My Childbirth Experience, And What Worked For Me
I had been feeling low on energy for a few days before and so I made sure to make the most of my maternity leave and really tried to relax my body by practising meditation, napping and also watching lots of movies in bed. My Braxton Hicks had been getting stronger and more frequent and I had a day of feeling nauseous the day before I went into labour. I had my first contraction at dinner time, so I made sure to eat all of my dinner and dessert as I knew I had some hard work ahead of me.
My husband and I were in the lounge listening to music with dimmed lights and getting excited and nervous about what lay ahead of us. By 1am my contractions were continuing to progress at a steady rate and I was able to still walk around and keep stretching in between, using the TENS machine also helped.
By 3am they were more intense and I wasn't able to talk during them. They were also getting to be three contractions in 10mins lasting about 1min each. So at 4am hubby called the midwife who arrived at 5am. My waters broke as she arrived. She examined me and said I was only 2cm dilated! I couldn't believe it and thought 'how the heck am I going to continue at this rate for another 12 hrs?!' But I stayed positive as I was determined.
One hour after she left I had very strong urges to push with every contraction so we rang her back and she said she'd meet us at the hospital. Once we got to the hospital she examined me again and I was 8cms dilated, I was so relieved! I was able to relax more and start to do some of the relaxation exercises I had been practicing. I had some gas and air and continued to labour on all fours on the hospital bed. The urge to push was overwhelming but I had to resist until I was fully dilated, this was the hardest part of the labour for me.
Finally my midwife said that I could start to push and 20mins later our little girl was born. She is beautiful and healthy and I'm so proud of her and her birth.
So all up I had 9hrs of latent labour and 5hrs of active labour with a natural delivery using gas and air, with a small labia tear requiring stitches. Baby was 3kg.
The things that helped me the most was the relaxation exercises and positive mindset. Gas and air was great too! I had also taken 5W, evening primrose oil and did perennium massage in the weeks before. I think being strong and fit meant I could push her out fairly quickly too.