Table 6

maintaining control



...[R]eally I didn't want anything anyway except gas and air but when I got there I was thinking mmm shall I have an epidural but she said well you need to decide I mean you'll probably be a while just try the gas and air and I said all right then and I didn't need anything else anyway (Interview 8)

I found myself incredible, because I saw that woman screaming, creating a huge scene, and I just stayed normal. I was calm. And so, I was like, when the pain came strong I was ... after each one I would doze off, you know. It was really no problem, I bore it all really well. (McCallum & Reis, 2005)

[I]ts amazing how your body adjusts and you get used to it every stage that you really cope its amazing after Syntocinon, you see the pain is very intense very very quickly so who wouldn't want a break but then again...[i]t was an absolutely gorgeous experience without pain relief it was and I had loads of feelings as well afterwards which I suppose I didn't know about first time around I was just legs up stitches where I didn't know. (Interview 5)

I didn't want to be there alone ... and it helped to have someone to actually just talk to, like as a friend. That turned me around right there. I started feeling more in control and I started thinking positively"(Namey and Lyerly 2010, p773).

I think they were threatening caesarean at one point and I said oh I don't want to have a caesarean I want to have my baby naturally and then I think he decided to put in an appearance and she said you know go on push then and yes it was just like as if by magic it all came together yes it was great (Interview 7)

The experience of childbirth made me grow up a lot. It really did. I've learned a lot about my capacity. When I thought I was just too tired to push any more I found another 15 minutes worth of it. I just learned I have a lot more strength than I thought I did. Childbirth brought me more in tune with my body because I know what my capacities are: My mental capacity, my strength. I just know I could do a lot more than I thought I could. (Lynn Clark et al. 2003 p147)

Snowden et al. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2011 11:40   doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-40

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