Bethanie blogs over at My MotherHood. She has two cute kiddies and a husband, and loves writing. Today, I’m sharing both her birth stories with you!
As it approaches my daughter’s first birthday, I have been reflecting on how I was feeling this time last year, as I prepared to give birth for the second time.
First time around everything was “textbook”, so I was a little apprehensive that I wouldn’t be so lucky again. But my late mother-in-law’s words still stayed with me: ‘Stay calm and active, and you will have an easier birth’. That wonderful lady, before she passed away, was a senior midwife at our local hospital. She knew what she was talking about and I have carried her wisdom ever since.
You see, our bodies are designed to grow, carry and give birth to small humans. So, in theory, it should be straightforward. But sometimes those little babies have different ideas, and that is when we start to hear all these “horror” stories of difficult births and bad experiences. Some people do have a tough time of it, but if we listen to those stories and go into our labour with a negative attitude, surely the whole experience will be a bad one. Instead, we should adopt a positive outlook. You have no control over what might happen (and that is the part most women don’t like), so you should just try to go with the flow and be accepting that things may not turn out like your birth plan intended.
With that in mind, I shall share with you my birth stories and how different they were … but how positive they both turned out to be. (And not just because we had two beautiful babies at the end!)
As previously mentioned, my son’s labour and birth was pretty textbook. I went into labour on his due date. The contractions started as a dull backache before becoming more regular. I had the “show”. Keeping active wasn’t a problem because I found it helped ease the pain. Plus, I knew that keeping upright would help gravity do its thing, right?!
After about six hours of coping with the pain at home, we knew it was time to head to the hospital. By this point, we were feeling a mixture of emotions from nervousness to excitement. With this being our first baby, we didn’t know what to expect, but my mother-in-law’s words still stayed with me. With this in mind, I climbed the stairs at the hospital, as keeping active was all I could think about. This paid off, as I was already 5cm dilated and things seemed to be progressing nicely.
While in the birthing pool, my waters broke and after that, the contractions were coming on strong. I felt I was able to deal with them but was exhausted by the time I was ready to push. However, I knew that with every push, we were getting closer to meeting our little bundle of joy. I think, in the end, this is what kept me going. Having that positive mindset helped me focus, and after about an hour of pushing, our baby boy was born. A healthy baby. (To be perfectly honest, it was the after part that caught me off guard, because no one tells you what happens AFTER you give birth.)
So, yeah, I couldn’t have asked for it any other way really. I got through with just gas and air, and my recovery (after I was over the initial shock) was quick.
Part of me expected it to be different second time around, but then part of me thought: ‘Why shouldn’t it be the same?’. So you can imagine my disappointment when my daughter’s due date came and went with no sign of her making an appearance. I kept thinking to myself: ‘As long as I don’t need to be induced’. But, as I previously mentioned, these babies have different plans. I ended up having two failed sweeps (I still hate that word), before being booked in for an induction. The last thing I wanted. I tried to think positively though; as long as there were no complications, I would still be able to keep active and use the pool for my labour.
Again, baby girl had different ideas. The midwife broke my waters and it contained meconium (the baby had done a poo inside the womb). This meant I had to stay on the bed so they could monitor baby’s heartbeat. ‘Okay, so I can’t go in the pool.’ I could have cried at this point. I was fed up and quickly realising this birth wasn’t going as I had hoped.
But I didn’t cry. I tried to think positively. ‘As long as I don’t need to be put on the drip to start my labour so I can still be active.’ Guess what? I needed to be put on the drip to start my labour. I had a slight moment of panic because this wasn’t the plan at all. Everything I didn’t want to happen, had happened.
After that, everything was a blur. The contractions suddenly started and were quick and intense. All my hypnobirthing went out the windo, as I was trying so hard to just breath and keep up with the contractions. I went from being 7cm dilated to holding my baby within ten minutes. Not how I imagined it. Yet, despite the birth going completely against how I imagined, I still look back and think it was a positive experience. The midwives were supportive and empathetic. I had my husband by my side the whole time. (Except for when he needed to get breakfast. Of course.) And in the end, our baby was delivered safely and without any health complications. So how could that be anything other than a positive experience?
Two very different births. Two very positive experiences. We are strong women (stronger than we think), we just need to get into the mindset that we CAN do this. Things may not go to plan but that just adds excitement to your story. Keep calm. And don’t forget to breathe.
Next week, we’ve got a story from Liron! If you have a positive birth story you’d like to share, please email email@example.com for more info. Please note that submissi9ns close I Sunday 12 November (AEST).
Bethanie is a parenting blogger/vlogger capturing everyday life. Her family of four lives in Northumberland, England. She writes honestly to try and help other mums and dads not feel so alone on this parenting journey. With her four year old son and one year old daughter, life is never dull. Writing is her hobby as well as her outlet (hence why she writes so honestly!). Before having her second child, she was a childminder, so she has some good tips on keeping children entertained as well as dealing with fussy eaters!
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!