Now that I’m pregnant with my third child, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time thinking about my first experience of labour and giving birth. Having children really encourages reflection in all aspects of our lives. It was no surprise to me at all that I was thinking a lot about having my first baby, especially about labour and the delivery.
I have been very fortunate that neither of my previous experiences of giving birth were negative. They were both natural births and the labour was very similar. It’s fair to say that not all women experience labour with their children in this way but for the purposes of this post, I will be focusing on my own experience of giving birth.
First Time Pregnancy and Labour
My son was born in 1997 and I was 22 years old. I think my age had something to do with it, but I remember feeling fearless about giving birth. I made a conscience decision during my first pregnancy not to attend antenatal classes, or ask for information relating to labour and giving birth. I figured that what I did not know, could not hurt me or hurt during labour! I did not listen to stories of other people’s experiences, and the internet was not a feature on my radar, or anyone else’s for that matter back then.
Looking back at it now, I think I did myself a huge favour. If you follow the hynobirthing technique for giving birth, it promotes the idea that fear induces pain during labour and that relaxation is the key to a calm delivery. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion there might just be something in that. Hynobirthing wasn’t even a concept when I had my son, but I think that by consciously avoiding society’s messages about labour and childbirth, I might just have saved myself and my baby a whole heap of pain and trauma during the delivery.
My son was born in hospital, with very little intervention, and minimal pain relief. He was born within 2 hours of reaching hospital which no one expected, especially not me. If I was to give you one tip about how to make labour easier it would be to walk around and stay on your feet. Using nature’s gravity and avoiding laying down seemed to help with giving birth naturally, well for me anyway.
Seeing my Baby for the First Time
I was so overwhelmed seeing my baby for the first time. Just how could I love this little person so much, my heart felt like it was going to pop! It was a feeling I had not experienced until that moment.
I was equally overwhelmed by the fact I could get of the bed and walk about straight after labour pretty much like nothing had happened! I was expecting to be laid up in bed for at least a week recovering from giving birth. It’s not the giving birth that is the problem that soon I realised, it’s the tiredness from the early days of having a newborn which is why you need to rest.
What I Learned about Giving Birth
I will be avoiding negative energies, ideas and stories as I come closer to giving birth to my next baby. I’ll focus on being as relaxed as possible watching every available youtube video and listening to all the podcasts to help with breathing and visualisation. If the midwife offers aromatherapy oils, I’ll take it! If there’s a birthing pool, I’m open to using it, but wouldn’t pin my hopes on it either. A birth plan needs to be flexible, otherwise you can feel very negative that things didn’t go as you had planned.
I hope for a safe and natural delivery for me and my baby pre, during, and post labour. I’m very much looking forward to writing my birthing plan so that I can have confidence that everyone around me understands the labour I wish to have, while I get on with the important job of giving birth to a baby.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you found any of the information about labour and giving birth useful. Do you have any tips for making labour easier?