I’ve been thinking about my two different labour and birth experiences lately as a few of my friends are pregnant or have recently given birth and naturally they have asked questions about how things went for me.
With Felix i had an epidural, read magazines to pass the time and was almost falling asleep between the pushes.
With Seth it was drug free, i punched the walls to pass the time and i almost wanted to die between the pushes.
Of my second birth people tell me i should be so proud and although i understand where they are coming from in actual fact i am much prouder for coming through my first experience.
On paper it sounds as if i had an easier time of but that couldn’t be further than the truth. Yes i had an epidural but that was because i had been in labour for for 22 hours and the level of pain was incomprehensible . The only thing i can liken it to is that it felt like someone was repeatedly jamming a red hot poker up my bottom. Not cool.
At about 4 in the morning i was administered the wonder drug that is the epidural. As if by magic the whole room changed, the mood altered and time clicked back to a normal pace. I was able to see and hear people again – they had faces, i could talk, i could lie back on my bed – it was BLOODY AMAZING! From our sea view suite we watched the sun begin to rise creating a beautiful silhouette around the pier. We chatted idly and watched the cars go by, little dots transporting people to the start of their days.
I don’t really view this labour as if there was a choice for me. I could not cope with that pain and i needed that epidural, i do not feel like i copped out and if i had to do it again i would do exactly the same. However there were many downsides – Felix was ventouse, i tore and needed stitches, i couldn’t wee due to all the swelling, i had to be re-catheterised and i spent 3 days in hospital crying as all i wanted was to be at home snuggling with my new family on the sofa.
This time round with Seth i had what i believed were Braxton Hicks for most of the morning – i went an got my hair done and popped into Sainsburys local to buy some Soreen (what i spent my previous labour eating!) when my waters went with a pop. Seth was born exactly 3 hours later and i was only in a very intense pain for about 45 minutes to an hour.
The only way i can really think to describe the feeling of giving birth is down right odd in a very wrong way. It hurt, it really really hurt but it was QUICK so i focused and i managed to get through it. But here’s the thing – i don’t feel like i was brave i just feel like i was lucky.
It was luck that the babies positioning made the contractions less painful, it was luck that i dilated quickly, it was luck that the baby didn’t get stuck or into distress meaning i would not need an assisted delivery or c-section. It was all luck and i feel very lucky for that but not brave. Brave was the first time round, luck was the second.
And do you know what the luckiest thing of all was? That both times i was presented with a beautiful baby boy who didn’t give a damn how he was born…….
Felix and me
Seth and me
**************P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)