Talk to us about how your labour started and progressed and how you managed through the contractions.
I started feeling some niggles at around 2am and asked my husband to put the TENS pads on my back just in case they got worse. He then began recording my contractions down.
At around 5am the contractions were a minute long and 3 minutes apart and my midwife arrived to tell me I was 4cm dilated and needed to head towards the birthing centre before traffic started. I would not have been able to get through the car ride without the TENS machine as it was around a 40 minute journey and by this time my contractions were pretty intense.
By the time I got to the centre I was 7cm dilated and everything was happening quick and fast and I didn't have any time to ask for gas but was managing pretty well with the TENS in one hand and my husband's hand in the other.
I was then able to manage my pain until the final moments before going into the water to deliver our baby girl.
I cannot rave any more about the TENS machine and truly believe it made my labour easier. Because of it I was able to have a completely natural birth free from any intervention and injuries. What a magical introduction to pregnancy and labour!
What other things (techniques, tools, people) helped you during labour?
I had my husband with me which was a huge support and he could see from the way I was using the TENS machine when I was having a contraction as I would press the button. He then knew when to hold my hand and offer encouragement as we has discussed before the birth.
Would you have done anything differently for your labour?
Nothing at all except drink more water when I started contractions so I didn't need an IV put in.
What did you particularly like about the TENS?
I liked how I could have the gentle bursts in the background when I was out of a contraction and had the choice to push the button to put the surge on and adjust the strength easily. It gave me something that I had control over when my body was doing everything else.
How easy was TENS to put on? Any advice for other mums?
My husband and I practiced using the TENS before labour so when the day came around he knew exactly where to place the pads and I knew how it functioned. I'd highly recommend using it beforehand and it's pretty good at easing back pain too!
Any advice for moving through the intensity modes?
Start low and go up! If you start too high it's way too intense. Starting low means you can slowly build up your threshold and use it to your advantage as the contractions become more intense.
Any other general advice for new mums heading into labour?
Go in with no expectations about what you want. Baby will have their own plan in mind and as long as they arrive healthy and happy that is all that matters!
Did anything surprise you about your labour?
I didn't expect for it to come on so quickly. I had the impression I would stay home for a long while before having to go out but am grateful it was a speedy process
What/who were you grateful for?
My midwife was extraordinary and completely calming during the whole process, my husband was solid as a rock and held me through the whole process and the tens and calm setting at the birthing centre made my labour beautiful.