I feel like I’m giving a public service here, because when I gave birth for the first time, I didn’t know ANY of this. It’s not that I’m trying to scare you into never having kids, because if I was, I wouldn’t be pregnant again. We all know that the trauma of giving birth is forgotten about 3 weeks afterwards, anyway.
I’m sharing this because sometimes it’s nice to have a realistic account of what labour could be like. I was in labour for 21 hours, and ended up having an emergency forcep delivery in theatre. This was the exact opposite to how I thought it was going to go! If labour is on the cards for you, I wish you a speedy, safe and painless delivery.
- Right before labour, your body tells you to sit the f down. Your insane nesting stops, then, boom. Go time.
- The ‘Show’. Nope, not Les Miserables on the tele again. You will most likely give birth to some weird coloured gunk just before contractions start.
- Contractions are damn painful. Really damn painful. A tens machine might be your absolute saviour whilst you’re pacing around at home.
- Your labour could last days. It’s a lottery, so you better get comfortable and enjoy the ride. Or just swear and cry. Either strategy will get you to your end goal just fine.
- Shaving down there is no longer your main concern. Who knew you’d feel so uncaring about a dishevelled bikini line.
- You can’t eat if you have an epidural. Pain or pizza…hmmm, that is a tough one.
- Your epidural might wear off. Blissful ignorance one minute, searing pain the next. Thank goodness for epidural top ups.
- Gas & Air will make you sound like a chipmunk. You also might pass out if you have too much, but don’t worry, that’s all part of the fun.
- You may get your waters broken by a long-hook-looking-thing. Just like popping a water balloon.
- Yes, you will probably poo whilst pushing. The rumour is true. But don’t worry, you’ll have other things to think about, like why is your birthing partner being such a dick.
- You may need a little snippety snip. Giving birth to baby big head? Or your little bundle not playing ball? You might need to open the gates a bit.
- You may not need a snippety snip, you may tear instead. This makes #10 a little more desirable. Either way, it’s all fixable with a needle and thread when you’ve completed your mission.
- You may have 10 people peering at your cervix. Emergency theatre trip? Wait, where did all those people come from? And why are my legs in stirrups?
- You have to deliver your placenta. Just when you thought you were done, you have another little task on your hands. To be fair, I coughed my placenta out. Really, I did!