How I managed to naturally reduce and control labour pains - my 2nd labour story.

20th February, 2020
Let's skip the introduction and all of the unnecessary part and dive right into it. My second labour was at least 50% less stressful and painful than my first one... All thanks to natural ways I haven't even necessarily practiced before hand. I'm a firm believer of law of attraction and the power of our minds. The plan was to use my mind skills when my labour began and contractions kicked in. Did I stick to it? Yes - and it was certainly one of the best decisions of my life which made things run easily and progress much quicker.
 
How it all began...
I woke up on the 25th of November - a day before my due date, around 3am on a Monday morning with terrible pain in my abdomen and lower back. To be honest, at that point I was very convinced it was nothing more than something I've must of eaten the day before and after a toilet trip I will return to my normal self... Fortunately (because honestly I could not wait to meet our son) I quickly realised I was in labour with regular contractions every 3-4 minutes. It went on for two hours and they were still bearable at that point. My little girl woke up too, so I had to sit by her bed and sing her few songs. I managed to take a relaxing bath and quickly downloaded a contraction timer app to help me keep track of contractions. Not that it was relevant in neither of my labours. With my first I had them every 6 mins lasting around 30secs in active labour, and with my second the closer I got to the finish line and the more I was dilating - the further apart my contractions would get!! According to the internet, guides and midwives - you should head to the hospital when you have 3 contractions in 10 mins lasting 60secs or more... But now I know to listen to my instincts and body rather than anything or anyone else.
  
Time to focus and speed things up !!
It was hard for me to concentrate on my plan when my little girl (aged 2) was around, but thanks God it was Monday and hubby dropped her off to preschool so I had those few hours to myself. The more I tried fighting the pain the more it would hurt with each contraction getting stronger and more intense. Before I knew it I found myself on the floor crying in agony... That's when I said 'No more, you've got this!' bearing in mind it was still an early stage and I was aware I had a good few more hours of suffering before my boy arrives. So I had the choice of screaming out from pain or try my best to speed things up and... chill out as much as it was possible!

My technique...
First thing's first - I set my self time by which I will give birth and I strongly believed that I will not go over that line. I promised my vagina to deliver not later than 6pm on that day, and Derano was born at 5.23pm. I asked my hubby to blow up my birthing/yoga ball. I sat on it in no time, my partner placed a chair in front of me so that I had something to hold on to/lean on. I was sitting on the ball with my legs as wide apart as possible gently bouncing in between contractions. I focused my mind on nothing but positive thoughts such as meeting my son for the first time in a few hours, my daughter gaining a sibling, animals, nature and so on... Anything that possibly brought joy to my heart. Happy thoughts along with slow, controlled and deep breathing honestly made such a big difference and helped me stay on top of things. The key is to stay focused and concentrate on positive images, thoughts, memories in your head and breathing frequently and slowly. Nice deep breaths.

Every time I felt the next contraction approaching - I relaxed my every single muscle in my entire body (this is very important) as you would when meditating and let the uterus only, contract on it's own - like it does during labour. Staying tensed will only make it harder to handle. No matter how bad the pain may be - remember it's just a feeling and you can associate it with anything you possibly want - so you can trick your mind into thinking it doesn't even hurt. And of course it didn't work with each and every contraction but for someone who never practised this technique before - hands down it worked wonders. Now picture how effective this could have been if I dedicated some time into mastering this skill months before the final day. It's mind over matter. Sitting and bouncing on the ball allowed my body to work with gravity and encourage dilation, whilst my focused mind, relaxed body and controlled breathing helped me deal with the pain very effectively...
   
What happened next?
At around 1pm my contractions started fading away. They went from every 3/4-5 minutes to every 7-9 minutes. That's when I realised I am still in the very early stage and I am nowhere near my finish line. I felt like giving up and crawling up in bed... But I didn't. I relocated to my bedroom upstairs as my little girl was about to walk through the front door anytime now back from school with daddy. Callum ensured I had all the snacks I asked for - and the main thing I craved for that day was sour dough bread on it's own lol. I drunk sooo much water to stay hydrated and ate in between contractions to keep my energy level as high as possible as the hardest was yet to come. I rang my midwife and asked if I can pop over to be examined, she asked me to come in. Thankfully she was located 3mins walk from my house, I walked to place with a straight face whilst going through another contraction - taking slow and deep breaths as I go. After examination, the midwife pulled out her phone and quickly dialled the hospital asking them to get my water pool ready as I will be there shortly... I was 7cm dilated and honestly I was hoping for 2cm at least! I was sooo happy, relieved and surprised that it has progressed so quick. The lovely lady was truly shocked at how peacefully I would sit throughout contractions and complimented me on it which gave me even more of a kick to keep going and remain strong.

At the hospital...
Uber arrived outside the midwife's office and together with hubby we rushed to the hospital. Will never forget the look on the driver's face probably praying my waters don't break on his car seat. And just like in a typical movie scene - we got stuck in traffic 3 minutes to our destination, but thanks to our terrified driver he done a U-turn and made it to the hospital in seconds. We walked through the main door and a lady insisted I take the elevator. I refused as in front of me I see a set of stairs, I ran up to the top excited hoping this will only speed things up even more than the birthing ball did. I can't even describe the excitment and joy that was fulfilling me and my parter in that very moment. Walking along the long corridor towards the birth centre both shouting out 'He will be here soon!' together. We reached the midwives unit, none of the ladies believed I was in active labour and I don't blame them if you ask me. I mean who normal laughs and busts jokes at that stage, but I was so happy I just could not wait to bring another human being into this world.

I was taken to a temporary room whilst my water pool was being fill and prepared. How exciting. Upon arrival I was examined once again, I got to the hospital 9,5cm dilated! 1 hour later my waters were broken by one of the midwives as it still wouldn't break naturally at full dilation. The urge to push didn't come until another 30minutes or so. I was assisted by two lovely young midwives, they were extremely shocked of how well I was 'tolerating' the pain - my partner then explained about my little technique which they found very interesting, I then had to relocate to a different room where the pool full of warm water was waiting for me to jump into. I couldn't believe how cosy the place was. Fairy lights, positive quotes and candles all around. As soon as my batty dipped inside the water I immediately began to push - you can't control it can you! The warm water did it's thing for sure! Within the next 20 minutes our boy was born... Just before he popped out his shoulder got stuck in my pelvis and with the help of my hubby, who lifted my leg up north in the air - our boy came out or should I say fell out, without any intervention needed from the midwives. No stitches nor tears. Happy mummy and a very strong and healthy baby! We decided to stay in the hospital until the following morning whilst hubby rushed back to our little girl who was looked after by her aunt.

Side note...
Ain't no way am I bragging about how amazing I am for bearing 'possibly the worst pain possible to human's body' so well. My intentions in this post, were to make you understand how well this technique has worked for me in order to still be able to run up the stairs, laugh and joke around and to shock the midwives - who probably have seen it all. During my first labour I was in so much agony, unexperienced, not knowing what to do, fighting each and every contraction which longed the entire process and made me suffer more.. To this peaceful, calm - controlled and beautiful birth experience. I encourage every single lady reading this to give it a go - even better, start to practise deep breathing and positive thinking as soon as possible, so by time your labour starts you will be a PRO!!