only about an hour old because I look so normal. After my third child was born I did experience some internal damage and had to be rushed to hospital. I was given an epidural so I could have some repairs and it was an awful experience. After the operation I couldn't move at all apart from my head and arms. I couldn't hold my baby properly and trying to breast feed him was a nightmare. I had to ring a bell to get help when I could hear him choking and my husband had to help me to drink because I was so shaky. I was left on the bed all night with a catheter in place and laying in a pool of blood. Anyone who has had a baby will know that there is a lot of blood after you have had a baby and they just left me covered in it. The next morning I tried to get out of bed and almost collapsed and I don't know if that was because of the epidural or because of the amount of blood I had lost after the birth. I had to be given a bed bath and helped into my underwear. It was humiliating and degrading. The natural home births I had were beautiful experiences I trusted my body and it didn't let me down. I felt completely in control and knew that every contraction was one less before my baby was born. I would recommend a natural birth to anyone because it is a wonderful experience. Yes it hurts and it hurts a lot it wouldn't be called labour if it was going to fun. The thing is the instant that baby is out the pain is gone and within days it is forgotten whereas the effects of the drugs can last much longer. Obviously not everyone can have a natural birth for many reasons but I think that you should at least give it a go if you are able to.
With my first i had planned for a natural birth from the start, a labour where i would go with the flow and have no pain relief or intervention providing all was well. I actaully went into labour unexpectantly at exactly 36wks and off i went to hospital, 5 hrs after the intial contraction, i still had not had any pain relief and was coping well with the support of my partner and focusing on what was best for me and my baby, the strength of being able to see my baby soon helped to combat the pain and think positively. however i then felt the urge to push, i was being looked after by a student who kept telling me it would be hours yet, the pain became so intense, i asked for gas and air, had been using it for a few minutes and still i felt i needed to push, i then had an examination to find the baby's head was crowning and was infact ready to push. i then felt so cheated out of what i wanted as if she had done that first i wouldnt of needed the gas and air. my son was born an hour later, but several things had happened during labour which upset me and i felt let down. as a result with my 2nd i planned a homebirth, providing i could reach the 37wks mark and didnt go into premature labour again. this time i was even more determined i didnt want any pain relief or intervention. i felt strong enough myself to cope with the pain and thought being at home and with a familar face of a midwife i knew would help me ease through it all, and make me feel more happier about the labour i had longed for so much. this time i got my natural birth, although i didnt have a lot of choice as things happened so quickly. my waters broke at 9pm so phoned midwife immediately as mine was off call and knew the other was 45mins away, by 9.15 the contractions were coming and were almost constant and yes they were painful, but i had no-one telling me what to do this time, so i was free to move around and free to relax, this helped ease the pain loads and i actaully felt incontrol. by 9.40pm though i fel the urge to push, panic set in a bit as the midwives still wasnt here and my partner was downsize waiting for them as they had just phoned to say they were lost. i suppose the panic of being alone then helped to block out the pain, i went into our bedroom and climbed on to bed, by now i could feel the head crowning and was struggling not to push, but then i heard them arrive and as soon as i heard them come up the stairs i let out a big push, followed by another just as the midwife caught my daughter and my partner just got in in time. the 2nd midwife them came upstairs with not 1 but 3 bottles of gas and air. i know thinks happened quickly but it was still painful yet the situation around and being at home just blocked all the pain out and let me concentrat on what was important. i am now pregnant with my 3rd and again all being well will be having a natural homebirth, no pain, no intervention and i want the midwives to follow my lead as really trust my body to know what its doing. the natural birth i experience was so nice, after giving birth it was up to me when i wanted to wonder off have a shower and walk round with my precious little girl. i had no waiting for drugs to wear off or any fears of how they would of affected my child. i felt totally incontrol and so proud of myself knowing everything i did i was incontrol of and did it all by myself. i think a lot of people just think labour and it hurts, so as soon as they get to hospital they ask for pain relief, however it is a truly amazing and special moment and the memory should not be blocked out with drugs, but cherished as its the first moments of your childs live. i simply cant wait for it all to happen again
I would like to write this review of natural childbirth because I have done this four times in my life and feel I can offer some help and comfort to anyone who is planning this for themselves. I am a trained nurse who has also completed a course in obstetrics but this is not really a medical account-more a personal view. I would like to start by saying that the most important thing in giving birth is that the outcome is a happy and healthy baby who is born into a loving situation. It doesn't matter if it has to be with medical intervention. If you have set your heart on having a natural birth and things don't go according to plan as long as the baby arrives safely into the world then you have achieved something so precious. Please listen to your midwife and doctor and let them guide you as to what is safe. With regard to having a natural birth if your situation is right, if the baby is lying in the right position for delivery and you want to avoid any pain relief then you can opt for this which I did 4 times. It was and still is to this day my most precious memory. I had decided from an early stage that I wanted a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. All my babies were in the cephalic that is head first position at 38 weeks so I was able to plan for this in my mind. Please don't think it is going to be painless but it is not like any other pain, and if you can see each contraction as a step nearer to holding your baby in your arms you can cope with it. At first the pains come quite far apart and a nice warm soak in the bath is really helpful. I actually think that I would have my MP3 player with me if I was going to do it now for this early part as you can have your favourite music to help you along the early times. If it is your first baby this can take a lot of patience as it can be a slow business. I actually ate quite a few carbohydrates during the first stage to keep me going. As the cervix that is the neck of the womb dilates from being closed to about 10cms the pains get much more severe and you need to really concentrate to get through them. I used a method in which I closed my eyes and imagined my baby getting nearer to being born with each pain I was closer to meeting him or her, and I kept telling myself I wanted to be awake and alert to enjoy this. If you are allowed to by your midwife keep upright as this helps a lot and just bend over slightly if the pains get intense or lean on your partner. Remember to pack a flannel if you are having the baby in hospital as it is so comforting to be able to put a wet flannel on your face between contractions. As you pass from the first to second stage of labour this is the transitional stage when the cervix is coming up to but has not yet fully dilated things get much more intense and the urge to push starts. This is when the cervix is about 8 to 9cms dilated. At this stage the midwife will say it is too early to push so you will need all your mental strength to breathe and not to give into pain relief unless you want to. It gets really hard here and pains come one on top of another but you can cope as long as you tell yourself it is almost over. Please note you are not a failure at any stage if you do opt for pain relief I just knew it was not for me but there should be no guilt in accepting things at any time. Remember a healthy baby is what we want! By the time the midwife lets you start to push so much of the intense pain is actually behind you, and at this stage it isn't good to be full of pain relieving drugs as you need all your strength to push. You will be more awake to listen to her instructions and should be able to push well when told to and also to stop when asked which helps to minimise tearing and stitches. So push I did 4 times in 8 years and I had 2 boys and 2 girls all naturally with no pain relief at all. I didn't need any stitches for the last two and each baby got bigger with my last son weighing in at 10lbs 3oz. I think it was the most amazing experience to be totally awake and the joy of holding each one was more than I know how to convey in words. It isn't a pain caused by disease or by something unnatural but it is a journey in which pain plays a part in helping to allow a new human being to be born. If you can see it this way it will help you if you want to see if you can try. The most important thing is though never ever to feel a failure. I have read so many accounts of women who have been disappointed in themselves for births which have not gone to plan. Giving birth whatever way natural or otherwise is a joy and an achievement. There are no extra points for being heroic but I can honestly say if you want to try doing it naturally you will be rewarded and elated because childbirth is a celebration of the miracle of life. A woman who gives birth well supported by a good midwife, in a natural way where the baby is as safe as he or she can be will experience something which is so intense and life altering that she will treasure it for the rest of her life.
Wholst pregnant with my first child we discussed all the pain relief options in great detail with our midwife and unlike most women i had decided i was going to have everything. I know or thought i was a wimp when it came to pain but in the end i had two children with nothing more than two paracetomal tablets. My first birth was supposed to be a induced delivery in a hospital. (as you may have already read about) I intended to take advantage of anything that made things easier for me but the decision was taken out of my hands when my labour progressed a lot more quickly than anyone anticipated and my daughter arrived into this world too quickly for pain relief to be used My second delivery i had planed for a home birth and once again looked at the pain relief options and was relieved to find i could have gas and air brought by the midwife at the time of delivery and pethodine which i could collect from my doctor 3 weeks before i was due to deliver. This didnt go to plan either as i went into labour 4 weeks and 5 days early so i had no pethadine ready and i told my midwife to forget the gas and air and to just come streight to the house as she was coming from home which meant she had to pass our house to go to the hospital then come back and once again labour progressed even quicker 22 minutes after my 1st contraction my second daughter arrived weighing 6lb9oz but to my relief this time i had 3 midwives present at the birth. I did have an injection this time to help deliver the placents but didnt need any stitches.
I was adamant I was having a natural birth but did I get my wish, no! Heres my story. At 4am on 26th September 2004 3 days overdue I woke up with what I can only describe as an overwhelming desire to go to the toilet. Only to get there and be unable to perform, I returned to bed and the same urge woke me at 7am this time a lot more intense. As a first time mum I was totally bewildered and unsure whether I could possibly be in labour. I then decided I would have a bath, this eased the pain tremendously. By this time I was having contractions every five minutes, my husband was pouring warm water over my bump and that was heaven. When iI began screaming he called my mum. She soon arrived and rang the hospital for me, they advised I made my way there as contractions were getting closer and stronger. I never thought I would arrive at the hospital and boy there was no way I could sit down in the car, i was on all fours on the back seat, what a sight! Once we arrived I was taken to a room and checked over only to be told I was 8cm dilated. Wasnt going to be long now(or so I thought). I was then left and thought "well what do I do now?" I asked my mum and she told me I would be taken to a delivery room soon to give birth. I was then assigned a midwife and she told me I was going to give birth in there. Then came gas and air, what an absolute godsend! It takes away the edge of the pain but you can still feel it! After a few hours of puffing on gas and air and the odd screams of pure pain the midwife checked my progress. I was fully dilated but my waters hadnt broke therefore she would have to do it. That is when I realised what pain was or so I thought. Contractions intensified and I had the urge to push. After about an hour of pushing babys heartbeat fell and I was moved to a delivery suite with all the high tech equipment needed. Once down there I was hooked up to a monitor so they could continuously check babys heartbeat. I carried on pushing and after a while was told I would need a cesarean as babys heartbeat was falling drastically as he was facing the wrong way and ge had passed meconium(poo) inside me so he had to come out fast. I began to cry and so didd my mum, she had been there all along and now she had to leave me. All on my own I was taken to theatre, shaved(down there), a drip put in and an epidural too! I was having a contraction when it was administered, which was a blessing as I couldnt feel the epidural because of the contraction pain but also a total nightmare as I had to keep perfectly still whilst in total pain! Wish you were there! Once the epidural was in I felt a new women although they had to lay me down as soon as possible because you go totally numb from the waist down. Then my husband appeared in his lovely green outfit and mask! The doctor came in and I have never felt so scared in my life! She told me she was going to take a look and assess the situation. To my delight she informed us she was able to get him out with a vonouse(a sink plunger type device) placed on his head and with every contraction I push and she pulled. At 8.25pm our son was born, he wasnt breathing and required oxygen which was the longest few seconds of my life! Then came the long awaited scream, my baby! He was 8lb 2oz and gorgeous(im biased). Then my placenta wouldnt descend nd the doctor had to go in after it! I was stitched too as I had split. All in all it was totally opposite of what I wanted but he was worth every moment of excrutiating pain.
I always wanted a home birth, I couldn't imagine going into hospital to give birth, it wasn't natural. I had a fantastic midwife, who supported my decision to have a home birth all the way through, I then changed midwives near the end and got another good midwife. They both gave me all the info and help I needed. When it came to it, I started having contractions on the Saturday morning, by 16.30 they were four minutes apart and I thought this was it. I had been drinking raspberry leaf tea, and used a tens machine, I wanted an all natural birth. They were also quite painful, so I thought by the end of the day I would have had it. I called my mum, and baby's dad and over they came. I called the midwife and over she came, gave me all this advice and said I wasn't really in established labour, but not far away. So I paced up & down through the night with contractions that were painful, got through the Sunday till the evening with nothing really happening but these contractions. It was lovely I still thought I was having a home birth, I was in agony with back pains every time I had a contraction but it was still going to happen for me. On the Sunday evening the midwife suggested I had gas & air, well that was a giggle. I started seeing horse racing & hedges, but was still in pain. This went on through Sunday night, and here is where it starts to go downhill. I had had a change of midwife, and about midnight she has said she was going to call her husband and off she went after going on and on about it. At 5:30 she suggested I went into hospital. This dirty old ambulance turned up, when I got to the hospital they offered me a dirty chair to take me to the labour ward(I walked). They took me into this room and the baby cot which I was to put the most precious thing in my life had either baby sick or milk on the inside. The midwife told the hospital midwife I was the one she phoned about earlier, when she phoned her husband she had really phoned the hospital. She hadn't had any faith in me having a home birth at all, and then she was gone, I was told that my homebirth midwife would stay with me part of the time in hospital, but not this one. They put me into a room and off they went, didn't explain how to use the gas & air and didn't return for 10mins, I was having contractions every 2! I ended up having pethidine, an epidural followed by an emergency c-section. I was heart broken. They say having your baby safely was worth it, I know he was at risk, but it doesn't change how horrific my birth turned out to be, it doesn't change the fact my midwife I had on the Sunday night hadn't supported me. It was a team of community midwives and this one wasn't all for home birth. I felt all she wanted to do was to get me into hospital from midnight on the Sunday she had suggested I went frequently. I know I would have probably gone into hospital anyway and probably had a c-section, but had she supported the decision to have a home birth it would have made all the rest easier. I plan to have a home birth for the next, I know it will be more difficult to get, but not impossible. The next time I will want to know the whole team of midwives supports my decision or I will pay for my own midwife.
Having just been happily delivered of our first born I wanted to give a man's view of his partner's labour. I cannot describe the sensation in the delivery room when your wife is giving birth without using cliches. It was magical, like nothing I have experienced and my wife also agrees. Labour is not pain but a means to an end and the end is beautiful. My wife also now two weeks later is ready for another. She went through 9 months of fear and trepidation and during the labour she surprised herself and at the birth we both wept with joy. I was proud of her she at all times kept her dignity and delivered with some style she laboured for 9 hours and pushed the baby out in half an hour. I am sure many out there have very much worse labours and really do suffer. We however had a normal labour and delivery. Normal means just that "normal". That is the kind of labour that most women have. For all those couples out there who are fearful of the delivery day all I can say is that the ends does justify the means. We are not the only couple who think that. I ask you, if the majority of labours are terrible ordeals, why do most couples forget the experience? They must do or the world would be full of one child families. Best wishes to all of you who are expecting and the journey into parenthood is an exciting and rewarding one for everyone.
I have always hated hospitals and wanted to have home births with both my children but complications ruled this out in both cases. However, I wanted the births to be as natural as possible. I hated the idea of an epidural or pethidine, as i wanted to feel in control of my body at his emotional and very intense time. I went into labour naturally both times, which I was relieved about. My first labour lasted 24 hours and followed two sleepless nights due to a pregnancy rash. I was left all alone overnight on a maternity ward. Nobody came to check on me. When i was finally remebered i was examined and sent down to the delivery room. Although all the way through i had been adament that I did not want drugs I asked for an epidural. I was told it was too late and offered gas and air. I accepted the gas and air, although it did nothing for me. I finally gave birth to a beautiful, healthy son. During the birth I tore very badly and needed surgery for a 3rd degree tear. Fot this I was given an epidural. After experiencing the epidural i was so grateful not to have ahd one for the birth itself. I was unable to move and felt so powerless. Second time around the labour lasted 9 hours, although I only reached hospital 1 1/2 hours before my daughter made her entrance! I had no drugs - just gas and air, although this time it did work and provided some relief. I won't pretend that it wasn't painful, but I am so glad that I was able to experience my childrens births, naturally. I know it's not for everyone, but if you want to do it, it can be done. Just be prepared to see how it goes and change your mind if you need to.
As a mother of 3 birth stories seem to be my speciality.At 17 I fell pregnant with my first child being that young I spoke to others who had been through it for advice and nearly all gave me horror stories,which at the time I really didn't need to hear. I had my show in the early hours of Tuesday morning,and being so naive I thought something was wrong so I woke my partner up in a huge panic and set off for the local hospital. Once there I was told I was 4cm dilated as I was in no pain I was sent to the ward to get some rest.At 7.30am I asked to be transferrd down to delivery suite for pain relief. All the way through my pregnancy I was dead against an epidural as I have a real phobia about needles as I wasn't in that much pain I deceided on the pethedine.1 hour later I pushed my beautiful baby girl Lauren into the world.There was just one downside to it I was still under the effects of the drug so felt really out of it. With my second child I was rushed in at 38 weeks with possible pre-eclampsia,I was induced that evening and the next morning by lunch time the pains were coming thick and fast,as I hadn't really had contractions with my first I was really scared but after talking to the midwife she suggested that I should go down to delivery I was really against it at first as I knew once down there my options where limited.But it was a good job I listened as soon after I arrived and 15 minutes of gas and air my second daughter Charli-Jo arrived into world much to the shock of us all. With my third I was advised to be induced at 38 weeks due to the speed of my last labour I was fine with this as I knew what to expect. I was induced in the evening and after an uncomfortable and niggly sleep I was woken at 6am to be checked by the midwife,she was shocked to find that I was at 4cm and suggested that she phoned my husband, with that I suggested she told him to have his breakfast first as I knew that no 2 labours are same and I could still be i n for a long time yet.He arrived at 7.30am in a bit of a panic we had a walk about then I asked to be taken downstairs. Once there it was discoverd that baby was laid with their back against mine so labour could be really painful on my back,it was also suggested that I should have an epidural to relieve the pain I might get. After an hour I was in quite a bit of pain....agony really.lol.and begged for an epidural again I was checked over and found to be 9cm dilated so the only pain relieve I could have was good old gas and air I chose not to have anything. Next thing I know I was told to stop pushing even though I wasn't and my daughter Ellie literally popped into the world as my waters broke. As soon as I was sorted and had deliverd the afterbirth I was up and about,had a shower,fed and dressed my little girl it was just a much better experiance rather than being out of it I was awake and alert and ready for anything. After reading my experiances I hope I may have helped mums to be to make an informed choice.But to know that all options are there when the pain gets too great.
My favorite topic - written from both sides of the fence - as a woman who has birthed and a student midwife who has been a (privilidged) part of home and hospital births, With my first, I had no idea, I didn't even consider having my baby anywhere other than hospital, strange that seeing as I wasn't sick. I ended up with every intervention known to an obstetrician, haemhorrage, episiotomy blah blah blah, there's too long a list to go through. I didn't feel particularly close to my first born though as a result. With my second I wanted a homebirth, but didn't know enough about it and didn't spend long enough thinking about it - too busy throwing up and feeling rough. Had a great labour and birth tho, which changed my outlook for number three. I desperately wanted a homebirth. But my GP said no, I had no support from my midwives and didn't know how to fight for it. ( No woman should have to fight for the her right to birth at home - ask your midwife for the changing childbirth documents)Women who are healthy, who are having healthy pregnancies should be told they have option to birth where they feel most comfortable. Since then, I've become a student midwife and have come to the conclusion that many of the fears and complications surrounding childbirth are caused by what happens in hospital and what we do for/to women. It is only since then that I have realised babies die in hospital as well as home. Sometimes things go pear shaped yes, but they can go pear shaped anywhere, are they going pear shaped because of where you are or would they have done anyway? Re the pain issue. I feel that a relaxed women who know what her body is doing and why, and that what is happening is normal, with supportive midwives/family/birth partners who can offer explanations or alternative, less harmful options for pain relief is less likely to feel the overwhelming fear and panic that sometimes accompanies hospital births. Fear = tension = a closed fighting body = a harder birth. And midwives carry pain relief with them anyway. The advantages of having your baby at home are vast. Starting with the fact that recent reliable research proves that it is safe, if not safer than having your baby in hospital. Like I said before, hospitals are for people who are ill - or those women who want it. You wouldn't go to hospital if you wanted to go to the toilet for instance - because it is a normal bodily function. For me, should everything be healthy, my fourth baby will be birthed by me, into the arms of my chap, with the support of a friendly approachable supportive midwife. If I am more relaxed, I am less likely to need pain relief - strange how we tell women to lay off drugs/substances during pregnancy and then offer a menu of narcotics that effect a baby during labour isn't it? Then we wonder why that baby's respiritory system was flat, or that he/her was shocked at birth. If I had a spiral needle inserted into my scalp, been squashed by a monitor for hours on end, been starved, been sucked out/forced out by a venteouse/forceps/scalpel I'd be a bit shell shocked too. My baby will be born, should everything be healthy, in water, or on the landing, or stairs/lounge/back bloomin garden if I want it, with his/her brothers, sisters, grandparents/neighbours/close friends present if that is what I want at the time. I will be snuggling up with my family in our own bed, in my own sheets, none of this plastic noisy sweaty plastic covered stuff, and I'll swigging copious amounts of tea/wine/champagne and scoffing victoria sponge to celebrate. I'll be singing my baby to sleep instead of hushing her/him incase he/her wakes another baby or mum up. I can get in the bath, with my baby, I can sleep in my own bed, with my baby, I can do just about what I damn well please, in my own home, with people who love and care for me s haring their warmth. None of this cold, clinical medicalised poking and prodding for this baby, no way. None of this being strapped up to monitors that have been shown not to reduce the fetal mortality rate. This baby is going to get the best first impression of life I can give, the gentle, welcoming arms of his or her family. phew! where did that lot come from?!
I've had both my children at home, by choice. I had my son, George who's now 2, at my mum's house as my husband wasn't sure if he wanted to be at the birth, but he was always just a phone call away if we needed him. I had my daughter, Angel now 13 weeks, at my own home with my husband as my birth partner. When I fell pregnant with George, I knew from the start I wanted him born at home. I've never liked hospitals and I wasn't ill! When I asked my midwife, I expected her to try and talk me out of it as George was my first baby. She didn't! In fact she seemed really keen on the idea. I must say, I'm not the type of person who would still go ahead with the home birth if the professionals didn't think it was a good idea. My baby's safety always came first. It was during my pregnancy that I realised that many things could affect if my home birth would happen. I think my midwife paid more attention to me and my pregnancy as she wouldn't want me to have a birth with complications ending in me being transferred to hospital. The first thing that might have stopped me having George at home was sugar found in my urine, at about 24 weeks. I had to have tests to make sure I wasn't having a diabetic pregnancy, luckily these came back clear - I was just eating too much chocolate and sweet things! Second, was that they couldn't feel which way round George was lying. They waited until I was 37 weeks to send me for a scan. He was the correct way but in a posterior position. If he had been breach, I probably couldn't have had him at home. The other thing that could have stopped me having him at home was if he came before 37 weeks. He didn't! On a Monday morning, at 38 weeks, I began having contractions. The midwife came to my mum's house to assess me. She thought the labour had quite a way to go. She was right! It was 1 am on Thursday morning before the contracti ons were coming stronger. We were given a number to ring for the duty midwife. She arrived promptly and examined me. I was 4 cm dilated. She brought all her equipment with her i.e. gas and air, basic emergency equipment for me and the baby and also the things to check the baby's heartbeat and my blood pressure. She set up the emergency equipment, so it would be ready if needed. She stayed with us the whole way through, checking on me and the baby and also talking and helping me through some of the contractions. It felt nice and relaxed, I wasn't really at home as I had him at my mum's, but the atmosphere was lovely! A second midwife and a student arrived just before George was born, so I had two midwives and a student present, which I've been told is more than you'd have in hospital. I eventually stood up to give birth at the foot of my bed and George arrived after just 10 minutes of pushing, which is considered quick for a first baby, at 6.18 am. My dad, who had slept in the next bedroom (yes he slept! - I wasn't noisy!) was the first person (other than the ones who helped me through my labour!) to see George before he went to work. My husband, Mike was next. While I had a bath, the midwives weighed and measured George, then brought him in to be bathed with me. They dressed him whilst I got out of the bath. When I went back in my bedroom, they had cleaned that too! We had had plastic sheets on the bed and floor with old bed sheets on top to absorb my waters! They even took the sheets away with them to be thrown away - saved us! In fact my mum was very worried about what the mess would be like - but it wasn't at all messy apart from on the sheets. I then got back into the bed, also changed and made up again by the midwives, for a well earned rest! My mum said it was a lot nicer and a more natural experience than when she'd had me and my brother in a hospital. I also had Angel at home (but my house this time) and when she was born my mum, who was looking after George downstairs, brought George straight up to see his new sister. It was lovely! It was also good that I could still put George to bed that night and not mess up his routine and so far, touch wood, he hasn't been at all jealous of his sister. If I have another baby, I'd definitely have it at home. But I wouldn't expect others to follow me in their decisions. It is a very personal choice, which you'd have to make for yourself. The downside to it is that the only pain relief available is gas and air, although I've heard that some people have had pethidine - which isn't allowed in our area. Apparently the main reason for people having a home birth being transferred to hospital is because of pain relief and because they cannot cope without it. When people say I was brave to have my first baby at home I tell them it was my mum that was brave to let me have him at her house! To me, though, it was the best decision I've ever made to have my children born at home