The big event

THIS POST HAS DETAILS ABOUT BIRTH. PERHAPS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH!

From horror stories to no drugs and sailed through it. From a quick, didn’t make it to the hospital birth to a 50 hour struggle, anyone who has been near a birth has a story they’d like to share with you as soon as you mention you are pregnant or look obviously pregnant enough to take the chance.

I had one lady say “my cousin had her little boy a week ago and it ripped her to shreds”. Yes she actually said that to me when I announced I was pregnant! I felt so fortunate to be heading for that adventure!

Everyone is an expert but the reality is there isn’t a normal birth. Every single one is different (speak to any midwife)! Your body is different, your baby is unique and there are so many external factors which can impact your birth experience. There are, of course, amazing ways of preparing yourself physically and mentally for it, however the one thing you can guarantee is that it is an experience like no other with a large degree of unpredictability.

I wanted an active birth and preferably in the water and I was fortunate to get most of this. I did a lot of my labour at home and then was admitted to my local birth centre around 7pm. Tigger was born at 9:50pm in thhe birthing pool with all the staff saying what a straightforward and calm birth I had had. There was little concern as I was managing the pain and to be quite frank felt I should be in some pain having just pushed a human being out of me!

Things changed when I was examined after getting out of the pool and I had lost a fair amount of blood. I had a third degree tear, bordering on fourth. I needed to go to surgery. Suddenly we went from a safe, warm, soft lit room to the lift and delivery suite with bright lights and lots of noise! An assault of my senses a little after the calm experience I’d just had. I waited to be examined by the doctor in charge and then after waiting for a couple of emergency c-sections to take place was wheeled down to theatre. I had a spinal and the doctor ‘fixed my bits’ under a spinal.

After this, I went to recovery and around 4:30/5am was transferred back up to a small room on the birth centre. I was still numb from the waist down and unable to do some of the things I wanted to do but it was nice to be back in a more normal space with my new baby and husband.

I’m going to be brutally honest now, I mentioned it in my very first blog, but the first time I could go to the toilet after getting my feeling back in my legs I was so unsure about whether to leave Tigger or take her with me etc that I didn’t make it. A grown woman not making it to the toilet and having to call someone to clear it up is not fun. I remember being mortified even though the midwife was so reassuring that this happened all the time, let’s be honest you still don’t want it to happen to you!!!

Even though my birth wasn’t horrific in many ways, I didn’t spend 10 hours pushing or end up bring rushed for a c-section, I found it difficult to comprehend after. I was embarrassed that it had happened the way it had, I was also not sure whether the tear had happened because of something I had done or not done. Was it because I had a water birth? Did I push too hard? Did I not listen to the midwife? I know now that there are so many differing factors which can lead to tears that it is almost certainly not linked to one choice or action that I did or didn’t do but it took me a post-natal debrief and chats with some of my midwife friends after sometime to help me realise this. It also took a bit of courage to actually speak up and say it wasn’t quite what I had imagined and I was struggling with the experience. When people around you keep telling you that the baby is healthy and you had a quick, straightforward birth it is difficult to feel that what you are struggling with is valid. Take it from me, it is.

So that’s how Tigger came into the world! I wanted as part of this blog to be as honest as possible about my experiences so apologies if this isn’t what you were looking for or it was too much but my hope is that reading this account may help you or others to know that your story matters. That no matter what people say about your birth or whether you feel you got off lightly or had an awful time, talking about it can help and so can accepting that birth is unpredictable and you were not the only factor involved.

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