I mentioned previously my obsession with googling birth stories so I thought I would post one to reassure pregnant women that it is indeed possible to have a great birth. I mean it is still going to hurt like f**k at the end but all things considered this was an awesome birth.
My husband and I were pretty naive when it came to childbirth. I was vaguely hopeful of having a natural birth, and my husband was more than vaguely petrified as he had only seen childbirth in the movies which is invariably a traumatic montage of puffing and shouting and man hate (love you babe!). Honestly I did tell him not to touch me at one stage, but with as much kindness as I could muster with a baby sitting in my vagina (admittedly this is not a huge amount of kindness, but surely past kindnesses must be attributed to me? some karmic credit perhaps?)/
Anyway – I booked us in to a course (Calmbirth) that I decided would be good for us and Ben reluctantly agreed to attend this hippy dippy weekend workshop with visions of kaftans, incense, talking about feelings and probably some hypnotism or something. In fact we were both pleasantly surprised and came away from the workshop with a shared view that the birth didn’t have to be traumatic, that he was able to help, and that my biggest job was to relax and get out of my own way. To let me body do its thing. We got some great breathing and meditations techniques which we did together exactly once (husband gets very sleepy as soon as guided meditation commences) but I did my breathing exercises most days.
About 8 days before my due date I had a whole bunch of appointments – obstetrician in the morning, acupuncturist for my horrendous pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome, and my holy grail of pregnancy massage – someone who does a proper firm remedial massage AND has one of those super pregnancy pillows you lay on with a hole for your belly so you can lie on your stomach. Bliss!
Unfortunately my obstetrician was a bit concerned about my fluid levels so had me book in for a scan the next morning to check it out. He mentioned that if it wasn’t great we might have to do an induction. Eek. I didn’t want one of those so when I went to the acupuncturist I told her and asked her to start the ‘get labour started naturally’ acupuncture. She agreed it was way better not to get induced so she went hardcore on the needles. Seriously this was some intense acupuncture, but in hindsight, pretty effective… This appointment I was very careful to check my butt afterwards as the appointment before I got home and discovered a needle STILL IN MY GLUTE!!!! Didn’t hurt at all, but the very idea of that sends shivers down my spine.
After acupuncture I decided I needed a chicken burger at Nandos across the street. About halfway through my mildly spicy burger I felt a bit of cramping and thought – crap, maybe I should be avoiding the spices and finished the burger and headed to my massage. The cramps continued throughout the massage and I was pretty impressed that my braxton hicks were getting more intense since the acupuncture. I figured that boded well for having the baby before my due date a week later.
…. more of the story tomorrow – I’m off to do my 11pm dream feed and then get my interrupted 4 or so hours of sleep. Hurrah!