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Mother of two (born 2000s/2010s), from Scotland

We went through labour for the second time 5 weeks ago. This time we both felt much more in control. Our first labour was 12 hours from waters breaking to the birth of our son. Although not very long for a first labour by the time it came to pushing I was quite exhausted. I used a tens machine initially and then gas and air and felt quite woozy and disconnected from what was happening due to the gas and air. This time although I had some contractions over night they were quite mild and I slept through most of them. Labour stopped in the morning and so I went for a long walk and climbed up and down the stairs to our flat repeatedly as we decided it would be better to restart labour and encourage things along as quickly as possible so that I had sufficient energy left for labouring/pushing. Unlike my first labour which was back to back this time the contractions seemed much more manageable, perhaps the pregnancy yoga and a strong maternal instinct to protect my eldest son from upset at seeing his mother in pain also helped. By the time we got to hospital I had a strong urge to push and was fully dilated, 4-5 pushes and twenty minutes later and our son was born. Perhaps because we had been through the experience 3 years ago, this time was much less scary and I was almost impatient for more contractions once the midwife said I was fully dilated and could start pushing. I would say the best thing we did was to actively encourage labour by going for walks and climbing stairs, which I certainly did not feel like doing but was reminded by my supportive husband that keeping the labour going rather than letting it stop and drag on would mean I had more energy for pushing. I did not have any form of pain relief other than massage/breathing learned from yoga so was very much aware of what was happening and felt in control of things.