A friend of mine gave birth to a healthy baby yesterday. After 16 hours of labour, her daughter made her way into the world at a healthy 7lb2oz. I have yet to meet the little darling, but with the photo I have seen, she is the splitting image of her mum!
By now, I’m sure the pain has been forgotten. It’s actually amazing at how quick you forget how bad the pain really is! I know, I have been through it four times!
With my first, I was in labour for two days before we figured out what was going on. Yes, I honestly had no clue!
I had 13 days left of my pregnancy, but had been experiencing what I thought was Braxton Hicks (practise contractions to the non-parent readers). Everything I had read, labour pains were meant to be consistent in pain and in timing. I could have some that were slightly niggling, then others would drop me to the floor. I could have five contractions within a few minutes of each other, and then not have another for a couple of hours.
After a bit of convincing from family, we made our way up to hospital, where I was asked when my waters had broken (they broke??) Since I had no idea when they would have partially broken, I was induced. After about 12 hours, slightly painful, the nurses said they would give me a pethadine shot (“okie dokie!”) A couple of hours after that, they said that they were going to put an epidural in and break the rest of my waters (“okie dokie!”)
Nothing really happened until the epidural went in. Once that was in, the contractions became consistent. But the epidural didn’t work properly, and it took a bit to convince the nurses I was feeling a lot of pain downstairs….so they hooked me up to the laughing gas. I was incredibly doped up, I could barely push. After a 3 day labour, (though technically it was only 5hours…”true” labour only started after the epidural went in) my 7lb5 son was born, twelve days early.
The second time around, I was ten days overdue and going completely out of my mind! I had been back and forth from the hospital for about 4 weeks with contractions. Each time I was told that I wasn’t ready yet, come back when they were closer together, or when my waters broke. A few days later, the contractions would be closer together, so back we go, only to be sent home again. This whole process was known as the “saga” on the parenting forum I frequented.
The day had arrived when I was finally going to be induced, but not until the afternoon. Since I was a little nervous, I told my fiance (now husband) to go to work and come home at lunch, I needed a bit of quiet time beforehand without being asked “Are you ok?” every few minutes. I had woken up early that morning, feeling a little weird, especially when I felt a “pop” after going to the loo (sorry, too much information) So, hubby left for work at his usual time, and my routine at that stage was to have a cup of coffee, then get my son up for the day.
In the time it took me to have that cup of coffee (which was only a few minutes really) I went from no contractions, to two minutes apart and very intense. It was incredibly hard to get my son up and dressed. I knew I was in trouble as I struggled to try to pack a bag for him. I called my grandmother to come get my son, who had thankfully come home from a holiday only the day before, she was the closest person in distance. I then called hubby at work (who was in the middle of serving a customer) and all I said was “I need you here, NOW!” He apparently left the customer hanging as he ran out the door, then just about broke the land speed record on the way home.
I barely made it through the doors of the hospital. After ten minutes of arriving, a labour lasting a total of one and a half hours with no pain relief (not without the lack of begging!!), our 8lb2 daughter arrived in the world. My waters never broke, and she was born in the caul, which is supposed to mean she is destined for greatness, or psychic, or something like that.
By the time it came around to number three, I was nine days overdue (again) I was having the early contractions (again), and going completely bonkers (…again!), when the doctor said he would induce me. So we rocked up to the hospital in the early evening, as planned, had one lot of pitocin gel (at least I think it’s called pitocin?) inserted to kick-start labour, but got told that I would need another lot in a few hours time as they didn’t think it would work. They allowed me to go home for a bit so I could be in a comfortable place, I just had to be back by 10pm to have the second lot of gel. By 8:30pm I was back on their doorstep begging for pain relief!
After my first labour, I knew I didn’t want to have an epidural again, it was a waste of time the first time around, and I hated being confined to the bed, so I just stuck with the gas, but boy did it make me sick!! It is incredibly painful throwing up during contractions!! Towards the end, I had myself convinced I was a character in an Xbox game! My waters broke as I was pushing, I was starting to think I would have another born in the caul. Just before midnight, after four and half hours labour, our 8lb13 son was screaming at us.
Finally, we have come to the fourth one. I had a horrible pregnancy with him and was heading to bed at roughly the same time as the kids, I was exhausted all the time, more so than a normal pregnancy (now we know why, he was a life-sucking force just so he could stay alive!) I had gone to bed early due to a sore back, like usual. I woke at 2am in labour and knew that this was the moment. They were already two minutes apart, but starting to build in intensity. I had a long hot shower, and wandered around the house for a while before I decided to wake up hubby. His first question was “Are you sure?”
Honey, we have been here three times before, I wouldn’t be waking you up at 4am on your first day off in weeks if I wasnt pretty damn sure!! But, I told him we still had a little bit more time, as I still needed to call my mum to get her to come look after the three sleeping kids, and then the hospital to warn them that we were coming.
When Mum rocked up, and we jumped in the car to leave, hubby asked if my waters had broken yet. They hadn’t, but I wasnt concerned about that, all I wanted was something to take the pain away. Halfway in the five-minute drive to the hospital, my waters broke. I had visions of it being all over the passenger seat. It felt like a lot or fluid, but actually there wasnt, and thank goodness, it didn’t touch the seat!
As soon as I stood up when I got out of the car in the maternity car park, gravity took over, and I was stuck clinging to the car door. A wheel chair had to be brought out and they raced me to the delivery room. When we pulled up, they asked if I could make it to the bed, I said “No”, actually, I think I just shook my head like mad at them! I was told it would be fine to give birth in the chair, but since it was discovered that our son had pooped in the womb, I was forced to get on the bed. Five pushes later, our 8lb son was born. A three-hour labour, and he was one day early, again, no bloody pain relief! (I swear some midwives are in it for sadistic pleasures!)
All labour stories are spectacular, I love hearing them. I think it helps to get our heads around it after as well. I went into shock twice because they were so quick. I took a couple of hours for me to remember my daughters birth properly, and to this day I swear I said and did things that I apparently didn’t.
Right now, I honestly can’t remember how intense labour is. There are four little reasons running around that prevent me from remembering. Nothing can compare the sense of self-pride you have once you have given birth. Nothing in your life will ever be as momentous.
That’s why we forget the pain.
So, what was your labour like?