What it feels like giving birth?
I just had my first child with epidural a week ago. So, let me tell you while the memory is still somewhat fresh! I’ll try to leave out a long story about my experience and focus on what it feels like.
Early contraction is hardly noticeable; you may not even know it’s happening! You’ve probably had Braxton Hicks for weeks up until this point but you just ignore the gentle squeezing that keeps happening. It’s like your belly is doing crunches but you aren’t participating.
I went to labor induction as my baby is already 2 weeks overdue. I got in the hospital Friday in the morning and was on IV at 11:30am then they started putting oxytocin into my IV to speed up my labor until about in the afternoon when my doctor noticed that I’m still 1cm dilated so to speed up the process he inserted a balloon inside me to dilate my cervix faster without any anesthesia so it’s a bit painful in my part and I was already crying by that time so the nurse couldn’t insert the monitor inside they suggested to put Epidural on me already.
The process of getting epidural is a bit scary for me as they will insert it in my spine but before they do that they numb my back first then inserted the needle, my husband was in front of me as my support and though it’s not as that painful as what I was expecting I still cried.
You will feel a tingling sensation in your legs and slowly you just feel numb down from your hips to your legs. They started inserting the catheter, monitor and keep checking my dilation when my epidural kicked in. It helped my back pain and gave me comfort.
Almost the end:
While waiting until my cervix opens to 10cm I was drinking a lot of water and eating ice popsicles on my bed. They also provided a peanut shaped inflatable that they put in between my legs while I was laying down on my side to help open my pelvic and for me it’s a bit uncomfortable until eventually you’ll get used to it.
When around Friday in the evening and still I just progress to 3cm my doctor put more Pitocin in my IV so I can contract when around Saturday in the afternoon the nurse said I was already 9cm so they started preparing all the equipment they would need when I started pushing. At 6pm I started pushing her, and by this point I can’t talk as I’m just focusing on getting through the pain. With the contractions getting closer and more intense, I started to shake and sweat badly. I also got intense lower back pain as the baby is kicking my back. And then, I had this undeniable urge to push. It’s the weirdest feeling, but I can’t hold back any longer and I was so desperate to ease my pain already and feel relieved. I pushed for 4 hours when the baby head came out then all I felt was a feeling of relief when the doctor pulled the baby out.
It was exhilarating experience and I was tired. My baby was on my tummy when the doctor was stitching me and I didn’t feel anything which is good. After the procedure, I felt so cold and I started shaking intensely due to all the medication I had for 48 hours. It was bad, I felt like dying at that time but then after an hour I felt relax and then my nurse cleaned me up and helped me get up from my bed so they could take out the epidural on my back. It was the worst feeling ever as my legs felt weak, my abdomen hurts and my stitches were still bleeding. Blood was everywhere on the floor and on my bed, as well. They soon transferred me on a wheelchair after me and my husband bonded with the baby for an hour.
You will feel overwhelmed during the first weeks on how little sleep you will get and how much rest you wanted to have but you need to get up every 2-3 hrs. to nurse the baby. If you nurse, expect nipple soreness, bleeding and cracking even you know your baby latching is correct you can still feel pain during the first few weeks,
Your labia will swell and there is a lot of bleeding, but it goes down to what seems like a normal period after a few days. You will be achy and sore, like you were in a bad car wreck. Your breasts will engorge and hurt, but that also quickly goes away. You will cry a lot, for no reason sometimes, but mostly because you are just overwhelmed with emotions and very tired. These symptoms resolve within 4-6 weeks as what my Dr. said.
In the end, though motherhood is exhausting and difficult you will feel great about how you got through those months of waiting and the delivery day. You will feel great about yourself on how rewarding it is to nurture your baby. It takes time to feel the attachment with your baby but it will happen and all you need is time.