First of all I would like to say that I’m not one of those women whose aim was to have a natural birth… I’m a wimp when it comes to pain and I believe that pain meds were invented for us to use them. On top of that I’ve been terrified of the pain of giving birth… (this is a judgement free zone) 🙂
SO here goes let me tell you about May 11th, 2017…
I went to see my doctor for 9:00 am as I was two weeks away from her birth and I had gone to the emergency room twice because I couldn’t feel her kicking. Due to other medical issues it was recommended that I be induced before my due date… upon checking my cervix my doctor mentioned that I was ready to give birth anyway (as I was already dilated) so she gave me a referral to the hospital. (the same hospital I visited her in). The same hospital that I would recommend to everyone and anyone! (hospital link)
I scooted over to the emergency room all the while thinking that maybe today is the day. (In fact I was 100% sure that today was the day) I was mentally ready and so was Matylda. I felt it. In the waiting room I was rubbing my belly furiously clockwise (that’s suppose to help entice labour) and did a few lunges just in case. This all took some time of course so I was admitted around 2 pm.
Upon entering the hospital and being admitted I was getting slight contractions that were getting stronger but not really painful yet just uncomfortable for several hours. They just felt like pressure coming from my back to my front.
At this time they decided to give me a drug to help speed things along (something that started with an O) but within a few minutes they stopped it because the babies heart rate fell. They decided to keep an eye on me to see what was going on.
7:30 pm At this point a nurse decided to check how much I was dialated. And accidentally broke my water. Like a water balloon popping I just felt fluids everywhere… NOTE: That entire day I was worried for a while that maybe my water broke beforehand and I didn’t know… like when I went pee or something. For those that are pregnant and wondering if you’ll know… believe me (!) you’ll know! There was a huge amount of pressure relief when it “popped”.
And after that it’s a bit of a blur but here’s what I (we – husband and I) pieced together 🙂
At that point the real pain started and I felt powerful contractions. Here I get gas for the pain and for over an hour I feel the contraction pain.
Around 9:30 – 10:00 pm I’m ready for my epidural, the anesthesiologist comes in and gives me an epidural and I’m ready for the relief of pain but alas none comes. In fact the contractions come on faster and faster and the pain becomes unbearable (to me). At this point I start saying that I’ve experience birth pain and I can’t do this anymore and I start leaving the hospital. (let’s just say I wasn’t of rash mind and body) Literally start getting up and leaving… thank goodness the midwife and the husband convinced me to stay. 😉
AND THEN the pushing part starts. THIS is the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my entire life (while I’m writing this it’s been a week since I’ve given birth and I’m already starting to forget – you do in fact forget about the pain… it becomes a blur) I’m asking the nurses at this point “WHO does this more than once?”
The entire time the poor anesthesiologist is asking if my pain is getting better. My answer ever time is NO! By 11:00 pm I’m fully dilated BUT the babies head is still too high up. SO I convince the midwife to let me stand up (remember: the babies heart rate dropped drastically before so she needs to be constantly monitored) I start pushing while standing (and it feels a little easier) BUT after two push sessions I climb up on the bed again.
The poor midwife keeps telling me to breathe “with my stomach” so essentially deep breaths. (SIDE NOTE: I practice yoga frequently, I’m a runner, I KNOW the importance of breathing!) The pain affected me so much that I couldn’t breathe with my diaphragm at all. I spent one full pushing session trying to explain to her that I just couldn’t do it…
AND THEN CROWNING happened. I’ve heard that this is the most painful part. But honestly this was the fastest part I just remember the midwife and the doctor telling me to keep pushing and push I did.
And then this magical moment, at precisely 11:39 pm, came and I saw her – BORN 2.8 kg and 52 cm long. And for a second my only thought was – That’s my baby and that just came out of me. It was this euphoric state. I would like to say that the pain went away – it didn’t. BUT I saw her and I had my “holy shit” moment – I made a baby.
Then they laid her on my chest and everything else sort of evaporated for a few minutes…
The afterbirth was kind of tugged out of me (I slightly pushed) I just remember seeing this red clump. Fun fact: After giving birth I was crazy shaking. I couldn’t control it at all. It was a weird experience. Apparently that’s normal.
AND then the wonderful amazing anesthesiologist gave me real drugs for when the doctor was stitching me up. After that, I was chatting with the nurses. Making jokes. And generally pleasant to be around. I remember being concerned that I was really loud but everyone assured me that “it wasn’t so bad”.
Two hours Matylda spent on my tummy, in Poland they call this “kangarooing” and it was wonderful. The two hours flew by. Then my husband had skin on skin contact with her and we were wheeled out of the delivery room into the postpartum ward. (and a whole new set of issues began…)
In summation: GIVING birth naturally without pain meds… NOT for me I thought but I managed to do it with loads of yelling… (thank goodness she was a small baby) and I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. The experience itself was amazing (though painful).
SO what do you think? Is giving birth naturally better?
I will always wonder how much pain relief actually comes with an epidural…
Feel free to comment below!