My birth story wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it was better than the first one.
Thirty-two hours of extreme back pain and painful contractions produced a beautiful 3.1 kg baby.
I couldn’t get to four centimetres dilation at home like you’re supposed to. I managed to wait until three centimetres at which point I needed help. We found out in the end the reason for the pain and lack of dilation is that baby had the cord wrapped around him three times, probably stopping him from engaging.
It took a lot of intervention to get him down and out, but I managed to do it without a cesarean.
While it was a long, hard, painful labour, I can clearly recall the care of the many professionals I encountered, my midwife being the lead. I felt looked after and that my baby was being carefully monitored. The after care, during which I hemorrhaged, was also spectacular. This is what I remember the most from my experience. And it was dramatically different from my first labour, for this I’m grateful.
We spent a night in hospital, where I had fluids and an iron transfusion, and a night at a maternity centre. My pain levels in my low back and glutes were through the roof until we got home and I could move freely from comfortable bed to comfortable chair (and take pain killers less rigidly, but still according to instructions). It wasn’t until I saw the physiotherapist at four weeks that we realised I had symphisis pubis disorder, which meant my pelvis spread too far, presumably due to the prolonged back labour. This caused severe pain at first and gradually reduced to mild with reduced range of movement and lots of pelvic tilts.
As it is with childbirth, so it is with Fibromyalgia, we are all different and we can’t look for “normal” because there is no normal. There are patterns, but there’s no normal.
We must learn to listen to our body and trust that little voice that guides us. It can take some time to hear it, as there are plenty of louder voices itching to tell us what to do. But if we pay attention, we will know what to do.