I always suggest to my clients to write the story of their childbirth. A written birth story is a wonderful way of recording your birth as so much of what happens is forgotten over time.
For Aniko and her new family, I have had the honor of being a postpartum doula. I gave them support during the following weeks, after their return home.
Aniko got the time to write about her birth and gave me the consent to share her beautiful story, a positive one that could inspire other parents.
Thanks Aniko for sharing your story with us all.
Everybody tells that each birth is different and we cannot know what to expect.
So I read a lot about how it could be to look into the abyss of future prepared.
I wanted to deliver in hospital and was thinking of trying acupuncture or water birth as pain relief. Although I had little expectations, the experience was unlike I imagined.
It was on time and fast; there was no time for anaesthesia and I went close to giving birth at home.
As many moms-to-be, I was concerned if I was going to recognise the early signs of labour (as we cannot predict when the labour starts) and when the water breaks.
In my family, every woman gave birth a few weeks in advance. So I was startled day by day as the due date kept approaching.
One night, two weeks before the actual birth, there was a fake alarm. I got a few contractions, 10-20 min apart, but no signs after that.
Then, most unexpectedly, it all happened on the due date.
I suddenly woke up at 3 am, and felt that the water broke.
Well, I had no doubt, there was so much water. I was hesitating whether to wake up my husband or let him sleep.
I heard enough times that first pregnancies start with an 8-12 hours latency period so I decided to let him sleep till the morning and started cleaning up the water.
He did wake up, however, because I turned on the light in the bathroom.
We changed the bed sheet to a dry one to sleep till the morning as we would have a lot of time before the contractions start.
He got so excited that he could not fall back asleep.To my surprise, I didn’t get much time to sleep or relax. An hour later, the contractions started every ten minutes; they were strong and each lasted for a minute. I called the hospital several times, they were reluctant to believe it was happening so fast. They were explaining to me that I should measure the duration of the peak pain. I called them several times.
An hour later my contractions were 6 minutes apart. They suggested I go to the labour ward by 11 am. I was puzzled how long I should stay home.
At 6 am, with contractions every 4-5 min, they advised me to eat something and take a warm shower to relax. That speeded up the contractions to every 3 minutes.
A few times I even felt the urge to push!
Although I was in a lot of pain, I could cope with it by closing out the outside world from my mind.
Nevertheless, I was sure I could not cope with the same level of pain for another 8-12 hours – so I changed my mind on the go and instead of water birth, I was going to ask for epidural as soon as we would get to the hospital.
As I kept calling them, they told me I could come in any time, it was my decision.
I was hesitating because they have decades of experience and know better.
At 7 am, my husband insisted that we take a taxi and go in.
Two minutes walking, one minute breathing.
When we arrived just after 8 am, my cervix was 10 cm dilated. There was no time for anaesthesia; it was time to push. I am not sure who was more surprised: they or I.
The midwives who assisted me through the labour were extremely kind and helpful.
After two hours of pushing, I gave life to a beautiful baby boy.
The placenta quickly left also, with in a minute. I was so much into my thoughts, I did not even notice when my husband cut the umbilical cord. The next thing I knew was a cute little boy breathing heavily on my bosom.
Everything happened so quickly, I needed a few days to fully realise the miracle that happened!
The first days
Although I did not lose too much blood, my blood pressure was low and the midwives had to help me get out of the bed on the first day. The apple juice and sandwiches they brought me helped a lot to regain my power and get rid of the dizziness.
My son and I spent three days in hospital, which I was very happy about. Reading about what to do with a newborn baby and doing it are two different things.
The midwives were extremely kind, regularly checked upon us and thought us the bits of our new life.
They thought us both how to breastfeed.
My son slept the whole night through and is a very quiet, relaxed boy.
He didn’t bother about the other baby screaming in the room and kept on sleeping. So
I will never forget when after the first night, he gave a short scream like never before. That was the time when I realized the second task of a parent (after feeding): changing the nappy.
Then, I just called the midwife on duty and she showed me how to do everything. They gave useful information about what to look out for during the first days and everyday tasks like bathing and cutting the finger nails.
It was interesting to hear their advice, every time I talked to a midwife, she could tell me something new I did not hear before.
I had a really good overall experience and will be happy to do it over again, in good time.