Firstly, let me start by saying how much I appreciate midwives and what they do. I think it’s an incredible job and in my next life I might as well become one. I have also watched almost all seasons of “Call the midwife” and that made my appreciation even stronger.
Thinking back about my first pregnancy though, I did not have a great midwife experience from the word go basically. At my surgery the local midwife was on a sick leave when I got pregnant and she only came back to work when I was around 36-37 weeks pregnant. I pretty much had a different midwife at my every appointment. Luckily I had a low risk/no problems pregnancy and that made it easier but it would have been very annoying and horrible if I would have had complications etc and then having to explain these to new people all the time. Everything I “learned” about the actual birth process and the following newborn care I learned from all these antenatal classes we went. And I’m so glad we did them all, it got us so well prepped that in the end I would have been ready to take the exam on the “topic” if there was one lol. So in theory I knew pretty much everything about the different stages of labour, birth and everything that comes with it! I just wish that I would have had my own midwife to support me as well and a bit more of a personal touch during this rather personal time.
This time around I have an amazing midwife though. I saw her couple of times in my previous pregnancy as well and I just love her. She is everything I’d like a midwife to be.
Coming closer to the end of my second preggo journey now I’ve also revisited my first birth experience a lot. It’s probably because I’ve been asked about it a lot or had to discuss it with midwives/doctors.
I’m not going to tell my birth story again, but I would like to talk about the help and support I received at the hospital that time.
Shortly said – it was almost non-existent. And that makes me feel a bit sad. However, I don’t have bad memories of it all but I think it was mainly because I had waited for this baby for so long and I didn’t care that much who was there and who wasn’t. I also tend to think of myself as a very strong individual and it was almost like I was sort of ready to go through this process “alone”. Yes of course, I needed my husband there but I’m not one of those to ask for back rubs etc. I rather not be touched and prefer to be left alone. Hypnobirthing techniques definitely helped as well and thanks to my background in yoga and all things to do with breathing and working with my body were and are massively beneficial. I know my body, I listen to it, I trust and love my body and work together with it. Plus I’m aware that giving birth is a natural process and if you think about it – animals don’t bloody scream and be dramatic about it, they go somewhere nice and quiet and get on with it. It’s the TV and media that’s made it out to be this horrendous experience… It’s not, it’s natural, our bodies are meant to do that.
Going slightly off topic here though…!
Maybe it’s because I was induced that makes me almost feel like I didn’t matter that much? The feeling I got was that in the induction ward you’re just one of the women in the room I guess. There’s no personal touch or “hand holding”… even though I feel it doesn’t get much more personal and private than giving birth. No one really pays that much attention to you there like they would if you would be at the Midwife Led Unit or would go straight to the delivery suite.
It all started from the moment we walked in at 7am really – we were greeted by a tired and clearly pissed off midwife who had worked the whole night and who was more than happy to share with us the fact that they’ve had a pretty mental night and that they’re so short of staff and there are too many women giving birth. I mean, good morning and have a nice first birth experience to you too! And then another midwife who had just started her shift took over and told us the same information again! Basically saying be ready to give birth right there in that room (with two or three other women), because they’re busy in the hospital. Thanks again for that sis…
Also, when being induced it can take hours and even days for things to get moving. For me it took 10 minutes until I was suddenly experiencing excruciating back contractions. If you’ve had back labour, you know what I’m talking about, if not, you have no bloody idea. And that’s all after I had already been having light natural contractions all night long anyway and I hadn’t slept.
However, no one ever even asked me what kind of pain I was having or checked what position my baby was in. Only now, 17+ months later it was finally sort of confirmed by my lovely midwife that yes, I did have a “back labour” and I can be proud of myself that I coped the whole day with a fucking 1g of paracetamol! So that makes me feel a lot better. Just to know at least now what was going on and why it all got complicated etc. But it’s pretty shit that even in the antenatal classes they do mention that it’s quite tough when the baby is back to back and the pain can be so much worse, therefore it should be managed well etc…Yet when it was actually happening none of the people who came to see me said anything or offered some actual pain relief. My knuckles were purple and bruised by the end of it all because rubbing my hips and back myself was the only thing that helped a tiny bit. And in the pushing stage I took the nails out lol, so I was covered in bloody marks – my arms, my back, my legs. So there you go – invented my own kind of pain relief! Oh and I had gas and air in the end too of course!
You know on these shows on TV when women go to give birth they’re always greeted by a midwife who’s gonna look after them etc. I never had that, I saw few people during that day without knowing who they were. Only until I was almost ready to start pushing I felt this one midwife was now “stuck” with me, as she had only come in to check on me. But after finding out I was 8cm, she did her best to finally get me to the delivery suite ASAP. I honestly thought I’m going to give birth with those other people in the same room there. Like wtf.
And the midwife was sooo clumsy…. She never told us her name, but when I first saw her I almost felt more “assured” because she looked a bit older, so I was like good, she’s experienced. But in reality it felt like it was her first day at this job independently.
It all started when she had to put me on the antibiotic drip (as my waters had broken 24hrs ago)…The needle didn’t really go where it was supposed to and the blood from my hand just flew everywhere and every time I opened my eyes all I saw was mess. And then later when the baby was trying to come out and when the doctors were called in I think she was even told off by them because the same thing happened when she had to give me the numbing injection before episiotomy. Total blood show again. Like what lol?! My husband said it was horrendous lol. I guess needles were not her strongest suit lol.
And then when everything was over she was gone quite quick. She did say goodbye though I remember but that was like the longest we spoke really haha. But don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking shit about her at all because she was still there when I needed her the most (the lovely 2+ hours of pushing). But my whole point about writing this post is that what about the rest of the day? I was in the hospital for around 9 hours before I met her… So I just wish that there would have been a proper point of contact during that time too. I guess really, it was just the problem of not having enough people working that day. A problem you wouldn’t want to have when you’re about to pop!!
So this time I’m just hoping that I won’t need to be induced and can have a normal (fairly) chill birth experience with a midwife there from the start. However, I don’t care what experience I’ll have as long as the baby is happy and healthy! I’m definitely more calm and relaxed myself and know what to expect etc. And I also found out this week that my baby is in the right position for birth so that should make things a LOT easier as well after I’ve had the nasty back labour the first time around. So here we go! I’m ready!