You may or may not know, my daughter's birth story it wasn't the magical picture that people had tried to paint it would be. Having said that, I did have a beautiful birth experience with my son Henry.
A long time ago, I originally wrote this post to share with you the things you were not expecting when you're expecting and I thought it might be nice to share it again!
Some of these are from my experience and others are things that people have shared with me.
If I had the choice of being induced, I would not want to go through it again (and thankfully didn't with my son!). I would much rather wait until bubba is ready to come out on his/her own. The method I had was new and was warned that it would be a very slow process. Well guess what they are not all slow... But before I get started on that I will just mention the ouch factor of having a pessary inserted. My midwife told me it would be like having an internal examination, well it's not... This women obviously never had to be induced and so didn't know how painful it really is! My midwife also told me it would be like a tampon it's not... I have never known a tampon to have sharp edges. It was honestly like a piece of cardboard. They don't just insert it either, they like to "ripen" you to make sure it works well. This "ripening" basically means rubbing the inside of your noon, fanny, Mary, what ever you like to call it with the scratchy pessary for what feels like an eternity (probably was about 2 mins in total)! Awful! So on to the speed of induction, I was fully prepare to wait 24-72 hours for labour to get started so I was completely unprepared for my first contraction to happen 5mins later!
Whenever I had seen films or TV documentaries, it always appeared that you have a good'ish amount of time in between each contraction. But once labour got going I had a 30 sec break in between each long contraction. My induction caused my body to contract over time, resulting in....
Injections to slow down labour
Yup, you read right... "to slow down labour, why would you want that??" you maybe thinking, but yes this is what happened to me. As I was contracting a silly amount and both me and Darcie were becoming distressed because of the intense labour. They ended up giving me this injection, I can't even remember where it was put of even or it hurt, but I had one!
They can fail. When I was contracting a stupid amount, I decided to have an epidural. I just wanted the pain to go away as the contractions were just wearing me out and I was completely losing my shit. But because the contractions were so close together the anaesthetist didn't have much of a window to get it done. Once it was in I had a blissful 3 mins (I had just been given the injection to slow down my contractions too) and then I was hit with an extreme pain down one side... It had only worked on my right side!!! NIGHTMARE!!!!
So when my labour went tits up, that red button was hit and they tell you that you are going to have an emergency c-section, your partner will not always be able to attended. And you may very well be put to sleep. As you may know this is what happened to myself. When attending antenatal classes, and they discussed what would happen if things went wrong and they did discuss an emergency c-section and what it would entail. However they didn't mention either of these things. The midwife told us that the men would have to scrub up and you will be given an epidural or spinal and be awake for the procedure.... When I asked my Midwife after the event why they didn't tell us about my version of events she said it was because it was so rare that a c-section happens like that. Well it can and it does, and not being prepared for this was awful and I think lead to me having PTS.
No, I'm not talking about that tar like poo, but when I changed Darcie's nappy for the first time there was blood (only a tiny bit but it was still a shock and a worry to a newbie mum)! I hit the buzzer and the midwife came, she told me it was like a baby girl period! Apparently a mothers hormones can cross to baby and make them almost have a period like episode when they are born and is very common! But again I had not been told this or even read about it in the many books that I had read throughout my pregnancy.
More thoughts from other Mummy's
On my BabyBump app I have met some lovely mothers all round the country and I asked them what most shocked them about labour and the first few days with their bubbas here are some of their thoughts:
"I don't think theres anything I hadn't really thought about with the birth cus I ask far too many questions! But it did surprise me about stuff like the midwives not telling you it was normal for your new baby to cough and choke for the first day or so as they clear any mucus they may have and that even though they give you a 90 ml bottle of formula it doesn't mean they'll eat it all! These things are the only bits I didn't know and would have helped me to not worry that my baby was choking constantly and that he wasn't eating properly!"
"I didn't realise I was having contractions at first even though I was in pain I didn't get any tightenings at all as it was all in my back. I started pushing at 11:00am and had him at 11:17am. Midwife said I did well as was huge baby but I thought would only be a couple of pushes an he would be out. Also with being induced I couldn't walk round or go on a ball as needed monitoring early on which upset me a bit as could only sit on the bed or hang over the back of it but really wanted to move around. I didn't know that sometimes if I didn't push all the way till end of contraction he would move down a bit but then go back so felt like wasn't getting anywhere...
Also even when they had broke my waters for me an it gushed out... Bits still came after so I kept thinking I was weeing lol. And I thought he would just be a skin colour when he came out but he was dark dark blue like the colour of the atlantic as heart rate had dropped and had his cord round his neck etc."
"Being a first time mum I didn't realise my labour would be so quick! Had contractions all day but bearable until about 8pm. Went to hospital and was examined at 9.20pm and was 3-4cms. Had Lily 3 hours later at 12.17am on just gas and air. The part I was most scared about was the pushing. Lily fell out as my waters broke with just one push. I sort of feel like I've missed out or 'cheated' the pushing part as I didn't even feel her come out I was so out of it! I couldn't hold her for ages as I lost so much blood and fainted. Every one had warned me about the sleepless nights but I never really understood quite how little sleep I would get! I spent the first week at home crying day and night. I never knew reflux existed and no one had told me about colic. (lily had both!) I didn't have that rush of love every one talks about, not until Lily was about 6 weeks. But I think it's because I was so tired and ill from the blood loss. I feel horribly guilty about it now. And finally I wish I had had more support with breast feeding. The midwives advised me to change to formula as I was so ill and my nipples were so sore but I really wish I hadn't"
"After three boys, I was quite shocked about how swollen Amelia's girl parts were when she was born! I got three different midwives to check them lol!
Also being made to cope on a paracetemol in a shared ante natal ward whilst in established labour after an induction was frankly barbaric! All the poor women who weren't in labour could hear me labouring for three hours and it was excruciating! I wasn't allowed any other pain relief till I was taken to the delivery suite! By the time I got there I was 8 cm and she was born 40 mins later!"
"I wish I had known that being induced with the drip often results in emergency c section, I never even thought I might have to have one, wish id been more mentally prepared!! It was soooo painful and a horrible experience for me x"
"I didn't know how brutal doctors can be to get the job done. After having my waters broken when only ONE cm dilated with a posterior cervix and SPD was the most terrified I've ever been in my life. Only on gas and air after them convincing me to wait for the epi. Took two MW , one either side and the doc to hold me still and my oh to calm me enough to get it done. Next time id rather suffer two extra weeks of the SPD than be induced. Barbaric."
"I wish id known how horrible the drip was, like hitting a brick wall!!! Contractions were thick and fast and incredibly painful.. I could manage them before that.. Also I had to have a clip on lo head inside to monitor his heartrate as it fell with every contraction x"
"Induction is evil! X"
"First time round I genuinely never thought about c sections! I could slap myself for it now, I had a great labour, bloody long but great- until I just wouldn't progress past 5cm. When I was told I needed a c section I cried to the consultant saying but I didn't read that part of the book!!!! Hahaahah! I didn't realise how quickly and terrifying it can be when things go wrong and how worrying it is.
2nd time round I cut out the crap and had an elective lol was an amazing experience and one I would never change. Although part of me still wishes my body could have gave birth
"My sister was induced using the 6 hour pessary a year ago... An when I was induced at the same place in may, they had changed to the 24 hour pessary which they don't check you unless your having contractions... That put a downer on me knowing it would more than likely take longer... Was induced 9:ooam contractions started 5:30pm... Was texting my bf telling him I was gonna kill myself at about midnight lol was agony! Also with jus paracetamol, had him 11:17am next day! Thought induction would be quicker! Oh an I had given permission for student midwife to be there... Big mistake! I was there labouring guinea pig... Was a nightmare they kept fiddling and I was so sore an told them to stop but they jus kept telling me to have my gas and air so in the end I jus shut my legs as they kept sticking their hands up there for no reason so I will think twice next time about having a student mw too x"
Finally, no one can ever prepare or tell you how much love you can feel for your child. Its a very strange and intense kind of love and you would literally do anything for your baby. I knew about this. I HAD been told about this. BUT no one can truly explain or prepare you for it. Its the best "surprise" of all.
Now as I didn't get to experience the nitty gritty of labour I would love to hear about your experiences, or the things that happened that shocked you or you didn't realise about labour and the first few days of motherhood :)
Mummy B xoxox