The Reality of Labour. Warning – GRAPHIC CONTENT

This list is compiled through my experiences and the experiences of friends. All ‘facts’ are opinions and real experiences, we are not medical experts, so no getting knickers in twists ladies…

Labour for me was:

– The strongest period pains I have ever felt in my life.
– Really boring getting induced… Then HORRENDOUS.
– A ring of fire in my vag when the baby crowned and you are stretched to your absolute limits.
– Sitting on a commode unable to move, puking all over myself, being stripped by a midwife and puking on myself again, still on the commode unable to pee.
– There’s nothing else that compares and the experience changes you mentally and physically. You will give almost anything to make it stop and when they cut you down there it feels like someone is putting a fag out on your lady parts…Dont listen when people say it’s not pain it’s pressure.
– Like having a snake slither out of your vagina when the body comes out…
You need to know :

– You have options. Labour is different for everyone and what the midwife or doctor says doesn’t have to go. Educate yourself on your options. It’s your body.
– Some advice is for the hospital’s benefit. If they are particularly busy they may need the bed back and want to hurry you up.
– Something called a doula exists and there is funding available for her. She could change your whole experience for the better before, during and after.
– You can control the pain. There is something called the ‘fear-tension-pain’ syndrome.
– The first time you can never imagine it without experiencing it.
– Your foof recovers surprisingly quickly and the first pee or poo isn’t as bad as you think. Unless you rip right through to your arse hole. Then you’re in for a longer recovery.
– If you poo in the water they scoop it out with a net like winning a prize.
– You will get piles. Accept it.
– You will shit yourself. You may or may not care.
– You may moo.
– You don’t lose all inhibitions, you just can’t do anything about it.
– You need to train like you would for a sporting event.
– If you get stressed labour can stop. The body will produce adrenaline just like a frightened animal and stop / slow down labour as a natural survival instinct. Stay calm and quiet to speed it up.
– Sometimes it’s just really easy!
– You will talk drug induced rubbish. I was inventing a device for measuring pain and taking it on Dragons Den.
– You will forget. If you didn’t the human race would have died out a long time ago.
After :

– I was in sat there shock and thought ‘what the fuck has just happened to me?!’ and ‘what am I supposed to do with this?!’
– All your muscles hurt for days, like you’ve just run a marathon.
– You fart a lot after for the next few days. Even more so after forceps and you can’t control it.
– You get after pains, and these get worse with each child.
– Having your vagina stitched is probably one of the grossest and weirdest feelings ever. You expect it when a baby is coming out, but being fiddled with and stitched down there after, it’s just not right.
– You can bruise your coccyx and it can hurt for weeks.
– You may never fully recover.
– After a bad tear, a female parts physio might stick her finger up your bum the day after to check you can clench.
– All baby groups insist you sit on the floor with a recovering fanny…
– You will be dry as hell down there for ages after, just when you need it to attempt anything going up! Invest in a good lube if you haven’t gone off sex for life.
– You WILL cry if you look at your vagina! I remember having a look before my first 6 week check and then went and had to check with the doc that my womb wasn’t falling out – it was just all swollen and deranged still.
– The best feeling in the world – cuddling a warm and gooey baby that you’ve just birthed.
– You might feel like you haven’t fallen in love with the screaming bundle of mucus you just birthed. That’s OK. That’s normal. It grows. And it was the BEST and most useful bit of advice I ever read otherwise I would have thought something was wrong.
My Labour Highlights – from Brilliant Women:

– I was standing up with my legs apart while contracting and my mucous (and bloody) plug came away onto the floor while the midwife was kneeling in front of me.
– I was on all fours and had the midwife at arse end. I was aware I had shit and felt the midwife wiping my arse. She then asked my husband to open a window…
– Funniest bit of mine was when my son was born with forceps, they took him straight away to check him over (there was muconeum in the water), then when I asked what sex he was, the doctor popped up from between my knees saying “oh! Don’t you know?!?” She hadn’t checked either. It ended up nice as my husband got to tell me he was a boy.
– My husband didn’t look ‘down there’ during labour as he didn’t want to see the carnage. After the baby was born he went outside to call the grandparents. He wandered back in, my legs were still in stirrups and he accidentally looked. Said it looked like a purple cauliflower…
– I literally had the most boring pregnancy and labour ever. It was quick and easy!
– The thing I hated and still makes me shudder to this day when I think about it, was the feeling of the umbilical cord jiggling around down there after the baby has come out…
– I went into hospital on Sunday afternoon and didn’t have my baby until Tuesday afternoon. I was induced because of leaking waters. The pain was horrendous. My active, relaxed, drug free birthing plan went out of the window. After no sleep and unbearable pain I opted for the epidural. The anaethasists came in, after 3 attempts the epidural worked. Along came my award winning thank you speech. It was like being drunk. I hugged them both, I told them I loved them, couldn’t thank them enough. They walked out looking very awkward as I looked on as my heroes left the room.
– After the birth, during which the midwives had seen more of me than my hubby ever has, I went for a shower and came back into the room and the midwives said ‘oh I’ll leave to you to get dressed to protect your modesty!’ We were passed that stage I think!
– The most frustrating thing is when the midwives don’t believe you for something. Baby no.3 I knew I needed a poo, but they refused to let me go (thinking I’d have the baby down the toilet) and then made me poo in a pot! Also, they’d checked me and I was 7cm but half an hour later I knew she was coming. They said they ‘highly doubted’ that. Low and behold she was crowning!
– My labours were pretty straight forward and uneventful (except for the birthing a baby part), apart from some language barriers (I was in Germany). A midwife gave me a tablet at one point and I wasn’t sure which end she wanted me to put it in. Then they forgot to numb me before they stitched me up…
If we can’t laugh about labour we would cry. It can be easy, complicated, painful, relaxed, long, short, drug fuelled, drug free, embarrassing and dangerous.
All you can do is roll with it, have a plan but a non plan option too, and know that a lot is out of your control if things don’t work how you would like.

Birthing women are amazing, strong and brave. Just laugh about it and then tell me – I LOVE a labour story!! And I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Xx

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