Hi Eleanor, I have a moment now and can give you the good news: our second daughter was born Wednesday evening at 10 after 24 hours of contractions via c section again, because those 24 hours got me exactly from 3 to 4cm dilated and there was no energy left in my body to push on;).
But I really wanted to tell you that in spite of that I’ve had a good labour and that to a large extent that’s thanks to you and that you were almost there with me:):)
I packed my hospital bags according to your instructions, had my own pillows, my own thick yoga mat, lavender oil, snacks you’d suggested, Lucozade sports raspberry (total lifesaver, love that taste now), tens machine, and all these things made me feel so much more in control of everything.
It’s not just from Facebook, I remembered so much from your pregnancy yoga classes from 2 years ago, it’s a very intense period in our lives and things just stick and suddenly resurface when we need them:) camel walk, breathing, tens machine, bringing all this equipment, being vocal about what we don’t want or asking what’s really necessary, you’d mentioned it quite a lot:)
Also that you yourself had 5 hospital bags or something? I actually had to convince my husband to pack that entire pile of bags and other stuff in our hallway into the car, he was like come on, you don’t need all that, they have it all there (no they don’t, or it’s never at hand and screaming into your own pillow or mat is so good!) he took everything back afterwards and said he was so impressed by my preparation:)
I was so much more vocal about things I did and did not want, asked whether things were necessary etc. So I knew why they were happening.
It was down to the fact that we’ve got the positive and negative experience from our first labour and we know what to look out for but there were so many things I decided to try out because you’d mentioned them. I even did the camel walk!!:)
Also, I think I’ve had every form of pain relief the midwives could think of – I wish I’d have contributed to your book🙂 Codeine with Paracetamol works wonders for me and combined with gas and air and tens it got me through the largest part of it, at least 15 hours.
I then tried sterile water injections, because you can only have so much codeine in 24 hours, probably the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced in my life, like tearing the skin off your lower back or burning it, but the pain is super short and suddenly your lower back pain is gone, it’s incredible. It doesn’t last forever but for quite a while, so if you’re not as slow as me it can be a total lifesaver and probably even get you to the end:)
They then suggested diamorphine for the time after breaking my waters, that totally knocked me out like last time but if you need a rest or break during a long labour it’s very helpful and helps you avoid an epidural. It does wear off and you can be upright again afterwards which was my plan.
After 18 hours or so I decided to have an epidural as I was still at 4cm and needed another rest. It worked really well and allowed me to get a clear head and think about how to proceed.
When during the last examination they said 4 again, I decided to throw in the towel. I would have continued but the problem wasn’t the pain, it was the total exhaustion. It was unfair, because had my contractions started in the morning or after a few hours of sleep things would have been different. But when they start at the end of your day, right before you’re supposed to go to bed it’s a different story as you lose an entire night.
I don’t know how other people do it, pottering about in early labour, are they more resistant to pain, are their contractions weaker. I had to breathe and pant through mine almost instantly. I wouldn’t have been able to get into the car much later I think.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you so much and tell you that you’ve made a huge difference for me and that you’re doing a fantastic job!
I wasn’t able to apply those things the first time around because the pain was a lot worse, lower back pain is just a total killer for me, and I got induced and was attached to a monitor with cables which made being mobile nearly impossible. I specifically asked for this wireless monitoring device this time which made it possible to apply your techniques.
I was definitely frustrated when it came to that c section, but I’d put up a good fight and did everything in my power to make it so it was much easier to accept it. My daughter was fit as a fiddle throughout and feeding is going great so perhaps all those contractions had their benefit after all:)
Again, thank you so much.
Ms E, August 2018
Eleanor Hayes Online Antenatal Teacher and Author
I founded Birthzang after having an incredible birth experience that enlightened me that with the right tools and skills at her fingertips, any woman can have a positive birth experience.
I discovered my passion for providing parents with practical and non-fluffy information in my online antenatal workshops and classes about how to cope with pregnancy, labour, birth, and parenthood.
My Book: Helping Birth
In my book, Helping Birth, I discuss all labour pain relief choices and common birth interventions. I use the BRAIN framework to look at the pro's and cons, to help you make the right choices for you and your baby. Includes real-life stories.