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What was your experience of childbirth ?

(146 Posts)
Floradora9 Tue 27-Sep-22 15:18:17

My children were both born in a small maternity hospital in the 1960s . Unless there were expected complications all the town's babies were born there. There were no doctors there permanently your GP was sent for at the last minute, as far as I was concerned ,and only arrived in time to put in the stitches. If they really had a problem there was no help on hand and they carried only the drugs needed for childbirth . I got a bad throat infection and they did not even have an asprin to offer me . I was left totally alone for quite a large part of the birth ( of course no husbands ) and all the pain relief offered was gas and air which I never got the hang of. After my DS was born I was left alone again with him in a cot over the other side of the room. He was making noises and I wondered if I should get up to look but did not dare.
My mother was well know in the town as she was a health visitor so the nurses expected me to know all about babies. I had had no experience of babies in the family and knew nothing . I found it all a bit traumatic .My mother had booked me in for a private room , £1 per day , but I would have been better in a ward with other mums. At that time you were kept in bed for a week . I asked to go home and was told nobody left in less than a week . Two years later DD was born there and I had the same private room . Fast forward 3 years and I had been fostering babies who were to be adopted getting them at 7 days old . A friend watched me changing one of the babies and remarked " my goodness you look like you have done that all your life "
As an aside my mother also did the family planning clinic and came home laughing about one of her mothers who had had far too many babies . When asked what her husband was doing about contraceptives she exclaimed " Dinna blame him I am as bad as he is " .

NotTooOld Tue 27-Sep-22 15:34:21

Ooh, it was a long time ago. My first was fairly traumatic and only gas and air to help - which it didn't. I think I was in labour for 11 hours. My beautiful son was born at 11.25 am to a lovely sunny day. He was put beside me and we had to wait for ages on the delivery table before a doctor came to stitch me up. He didn't cry at all, just looked up at the ceiling in a wondering sort of way. We had to stay in hospital for 10 days, which was the norm, nothing unusual. A physio came round every afternoon and made us do postnatal exercises and the babies were taken away at night so we 'could get some rest'! Wonderful.

My second baby was different altogether, only a couple of hours labour and there she was. I couldn't believe my luck. We only stayed in hospital for 48 hours. I don't remember being given any exercises to do and we had to look after our own babies at night. Both of them were lovely - and still are!

sodapop Tue 27-Sep-22 15:52:45

Same here NotTooOld the dreaded episiotomy and a 10 day stay in the nursing home. There were builders working there when I was in and as I staggered down to the lavatory one of them shouted " where's your horse missus" charming.
Babies were not supposed to be taken out until they were two weeks old at that time. I remember proudly taking my new daughter out in her smart Silver Cross pram and didn't meet a single person I knew, disappointed.

AGAA4 Tue 27-Sep-22 16:01:21

The birth of my first son was traumatic. I was left alone with a junior nurse who gave me pethadine. Problem was I was ready to give birth and became unconscious. When I came too I was surrounded by doctors and the consultant. I could hear the nurse being told off in the background. My son had been born and was rushed off to an incubator. Nobody told me what was going on and if my baby would be alright.

Ilovecheese Tue 27-Sep-22 16:06:35

Comparing my birth experiences with my daughters' the midwives seemed to be so much kinder these days.

LtEve Tue 27-Sep-22 16:19:56

My first was a 28 hour labour back to back with a shot of pethadine early on then gas and air. A two hour second stage and small tear which a very nervous doctor sutured. Second was 6 and three quarter hours with gas and air, small tear which the midwife sutured, third was 3 hours, again with gas and air with a 2 minute second stage and no tearing just a graze. All were in hospital in the early 1990’s and the longest I stayed in was 5 days with my first until she decided to get on with feeding.?Strangely enough I actually enjoyed each labour.

Daisymae Tue 27-Sep-22 16:22:06

I started to write about my experiences and decided not to. Awful and traumatic is about as much as I want to say.

Blondiescot Tue 27-Sep-22 16:23:18

I had two emergency c-sections. The first, with my daughter, happened because her heart rate kept dropping on the monitor and they thought she was in distress. I'd only been in labour for a few hours. As it turned out, she wasn't distressed, and it was only because the cord was being compressed with each contraction. Second time, with my son, they agreed to let me have a trial labour as there didn't appear to be any reason why I wouldn't be able to have a vaginal birth. However, after two-and-a-half days in labour and no sign of him appearing, I ended up with another section.

LadyGracie Tue 27-Sep-22 16:47:15

I was lucky both mine were easy births. My DD had a very traumatic time as did my DiL.

MawtheMerrier Tue 27-Sep-22 16:52:59

Too long ago to be of any interest to me or anybody else.

Allsorts Tue 27-Sep-22 16:57:01

I was one of the lucky ones. I was never worried about giving birth until the day. I see that many difficult births now on tv if I was young I would be too frightened to have a baby.

midgey Tue 27-Sep-22 16:58:11

My husband left me eating a liquorice pipe after visiting time. He hadn’t got home (on the bus) before they rang to say baby had arrived. Third time around I warned the nurse it would be quick….Yes Dear she said, in ‘that’ tone of voice, She turned around and didn’t have time to put her gloves on!

Granny23 Tue 27-Sep-22 17:08:50

Both my Births were utter fiascos. With DD1 my waters broke at home, so as pre instructed I went straight to hospital arriving around 10am. I was bathed, shaved and then sat around in the lounge with other Mums to be all afternoon smoking and drinking tea. In the evening they were going to send me home as nothing appeared to be happening although I told them I was having intermittent pain in my back and thighs. Rules said that with waters gone I had to be kept in so I spent the night on a ward, sleeping and waking with increasing contractions. Consultant came round in the morning, gave the staff a telling off for failing to recognise that baby was back to back ( hence contractions being felt in back and bum rather than bump) and that birth was imminent. I was rushed to the delivery room , left there with gas and air, and the end of the table down, while the midwife went to fetch something for me to push against. In her absence, with one big push, DD shot out, over the end of the table and bounced up and down on her cord. I was torn and needed stitches, but I was shaking uncontrollably so they gave me the gas and air mask, which is when they discovered that the mask had not been connected to the gas cylinder and I had had no pain relief at all.

Birth no 2, 3 years later, baby also back to back. Young Doctor came to break my waters - fine until he literally kicked the bucket and waters went all over the floor. Off he went to get someone with a mop, missing the big push which resulted in the baby being born with no one to catch her and me being torn from front to back passage. Never mind, he came back and set to to stitch me up and in his own words, 'return me to a near virgin state which would no doubt please my DH'.
I had a lot of discomfort down below until I attended the post natal appt, with my GP 6 weeks later. GP discovered that I had a raging infection, caused by the packing inserted to stop the blood flow whilst I was being stitched up, being still in situ. It was not fun having it removed with long tweezers. Unlike Daisy Mae, I have found that turning the birth stories into a comedy has helped me come to terms with them.

NanKate Tue 27-Sep-22 17:10:28

Daisymae I’m with you, hence I only have one child.

Juggernaut Tue 27-Sep-22 17:15:32

Daisymae & NanKate,
My son's an only child, which tells you all you need to know!

NanKate Tue 27-Sep-22 17:17:41

Join the club Juggernaut.

Ladyleftfieldlover Tue 27-Sep-22 17:18:19

Three births, all very quick. 2 hour Labour, 4 hours, 6 hours the longest. No pain relief. Good old NCT worked for me. I tore a little each time so needed stitching up. The midwives were all very kind. My second birth, the six hour one, was interesting because a medical student asked if he could watch so he could get his obstetrics badge. Then a huddle of obstetric nurses also wanted to watch. Finally the head midwife said she should oversee everything. With the other two births it was just the midwife, me and OH.

FlexibleFriend Tue 27-Sep-22 17:20:37

Simple and straight forward only stayed in for 6 hours each time. First was 1980 and second 1988.

Georgesgran Tue 27-Sep-22 17:23:29

Same as * Daisy* and I’ll leave out the gory details!
DD2 was born on August Bank Holiday in ‘83 and all I can say say is most of the staff were off too!
DH spent ages running around, trying to find a nurse for everyone on the labour ward!

nexus63 Tue 27-Sep-22 17:27:36

i had an appointment at the hospital but phoned to say i was not feeling well, they sent an ambulance, when i got there i was in labour, i phoned my partner but had to wait till he finished work, i wanted an epidural but being scared of needles they had to calm me down to get it in my back, a few hours later a nurse came in and said your dad is here, i thought strange, i don't even know what part of england my dad was staying in....turned out it was my partner who was 18 years older than me, my son was born with jaundice so had to go to the baby unit, i had to ask when i wanted to see him, this was 1986 and we had to go to a dining room for meals, i would see all these women carrying rubber rings so they could sit down on the hard school chairs, when i was going home they wanted a blood test or i could not take my baby, my answer was keep him, it sounds awful now but i never had anymore children because of the needle phobia. i never intended to have any children but my son was and is my whole life.

Sago Tue 27-Sep-22 17:38:43

Dreadful trauma with our middle child, we nearly lost him due to an arrogant consultant who refused to section me.
I had had an emergency section previously due to foetal distress.
I laboured for 19 hours, episiotomy failed forceps, ruptured womb and finally a section.
Blue son in special care weighing in at 9lb, I was told it would be a small baby and my narrow pelvis would cope.
Thankfully number 3 was an elective section at 34 weeks and a much happier mum and baby.

Lucca Tue 27-Sep-22 17:48:03


Too long ago to be of any interest to me or anybody else.


Yammy Tue 27-Sep-22 18:07:12

The first was a traumatic c-section in the days before scans. Baby and I were saved by an anaesthetist we knew, whose experimental machine picked up baby and mother's distress. I came round inches off the floor the porters had dropped me as they put me on the stretcher.
Second, a planned C-section all went smoothly and I was offered coffee and cake at 10 a.m. as they did not realise I had just come up from theatre. Both were a 10-day stay in a Maternity Hospital.

Kalu Tue 27-Sep-22 18:12:50

I have erased them from my memory! Never again although at my age it would be a miracle!

MrsKen33 Tue 27-Sep-22 18:31:45

First one was horrid. I was just 21, knew nothing about childbirth and had. 9 lb baby ( no stitches) A nice stay in hospital for 10 days then home. Second was far easier but again a whopper. Home within 24 hours. I don’t really remember the pain or the pushing it was a long time ago.