You’d think quick would mean easy

Where did you give birth or where was the birth you witnessed?
Manchester

Can you describe where your/the birth was?

At home during the Moss Side Carnival, with the sounds of the parade going past.

Who was present at your/the birth?
Partner, midwife and student

Can you describe the experience of giving birth or watching the birth?
One of the things I always say is that, with my first – a straightforward labour of around 7 hours at 16 past my due date – I was 3cm dilated for about 10 days. With this labour, I was 3cm dilated for about 45 minutes.

You’d think quick would mean easy, but I basically spent the whole time in transition doubting myself and thinking I’d grossly misremembered how hard this was. About 10 minutes from the end, my grunty exhale alerted the midwife to my progress (“Are you pushing?!” – “I don’t know!”) and she declared me fully dilated. From then on I gave up trying to manage the sensations at all.

With the first I was so quiet and peaceful and in control, but with this one I felt like all I could do was open at both ends and shout for my life as my child kicked her way out.

The second midwife never made it – everything happened too fast and some roads were closed. She had to park on the other side of the parade route and run through with her bag and suit. “Like Carry on Midwife,” she said.

 

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