I thought I would share my birth story with you:
My labour began during the day on a Tuesday but I wasn’t really aware that it had begun and spent the day googling things like “what do contractions feel like?” As I’d never experienced them before! I continued on with my day just as normal and my husband and I even went to our regular pub quiz that evening but by the time we got home, I was starting to think that what I was experiencing was in fact at least the start of labour. We went to bed as usual and I tried to sleep but the contractions were getting more regular so I started timing them just to confirm - they were about 8 minutes apart at that point. After a couple of hours of trying to sleep with no luck, I woke up my husband and told him that labour was certainly underway and suggested it was time we got the TENS machine on. He helped me attach the electrode pads and we worked out what level was helpful for the contractions at that stage and we began to get excited about soon meeting our baby!
The contractions steadily came thicker and faster over the next few hours and I was having to up the TENS power to get through as I waited to get to the point of calling the midwife to tell her things were all go. At 4:30am I finally did call the midwife but she didn’t believe me!! She advised me I was in very early labour and I’d likely give birth about this time the next day and I despaired at the thought of having to endure an entire day of these contractions. I had an appointment with her at 10am and she said she would see me then to check how I was progressing and that was that.
Over the next three hours the contractions got stronger and closer together to the point where they were only about 2 minutes apart and with each one that came I thought to myself “I just can’t cope!” But using the TENS helped me to feel like there was something I could do to get through each time a contraction came, and it turns out I could cope and I could get through - because I didn’t have any other choice! At 7:30am my husband was getting increasingly uncomfortable with the stage I appeared to be at so he called the midwife again and spoke to her on speaker phone with me “mooing” away in the background and he managed to convince her to see us at 8:30am. That was a very long hour to wait!
We made it to the birth centre after a very uncomfortable car ride in peak traffic and as my midwife arrived she told me not to make so much noise and to conserve my energy for the long road ahead! I couldn’t believe what she’d said but I also was mid contraction so simply carried on exactly as I needed to to get through. And then I felt very smug as she finally checked my progression and found I was in fact fully dilated and had gotten to that point all on my own at home, with the help of the TENS!
From that point it was only a couple more hours before our baby girl was born and I still can’t believe that I did it! When you’re enduring labour and can’t control the contractions that are coming, I found the TENS machine so useful for the simple fact that pressing the boost with each contraction gave me something to do that helped me to feel like I did have some control throughout. I would definitely recommend TENS to anyone approaching labour.