With all the technology available these days, there are a few ways the baby can get inside you. There are however, only two ways the baby can come out. The method of the ages, of course is a vaginal delivery, and the much more controversial method is the Cesarean section, or C-section. You have a 100% chance of having your baby one way or the other.
Some mothers may walk around for weeks with a cervix already dilated and effacing and others will be closed up tight as a drum until the day of delivery. There is really no way to tell what your body will do unless you’ve had a baby before.
Mothers are constantly on the lookout for signs of impending labor.
Unfortunately, for most women, their water doesn’t break immediately preceding labor to give them a nice sign to head to the hospital. In fact, most new mothers don’t have their water break until they are safely in a hospital bed breathing through contractions. They have to rely on the guess and check method.
If you get sent home from the hospital for “false labor”, don’t be embarrassed. Ask around and you’ll see that a surprising number of your friends had the same trouble figuring out what was a “productive contraction” and what wasn’t. Besides, every woman feels contractions differently, so there is no standard answer to what a contraction feels like. In fact, even practice contractions are preparing you in some way, so there is no “false labor” either.
At The Hospital or Birthing Center
While you wait, you’ll have plenty to do to entertain yourself. You might practice your breathing as each contraction hits or you might practice paging the anesthesiologist to see what the hold up is on the epidural you requested within seconds of admittance. Your patience will be rewarded by routine visits of everyone in the hospital as they come to do an internal exam and update you on your progress, or lack there of.
During all this labor and waiting, if you’ve made it this far, many mothers begin to see a conventional childbirth fading away. If the baby isn’t sitting just right or if the mother’s pelvis is too small, all the contractions in the world might not get the baby ready to come out. This is politely called “failure to progress” and is one of the most common reasons for a C-section.
Other mothers never even made it to the labor part of delivery and had a scheduled C-section for something like a very large baby, multiple babies or for health reasons. A C-section is a surgical delivery where the doctor carefully cuts into the uterus at the top of the pubic region and pulls out the baby. The recovery time from a C-section delivery is longer, but this style of delivery saves lives every day.
The Hard Work Begins
A few more mothers run into trouble in the pushing stage. Their babies might not be able to tolerate all the pushing or the mother is too worn out from a difficult labor to push the baby out. Depending on where the baby is, some doctors choose to use forceps or a vacuum to get the baby out, while others opt for an emergency C-section. Either way, the pushing stage will result in a baby being born.
Baby is Out!
It doesn’t matter how the baby arrived in the world. A healthy baby is a healthy baby. The fact that you delivered him in any fashion makes you a mother, and you are due all the love and respect that comes with that term. Congratulations!
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