Now that I’m having my third child, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my first experience of labour and giving birth. Being a parent really encourages reflection, and we learn from our first experience of giving birth in the hope our next labour will deliver a safe and happy baby too.
I have been fortunate that neither of my previous experiences of giving birth were negative. The labours were very similar in some respects, but not all women experience similar deliveries.
My son was born in 1997, I was 22 years old, and I was completely free from fear. I made a conscience decision during my pregnancy not to attend antenatal classes, or seek out information relating to labour and childbirth. 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.
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 delivery.
My son was born in hospital, with very little intervention, and minimal pain relief. He was born within 2 hours of reaching hospital, and I found that staying on my feet and using nature’s gravity was the best approach during labour for me.
I was overwhelmed seeing my baby for the first time, just how could I love this little person so much! It was something I had not experienced until that moment. I was equally as 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 labour. It’s not giving birth that is the problem that I realised, it’s the tiredness from the early days which means you need to rest.
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 exhausting every available youtube video and podcast to help with breathing and visualisation. If the midwife offers aromatherapy oils, I’ll take it! Birthing pool, I’m open to it, but wouldn’t pin my hopes on it either.
I hope for a safe and positive 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 having 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 in this blog useful.