10 January 2018

A tale of two births

Childbirth is something I don't think we talk about enough.

Let’s face it, it’s pretty rough, highly undignified and the majority of the time the focus is on your vajazzle.

However, childbirth is HUGE!! It’s so much more than waking up to the Facebook picture of a cute baby. The person who has given birth to that baby has been through hell.... literally blood, sweat and tears. It deserves recognition, not to be swept under the carpet.    

I underestimated how much the birth would affect me mentally, I was too focussed on whether I would poo myself and if my ladybits would be ruined forever!
I was pretty naive I admit. I didn’t really have a lot to go on. Basically, two of my friends had had their babies with just gas and air, and someone else had recommended a tens machine. So, in terms of preparation... I was all set.

What. An. Idiot.

The tens machine was f**king useless for a start. I threw up like a million times (totally unprepared for that) and the pain was all in my back, so sitting or lying down were beyond excruciating. Which is not helpful when the midwife/doctor wants to examine you!!

Before labour I had said my absolute worst case scenario would be a cesarean. Anyway, after 16 hours of labour (a lot of gas and air and a few drugs) it still did not look like this baby was on its way out, so down to surgery I went.

As for a c section being called ‘the easy option’...I'm not so sure. If lying on a bed, naked from the waist down, pumped full of drugs, being sliced open, while you are awake, and wondering if in a minute you might feel something, as two strangers pull at your insides is 'easy' I must have missed something.

On the plus side I didn't poo myself AND my lady bits were all (relatively) untouched. Every cloud eh?

Just the 6 weeks of no lifting, driving, walking or pram pushing to get through..... like I said... not so easy.

Second time around, I could have chosen to have another c section, but in a ridiculous way I felt like I hadn't had the full child birth experience. In all honesty, I felt like a failure, and felt envious of people who had had 'normal' births. Call me crazy, but I wanted to know what it felt like to push out a baby! There have been times since where I regretted this. Hobbling around Sainsbury's just over a week after birth number 2, a tube of Anusol in my trolley, was probably one, but on the whole I am pleased I gave it another go.

This time I said my worst case scenario would be forceps.... or an episiotomy. Ouch!! Just the word makes me cross my legs!!! It wasn't so much the pain either, it was more the thought of someone taking a scalpel to my intimate area... what would I be left with??

Well, guess what?! I had the pleasure of BOTH! My vajazzle sliced AND my baby wrenched out of me, by his head. Good one!

I wonder if next time, if I say my worst case scenario would be the baby teleporting itself out of my womb and into the cot, followed by a lottery win.... it would happen?! Ha! Well there won’t be a 'next time' and if there is I will be keeping my mouth well and truly shut.  

So.. two births... two lots of stitches... two scars. It’s almost like my children were not happy unless they left their mark. A little sign that says 'we were here', well cheers kids... mummy is really grateful.

An episiotomy and c section are pretty similar... but in one way they differ. One of them... you can talk about.... the other... is like the unmentionable!!!

When you have a c section people will ask how you are healing, they make sure you take it easy, and offer their services, because really, you've had a major operation.

Not so much with the other. People don't want to ask about it, which is fair enough, how do you say 'how's your fanny' in a nice way? So basically, you just have to grin and bear it.

So there you have it, my tale of two births.

All births are different, some lucky sods have 2 hour labours without so much as a stitch. Some have 2 day labours, with the works. It doesn't really matter, but I personally think it’s important to talk about them rather than be embarrassed. I know people give birth every day, but it really is quite a big event in someone’s life. Just because it involves talking about bits, it shouldn't be taboo.

It’s a massive event, and at times it can be pretty bloody scary, it’s good to offload all these feelings. Some people can even suffer from post traumatic stress after birth. So don’t feel like you can’t talk about it. Tell anyone who will listen, and if you feel like you are still a bit traumatised, tell your health visitor. Just because your best friend, or next door neighbour, breezed through it and was doing their weekly shop in Tesco 2 days later looking the picture of health, it doesn’t mean you should be.

I hope I haven't scared any mums to be, not my intention, but childbirth is what it is. There is no getting away from it, but (and you will hear this a million times) the truth is, its 100% worth it.

Author: Laura @mum_bore


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