Sunday, 20 January 2013

Little miracles

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I am sure you probably know that I had been awaiting the arrival of my third child over the Christmas/New Year period, my due date was in fact 15.1.13 however, when my previous two children arrived 10 and 14 days early, I fully expected another early arrival. You would think that I would've already learned that children are far from predictable! I am pleased to say though, that our second little girl arrived at 02:23 on Sunday 13th January 2013.

I have never been one for birth plans, although after my first labour with my son I hoped any future deliveries would pan out the same. Why think too much about something that you don't really have much control over unless you opt for elective cesarean or some medical intervention is necessary. Ok do your homework and make sure you are aware of your choices but don't decide there and then. My husband is all too keen to let people know how easy my labours have been, I freely admit that I feel I have had an easier time than most but then it's all relative, isn't it? One thing I was certain about was my preferment for the 'Home from Home' unit. I am essentially a bit of a loner and am happy with my own company (most of the time!), the idea of staying in hospital for any longer than necessary did not appeal to me nor the thought of being on a ward. The thought of being with other pregnant/labouring ladies, with perhaps different pain thresholds, potentially being excessively vocal about their experience... harsh perhaps but I don't do suffering or sympathy, just ask my husband! I grew up never missing a school day, music lesson, sports practice etc., unless you had a limb hanging off you were capable. So a room to myself with my own bathroom and plenty of space... Yes please! Of course there are certain criteria for women hoping to use this unit. It is midwife led and pain relief options are few, but I would highly recommend it for anyone with the same kind of views and a healthy, trouble free pregnancy.

As I have said before I am a creature of habit and this followed for all 3 births, even with 18 months between child #1 and child #2 then 36 months between child #2 and child #3, because it all went great with the first I didn't want to do anything differently. I sometimes wonder why, when labour begins, women don't follow the advice which makes most sense...stay at home, first stage labour can take a while; keep upright and mobile for as long as possible, gravity helps; take a bath, paracetamol use a TENS machine, these little things can take the edge off your pain. I'll spare you with the rest but suffice to say the same goes for the pushing stage, the baby has to come out so why not help baby on his/her way, your dignity goes out the window anyway so get on all fours and let gravity help! Another little luxury of 'Home from Home', whilst pain relief is very limited, is gas and air. It can make some sick but thankfully not me. So for each birth, I have stayed at home till contractions were around 4 mins apart, got to hospital, been examined, got to my 'Home from Home' room, got dressed for labour and had a few, slow, deep breaths of gas and air before each little bundle was born. Of course as my first birth went rather quickly at the end I had a fair idea the other births would follow suit and knew what to expect, thankfully they were all similar and complication free.

Obviously I can only speak for myself, and my experience is perhaps the exception rather than the rule, when I think about it I have heard more horror birth stories than positive ones, why is that? I felt sure I could get by on the pain relief available to me in the 'Home from Home' unit, hence my decision. We all know our own bodies and if, for one moment, I had thought I may need something stronger or was fearful in any way, my choice may have been different preferring the labour ward instead, with doctors and pain relief galore! The reality is that labour pains don't last forever, just breathe through the contractions and know that each one has an end. Taking one contraction at a time knowing that you will finally have your little one at the end of it all may be enough to get you through and make your birthing experience a positive one, if not the memories of the pain will fade and you can relish the fact you lived to tell your horrifying tale and have your little miracle to show for it!

Kathryn xxx

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