Friday’s tribute to mom-to-be guest blogger Helen, good luck, here’s my first-birth story

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This is who my first labour brought me: my beautiful Tessa. And this is the picture I took to the birth of my second child, Graydon, so I could concentrate on why I was labouring again.

On Mom-to-be Tuesday, guest blogger and web editor Helen said buh-bye with her last post before she delivers her first little bundle of love and spit-up. She asked if readers remembered their first birth, and for any advice. Remember Helen, you asked.

I remember it all. My husband and I attended birthing classes together. I hired the instructor to be my birthing coach because we didn’t know how long my husband could hang in, and we wanted an experienced person on “our” side if we both lost our minds during labour. I read all the bad parts of “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” and asked every mother I knew or met about the worst parts, so I would be prepared. At the tour of the hospital I asked to sign the paper requesting an epidural. Can you believe I had to wait until I was actually in labour?

The baby I was carrying didn’t want to leave the warm and squishy place she lived in, and had to be induced several ways before labour started. Then I did that for 20-odd hours, then pushed with no epidural (how barbaric that seems now that the art of the epidural is so refined) for three hours, much of that off a monkey-bar-type apparatus. Then I said, “That’s it. I’m done. Cut it out, I don’t care. I’m finished.” And I just laid there, no pushing, no panting. My husband and the birthing coach told the nurses I meant it, so they woke up the doctor (who was quite snarly at 5:45 a.m.) and it was off to the OR, where Tessa was delivered by forceps and strapped to my body because I was shaking so hard no one would let me hold her on my own.

Are you scared yet?

The thing of it is, once you have that baby on you instead of in you, all the pain, no matter how little or not, is worth it because of what it brings you.

And I had two more babies, so obviously it wasn’t that bad. And epidurals are SO GOOD NOW. When I had Luka seven years ago, both kids were in the room with us (at the shoulder end, of course, I am no Discovery Channel subject) and I was laughing and joking throughout the actual delivery. It was so cool. I should have had a fourth.

My best advice? Nature takes over, let it. If you think you might want medication, tell the atttending doc and nurses that you want that option, and that you want them to tell you when it the option of using medication is ending. Don’t forget to breathe (it is so easy to forget). Let other people do stuff for you as long as you can. Bring the baby to the office, and let me know when that is! Best of luck and best wishes to the three of you.

XOXOX

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks Jacquelyn!
    That’s quite the, er, inspiring story…
    By the time you’re nine months pregnant you’ve heard just about everything, so your story isn’t even all that bad. Um, though, it’s up there.

    I will do my best to stay focused on the end result–seeing my brand-new baby!

    Love the pic of you and Tessa!
    Helen

  2. I love the pic of you & Tessa!! I also would love to know where to get the pattern for her dress… it is almost as adorable as she is.

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