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Hello Mommies! I really hope that this story helps you and calms your nerves and fears.
I am proud that I can sit here today to write this, because in the weeks leading to my first childbirth experience I wished I could have found a post like this to calm my nerves about the whole thing.
A bit of background info - and this is not to scare you - this is giving you an idea of my personal pain tolerance so you can compare yourself to me.
- I have a low pain tolerance for the most part. Most things that people say are "uncomfortable" are painful to me instead.
- During my cervix dialation tests it took almost 14 minutes each time to complete because they were too painful for me to relax.
- Three times I had to go to the hospital for checkups where they wanted to run a straight catheter, and three times I had to pee in a cup because I was crying and they couldn't get me to relax.
- I spent a LOT of time reading birth stories and reading all of the horror stories too. Tons of them. Seemed like I read 75% more of the bad than the good and scared myself.
My Childbirth Experience - I had to be induced.
- 4:00 AM I went to the hospital and went into my room. I was 1CM dialated when I went in.
- 4:15 AM Nurse asked me if I wanted to get my epidural before we did any tests / started the Pitocin. She informed me that you can request the epidural before you are dialated to a certain number if you have fears, or need help relaxing.
- 5:00 AM - Time for the epidural! My doctor was amazing. I hate needles with a passion. He walked me through everything he did, and I felt no pain at all. Trust me when I say no pain - the only thing I felt was the cool liquid after the catheter was inserted. I know not all anesthesiologists are this good but I will pray for you that yours is.
- 5:20 AM Contractions started. I only knew they were happening by watching the monitor. Normally you will read that induced contractions are 90% more painful and start off fast. If the hospital is doing it right, they will start you off at a very slow drip and increase it as needed every 30 minutes. I never felt any contractions, even when I was 10cm dialated. None - zip - zero - ziltch.
7:45 AM My doctor came in to break my water and check my cervix. I felt a teeny bit of pressure when she first inserted her hand, but nothing after that until the warm feeling of the water running down my legs. My doctor was very gentle with me knowing I have fears about pain. Talking to your doctor and expressing your fears before you go in for labor will help you out - SO - much. Remember me saying while I was at the doctors office it took almost 15 minutes for her to do this? She was done in less than 30 seconds for both checking me and breaking my water. It really was wonderful.
9:00 AM - Another check on my cervix, felt a teeny bit of pressure when she first inserted her hand. I'm now at 7CM dialated, and the Pitocin is running faster. I'm laying in bed watching TV and sleeping while I wait to reach 10cm.
11:45 AM - Another check on my cervix and I am 10cm! The Pitocin is running full at this point, and I still can't feel any contractions. The nurse tells me it's time to push! I start crying because I'm scared at this point. I honestly didn't see how I'd be so lucky to have felt nothing to this point, I didn't think that would continue. I took a few deep breaths and she got me ready.
I am making this next part it's own - because I know this is the biggest fear of a lot of women.
[ As an added comment, my bag of epidural medicine ran out at this point, but my nurse made sure I had another one ready as soon as that one was gone. I've been told that a lot of hospitals will only feed you one bag, and once it's gone then that's all you get. Make sure to mention to your nurse that if you are afraid of the pain you want to be "topped off". My hospital totally understood this, and they took good care of me ]
12:00 PM - The pushing begins! With an epidural it is very hard to feel how / where you need to push. My husband was holding one of my legs, the nurse the other. She also had two fingers inside my vagina making a circular motion to help me from tearing too badly. The easiest way to push is to think about taking a poo. I know that sounds horrible, but that's honestly what it feels like.
- Don't let your breath out for atleast 10 seconds. If you make noise or breath you take a step back.
- Don't be scared! My epidural numbed all my pain. I didn't even feel the crowning of the baby, so push with all your might!
- A lot of women need a vacuum / forceps when they have an epidural. I didn't need either because I pushed with every ounce of strength in my body because all I felt was pressure. The harder you push, the less of a chance you'll need either unless the baby gets stuck or is too big for you.
- You aren't pushing the entire time. You push as your contractions happen, so you do get time to breath, catch your breath, and have a cool cloth wiped across your head. That feels -so- good at this point, trust me!
12:43 PM - The baby is out!
- At this point I needed stiches. I have 2nd degree tears. They left my epidural running so I wouldn't feel the stitches being put in. At this point I was too taken looking at my baby girl to care one way or the other, but honestly I felt nothing but a little pull and tug of pressure every now and then.
- My placenta came out on it's own almost immediately after Melony was born. Honestly, this just felt nasty. I felt like a had a squid come out from between my legs. It was warm and wet, but 100% painless.
And honestly - that's that! She was born! It was wonderful, and I do not regret the epidural at all. I was wide awake for her being born, and was able to fully enjoy the ENTIRE experience. All my fears melted away, and I really hope this helps you feel better about your own experience.
- Please don't let people's stores of "No, they will NOT do this for you" or "This doesn't work..." scare you. Each woman is different, and each hospital is different.
- ASK TONS OF QUESTIONS! If you want to know how your hospital will keep you comfortable, how they do pain medication or if you want to have your epidural set up early - JUST ASK. If one place has different ideas or views, you may have other choices still close enough to you.
- All women are different. There are chances that the medications may work differently on you. Don't let this scare you though, just conentrate on your baby. I promise the second he/she is out you will forget everything you just went through.
I really hope this has helped. I know from experience from reading all the stories online that birth can be a huge fear, and you can have a lot of doubts. Just ask a ton of questions, and don't think any of them are stupid. They aren't - and they'll lead to the best experience of your life.
God bless all of you and your babies!