I was always bloody terrified of giving birth: no matter how many books I read, or relaxation CDs I listened to, or even how much yoga or mindfulness I practiced, I still never felt confident: So I created for myself, the famous "birth plan" I'd heard so much about in NCT classes, in a bid to find inner peace and tranquility and set my mind on a calming water birth... When I went into labour, I wasn't entirely sure that it was in fact labour at all: there was no delicate breaking of the waters down the cereal aisle at tesco, no dramatic pain like in the movies; no real signs at all - just a feeling of discomfort that differed from any other I'd felt before. By the time I got to the hospital and was checked over, I was already 6cm dilated and had pushed through the pain by chewing on a bath sponge. (I had picca throughout my pregnancy so this was a real comfort to me!) With my birth plan in mind, I told the midwife I would require a water bath as soon as possible since I'd made my birth plan surrounding this and I just HAD to have one. Despite her advice that I was doing well on dry land, I pushed for the bath and pictured a peaceful and enjoyable birth where I breathed the baby out into the lovely warm water and then went home for a cup of tea. In reality, the water relaxed my body to the point that all progress stopped and for the next 4/5 hours nothing really changed.. This is when I went into full, psycho-tired-hungry-thirsty-delirious pregnant woman mode and basically said "I give up" and "I'm not doing this anymore." That's when I was given pethidine (perhaps more as a sedative then a birthing aid..) The pethidine kicked in and helped further contractions and dilation and soon I was asking to come out of the tub as, well... I hated it. I had also by this point already told my boyfriend to "bugger off with your mindfulness and that bloody spiral staircase!" So it was clear from here on in that my original birth plan was pretty much out of the window! A few more hours of pacing and bouncing and shouting abuse at anyone that would listen and my baby was born on dry land, weighing in and nearly 8lb, not crying or screaming, but perfectly peaceful and looking every bit as beautiful as we'd imagined. I wanted to share my birth story as although it's nothing special or different, I feel it offers a good message, highlighting the nature of giving birth that everyone can relate to. Giving birth is out of our control: I would have found this scary before actually experiencing child birth, but I now find it a comfort in that, babies will come how and when they like, no matter what you've planned! So trust your body and go with what feels right; your body knows better than you do and that should be the biggest comfort of all: you've got this.
This story was kindly shared by https://www.instagram.com/muminglasgow/