I’m thrilled to officially introduce you to my son Billy J and wanted to take this opportunity to share with my tribe my journey through labour, the insights I have and what I’ve learnt.
I’m a first time mother, so I felt a little bombarded with advice and information from every angle on how to prepare my baby and myself for labour. And there are certainly some strong opinions out there in regard to pain management.
But to be honest, for the labour part, I just chose to have the attitude of “going with the flow”.
I decided not to listen too closely at the horror stories and be fixated on a birthing plan but rather, be open to what Billy J had in store for me and I was also open to pain management if I needed it.
Everyone’s journey is different.
I believed that mine and my obstetrician’s job was to get bub out with as little stress as possible and being 2019 and having a background in science, I think that modern medicine has its place and if I needed pain relief such as an epidural, I was going to have it and have it without feeling guilty.
Due to the fact that my beautiful partner Pat was due to fly out to Hong Kong to commence his new job only one week after our due date, we decided to book an induction (again guilt-free) for Billy’s due date, to ensure Pat got time with his son, plus I had time with him supporting me before he departed.
Alongside this plan, I also did every natural induction exercise possible to encourage Billy to come in his time which would hopefully mean that I’d have a slower-paced build-up of contractions and I would be less likely to need pain management.
I had induction acupuncture, oxytocin enhancing herbs, chilli and a couple of orgasms to encourage the natural onset of labour and sure enough, it worked!!!
It was not, however, a slow progression of contractions building, in fact, my entire labouring experience from the first sign of early labour to last push was a mere 22 hours!
For those who are not aware, early labour alone for a first child normally lasts for 24-48 hours, but this was certainly not in my case.
The downside of this fast-building labour was that my contractions ramped up very quickly with little room for me to rest and adjust to the pain and as a result, I absolutely felt the necessity to get pain relief to assist me.
Luckily, I requested the epidural just in time. I was dilated around 4 cm when I first requested it, and 8 cm dilated when it arrived. I only just made it!
To give you an idea, the first 10 hours of early labour was super manageable, then within an hour, I was having three and a half minutes of contractions and only 20 seconds rest. I seriously thought I was going to die!!
Once the epidural was administered it was a complete game-changer. I was actually able to be present with my family sharing the birthing journey with me and enjoy the final stretch of pushing Billy J out into the world.
I know a lot of women out there believe we SHOULD go natural with labour but I believe it’s every mother’s choice to decide intuitively if pain relief is for her or not and whatever the decision is, that they most certainly should not feel guilty nor should anyone else have an opinion.
Yes, I am a yogi and a natural remedies advocate but I am an even bigger believer that if you are truly connected to your intuition and gut feeling, every mother will make the correct choice for her birthing experience.