By Baby Blogger Kate Richards
I've got this far without thinking much about it, but the reality is starting to sink in - I'm going to have to go through labour again! In fact, it's all I dreamed about last night.
I have a friend who is nearly two weeks overdue, and is going to be induced in a few days' time, probably throwing off all her carefully laid "gas & air and a Tens machine" plans. It just goes to show that anything can happen there's really very little preparation you can do, except read up about all the possibilities.
Last time, with Ben, my labour couldn't have been more different to my highly-optimistic "birth plan". But the actual experience was pretty calm and pleasant. I do feel I had my cake and ate it, because I benefitted from the pain relief of an epidural (given alongside a Syntocinon drip to speed things up) without needing any further intervention which would have probably caused a much longer recovery.
Because of this raised risk of intervention - ventouse, forceps with episiotomy, emergency caesarean - I'll try to avoid another epidural if possible. I'll also try to find the time to listen to my hypnobirthing cds again, they really helped me stay relaxed during what could have been quite a panicky time.
I won't be planning another home birth though. For a start, I have no evidence that I can actually do it without artificial hormones. Also my local hospital has a wonderful hippy-type midwife led unit with en-suite rooms, a birthing pool, CD players and bean bags. Luckily, the more medical delivery unit is just along the corridor.
Of course, my current focus on the birth could just be a distraction technique from the real question - how on earth am I going to cope as a Mum of two?!