I had a great birthing experience. When I tell other mums this, they often say “you were lucky”. But I don’t think it was pure luck that helped me have a relaxed labour and problem free delivery. I had simply prepared myself well to deal with the experience. It was incredibly important to me that mentally, I was prepared to deal with my son’s delivery - I am seriously allergic to morphine and was also banned from pethidine by my obstetrician for similar reasons. A caesarean was only an emergency option and it would have been carried out under a general. There was no way I wanted to miss the birth of my own baby!
I went into labour on the 23rd of January. I am so glad that I practised what I learned so often, as I found that I automatically began going through the motions without much thought at all. Breathing and moving; walking and stepping was the best way I found to work through my contractions. I self-managed at home until contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes (we were only a block from the hospital). Upon arriving at the hospital I was already 5cm dilated and we were taken straight to the birth suite.
Our midwife was an absolute blessing, when she noted my allergies and the obstetrician’s strict instructions for no pain relief bar gas; she asked if I had prepared myself in other ways to manage the labour. When I mentioned Calmbirth she smiled, she was familiar with the techniques and understood what I was trying to do. After 90 minutes I was ready to push, and 21 minutes after that I was holding our perfect little son, Wylie.
Labour was painful but not unmanageable for me. I managed with no gas, no drugs and only the tiniest bit of tearing. The last part of labour, once we were at the hospital, was the easy bit in my opinion. It was the gradually escalating intensity of the contractions as we self-managed at home that I found the most trying; but during the whole experience never once did I feel that I didn’t know what to do or feel overwhelmed or panicked. We look forward to trying for our second sometime soon.