We’re just about still in April, so here is this month’s birth story. It comes from Talya, from Motherhood: The Real Deal, a great blog with loads of funny and informative posts about the struggles and joys of motherhood. She describes her ventouse birth in her own words, I love the way the hypnobirthing went out the window and was replaced by a wailing human!
Talya’s Birth Story
I can’t believe it has taken me two and a half years to write this. It’s not like my birth story is particularly traumatic, but for some reason, I have not ever been ready to revisit the birth in detail – not even on my own blog.
I was never really scared of giving birth…and perhaps I have the whole adage “ignorance is bliss” to thank for that. What I WAS scared of was having a needle going anywhere near my spine – and for that reason, having pain killers in birth just wasn’t going to be an option for me. Just as well I didn’t realise therefore that it would feel like having my upper lip pulled over my entire body for hours on end then!
With that in mind, I decided that hypnobirthing was the only way forward for me. I absolutely loved preparing for my “hypnobirth” (the quote marks might give something away here!) – I was 100% dedicated and relaxed. I was so relaxed that when I first started getting my first contractions, I was convinced they were just some of the good ol’ Braxton Hicks, and politely ignored them. In my total naivity, I ignored them for hours, did some yoga, went for a stroll. At the time, we were living in Asia, and it was only when we were having a catch up with family at home, and someone suggested we should time them (Pah! I thought) that holy moly! we realised that they were the real deal.
So at home, I switched into hypnobirth mode, utterly convinced that I would make a smooth transition to the hospital, pop myself in the tub, and catch my baby in the water and be the pinnacle of zen. BAHAHAHA!
As the pain started to kick up a few gears in intensity, and the contractions started to get to quick! it’s hospital time; I was still keeping it together, staying calm, repeating my affirmations diligently, politely asking for some counter pressure and heat.
And then we got to the hospital.
I literally staggered in barely being able to see or talk blinking madly at the bright lights and stark contrast in atmosphere to the cosy warmth of our home. Living in Singapore at the time, homebirths are very difficult (and expensive!) to orchestrate with only something like two doctors at the time willing to execute them. Next time I’ll know better!
I spent god knows how long sitting on the toilet, convinced I needed to empty my bowels, before making it to the bath tub thinking how lovely and relaxing it would be, but as birth seemed to stretch endlessly, my dream of a water birth faded away as I became an angry shrivelled up prune whose subconscious had decided to throw all hypnobirthing learnings carelessly to the wind, and instead, throw the flailing human in which it usually controls on the floor instead so it could soak up its coolness. A strange instinct I have when I feel very unwell, and boy did I feel very unwell.
After countless hours passed, I had no more energy, and dragged my heap of a self onto the bed because at that point, all I wanted to do was lie down. Nothing was progressing. The doctor had to be called and a couple more hours later, he arrived. Prior to this I afterwards learnt that there were whisperings about a C-section which my partner almost fainted at because he knew how much I was afraid of it. Not because I think C-sections are wrong, but because of the strange needle-in-back phobia I seem to have developed.
I was a pathetic whimpering mess by this time. Someone had the bright idea to finally give me some gas and air WHY OH WHY SO LATE I’ll never know but before becoming absolutely out of my mind on it so exhausted I was, it seemed to have its part in doing the trick. While my brain had floated off to another the planet, the doctor got all G.I. Joe on me and barked at me to push. I was so utterly drained that I just could not muster the strength – it was like body was on strike. More barking, and then it was agreed that I would need some help with none other than a plunger…oops I mean…Ventouse. Not exactly my number one choice for help, having my daughter’s head sucked a bit further down the birth canal so I could finally do the deed, but needs must.
I must have shouted every obcenenity under the sun and sent the whole hospital to hell with my cursing by that point. I was like a banshee possessed. But then when I heard those words – I can see the head! it spurred me on and I pushed like the entire existence of human kind depended on it. I didn’t care about the pain of crowning – in fact I barely noticed it in the grand scheme of universal pain. I remember so fantastically vividly the feeling of her limbs coming out of me – first the arms, then the legs..it felt utterly creepy and amazingly wonderful all at the same time. And then suddenly, this utterly delicious, gunk-covered babe on my chest, crying her lungs and our relief out. I instantly felt this incredible connection to this wondrous alien-like being with bright eyes which looked into my soul who I had just birthed, Emi. Suddenly all the hours of crazy pain and thoughts of near-death were wiped from my mind, to be replaced by a choir or angels singing.
So it was not the birth that I had so perfectly planned, but I delivered her safely, and had not been ushered in to make friends with my injection-in-the-back-phobia. Emi developed jaundice and so we spent three days wheeling her back and forth to receive Phototherapy and I will never forget those middle of the night trips down the corridor to receive her treatment which in hindsight, probably had a large part to play with my breastfeeding struggles.
Today at two and half years old, Emi is an incredibly vivacious, smart, sassy Tasmanian devil of a girl who I continue to be in awe of every single day.
Motherhood: The Real Deal http://www.motherhoodtherealdeal.com/
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