My son arrived at 4am after almost 48 hours of painful contractions, and totally exhausted, it had taken me almost 2 hours of pushing to deliver him laid on the bed. Thank god I went overboard with the birth partners because I needed my sister and mum to hold my legs up as I pushed because I was trembling with exhaustion. My husband told me I was strangely silent all the way through those last harrowing hours- I was just totally spent.
I remember thinking. What if I can't do this?
I did do it. And I have never felt so proud in my entire life. But. As I approached the birth of my daughter I just kept thinking, I don't know if I can do that again.
Enter: my secret weapon. And I'd known about it all along.
With my first pregnancy my midwife was super supportive of me planning for an unmedicated birth with as little intervention as possible. I did my research, and I knew that it was what I wanted for me and my baby if we were both safe. But when she mentioned TENS during my first pregnancy, an all natural, drug-free pain management device for labour which has no negative side effects for you or baby. It seemed too good to be true! But no one I knew had ever used one. What does using a labour tens feel like? Does TENS for labour hurt? Does TENS actually lessen the pain of contractions?
I asked my mum and she had no idea what I was talking about. And if you're mum doesn't know about it, it can't be that good - right? I forgot all about it.
A few weeks from my due date the second time around I went deeper. How can I stay at home for longer during my labour? What pain relief options do I have to give me the best chance at a beautiful natural birth experience?
I discovered that women all over the world were having an amazing experience using TENS during labour, especially in the UK where home birthing and natural birthing is more common.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and it works by optimising your body's natural pain fighting abilities, building endorphins proactively before the contractions become overwhelming, and the buzzing sensations block the pain signals to the brain.
As soon as I was sure I was in labour I put mine on (the earlier you use it, the better it works), and I was amazed. I had to keep turning it off to check I was still getting contractions! I sat at my kitchen table drawing and singing as the pain built, and eventually showed up to the hospital feeling calm and in control.
You can read that birth story here.
The drawing now sits in my daughters room as a reminder of the incredible and wonderous thing my body did that day.
You can hire your own top of the range Labour TENS or purchase your very own Elle TENS Plus with the added benefit of postnatal application right here at Bliss Birth. Not due for a few months? You can book ahead now! Due anytime now? We can express post!