It really is true when they say no two labours are the same. This is very true for me. Both of mine were completely different.
My first born is 12 now but the day of her birth is still quite a fresh memory (which i’m sure it will always be, it’s a very special moment in your life giving birth isn’t it?)
Now I know your first labours are almost likely to be your longest and hardest but this one definitely was for me. Although I was only in established labour for around 12 hours it was fought with problems from the word go.
I laboured throughout the night the day after my due date but I didn’t think much of it. I was uncomfortable and I didn’t sleep very well but I didn’t think it would turn into actual labour. Most of the morning the day she was born I pottered around the house, hoovering and getting the last of my bits packed … and wrapping my Mum’s Mothers Day present of all things because it just so happened to be Mothering Sunday and I was worried she wouldn’t get her card and gift if I was in hospital (looking back I honestly don’t think she would have been bothered in the slightest … lets face it the birth of her Grandaugher was a gift in itself wasn’t it?)
My waters broke at around 10am on the Sunday morning and shortly afterwards we headed to the hospital. Contractions had started really strong and close together from the off so when I arrived and as checked over I was gutted to hear I was only 1cm dilated …. WHAT … this hurts a lot already and i’m only 1cm. I didn’t have any gap between contractions (i’m talking like a minute or two) before the next one started … isn’t that meant to be like this when you’re 10cm and nearly ready to push!!??
It was then I was told I had meconium in my waters and because of that I needed to be moved to a high risk hospital across the other side of town … so an ambulance was called and off we went.
Things didn’t get any better from here on in if i’m honest – the contractions continued to come really close together and strong so in the end I opted for an epidural. There was no way I could continue like that for hours and hours .. possibly even days!
The epidural was set up and and put in only for them to realise it wasn’t working properly – the tube must have bent to one side resulting in me being totally numb to above my rib cage on one side and have totally feeling, including ALL my contractions still on the other! How unfair was that? So I spent most of the labour switching from one side to the other in the hope the epidural would ‘leak’ over to the other side.
I ended up getting an infection at some point and getting a high temperature, so they worked with paracetamol and fans in the room to get that down because it was causing L some destress inside.
Roughly 8 hours after my waters broke I was told I was 10cm dilated (hurrah!) but baby’s head was still too high so we would wait an hour before we started pushing.
Pushing wasn’t fun either – my epidural was so high still I couldn’t feel a single thing … not even the pressure they said I should be feeling. I pushed for over two hours by which time L had, had enough – her poor head was swelling due to constant pushing and her being wedged in the birth canal. She decided enough was enough and her heart rate started dropping. God knows why they left me for as long as they did (maybe theatre was busy) but I remember loads of people in the room all watching to see if I could get this babu out on my own … my husband and Mum were wide eyed the whole time watching the monitor watching L’s heart rate continuing to drop really low and take ages to recover.
Eventually the decision as made to take me to theatre for a forceps delivery – if after two pushes from me she wasn’t delivered they would go ahead with a Caesarean section. I remember the hurry to get prepped and being thrust a load of forms to sign and as they wheeled me out of the room the last thing they said to my poor Husband and Mum is “we’ll do everything we can to save the baby”
WHAT!!!! What do you mean … you’ll do everything you can to save the baby! My poor Mum was left in the delivery room for nearly 2 hours after that before she knew everything was ok.
Once in theatre I was thankfully able to deliver L with the help of forceps – she was whisked away to check all was ok and thankfully she was. They took swabs from her ears, eyes and nose and sent us to recovery after being stitched up for almost an hour (i literally tore from front to back and they had to reconstruct everything down there for me. Yikes!)
So yeah – lots went wrong and I was absolutely knackered and battered and bruised. On morphine that night for the pain and it took at least 8 weeks to recover downstairs!
Luckily L had no lasting damage from her traumatic entrance even though the swabs come back positive for E-Coli which freaked me out when we got the results a few weeks later – she didn’t ave any signs or symptoms herself though she all was well.
Here she is … all 8lb 10.5oz of her.
As you can imagine after that I wasn’t keen on having anymore babies Haha and I said never again! Obviously I didn’t mean it because we now have C but it did take m 9 years to pluck up the courage to have another. I was honestly haunted by the whole labour and delivery thing.
I did spend a lot of my pregnancy with C totally worried about the upcoming D-Day but I am so pleased to say his labour was such a different story. I needed it I think to finally put to bed the horror of what I went through the first time.
I was 40+2 and it was decided I would be induced – they were concerned over his weight especially seeing as Lauren was a good size when she was born.
I arrived at the hospital at 7am on the morning of induction, I was checked in, popped on the monitor to make sure he was ok and then I was admitted onto the ante-natal ward.
I was given a pessary at 9am and the pains started almost immediately. I was expecting it to take days! I had read lots on line before hand from people saying not to expect results first pessary blah blah … but it did.
I was able to cope with the contractions ok on the ward until my waters broke around 10am, then they picked up pace. I was moved to the labour ward shortly afterwards. I chose to walk myself rather than be wheeled in a chair because I knew gravity would help. It was a long walk along corridors and up lifts to a different floor but I did it with lots of stops on the way to lean on the wall.
Once in the delivery room things progressed nicely and I ended up delivering C at 13.53 with absolutely no pain relief what-so-ever! I couldn’t believe it had happened so quickly.
Although it was very painful it was a much better experience – I felt in control with my own body this time and with each contraction I had, I just zoned into myself concentrating on my breathing and repeating to myself this was one more contraction over with and step closer to me meeting my baby boy.
It got a little worrying towards the end with his heart rate when I was pushing and my poor husbands face was the exact same as it was 9 years previous as he stood watching the monitor but I was adamant I was going to get him out myself and used every muscle in my body and every inch of will power.
Unfortunately I did tear quite badly again, it was along the same line they cut from when I had Lauren. I had to be re-stitched and I was left battered and bruised. It was pure agony if i’m honest. I burst a stitch or two a few days post delivery which was just so sore! I don’t think it helped my recovery because the holes had to heal themselves. I think I was still taking painkillers a good 4-6 weeks afterwards especially if I was doing a lot of walking. I think I took a good 8-9 weeks to heal properly. The things we go through eh? 😉
C just born! All 8lbs 15oz of him.
So it really is true when they say no two labours are the same. I am so pleased to have been able to experience a totally natural labour and delivery. I loved being able to feel my baby coming into the world bit by bit. It’s amazing how your body just takes over and tells you what to do – being numb from the epidural the first time I didn’t feel any of that, I felt totally out of control.
So with my first labour being 12+ hours and my second being just over 4 hours I wonder what a third would be like if we ever decided to have another baby!
How did your labours differ?