I’ve been thinking about the kind of delivery I want to have.
For my first baby, I wanted to do things completely naturally.
I went to a special family birth centre, where there were no doctors – just midwives. This was part of the public health system, which in Australia, is pretty well resourced compared to other countries.
They had an extremely tough screening process to make sure that all admissions were completely low risk. They encouraged the use of aromatherapy, music therapy, hot baths, and pethidine gas as forms of pain relief. All birthing suites looked more like a large, gorgeous hotel suite, rather than a hospital ward. It was a really wonderful set up.
Unfortunately, during the labour, I developed several complications and was rushed to the main public hospital. I had an epidural, I had a natural birth, and I delivered a healthy 3.4kg (7.6 pounds) baby. Total labour time was 15 hours.
After the birth, I started to bleed, and was put on high alert for emergency surgery. I ended up needing a blood transfusion and intensive care. I spent several days hooked up to monitors, drips, urine bags, and all kinds of machines… and I was unable to hold my baby for 3 days.
I spent the next 3 months being sore, very weak, and needing to recover and heal in all kinds of places.
It was certainly not the “natural” experience I was hoping for!
But I was extremely thankful for the doctors and nurses who looked after me, and that despite it all, my baby and I were fine.
For my second baby, we chose an obstetrician who came highly recommended and was extremely supportive of natural births. The hospital was a lovely little private hospital, with a very big price tag. Thank heavens for private insurance!
My second birth was textbook. It took a total of 6 hours. I delivered a 3.6kg (8 pounds) baby, with no drugs, no pain relief, no tearing, no complications. It was all completely natural!
But unlike my first delivery (with an epidural)… THIS TIME I felt every contraction, every spasm, every spine-tingling, bone-rattling, blood-curdling, skin-crawling, knuckle-crunching, debilitating, horrifying, complete shocking pain.
I admit, it took me by surprise.
I wished I could say that I was strong and resilient throughout it all. But I wasn’t.
After 5 hours of it, I broke.
It completely and utterly defeated me, and I wanted to just lay there and die, and let someone else get the baby out. The doctor (who was just wonderful) came in, urged me to try a little bit harder… I pushed, and the hey presto, the baby came out.
My recovery after the birth was amazing. After 2 days, I was bouncing around with no pain, no wounds, no needles, no drips, no sore bits. I felt great!
ANYWAY. So with all that on my mind, I’m wondering whether I want to go completely natural drug-free again, or have the epidural.
Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.