Welcome to the first guest post in my recently launched “Love Your Labour” series. The aim of this series is to show that not every labour goes the same, and not everyone feels the same about their labour. It can be difficult to comes to terms with a traumatic birth, so hopefully by sharing their stories here, these ladies can prove that we can love our labour, even if they don’t go to plan.
Over to our first contributor, Tasha from It’s A Tasha Thing:
I’m Tasha and I’m a 21 year old beauty, fashion and lifestyle/parenting blogger over at http://itsatashathing.blogspot.com/. I have a little girl called Darcie, who is my world! Darcie is now 4 months old and has so much character and personality for a 4 month old baby!
1.How did you prepare for your labour? Did you have a birth plan or an idea of what you wanted to happen? (eg water birth, drugs, home birth, hospital birth)
I did have a birthing plan. I wanted a water birth and the use of gas and air only and if I was to ask for anything else, tell me no.
2. Did you find reading labour stories helped you in the lead up to your labour in preparing yourself for birth?
I read a couple. My boyfriend was a big one born every minute watcher. I could watch the build up but not there actual birth. I knew that everyone’s deals either Labour differently so I just took all the stories with a pinch of salt.
3. What happened during your labour that meant it didn’t go to plan?
My labour plan was completely blown out the window! I went into slow labour the evening before having Darcie. At around 5:30pm. I had about 2 hours sleep that night, which giving birth itself even more tiring! The hospital told me to come in after 3 phone calls, this was at about 4:30am. I was told to keep on my feet as Darcie was almost back to back. This wasn’t easy as the contractions were coming so quickly but my waters still hadn’t gone. At this point I was about 2/3cm dilated. The midwife said it would be awhile for anything to happen. The funny thing about this was about 15 minutes later my eaters broke. Another midwife came in and examined me. Darcie must have fallen with my waters as I had gone from 2/3 to 8cm. However, some of my cervix was still over her head. So even though the need to push was starting to kick in I wasn’t allowed. That was my water birth out of the window as there was no time for that. Everything was happening so quickly. In the delivery suite I was put on all 4’s due to Darcie’s position. I had minor gas and air when I was told not to push but whilst actually giving birth I had no pain relief. Darcie was born at a slight back to back position around an hour later. My baby was here! After giving birth to the placenta I was examined. The midwife informed me I may have torn but needed a second opinion. A man came in (I can’t remember his profession) wanting to examine me. I didn’t care about the fact he was a man and wanted to poke about down there, I was just too tired and wanted my little girl. When he had finished he informed me I had indeed torn and it was quite a bad 3rd degree tear. I would be taken to surgery and given an epidural and stitches for this!
4. How did you feel immediately after the birth? Did you struggle to come to terms with the labour or did you accept that it had happened?
Immediately after birth I was so happy my little girl was in my arms and she was beautiful. Exactly 10 days late but most definitely worth the wait. Darcie was given to Daddy whilst I delivered the placenta and whilst I was examined. When I was told about the epidural I struggled massively to come to terms with it. I had gone with pretty much no pain relief, no noise and no saying ‘I can’t do this’ and now they want to stick a needle in my back?! I hate needles with a passion. I was more scared of having the procedure done then giving birth! I hadn’t looked up about tears and what they were, so I was so upset. I just wanted to be with my baby and not taken away from her for almost 2 hours in surgery! I also didn’t want to stay in hospital and had to for the night.
5. How do you feel about it now? Have your feelings towards your labour changed as time has gone on?
4 months down the line, I still feel a little pain down there after having stitches. I’d never had stitches in my life so having them in a very delicate area has made me a lot more cautious then before. I’d still do it all again as I didn’t know I had torn, I was to worried about focusing the energy I had left on getting Darcie out. The reward is to great to not do it again.
6. Do you find talking about your labour helpful or have you struggled with this?
I feel talking about it helps as it helps people try to understand what happened and why I’m cautious of doing certain things.
7. Did you seek any professional help to guide you through your experience, either by speaking to your midwife or doctor, or an organisation such as Birth Reflections? If so, did you find this helped? If not, do you think this would have helped?
I never went for professional help. Someone I know went through a similar thing and helped me. However, the midwives were helpful and told me to put a little bit of lavender oil in an egg cup of milk and pour it in my baths. The lavender is good to help with bacteria and the healing process. (The milk is to help the oil disperse in the water, rather then staying in one place.)
8. Have there been any long lasting impact due to your experience, e.g. has it affected your decision to have more children?
I would have more children, having Darcie has changed my life for the better. Due to the 3rd degree tear I will more then likely have to have a c-section for future births.
9. Would you change your approach for future births eg by not having a birth plan or by doing more research into types of births and options if things don’t go as planned.
I will have to have a birth plan because of the tear. I will probably do my research on c-sections so if they advice me to have one, I will know what to expect.
10. What advice would you give to someone who has been through a similar experience
It gets better! It takes a while but just look at your little baby, they are worth all the pain in the world! Do things in your own time as well and just be careful!