Labor and Birth

Giving birth is the most momentous part of pregnancy, and involves a lot of hard work, energy, and emotion. Whether you opted for natural childbirth or an epidural, tell us how your pregnancy progressed. Did you give birth at home or in hospital? Was it complication-free or was baby a little more stubborn? And, of course, how does it feel to have a new addition to your family? Help other women prepare for their birthing experience by telling us your story

And feel free to mention details of your baby's life like the type of baby bedding sets you chose for your nursery.


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Knock knock.... you out there?


It's a bit complicated, and I hope I have picked the right category, but here goes...

My name is Kym, I live in Australia, I am 27 and was recently married to a man I have been with since I was 18. Actually, I was married on the 7th of October, 2007. It was a great day, and I had been looking forward to it since I figured out that I was in love with my husband. Admittedly, it was a bi of a con that we had a proper ceremony with guests, a celebrant and a reception. I said to him that we would be having a backyard ceremony, which I was completely happy with. That was until my father decided that we could do much better :). Anyway, I digress....

I worked as a store person at the same place my husband works (we hardly ever saw each other at work), and was really enjoying it. I had to do a lot of heavy lifting in this position, as it is in the railway industry. I don't recall exactly when I felt it, but I noticed that I was getting indigestion a lot, and I thought I had pulled a muscle in my abdomen, and had to go to the toilet about seven times a day (which wasn't easy as the toilet is up a flight of stairs about a story high). I went to the doctor about the urinating and the pulled muscle, as I thought I had a bladder infection. He didn't give me urine test or put me up on the bed to have a feel of my abdomen, but gave me a script for anti-biotics and the pill, as I was wanting to come off the depo-provera shot which I had been on for over a year, and I quietly went on my way.

After a week, nothing had changed, and the pulled muscle had been fluttering for some time, before I went to the doctors (and I did tell him about that). It didn't feel right so I stopped off at a pharmacy after work on a Friday, and got a pregnancy test. I got home and took it, and the first one was invalid. Did the other one, and lo and behold it was positive. I'll be honest. I was scared and upset - we weren't prepared financially to have children at the time. We had been kicked out of our unit (because the real estate company wanted to jack up the price), we had just gotten married and were waiting for our block of land to settle, and we had just moved in with my parents. I knew my husband would be upset, but only because we weren't ready.

My husband finished work an hour after me, and I was nearly in tears the entire time waiting for him to get home, because I knew he would be upset. I couldn't hold the tears back when he walked in and I told him (exact words) "You're gonna want a divorce in about 5 minutes". He asked why and I said "I think I'm pregnant". He was upset, but wanted to be more sure, so I went back to the chemist and while balling my eyes out. Bought another 4 pregnancy tests (all of which came back positive). We were both upset and discussed our options. Let me put it this way... we are both pro-choice. It was finally decided (with the help of a friend who is good at keeping secrets) that we would wait until I had a scan, to see how far along I was, before making any decisions.

I was (going by the scan) about 26 weeks along. Boy was I shocked (as you can imagine). I was sent to the ultrasound thinking that it may be an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor didn't once put me on the table and have a feel. If he had, I believe we would have been much better prepared. I was lying on the table at the ultrasound with the lady telling me not to expect too much, we might see a dot if we were lucky. The first thing I saw was a spine! I couldn't believe my eyes, and I think I stopped breathing for a short time. She was shocked too, and had to go and push back another couple's appointment because my scan would be much longer. Everything made sense, as the ultrasound lady explained everything to me. The frequency in urination was due to the baby's head pushing on my bladder, and the 'pulled muscle' was actually the baby kicking me, letting me know it was there. Didn't I feel like the biggest dumbass in the world! Still do.

I rang my husband and told him. He misheard me and somehow figured that we were having twins. I made him go to work the next day and tell everyone that he wasn't the hero he made himself out to be. My father was up in the Cape York Peninsula, and couldn't be reached, so I had to wait till he got back before I could tell everyone. I told my mother and my two brothers (who I have never seen smile so much), and a couple of close friends, and awaited dad's return. When dad got home (a week after), we waited till he had a sleep, and was happy before telling him. He was understandably shocked, but happy - and a little mystified as to why he was a grandfather at 50 (pfffffft). His shock echoed everyone else's when I told them, and I had to repeat the story many times over.

The due date I had been given was the 6th of February, 2007. I went 2 weeks over, and was booked in to be induced the following Monday. I spent 3 days in hospital, had many internal examinations, had a post-gladdin strip placed on my cervix and nothing happened other than false contractions. I was sent home, still with nothing other than my clothes and my still unborn baby. I had no dignity left after what I went through at hospital, and how many different people's hands went where few have gone before haha.

I was back the following Monday, thinking that it was another checkup and I was informed that I was to be induced again, this time with the gel. So I went home and gathered my things, and returned with much anticipation to the hospital. By hook or by crook, this kid was coming out.

At 7:30 pm, while quietly doing a crossword, I felt a sudden pop. A bit mystified, I went to the toilet, and a bunch of fluid came gushing out. I went to see the midwives and they sent me to the delivery suites where the fluid was tested and found to be indeed amniotic fluid. I wasn't having contractions, so they weren't concerned, but after seeing another doctor (and oh my gosh he was so gentle, and not in a sexual way, whereas the midwives could be quite rough) and it was decided that at 8 am the next morning I would be given the Oxytocin in a drip to help the contractions along. The drip was put in at about 11 pm, and I tried to get some sleep.

Geez that oxytocin sucks. It makes the contractions more intense the more you get. At about 10 that morning I rang my husband and told him that today was the day and the baby was coming out one way or the other. I told him not to rush, as it wasn't happening now, and I would rather he be calm, cause I knew I wouldn't be. As the contractions got worse, I went for the pethadine and got very, very sick (again). After another examination (and a text message to my mother letting her know that I had a whole new appreciation for mothers and that I was sorry I made her go through this sort of pain), I was still only 2 cm dilated, and I went for the gas, which did nothing but taste funny. My waters were broken by the doc, as it turned out it was my forwater that broke the night before, and it kept gushing out because the body keeps producing amniotic fluid until the baby is born. After a few more hours I finally went for the epidural and got my sense of humour back (and also offered to marry the anesthetist). I felt fantastic, but was told not to nove off the bed. I had another examination (and it's funny when they keep saying sorry for hurting you when you can't feel anything below the middle of your chest) and I had gone 5 cm, but the baby's head was stuck in a funny position and the wrong fontanelle was showing. It was decided that the baby would be born via emergency cesarean due to post dates (officially). And all this after they sent me home because the baby and I were perfectly healthy and they didn't want to have to cut me open!

I was taken upstairs where everything started to happen. My husband went with me, and got dressed in scrubs, and sat down next to me. Just a bit of advice - don't look up at the surgery light - you can see the reflection of everything that is going on down there, and then it is like a train wreck - can't help but look. Before I knew it (and with the help of a lot of pushing on my stomach by the doc and the use of forceps) our son Connor was born. He didn't make a sound until they started cleaning him up and he let out with this sort of 'what did you get me out of there for' kind of cry. They brought him over and put him on my chest for a moment, so that I could see him (and the butt load of hair that he had) and the midwife took a couple of photo's with my phone (nothing too gross that I wouldn't show other people) of myself, my husband and Connor. Connor was then taken away and my husband stayed with me while I was stitched up (I think he just wanted to make sure I was all good, as he knew Connor was in good hands). After a bit of time in recovery, I was taken back down to my now empty room (they housed 2), where I could meet Connor again and see my mum. This was on the 27th of February, 2007.

After a very sore week, we went home. He is a very healthy and happy boy, who is goo-ing and gaa-ing to me all the time, and has been smiling for a solid month. My mother has been fantastic, and I don't know what I would have done without her. I am so happy he was healthy. I was worried, because remember, I was about 26 weeks along (turned out I was more like 22 weeks). I was smoking cigarettes that whole time up until 2 days after the wedding; I had my hen's night (VERY big night) and the week BEFORE the hen's night as well. And I was on the depo-provera shot when I fell pregnant and had another shot while I was pregnant (which I found out does nothing except make your body think it's pregnant).

We are a happy little family, living with MY family in their house, but it is all good. I hope you enjoy this story, and that it makes you giggle a little, and tell your friends that you read a story by the biggest dumbass in the world :) Just kidding. I hope your pregnancy is as good as mine was, I didn't even get sick! Sorry to brag :)


Kym Jones






14 and pregnant with twins

Me and my boyfriend had been together for 2 years and we finally decided to have sex. We did use a condom but somehow I still got pregnant. The pregnancy was fine but my bump was VERY big! I was going for a scan the next day with my boyfriend and they doctor confirmed I was having twins!! We were both ecstatic!

When I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, I got a lot of short, sharp pains. I called the midwife and she told me to go to the hospital as soon as possible. My boyfriend drove us there are we went straight to the delivery room. The midwife told us that I was 9cm dilated!! I had only been in labour for 1 1/2 hours!!

Before I knew it the nurse was telling me to push. After 30 minutes of pushing, my first baby was born. It was a girl weighing 6.5oz. We named her Lily. After another 15 minutes of pushing, another baby was born. It was also a girl weighing 6.7oz.

We named her Lana. I was so proud of my baby girls and so was my boyfriend. I am 18 now and the girls are 4. Me and my boyfriend Jamie are getting married in 5 months and we are also expecting our third child!

We canít wait and Jamie has been brilliant. My girls were well worth the pain xxx


Emma






first time birth

When I found out I was pregnant I was scared and excited all at once. I always wanted kids but at 19 I felt it was too young. My boyfriend was excellent; he did everything for me while I was pregnant.

By the time I was 27 weeks I was so big I couldnít drive or even tie my shoes and the thought of another 13 weeks like that petrified me.

At 34 weeks, Daniel (my boyfriend) was out of town for a few days when I started bleeding. I was petrified that I would loose the baby. Luckily everything was ok.

At 38 weeks I woke in the middle of the night, with a strange feeling, I tried to go back to sleep but I couldnít sleep I was too uncomfortable and kept needing the loo. I was getting cramps similar to what you get with your period so I thought nothing of it and went to bed. I managed to fall asleep for about 30 mins when I woke up I felt dizzy and light headed. I decided I better go to the hospital so I woke Daniel.

When I got to the hospital a doctor examined me and asked me when did my waters break, when I said it didnít they were shocked as there was no fluid around the baby.

I didnít realize how dangerous this was until they informed me Iíd have to have an emergency cesarean section. I was gutted; I so wanted to give birth naturally but the baby's health was more important. At 4 am I went into the theater and it was really quick after that, 15 minutes later my beautiful daughter Chloe was born, with her cord wrapped around her neck 3 times!!!

Her breathing was a little off as a result and had to be put in the ICU but today sheís a healthy happy 2 year old, she 's the love of our life and we are now expecting our second child in 6 weeks.... canít wait and hopefully will have a natural birth


emma






Mother of 2 Boys at 19

My pregnancy was pretty straightforward. I was 16. I was due 30th August 2004. Anyway it was 5am, 25th August 2004, 17 and a couple of months by this time. I kept getting up to go to toilet every 10-15min. 8am I rang my midwife and she said she'd be there by lunchtime.

My boyfriend only found out I was in labor when he heard me on the phone to the midwife. We went around to his mums so I could have a bath as we didnít have one. And when I got out his mum timed my contractions, they were 5mins apart an lasting about 50sec. 10am I went home an rang the midwife again as I couldnít handle the pain any longer!!

She was on her way and I just wanted to get to the hospital but had to wait on her. She finally got there and checked me, I was 8cms dilated already. I had to get to the hospital. When I got there it was 11am and I had the gas straight away. I spewed from the gas but I kept having it as it was easing the pain. 1:45 I was fully dilated and was told to sit on the toilet to try push and pop my waters. One little push and I felt a big gush come out. My waters had broken. Now I was ready to go back to the bed and push. I pushed for an hour. Liam Stanley was born at 2.40pm 8lb 2oz. 53cms long. I needed 3stiches as I had a little tear where Liam got me with his fingernail on the way out.

2nd BIRTH!!!

I was 18. Liam was just over 1year old and I wanted another baby! September 05' I went off the Depo and started trying for another baby. Wasnít till March 06' I got pregnant I was so excited!!! I was due 5th December 06' I would've been 19 by then.

21st November I started having contractions. Started off about 20mins apart. When they got to about 7mins apart I went and had a shower to get all washed up so I was ready to go to the hospital. Well everything stopped after that. Wasnít till the next day I woke up and went to the toilet a there was blood. I rang my midwife and was told to meet her at the hospital. I did and she checked me and I was 4-5cms dilated.

I stayed there and my labor wasnít progressing, as baby was posterior. At about 3:30pm midwife decided to pop my waters to speed things up. Well it was full on from there. Midwife checked me again and I was 8-9cms dilated so she went to do something and my boyfriend went to get a drink.

I only had my student midwife with me and I suddenly had the urge to push. So I just pushed and my midwife came running in asking where my boyfriend was because he was going to miss the birth. 4:50pm after a couple of pushes Bailey Gordon was born 7lb 13oz and 51cms long. My boyfriend just made it back to the room for the birth!

I am now the proud mother of a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 4month old boy.

I love you my boyz.


Johanna






Giving birth the third time around

It was 2am Thursday morning; a week before David would actually arrive. I woke up from a dream about another person giving birth to contractions that were coming about every six minutes. I woke my husband up. He called my doctor who told me to wait until I was really uncomfortable before going to the hospital.

I took a shower and finished packing my bag. I was scared, happy, and anxious and many other emotions all mixed into one. The contractions weren't coming as fast and I told my husband there was no rush and we could safely wait at home and get our other kids off to school. By about 10am I was only having about 1 or two small contractions. I realized then that I probably wasn't in labor. We went to my scheduled doctor's appointment the next day and found out that I was only a fingertip dilated. I couldn't believe it. I was so sure I was in labor the previous day.

The next four days were long and I felt edgy and restless. On Monday, I felt queasy. I didn't really want to be around anybody. My emotions were getting the best of me and I really just wanted to sleep. That night began as sleepless like so many other nights. I was used to only two or three hours by that point and was just thankful for any meaningful sleep I could get. I woke up again at around 2am. I ran to the bathroom and realized I was slightly bleeding.

When I was walking back to bed, I felt a contraction, much like the ones I was having a few days ago. I could only think, here we go again, and tried going back to sleep. The pains were coming about ten minutes apart, sometimes a little more, sometimes less. Nothing was very consistent about them other than the fact that they were there. I told my husband to go to work because I wasn't getting my hopes up and didn't think this was it.

After my youngest got on the school bus, I went grocery shopping. I had a contraction at the deli and I just remember not really wanting anybody to talk to me. I felt like I was in a different world or something. I had another painful contraction on the way home from the store and realized why they say not to drive when you're in labor. I was petrified that the contractions would stop and I started doing whatever I could to keep them going. I took my dog over to the park and walked up a gigantic hill. I read somewhere that hill walking can start things moving.

I think it worked because after the walk, my contractions became regular at about 8 minutes apart. They were becoming incredibly painful and I called my doctor who told me to head up to the hospital at any time. I couldn't believe. I was actually in labor. I called my husband and told him he better get home but not to rush. I thought I had plenty of time and I wanted to see my two boys to say goodbye before we went up.

By the time my kids got off of the bus, I knew we should really be going. It was becoming difficult to cope with the pain and I was getting worried we wouldn't make the 25 minute trip to the hospital. When we finally arrived, my husband grabbed a wheel chair and we went to admitting. I was in a lot of pain by that point. We then tried to find our way down the unmarked hallways and up to the labor and delivery area. As soon as the elevator doors opened, it was a whirlwind.

As soon as we go into the room, the nurse told me to change into a hospital gown. She then checked me and said I was 6 centimeters with a bulging bag of water and that it wouldn't be long. It was 4:30 pm. She ran out of the room and yelled, "Admit her" and four other nurses came scurrying in. There was a flurry of activity around me and I became incredibly anxious. They put the IV's in me and started asking me tons of questions.

I was really in shock too because I thought I would have plenty of time before the baby came. My other labors progressed so slowly that they became a waiting game. My contractions were about every 3 minutes by that point and my legs started to tremble. I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to have an epidural. My nurse told me that I was in transition and that the anesthesiologist was on his way up. My husband was by my side holding my hand as my contractions were coming harder and harder.

Finally he arrived and started my epidural. For some reason I started feeling sick to my stomach as he was putting it in but I think it was from the intense pain from my contractions more than anything else. Suddenly I heard a click and felt a gush of water. My water had broken as he was giving me an epidural and was gushing all over the nurse's feet and onto the floor. I couldn't believe it. All I kept thinking was that I better not pass out too! He finished and I was finally lying back down.

All of my pain was gone. The nurse told me to call for her when I feel the urge to push and they left me and my husband alone in the room. I finally could finally relax, or at least try to. I was still feeling a little anxious. My husband and I had bets going on what time the baby would actually get here. He said 7:11, his favorite numbers. I was still in denial and said 11:11 thinking I had much more time.

Suddenly I felt the urge they told me about and needed to push more than anything. The nurses checked me and said I was ready and soon my doctor came in and instructed me how to push. It's amazing that even though I've done this before, I forgot absolutely everything! Pushing was intense and I was starting to feel like he was never going to come out. The bowling ball head that I had been feeling in my pelvis for the last few weeks seemed like it was perfectly happy to stay in their.

Every time they said they could see him coming, I asked my husband as if I didn't believe them. All I could feel was pain and all I could do was push past it. An hour later, David was finally born. My husband was so happy and said he was perfect. I still hadn't heard him cry and kept asking if he was all right. It took a minute but he finally cried his beautiful cry and I felt such incredible joy.

My husband leaned over and kissed me as we waited to hold our beautiful new son. It was such an amazing experience. I can't believe it's over.


Joanna Vaughan







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