My thoughts on my First Natural Childbirth
Oh the pain!
True labor hurt but actually not so much as I expected. Lucky me, I guess. In the midst of it I did tell my sister she sucked for generally not feeling much until her water was broken at 7-8cm with her 2 inductions. I guess she is luckier.
What did it feel like to me? A REALLY bad stomach bug. Like cramps before the cold sweats. I'm probably unique in my crazy thoughts while in labor (or any time for that matter) but I thought back to the 20/20 episode on “orgasmic birth.” I would have laughed had I not been in labor. Why? Because only only if you enjoy stomach bugs would this be a good time. Honestly, even if I could have an “orgasmic birth” I think that would weird me out and I would have to decline. Who am I to judge? If that's your cup of tea then, by all means, go for it.
Now I do suppose everyone's labor experience is different. I then thought about people who love water births. Now, prior to being in labor this sounded like an OK idea. People rave about how great it is. My though was “I most definitely would drown if put in a tub right now.” I did try lots of positions. My IV was put in while I stood and leaned across the raised hospital bed. I bounced on the ball...it wasn't so awesome really. I tried all fours. It was OK...briefly. Oh, how about having your back rubbed? Um, I really couldn't stand to be touched, thanks. No, not even hand holding was good. I signed up for this, I wasn't mad. But, please don't touch. Walking wasn't so great either. Other than the every 2 hour potty break I scheduled for myself I was happy to not walk.
What did I prefer? To lay on my side and hold on to the cold bed rail. Occasionally switching sides with someone to move my pillows for me. P.S. Hospital pillows are worthless. Just had to sacrifice a nice one of my own. Its worth it. My upper body felt like it had been through a workout for a couple days after since I pulled with all my strength on the rails during contractions. Oh, cold cloths on the head were nice too.
I know some people are all about free eating and drinking during labor. And more power to you if that is what you want. I think it is unreasonable the way it is restricted. That said, I had no desire to eat either. I did have half a bagel before leaving for the hospital. I was trying to plan ahead in case they decided to starve me and I wasn't 100% sure I was in labor at that point anyway. I think I would have been just as happy without it. I had a few sips of contraband Coke during labor (which is especially refreshing when you've generally denied yourself all pregnancy long).
I'd also like to comment on those who say they feel the baby moving down and coming out. Now maybe, being a 9lb12oz sack of potatoes, she cut off nerve sensation much better than a 6lb lightweight. I did not feel her moving down. I was told it will feel like you need to have a poo. No, never felt like I needed to poo. I felt a reflexive need to push similar to reflexive need to throw up. I never felt the “ring of fire” or burning. It all felt the same as low cramping labor pains (like the worst stomach virus ever) and that was it.
So, who knows? It could all be different next time. But that is how it was for me