Written by Laura Hoverd for her blog, Mum Bore.
I just thought I would share my birthing experiences….. Why? I don’t think we talk about them enough.
Let’s face it, it’s pretty rough, highly undignified and the majority of the time the focus is on your vajazzle.
However, childbirth is HUGE, it’s more than just waking up to the Facebook picture of a cute baby. The person who has given birth to that baby has been through hell…. literally blood, sweat and tears. It deserves recognition, not to be swept under the carpet.
When I first got pregnant, I think my main worries about childbirth were how much pain would I be in? Would I poo myself? Would I need stitches? And would my lady bits be ruined forever?
When it got closer to the time my fears got slightly more serious, like would I survive etc., but I’m pretty sure the above were my top four.
In answer to my question of how much pain would I be in, that would be, a lot. Try, the worst pain I had EVER experienced. I actually could not believe it hurt THAT much. For days afterwards I was still stunned, everyone I spoke to I told… it hurts… like REALLY hurts.
I was pretty naive I admit. Someone I knew had had their babies with just gas and air, and someone else had recommended a tens machine. So, in terms of preparation… I was all set.
What. An. Idiot.
The tens machine was fucking useless for a start. I think it annoyed me more than the contractions. I threw up like a million times, totally unprepared for that, driving to the hospital with a sick bucket, and the pain was all in my back so sitting or lying down were beyond excruciating. Which is not helpful when the midwife/doctor wants to examine you!! (by examine I mean…. put their whole hand inside you). Every time they wanted me to lie down so they could examine me I wanted to shout ‘ AGAIN??? ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING’
I didn’t though… my mum was there! (sorry mum)
Before labour I had said my absolute worst case scenario would be a cesarean. Or as some people call it, the easy option.
Anyway, after 16 hours of labour (a lot of gas and air and a few drugs) and not so much as a peep hole view of anything that looked like this baby was on its way out…. down to surgery I went. Everyone crying except me…. because if truth be told… I just wanted it to be over.
As for easy option…I’m not so sure. If lying on a bed, naked from the waist down, pumped full of drugs, sliced open, while you are awake, and wondering if in a minute you might feel something, as two strangers pull at your insides is ‘easy’ I must have missed something.
On the plus side I didn’t poo myself AND my lady bits were all (relatively) untouched. Result.
Just the 6 weeks of no lifting, driving, walking or pram pushing to get through….. like I said… Easy.
Second time around, even though I’d been through it once before, the list of fears was pretty similar, with a couple more added. So it was how would I get through the pain again, would I poo myself? Would I need stitches? Would my ladybits be ruined forever? And would my c section scar tear?
I could have chosen to have another cesarean with baby number 2, but in a ridiculous way I felt like I hadn’t had the full child birth experience. In a strange way I felt like a failure, and felt envious of people who had ‘normal’ births. Call me crazy, but I wanted to know what it felt like to push out a baby! There have been times since where I regretted this. (Hobbling around Sainsbury’s just over a week after birth number 2, a tube of Anusol in my trolley was probably one)
This time I said my worst case scenario would be forceps…. or an episiotomy. Ouch!! Just the word makes me cross my legs!!! It wasn’t so much the pain either, it was more the thought of someone taking a scalpel to my intimate area… what would I be left with?? This is where your imagination runs wild, and the images in my head were not pretty. (you can’t find any actual images on google…. trust me.. I’ve looked)
Well, guess what?! I had the pleasure of BOTH! My vajazzle sliced AND my baby wrenched out of me, by his head.
I wonder if next time, if I say my worst case scenario would be the baby teleporting itself out of my womb and into the cot, followed by a lottery win…. it would happen?! Ha! Well there won’t be a ‘next time’ and if there is I will be keeping my mouth well and truly shut.
So.. two births… two lots of stitches… two scars. It’s almost like my children were not happy unless they left their mark. A little sign that says ‘we were here’, well cheers kids… mummy is really grateful.
An episiotomy and c section are pretty similar… but in one way they differ.
One of them… you can talk about…. the other… is like the unmentionable.
When you have a c section people will ask how you are healing, they make sure you take it easy, some may even ask to look at your scar (you know who you are), and some even offer their services, because really, you’ve had a major operation.
Not so much with the other. People don’t want to ask about it, which is fair enough, how do you say ‘how’s your fanny’ in a nice way? So you just have to grin and bear it.
Till months later when you get drunk and decide that your husbands friends need to know ALL about it.
So there you have it, my birthing stories, and my top four fears faced, and I got through them all. The pain, the birth, the stitches…. I didn’t poo myself (not that I’d have cared) and my lady bits live to fight another day.
All births are different, some have 2 hour labours without so much as a stitch. Some have 2 day labours, with the works. It doesn’t really matter, but I personally think it’s important to talk about them rather than be embarrassed. I know people give birth every day, but it really is quite a big event in someone’s life. Just because it involves talking about bits, it shouldn’t be taboo.
So get together with some girls (or boys) and let rip (no pun intended). Tell them all about the enormous trump you did after your c section (very common), or the afterbirth poo you were so relieved about finally doing, you wanted to update Facebook…. trust me…. sharing is good…you will be glad you did.
I hope I haven’t scared any mums to be, not my intention, but childbirth is what it is. There is no getting away from it, but (and you will hear this a million times) the truth is, its 100% worth it.