Vocalisations in Labour

Erin - posted on 10/07/2010 ( 74 moms have responded )

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Were you a screamer? A moaner? A grunter? Or completely quiet?
Did you consciously make noises or did they just happen?
Did you find vocalisation helpful?
Did your labour style surprise you?

Personally, I expected to be quite loud, because I am a loud person and was having a natural birth. But I didn't do anything more than a strange low moan/moo-ing sound. It was completely involuntary. The first time it happened (right after the doc broke my water at 5cm) I remember thinking 'wtf is that noise, it sounds like a cow' and then realised it was me! lol. The only time I yelled or screamed was when the doctor had his hand on the baby's head (during a contraction, while pushing) as he was trying to ascertain why my second stage was taking so long. Otherwise, I was really very quiet (unusual for me lol).

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Angel - posted on 10/12/2010

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Lots of great stories here. Makes me want to cry, reading posts and remembering labour(lol it only happened 9 months ago).

Mine was an awesome experience, very empowering. I wanted to give birth at home but then decided that since it was my first, I should have it at some sort of birthing center where it would be like at home. Well to my surprise, North Carolina has only one(1) birth center in the whole state. Luckily it happened to only be an hour away. Everyone thought that, since I was having natural birth, I was going to be screaming and what not. My honey thought I was going to cuss him out lol, but I was actually very quiet. I had been dialating for 6 weeks! On the day befor my due date, I was 5cm dialated, went home and at 1am I woke up in labour. We timed contractions and they were not regular, 5-7 min apart but the pain felt really intense, I think I have a high tolerance to pain, so I called the midwives and was told my voice sounded to calm and that I was probably in early labour. An hour later they were 3-5 min apart, my honey called the midwives and said that we were coming because we were both sure that I was not in early labour. After driving an hour we made it to the birth center at 5:45am and when the midwife checked me I was 8cm. I was totally in my head, focusing on my breathing. The midwife, the nurse, and my honey kept talking to me telling me how great I was doing. I just kept thinking that I wish they would shut up cause I was trying to have a baby here lol. They kept making me drink stuff and even though I didn't want to I did. I really didn't say much of anything to anyone. They would tell me that the baby was crowning and I said "I don't care"( lol) and that the baby had a lot of hair and I said " I don't care" (lol). All I cared about was my breathing, I felt that if I stopped I would lose it. The whole time my contractions were right on top of eachother so I never got any rest, just kept breathing and breathing. 6 hours after arriving to the birth center and 3 hours of pushing the baby finally came(I say the baby because we didn't know what the gender was). The last hour of pushing I kept saying that I was tired and then as soon as he was born I said "is it a boy" (I just knew I was gonna have a boy).

I was a little surprised though, I didn't think I would be so quiet or nice. I think if I wasn't focused on breathing I probably would have been cussing and yelling up a storm, hehehe.

Women are so incredible. So glad I am not a man!

Krista - posted on 10/12/2010

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I'll give my nurse credit -- she was really great. During the screaming, she didn't scold me, but just held my hand and comforted me and reminded me to try my regular breathing.

[deleted account]

I yelled I screamed I squealed when I was pushing, I had an epidural but the pain before I had one was making me scream down the whole ward so i think the staff were happy when i gave in and had one.,it was a lot quieter after that

Rosie - posted on 10/10/2010

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i can't believe how many people here had nurses tell them to be quiet!! that really pisses me off!

[deleted account]

I was very surprised at how polite I was to my husband! I had always joked that I would be swearing at him and squeezing the hell out of his hand but when I was actually in labour I was reasonably quiet and a very polite. Go figure! LOL.

Erin - posted on 10/10/2010

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Loureen I have no doubt it's what prolonged my pushing stage too. Never again!!

Brandy - posted on 10/09/2010

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With my first, i just breathed mostly with some moaning towards the end. Not at all on purpose or even thought about. With my second, I started screaming all of a sudden right around the time I was reaching the 10cm mark. I never thought about it but I do remember it coming up from inside me and not really knowing what was going to happen until the sound came out. lol. I kept screaming after the nurses told me to stop because it seemed to make it feel better. Maybe it just gave me something to do to distract myself. haha.

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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LOL well you can understand why i may looked and sounded like the chick from the exorcist !

?? - posted on 10/09/2010

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I spent the majority of my labor in the shower. My water broke at 8:30am, I went to the hospital and they sent me home around 10am. My contractions started at 11am, I got to the hospital around 11:15am then at about 12pm until 2:30pm I was in the shower, I got out of the shower once I started to get the urge to push. I pushed for about 45 minutes and Gabe was born at 3:38pm.

For the 45 minutes that I was pushing I had my butt on the bed, I was propped up with my elbows on the bed that was elevated to about a 45 degree angle. My feet were about a foot from my butt. If I tried to lay back I would get the most intense cramp in my leg so I just sat up and it was over before I knew it.

They've since redone the maternity ward here, they have huge jacuzzi style bath tubs in each of the rooms now so I have no doubt this new baby will be born in the water ♥

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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I was lying on my back with my first and i honestly think it prolonged my labour as well as the epi and pictocin , my second i was on my knees leaning over the back of the bed , so much easier however his big head was painful to push out , 38.5 cm , HIS BIG BODY WASNT A PARTY EITHER 11.1 lbs ouch!

Sherri - posted on 10/09/2010

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Completely quiet. I never uttered one word from the time I started contractions until they were born.



Nope my labor was on my back and I stayed there from the moment I had my contractions until they were born.



I also had super short labors



1st - 12hrs from 1st contraction till born - got to hospital at 8:36pm and son was born at 10:42pm. Arrived at 5cms, completely dialated to 10cms and pushed out within 2hrs.



2nd - 6hrs 1st contraction at 2am born at 8:07am. 5cms at 6am completely dialated to 10cms and pushed out within 2hrs.



3rd - 4 1/2hrs 1st contraction 9:30am born 2:08pm. 5cms at 12pm you get the idea.

Alahnna - posted on 10/09/2010

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for my daughter, I threw up with every contraction until I hit about 7-8cms, so I didn't really have a chance to make any sounds other than puking, lol I do distinctly remember screaming as she crowned and I tore, 2nd degree tearing.
WIth my son, it was so fast, I didn't have a chance to get used to anything, my labor lasted 2 hours exactly. The doctor broke my water at 2pm and he was born at 4:01pm. As soon as my water broke, the contractions were one on top of the other and I just remember moaning and groaning sitting in a rocking chair and rocking really fast as they came on then slowing down as the contraction stopped, only to have another one again almost as soon as that one eased. It sucked so bad. I tore again with my son as well and it hurt worse than it did when my daughter was born. I remember screaming and feeling the skin tearing, but being thankful I only had to push twice and then it was over. Both my birthing experiences were very different.

Hannah - posted on 10/08/2010

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When I first started pushing, it was just one nurse there.......and she told me to push when i felt a contraction coming on but then when the dr came in she told me to push at the PEAK of my contractions to have a greater push....the dr says to me it doesnt wear you out as much doing that and im thinking to myself....IM PUSHING OUT A TEN POUND BABY AND NOW YOU TELL ME?!??? AFTER PUSHING FOR AN HOUR??
I was in so much pain the next day from pushing upright and using so much energy....felt like i went to the gym...lol....

Jessica - posted on 10/08/2010

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The stupid doctor who delivered me had me flat on my back! I didn't even think they did that anymore. At the time I was so out of it from pain and so concentrated on pushing that I didn't bother arguing, but it struck me as odd and afterwards I was like, WTF!" I had been laying on my side to help the epi I had just got only seemed to be working on one side. That's when I started needing to push- I told them I wanted to just stay there and push because it felt the most comfortable, but they made me flip over, for some reason I'll never understand.

Dana - posted on 10/08/2010

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I had a C-section so I never went through a delivery. By the time I was shipped from one hospital to the next (by my request) I was having some pretty strong contractions but, I just closed my eyes and waited for them to pass, in between I was laughing and making jokes with my husband and two sisters. I then found out I was already 6cm along, with no drugs or epidural. Then it was quite a while until I went into surgery so, I have no clue how much further I got. So no moans or screams from me. I don't know how I would have been had I delivered vaginally.

Krista - posted on 10/08/2010

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I was reclined fully while going through my contractions, but when the pushing started, I immediately wanted to be more upright. So I wound up basically just sitting back a bit while pushing, and that worked well for me.

Lindsay - posted on 10/08/2010

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I had both of mine in a reclined position. With my first, I pushed for about 20 minutes. She would have been here quicker but they had me stop pushing to wait for the doctor. With my second, the water broke with my first push and he was out with the 3rd push. Had I not been reclined those babies may have just fallen out! lol

Jodi - posted on 10/08/2010

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I agree with you Erin, that pushing from a reclining position is difficult, and yet it seems to be how we are generally expected to do it, which to me is ridiculous. I found the same when I had my first. With my second, I was determined I was NOT going to be in a reclining position. However when I told them I felt the need to push, the midwife asked my just to lay down for her so she could check my dilation, and before I knew it, I had started pushing involuntarily and two pushes, she was out.....so I ended up delivering in a reclined position again without intending too, LOL.

Erin - posted on 10/07/2010

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Hannah, I had a forceps-delivery in the end and had a 3rd degree tear. My prolonged second stage was because I was confined to the bed, because I started fainting after the doc broke my waters. Pushing in a reclined sitting position is like pushing shit upstream, especially with a big baby! I'm pretty confident that if I could have avoided the interventions I would have delivered naturally as I intended, and probably without pushing for so long!

[deleted account]

I was a moaner. I mean I didn't have much time to do anything else, I was in the labour room for around 20 mintues. Oh except when the doctor had to give me a episiotomy I swore very loudly. Lol. Apologies to the people who were in the room :P

Hannah - posted on 10/07/2010

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Erin, I thought 1.5 hr was bad....you poor thing! Did you tear at all? I had a 4th degree tear....it was worse that the labour itself....lol....my next baby im begging my dr to induce me early lol...

Erin - posted on 10/07/2010

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Hannah, I pushed for 2.5hrs with my daughter (9lb 6oz). I definitely know what you mean!

Hannah - posted on 10/07/2010

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Loureen, I had the same thing happen to me - physically dialate my cervix except it was the dr who did it and she was quite rough about it.....WORST PAIN EVER..... I wanted to kick her....luckily for her my legs were as numb as anything from the epidural....

I was quite quiet actually just like I thought I would be...however, towards the end I started to hyperventilate.... my contractions were coming hard and fast - and with my son weighing 9 lbs 13.5 oz I was getting tired of pushing for an hour and a half....not long but a big baby is hard work to push out........

[deleted account]

My waters broke at home at around 10:10pm and I was asked to go into hospital and I wasn't even having contractions at that point, nevermind being dilated lol! But once they started they bloody hurt!

Cat - posted on 10/07/2010

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Joy, that's how I felt right after my second daughter was born, only five minutes after her sister but the Dr, without even so much as a word, decided to use the suction to pull her out... he thought I looked 'tired' and was 'helping' but I wanted to kill him, I could have pushed her out just fine... I hate arrogant Drs who decide to do something so completely unnecessary during labor...

Erin - posted on 10/07/2010

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Yeah having the sac intact cushions everything, which is why I will NEVER agree to an AROM again. The docs and their '1cm per hour' bullshit can jam it.

Joy that's outrageous!! I would have kicked him in the head!!

[deleted account]

Erin, my water broke at home before I was even two cms dialated. Contractions were bad and THEN they induced me because I wasn't dialating and OMFG, can you say BRUTAL. I think it has a lot to do with when your water breaks because that's typically, from what I understand anyhow, when the contractions become more excruciating.

[deleted account]

Yeah, the only yelling I did was when my water broke and the doctor was there getting ready to do the hourly exam (I had been induced and walking the halls for 8 hours by that point). As soon as my water broke, he says, "Ok, let's get her set up with the epidural." It was a chorus of "NO!" from myself, my husband and my best friend. I think we scared him lol And then right before Jacob was about to come out of me, I saw the doctor with a needle and started saying "No no no nOOOO!" but it was too late. Fucker poked me in my vag area about 4 or 5 times (don't remember exactly) and he said it was in case I needed the episiotomy. I didn't need the episiotomy and never tore at all. Fucker gave me a shot for no reason.

[deleted account]

I was more of a moaner than everything else and yes it did help. And at one point I just broke down in tears! It's a bit like saying f*** when you bang your finger with a hammer. It's been scientifically proven that cursing when you're in pain helps you cope witht he pain better!

Erin - posted on 10/07/2010

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It always intrigues me that some women have such intense contractions in early labour, because I was at 4cm for days before my labour started, and didn't have 'pain' until my water was broken at 5cm. I was walking around happily (only having to stop and breathe through the ctx) until then.

My piggyback ctx were hard, but atleast they were working!! They took me from a 5 to fully dilated in about 7 hrs. I'm not sure what I would have done if I wasn't progressing through all of that (probably got very pissed off lol).

Oh I forgot, I did get snappy with a midwife who kept trying to persuade me to take the gas. I agreed to try it, but hated it and kept putting it down. She kept giving it back to me, and after about 20mins I threw it at her and told her to take it away lol.

Krista - posted on 10/07/2010

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I'm hoping to be a little less vocal on my next one, but hopefully will not be having piggyback contractions either. Erin, I can TOTALLY relate to you crying about wanting a break. If I'd even had 10 seconds between the damn things, I think I could have handled it better. But they'd peak, lower about halfway, peak again, lower a third of the way, peak again... It was just relentless. And then to find out after 2 hours of that, that I was STILL only 2cm dilated? I think that's when I started bawling my eyes out and begging for an epidural.

?? - posted on 10/07/2010

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I focused on my breathing and I groaned but I wasn't loud. I thought I was, but everyone else said I was actually very quiet but were expecting me to just go nuts and be loud. The only time I was loud is when I yelled at a nurse cause she was a fucking moron and wanted to poke me with some demorol, that I didn't want.

Stifler's - posted on 10/07/2010

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Oh man the pain was horrible but it was fun, and a good experience. As soon as it was over I was like 'IM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN' but then 2 weeks later I though, I'd do it again. I remember being in the shower and screaming I WANT TO DIE.. KILL ME NOW

Iris - posted on 10/07/2010

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My first one was really quick. I was at the hospital at 5:30am and she was born at 8:54am.
I did some low moans through the contractions which came every 30-45 sec. It was exhausting! I was offered to lay in a bath tub but the water was so cold that I got out of it after 5 min. After that I had gas to inhale. I screamed once when I was pushing.
My second was a C-section.

[deleted account]

I was quiet through all my contractions. In fact my husband didn't believe me when I told him I was in labor, because I wasn't screaming. He used to be a paramedic and now he's a nurse so you'd think he'd know better. He was surprised to learn that I was almost 5 cm when we arrived at the hospital. All I could say was, "I told you so."

I got the epi at 6.5 cm, then ended with an emergency section. So I have no idea what I would have done when it came to the pushing.

Erin - posted on 10/07/2010

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I knew I would like this thread lol.

I actually didn't swear or cry until I was told they would be using forceps. Then I had a little breakdown. But until then, I was pretty calm. I do remember saying 'I just want a break.. why can't they stop so I can have a little rest' (yeah because that's realistic lol). I handled the pain fine, but the exhaustion was getting to me. After 20hrs (10 of which was ctx 90sec apart) I felt like I had just run a marathon backwards :|

Sharon - posted on 10/07/2010

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Aw Dana - you missed nothing you know. Except acknoweldgement of pain or the lack of. The same stuff you went through in pre labor or early labor - same shit that happens throughout labor.

For me - we just had a rockin' good time. Same as my early stuff. everyone mentions the pain - all I remember is how fun it was (due to my epidurals). Again the same thing - we laughed, we joked, made fun of or praised my husbands' shaving abilities of my nether regions. Sent the assistant out to look up what causes and how to catch leprosy. We had time on our hands and I'd always wanted to know. lol. unfortunately but the time he got back, i was in active labor and we were laughing so hard over some innappropriate joke, I wasn't able to push like the doctor wanted me too, she wasn't any help because she was laughing so hard she had to have someone wipe the tears from her eyes.

That was my first birth & second jumbled together... ugh I'm exhausted with closing 5 nights in a row... oyvey.

[deleted account]

After hearing all your fun stories it makes me wanna have another kid just so I can have fun! I was unconscious. :(

Mary - posted on 10/07/2010

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I sang through the rougher parts of my labor. I was induced, and got an epidural at around 7cms (about 2 hours after she broke my water). Sadly, that epidural didn't work more than an hour, and I refused a top off dose because I was more afraid of being a crappy pusher than I was of the pain. It was a needless fear, because I only pushed for about 10 minutes to get her out!

I hurled - a LOT- throughout labor, and I am not a quiet hurler in the least. I sound like I am birthing an alien through my mouth when I vomit; it is completely involuntary, and I have always been like this. Other than that noise, the only thing I did was sing along (badly) to whatever song was on. For some reason, that was what got me through labor. Carbon Leaf, Pete Yorn, Guster and Paul Simon carried me through...and I think it was an older U2 song - Bad - that I was singing when she came out.

Serena - posted on 10/07/2010

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2 out of 3 pregnancies, someone told me to be quiet. My first son, my husband told me to be quiet. He says he doesn't remember it but I remind him everytime the story comes up :) It wasn't constant but just when the "ring of fire" as it is so affectionately called (add sarcasm here). Never thought shoulders would be such a big deal...
Then with my second son, who completely ruined my body, he was a big baby leaving me torn and needing stitches and my first set of stretchmarks, I went from no labor to stage 3 labor in less than an hour and the doctor told me to be quiet and said I was screaming too much.
I had a emergency c-section with my daughter at 30 weeks so I had no time to scream or worry about pain because I had my worries set on her. Which in the end everything turned out okay, she turned 6 months yesterday.
I think though no matter how much screaming or no screaming we do, whether we use medication or opt for non, c-section or vaginal...I think we all accomplished the hardest thing we have ever had to do and deserve at least one "special" day a year (mother's day). Good job mommies :)

Laressa - posted on 10/07/2010

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I can't remember what I sounded like in labour. at one point hubby joked about how I sounded like a frog. Thats all I remember. I didn't have the energy to be mad at him then but I haven't let him forget that remark in the 13 mo since. It was not funny.

Cat - posted on 10/07/2010

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I had a best friend who was my doula, and there for both of my labors... She was extremely calming, and talked me through every contraction... I was incredibly calm and pretty silent even though it hurt like hell, especially with my first... I actually didnt make it to the hospital till I was 9 and a half cm dilated with him, b/c she was so good at helping me control my breathing and contractions and such... the one thing she told me, that stuck with me through both labors, was that any outward projecting like screaming and such, was energy that was wasted which could be channelled into pushing/ working through the contraction... Neither of my labors were like the freaking out they do in the movies/tv..,. And apparently I impressed the Drs/nurses by being super calm and quiet while delivering my twins...

Rosie - posted on 10/07/2010

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i thought i was going to be crazy loud as well, but i wasn't. i moaned when i got to the later stages of labor, and i did grunt while pushing. i'm pretty sure i grunted really loud/amd or screamed when they crowned.

Amie - posted on 10/07/2010

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ROFL!! Jodi my mom was like that. She even threw a bed pan at a nurse when she was in labor with my sister. Good thing the nurses knew my mom! haha.

Amie - posted on 10/07/2010

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LOL! That's what it felt like Sara. Seriously! I go to the hospital for YOU to deliver my child. So do it!

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2010

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I was so embarassed after my daughter was born, I thought I had been SO loud, screaming...I clearly remember making an "AHHHH" noise...but everyone assured me it had actually been very quiet. My husband had (stupidly) turned on the video camera and on the film you can barely hear the noises I make...so I guess I was quiet, but in my head I was insanely loud! The loudest I got was telling my husband to shut the f**king thing off!!!! lol I do remember, when I first arrived at the hospital, call calm because my water had broke but contrations hadn't really started yet, being terrified because there was a woman down the hall screaming like crazy and swearing like a sailor!

Sara - posted on 10/07/2010

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LOL Amie! I would have been like "Lady, what the fuck am I paying you for?" :D

Amie - posted on 10/07/2010

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My first I was a moaner and then crier during pushing.
My second I moaned until the pushing stage and then screamed a bit.
My third I screamed and screamed and screamed. She's also the only completely natural birth (as in no drugs) and my biggest. Awesome sauce. =/
My last I didn't make a sound, though I did cry a bit when I was up walking around.Even pushing wasn`t all that eventful with my last. Though I did smack my doctor, she tried to get me to deliver her. =/ If I wanted to deliver her I would have said so beforehand, do your job! haha

Louise - posted on 10/07/2010

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With my first son I had a pethadine shot which sent me quite frankly "off my face" I have no recollection of anything but my husband said I was rambling on about all sorts. My second son was very quick and again I had pethadine and can't remember anything but my daughter I had an epidural that never worked and I can recall shouting at the midwife if she did not take her hand out of me I would smack her one. My husband apologised for me but at the time I ment it! Other than that incident I was quite quiet until they carted me off to the opperating room!

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