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Please share your birth stories

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi beautiful mamas & families

I'm starting to compile info to edit a book on birth experience, both home, hospital & birth center. I feel it would be helpful to mamas to have the facts and choose.

Thanks so much in advance...I'll let everyone know how it goes & post mine later.
post #2 of 22
I'll bite
My first child (born at 26 yrs of age, a son, 8'6", 19 in. )
My labor began at 10 am or so; I got up from bed and my water broke. I called the midwife, then my DH, then sat on a towel and hated the feeling of "leaking" My contractions were 5 min. apart from the beginning, but very mild; little twinges I had to concentrate to notice. When Dh got home, we went to the clinic (a Naturopathis clinic and birthing =center) and I got "checked". I was 5 cent. (which I had been for weeks already). The Dr said, "go walk, go shop, come back in a few hrs!" So we went and ate lunch(fast Mexican) and did our grocery shopping for the week. By the time we were in the parking lot leaving the grocery store, I was having to pause and double over with the contractions. We went home, dropped off the perishables, and headed back to the clinic. The Dr said, "Where have you BEEN?" and proceeded to examine me. He said to his aid, "call Sarah"(his wife/ the midwife), told us our friends whom we had just called to drive in from 80 mls away "were'nt going to make it", and sent us home to meet the midwife.
As it turned out, I had about 3 hrs of "active" labor; I simply had no clue what pushing was, and was holding back due to fear I would split open like a watermelon. My midwife wanted to do an epi, but I saw her coming at me with that needle and scalple, and said no. She honored my wishes. I had about 20 stitches, but a pretty fast recovery, overall. Finally, our son was born at 9 pm or so. Total time from water breaking to birth, 11 hrs. (active, or really noticable labor, 6 hrs)
Our second child (born at 33 yrs of age, 7'11", 17" long)
This labor began like the first; watrer broke at 8 am or so, and contractions started immediately; mild and 5 min. apart. I kept in phone contact with my midwife(the same one as with our son) who was teaching a class at the midwifery school that day. Around noon, I went with my son to the park, trying to get the contractions to pick up some. They did. When I spoke to the midwife at 4 pm or so (after the 2 apprentices had arrived; we were watching Oprah she asked me if the contractions were strong yet. I said, "Only when I stand up." She said, "Sit down. I'm on my way!"
At 5:45 or so, I was standing in the kitchen, eating chips and guacamole I had made for everyone, and the midwives were joking that I was far too cheerful and talkative to be anywhere near delivery. They lamented that they would be there the whole night! Very soon, I began to stop talking during contractions, and they passed knowing looks among themselves. Sarah asked, "where are you going to have this baby?" and I said, "probably the bedroom." She suggested we go in and check my status. She declared me fully dialated and ready to go at sometime around 6 pm. (immediately upon arrival in the bedroom). After 3 or so "transition" contractions, and 3 pushes(after I decided I was ready), our daughter was born at 7 pm.
Total labor from water breaking to delivery; 11 hrs. Total "active/hard" labor; 2 hrs.
Hope this helps! Kimberly, mom to Forest, 9 and Lily, 2
post #3 of 22
P.S. I should add that after my first, I felt as if I had been run over by a big truck for 4 days or so! I tore quite a bit and had a long, hrd pushing phase. No doubt in my mind that had I been in a hospital, I would have been c-sectioned. Fortunately, I had friends present for a wk to help with the process(those same friends who did indeed make it for the birth, despite predictions Don't know what I would have done otherwise!(as DH had to work during that time)
With my second, I was ready to get up and about immediately; felt as if I could do it again right away! Only tear was a tiny internal one, absolutely no soreness or perineal discomfort, felt full of energy and better than I had for mths! My midwife had to warn me sternly to stay in bed/assisted by dh for every outing to the toilet for at least 24 hrs. Warned me if I felt faint or dizzy I should drop to the floor at once, as I would likely pass ot. (I did actually feel this way once, after going out on the patio and "fading out" on my way back to the door, but I made it to a kitchen chair without assistance
I was at the grocery store with dd at less than 2 days old(much to the shock of fellow shoppers, who assumed I should be still bedridden She slept away in the sling, and I got on about my business, as I had been aching to for days.
Very different experiences in many ways, but also interesting that the overall labor times were the same(something I have heard from several homebirthing women who reported drasticallt different transition and/or hard labor times).
post #4 of 22
I am waiting here to have a homebirth for my second child, and I will love to shar that when it happens.
My first birth though.
I had a trickle of fluid for about a day...a very very small little trickle. Finally I decided to check it out. It was about 7 or 8 on a saturday evening. Her due date was the previous monday. I went to the hospital and they did the little paper strip check and told me my water had broken. I was so excited. Definately ready. So we camped out there and I got maybe a couple of hours of sleep that night. Then around 6 AM they started the pitocin. I wasn't dilated at all to start...maybe a finger tip. Things were going fine for much of the morning. We were just watching TV and hanging out. Nothing really hurt that bad. Then sometime around noon I'd say, the nurse did a vaginal exam and REALLY hurt me. I was the timid little good patient and didnt say anything, but I had no idea what she was doing and it really really HURT. Still have no idea what she did...strip membranes??? Anyway, from that moment on i lost it. I was tense and freaking out during contractions and crying and begging dh to help me between contractions. He was so wonderful and looked in my eyes and made me breath. Still, it was HORRIBLE. I was completely freaked and couldn't get control. They did let me bounce on a birth ball for awhile and that was about all that felt good at all. This rough laboring went on into the night. I dilated to one but not beyond. Finally at about 3 in the morning the doctor said I could have an epidural. Oh, I forgot,. I started having back labor just before this. That was really awful for me. So I got my epi at about 3 in the morning and passed out. They said I could have till 6 and if I wasnt dilating by then I would have to have a c-section. Well I slept till 6 and was checked to be dilated to 4. Then fell asleep again till about 7:30 and was checked to be fully dilated. I had no urge to push but pushed anyway for about 2 hours. I got an episiotomy at the very end, which I was ready for as I was so sick of pushing, and then she just slipped out.
One main thing I recal about the birth was that the nurses were very rude. Not sympathetic at all. One even rolled her eyes at me at one point as I was begging for drugs.
At the time my expectations werent very high. I knew nothing compared with what I know now. I remember being very proud that I pushed her out. The whole labor was just a horrible nightmare i tried to forget. Now with this baby I am so much more prepared. i know so much more and know what I want...and know what I can do.
I know you aske d for birth stories, but I have to complain about the after birth of my dd. I have this sad sad picture memory in my head. Just after she came out the doctor held her up. I was so elated. I was saying her name and reaching for her. I see her up in the air , arms and legs sticking out , getting her cord clamped, and I see my hands just reaching for her. They didn't take her from the room at least, but my first 20 minutes with her were spent looking across the room where they were doing their stuff to her and just waiting ...so anxious to touch my baby for the first time. I am amazed at how much these memories touch me now. Like I said, at the time I didn't know much or expect much. But now I am crying because of those robbed precious moments. My only consolation is that i will never be treated like this again, because I have the knowledge to take care of myself and my baby now.
Thanks for reading my story.
post #5 of 22

1 hospital, 1 home

My first child was born in a hospital when I was 20 years old. I had wanted to birth at a birth center, but allowed myself to be talked out of it. It was Easter day, 1997, and I had been having mild contractions all day. Around 11:00 p.m. we drove out to the hospital, I was about 3 cm and they put me on monitors and told us to stay the night. By morning the contractions had stopped and they were about to send us home when my water broke, approx. 8:00 a.m. I managed to talk them into letting me walk around for a while, until about noon, when they insisted on starting pitocin. They started the pitocin and doubled the dosage every half hour. I think my natural labor must have kicked in also, because by 2:00, the contractions were unbearable. Forget the Lamaze breathing I was just trying to breathe. Of course at this point, his heartbeat started dropping, because I wasn't getting enough air, and they put me on oxygen, and then half a dose of Demerol. The Demerol had the effect of making me very sleepy, so from about 2:00 until 4:00 I would sleep for a minute, wake up and scream throught he contraction and then sleep for another minute. The most satisfying part of the whole thing was when I woke up, grabbed my dh's arm and yelled that I had to push. It was such a relief to know that it was almost over, and the pushing sensation was incredibly intense. Dh called the nurse who insisted that I had 7 more hours of labor before I would be ready to push, I had been at 4 cm around 3:30. She finally agreed to check me, and (surprise) discovered that I was fully dialated. Of course, the doctor was no where to be found, so they wanted me to "blow through the urge to push" I believe I told them that I was pushing this baby out and if they wanted a doctor there they had better get one there. The doctor did make it, and Nicholas was born after about 10 minutes of pushing. I tore a little internally, required a few stitches, but was relieved that I managed to avoid an episiotemy. For a very long time I was very mad about my birth experience. I felt completly violated and powerless. I was determined to never step foot in a hospital for a labor and birth again.

When I was attending childbirth classes for my second pregnancy, the instructor talked one day about grieving. She was talking about allowing yourself to grieve if for some reason the impending births didn't go the way we were expecting. I realized that I had never fully allowed myself to grieve for my first birth experience. After Nick was born and I expressed to people how upset I was about the experience, the response that I received was that it was okay, because I had a heathy baby, and the end result was all that mattered. This of course was not how I felt, and allowing myself to greive what I had lost was very helpful, especially as I was preparing for my second birth.

On October 2, 1999, 9 days pass my due date, I awoke around 5:00 a.m. wondering if I was feeling amniotic fluid or if I had just peed on myself, the old bladder wasn't as reliable as it used to be. I got up, went to the bathroom, couldn't detect anything unusual, and went back to bed. Around 6:30 I felt another little squirt and was sure that I hadn't peed that time. I knew that this would be the day. Around 7:00 a.m I woke my dh and insisted that he get up, there was laundry and dishes to do yet. Since I wasn't really having contractions, I waited until around 10:00 to call my midwife, thinking that I would let her sleep in. She asked how I was feeling and told us to call back when we felt that we needed her. My good friend came over and brought lunch and we ate and scrapbooked for awhile. My mom showed up and we all took a stroll around the block. By this time contractions were starting to build and I was paying attention tp them. Mike (dh) called the midwife around 3:00 or 4:00 and she was soon at our house. By 6:00p.m. I was heading into transition. I closed myself in our bedroom with Mike and the midwife, who by the way was wonderful. She rubbed my back at just the right spot to help with the pain. She was so gentle, I hardly remember her touching me, (very different from the hospital nurses who would come in and push on my belly without announcing themselves in the middle of a contraction). I went through active labor standing next to me bed hanging off of Mike. At about 9:20 I had one contraction that I couldn't handle and I felt myself tensing up. After it passed I went to pee, and instead my water exploded across the bathroom. From that moment on I was done with contractions. I came out from my inner spot, and was walking around talking to everyone who had gathered for the birth. They were all very confused by it all. Not to fear, after about 20 minutes, the urge to push started. We all assembled in the bedroom, I was on hands and knees, and after 5 minutes of pushing our daughter Maria came into the world. It was a truly incredible event. My mom, her boyfriend, my friend and her 9 month old daughter, my cousin, and our 2 year old Nicholas, were all there to see her join our family. I felt great right after the birth, no tearing, just a "skid mark" as my midwife put it. I couldn't have asked for a better birth!

Now my third experience, this one is sad. On the last day of November, 2001 I was almost 12 weeks pregnant when I noticed a bit of spotting. I called my midwife and she said just to wait and see what happens, it could be nothing. I waited and nothing did happen until around noon on Saturday December 1 when I started to bleed. We went to the hospital where they did an ultrasound and told us the baby had stopped living a few weeks prior. It was completely devestating, I started crying, and didn't stop for many days. I must say though that everyone at the hospital was very nice and supportive. The nurse and the doctor where incredibly sensitive and kind. They suggested that I come back the next day for a D & E (?). I asked if there was an alternative, and they said I could wait a week and see if it would miscarry on its own. After consulting the midwife, we choose to wait. I had been planning another homebrith and was not willing to give that up, even under these circumstances. We left the hospital with warnings about coming back if I started bleeding too much. Nothing much hapened until mid day Dec 2. I had been told that I would just bleed alot, but that is not what happened. I started having contractions, I actually had to call my dh in to hold me up, they were intense. I felt my water break, and a few minutes later the urge to push. One or two pushes and I delivered our third baby. I don't know if it is a girl or a boy, the baby was still inside the amniotic sac, and I didn't have the nerve to look. We named the baby Jaime, for the french term I like or I love. I wrapped everything in cloth and put it in a basket. On the 4th Mike and I had a private little ceremony and buried Jaime, planting tulip bulbs around the basket.

It has been a hard thing. I have been lucky to feel the love and support of so many friends and family during this time. I included this in my birth stories because it was very much like a mini labor and birth. It is difficult to go through contractions and pushing and not have a baby to hold afterwards. But, I am glad that I had Jaime at home, I didn't want to have another hospital birth. As sad as it has been, I know that I did the right things, and that I won't have any regrets about the experience. We are hoping to get pregnant again soon. Maybe this time next year I can post a fourth birth story, typing with one hand while a tiny baby nuzzles my breast.

post #6 of 22
Oh but it is lonnngggg....
Dan and I found out about our little Gingerbread in early March. Needless to say we were very excited. We went to the doctors, which were at Magee Women’s Hospital, faithfully, even when things began to turn negative, around five months into the pregnancy. The first thing that happened, two trips to the emergency room for some cramping. Any of you who have been to an emergency room will understand how dubious this can make you feel about going to a hospital. The second thing was the attitude of our doctor. Although she was a very nice woman, her philosophy and ours did not mix. Dan and I were committed early on to a non-medicated birth, however, when we asked about alternative pain relief for labor at our fifth month appointment it was “too soon” in the doctor’s opinion to talk about that, and that what Magee had was “drugs and drugs”. We felt that the doctor, who in her own estimation had an epidural rate of 95%, was probably not the right doctor for us. But who was the right person, and was it too late to change?
A friend from La Leche League, (pro-breast feeding group), mentioned the Midwives to us. We visited the center and loved it. However there was just one problem. Due to budget cuts that were pretty much just aimed at Women’s and Children’s services, Allegheny General was closing the Midwife Center at the hospital on November 1st. Baby Gingerbread wasn’t due until November 9th. That meant that since the Midwives were operating on their own, we either had to plan for a midwife assisted hospital birth or and home birth. The idea of a home birth was a little intimidating to say the least. However, both Dan and I had experienced the death of a parent in the hospital, as well as other dubious hospital experiences. What was universal to all was that our wishes and needs were not taken seriously in the hospital. We certainly didn’t want that where our baby was at issue. All of these concerns pushed us to at least research the idea of a home birth. After much soul searching and study, we decided that it would be best to plan for having our baby at home.
On November 19th, a Sunday, ten days after the due date, and after a good night’s sleep, (thank goodness), my water broke at 6:15am. I had been having on and off contractions since the Wednesday previous, but when I heard that pop, (there was literally a pop), I knew this was it. We called the midwife on duty, who told us she would be over with the nurse. We also called Emily, our very sweet and patient sister-in-law, as well as Judy, Dan’s mom, and Jen, a very good friend. Emily got to the house first and was on the look out for the midwife. She almost highjacked our nurse neighbor accidentally, who was coming home from a late night shift. Our neighbor was in a uniform and drove up in front of our house at 7am. A very honest mistake, but a pretty funny one at the time. Well, it’s one way to meet the neighbors.
Around 7:45am, my contractions were coming very fast and hard, about 2 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. That’s about when the midwife, Lori, and the nurse, Julie, arrived. I couldn’t talk and didn’t really want to move, since that just brought on more contractions. However, they did manage to convince me that moving might speed things up a bit. There was a brief shower stint, (while the hot water lasted) and up and down the stairs once, although Dan would regret that trip later, since a contraction brought all 170lbs of me precariously dependent on his ability to hold us on the stairs.
Judy arrived and was great help during the labor. She was incredibly encouraging. At one point when I was thinking epidural, cesarean, two-by-four across the noggin, and I said, “I don’t think I can do this,” Dan and Judy both answered in unison, “Oh yes you can!” Jen also made it to the party and she and Emily became incredibly helpful gophers for the birthing team, helping both the midwives and us at every turn.
After about 7 hours of labor and about one hour of pushing, our little Gingerbread was born, and surprise, she was a girl! Almost everyone had told us she was going to be a he, and we believed it! She also wasn’t late by her size, or the look of her, another surprise. She’s our little trickster. She had a little trouble breathing at first. She just didn’t understand how to do it, it seemed, but with a few breaths from mom and a few puffs from the oxygen tank, she pinked up beautifully.
It was a great experience, despite the pain, (that was really, really awful). We were very lucky to have such a short labor for our first. We were lucky for the wonderful people involved, and for our healthy baby. If we had been with the doctors I’m pretty sure we would have been induced because of being overdue and all the pre-labor activity. The Midwife Group as a whole was very compassionate, but professional. They always made us feel like we were well taken care of, yet in control of out own birth experience. They were very insistent that we understand and plan for emergencies, and have a detailed back up plan. Dan and I would recommend them in a heartbeat.

Alice 11-19-00
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
THANK YOU so much. I just thought, if any one would like too include advice from your experiences that a new mother could benefit from, that'd be great!!!

PLEASE KEEP IT GOING, I'm so amazed at our different perspectives...working title: Stories of Life.

I know it takes a lot of time & energy, but it's so important...I'm trying to come back when my dd isn't nursing...which is never!!
post #8 of 22

birth stories

this is cut and paste from another site...here are mine....

Ok so here are mine. My first 4 years ago... My midwife flew in from over seas where she had been delivering babies for 3 weeks exhausted and came and checked on me. I was 3 1/2 weeks to my due date and it seemed I was going to carry to term. That night I started having contractions. I wasn't sure if this was really it so I tried walking and resting to see what would happen. As I was putting away some baby items and crouching I had a sneezing attack which ended in me either peeing myself or breaking my water. You know, first baby, really big pregnant I really truely couldn't tell. I didn't want my midwife to get out of bed (10pm) and drive fourty min to come tell me I peeed myself. So I went across the street to the hospital by myself to have that strip test done. It came back positive for amnio fliud so I called my then boyfriend and told him I was in labor. (he was sleeping on the couch and was suprised I wasn't home more then the fact that I was in labor lol) SO we call the midwife she tells me to go for a walk. It was the middle of summer and a really nice walk so we walked and walked and walked. It was the week of the street fair and we were walking when a police officer came up and asked us what the heck we were doing. He thought maybe we were trying to steal stuff from the boarded up booths. I got to the point where I could not walk or talk through the contractions so my boyfriend ran home and got the car and drove me home. Calls the midwife she comes over with the birth kit and we set up our home form the homebirth we had planned. My labor stops and everyone goes to bed. Morning comes I'm not dialated at all or efaced. So more walking. We walked all day and nothing happens. Now its been 24 hours since my water broke and no progression. So I go over to the hospital across the street from my apt and the test me for everything under the sun. My swab comes back with high levels of group b strep. So out the door goes our homebirth plans. I went in and got the cervical gel done. They let me go home since it was across the street. We though we would go home pack some things and go have a baby. but instead went home fell asleep and woke to the phone ringing the hospital wondering where on earth we were. They could not believe I wasn't in active labor. So at 7 am we start pitocin. Nothing happens. Everyone but my midwife is saying section. I just planly flat out refuse. I was not going from homebith to section . They started pitocin at 7 am by 1 I was dialted to a 2 but in so much pain from that stupid drip. My midwife told me to get a epidural. She said she thought I was stopping the labor and progression because I was afraid of being a young mother and I was afraid something was wrong with the baby because of the high strep levels, she was right. I got the epidural went to sleep and woke up at 8 pm with them telling me to push. At 8:14 he was born, I had a tear all the way to my anus and tore so deep I tore through an artery and hemmoraged. He nursed well for about the first week and the rest is another story . I lost so much blood a friend had to come care for me and the baby. And I mean full care she would lift me in and out of the bath tub bless her heart. She did all my house work , shopped , did all care for the baby other then the feeding. Came every morning at 5 am and stayed intill supper was cooked.
I will have to tell ***** story another time because he is crying

alright here is ***** birth story....(no caps because he is nursing on my lap) it was two weeks to my due date. I was having mild contractions all day and all night for two days. you know the kind that keep you up but don't really progress your cervix. i saw my midwife and she said i was at a 2 and 80% effaced. so that night a girlfriend and i went walking, then the next morning i took my older son to the local fair all day long. that evening i had long hard contractions, we thought this was it so we called the midwife, doula and friend/photographer. Everyone showed up and all contractions stopped, so everyone went home. The next evening i was checked again and was 3 cm 100% effaced. my midwife told me the little secret about eggs and castrol oil. half hour after my last bite of that extra special supper i went into hard fast labor. it was 9pm. i labored all night at home with my husband, doula, midwife and it was all captured beautifully by my freind who is a photographer. i was not really in pain. in fact when my midwife told me i was at an 8 i flat out didn't believe her because compared to the potocin birth i had with my first this was a breeze. at 5:45 I hit 9 and started to really hurt, i stalled at nine for a while and my body started pushing **** out. i wasn't doing it, my uterus was. at first i was scared but my midwife said to trust my body, some women just have babies at 9 cm.i suddenly had to sit on the toilet not because i had to go but it just sounded so comfy and it was insane i couldn't not sit there. soon as i sat down (by myself in the bathrm by the way) i felt his head descend through me and i started to birth his head right there all by myself. then i got scared and waddled into the bedroom where my midwife and labor support team helped me birth him . I did not tear at all and he was born quickly and almost painless. i had the most amazing homebirth experience and loved the whole process
what happened after the birth feels like a seprate event to me....so he was born and he was beautiful. but he didn't cry, he didn't nurse, he just slept. i remember before he was even all the way out screaming "theres something wrong, whats wrong with him" he scored well on the apgar and his lungs were clear , his heart sounded good. I was beside myself with worry but he pinked up and everyone kept assuring me he was totally fine. so I went and took a shower and then snuggled in my bed that was now our bed. everyone left us to sleep, my husband made a big breakfast for the midwife and doula, then feel asleep on the couch. I woke up about four hours later because ****** was grunting loudly. he was turning blue between breath and obviously struggling. i called the midwife she came with the O2 tank and when she gave him O2 he pinked up and stopped grunting but he would not wake up, he would not nurse. i went into mommy over drive and insisted we take him to a ped. the ped didn't know what was wrong but wanted to admit him to this small less then steller hospital so she could fallow his case. a voice inside of me screamed take him to ******childrens hospital so we did. we transported him ourselves with the O2 tank. half way there he turned completly blue but was breathing, then as we pulled onto the street for the ER entrence the o2 tank runs out, he grunts, stops breathing and goes limp. I pulled him out of his car seat as my husband pulls in the ER drive. I ran him down the long ER hall screaming "my babies dead, someone help me" the ped had called ahead, they were ready for us and they took him from me, put him on a ventilator and brought him back. this wonderful social worker and a receptionist saw it all and they grabbed me, brought me in the curtain area next to his and just held me while i cried. they got him off the vent. onto a O2 by nose and transferred him up to the NICU. for about two hours I sat in the rocking chair near him crying while they took blood, did cardio ultrasounds, poked and prodded all while he remained basically in a coma like state. I could not believe hours before I was at home in my bed with my baby and now I was sitting in a NICU. There was a horrible male nurse that basically told me to go home and get over him, not to pump, not to try to save him ect. I remember thinking I could not leave my son in his care overnight. Shift change happened and when we were allowed back in the NICU I was greeted with a huge hug by his new nurse that was fabulous. She explained everything to me, she showed me what every wire and beep was. She explaned why I couldn't hold him, why he couldn't be touched right now . She called the social worker from the ER to find me housing near the hospital. I left knowing he would be in good hands. The next morning when I came in she was still with him and she said to me and i will never forget this "i found that if i put my hands on his back , he was less restless and i could turn down his O2 so thats what i did all night i stood here with my hands on his back". On the third day we learned that our son had persistant fetal circulation, which means his system didn't switch to being outside the womb and that although he was breathing, he wasn't processing the oxygen, this led to him having pulmonary hypertension, swelling of the left side of the heart. to treat this you put the baby on cpap oxygen and wait for them to switch. most do it in 72 hours, our son took five days. we spent 8 days in the NICU, i stayed with him 12 hours a day and slept across the street in community donated housing. I pumped and sometime after his system switched the started giving him milk via a nose tube. after much negotiating and promising to set up home health care I was able to bring him home on the 8th day because I'm a nurses aid by profession. I did all his care at home myself with rented equipment under the suppervision of an RN. he was recovered fully and nursing from the breast by 7 weeks. by the way that angel of a nurse was his nurse every single night we were there. he even switched rooms several times due to his condition that day and somehow he always landed in the rm she was assighned to. it was my biggest relief every night when she came on shift because i knew i could go sleep and he would be taken care of.

sorry that was kinda choppy it was copy and pasted from another site.
post #9 of 22
This is fun! First birth ( October, 1999)...

Woke up the morning of my due date feeling a bit crampy. On and off cramps all day, but nothing painful. They got a bit stronger in the evening, but I still sent dh off to an evening meeting at 7 pm!

I remember talking to a friend on the phone at 8 pm and could talk through the contractions. But at 9:30 I gave in and called dh to come home.

We made it to the hospital by 11 pm, and when they checked me I was 4 cm. I remember the midwife saying that I she'd check me at 3 am, and I should be 7 cms by then - she thought I'd deliver around 7 am. That sounded like SOOO far away at 11 am with contractions coming fast and strong!

I had a TENS machine on throughout, and started gas and air when I got to the hospital. DH and midwife tried to talk me into pethidine, as I was making a lot of noise, and they thought I wasn't coping. I refused - really didn't want anything that would get into baby.

Anyway - when the midwife checked me around 3:30, I was fully dilated (I'd been wanting to push for ages, but they kept telling me not to). DD1 was born at 4:25 after about 20 minutes of 'coached' pushing. DD1 had to be given oxygen, but nursed immediately after that...lovely (but I felt like I'd been hit by a truck - I was flabbergasted when I realized they expected me to get up and have a shower!).

Second birth (May 2001). I was 12 days over due and getting fed up. I woke at 3:30 am, feeling a bit crampy - thought this was it, but decided to try to get more sleep. Ended up getting up and having a shower around 4:30 (I dozed off between 3:30 - 4:30).

At 4:50, when I got out of the shower, I had dh call his parents to come stay with DD1. But I remember thinking that I really hoped this was it, as I would have been mortified to have called out my in-laws that early for a false alarm!

In-laws arrived at 5:30, and we left immediately for the hospital (I'd been pacing aroudn outside). On the way, I told dh I needed to push - he hurried!

Got to the hospital at 5:40. My waters broke just as I was getting up onto the table. Midwife was rushing around trying to get scrubbed up, as the babys' head was crowning. Head came out on the first push, body followed on the second. DD2 was born at 5:50 am - 10 minutes after we got to the hospital.

She nursed immediately, and I felt fine taking my shower about half an hour after giving birth. I was home within 12 hours...

Thanks for letting me share.
post #10 of 22
My son was born in a birthing center... assisted by midwives.
First I must say, I had a wonderful pregnancy! I recieved weekly shiatsu's, as well as, acupuncture. It helped keep my energy balanced, my moods even, and my muscles relaxed!
I went into labor the morning of Jan. 27th (2001). This was also my sons "due date".
Labor started w/ slight contractions and a bit of loose stools. I went for a walk w/ my husband- in the very cold Minnesota winter morning... came home and took a bath and drank some tea... throughout the morning, contractions became closer together. I called my midwife and she said to come to the center. I also called my aunt, who is a doula and a massage therapist. she met us there. She also brought me a tea made of blue cohosh and valerian. I drank this while she massaged my shoulders.
My midwife checked my cervix, and I was only dilated to 2 1/2. At this time I placed some magnets (800 gauss, North side towards body) on various acupuncture points (Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6, Liver 3) that are meant to help assist in labor.
Then I went for a short walk w/ my husband. When I returned (20 min. later)I was in transition.
We dimmed the lights, plugged in an aromatherapy diffuse- w/ lavender oil in it, lit a candle, and checked my cervix again. I was at 8 1/2 now.
I then got in the birthing tub. My aunt continued to massage my shoulders and back. My husband held my hand and soothed my arms. I got the go-ahead to push.
I began pushing.
About 25 minutes later my beautiful baby was born. He did have his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, but my midwife just unslipped it and he was fine.
I held him in the water and nursed him for about 30 minutes. Then we got out and got cleaned up. Me, my husband, and our new son layed in bed together and slept.
It was truly beautiful.
I must say I did have some very painful back labor once transition happened. Recieving massage really helped, and so did getting in the birthing tub.
There were times I doubted myself while pushing, but I found an inner strength I didn't know I had!
Giving birth is such a magical experience.
I chose a birthing center because the home I was living in was under construction, and I didn't want a hospital birth. The center was very nice and home-like, and the midwives were excellent!
If we ever have another child, I will definately have it at home...with a midwife... and definately underwater!
post #11 of 22

A very fast and easy delivery!

From beginning to end, my first child was born in 2 1/2 hours! You can read my story here:

post #12 of 22


sorry for bad typing, ds is on my lap. you mentioned advice....

well, i was thinking that i would like all mothers-to-be know that giving birth is not necessarily the most painful experience she will ever have, nor does it have to be long and drawn out and horrible, full of complications.

I found that during my pregnancy I had to be so careful who I got into conversations with because everybody seemed to want to talk about horror stories and doubt my own trust in myself and my baby. Why is that? I had one man even tell me I would feel like I was going to die. Uh, ok... not sure what he knows about it, but thanks.

During my pregnancy I read only positive birth stories, and spoke to people who respected and supported my beliefs. I chose to have a very relaxing home waterbirth, but even a hospital birth could be much improved by a woman's peacful and trusting state of mind.

I hope you mention in your book that it is important to not buy into the whole scare factor and to remember that although they are the minority, thousands of women have had PAIN FREE deliveries!
post #13 of 22
At about nine in the morning, I called my midwife, Adrian, and said, "I think I am making my official call to you." I tried to go back to sleep, but that didn't work . I think my dh wanted to show off how well hypnobirthing worked, so he suggested a walk around the neighborhood to help augment. I think I made some cookies, and tried to take a nap. Adrian said that I should go into more active labor when the moon came up, and she was right.

My dh made me a drink, and as soon as I took the first sip, a large wave came. I sat there with the drink in my hand, unable to swallow. He was talking to me, and kept saying, What's wrong, why won't you answer me?"

I was laboring quietly on my couch for a couple hours when Adrian and her apprentice, Dena showed up. At one point, I opened my eyes, and saw that they had lit some candles and they were just calm and there. Adrian was doing a yoga pose, it may have been a headstand.

I suddenly went into active labor. I think I allowed myself to becaude Adrian and Dena were there and ther was no urgency. I was simply having a baby and they were leaving me room to do so. Remembering from my doula training that the shower is sometimes useful, I got in. The birth ball would not fit. I think the shower only lasted a couple waves.

Out to the hot tub. I convinced my dh to buy a seven person hot tub for labor, and it was in our back yard. There was heavy rain and a full moon. My dh, Michael, turned on red rope lights that he put around the tub. The sun came up and rain stopped with all of us under a big umbrella.

I am happy that I was able to try a lot of the midwifery tricks for the second stage. I had a recurring anterior lip, and was pushing for three-and-a-half hours. All normal. At one point, it was suggested that I stomp sround in the tub. After all that, I thought that I would look stupid splashing around in the tub. I refused and it was suggested that I get out of the tub for one or two surges and go inside. That sounded fine. I stomped up the stairs, and into the living room.

Another surge was coming, so I went to my knees in front of the couch and ordered all the pillows in the room to be put on the couch under my arms. I think I yelled, "Michael, catch!" Paloma was born into both Dena and Adrian's hands, and was somesaulted to partially release the cord from her neck, and give room for her body to follow. What a great midwifery trick! Paloma's birth is just another example of how birth is normal when it is trated as such. I am so grateful to have been home where she could come out in her own time, where she was given time for the tight cord to work around her neck, allowing her to move far enough away from the placenta to which it was readily attached.

She made some kitten noises, and nursed right away. At six-and-a-half months old, she still knows more abou nursing than I do.

Her placenta was not out in record time. This is yet another reason I am happy I was at home. I thought about not cutting the cord, but I was afraid of dropping the placenta and having the baby follow. We waited until the placenta was out, about an hour-and-a-half, before the cord was cut. I will not cut the cord again. I tried to convince myself that I didn't feel anything when it was cut.

As soon as I was in my living room with baby Paloma, my parents stormed in. I know they were trying to be unobtrusive. My father gve us a fairy rose for Paloma's placenta. It flowered beautifully.
post #14 of 22
All your stories are absolutely beautiful. I'm not sure I'm awake enough to write mine tonight. I wanted to say though that the most important thing for a pg woman is to surround herself with POSITIVE supportive people. I delighted in happy endings and fairy tales when I was pg. I used to watch scary movies, "reality" tv... no more. I completly lost my taste for it while pg and have never gotten it back.

The hospital where I birthed at suggested an orientation seminar where we got a tour and listened to several talks from various people on the staff. First, on the tour we were instructed that reguardless of our plans for pain relief, we were to immediately request to see the anistesiologist (SP!) upon arrival to the hospital in labor. We were to arrive through the emergency room where we would be wheelchaired to the labor and delivery floor. Then we viewed a very one sided video about pain relief options for labor which tried to present both medicated and unmedicated births but screamed EPIDURAL!!!! That night I had a panic attack, woke up sobbing and shaking in fear. It took a few weeks to get my confidence back and in a positive frame of mind.

FORTUNATELY we were using the midwives at this hospital and they supported our decision to ignore all the instruction given to us on the tour.

More later
post #15 of 22
I love this thread!

8 weeks before my due date I went into premature labor. After 3 days on magnesium sulfate, I was released from the hospital on tributilane (sp?) and bed rest. When I got to 6 weeks before the due date, doc said we were a go and to resume my normal activities.

On 2/28, 3 weeks before I was due, I went to see my OB and I was 5cm with mild contractions. She said she would be waiting for a call as I was probably going to have that baby in the next few days. As we were leaving the clinic, we had that big old nasty earthquake in Seattle. Luckily we were in the parking lot but it was still pretty scary. But, my contractions stopped...

I was 5cm for the next 3 weeks. On 3/20 I started having contractions again although they were irregular. I went to Labor & Delivery and they said I was still 5cm. If they broke my water then I could have the baby that day. But, my OB wouldn't be able to deliver so I opted to go home. They thought I was crazy.

The next day (3/21) I had a regular OB appointment. My OB asked if I would consider induction since I was now past my due date. I said I would consider it as by now I'm ready to have this baby. She checked me and I was 7cm. She sent me straight to Labor & Delivery. On the way to the hospital, my hubby and I stopped for breakfast (I didn't want to starve) then headed for the Childbirth Center. I was admitted at 11:30am.

At 1:30pm I was still having mild contractions and was still 7cm. They asked if they could break my water and I consented. I was put on IV antibiotics because I was Strep B positive. My doula arrived shortly after and at about 2:30p I really started feeling the contractions. My doula was great, though. She helped me breath through them and focus. She really made it managable.

At 3:30p I was told I could push. I was starting to tear, even after warm compresses and massage, so the OB asked if she could do an episiotomy to control the tear. I said go ahead. At 4pm Veronica was born. My OB even let me pull her out and pull her to my chest myself. Sounds gross but it really was a fantastic experience. She latched within 15minutes and we had lots of mommy-baby time after the birth before weighing and cleaning up.

I'm really happy with my birth (with the exception of the episiotomy) - I hope #2 will go the same route!
post #16 of 22
I am so happy to see a lot of level headedness in these posts. People eating and sleeping during labor so they don't stall out or get exhausted.


post #17 of 22
Don't have time to write full history, but I had 2 in our local hospital which was **fantastic**!!
Great dr&midwife, beautiful ldrp rooms, unbelievably wonderful supportive nurses, lots of bf encouragement, great environment. I had no drugs and they never offered them. Baby stayed with me always right in the bed. I loved it & wanted to say good about hospital birth.
post #18 of 22
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post #19 of 22
Here's my homebirth story:

On Thursday, November 16th 2000, I woke up around 3am with some mild contractions. It was nothing that made me think, "Gee, I'm in labor", so I just went back to sleep, only to be woken every 10-30 minutes with more contractions. These contractions weren't too bad, I was still able to function and go about my regular daily activities. Later that day, at 1:30pm, I had an appointment with Faith, my midwife. She said the contractions were a good sign that things were starting to happen, and that she felt I'd have the baby within the next 48 hours. So I just continued about my day as usual, and went out that evening to get the a few last minute things we needed for the homebirth.

I attempted to go to bed that night at around 10pm. Very shortly after I fell asleep, I was woken up by contractions that were a little stronger. These contractions were starting to come every 5-10 minutes, and lasting around 30 seconds. I decided to sit up and see if they were regular contractions, and then I decided to call Faith at 11:30pm. She said it sounded much like I was in early labor, and that I should try to get as much rest as possible. I tried to get back to sleep, but it was hard to get any shut-eye with contractions happening so close together. So I was basically up all night and into the early AM of November 17th. At around 4:30am, Faith called to check up on me and I told her things were happening about the same. She told me to take a nice warm bath and then try to get some rest, that she'd come around 9am to check me and see how things were.

When Faith arrived in the AM, things were basically the same. I was still contracting the same. She decided to do an internal to see if I was dilated. Much to her surprise, I was almost 7cm dilated!! She was very surprised, she hadn't planned on staying because she thought I was just in early labor and that things would take quite a while to come about. Since I was so far dilated, and because traffic is so bad around here, she didn't chance leaving, for I could have gone quickly.

At around noon, she checked me again, and I hadn't dilated anymore, so she sent Tom (my boyfriend) and I out to take a stroll around the neighborhood. She thought it was rather odd that I had been bouncing away on the birthing ball and playing a game of scrabble while I was 7cm dilated. She figured that the walk could get things goin more quickly. When I got back, I got into the bath tub, it really felt good to sit in the warm water, it helped out a lot with labor pains. At 4:30pm, while I was sitting on the toilet, my water broke...boy did that scare me!!!!! The sound of my water breaking was startling, it really scared me!! I'm very lucky mine broke while I was on the toilet, so it didn't make a mess all over the floor or elsewhere.

Now that my water had broke, it was apparent that I had to have the baby in the next 12 hours, or we'd have to go to the hospital. Later into the
evening, Faith checked me again and I was only 8cm, which means I hadn't made much progress from earlier that morning. She decided to give me some herbs to see if she could help labor get moving. After about 4 doses of the herbs, I became sick and threw up everything I had eaten through the day. Faith became a little worried so she got me to down about 24oz of water. I drank them so quickly, I ended up throwing all of it up. Now Faith was really scared, for I couldn't keep the fluid down and that could be very bad for baby if I was dehydrated. She decided to give me an IV. After 3 attempts of getting the IV in at 3 different spots in my arm, she gave up. I had already began to start pushing, so she wanted me to take sips of water in between contractions.

I did a lot of pushing while on the toilet, for it was the easiest thing for me to do. We then moved into my bedroom and I tried pushing in various positions. I pushed in the squatting position, laying on my side, standing up, and on a birthing stool. Faith then put an oxygen mask on me because I wasn't getting enough air in between contractions, because they were so close together. I was making good progress, but Faith was still worried. She said if I didn't push the baby out in the next 20 minutes or so, she'd have to call an ambulance and I'd have to be rushed to the hospital to have the baby. The thought of that scared me so much. Me, in the midst of all that pain, and with lack of sleep in the past 2 days, got a rush of adrenaline, and started pushing with every contraction, as hard as I could. I was doing really well and baby was starting to crown. Two times I had pushed, and his head came through, but the contraction ended, and his head went back inside (very humorous, everyone was kinda giggling about it, and it also felt very weird!!!). So anyways, I gained that ground again where his head was out and I just pushed with all my might, as Tom, my mother, Faith and her assistant all cheered me on. Finally, my precious baby popped out!!! Man did it feel so relieving to have him out of me. At that moment, I no longer felt any of the pain. Then mom announced that it was a boy, and I was so anxious to see him. My whole pregnancy I had thought I was having a girl, so this was an extra special surprise. Faith brought him up to my bare chest and he was as bright-eyed as anything. He was so alert and moving around, words cannot explain the rush of emotion that came over me the moment I first saw my lil Bastian. Within minutes of him being born, he began rooting for my breast and started suckling.

To have my baby in my arms was an amazing thing. I was so proud of giving birth naturally, it was so empowering.
post #20 of 22
THe short version of my births (and especially for Wendy esm):

Baby #1 (DD, 1998) was a planned homebirth, but after 2 days of labour, was born in hospital. Ultimately, I ended up with demerol, a pitocin drip, and epidural. DD's apgars were not good at birth, but she picked up at 5 minutes. It was a long, long haul to have her. I was hallucinating at home before going to hospital, after continuously vomiting for about 8 or 9 hours. It took a long time to recover mentally from the birth.

Baby #2 (DS, 2000) was a planned homebirth, then planned hospital birth, then unplanned (and almost unassisted!) homebirth. Total hard labour time was about 4 hours. I was vomiting EVERYWHERE with this birth as well, and I was begging to go to hospital to get something to stop the nausea. I must have been in transition at this time, because my waters broke, and I felt him move thru my pelvis in about 3 seconds. Suddenly he crowned, and I pushed about 4 times, and then he was there. I was shocked. I had mentally prepared myself for at least a 24 hour labour. So my midwife friend who was supposed to accompany us to the hospital cut the cord, and helped me deliver the placenta and clean myself up (no tears or bleeding), and then DH and myself and DS went to sleep. DD slept thru everything and met her brother in the morning.

So, I guess if there's a bell curve or some statistic like that for labour length, I'm off the scale both ways...go figure...I'm not having any more kids, but if I could read into some kind of future, I would be interested to know what my 3rd labour would be like!!
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