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Some labors can be better than others
I didn't know I was in labor
In Lamaze class, the instructor told us if we planned on having a birth with no medical intervention of any kind to limit the time we were at the hospital as much as possible. She told us the different stages of labor and how to time contractions. She explained that the longer you are at the hospital, the better the chance of intervention. The doctor or nurses may want to strip your membrane, or break your water. I did not want anything done as each step taken increases the chances of ending with a C-section.
My mother was overdue with me, so I did not believe I was in labor. This caused me to wait a little longer than I could have. My mother had my older brother and me in less than two hours combined, but I did not know if I would be so blessed. My first child was born about two and half hours after we arrived at the hospital. On the ride there my contractions were approximately two minutes apart and we thought we were going to have the baby in the car. He was almost two weeks early and everyone had told me first babies are always overdue. Not even the delivery room was ready.
It will be worth it
Ready or not
They told me I could start pushing, but apparently did not know my impatient nature. I started pushing, and didn’t stop until he was out. I think it was one or two good pushes. The bed was not broken down yet, there was no doctor in the room, and none of the nurses even had gloves on. He flopped onto the bed, and completed a role as my mother and husband exclaimed, “It’s a boy!” It didn’t take long for nurses to surround the bed. The doctor stated most first time mothers usually push longer before there is a baby, and she was on her way down when the event took place. My husband was not going to let me get that close with our second son.
I know what I am doing now, right?
It was almost three years later, when I was about 38 and half weeks pregnant. Now, everyone was telling me how quickly my second would come given how my first labor was. My mother told me she didn’t know she was in labor with me, which is why I was born 20 minutes after they arrived at the hospital. The doctor told her I had skid marks on my head when I came out. Taking all of this into consideration, and the fact that I was having consistent contractions about six minutes apart we called my in-laws to come watch our older son while we went to the hospital. The whole way there I told my husband I didn’t feel like I was in labor, but he was nervous about having to deliver the baby on his own. We met at the labor and delivery floor, and six hours later, at seven in the morning, we went home with no baby. I was so tired from all the work I had done to try and get myself to go into labor; the three of us went home and slept.
Twenty-four hours later I was holding my beautiful new baby boy! We had another late night and another quick delivery. The second time, I really felt the contractions starting and just under three hours after we arrived we had another boy. It was very discouraging to leave the hospital without a baby the first time, but it was well worth it to receive the beautiful gift the next day. Labor reminds me in life, sometimes the second time is the charm, and sometimes the pain is worth the prize. Above all, make sure you know what you want and are educated about that choice.
Tips for labor
Here are a few things that helped me have good labors:
- Research and learn how to properly track your contractions. In labor, a couple of minutes can make a difference.
- If you are looking for a more natural labor stay at home until you are in a later stage of labor. The first stage of labor (usually the less painful) can be done at home.
- When in the hospital, refrain from any intervention, if possible. I remember knowing that if I was going to be told anything had to be done they were going to need a good reason. If you or your baby is in trouble it is one thing, but make sure they are not hurrying you along on their schedule. This is your labor.
- Remember that each contraction, as much as it hurts, will go away. This pain will end most likely with a healthy and beautiful baby. Focus on that when the pain comes.
- Try to let the contractions do the pushing. I pushed very hard with my first, and hardly at all with my second. The recovery time is amazingly different. I sat on a pillow for a week after my first, and had no pain after my second.
- Properly track contractions
- Stay at home, and comfortable as long as possible
- If nurses or a doctor recommends intervention, ask if it is necessary
- Remember the pain will leave
- Let the contractions do the work
Know what you want
Do/did you want a natural labor?
© 2014 Erin Trefz