My second round at child birth was much easier than the first. In fact, so was the pregnancy. My first was filled with crazy hormones, insane migraines, and prenatal depression, I hated being pregnant.


After giving birth and becoming a bit more bearable to be around, my husband told me that after work he used to sit in his van for 10 minutes, afraid to come indoors. I really was a nightmare.


I found birth scary and bloody painful.



I remember my midwife telling me at 3 centimetres I had to hit 4 before I could get the epidural. If I wasn't bent over the bed in crippling stillness, I would have choked her right there in that room. Gas and air always sounded like a party beforehand, but the reality was that it made me feel sick. Dave made the most of it though, he deserved it after the 10 months he had endured.




I can not understand how women can go through the whole process with little or no pain relief, hats off to you, I can barely hold back the tears just getting a wax.



12 hours later, after forceps, episiotomy (a lifetime of emotional scars for Dave after witnessing episiotomy) and too much epidural, which resulted in me being sedated for an hour, our first son Riley was born.

I've heard women say once you hold your bundle of joy in your arms you forget all about the pain of child birth. For me, it is still lodged all too clearly in my mind.


Pregnancy No.2 was a prettier picture.



Dave would comment about what a dream I was, and how sometimes he would forget I was even pregnant.



I noticed he was home from work on time a lot more this pregnancy too. I didn't have any depression this time, I did get the headaches, but knowing what worked for them last time I was able to knock them on the head fairly quickly. I was joyful, dare I say, glowing?

All that being said, I still could not wait to get the baby out, so the evening it all began I had been bouncing on the birthing ball for hours. I could feel the baby moving further down with every bounce, but didn't get too excited as the days leading up to this one I tried just about everything there was going on the Internet and nothing worked.


But low and behold, just as we got into bed, the contractions started and sped up fairly quickly so off we went to the hospital.


A couple of hours later we were sent home as they were low staffed, and I still had a bit to go. It was around 2am at this point but I happily went as I was starving, and all that was going through my head was McDonald's drive thru. It was closed!



6am: I'd had enough, I needed to get back to McDonald's..I It was open this time, but after all that I couldn't eat it. I was in agony.


Dave thought he would take a shortcut (it saved all of 15 seconds) the shortcut brought us in one side of a petrol station and out the other, but the station had 8 speed bumps to get over. I didn't say anything, I just turned my head and gave him 'the look'. God love him, he thought he was doing right.


We got to the hospital. I was all hooked up in triage when I was told I had to go straight to the delivery suite. Not because I was so far gone, they hadn't even checked that yet. No, it was because my heart rate was dropping and speeding up at a crazy rate.


I tried to reassure everyone it was probably just the coffee I had from McDonald's as they all seemed as worried as I secretly was. Well, Dave was being very cool about the whole situation, a bit too cool for my liking. I thought 'you're a heartless bast*rd,' but afterwards, he told me he was a nervous wreck and was putting on an act for my sake.


So there it was, the moment I realised I might die today.



As if the day wasn't bad enough already having no sleep, the obvious pain of labour and my failed attempt at the lovely looking Mickey D's pancakes, despite my starvation.



Doctor after Doctor came to poke and prod and give their thoughts on the dodgy ticker but to no avail.


Surprisingly enough, the pain held up a little bit. I was worried that meant they would send me home. But then my waters broke. I was asked if I wanted the epidural now. I wasn't taking any chances so I said 'hells yeah'.

The day dragged on, hour after hour, talking shi*t to the midwife and asking all the questions I'm sure she's answered a hundred times before. "Do many people record the birth? I think that's a bit weird myself."


Okay, less talking.



Suddenly, the head is coming! Dave and Megan (the midwife) looked on with such excitement on their faces. To hell with it, I wanna see: "Dave, record it". They both just looked up at me. "Yes, I know what I said earlier, but I don't care- I want to see why your faces look like that! Record it".

16 minutes of pushing and out he came, looking like a smurf that just emerged from a swamp, another beautiful boy.


I remember thinking 'oh you are gorgeous, but you're covered in a whole lot of yuck, so we will save the kisses for later, no offence'.


After we settled down and I had been (yet again) stitched up, I had a look at the video.



If I blurred out what my vagina looked like at that moment in time, and just focused on the little head making its debut then yes, it was amazing to watch but just once, then it had to be deleted.



I never wanted to look at that God-awful image of my nether regions again.


A year down the line, and 9 days away from my third baby's due date, (yep - I'm that crazy) making the coolest cake ever for Jesse's 1st birthday when I started to feel a bit queazy. The day moved on with that sickly feeling, but no symptoms of an impending labour until 8pm that evening.


Boys were in bed, I was watching TV and the contractions started. There had been many a night before this, where I told my husband "this is it, we're having the baby tonight," but then I'd just let out some wind or something and panic was over, but this was different, you know when you know.


The contractions weren't that painful, but they were coming every couple of minutes. We headed to the hospital as I didn't want to take any chances with number three shooting out like they say it can. (Bucket vagina, and all that)


We got to the hospital at 10.30pm and there was literally a queue of women in labour waiting to push a push pop.



I swear, I felt like I was in Starbucks.



Luckily Evie was in no big hurry at this point as it was 1am before I was checked over. At only 1cm, I thought we're going to be sent on our bike, but they said that because it's my third, things might happen quickly so I should stay over night. (Bucket vagina saves the day!)



We walked to the ward and I told Dave to go to the car and get my hospital bag and then take himself off home as nothing was happening. When he came back 5 minutes later with my bag, I was on all fours and mooing like a cow.



The midwife did the check, and I was 2cm, how could this be? I was in agony.



20 minutes passed, and things were only getting worse so she checked again, 5cm.


I was wheeled up to the delivery suite on a chair and up onto the bed. I could feel the head coming, but I kept screaming for the epidural.



I knew that wouldn't be possible, but God loves a trier. No position was helping these pains and I had tried every one of them.



In the end, I just put my arms around Dave's neck and pulled myself up against his strength during every contraction. There wasn't even a pause between them now, and my body just took over, there was sound coming from my mouth that I couldn't even control.



Then, there was the head. Oh no, how do shoulders come next? I remember at that moment (and Dave's favourite part of the labour) I shouted "Kill me, Kill me now!" and I was serious, but thankfully they didn't, and out squeezed the shoulder. The rest just swam out.


Having had an epidural with both my other labours and not even a paracetamol with this one, I feel like it was the first time I had actually given birth. I used to say "aw, it's not bad giving birth, I actually enjoy it a bit". I will, most certainly, not be saying that again.


Holding the beautiful Evie in my arms, I was swarmed by what seemed like 20 doctors around me. They were frantically sticking needles in both my hands and kept missing veins with all the rushing.



They told me I was losing a lot of blood, one doctor was pulling at the umbilical cord trying to get the placenta out. I felt myself fading out, my head sinking further into the pillows beneath me. Evie was in Dave's arms at this stage, and I was just watching on like I was behind a screen.



I remember thinking that this is the end. I actually said my goodbyes to Dave and to pass it on to the boys. It seems a bit dramatic now, thinking back, but in that moment with everything that was happening around me it wasn't dramatic enough.



Thankfully once the placenta came out, the bleeding slowed down and the panic was over



I became the mother of a beautiful healthy girl to add to our boisterous household. She will have my back forever (I hope).



Labour is a scary thing, it rarely ever goes to plan, and it can come with its complications - but when you hold your bundle of joy at the end, it is worth it a million times over.



(PS: My husband is already talking about baby number 4. I might have to kill him)


Lindsay O'Flaherty is a 31-year-old Irish Mammy living in Hertfordshire. I wanted to just be Mary Poppins but my kids broke my umbrella...and everything else I own so now I write about all things life and parenting as we know it. I have three kids aged three and under. It helps to laugh so let's laugh together. Follow Lindsay's blog Mary Not So Poppins.
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