Ooh, how exciting, I was cited at the beginning of this thread. My long and illustrious career as a MDC academic can start here! Hee.
Other things I wasn't told:
*Magnesium sulfate makes you feel not "a little hot" as the doctor said, but like you are swimming in Hellfire and Damnation itself.
*Pitocin is much worse than natural contractions, IMO. Instead of the gentle valleys and peaks your childbirth instructor told you about, you get the ThunderCoast Mountain rollercoaster version with plenty of loop de loops and 60 foot dives.
*Someone may and will repeatedly ask to wash your windows right after you've given birth because they're on a schedule, and room 200 is next on his list. And he will be back to ask again.
*EVERY nurse who walks into your room will ask you if you're allergic to medications. Even if she's been in there before, you've chatted, thought you'd gone beyond the small talk. It's like a rule or something to not read the freaking CHART.
*The nurse will not believe you are having a contraction unless it shows up on the machine. "I'm sorry, honey, but you are not having a contraction, because it would look different on my machine. I'll have to up your pit. There. Now there's a contraction! Why are you turning pale? You want your epidural now? Oh, that's not a nice word, not nice at all."
*After they break your water, you're on your very own Amazing Race against time. She's got 24 hours to get that baby out or she's getting a c-section. Will she make it? Yesss, 6 minutes under the gun.
*The pitocin-epidural combo leads to some very interesting fetal heart rhythms on their machines. Which can lead to some very interesting C-sections and other very interesting ideas if you're not careful.
*Being ensconced in tubing, IVs, and machines makes you feel like you are now one of the Borg. It is not as relaxing as it looks on Baby Story. Dang!
*If you start to hemorrage, you will be visited by the No-Mercy Nurse who will nervously knead the uterus into a nice bun shape from its previously unwieldy and too-messy dough shape. On an hourly basis. Helllllo, No-Mercy nurse!
*Find a nice, crunchy nurse when you check in and give them treats. Because you don't want the other kind.
Hmm. These are the things that popped into MY mind at least when remembering my first birth. My second was um, way cooler for me.
The only thing they didn't tell me in the homebirth-waterbirth case is that not all babies look around the room with blissful contentment after being born with the love of happy hippie waterbirth. Mine looked around the room like he was seriously discouraged at the turn life had taken; and only started nursing after glaring at everyone in the room. He is getting used to things now, although I imagine that babies have their own version of this thread...