Birth Stories - What 583 Mums Had to Say About Childbirth

Case Studies

Did you know that 48% of first-time mums are in labour for 12 hours or more compared to 14% for mums that have previously had children.

At Cadenshae we surveyed 583 mums about their most recent childbirth experience and compared the results between mums that went through childbirth for the first-time and mums that have had more than one child.

Let’s take a look at the results.

What’s in this case study:

  1. What percentage were first-time mums?
  2. When did they give birth?
  3. What age ranges were they?
  4. How many had premature births?
  5. How many were induced?
  6. What was the sex of the baby?
  7. What was the first sign of going into labour?
  8. Where were they when they went into labour?
  9. When did the “bloody show” occur? (Loss of the mucus plug)
  10. When did their water break?
  11. How long were they in labour for?
  12. Was the “stretch and sweep” used to initiate labour?
  13. What time of day was the baby born?
  14. Did they have any drugs?
  15. What type of deliveries did they have?
  16. Where did they plan on giving birth vs where they actually gave birth.
  17. How many days were they in the hospital/birthing centre for?
  18. Birth stories & advice from first-time mums.
  19. Birth stories and advice from mums that have had more than one child.



1. Of the 583 mums, we surveyed how many were first-time mums and how many have had more than one childbirth?

  • 54% have had one birth.              
  • 46% have had more than one child.

    pregnancy-stories

    2. How many mums gave birth before their due date, on their due date or after their due date?

    For first-time mums:

    • 56% gave birth before their due date.
    • 5% gave birth on their due date.
    • 39% gave birth after their due date.

      Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

      • 56% gave birth before their due date.
      • 5% gave birth on their due date.
      • 39% gave birth after their due date.

        natural-birth-stories

        3. What were the age ranges of mums that completed the survey?

        Results are from women aged between 16-44 years old.

        For first-time mums:

        • 1% were 15-19 years old when they gave birth.
        • 14% were 20-24 years old when they gave birth.
        • 50% were 25-29% years old when they gave birth.
        • 31% were 30-34 years old when they gave birth.
        • 4% were 35-39 years old when they gave birth.
        • 0% were 40+ years old when they gave birth.

          Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

          • 0% were 15-19 years old when they gave birth last.
          • 11% were 20-24 years old when they gave birth last.
          • 36% were 25-29 years old when they gave birth last.
          • 40% were 30-34 years old when they gave birth last.
          • 12% were 35-39 years old when they gave birth last.
          • 1% were 40+ years old when they gave birth last.

            4. How many had premature births?

            The estimated date of delivery is normally 40 weeks from conception, however, if the birth of a baby is less than 37 weeks gestational age the baby is born prematurely.

            Of the 583 mums we surveyed:

            • 14 first-time mums had premature births.
            • 12 mums that have had more than one child had a premature birth in their last birth.

              5. In their last childbirth how many were induced?

              Inducing labour is the stimulation of contractions during pregnancy before labour begins on its own to achieve a vaginal birth.

              For first-time mums:

              • 60% Yes.
              • 40% No.

                Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                • 25% Yes.
                • 75% No.

                  labour-stories

                  6. In their last birth what was the sex of the baby?

                  For first-time mums:

                  • 46% Girl
                  • 54% Boy

                    Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                    • 42% Girl
                    • 58% Boy

                      positive-birth-stories

                      7. In their last birth what was the first sign that they were going into labour?

                      For first-time mums:

                      • 24% Water broke.
                      • 22% Contractions.
                      • 17% Being induced.
                      • 16% Braxton Hicks (including false labour, pre-labour, irregular contractions, period like pain, cramping or tightening).
                      • 8% The show (also known as the bloody show, loss of the mucus plug).
                      • 5% Caesarean Section.
                      • 4% Back pain or back cramps.
                      • 2% Urge to go to the toilet.
                      • 1% Change in mood (for example: irritable, restless, lethargic, unwell, vomiting, hungry or head spinning).
                      • 0.5% Baby wasn’t moving (much).
                      • 0.5% Speculum Swab, internal exam.

                        Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                        • 36% Contractions.
                        • 17% Water broke.
                        • 16% Braxton Hicks (including false labour, pre-labour, irregular contractions, period like pain, cramping or tightening).
                        • 13% Being induced.
                        • 8% The show (also known as the bloody show, loss of the mucus plug).
                        • 6% Caesarean Section.
                        • 2% Change in mood (for example: irritable, restless, lethargic, unwell, vomiting, hungry or head spinning).
                        • 1% Back pain or back cramps. 
                        • 0.5% Urge to go to the toilet. 
                        • 0.5% Intuition.

                            8. In their last birth where were they when they went into labour?

                            For first-time mums:

                            • 59% Home.
                            • 33% Hospital (Includes those that had a caesarean or were induced).
                            • 8% Out and about.

                              Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                              • 67% Home.
                              • 28% Hospital, (Includes those that had a caesarean or were induced).
                              • 5% Out and about.

                                natural-hospital-birth-stories

                                9. In their last birth how long before the baby was delivered did the “bloody show” occur?

                                For first-time mums:

                                • 33% experienced the show less than 24 hours before giving birth.
                                • 12% experienced the show 1-4 days before giving birth.
                                • 7% experienced the show 5 days or more before birth.
                                • 48% were unsure, never had the show, had a c section or were induced.

                                  Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                  • 36% experienced the show less than 24 hours before giving birth.
                                  • 14% experienced the show 1-4 days before giving birth.
                                  • 5% experienced the show 5 days or more before birth.
                                  • 45% were unsure, never had the show, had a c section or were induced.

                                    What is the “bloody show”?

                                    The “bloody show” or “show” refers to a blood-streaked discharge that often occurs after you lose your mucus plug which seals your cervix during pregnancy. As you can see above the bloody show often occurs in the days leading up to labour and is not always noticeable.

                                    going-into-labour-stories

                                    10. In their last birth when did their water break?

                                    For first-time mums:

                                    • 51% Early labour phase.
                                    • 25% Active labour phase.
                                    • 8% Transition phase.
                                    • 16% Pushing & birth phase.

                                      Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                      • 37% Early labour phase.
                                      • 17% Active labour phase.
                                      • 12% Transition phase.
                                      • 34% Pushing & birth phase.

                                        labour-stories-first-baby

                                        11. In their last birth, how long were they in labour for?

                                        For first-time mums:

                                        • 5%     1 hour or less.
                                        • 7%     1 - 3 hours.
                                        • 15%   3 - 6 hours.
                                        • 11%   6 - 9 hours.
                                        • 14%   9 - 12 hours.
                                        • 16%  12 - 15 hours.
                                        • 32%  15+ hours.

                                          Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                          • 9%    1 hour or less.
                                          • 24%  1 - 3 hours.
                                          • 29%  3 - 6 hours.
                                          • 15%  6 - 9 hours.
                                          • 9%    9 - 12 hours.
                                          • 7%  12 - 15 hours.
                                          • 7%  15+ hours.

                                            real-childbirth

                                            12. In their last birth was the "stretch and sweep" used to try and initiate labour?

                                            For first-time mums:

                                            • 40% Yes.
                                            • 60% No.

                                              Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                              • 44% Yes.
                                              • 56% No.

                                                What is the “stretch and sweep”?

                                                Also known as a membrane sweep, membrane stripping or a sweep, this approach involves gently lifting the amniotic sac or fetal membrane from the cervix and lower uterus. Late in pregnancy, a doctor or midwife inserts a gloved finger through the cervical canal and uses a sweeping motion to separate the membrane from the cervix. This “sweep,” releases prostaglandins, chemicals that help to soften and open the cervix for delivery.

                                                birth-experience

                                                13. In their last birth, what time was the baby born?

                                                For first-time mums:

                                                • 14%  12am - 4am.
                                                • 13%    4am - 8am.
                                                • 16%    8am - 12pm.
                                                • 21%  12pm - 4pm.
                                                • 21%    4pm - 8pm.
                                                • 15%    8pm - 12pm.

                                                  Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                                  • 17%  12am - 4am.
                                                  • 16%    4am - 8am.
                                                  • 22%    8am - 12pm.
                                                  • 15%  12pm - 4pm.
                                                  • 14%    4pm - 8pm.
                                                  • 16%    8pm - 12pm.

                                                    childbirth-stories

                                                    14. During their last birth did they have any drugs?

                                                    For example drugs such as Nitrous oxide, Pethidine and/or Epidural anaesthesia.

                                                    For first-time mums:

                                                    • 67% Yes.
                                                    • 33% No.

                                                      Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                                      • 40% Yes.
                                                      • 60% No.

                                                        natural-childbirth-stories

                                                        15. In their last birth, what type of delivery did they have?

                                                        For first-time mums:

                                                        • 51% Natural delivery.
                                                        • 6% Water delivery.
                                                        • 9% Vacuum-assisted delivery.
                                                        • 8% Forceps delivery.
                                                        • 3% Elective caesarean.
                                                        • 23% Unplanned caesarean.

                                                          Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                                          • 73% Natural delivery.
                                                          • 9% Water delivery.
                                                          • 3% Vacuum-assisted delivery.
                                                          • 1% Forceps delivery.
                                                          • 5% Elective caesarean.
                                                          • 9% Unplanned caesarean.

                                                            pregnancy-experience

                                                            16. In their last birth, where did mums plan on giving birth vs where they actually gave birth.

                                                            For first-time mums:

                                                            Where did they plan on giving birth?

                                                            • 1%   Home.
                                                            • 13% Birthing Centre.
                                                            • 86% Hospital.

                                                              Where did they actually give birth?

                                                              • 1%   Home.
                                                              • 4%   Birthing Centre.
                                                              • 95% Hospital.

                                                              Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                                              Where did they plan on giving birth?

                                                              • 7% Home.
                                                              • 12% Birthing Centre.
                                                              • 81% Hospital.

                                                                Where did they actually give birth?

                                                                • 9% Home.
                                                                • 8% Birthing Centre.
                                                                • 83% Hospital.

                                                                17. How many days were they in the hospital/birthing centre for?

                                                                For first-time mums:

                                                                • 11%   0 - 1 day.
                                                                • 19%   1 - 2 days.
                                                                • 26%   2 - 3 days.
                                                                • 13%   3 - 4 days.
                                                                • 17%   4 - 5 days.
                                                                • 14%   5+ days.

                                                                  Most recent birth: (Mothers that have given birth to more than one child)

                                                                  • 28% 0 - 1 day.
                                                                  • 28% 1 - 2 days.
                                                                  • 20% 2 - 3 days.
                                                                  • 13% 3 - 4 days.
                                                                  • 8%   4 - 5 days.
                                                                  • 3%   5+ days.

                                                                    water-birth-stories

                                                                    18. Birth stories and advice from first-time mums.

                                                                    Pursed lips and counterpressure were key to getting through the contractions (back labour), it got me through 18 hrs of labour before I needed the epidural due to stalling out. 

                                                                     

                                                                    I was in pain for about 10 days before baby came, so by the time I was in labour I wasn’t actually convinced that I was! Which made for super fast labour, as I powered on about my day just thinking I was hungry or needed to poop hahaha as it turns out, it’s not as scary as you imagine. We are made to do this. Something primal takes over, and you get through it. It really is an amazing thing that our bodies do.

                                                                     

                                                                    Just be positive and go with what feels right. Don't stick to a birth plan or you might be disappointed.

                                                                     

                                                                    HECTIC!!! But you definitely do forget afterwards.

                                                                     

                                                                    Being my first baby I didn't know what to expect and being induced I didn't really know what was going to happen or how it was all going to happen. I ended up waiting 4 hours after asking for pain relief before receiving it and I ultimately could have pushed her out as she had already made her way out but the epidural stopped the whole process.

                                                                     

                                                                    Just go with the flow! These babes do what they like and trust in the medical system to help them.

                                                                     

                                                                    Pace yourself and rest when you can.

                                                                     

                                                                    A hypnobirthing education definitely helped me stay calm, positive and ready for anything that happened! Plus made me aware of my rights and choices.

                                                                     

                                                                    My biggest advice to FTM’s unsure of labour is I always tell them to not put too much pressure or expectations on themselves. Don’t stress about having a set in stone plan because it’s not going to always go that way. Just go with the flow, listen to your body, and ultimately do what’s best for yourself and baby as it comes.

                                                                     

                                                                    Wow, this was my first time giving birth and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be as painful and exhausting as it was. I had a short labour, only 7 hours but I pushed for 2 and it felt like forever! I was really lucky that I didn’t tear or need any stitches - partly thanks to my midwife who rubbed oil around the area as I was giving birth.. not particularly comfortable, but so worth it!

                                                                     

                                                                    Prepare for your birth plan to go to shit.

                                                                     

                                                                    I gave birth to my first baby a couple months ago, after 11 hours of active labour I ended up having an emergency c section due to him being posterior and his little head being tilted. My advice is to keep an open mind and know that however your baby ends up in your arms is the right way for you.

                                                                     

                                                                    No matter how hard it is when your baby is born it all just blurs together and you forget it and love your new baby so much.

                                                                     

                                                                    I found my labour fairly easy and not as painful as I imagined. But it ended in an emergency c-section! Just know that anything could happen and it doesn't matter how you birth your baby.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t feel pressure to have a drug free birth. If you want and need pain relief then get it. No one will give you a medal at the end for being drug-free despite being in excruciating pain.

                                                                     

                                                                    I would love to tell first-time mums to trust your body. It’s amazing! Don’t be scared about an epi or c section. If it’s not in your birth plan I understand how difficult it is so defer from that, but the most important thing is a happy and healthy mum and Bub. If you’re induced, you are your biggest advocate! I didn’t want the extra hormones but my OBGYN insisted, she also said I would be labouring into the afternoon/evening so didn’t bother to check how dilated I was. Long story short - I had the hormones but on the minimal amount, plus I had an epi in fear I’d be labouring into the afternoon (and I was exhausted from being up all day/night beforehand) BUT the hormones were on bare minimum and the epi didn’t even kick in until after I had my bub! I wish I’d gotten someone to check me sooner, I was 8cm dilated when they did the epi at around 9.45am, Bubba arrived at 10.20am!!! Listen to your body ladies and remember you are your biggest advocate. X

                                                                     

                                                                    I had not prepared myself at all for the possibility of an emergency cesarean, so I would definitely recommend doing some research even if you plan on natural birth. Things don't always go to plan.

                                                                     

                                                                    You are stronger than you think, your partner or whoever is your loved one with you is there for you and only you, use them during labour and birth. They want to help.

                                                                     

                                                                    Listen to your midwife. :)

                                                                     

                                                                    I mentally prepared myself for childbirth but the experience of birthing my baby was beyond what I tried to prepare myself for.

                                                                     

                                                                    Remember, childbirth hardly ever goes to plan! I really did not want a cesarean but ended up having an unplanned cesarean. You have to do what's best for your baby. But at the same time, if you feel like you are being forced to make a decision when the baby is healthy, ask for more time! Don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do if you and baby are healthy. Although I had to schedule an induction, I still got to practice the skills I learned through hypnobirthing as well as using a tub to relax and ease my contractions. Induction is tough, especially if your cervix just doesn't want to dilate. I refused epidural for 24 hours until I couldn't take it anymore. Don't be a hero! If you want an epidural, get it! If you need a c section, who cares!!! At the end of the day, YOU carried your baby for 9 whole months and you still delivered that baby. The most important thing is delivering a healthy baby. Literally, nothing went according to my birth plan but was so thrilled that we delivered a beautiful healthy baby boy.

                                                                     

                                                                    I wish I had been more informed on induced labour. I had no idea what to expect and had a bad experience but it couldn’t have been that bad, I’m having another baby and my two will be 14 months apart.

                                                                     

                                                                    I wish I didn’t go to the hospital so soon and laboured at home much more. I don’t think they would have felt the need to induce me if I showed up later on and ultimately wouldn’t have needed intervention.

                                                                     

                                                                    Yes, share my birth story and raise awareness of preeclampsia and the signs.

                                                                     

                                                                    Most perfect and beautiful experience ever - would repeat it again and again.

                                                                     

                                                                    Having a prem baby can be scary but just make sure you enjoy all those much-needed skin on skin cuddles.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had a very very long labour, I didn't dilate fast enough and my baby went into fetal distress and I was rushed in for an emergency C-section. It was nothing like I thought it would be, very stressful & for several weeks afterwards, I felt like my body had failed me. But now I am just grateful for my wonderful obstetrician who made sure both me and bub were safe & healthy and that's all that matters!

                                                                     

                                                                    If you’re booked in for a c-section, still read into labour. I didn’t expect to labour but my waters broke 5 days before my c-section date and I was so unprepared for labour. I laboured for 5-6 hours before going into theatre.

                                                                     

                                                                    I loved my birth. I know I'm really lucky because lots of people don't have a positive experience but mine really was! I practised hypnobirthing through an online course 'the positive birth company' (highly recommend) and found it incredibly helpful. I was induced at 38 weeks because I had gestational diabetes. My induction was with a bloom catheter which came out while I was on the loo overnight. The next morning at 8.30am they broke my waters and started the oxytocin drip. I started having regular contractions but was able to work through them using my breathing techniques, the swiss ball, standing and swaying with my partner, light touch massage, the tens machine and watching a few light-hearted movies! 10 hours later I had still not progressed past 3 cm dilated (baby girl just was too comfy in there) so with the doctor’s advice we decided to go for a c section. There were a few people in front of me so there was a bit of a wait and we decided to up the oxytocin drip to see if anything would happen. I started contracting every minute so needed to start using the gas and air. 2 hours later no change so went ahead with the c section. Ended up having my beautiful baby girl at 10.39 pm. I loved the whole day and would do it all again in a heartbeat to get to see that beautiful baby girl at the end. X

                                                                     

                                                                    First child, no drugs, water birth active labour. 5 hours, pushing 2 hours and at the end a beautiful 10 pound 5-ounce boy. Only a first-degree tear which healed naturally, no stitches required. The body can do amazing things mummas.

                                                                     

                                                                    Tried to keep busy for the latent phase (mine was very long). Things don't always go to plan but that's ok! Look after yourself too and stand your ground, make sure you're birthing partner knows what you want and can be your voice if necessary. In saying that, your partner can also be tired too if you've had a long labour (mine was expected to drive with baby in the car after being awake for 36+ hours because no room in the ambulance to take me to the hospital after the birth) have a backup person available if possible for the aftermath! You got this!

                                                                     

                                                                    My birthing experience was much smoother than I had expected! I just wish I had gone for a meal before heading to the hospital because I wasn’t allowed to eat and was in labour for 23 hours - I was soooo hungry!

                                                                     

                                                                    I delivered my daughter in a water birth it was the most amazing experience of my life, I would not change a thing. I thought when making a birth plan that I would need stronger drugs but only needed a small bit of gas and air.

                                                                     

                                                                    Mine was fast and furious. So I’m not sure I have anything helpful to share. I just tried to relax my hands at all times (not balled into fists or clenched) because I heard if your hands are relaxed so is your pelvic floor. Not sure if this relaxing technique helped with a fast labour but it’s all I could do to get through contractions - just remind myself to relax!

                                                                     

                                                                    I had horrible back labour which badly bruised my tailbone. I was never told about back labour and how excruciatingly painful it could be. I did, however, have a quick active labour followed by only 30 minutes of pushing.

                                                                     

                                                                    It was long and exhausting but totally worth it. The feeling when you first see your baby is the most amazing feeling in the world.

                                                                     

                                                                    Giving birth at home on my own terms was so rewarding. Pregnancy isn't a disease, it's normal, so why treat it as any different. I loved birthing. Can't wait to do it again.

                                                                     

                                                                    Childbirth is so hard to explain! During labour, it was the worst pain I have ever experienced, but it only lasts for that short time and afterwards you totally forget that feeling. Labour is the worst part, as soon as I could start pushing it was a game changer! I was ready to push that baby out, bring it on!!  One thing I do remember and I give advice to others, push like you're doing a BIG POOP!!

                                                                     

                                                                    I would never choose to birth in the hospital. Glad I had an epidural since it was a rough delivery, but I would have much preferred the birthing unit.

                                                                     

                                                                    Trust your body and those around you. My mindset going into birth was well informed of the options (drugs/types of birth etc) but I kept screaming out "I can do this" and also had in my mind that you can do pretty much anything for 10 seconds, so don't focus on how many hours have passed or may lay ahead just focus on the next 10 seconds (whether that be breathing or taking a sip of water or walking to the loo).

                                                                     

                                                                    Read Birth Skills by Juju Sundin in preparation. For me, I thought about it as the biggest physical challenge of my life, so wanted to be physically and mentally ready. I was also told to visualise riding the wave of each contraction, which helped make it through each one without fighting it.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had to have an emergency c section that saved my daughter's life.

                                                                     

                                                                    Nothing prepared me for the after effects of forceps!

                                                                     

                                                                    I went unmedicated/natural for 10 hours, until the point where I was passing out between contractions. At that point I opted for the epidural. Don’t feel like you failed if you have to change your birth plan. The plan should always be to get your baby into the world safely and I did that so I can’t be hard on myself for my initial plan being changed. Sending love!

                                                                     

                                                                    Try doing it naturally but don’t feel bummed if you can’t handle it, I couldn’t and got an epidural. If I have any more kids I will DEFINITELY get an epidural every time!

                                                                     

                                                                    Don't let the horror stories worry you, everyone has different experiences and you just don't know what yours will be so don't base it off someone else's. Go into childbirth with an open mind and just roll with it, there's no point carrying negative feelings about something that might happen, just because it happened for Susan from down the road. 😊

                                                                     

                                                                    I have really fond memories of my daughters birth and had a really positive experience. I think as a first-time Mum to be it can be nice to know that there are people out there who have good birthing stories to tell too! :)

                                                                     

                                                                    It’s okay to mourn the birth experience you wanted but didn’t get. That doesn’t make you love your baby or your body any less. All options were taken away from me when they found out my little girl was footling breech at 41+2. I get so sad listening to other people’s “natural” birth stories but I need to remind myself that she probably wouldn’t be here if we tried to have a vaginal delivery.

                                                                     

                                                                    It’s ok that your birth didn’t necessarily go the way that you planned. As long as you and bub are safe and healthy post-birth, it really doesn’t matter if the birth was vaginal or C-section.

                                                                     

                                                                    Childbirth was hard but so worth it being able to hold your healthy baby at the end of it!

                                                                     

                                                                    Relax and trust your medical team!

                                                                     

                                                                    The baby comes out no matter what! Be somewhat educated about labour but don’t get too phased if it doesn’t go to plan. Oh and worry more about what happens when the baby arrives!

                                                                     

                                                                    I found childbirth a very empowering experience. Due to my waters breaking and a fast transition phase I was already well dilated by the time of getting to the hospital which meant I missed the window to receive any drugs with exception to a little bit of gas. This meant delivering an unknown posterior baby within 5 hrs of actually going into labour, completely naturally. It was brutal and painful but amazing all rolled into one! My body just knew what to do and when it needed to do it. I went into the end of my pregnancy/childbirth with no expectations or perceptions and I surprised myself!

                                                                     

                                                                    We were admitted for planned induction at 38 weeks for maternal reasons, however, a decision made on the day to proceed straight to a caesarean section was best for baby (and in the end, it definitely was the best thing for baby).

                                                                     

                                                                    Try not to stress if the birth doesn’t go how you had it in your birthing plan. As long as you and baby are healthy it doesn’t matter how your baby arrives.

                                                                     

                                                                    A tens machine during the early stages of labour was amazing, and was the only pain relief I needed for 6 out of 10 hours, then it got too intense and an epidural was what I went for (I have super low blood pressure which had dropped to the point that there wasn’t any other option for pain relief).

                                                                     

                                                                    I had a 36-hour labour but being my first birth and looking back on it I think that I wasn’t relaxed enough in the first 24-28 hours to really progress. I got stuck at 3cm for over 12 hours. I was just in a regular room at the hospital when I first got there and knew at some point I’d have to move to the delivery room so I didn’t really relax at all. Once I moved I really relaxed and my baby was born 2 hours later which felt like no time after the 34-hours before. It showed me how much your environment affects it all. For my next birth, I’d like to go to a birth centre to try and avoid this.

                                                                     

                                                                    I wish I made sure to eat while in labour as I fainted multiple times when it was time to get up and clean myself.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t feel pressured into not using pain relief if it’s something you want/need. You know what you can handle.

                                                                     

                                                                    It didn’t go as I had wanted (natural, drug-free and end up with an epidural and forceps) but I had to accept that, he had other plans, it wasn't anything wrong with me or anything that I did wrong that caused it.

                                                                     

                                                                    This was my first pregnancy and birth and it was super quick! I was induced after my waters broke and had a beautiful baby boy in my arms within 4 hours!

                                                                     

                                                                    Contraction pains were much worse than actually pushing bubs out! Also, your first labour isn’t always long - mine was 3 hours and we were lucky to make it to the hospital in time.

                                                                     

                                                                    Just go with the flow, because you never know how it's going to play out. As long as you get a healthy bub at the end it's all good.  

                                                                     

                                                                    It’s one day of immense pain for a lifetime of happiness.

                                                                     

                                                                    My obstetrician broke my waters and I wish we just let the labour progress naturally without doing that.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had bought a cute onesie to look at for motivation when in labour, and had positive affirmations memorised leading up to the birth, which actually helped a lot!

                                                                     

                                                                    I was so focused on having a water birth. But the day before I went in for reduced movements and then they found I had preeclampsia. They booked me for induction but I went into labour the next day. I had a 14-hour labour with just gas but the cord was wrapping right around bub with every contraction so I ended up having an emergency c section. My advice is don’t get stuck on your birth plan and be open minded. It was traumatic but we are both healthy.

                                                                     

                                                                    I did hypnobirthing and I’m super proud of myself as I did it drug-free. I don’t remember being in pain I know it was hard work and I was falling asleep in active labour. I walked out of the labour suite feeling like I bossed 36 hours of labour! You can do anything you put your mind to.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was amazed at my body's ability to cope with the labour pains, I almost felt as though I was having an out of body experience throughout the active stages of labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    If you do yoga, use that breathing you’ve learned to help you get through. The pain is temporary.

                                                                     

                                                                    Trust the doctors. I didn't want a c section before but in the moment knew that was best for my little one. It honestly wasn't that bad, especially because babe came out healthy and happy.

                                                                     

                                                                    More painful than I thought.

                                                                     

                                                                    You can have a birth plan but your child won’t follow it! My son decided to turn his head the wrong way so we ended up changing the plan. He was born with a few complications and he stayed in NICU for 7 days. The best thing is for you to stay calm and trust your body.

                                                                     

                                                                    All I can say is if you plan on having pain relief ask ASAP. I waited and when I asked for it I was 9cm and I had done most of the work so I was too late.

                                                                     

                                                                    The best plan is to not have a plan. Educate yourself on everything that might/could happen during labour and birth, then just go with the flow. I’ve found that women with their hearts set on a certain type of birth end up being let down and have a negative birth experience because of it.

                                                                     

                                                                    It was horrible. Labour for days. Bubs was stuck. Vacuum and forceps delivery. Bubs ended up with jaundice a couple of days later and we spent 4 days in SCBU. In no hurry to have another. It was the craziest experience I’ve ever had. I know that's not helpful for first-time mums. I’m very thankful to have my beautiful wild child. 😍

                                                                     

                                                                    I had a very slow amniotic fluid leak for 4 days before I actually realised what was going on. I only realised in the end because I had a gush after bending over to take my pants off for a shower.  

                                                                     

                                                                    Disappointing and powerless. Induced at 40 weeks and 5 days - as I was classed as a gestational diabetic. Debatable. My sugars were never over after the test which I failed by 0.1 on the fasted reading. My birth experience and my bubs birth infuriate me still. He was not ready. I had no signs of labour. Yet I was pressured into induction. I now know with my next birth I will wait until 10 days post due date at minimum before anyone interferes. I have a good pain tolerance. The induction started at 5 pm on a Sunday with Balloons inserted. I had contractions start and was 1cm dilated. By 3 am everything stopped. When they checked me at 6 am I was 4 cm from the balloons. They then broke my waters and started me on the oxytocin drip. From there I was having artificial contractions all day from about 9 am. I used a tens machine and was determined not to use pain relief. I was fine if I could move and squat. But bubs heart rate kept dropping out on the wireless monitors - which they wanted a constant read of because they kept adjusting the drip. They tried putting fetal monitors on his little skull - 3 times with no success. The only option was to be strapped to a bed. The last place I imagined. I couldn't move. Couldn't work with the pain. Finally started gas around 3 pm. Then out of complete frustration had an epidural at 7 pm. As I was stuck on a bed and couldn't move anyway. I was so so so angry. Epidural only worked on one side. Adjusted twice and finally at around 11 pm I had pain relief down both sides. Then I had to wait an hour and started pushing. Dr came in and said bubs heart rate dipped a little with my pushing so need to get out fast. I still don't know how I feel about all the intervention. They vacuumed bub out with 3 sets of pushes. Bub arrived 1.14am on new years day. Completely different birth to what I had tried to focus myself on.

                                                                     

                                                                    I don’t think you are really prepared for the recovery your body has to go through and the craziness of the next day with all the hospital staff and tests and visitors. Day 3 is the worst emotionally so make sure you have company.

                                                                     

                                                                    My labour was quick, painful but amazing. Although during active labour I was thinking "just try not to die" (haha), I was blown away by how amazing my body is and coped throughout labour. And the euphoric feeling of finally holding my baby - there are no words!

                                                                     

                                                                    How the birth (induction) went: First gel at 8.30pm only about 1cm dilated. Second gel at 2.45am and started to have a little blood loss and contractions. 2cm dilated. Started IV and waters were broken artificially at 7 am. Dosage from IV every hour was increased causing more severe contractions. Had morphine to help take the edge off the contractions and made me pass out in between them a few times. At 1.30pm I needed to push and kept getting told to stop. 1.47pm my beautiful boy was born.

                                                                     

                                                                    Epidural is worth it.

                                                                     

                                                                    Wasn’t prepared for the vomiting.

                                                                     

                                                                    A note RE: medication - I had spinal anaesthesia for my c section. My baby was found to be breech at 32 weeks and I tried everything (ECV, acupuncture, chiro, laying in different positions) but he didn't move. I wanted to try labour for him but I only dilated 2cm after 10+ hours, so we quickly went for the c section. I'm glad I went into labour for my boy - but it was definitely a tough moment when I heard I was only 2cm after all that pain. Everything was worth it in the end to get my beautiful baby. <3

                                                                     

                                                                    Being induced isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. Although I was induced, I had a 20-hour labour, episiotomy & vacuum assisted. I have no negative feelings about my birthing experience. Every birth is different & induction or not, things may not go your way & there may be complications. You just need to be open-minded & take it as it comes.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first birth was interesting & nothing like I anticipated. I was induced, took 12 hours to start contracting. Finally, when it came to pushing, she was posterior & had to be manually turned twice by the ob. Was delivered via forceps & shoulders were severely stuck in my pelvis (shoulder dystocia) & after failed attempts to get her shoulders, the ob had to break her humorous. Sounds dramatic, it was, but she was safe, recovered with no issues & a happy toddler.

                                                                     

                                                                    If you’re a first-time mom who wants to have an un-medicated experience, don’t be discouraged by the nay-sayers! They don’t know what you’re capable of.

                                                                     

                                                                    It was super hard! But worth it!

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t be scared of the epidural! It doesn’t hurt and helps you relax if the pain is too intense!

                                                                     

                                                                    Make sure you and your birthing partner talk about your expectations before you go into active labour. This way they know how best to help you and don't feel overwhelmed.

                                                                     

                                                                    The epidural was amazing.

                                                                     

                                                                    My experience was truly amazing. I'm inspired by what my body can do and the power of positive thinking.

                                                                     

                                                                    My birth experience was very rushed. I was induced at 35 weeks, went through labour and then an emergency c section. All I can advise is try to get a student midwife and be clear if you are uncomfortable at any stage!

                                                                     

                                                                    Be open-minded about your birth, anything can happen and using drugs does not make you weak!

                                                                     

                                                                    Midwives, unfortunately, didn't listen to how I was feeling and then I ended up with an emergency cesarean and because of all the drugs I was talked into taking plus the GA, I was unconscious for almost 7 hours and missed those first precious hours with bub. 😢

                                                                     

                                                                    To remember that it doesn’t always go like the birth plan you plan earlier... and that’s okay don’t beat yourself up about it. Be proud to birth your beautiful baby however it is needed at the time. X

                                                                     

                                                                    I was totally against being induced unless absolutely necessary. Don’t give in! Some doctors want it over quick but just trust your body. You can do it!

                                                                     

                                                                    Just because your waters haven’t broken, doesn’t mean it’s not “real” labour! My doctor could see the top of my sons head as I was pushing before my waters broke! I waited for the pains to stop at home for 8 hours of the 14.5 total, thinking it was Braxton Hicks because my waters never broke!

                                                                     

                                                                    I had a planned c section at 38 weeks due to medical reasons. At first, I was so upset that I would not be able to labour naturally as this was all I had imagined would happen! Once I had been through all the information and given myself time to discuss with my husband and digest it all, I realised that all I wanted was for my baby and me to be safe and having the c section would achieve this. I think there is a lot of pressure on women around delivering babies e.g. vaginal birthing, no drugs etc but I have really come to realise it is no one's choice or journey except yours and all any woman wants is the healthy delivery of their baby however that delivery may happen.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was induced after 3 days of pre-labour, within 2 hrs I was in for an emergency c section. The whole process is full-on and unpredictable. It is important to go with the flow (as best you can).

                                                                     

                                                                    Not having a plan made everything less scary. Just going along with what happened rather than being disappointed that it didn’t go the way I had wanted it too meant a lot less heartache.

                                                                     

                                                                    Listen to your body, mama.

                                                                     

                                                                    Mumma TENs!!

                                                                     

                                                                    My labour felt like period cramps which I did not expect. Obviously, they became way more intense than that later but I had no idea what to expect and was surprised at the familiarity.

                                                                     

                                                                    For me, the contractions were more painful than actually pushing.

                                                                     

                                                                    I think preparation is important, take a prenatal class & learn techniques to keep calm & deal with pain.

                                                                     

                                                                    Be ready for it not to go as planned. I wanted and hoped for a vaginal delivery but my little girl turned her head and got stuck in the left side of my pelvis. We tried as much as we could to get her to cooperate, which was hard with the epidural, but she wouldn't shift. Rest as much as possible between contractions and do whatever is best for a healthy baby and Mum.

                                                                     

                                                                    Your water doesn’t always break! The doctor had to break mine. I had no obvious signs that I was close to labour or in early labour. The contractions just kind of showed up out of nowhere. I thought I would have some big sign to forewarn me, but not everyone gets that.

                                                                     

                                                                    It was my first baby so I expected a long labour, it was not at all only 2 hours. Yes, it hurt but it was a different type of pain, breathing and staying active helped me work with the contractions and meet baby. I had a grade 3a tear which I was not prepared for. Recovery was longer than a c section, managing incontinence and building back my pelvic floor for over 6 months.

                                                                     

                                                                    Surrender to it and roll with it!

                                                                     

                                                                    I thought childbirth was the easiest part of pregnancy!! If I didn’t have to be pregnant for 9 months and just had to birth babies I could have 20.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was a first-time mum at 43 (IVF) and went with an obstetrician as I was potentially high risk & was not confident that a midwife alone would manage my labour as per my wishes. I had a textbook pregnancy… apart from usual aches and pains and swelling. But baby did not engage and the decision was made to go elective c-section as labour would not start naturally. They also (and I) did not want unnecessary trauma and were conscious of me being an older first-time mum to protect the pelvic floor. Even going elective, it was still tough as the obstetrician had a tough time getting the baby out. I had two days in Auckland hospital and two in Pukekohe hospital.

                                                                     

                                                                    Advice would be to keep an open mind and try not to stress about having a birth plan ready or what to wear as it goes out the window when you get there. I planned the position I'd be in and the outfit, right down to the bra and ended up naked in the bath for 4 hours. When I tried to get out, the contraction pain was a lot more intense and more frequent.

                                                                     

                                                                    C-sections aren’t necessarily as horrendous as I’d heard. My baby was breech so the only safe way to deliver him was c-section. I had feared the worst but actually recovered quite quickly and the pain was very manageable.

                                                                     

                                                                    Was a good first labour, and incorporated birth skills to help with labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    Relax into it. I had brax at 35.5 weeks. I didn’t realise that me being as active as I was I was actually hurting my placenta. I know for next time that my body needed more rest than I felt like it did. Listen to your baby.

                                                                     

                                                                    Use the gas when offered. You might not think it’s working but it is.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was a FTM, with a high-risk pregnancy due to blood clotting issues. I was extremely anxious about what would happen during birth because of all my medical problems as I was on blood thinners throughout the entire pregnancy and beyond. My little man decided to make his arrival spontaneously at 34 weeks, giving us all a shock! But a very quick 4-hour natural labour with only gas to help and a vacuum assisted delivery with episiotomy, Bub was rushed off to the NICU. He was absolutely fine and discharged at 10 days old and my recovery was amazing! I loved my birth despite all the medical interventions required (I had hoped to have a home birth but it’s just too risky for me). Know your body, do a calm birth course if possible and trust your own instincts! You got this Mumma!

                                                                     

                                                                    You can still have a natural birth even if your baby is posterior!

                                                                     

                                                                    I got induced, three Gels, one balloon Catheter then finally got my waters broken on day 3 which then resulted in an epidural. My experience was not the nicest, and wish I didn’t get induced my baby obviously wasn’t ready to be born! Anyway - research your options listen to your body and baby.

                                                                     

                                                                    I wish we had resisted the induction. Baby had heart rate issues but we could’ve stayed in the hospital overnight for monitoring. The OB was very persuasive in saying “well you’re already 2 days overdue we could just induce you!” And being a first time Mum I just trusted the professionals. It’s hard to know when to question and when to trust them.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was induced and my daughter was not in a hurry to leave at all. As soon as the pain got super intense, I threw up and told my husband I couldn't do this 😄. I got the epidural and it was the greatest thing. I was frozen up to my boobs. I felt nothing until they were stretching me out to try to get the baby out. By then, I'd been pushing for 2.5 hours. I asked for an episiotomy, so the pain would go away. 3 really good pushes and she was out.

                                                                     

                                                                    I wish that I had learnt more breathing techniques to help me breathe through the contractions and that not all births are the textbook way they explain it to you. I got to the hospital at 8cm almost ready to push and none of my contractions had been textbook at all right up until the few minutes before she was born.  Pushing the baby out at the time was so painful and I hated the contractions I was so nervous every time I could feel the tingle as it started they were not pleasant but every single contraction means you are 1 contraction closer to meeting your baby. ❤ We all get through it in the end somehow they don’t just stay inside us, just go with it.

                                                                     

                                                                    Biting down on something during each contraction helped a lot and save my husband’s hand! I used a plastic water cup!

                                                                     

                                                                    Just take each moment as it comes, trust your body and those around you.

                                                                     

                                                                    Long early labour, vomiting, weakness, if you’re scared of pain like me then have the epidural! It lets you get some rest.

                                                                     

                                                                    Water births are amazing! I wasn’t planning on having one but if you have the option give it a go! The warm water and weightlessness really helped with the contractions and it allowed for a better position for bubs to be pushed out! It was also incredible to have your partner pouring cold water on you during contractions not to overheat! Ice water is key haha. Was an amazing experience. X

                                                                     

                                                                    Staying at home for as long as I could using natural pain relief like warm baths and the Swiss ball helped a lot. Focusing on breathing and not panicking during contractions helped keep me calm.

                                                                     

                                                                    My experience was amazing. I practised hypnobirthing by reading up on it myself and just took my kind elsewhere. I had a drug free water birth. I couldn’t believe that it just felt like I had the urge to do a massive poo… no one had prepared me for that overwhelming feeling.

                                                                     

                                                                    I’m no expert but my advice would be to really listen to your body. Follow its cues and trust that it will do what it’s meant to.

                                                                     

                                                                    C-sections aren’t as bad as everyone tells you it’s going to be. Don’t feel guilty if you have to have one.

                                                                     

                                                                    Take each contraction as they come, don’t worry about the next one or when it will end. One at a time.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first birth was pretty traumatic, less than 45 min active labour and my husband nearly missed it, then my placenta ripped in half and was still inside so had to have surgery following a natural and pain-free birth!

                                                                     

                                                                    Listen to your body if something’s not right. I ended up going into cardiac arrest and had a placenta eruption. It all started with having an allergic reaction to the gel they induce you with, being my first baby I was alone and scared and didn’t speak up when things started to go wrong because I didn’t know at the time things weren’t right. I’m pregnant with my second and as I get closer to my due date the nightmares are getting worse. Having a support network is amazing I’m happy I won’t be doing this one alone. I’ll never regain feeling in my stomach from the botched c section but my babies make it worth it.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had no idea the pain I was in for with active labour. I also was told I likely wouldn’t be able to get an epidural when that was the only one thing I planned for… I cried and felt like giving up. Ended up getting an epidural and the rest of the process I could breathe and it was beautiful.

                                                                     

                                                                    The moment your baby is born it’s instant relief - the pain cannot last forever. I did it drug-free (which was the most insane thing I ever did in my life. I got to the hospital at 9cm dilated so I had no choice). It’s all worth it in the end.

                                                                     

                                                                    It all happened so fast I didn’t really have time to think about what was happening. I just remember trying to get baby out quick so my midwife could go home and have a rest after her busy week and so my partner could sit down and relax haha. Was a great experience though thankfully and hopefully the next ones similar.

                                                                     

                                                                    Listen to your body (and health care provider) as to when you should push.

                                                                     

                                                                    Be sure and push with the same muscles you use to blow out a candle. I used this advice, along with some others and only pushed for 13 mins. 🙂

                                                                     

                                                                    I now understand why no one could really explain what contractions felt like to me before I had them.... but I think my best description would be like your body is trying to turn itself inside out! They were pretty intense but not so intense that I didn’t think my body could handle it. I somehow knew it could!

                                                                     

                                                                    I went in for a stretch and sweep at 41 weeks. I went home with mild cramps and two hours later I stood up thinking my waters had broken. By the time I had reached the bathroom I was bleeding profusely. We went into active labour a few hours later and learnt that my placenta had ruptured causing the bleeding. I was able to labour naturally until 9.5cm dilated with only gas as pain relief. Due to ongoing bleeding, I had to remain lying down. I stayed at 9.5cm for 2 hours and was still losing blood. I got rushed to emergency for a C-section. My husband and I decided that a general anaesthetic was the safest option as I couldn’t hold still for a spinal block. 3 hours later I met my gorgeous baby girl! I believe all mums need to know that their voice is to be heard. I was able to labour naturally for as long as possible and the midwives and nurses were kind and caring and respectful! Trust your gut! Lastly and most importantly for me was having my husband by my side helping me breathe through the contractions and my mum as a support person!

                                                                     

                                                                    So far only had one. Pregnancy was good overall. Just tired and the awful morning sickness. Labour was 48 hrs. I hope that won't be with the next one. Don't have a labour plan as it won’t go according to plan anyway. Don't expect to be "skinny" right after the delivery so pack baggy clothes! It's all worth it. ❤

                                                                     

                                                                    Make sure your nurses are on your side and help advocate for you! I was so so close to a c-section and my nurses did everything they could to ensure I had a vaginal delivery.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t stress. I was so worried about what labour and giving birth was going to feel like I was so wound up heading in. My obstetrician was amazing and was able to get me to relax and really coached me through it.

                                                                     

                                                                    No matter how your baby enters the world, you are amazing. No one is better for doing it faster or no pain meds etc.

                                                                     

                                                                    When breathing think of a flame and you want your breaths to flicker the flame not blow it out.

                                                                     

                                                                    My only advice is DO NOT do sterile water injections!! They hurt like nothing else and are ineffective.

                                                                     

                                                                    19. Birth stories and advice from mums that have had more than one child.

                                                                     

                                                                    I have had five children naturally and have had beautiful fast drug free labours except for my first which was an induction and I was under the advice of an obstetrician who was very persuasive on my need to have an epidural. In subsequent labour’s I learnt the power of our body’s own way to relieve pain and learnt how my breathing could be enough to manage the pain. It’s important to have a supportive midwife who is empowering and positive and shares your wishes. Childbirth doesn’t have to be scary and horrific. Fear only holds back the natural process. My last birth was textbook (similar to my third). I had a show (lost my mucus plug), then my waters and then mild contractions started only getting very strong as I was passing 6 cms. I was in active labour for 3 hours. It was calm and natural and nothing like my very medically intervened first birth.

                                                                     

                                                                    First natural birth after an induction with my first and this was so much better. 40 min of active labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    Everyone is different, even the same mum can be completely different each time. Having a good support person is key. And don't worry about anyone else but yourself, go with your gut feeling.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t get too set on your birth plan. In my experience, things never go to plan and that’s ok. To me, contractions felt like really extreme period cramps. Get up and move around as much as possible. It definitely helps things progress in my experience.

                                                                     

                                                                    Get excited! Learn enough about birth and read positive birth stories so that you lose your fear around birth. Fear is the enemy and makes all the difference.

                                                                     

                                                                    The last childbirth was so much better!

                                                                     

                                                                    I loved having a c section the second time around! And if we did have another I would def do it again as I had a bad experience with my natural birth.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was induced with both babies and both times I avoided the syntocinon. For both babies, my active labour phase was no more than 2 hours with no pushing. I know every baby and birth is different, but I totally credit the speed to being upright, walking around, sitting on an exercise ball or swaying in the shower.

                                                                     

                                                                    First childbirth was great. Was a week late, induced, and had the epidural. Pushed for an hour and a half but was great the entire time. Had a smooth recovery. Second birth water broke in the night, tried twice to get an epidural but it didn’t work either time. Pushed five times and she was here! Both so different but I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

                                                                     

                                                                    Much easier second time!

                                                                     

                                                                    Both were completely different. First induced due to pregnancy-induced hypertension. Second, induced to avoid that same issue. Both boys, born the same day two years apart. Second labour was amazing.

                                                                     

                                                                    I’ve had two scheduled cesareans for breech position. Here they don’t allow vaginal delivery for breech and I think this is ridiculous. Don’t get me started on that. I was hoping for unmedicated vaginal births both times but went ahead with the cesareans because I really didn’t have a choice. But I am happy with the outcomes.

                                                                     

                                                                    Walking around after being induced is the best thing you can do!!

                                                                     

                                                                    My “elective” (elective is a crap name when you’re advised to have a cesarean) was an amazing birth experience, relaxed, happy and controlled and surrounded by awesomeness! So different from an emergency cesarean and such a beautiful experience... birth can be beautiful no matter how it comes about. :)

                                                                     

                                                                    Give birth where you feel most comfortable!

                                                                     

                                                                    I’ve had 4 births, my last 2 being water birth which I highly recommend. It helps relieve some of the weight of the body and helps with the pain down south whilst baby is coming early side.

                                                                     

                                                                    Contractions are the worst part, once you can push all pain fades away. And the second your baby is out, there is instant relief.

                                                                     

                                                                    The first experience was terrifying and scary with an unplanned c section and then decided to do a scheduled c section the second time around. So happy I did as it was a nice relaxing experience with no complications. Don't be afraid to have a c section if necessary as it saved my first child's life.

                                                                     

                                                                    Be open minded with your birth plan. You can do it if you put your mind to it, but know it’s ok if things change. The goal is safe and healthy mum and baby.

                                                                     

                                                                    I have three children. My first two I had epidurals and my third was all natural NO medicine. I totally recommend channelling your inner goddess and saying no to the meds. How I felt after and how differently my baby was is so worth it!!! No waiting for feeling, no extra drowsiness, no needles!!!! It’s worth it and YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

                                                                     

                                                                    I’m still amazed at what our bodies are capable of! Both of my births were natural, but the second time was much easier. My body knew exactly what to do and pushing was a lot quicker.

                                                                     

                                                                    I think the fear of unknown took away my focus which made it harder. Both my labours were under 12 hours start to finish. Both times my water broke but both times were different.

                                                                     

                                                                    Placement of placenta makes a huge difference. My first the placenta was up front and it was all back labour and the epidural took away all my pain. Second one the placenta was at my back and it was excruciating pain and lots of drugs later it was bearable but I felt a whole lot more than the first.

                                                                     

                                                                    Always listen to your body.

                                                                     

                                                                    First one was the worst, second was best and the third was in the middle.

                                                                     

                                                                    The second was much quicker! I didn’t want pain relief and the euphoria you feel after makes it all the worthwhile but only do what you are comfortable with.

                                                                     

                                                                    Trust your body, it is capable of amazing things!

                                                                     

                                                                    It was the most euphoric experience of my life. My first delivery was traumatic, I had an appalling midwife who left me terrified that my baby would not survive the birth, then missed a postpartum haemorrhage. I was treated for PTSD and it took us 4 years to feel ready to try again. This time I hired a private ob who was the most incredible, kind, reassuring man. The midwives were incredible and made me feel safe, supported and respected. I wanted to have a third before we had even left the delivery suite! I learned to always insist on care providers who will listen to you and that you feel safe with. It makes a huge difference in the postpartum period.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had two premature babies. My first little girl was born 31+3 and spent 8 weeks in NICU. She is now a very healthy CRAZY beautiful little 2yr old. She is a determined, stubborn and strong willed. All the characteristics of a premmie bub. My second little girl was born at 30+1 and spent 6 weeks in NICU. She is our feisty tornado. She is already showing the same determination, strong willed and holy moly she is feisty. She definitely lets herself be known. The NICU life was hard, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. But please know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may not seem it now, but I promise there is. Take each day as it comes. Some days you’ll go 5 steps forward and the next day you may go 10 backwards. That’s totally normal. Celebrate the milestones and achievements, don’t dwell on the bad things. Keep your chin up, this all will be over and the NICU life will be just a memory. But make sure you look after yourself as well as your husband. NICU is not forgiving, you can’t look after your baby if you are not strong. Be kind to yourself!

                                                                     

                                                                    With both of my babies (15 months apart) their heart and my heart rate dropped, almost scarcely low but as soon as Bub was born we were both ok!!

                                                                     

                                                                    I have had 3 births all completely different - 1st I was in labour for 3 days before heading to the hospital, epidural and ventouse delivery, the second was an induction and birth 4 hours later and my third was a proposed induction abandoned due to an unstable lie/breech baby and c-section. All difficult but I wouldn’t change them for the world. Each one will always be magical in their own way.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t opt for drugged induction - intense labour straight away is awful. Also, don’t be surprised if things don’t go according to your ‘birth plan’. They never do. Plan more for how you want to be treated, the information you want along the way and options in case things go wrong.

                                                                     

                                                                    For my two girls labour was different - one was induced due to being 9 days over vs the other spontaneous on the due date. Trust your body.

                                                                     

                                                                    I have done Hypnobirthing with both my babies and can not recommend it enough. The breathing techniques have ensured that both times I have had a relaxed, pain free birth each time.

                                                                     

                                                                    LISTEN TO THE MIDWIVES WHEN PUSHING! Baby #1: I was induced and overdue, was only in labour for 5 hours, was VERY intense but did it drug free! When pushing is when you should listen, I didn’t “control” my pushing very well and was basically torn to shred and she came out too quick in like 3 pushes (both births only pushed for 15/20 mins). When tearing badly recovery is slow and very bloody sore. 😳 Birth #2: He came 2 days early was in labour for 7ish hours but labour was ALL in my back it was extremely intense and lost control a fair bit emotionally in this labour because it was so painful.... used gas to take the edge off but when pushing I didn’t push for long but it was much more controlled pushing and actually listened when they said to stop pushing/small push/slow down etc, still tore but not like last time... straight after birth was able to walk around and felt great, unlike last time! Even though his labour was horrific his birth and recovery for me was a hundred times easier! So ladies make sure you listen to your midwives and also please don’t let anyone make you feel bad for asking for pain relief... it’s safe and available. I asked for epidurals both times but always 1 min before pushing so bear that in mind when you think it’s too painful to go on pushing and meeting your baby isn’t too far away 😀😀😀😀 painful but so amazing and clearly we keep going back for more. 👌🏻

                                                                     

                                                                    Speak up, if you believe something is wrong in labour chances are it probably is. If you feel like the midwives aren’t listening to you or you aren’t feeling heard, demand to see a Resident or Head OBGYN. Unfortunately, my second birth got to this point and if I hadn’t demanded that Dr I would have most likely lost my baby, and maybe even myself. It’s not a nice story to share but my point is, I wish I had of had more confidence to speak up for myself. I knew things were not right, I just didn’t have the terminology or knowledge to explain exactly what that was. A mother’s instinct is an incredible thing, trust yourself. I have my two beautiful boys aged 3 and 2 and I wouldn’t take any of it back for the world - but certainly learned some hard lessons.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had 3 hospital births and 1 homebirth. All of them natural and magical in their own way, but my last one, my homebirth, was so so calm and beautiful. I wasn’t disturbed during labour to go to the hospital. My beautiful midwife was just a calm presence, and my children were able to be there as they were collected from school early and I birthed at 2.37pm. The best time of day. I used visualisation and breathing techniques and was very in tune with my body with the knowledge of what was happening at each stage. Thus I had the calmest birth and baby is still so calm and happy. I wish I could do it all again!

                                                                     

                                                                    Just take it as it comes.

                                                                     

                                                                    I kept really active during my second pregnancy, so much more than my 1st and the delivery I found so much easier the 2nd time! I really felt being fit and strong 2nd time helped me so much.

                                                                     

                                                                    No labour is ever the same. I've done it 6 times and not one of them was like the other but my easiest labours were the ones I kept telling myself “my body knows what it's doing, my body is made to do this”. My 1st, 2nd and 5th were all long labours needing assistance to deliver e.g epidurals, forceps and minutes from needing c-sects. My 4th was quicker but equally as painful as my first so I had gas for pain relief, my 3rd and 6th were a lot quicker births with no time for pain relief delivered within an hour of getting to the hospital.  

                                                                     

                                                                    Relax and remember it's what your body was made to do. Highly recommend hypnobirthing book and meditation.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first birth was long, baby got stuck and had emergency care. The second baby was quick maybe 30 min of light contractions then my water broke, baby was born an hour later. Not two births are the same!

                                                                     

                                                                    The second pregnancy was a lot faster from start to finish.  Mainly because I kept moving between small contractions, sitting on a birthing ball, walking and squatting. I made sure to still make time to try and nap in case I was in for a long labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don't panic or worry if your Birthing Plan doesn't go accordingly to how you planned it... Things happen... Not every birth is what you read from a textbook.

                                                                     

                                                                    Every birth is different and you have to be adaptable as plans can change. My first labour was not as expected. For 14 hours my contractions were 3-4 mins apart, they just gradually increased in intensity. I expected the time between contractions to be long and gradually shorten but nope! My second was born in 1 hour as I needed to be induced for medical reasons at 37 weeks. I resisted the oxytocin as I didn't want to be hooked to a drip but being induced in this way made the labour so quick that I'm grateful! Neither births went how I imagined but I relaxed and went with the flow and I believe that helped.

                                                                     

                                                                    3rd birth was the quickest! Our bodies know what to do so just go with it.

                                                                     

                                                                    Trust your instincts about being in labour. It never hurts to check if it is labour if you are unsure. And don't underestimate your pain tolerance. I did and nearly left the hospital fully dilated because I thought it should hurt more.

                                                                     

                                                                    I think hearing of hard births from a positive perspective is great. So many unplanned things happen but what really matters is a safe (mentally and physically) birth for baby and mum.

                                                                     

                                                                    After being induced twice the 2nd birth was a lot easier. And drink red raspberry leaf tea. No tears or scratches with my 2nd and I think that helped reduce the time of labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    No matter how it goes, you are not a failure. No two births are alike, you’re amazing!

                                                                     

                                                                    I was induced with my 1st and it was sooo much better going into labour naturally with my 2nd! I’m terrified to be induced again after my one and only experience of it!

                                                                     

                                                                    I have had four births and each and every one of them were totally different. My first baby, I was induced and once labour started it was very fast and full on. Being a first-time mum I had nothing to compare it to so my body and my “head” managed. He was born inside his sack 9 pounds 11. My second was a home birth, the most relaxed experience where my waters broke at 6:50 am, contractions didn’t start until 5 pm and she was born at 7:50 pm. My third, they thought she wasn't growing so I had growth scans every two weeks which made me uneasy I guess and I had to birth in the hospital. I struggled with this after having such a great home birth experience. I went into labour the morning I was meant to be induced. I went into false labour so many times so at 4 am when contractions started I thought they would stop... at 9 am my husband put me in the car and my daughter was born an hour later.  My fourth again late... tick tock... labour started at 11 am birthing centre at 5:30 pm the same day. Thought it was going to be an easy fourth birth and I felt something wasn’t right when I couldn’t feel much pressure when I was pushing. Baby was posterior, so she was hard hard work but we had her at 7:50 pm. I had bruises all over after that one! But so worth it! All natural births with no drugs. I always believed that birthing is a natural thing and that you should listen and go with your body. I’m a dairy farmer's daughter so I saw cows giving birth in not so nice surroundings and in my mind I felt so lucky to have what we have and empowered about what our bodies can do! One piece of advice I can share is when it hurts like hell you know it’s nearly over. Give it your all and push and it will be over very soon and you will be THE most happiest person in the world having that baby in your arms. Love like you cannot describe! You can do this first-time mummy’s... your body is the most amazing thing and your body knows what to do! Listen to it and go with it.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t always listen to other people before giving birth! I am quite a small person (under 50kg) and a few people told me that because I was small I would need extra help, need a cesarean, have an intensely painful and long labour etc etc. My first labour was 3 hours long and completely natural, my second 55 minutes and also completely natural. Trust in yourself and your strength, and don’t let the opinions of others scare you!!

                                                                     

                                                                    I did not have cramping contractions. I had achy hips and burning thighs. Both labours.

                                                                     

                                                                    In my first birth, I was anxious to have her here, it meant I rushed into being induced. This resulted in intervention after intervention. Epidural, forceps, episiotomy, stitches, being stuck in the bed to give birth. I feel like this resulted in a feeling of detachment from my baby. In contrast, I did everything I could to prep my body and mind for a natural birth, with no unnecessary interventions. I found a midwife to support that. That has made all the difference this time. Also! Check check check for lip and tongue tie! A baby that can eat is way more settled!

                                                                     

                                                                    First childbirth was long, exhausting, painful and difficult. Second childbirth it felt like my body knew more about what it was supposed to do. My body was able to act more efficiently and pushing time was reduced to 30 mins vs 2 hours with my first.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first childbirth I was induced at 13 days overdue, and after 3 days of induction (gel, broken waters and finally syntocinon and an epidural) we finally had our baby girl in our arms. I somehow felt that my body had failed me as I wasn't able to go into labour naturally. With my second childbirth,  I was overdue and at 10 days overdue the baby had minimal to no fluid. We had to go to the hospital for induction, but thanks to the midwife we were sent home. That night my body showed me just how capable it was and it went in to labour naturally and I was able to deliver my baby safely and naturally. My body was capable! Never lose faith!

                                                                     

                                                                    My births were so different, I had a 16 hour labour, I was induced, told you had to have an epidural and then our little boy arrived after an emergency c section. My 2nd birth was so different I had a VBAC. I went into labour naturally at home, I woke up with contractions 20 mins apart, spent 2 hours at home then to the hospital with contractions 3 mins apart and our little girl was born with a little help from a suction cup! 😁

                                                                     

                                                                    Every childbirth situation is different. I’ve had three babies, my first born broke my waters 5 weeks early, I was put on a drip, 6 hours later they pulled her out premmy but no NICU unit needed (girl). 2nd baby was born midnight 1 week before my due date. I started contractions and within 10 minutes was at the hospital. I was examined at 8cm and 2 hours later baby was in my arms (boy). 3rd delivery I was induced 2 weeks before my due date (they thought baby was going to be too big), examined at 3cm, drip started at 9 am, was supermanning our hand out stopping me dilating past 8 cm, doctors dislocated shoulder. After being like this for three hours he was delivered. Within 5 minutes of seeing the doctor, not breathing, he was back on my chest within 10 minutes (boy). 1st birth nervous and anxious and a week in hospital private health care. 2nd birth excited and loved every minute, home 3 hours after giving birth. 3rd baby - most awful painful and scary delivery - 1 night in the hospital. ALL BIRTHS ARE DIFFERENT, ALL BABIES ARE DIFFERENT.

                                                                     

                                                                    My second birth was very quick! My waters broke and an hour & 10 mins later he was born! I thought I was going to have him in the car, 😃 one push and he was out! My first labour was about 4.5 hours long, so the second one was considerably quicker.

                                                                     

                                                                    My second childbirth experience was totally different from my first. With both, I had practised hypnobirthing techniques. My first son's labour took over 40 hours and I was so tired by the end of it that I had an epidural. The second was about 4 hours from the first sign of a contraction to the birth of my 2nd little boy. I had no medication for the 2nd but it was much more intense. The birth breathing and calm birth techniques helped me feel relatively calm and in control. But more importantly, I felt prepared for anything to happen and had wonderful experiences both times.

                                                                     

                                                                    Planned for an elective c-section as my first pregnancy was complicated. My waters broke at midnight day of c-section. Went into labour at 3 am. Got to the hospital at 7 am and informed them that I was in labour so they took me straight through to theatre. Once IV and epidural were in they then made a c-section incision to get him out only to find out his head was almost out. Was too late then so they had to pull him back through. I was so upset as always wanted to have a natural birth as was an emergency c-section for the first baby but when I was holding him in my arms that didn’t really matter anymore. My advice to first-time mums is to be flexible about your birth plan as anything can change in the moment and just remember that getting your precious baby out into this world happy and healthy is what’s most important.

                                                                     

                                                                    I found my induction (and attempted VBAC) a lot more stressful than my first (elective c section due to footling breech position and failed ECV) because, although I knew a c section was a likely outcome, I didn't spend enough time telling my midwife what I wanted her to advocate for me if it happened. As a result, it was stressful and I didn't even see my daughter until at least 4 other people had held her.

                                                                     

                                                                    It’s okay to feel ripped off if you didn’t get the birth you were after (I wanted a vaginal birth for both and both ended up c-sections). But, acknowledge any feelings you might have about the birth but don’t dwell on them.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t plan... be open to everything.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don't go in with any expectations. Some births aren't pretty and chilled and don't go to plan.

                                                                     

                                                                    I have had an induced vacuumed first birth followed by a twin emergency c section. My c section was initially planned because twin 1 was breached. I would have rather had them naturally but I did my research and felt informed about the process so when it became an emergency c section because I went into labour I felt calm.

                                                                     

                                                                    It's worth every pain!

                                                                     

                                                                    Having my wee bub at home was amazing. I was relaxed (my hubby wasn’t he was scared to death) it was just my family at home and the midwife had just missed baby coming out.

                                                                     

                                                                    Super fast labour due to high blood pressure minutes from being told I was 10 cm to bubs arriving.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was induced and had an epidural then natural delivery with my first. My second was natural labour. Delivery and the contractions were must less sharp than induced labour contractions.

                                                                     

                                                                    The first birth was overdue, induced, very traumatic and over 30 stitches. I felt I had no say or control, unhelpful doctors and midwives.The second was 6 years later in the same (rural) hospital and totally different. Different doctor, different midwives, spontaneous labour 5 days early, easy start to breastfeeding, no stitches, super easy recovery. Don’t let the horror stories scare you, even if they are your own stories, next time could be so so different just as each baby is so different.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first baby it was so obvious baby was coming. The Show came the day before. My water broke as cramps started. My second baby, I was lying in bed with what I thought was Braxton Hicks again googling signs of labour. 😂 Show and water didn’t come until active labour! Each birth is different! Never expect the same thing twice.

                                                                     

                                                                    All births are different. Never compare yourself to someone else’s experience. Yes it may be a scary thing but go in as confident as you can, birth is a beautiful experience. Enjoy it as much as possible.

                                                                     

                                                                    My last birth was my third. Previous were born via induction (both boys) under the care of a private obstetrician and private hospital. The third baby, we planned to go public and were under midwifery led care which was amazing. Birth did not go to plan as our girl was born at home in the bathroom after being sent home from the hospital a few hours earlier. Ambulance transfer to hospital after she was born and experienced complications myself as it was a fast birth and no help obviously. I tell everyone to do what they are comfortable with, I wish I had said no I don’t want to go home or not comfortable returning home when we initially arrived at the hospital. Or maybe even though these things can happen and have an emergency plan in place if you are not able to leave for the hospital.

                                                                     

                                                                    I have 3 girls and every labour was different. Having an amazing midwife definitely helps, if you don’t feel comfortable find someone you do feel that bond with.

                                                                     

                                                                    I read the start of a hypnobirthing book and could not recommend it highly enough, during my first birth I coped with labour very well, no drugs or intervention, so much so I accidentally had my first son at home despite having intended to go to the hospital!

                                                                     

                                                                    They all deliver differently, but it honestly feels like you need to go and have a huge poo. Use those muscles to push the baby out, don’t waste energy using muscles you don’t need to. And also gravity is your friend.

                                                                     

                                                                    The second was definitely better, and about to have a 3rd!

                                                                     

                                                                    Try to stay as calm as possible and just take one contraction at a time! My mindset of ‘I got through the last one, I can do the next’ really helped me push through both labours.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had contractions throughout the day, but they weren't very intense until around midnight. I left for the hospital when they suddenly became 2 minutes apart. Got to the hospital at 3 am and baby was born at 3:20 am. Made it just in time!

                                                                     

                                                                    4 births here, all labours began, progressed and contracted differently. No two pregnancies had contractions that felt the same, however, they were very painful. Had 1 epidural out of 4 pregnancies and I can honestly say the contractions hurt far worse than actually pushing the baby out.

                                                                     

                                                                    My labours are getting shorter. First was 25 hrs from waters breaking, second 18hrs, third 12hrs. All boys. 😉

                                                                     

                                                                    The birth of our first daughter was horrible. She was a very large baby 9.1oz, had a very long labour and it was either get an epidural and try to rest to push the baby out or C section. Got an epidural at 10cm. Ended up having bad bad tearing and an episiotomy, she was stuck bad, needed the vacuum twice (popped off both times) and forceps, was stitched up for about an hour after. Second baby was AMAZING. One pound lighter 8.1oz. Went into the hospital at 7cm very comfortable but labour stopped at 8 cm for hours so I asked them to break my water which helped and he was born at 9 am, no tearing, no episiotomy. It was truly amazing ❤️ (No epidural) so I could feel everything. When I pushed and I think that really helped.

                                                                     

                                                                    Prepare for a non medicated birth, even if you are planning to have medication. I went in wanting an epidural, but I came in at 8cm! I am so glad I didn’t get anything but I wish I would have mentally prepared for.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first birth was an uncomplicated delivery with an epidural. My second birth was so quick that I didn’t have time for any pain medication. My advice is if you don’t plan on going natural, then make sure you get to the hospital with plenty of time because they need at least an hour here in the USA for an epidural.

                                                                     

                                                                    Stay strong. Labour doesn't last forever.

                                                                     

                                                                    It’s amazing how you instantly feel better once your baby is in your arms. Those hormones are amazing! I went from consoling myself that I didn’t have to do this again, to being like “he’s so worth it, I’d do it again.... and that was 3 sleepless days and nights of labour!!”

                                                                     

                                                                    Your body was MADE for giving birth. You won’t believe your own strength. Trust your instincts. Drink water. Eat. You will poop. It’s ok! Squatting helped a lot both times! Wait for the urge to push. Prepare for the birth you want. Train up a support person. Highly recommend Bradley Method classes for those wanting a natural birth.

                                                                     

                                                                    Second childbirth was easier and faster. water birth was nice. Keep fit during pregnancy. I’m sure it helps with labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    Try to enter labour with an open mind. Don’t fill yourself with guilt for using pain relief when you were planning a hypnobirth. You’re no less of a woman or a mother for having a c section compared to a vaginal delivery. Even a seasoned veteran mama can have her plans thrown up in the air once she gets to the hospital! While no two births can compare, you understand a little more, feel a little more empowered and are filled with a whole lot more love each time you bring a new soul into the world!

                                                                     

                                                                    I used essential oils in my third labour and found it was super calming.

                                                                     

                                                                    Believe in yourself.

                                                                     

                                                                    My last one was nothing like the first. No two pregnancies or labours are the same. Don’t let anyone’s stories scare you.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first and third were similar in timing and sensation and gestation, both boys. My second was super fast 4 hours all up and was a girl. All times my waters never broke until well into my labour, second baby they burst as her head was coming out, third baby they were cut after his head was already out. Labour feels like waves of intense period pain to me and doing them all drug free I felt the natural endorphins helping me in and out of every contraction. It is so intense but the greatest feeling ever and I find it almost addictive. My hands always cramp severely during contractions and go numb in between, I am not sure if that is common or not. My midwife also rubs my feet in certain positions to help baby positioning during labour.

                                                                     

                                                                    The first time I gave birth I found it way more painful and hard. I was induced and feel like it was harder because it was forced and didn’t happen naturally. My 2nd childbirth was much easier I stayed at home the whole time I found that more comfortable because I was in my own space.

                                                                     

                                                                    My advice would be not to be scared of having a c section. Both of my baby girls were delivered by emergency c section and it saved both their lives. One had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and the other my placenta ruptured. Although most women don’t plan a c section sometimes it is the best course of action. There is a lot of stigma about c sections not being a natural birth but any birth is magical and if it means your child is born healthy and alive then trust your doctors if they say it’s the right course of action as it could save your babies life.

                                                                     

                                                                    Being mentally prepared really helped with the pain. Understanding what my body was doing (how the uterus contracts etc) also helped with being mentally prepared.

                                                                     

                                                                    I loved my pregnancies and labours, I was calm, prepared, excited and had done so much reading up on positive birth stories that I couldn’t wait!  My first labour had been good and I couldn’t wait to do it again! First was a 3.6kg boy with gas & morphine and an episiotomy, the second was a 4.4kg boy completely natural and minimal grazing!  Mind over matter. 💙💙

                                                                     

                                                                    The second was so much better than the first.

                                                                     

                                                                    2 natural drug free births. First was natural labour and second was induced 10 days past DD. Both quick deliveries.

                                                                     

                                                                    Every labour is totally different! My first child took 25 hours to arrive and was 6lb 2oz. The second took 3.5 hours and was 9 lb 1.5oz! Both boys as well. And if you want pain relief, totally get it!!

                                                                     

                                                                    8 pregnancies and labours. All pretty straight forward but you learn more about your body the more you have.  I was more in control of what I wanted the last birth conspired to the 1st.

                                                                     

                                                                    Highly recommend hypnobirthing.

                                                                     

                                                                    Best advice for labour - deep breathing! Also, don’t worry but also don’t be led to assume that your second birth WILL be just like your first, whether good or bad.

                                                                     

                                                                    Best thing I did in my 2nd birth was to stay upright as much as possible. Stand, squat, walk around. I ended up giving birth standing and will do that again when I have number three.

                                                                     

                                                                    Last birth was far easier and better than the first.

                                                                     

                                                                    Go into the entire experience with an open mind and relinquish control. Let what will be, be and enjoy the ride!

                                                                     

                                                                    Each childbirth is different... I had two extreme births but both totally different.

                                                                     

                                                                    Your second doesn’t always come faster than your first! My first baby was born in less than 2 hours and my second was 5 hours. Go into childbirth with an idea of how you’d like it to go but also be prepared for it to not go according to plan either. Babies are on their own schedule and agenda!

                                                                     

                                                                    My last birth was the best, at home in a birth pool. I had 3x hospital births previously. The first one was a stillbirth.

                                                                     

                                                                    I had a successful VBAC at 20 months apart! It can be done. 🙂

                                                                     

                                                                    They are all SO different! Naivety is the best haha! Take the epidural.

                                                                     

                                                                    Had two drug-free hospital births. Both were extremely fast after the water was broken. Both babies were delivered in 30 mins from water being broken. Not all first-time mums labour forever! Would never be induced again, preferred going into labour naturally.

                                                                     

                                                                    My water was slowly leaking so I, unfortunately, had to be induced (not my favourite option, but it was necessary). However, once everything really started happening, it seemed to go so quickly!  I was very glad to have my partner and mother present to recount the experience for me as I was a little blurry on the details. ❤

                                                                     

                                                                    All three of my births were so different. The first being an emergency c section for failure to progress (3-day labour), to an assisted birth, ventouse (12-hour labour), to a home birth that was 5 hours from start to finish. I  just kept repeating over & over 'I got this' 'My body was made to do this' in my head. Surrender and trust in the process.

                                                                     

                                                                    Each birth gets easier & easier - water births rule - exercise in pregnancy right up to birth is key!

                                                                     

                                                                    There is going to be a point in your labour when you feel like you can't continue, like you can't possibly go on any longer in this much pain and beg for someone to help you to make it stop... this is when you need to trust your body that you can and will get through it. At this point, you are so close to being ready to push and hold your baby in your arms. Soon you won't remember the pain as your greatest gift will soon be looking at you with adoring eyes.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t fear it, your body knows what to do! Trust it!

                                                                     

                                                                    7 babies, 6 pregnancies, all different yet similar.

                                                                     

                                                                    Fast and less painful, my 1st delivery was 16 hours of active labour. Super exhausting! #2 and #3 were a piece of cake. I would recommend having babies close together because the "road" has already been paved.

                                                                     

                                                                    Every labour is different. Just go with the flow. My first was a breeze and not painful at all, the second was posterior and extremely painful that I thought I would need emergency C-section. Do hypnobirthing! Really helps you to manage birth.

                                                                     

                                                                    My first pregnancy was with an OB and my second was with a midwife. Overall, my experience with a midwife was leaps and bounds better than with a doctor, just because of how encouraging and empowering they were. My first delivery needed forceps, and the nurses were not helpful during labour at all, with my second, it was very calm, just myself, my husband and my midwives. It was an amazing experience, and I was told how to push properly. I didn't tear, and was up and walking after over an hour of skin to skin and nursing. I just felt way more confident in myself the second time. 🙂

                                                                     

                                                                    I had a c section with my first child and was lucky enough to have a VBAC the second time around. I think keeping active during my second pregnancy really helped towards allowing this to happen. Conversely, I also had GDM with my second pregnancy, I managed this conservatively.

                                                                     

                                                                    Every birth is different. My first was completely different from my second. Don't sweat the small stuff. Everything will fall into place. Labour is not the hard part. Looking after a small human is harder.

                                                                     

                                                                    I was really nervous because I wasn't allowed a water birth after I had a 3 cm tear with my first birth. But the second time I tore a lot less. I wanted an epidural the second time, but there was not enough time. When I was told that, rather than feeling upset I was surprised to feel an almost calm "right let's get it done then" feeling come over me.

                                                                     

                                                                    I’ve had 3 successful natural drug-free births with minimal complications and I believe the mindset you have going into labour has a huge impact on your experience. You got this mummas its pain for a little while but it will end and you'll have your beautiful bub! 'This too shall pass'.

                                                                     

                                                                    All the pain is worth it!

                                                                     

                                                                    Much better second time around as I knew the signs of labour but scary as well because you know what you are in for!!! 😊

                                                                     

                                                                    My birth story made the paper. My 16-year-old daughter delivered my son at home, while the midwife was on the phone. Such a special and amazing entrance for my son, with his other sisters in the room.

                                                                     

                                                                    The second time around was way easier than the first because I had more of an idea as to what to expect. Also, don't forget snacks in your hospital bag because if you end up having baby in the middle of the night there isn't much open if you get hungry.

                                                                     

                                                                    Water births are by far my fave! Wish I could have had one every time!

                                                                     

                                                                    Get yourself some good potions and lotions for post labour. Also some nice big post birth clothes.

                                                                     

                                                                    My second was easier than my first but I would warn mother to be that afterpains get worse with each baby.

                                                                     

                                                                    Don’t expect to have a bloody show or your waters to break dramatically like in the movies. Neither of that happened to me in both of my pregnancies.

                                                                     

                                                                    There's no such thing as a silly question, put your mind at ease and ask your midwife or doctor

                                                                    Written by Nikki Clarke. 

                                                                      

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