This was most definately a positive experience. Apart from the fact that she arrived 5 weeks early, the whole experience of birth was not at all traumatic and i remember feeling calm throughout. My waters broke during dinner round a friend's house so i made some excuse about being tired and left as quick as i could.
At the hospital i was given a shot of pethidine. Due to big sister arriving 5 weeks early i hadn't got round to writing a birth plan but i had always felt that i would go with the flow and see what happened. When i was given pain options, i remember thinking that the midwife hadn't mentioned an epidural as an option so i choose pethidine. This knocked me out for 6 hours and my husband simply nudged me when it was time to breathe the gas and air. Again, due to big sis being early i was strapped to a monitor and so the midwife had told my husband to get me to take some gas and air when the monitor peaked at 30. (A friend later told me hers was peaking at 80, hence why i remember my birth as an easy experience!) When it came to pushing i remember that you become so focused that you have no need for gas and air as the pain is a secondary thought to the primary one which for me was 'let this be over!!'
When it came to Fearne's birth i equally went into it with calming thoughts. This time, however, the pain seemed much worse, much quicker. 7 months on and, as always, the memories fade somewhat, but i do remember not being in the world due to the pain levels..... i remember the midwives talking to my husband as i refused to open my eyes. This was my way of coping. When we initially arrived, a woman was screaming in the room next door and i remember promising i wouldn't do that. I have no recollection of screaming but must have done as my voice was very hoarsh after the whole event was over.
I had the opportunity of going into the birthing pool and i will always regret my decision to say no but at the time i didn't feel like i would cope with the thought of not having pain relief options open to me. I had a shot of pethidine like i did with big sis but this time it didn't knock me out... in fact it felt like it didn't even touch the sides.
I have said several times to my husband since that i really feel like i didn't cope, but he told me he thought at all times that i was fine and he felt calm as he could see i was coping. I don't remember the pain now, just this feeling that i wasn't in the world, that i can't remember being able to think clearly at all.
Afterwards, i finally opened my eyes, to find myself in a room with a whole host of things that could have helped.... (i was moved halfway through my labour to a different room) A birthing chair, birthing ball and a rope to hold onto. I remember feeling that if only i had coped a little better and tried some of these things, rather than feeling like i couldn't face moving from the bed, then the experience may well have been more enjoyable.
On reflection, both of my births were easy. I didn't have any intervention from forceps, epidurals, and escaped without the need for stitches or a cesearean so for that i am blessed. However, i do feel like i could have been stronger and should have tried to almost enjoy it more, especially as we are (nearly) definately sure we don't want any more children.
My two births and hearing about my friends experiences reminds me that no two births are the same. I am always amazed by the miracle of childbirth and the journey our bodies go through to get to that stage. I am looking forward to reading about the other experiences of childbirth and the pain levels associated with it.
This blog was written as part of the Netmum's blogging prompt, to coincide with the new series of One Born Every Minute which is on Channel 4, 9pm Wednesdays