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by Stephanie Rich

The Labour Lottery

I love labour stories! I love watching one born every minute.

It’s amazing how diverse we all are and how different it can all be when it comes to the point of giving birth….you watch it sometimes and we all have are own judgements and opinions but what I find intriguing is who ever you are, what ever your birth story I always end up crying and feeling emotional when the baby is born. It is that compassion and empathy we feel as human beings that unites us.

Some mums don’t want to talk about their experience…better forgotten (I don’t think you ever forget really) Some mums want to tell the world and you all about their story, war and peace…with all the gory details…whilst your sat nodding and when it’s your time to share your Labour story it appears times up (yours didn’t happen) well mine was….’mine was like this…well mine was with an epidural….well mine was with zero pain relief hanging from a floating suspension…..’ you get the gist??

A fellow mum pal of mine had a C-section and she said to me that she wished she had a normal birth because she felt cheated for not having the full ‘labour’ experience of the ‘hard graft’ and ‘pushing’…..C-sections aren’t easy and pose their own risk and recovery afterwards.

Another friend had planned to have a home water birth….she ended up in hospital with an epidural and the full works. It was what was necessary to deliver the baby safely.

If I can bore you with my Labour stories for a moment….

The look…. hair extensions done….nails done….nice nightgown check….tan…. yes expectation vs reality again…I’m going to look like a movie star giving a gentle push and we all gather round, I kiss my husband and welcome the new angel in my life…..yeah right….try zombie from the walking dead…

….Or patsy worst hangover of your life! Minus the cigarette (it’s bad for mum and baby but is does symbolise what I felt like).

2 weeks early…..With my first my waters broke and nothing happened for 48 hours. I ended up in hospital and before they induced me I opted for the epidural. I wanted ZERO pain….problem is it stopped working. I went from 0 pain to full on transition pain within minutes and no matter how hard I pushed nothing happened. I ended up in theatre with a spinal injection (it was amazing I couldn’t feel my body from the head down, safe to say I was in a much calmer space and loved everyone haha) I had an episiotomy (they cut me yes) and out came Henry.

Pain wise it was fine….I wasn’t ready for the recovery afterwards though…I couldn’t feel my body as I said….Tom had to feed me toast (8 slices after, it was bloody lovely that hospital toast)…..I couldn’t hold Henry though he had to just lay on me. The midwives were fab. As soon as I could move in the morning I wiped the Cather out (at some point I had a Catheter in?) and got a shower did my make up and was like okay let’s do this…had to stay overnight. We got a pizza.

Seconds pregnancy, Freddie was born rather quickly…

The look…..I didn’t care!! Although I did manage to get my primark nightgown on just before it kicked off…

10 days over!!! (Hell!) With my second I was really chilled about the Labour, id just done a course in reiki and was really into the positive vibes and Hypno birth concept. I did meditation. At around 35 weeks I kept thinking I was going into labour and for some reason my contractions always came on when I was doing the asda shop (weird…) still stoping and starting. When the day finally arrived I didn’t even know if I was in labour, I’d phoned the maternity unit the night before and was using a tens machine (they are fab!!) for the contractions and having bath in between but still felt alright and not like labour (or my expectation of labour). I tucked into another pizza that night lol (pizza and labour combo).

In the morning I nearly told Tom to go to work but something told me no! Within half an hour my mum came up and we were on the bypass to the hospital….Labour in full swing….OUCH was an understatement. I got to the unit expecting them to tell me to go home because I’m such a wuss but she said I was 6 cm dilated….I was thrilled and thought I was amazing haha take that!! Within 10 more minutes I was on my hands and knees, waters broke and baby was coming!! I demanded an epidural and any pain relief going…too late 10cm….S**T!!! (Literally….oh you know 

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