Obviously by the date this email comes late but perhaps others who want to know these things might find responses helpful.
My first labor was 3 and a half hours, the second 2 hours. No epidural, vaginal delivery.
Both very similar.
Pains started a minute apart and 4 cm dilated when reaching the hospitals because they were close.
Made the mistake with the first labor to believe what I was told, that it would take 17 hours and that I should take a bath or something because it would be awhile before delivering.
I did and in retrospect was I crazy or what. Washing one's hair when deeply in labour is crazy, but what do you know when it's your first time?
When I got to the hospital everyone ignored me because they knew it was my first labour and put me on the ignore list especially because there were women who were there for awhile who had more than one child already.
I was throwing up and alone and the nurse told my husband that I wouldn't want him to see me doing so. I was alone in a hospital bathroom in pain and sick.
I am not a screamer or complainer and told everyone that things were intense but squeaky wheel gets the grease.
If I had to do it again I would have a midwife in the hospital to be my mentor. I would also not be so polite.
I had the urge to push, which I didn't know was happening, but asked for someone to come see me because something was "different". The nurse said ...like I was putting her out, "What, you want me to check"? I said yes and insisted and then she said to my husband, you have to change she is delivering right now.
For both children four pushes.
I did pregnancy fitness when pregnant and didn't even have sugar in ketchup. I swear my kids are made of broccoli.
The pain was overwhelming and there are no words to explain to those who say that "You had it easy".
Honestly I thought with that type of pain you would just die at the end, no passing go, no collecting 200 dollars!
Good news though, when it was finished I felt like I do now sitting at the computer, pain free and full of energy.
I know I went through things naturally and without pain medication but am not exactly someone who recommends it anymore. It is difficult however you slice things and power to all moms and their decisions.
I would recommend a midwife in the hospital, one needs a mentor.
You can always tell her to go home if need be.
I would suggest being very open to an episiotomy (spelling sorry)....It made healing very easy and preferable to tearing. I hesitated the first time because of classes mentioning that the doctor could massage the opening so I wouldn't need one but there really wasn't enough time for that to be done. The doctor said to me "do you want to rip?" luckily I had enough wits about me to say NOOOOO!
Kudos to all moms and hopefully the word will circulate that those who have quick labours are not that lucky.