I am one of the 2% of ladies that experience a precipitous labour. It’s not all that common & is rarely spoken about, especially by bloggers so I thought I’d share my experience with you all now it’s been 5 years (to the day!) since I became a mumma. The above picture was taken by a paramedic that arrived 20 minutes after she was born…I don’t remember it at all!
When I fell pregnant with Elsa back in 2012/13, I immersed myself into educating myself in anything & everything I could do when it comes to pregnancy, birth & babies. Being a young mum (I was 22 when I had Elsa & 24 when I had Rory) I suppose I had something to prove. I’d read forum after forum with advice & stories as well as speaking to friends/family & anything I could get my hands/eyes/ears round.
In the end, I knew everything I could have done about giving birth. Unfortunately it was one huge waste of time as my labour & both birth stories were totally unexpected & definitely not page book.
A precipitous labour is a birth which occurs in less than 3 hours from first contraction to delivery. Elsa was born in 40 minutes in our ensuite toilet with Mr THTMM delivering her/stopping her from falling head first down the toilet & Rory was born in a grand total of 6 minutes after being induced at hospital due to Elsa’s speedy entrance, in a toilet cubicle.
I never in a million years would have expected it to happen to me & to be honest, whenever I read stories such as my own in glossy gossip mags I thought what a load of rubbish it all was. How was that even possible?
Whenever I tell people my birth stories I’m met by looks of disbelief, amazement & more often than not shrieks of ‘well how LUCKY are you?’ closely followed by details of 3 day labours resulting in a C-section or similar.
I definitely wouldn’t call my births (or any birth for that matter…) easy or say that I was lucky to experience an extremely fast (yet furious) labour. Yes the amount of time I spent in pain was reduced considerably, but the level of pain I was in was absolutely astronomical.
Contractions are your bodies way of building yourself up through the pain thresholds to eventually push your baby out. I had 3 contractions with Elsa then was completely floored by an all consuming ravaging pain which I had no coping mechanism for. I begged Joe to kill me as it was the only way I could see out of it. With Rory I was hooked up to monitors measuring his heartbeat throughout the induction process, at 6.55pm my first contraction hit & from then until 6 minutes later at 7.01pm I was screaming, crying, begging & even literally trying to climb up the walls.
The only way I could describe it is never having heard of or seen a rollercoaster before & being put on one then catapulted around the track. Not knowing if it would stop or what was going on. I was absolutely petrified & even more so when pregnant with Rory as I knew what was coming for me plus the realisation that I could be anywhere & go into labour, even alone looking after 22 month old Elsa. Plus subsequent births are usually quicker.
Precipitous labour can also bring about many health implications for both mother & baby which I experienced more so with Elsa. Despite delivering her at home on our own, she was fine & shortly after let out the expected scream of protest every mother longs to hear. I however was in extreme shock, had haemorrhaged (which nobody picked up on until 3 days postpartum so I was rushed for several blood transfusions as my body was basically packing down) as well as suffered one of the worst tears the hospital had seen.
I’ve been very honest in the fact that I really struggled to bond with Elsa which I do put down to overwhelming shock of the birth & how poorly I was afterwards. I didn’t want to hold her or quite frankly have anything to do with her for a good few days at least & it wasn’t until she was around 6 months that I got the rush of love that I expected.
It was utterly terrifying & I was pretty traumatised by the experiences for quite a long time afterwards. In some ways I feel quite ‘robbed’ of the lovely water birth that I had in my head however one thing I’ve definitely learnt since becoming a mum is that the one thing we have no control over to an extent is our bodies & also births. So many people end up having to abandon their well thought out & intended birth plans to have medical interventions such as C-sections, forceps & so on as well as begging for all the drugs/medication the hospital can offer. But at the end of the day, as long as you & baby are healthy then none of it matters.
Looking back 5 year on though, I can safely say that it was all so worth it & I wouldn’t change a thing. Isn’t it amazing how women forget about the pain & end up doing it all again!
I’d love to hear from anybody else that’s experienced super speedy labours – how does mine compare & what are your feelings towards it now further on down the line?