Motivated to write a short version of my baby's birth by another poster. Don't think I did it before.
Was with ob/gyn group because couldn't afford to pay out of pocket and no midwives on the plan. Picked most natural-friendly group in the county (per mothering.com recs!). Third birth.
First labor, 56 hours start to finish (with midwife); dilated at least 5 cm more than 30 hours before birth -- I only know now that I learned how to check myself, because I remember what it felt like. Contractions 1.5 min long 2-3 min. apart from Monday evening through birth Weds morning. Baby was posterior, so little/slow progress. Something told me not to go in; finally went to hospital c. 10:30 pm Tuesday after water broke with meconium. Midwife checked at 11:00, 8 cm. Checked again 3 am, still 8 cm. Gave birth naturally 3:40 am. Clearly, my labor stalled.
Second labor 24 hours start to finish (not counting pre-labor). Ob/gyn. 12 hours from when I first checked myself and put all five fingers on baby's head at least 5 cm. Delayed going in until transition, got to hospital 11:00 PM, birth 11:36 PM.
Third labor, same ob/gyn practice. Labor 36 hours or so from regular 10 mins apart contractions (3 cm dilated up from zero the week before that morning at routine appt), 24 from serious, 1.5 min long, 3-4 min apart contrax. Knew I barely made it to the hospital when transition hit with #2 and transition was much shorter with #2 from #1, so decided to go in before I really felt like I needed to. Asked to go to ob/gyn office that AM for heart tones check, which head of practice had said would be fine, but ob/gyn that returned my call refused and insisted I go to hospital ASAP as I was clearly (by voice) in active labor. I'd say so! I was at least 5-6 cm dilated already (c. 10 am) but I knew nothing was happening and didn't go. C. 2:30 PM decided to head on in as could tell some progress. Checked first time 4:00 PM, 7 cm. Panicked rush to delivery room on stretcher because "you're going to give birth any minute" despite my insistence that I was nowhere ready to give birth, hadn't hit transition yet, etc.
Doc came back c. 7:45, checked, said still 7, need to start interventions ASAP. Why? Baby okay? Yes, baby fine, but totally stalled and need to restart labor. But all my labors stall! Doc insisted there was no way I knew I was in active labor before getting to the hospital with either prior birth (same doc who told me that morning I was clearly in active labor and had to check in) so how would I know I stalled? Plus "in 25 years of practice, I've never once seen labor stall so long and go on to have a natural birth." Well, duh! Because you never once left a woman alone after labor stalled so long!
Then she started scare tactics. "You're almost certainly going to need a C-section anyway. Your cervix is thickening, swelling. If it goes on like that we will have to section you. Don't you want to at least try breaking your water/pitocin first, so you have a chance? You realize, it's 90% certain you're going to have a section anyway, we might as well get moving trying what we can try."
By then, I WAS in transition and DH could tell I couldn't talk at all or even hear what she was saying. He kicked her out of the room, saying we needed to "discuss." She rolled her eyes at the nurse on her way out and muttered something under her breath about stupid women.
Next thing she knew, maybe 20 minutes after she left the room, she came running in to catch the baby who was already crowning and who was born less than a minute after she got back. We all know that had she broken my water when she wanted, and the baby was born the same time the same way, she would have insisted it was because of the intervention. But thankfully, we stuck to our guns that there would be no intervention without clear medical need, and baby was born at his own rate in his own time. (Water broke as he crowned.)
She never made eye contact with me again. The next thing she said to me, when I reminded her no cord traction when she was stitching me up (I felt some tugging when she moved the cord out of the way, which she probably had to do) was to yell at me that she knew what she was doing and remembered it in my birth plan.