Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Friday, 19 February 2010

Things They Don't Tell You About.... pt 2

Part 2 - Labour and Birth!!!

Perhaps I should rename this series "Things they don't tell you, or they do tell you, but you don't listen, or you don't believe, or you do believe, but don't really get it". But that's a little less catchy. What they do tell you, or should, is that every labour is different, and every hospital is different, so I can really only speak from my experience, but here is the stuff that I learned...

  • Birth plans are a total waste of time. Actually, my midwife did tell me this, and refused to go through one with me. But loads of people put loads of effort into theirs, and set out their detailed plans for a calm and natural birthing experience, but then scream for an epidural from the car park. Or things happen quicker or slower than expected, or there are complications, and everything just goes out of the window. Most people I know didn't even get their birth plan out of their bag.
  • You spend all day timing your contractions (there's an app for that, you know), and duly phone the hospital when they are 5 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute. They tell you to go and have a bath and a cup of tea and phone back in a couple of hours. A cup of tea? A CUP OF TEA???!!!!!! I AM HAVING A BABY HERE DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?????? The cup of tea will not help at all. The bath is a good thing though. Although not when your husband bursts in while you are mid-contraction and tells you Michael Jackson is dead. It makes for a very surreal moment.
  • You might get very, very bossy. Now, I am always very bossy, but even Husband was surprised at the vehemence with which I told him that he was rubbing my back in the wrong direction, and 3 millimeters right of where I wanted.
  • The whole thing is deeply, stunningly undignified. You get briskly examined numerous times, there's all kinds of mess everywhere (you might even end up cleaning your own sick off the floor!), you end up with your legs practically round your neck screaming like a banshee, but you know what? You won't care. There's kind of other things on your mind.
  • Your waters might break at any time. They do tell you this, but nowhere do they tell you what to do when they go. I was freaking out about this for weeks - if they broke at home, would I have time to clean up before going to hospital? How would I get it out of the sofa? My sofas were new, and cream! Thankfully, mine didn't break till I was safely in a delivery suite, but if anyone knows for next time, please share!
  • *IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH OR DON'T LIKE IT WHEN I OVERSHARE DON'T READ THIS NEXT ONE!!!* For people who spend their lives poking around in people's "private" parts, midwives are surprisingly prudish when it comes to telling you how to push. "Push down," they say, "Into your bottom". What? What the hell does that mean? It actually means "Push like you are doing a giant giant poo". I know most of you probably didn't want to read that, but apparently if you don't really get this and do it wrong, you can hurt yourself a bit and make the whole thing more difficult, and as I do have some pregnant readers (I think), I feel it is my duty to pass on my knowledge. So everyone else, just deal with it.
  • Gas and air is amazing. But it can make you a bit mad.
  • It might not hurt as much as you expect. Most of the screaming doesn't actually come from pain, it comes from the sheer effort of squeezing a person out of you.
  • That said, nobody ever gave out medals for pain tolerance. Take the drugs if you want them, the only people who will think less of you are annoying, competitive mothers who are no fun anyway and will probably have a nervous breakdown before their child is 4.

I can't think of anymore. Apart from something they do tell you, and that everyone knows - at the end of it all, you get your baby!!!

And then the fun starts.....


  1. Not that I want to incur the wrath of Bad Mammy but I do disagree with one of these statements and that is the one about the birth plan. Like Bad Mammy said all hospitals are very different so I am giving my experience of having a baby at North Tees Hospital. My birth plan was quite important to me as in a way it took away some of the sheer panic (i thought if I could control just one thing of my labour than it gave me the power back). Also I am allergic to lots of medicines and anti emetics (the stuff that stops you vomiting which is always used during labour) so I felt it very important everybody knew about this. Anyway at the hospital each midwife and MW assistants I had took my birth plan and read through it very carefully, they made sure most of what was on there happened, even down to them preparing my screamish husband whenever anything gruesome was happening. Now I know this is my experience but I do think its worthwhile doing one cos it can bring up questions that you have never thought about and it might put you at ease a little. I made sure my husband was in charge of taking the birth plan out of the bag and distributing it to all staff (yes I had copies).
    Something that is important to remember like Bad Mammy said is that things can change and sometimes all your plans go out the window, so don't hold onto your birth plan like it is gospel cos after all you are pushing a small person out of you and they do not always cooperate with your plans :-) x Please don't hurt me Bad mammy :-) x

  2. I would never hurt you! Can't believe you had copies to distribute though!

    Ok, so maybe not a total waste of time, but don't get too attached to it. I think that may have been the main point to make.

  3. I definitely agree with that, becoming attached to it can make things a lot harder if it all goes tits up :-) x