For anyone who hasn't given birth, the very thought of labour can seem utterly terrifying. Er, you're telling us that a baby needs to come out of THERE?! In the movies, labour is seen as beautiful and poignant. In EastEnders, there's a lot of shrieking and sweating (notably, Stacey Slater begging for an epidural), but in real life, there's a hushed secrecy about what actually happens during labour.
Mum's labour stories are rarely shared in the media (13 babies and Ed Sheeran playing an acoustic cover in the background just about cuts it), despite it being one of the most life-changing and physically demanding ordeals you can go through as a woman.
That's why we asked 20 mums to be brutally honest about what giving birth was like for them. What did it feel like? How would you describe it to someone who hasn't been there? How painful is it on the scale from 0 to OHMYGOODNESSWHYME? Here are their answers and they are bloody brilliant.
The birth itself was incredibly long, I was four hours from being “ready to push” which was shocking. The whole thing was like a dream, and surreal. I remember it more as if I watched he whole thing rather than Participated! I threw up after the birth due to shock. Due to problem from birth one, I had a c-section next time which was exciting and I was over the moon this time when I saw my son and he was handed over!' - Rachel
I've recently given birth for the third time, I went into hospital at 12pm my baby was born at 2:56pm and I was home by 8pm as we ordered a kebab! Each labour has been rather similar, but the pain definitely doesn’t get any easier! It still amazes me, I don’t think it matters how many children you have, it’s something special, which I am lucky to of been able to experience!' - Charlotte
I was gutted, exhausted and just wanted it to be over. Then all of a sudden we all fell asleep the next time they came to check they could see the head. Five pushes and he was out. It was a boy we didn't know the sex and before they told me all i asked in my drugged up state was. 'Did it have any hair?!' They went to put him on me and i was just throwing up!
I have never felt so overwhelmed and that feeling is something you cannot describe until it happens, but i also felt really unwell the next thing was the doctor coming in telling me I needed a blood transfusion immediately. I looked rather confused and said I'm not having one of them, what do i need that for? He said you have lost nearly 2 litres of blood. if you don't have it you could die. I said. 'well we better get cracking with that one then!' because i haven't just gone through all that to die! So i had two units of blood put back in. It was so worth it, I would do it all over again tomorrow would just hope for a more straight forward birth next time! - Chloe
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