Monday, 2 August 2010

Birth Story

I've been reading a few different blogs this evening and a few have featured birth plans and how the real thing did or didn't go to plan. I thought maybe I'd share mine - don't worry, there'll be no grizzly details!

My birth plan went along these lines... Father Badger should not be excluded whatever happens. Stay mobile and upright for as long as possible and maybe use the birthing pool. TENS machine and perhaps gas and air as pain relief and avoid pethidine or an epidural. Avoid episiotomy [who doesn't want to?!] and intervention, and immediate skin to skin contact.

Something that struck me about these other posts is the feeling of surprise from the writers that their birth didn't go to plan. I was at least realistic enough to title mine "Birth Preferences" and accept that there were bound to be surprises that would need me to be flexible. I saw it as a starting point: it felt much better to me to have a baseline idea of what was going to happen and allow for variation than to go in without any kind of plan, but I didn't want to go in with a closed mind and then be disappointed about some changed details in what was otherwise a perfectly satisfactory experience.

As it happens, Baby Badger blew the plan out of the water, namely in that she made an appearance before I had time to print it out!

If I believed in intuition, I'd say I knew she was on her way. The afternoon before she arrived I had my hair cut. I worked overtime until gone midnight and finished off a bunch of tasks I had planned for the following week - I still had five days left before going on maternity leave. I woke early the next morning and discovered my waters had broken - not in the TV style of floods, but a trickle. For some reason, perhaps denial, I headed back to bed for another hour but the verdict was the same when I awoke at 7.

I called the local midwifery centre, where I was hoping to give birth, and they confirmed my suspicions but said that because I hadn't made it to 37 weeks I couldn't come there and had to ring the hospital, which I did. I was told that they wanted to check me over but since it was my first I had time to pack my bag. At this point I was perhaps a little too relaxed! I packed my bag, watered the greenhouse, fed the dog, did the dishes, you get the picture... We got in the car, popped to see my parents and stopped off to buy some sandwiches in case we had a long day. It was now almost ten o'clock. It was at this point that I realised that things were moving a little quicker than I'd thought.

By the time we arrived at the hospital my contractions were about five minutes apart and feeling pretty strong, although I told myself not to be a wuss - surely this was still early stage! Once in the maternity ward I was quickly checked and told I was already 9cm dilated! I was taken straight to a delivery room, the TENS machine was attached, I took a couple of puffs of gas and air and it all kicked off! Baby Badger was born at 12:39 and the whole thing was over by lunchtime! No medication, no tearing and honestly a great experience.

The moral of this story? Just because it's your first baby it doesn't mean it'll be late or a long/difficult delivery.

Image: nuttakit /

1 comment:

  1. Very happy to read this post as my first bubba is due in December and I have heard only shocking birth stories up until now!!
    Many thanks for sharing the fact that, while it may not always go to plan, it can be a great experience!

    Kerry x


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