All childbirths are unique! Some will be smooth and some will be arduous! Lina, a mother of two, living in Montreal experienced both. Lina is a craft goddess with a little obsession for milk glass and doilies!
What was your birth plan?
I wanted things to be as natural as possible and avoid too much intervention. I was also keen to use the birthing pool which I did and it helped a lot. I also wanted not to put too much pressure on myself to have a perfect natural birth. I was pretty easy going in that respect.
How did you prepare physically and mentally for childbirth?
Mentally, I read lots, attended birth classes, asked my sister and closest friends about their experiences and spent far too much time watching birth stories. Physically, I concentrated on eating well and getting as much rest as I could. I also had relaxation CDs which were really helpful for breathing techniques.
Who was with you during labour and birth?
Just my husband and a midwife. My children were both born in the UK and the hospital where I had them both were pretty strict about partners only in the delivery room. I’m not sure I would have wanted anyone else even if it had been an option.
How did you handle the pain?
My first labour was long and to begin with I tried it all: deep breathing, relaxation, gas and air. As labour progressed I spent 5 hours in a birthing pool. After 24 hours of contractions, the midwife suggested breaking my waters. In retrospect, I was a bag of nerves and exhausted so my pain threshold was at zero…and a few hours later I had an epidural.
With my second child, I felt in control and actually really enjoyed the labour. It was such a positive and powerful experience. My contractions started at 4pm and my son was born at 10pm with the help of just a little gas and air towards the end. I really focused on deep breathing, meditation and relaxing. His birth was just text book perfect and unusually, he was born in his waters, which is quite rare.
Did everything go according to your birth plan?
For the first birth, it was not the natural birth I had hoped for and I did have some complications afterwards which resulted in needing a blood transfusion and longer recovery time. However, I was so relieved to have delivered a beautiful healthy girl that I didn’t feel in anyway disappointed.
Second time around my birthing experience was amazing and I feel grateful to have experienced that. The biggest thing that didn’t go to plan was that we were told by our sonographer that we were having another girl and I was amazed when I heard the midwife exclaim “it’s a boy”!!!
What is your best childbirth advice?
Relax relax relax! I learned that being nervous and panicky just heightens the pain. Have confidence in your body and try to keep an open mind. Labour is a journey and you cannot plan for every incident.
Thank you Lina! xox