New on the blog is our Birth Stories section, where we chat to different mama’s about their birth experiences. I am going to start things with mine… Sam first.
I got my newborn pics up when I wrote this and lost an hour gazing at my baby and wondering where the last 11 years (almost) have gone. I even found a video clip I had forgotten about. Make sure you take videos of your newborns, not just pics, one day your future self will be grateful (although they will make you an emotional mess!)
Where was your birth? My first born Sam was born in Birmingham Women’s Hospital in the delivery suite after a 48hour+ labour, changing my life and making me a mama for the first time at 29! He was born on my first wedding anniversary. I had wanted to attend a friend’s wedding that day but when the contractions started (a week before my due date) I had a feeling I would not be going! We initially went into hospital in the middle of the night when the contractions started coming stronger but were sent home! Aghhh possibly the worst feeling ever. You get so excited/nervous and are ready to meet your baby only to be told “not yet”! I asked the midwife if that meant I could go to the wedding, she said that I would not be going to the wedding but instead I would be giving birth!
Did you have a plan about the type of birth you wanted? I actually did not have a birth plan. I had been to NCT and antenatal classes and was aware that birth plans might not go to plan, so was open to going with the flow. I hoped to have a natural birth rather than a c-section, but you can’t always choose these things.
What type of birth did you have? I had started off in the Birth Centre, which was lovely and almost hotel like but they were short staffed so we were moved to the Delivery Suite. I ended up having Pethidine (which although good did not completely block all of the pain) and gas and air and a natural birth. The gas and air felt like it was helping but I think some of that was psychological as it gives you something to focus on. The midwives were great but I had lots of different nurses as we were there for so long and I remember feeling sad that the one I had spent the most time with, would not be there to deliver my baby. I had already visited the delivery suite when I had had a tour of the hospital, so it felt familiar (I would definitely recommend this and think that most hospitals will offer this). I tore during labour delivery so had to have stitches afterwards, I hated that (and there were student doctors present as well). It was really painful and all I wanted to do was for us to be left alone with our new baby. Some things I was expecting but others were a surprise, like the fact that you have to deliver the placenta afterwards (I think I had thought it would just follow the baby!) Overall in spite of the pain and the length of time, it still felt like a positive experience. Although I definitely think you instantly forget some of it afterwards!
That I was so shocked he was a boy as I had been convinced I was having a girl. Also, that he looked like my dad! That really freaked me out at first. He had so much hair as well! The post delivery tea and toast tasted like the best thing in the world! Also just not believing that he was here and that he was mine. Just being totally overwhelmed and overcome with love! Nothing can prepare you for that moment when you hold your first baby for the first time, nothing!
Best thing you packed in your hospital bag?
Big pants for afterwards, enormous sanitary pads, lip balm (as I got really dry lips). Glucose drinks as I was not up to eating in labour. For more ideas on what to pack in your hospital bag, you should read this.
I stayed in hospital for one night (he was born at 4pm), going up to the ward at 10pm that evening. being on the ward was a strange experience, I just remember it all feeling so surreal. I didn’t know what to do and when, I just kept staring at him. After the check over from the paediatrician the next morning and the midwife seeing that I was able to get him latched on we were allowed to go home. I had not appreciated how sore and fragile I would be after giving birth (body and mind) and looking back I think I probably did too much. It is easy to say yes to people when everyone wants to meet your new baby (I actually went to a family party when he was one day old, that I had been talked into) but I wish I had spent longer at home in bed, doing nothing except gazing at my boy.
I will also write about my experience with Lily because it was so different to this.