I think every woman has heard that giving birth is painful. This is a complete understatement. Giving birth is $%%%$$%!!! (insert your preferred swear word here) painful! But as my intention is not to scare you, I’ll say no more about the excruciating pain and list some things that you may not have heard about giving birth.
The doctors and midwives don’t count the painful hours as active labour – only the excruciatingly painful ones. I went to hospital in the painful hours and the lovely (she really was lovely) midwife Miss Jackson sent me home after some checks and told me to come back ‘when the pain is so unbearable you don’t know what to do with yourself’.
With your first baby, labour could be hours or even days, as your body is preparing for birth for the first time. It’s usually shorter the next time round.
Some pressure down below or pain in your lower back could be the very beginning of labour. Labour in the loosest of terms aka not ‘active’ labour.
That’s wishful thinking! Your waters could break up to 2 days before the birth. My waters went about 5 hours before I started feeling any labour pains. If your waters do break it’s important to seek medical advice as that water protects your baby from infections.
I only learned this when I asked the Nigerian midwife what her hand was doing in my dwiss (Zimbabwean/South African word for vagina) and she claimed to be breaking my waters. ‘They’ve already *&&^^ broken!’ I screamed at her. ‘There are hind wartas’ she said sternly, ‘and I weel not help you if you tok to mi like thart.’ ‘Get your hands out of my $$^^%% dwiss!’ I screamed in reply. And then she did. And she left, never to be seen again.
With all the pushing that goes on, it’s not unusual to push out more than you bargained for, especially if you were constipated at the end of your pregnancy.
You’ll be surprised at how many swear words you know and what a bitch you can become, but don’t worry, you can send an apology note with your thank you card afterwards.
Her shift could end, or she could be called away to attend to someone else. So, you could end up experiencing several different midwives. When I had my son at an NHS hospital 8 years ago I saw about 6 different midwives. Because the labour went across shifts, they changed. Then there were a couple that were called away, and then the was the pissed off Nigerian midwife. It seemed rather impersonal all these people coming and going.
It’s made you think about the type of birth and pain relief you’d like which is great. But when the birthing process starts, nature commands as nature commands.
I wanted a water birth with my first but when I saw the state of the bathroom I changed my mind. I also didn’t want any pain relief apart from gas and air (I was attached to the canister) but was begging for an epidural and C-Section several hours in (by which time it none were possible).
Did you know that most women tear when giving birth and need a stitch or two afterwards? This is a walk in the park compared to contractions, albeit a walk on thorny grass – barefoot.
There are tears; and then there are tears! Ever heard of third degree tears? I’m not telling you about them! I told you I want to inform you and not scare you.
I’m sure you’re all aware that babies are fed and oxygenated via the umbilical cord which is attached to the placenta. It’s all so amazing! But did you know that you must give birth to this huge liver-like organ too? Yes, you have to push it out like you did your baby – but it isn’t all bad – you’ll probably be offered it to take home with you! They’ll pack it in a takeaway box aka ToGo box aka Doggy bag for you to take home.
I’d be so interested to know if anyone has opted for this takeaway, and what they did with it.
When you’re feeling sore and sensitive down there (hospitals do give pain killers) and you’ve got some new stitches, doing a number two can be daunting. Any little push feels like your stitches will rupture. And the longer you leave it, the harder it’ll get.
You and your baby will both be tagged so that neither of you are swopped. If your baby doesn’t look like your hubby or yourself, this is not a good excuse to use.
It seems hard to imagine, but not every new mom feels happy and excited at the birth of her baby. Some moms suffer Post Natal depression. According to MIND, a UK Mental Health Charity, one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. If you’re affected by this, please find more information on the MIND website.
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