Before I gave birth I had heard so many horror stories about what it’s like and what can go wrong. I read all the birth announcements on birth boards from the other mothers and some were so scary, which made me scared too.
So I just wanted to give you First Time Moms a bit of courage. I know that things can take a turn for the worse- but if you have a normal birth then don’t be scared because it is NOT as bad as everyone says- I promise!
I gave birth on March 22nd- 4 days after my due date.
I got contractions on March 21st at 1.30pm, they felt like period pains and came every 15-30 mins. I drove to fetch our car from a workshop 30 mins away from home. When I arrived they said that they hadn’t repaired our car yet and they hadn’t even got the parts to repair it! So I had to wait 1.5 hrs 😦 I’m really polite, so I was like ‘Ok’. After 1 hour the pain had worsened, so that I had to breath through the contractions- although trying not to let anyone notice. (But, really, who doesn’t notice the 9 month pregnant lady??) The manager saw this and said he’s going to get the guys to hurry up because he has 3 kids and he can see that I’m not feeling so great. Long story, cut short: After 1,5 hrs and a 30 min drive home I call my husband and say I have to pick him up from work… now!
Picked my hubby up from work whilst breathing through contractions, as soon as he gets in the car- they STOP!! So we go for a long walk, a fast walk, eat take-away in the car. They didn’t come back. I watched Desperate Housewives and went to bed in a foul mood because of my false alarm. I downloaded an app for timing contractions while I was lying down. Then I went to sleep, full of disappointment.
At 2:30am I think my waters have broken. Turns out it was just a small leak- they had to break my waters later on. I go back to bed and go on a birth board (board on the Internet where mothers talk about pregnancy etc.) on my phone to research this fluid. Ouch- period pain. Start timing. It was every 10 mins. Go to the kitchen and walk around. Oh my goodness, it’s getting stronger (like really bad period pain). All of a sudden I can’t walk or talk through it! So I’m timing away and I look at my app: 3 mins apart! Uh, isn’t this time to get to the hospital? (As a first time mom, you never really know when you should get going- if it was up to my husband, we would have left yesterday when the mild contractions started! I wake my husband up and say ‘I think it’s time- but don’t panic hunni’. He panics! He packs weird things..
It’s 4am by the time we get to the hospital. Every movement or touch sets off another contraction. They’re still bearable. They put me on the monitors when we arrive. I’m 1cm. I hear another lady screaming so loud giving birth and I nearly cry because I’m so scared. All of a sudden I feel the urge to…poo?! Yes, I got major diarrhea…then vomitting! Too much Information- but heck, it’s a birth story!! They put us in a birthing room at 6am, so I realise that my baby is coming today! Diarrhea and vomitting continue, I’m afraid. My husband falls asleep because I won’t let him touch or talk to me. I do my breathing excercises (so important to breath deep into diaphragm through nose and out through mouth!!). I can only sit at the edge of the bed. Everything else is too painful. Nurse asks if I want an epidural. I say ‘I didn’t want one, but now I’m thinking about it!’ She lets my husband sign the papers for me. Checks me at 7am. Still 1cm! Wth??? I question myself if I’m going to manage because it’s already so painful. My dear hubby sleeps on. Just before 9am I am moaning and groaning. The midwife comes in at 9am. Checks me. Shocked face. ‘You are 8 cm! Empty your bladder, it’s time to push! No epidural for you.’ I vomit. Go to the toilet. As I realise what she’s just said I get a sudden rush of energy and I feel like I can conquer the world. (seriously!) I walk over to the bed (me, who couldn’t even stand up before) and she helps me get my legs up. Midwife breaks my waters (not painful at all, but I’m surprised how hot your waters are- really, like a hot bath!!) I try pushing sideways because my hip cramps up sometimes. Not comfortable. I try pushing normally. This works. I’m pushing and pushing. I see the scissors next to me and think ‘please don’t cut me’. Midwife says I’m pushing wrong- I need to push like I’m doing a poo. Ok… Now they say they can see her head. I say I can’t do this, I can’t do this. “Yes you can! “I’m going to faint!” “No you’re not- just push!!” I push and push. The midwife is helping my perineum widen by moving her finger from side to side under my baby’s head (this is so that they hopefully don’t have to cut me). It doesn’t hurt. You are so euphoric that you don’t actually FEEL much pain- even though your body is in a lot of pain. I feel my baby moving through my pelvis. Craziest, most amazing feeling in the whole world! I feel her head slowly come out and then her body slithers out. “Congratulations, it’s a baby girl!” My husband is staring at us in amazement. I’m amazed at myself and I can’t keep my eyes off of our baby girl. The midwife is so happy with me and says I did so well. For the first time in my life I am so proud of myself- and of my little Sienna, of course. I did it. I gave birth! At 9:39am. And it wasn’t half as bad as anyone said. Immediately after birth I say that I can’t wait to do it again. (Yep, I really said that!) And you know what- I’m serious. I am not scared at all anymore!
Birth is crazy. It’s the best feeling in the world- it’s the most painful, obviously, but it is such a miracle and once you’ve given birth you realise that your body was designed for this!
So all first time moms: you can do it! Don’t be scared- be excited! Capture every moment and try to remember EVERTHING! If I could do it, then you definitely can. I am 23, small frame, had no medicine at all, tore 2nd degree and my baby weighed 8lbs.
Oh, and breastfeeding isn’t difficult either- don’t let anyone put you off! Just be patient. It’s a skill you both have to learn. And it will hurt for the first week. But, normally, it’s fine after that!
And a tip for afterwards: obviously I’m new to being a mom, but so far I have learnt that the first 4 weeks are the hardest. From 3 months everything gets much, much easier. Sex doesn’t hurt anymore, you get so used to your little love, your baby learns to entertain herself for a few mins and every new thing they learn makes you prouder than you’ve ever been in your whole life!
Take each day as it comes, do whatever you can to get yourself through the day at the beginning and just enjoy everything: You have wonderful times ahead!!!
I know this is super super long: but I just wish someone had written this to me in March when I was posting Q’s like: how much does it really hurt? when will I know it’s for real? what is it like for your water to break?
So, now I’m going to bed with my darling- she’s so adorable and nearly sleeps through the night. I can’t wait for you to experience this! For pregnant women: spend lots of time with your partner, go to the movies, have long soaks in the tub and don’t be too impatient (that’s the most difficult).
Congratulations to all the moms out there!