Please introduce yourself and your family
Hi I'm Jess from the UK, my husband is Spanish and we have an 8 month old son Hugo. We live in Spain and so I went through the Spanish health care system for both pregnancy and birth.
Did you write or discuss a birth preference in preparation?
Yes, I read a lot of birth stories and planned my birth preferences meticulously. I then went through it with my husband, as I realised he might be the one to have to explain it to the midwives and doctors. Finally, I presented parts of it to my gynaecologist, although I realise now that it's really the staff on the day that need to know the information. I also noticed that my preferences reduced a lot the closer I got to my due date.
What type of birth did you have?
I had an assisted vaginal birth. I was in labour for 14 hours, the contractions came on thick and fast at 10pm and we checked into the hospital at 3am at 2cm dilated. I had planned to have an epidural which I requested around 6am, and by 1pm Hugo was born! He needed some help to move down the birth canal at the end hence the assistance.
Throughout my whole pregnancy, I had a huge fear of medical procedures and being out of control during labour and the birth but in the end I was so elated that the time to meet my baby had finally arrived that I was quite serene and calm. The moment baby was put on my chest felt so surreal, like meeting a stranger that you have already known for 9 months. Absolutely wild.
The things which made me feel human again after birth. Nice Pjs/ cosy slippers/lovely scented toiletries. Then the very necessary nappies, like actual nappies, so much easier than knickers and a pad for the first few hours at least.
Anything else you want to share?
I know at the moment there's lots of hype about the perfect birth plan etc. and of course there are things I would have done differently, but in all honesty, 8 months later I can say it didn't matter in the end, those last weeks of pregnancy were hard and I was so excited to meet my baby I just wanted him out! I wish I hadn't stressed so much over my perfect birth.