I love that I can share such an excellent birth experience with you. Both the midwife & the obstetrician commented on how calm I was, and that they were surprised how well I coped with the intensity of the induced labour.
I found the Yogababy & Calm Birth stuff really helpful - particularly the birth affirmations, relaxation, breathing & visualisation, 'blissing out' between contractions, consciously releasing tension, 'loose lips, loose bits', and the continual reminders that the body is designed to do this. (This idea took a bit of a knock when I had to be induced, but luckily from then my body did it all & I was just along for the ride). I'm still finding some of the breathing & relaxation techniques useful as we deal with breastfeeding challenges and the paranoia for his safety that seems to have arrived along with the intense rush of maternal love.
We had our baby boy last Tuesday and have been loving getting to know him.
The stats: born at 1350 on 18.12.12, 4.24kg, 57cm long, definitely a boy.
Labour was induced as we went 8 days overdue - probably a scheduling thing due to Christmas but it meant I got to see my own obstetrician who I trust. Thanks to whatever factors (ante-natal prep, genetics, child-bearing hips, great obstetrician, luck) I am unscathed & stitch-free. Labour lasted just under 6 hours & everything went as it should - I feel so grateful that everything progressed well. The things I found most helpful were massage/acupressure, the birth ball, shower, bath & then during 2nd stage - nitrous (good stuff!). It wasn't all rainbows & slippery slides as I'd hoped, but it all went well & I reckon I'd do it again. I walked up to the ward from the birth suite & have been really comfortable & mobile since, thank goodness.
I was keen for minimal prodding & vaginal exams and the hospital team were great. My midwife checked me at 12 o'clock & I was 3cm dilated. At about 1330 things had ramped up and were getting pretty intense. I felt like I was going to poo in the bath. She got me out of the bath to check me again & bub was right there waiting to come out! I remember her saying 'We're not covered for water births, we'd better get you out now', which was a surprise & a relief that things were moving along quickly. It also made me realise that the 'I can't deal with this, I need an epi-dural' thoughts I'd been having in the bath, followed by a brief period of intense bliss & relief were probably transition, which buoyed me up to get on with the business of second stage.
I was surprised that I didn't want some of the stuff I was certain I would during labour (eg. music, to be left alone) & felt happy to be guided by my midwife (who was just awesome) rather than feeling untrusting.
Just a note about perineal massage... Tearing was probably my biggest fear of giving birth, and I am so grateful that I am intact. The above factors probably all contributed, but I really think that doing perineal massage daily from 20 weeks helped. I think this, combined with having a patient obstetrician who controlled how quickly bub was born (coached pushing ain't so bad!), really made the difference.
Anyway, thank you so much for all the wonderful pregnancy & birth classes. I really believe I would not have had such a great birth experience without the info & prep I did with you. Looking forward to seeing you at Mum & Bub classes when Little Dude is old enough!