Members Advice on Labour And Birth

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Members Advice on Labour And Birth

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Review of "Members Advice on Labour And Birth"

published 23/06/2004 | ElizaF
Member since : 14/08/2003
Reviews : 73
Members who trust : 99
About me :
Excellent
Pro Here is some of what to expect....
Cons May frighten the bejaysus out of you....
very helpful
Value for Money
Side effects
Effectiveness

"So I huffed and I puffed....."

Mummy with Jack bump at Glastonbury 2002

Mummy with Jack bump at Glastonbury 2002

My advice to any pregnant woman who is nearly at the end of term is to read and talk to as many mothers about their varied birth stories as possible. This takes the terror of the unknown out of the equation. If you have heard the worst that can happen and seen a woman stand in front of you telling the tale, you realise that as bad as it may get, you do survive.

This is my birth story.

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As soon as you get a chance, write down your birth story or as the weeks go by, you will forget the details.
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This review comes from a piece I wrote for my group on babycentre.co.uk a few days after I gave birth to Jack. I am glad that I did because I cannot remember most of the details now.

Remember, despite pain never having killed anyone, there is no shame or weakness in having pain relief. There will be people who try to convince you that there is. Agree with everything that they say and then do what YOU want. Bugger them. In fact, your whole philosophy should be one of 'sausages to you' towards anyone that tries to twart you in ANYTHING. This is one of the few times in your life that you will get away with this behaviour so enjoy yourself.

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If you have never been to the Glastonbury music festival, go while you are preganant rather than never at all. There are typically four midwives on duty every year, so there is no reason for you to miss out. I was 38 weeks pregnant when I went and fell asleep in the middle of a field of 10,000 people in the Sunshine singing along to Nelly Futardo for my afternoon nap. It was *damm nice*
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At about 30 weeks gestation, STOP watching medical dramas or you will be under the impression that the whole thing is over in a matter of hours. If you are lucky, you will get about 8 hours mild pain (early labour), 8 hours of pain that steadily increases in frequency and severity and the last, advanced stage of labour that lasts anywhere 3 and 12 hours. This is the stage where most people demand an epidural.

Interspersed in this review are other pieces of advice, please feel free to take notice or not.

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The most important advice I can give you re-childbirth and the whole razzmatazz is that EVERYONE will offer you advice (unsolicited or not) ANYTHING you do not like the sound of - IGNORE IT! This is up to and beyond anything I am about to say.
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This is what happened to me on July 19th 2003....

What is the one thing that the wonderful midwife who sat as the head of my antenatal group said? Oh Yes, the baby is very rarely born on your due date so rather than sitting around fretting that nothing is happening, find something to do to occupy yourself for the day.

So I sat around for hours fretting and jumping at every twinge thinking 'is this it'?

By 6pm I was fed up with myself and the four walls that I had spent the day looking at so I rang my friend Sarah, another NCT mum (see http://www.nct.co.uk for more details of this wonderful organisation) At 6.45pm I was complaining to her that nothing was happening. At 7.00pm I put down the phone and SOMETHING happened! A contraction! It was more like a fleeting period cramp than the intense pain I had been expecting but it was there none the less.

I rang Rupert (Daddy) who was on route from work and told him not to delay on his way home. Thank goodness he was working in Docklands at that time, only half an hour from our front door. He sounded calm, I sounded placid and calm. I foolishly thought 'this will be easy' It was good to be relaxed at this stage.

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You are about to undergo a feat of stamina which you cannot train for and cannot control - do not attempt to do it without taking in some carbohydrate-rich foods to give you energy
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The one thing that Verona (midwife) had rammed home was to EAT once contractions started even if I didn't feel like it as I would need the energy to complete the labour. More energy is spent giving birth than running a marathon and NO-ONE runs a marathon on an empty stomach. So we went out to a local pizzeria at 8pm, I had the tens machine strapped to my waist running on a low frequency so I was able to bear the contractions which were about 10 minutes apart at this stage.

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Hire or buy a TENS machine and have it in the house a good two weeks before your due date. Remember to take it off before you get into the pool if having a water birth.
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We came home from the restaurant and I had a bath and a small nap and settled down to watch Friday night comedy on channel four while things were coming on.

By 11.24pm, we had contractions at fewer than 5 minutes apart and went into hospital. The midwife examined me and said that I was only 1cm dialated (boo hoo) so I went home, had a glass of wine, turned up the TENS and tried to sleep. There was no joy, as every time I had a contraction, I had to sit on the toilet. (The sexy side to labour, eh?)

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Have stocks of your favourite relaxing bubblebath in the house so you can take a long relaxing soak during early contractions. This will relax you at least and may shorten the length of your labour at the most.
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After hours of tramping up and down to the toilet as my body tried to evacuate everything out of it in preparation for what was to come, I gave up trying to sleep and we went back into the hospital at 5am on Saturday morning more for pain management than anything as the sensation was really quite sharp at this point in time with contractions coming at less then 3 mins apart.
Monitoring showed that my blood pressure had shot up and there were 3 +'s of protein in my wee so that ruled out a water birth and they put me straight on to pethadine or pain relief. This was wonderful stuff!!!! - I really took to it. It made me giggle, chat, relax, snooze and generally forget about the pain. It was still there but my mind was on another plain. (Another dimension if truth be told)

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Expect your birth plan to be thrown out the window at any and all stages of labour - do not think your emotional well-being is dependent on it. Your well being (emotional and otherwise) is dependant on that person poking about in your neither regions and that person with the anxious look in their eyes holding your hand.
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An examination at 12.00pm on Saturday afternoon, showed I was 7cm dilated, partly I believe to the peths helping me relax so much, although it did make me throw up (hello again pizza!) but I was prepared for that. They refused to give me a 2nd shot of peths a few hours later this point in time for reasons that I never clarified so I continued on gas and air.

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During labour, your body will try to evacuate EVERYTHING inside it that is not attached physically to an organ - poo, wee, puke, babie(s). They are all the same to the body at this point and it wants them out. The toilet is your friend.
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Around 5pm, the urge to push came on me so strong that I yelled like a champion and demanded an epidural. The doctor came quickly but upon examination, I was found to be fully dilated and ready to go. So the pushing began. Everything I was told was true, you do feel like you are going to do a big poo on the bed. This sensation comes from the back passage being squashed and it is hard to 'let go' and push through your back as hard as possible, but once you do, what a blessed release!

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When the urge to push comes on, don't hold back because you fear the feeling you may poo. If you look about the room, there will be a dustpan and scoop ready if this does happen. The midwife is peering where you would not let your Mother or lover look in ordinary circumstances - a little evacuation will not bother them. In fact they take it as a good sign as it proves you are pushing effectively.
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I abandoned the gas and air at this point in time as I found breathing, yelling and pushing a more effective form of pain control (as well as visualising the outcome)

Rupert was brilliant, he kept reminding me of my
breathing, hugged me, put my head to my chest to help me put with the contractions....as well as repeating the midwifes instructions (it was a bit hard to make out what the person crouching between my opened legs was trying to say without an interpreter) He also watched the baby/mummy monitors and reported their readings to the midwife. What a man!

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You may be asked if you want students watching the birth, don't be afraid to say 'No' if that is what will make you more comfortable.
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It did look like the ventouse was going to be used at one point in time as the contractions were only lasting about 20 secs towards the end and the pushing I was doing was not enough. I agreed but there was a part of me that was thinking 'NO BLOODY WAY' and when I heard the metal of the tongs clattering in the metal tray,
it spurred me on and two snips later (the cord was around his neck) we heard Jack make his first squeaking sounds. There passed a look between us, one I will never forget, the realisation that we had gone from lovers to Mother and Father and were dammed pleased about it.

Jack had passed macconeum (poo) whilst in the womb, so his mouth had to be hovered out seconds after birth. Nowadays this is so routine a procedure now that the doctor had it finished before the baby knew what was going on.

Then he was back on my chest eyeing up my nipples whilst the midwife put four stitches in my cuts (she could have put a salt mine in them, I was so happy I doubt I would have noticed)

Then after 25 hours of labour and 24 hours observation, we were home, happy and healthy and not even the aftertaste of the hospital coffee could knock the smile off Rupert's face....

Thanks for reading
xx
:)
E.

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Comments on this review

  • tac20 published 05/06/2007
    Awesome - love the photos!
  • mightymuffin published 05/06/2007
    Nice review, and love the piccies xx
  • Wee_lis27 published 02/05/2007
    Super review! The advice is very good x
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Product Information : Members Advice on Labour And Birth

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Listed on Ciao since: 21/08/2001