DS #1: hospital birth, no pain drugs (except one early labor shot of Nubain that I hated), episiotomy and vacuum after 2 hours of pushing. He wasn't in the most ideal position. 6lbs 15oz.
DS #2: hospital birth, induction, epidural--15 minutes...after the "practice push" when the nurse said "Stop! The Dr. needs to get his gloves on!" Epidural had not worn off but I pushed great. Episiotomy that I'm sure I didn't need. 6lbs 10oz.
DS #3: hospital birth, induction, epidural--45 minutes. He was OP until pushing and even with an epidural I got him turned over while pushing to be born face down! Episiotomy again, that I probably didn't need. 7lbs 1oz OB said if he (the baby) wasn't spending most of my pushing time turning over it would have gone faster. Apparently even drugged I'm a good pusher.
I hope with #4 (due any day) that I will be able to listen to my body and push instinctively (birth center with awesome midwife) instead of having someone tell me "You are complete. You can push now". Gee, thanks! And then they proceed to count and shout. Although, even through my epis I still felt that pressure that was probably the urge to push. I'm looking forward to that unmistakable, unmedicated, I can't NOT push urge. Let my body do most of the work until I can't resist pitching in.
Told midwife that my biggest fear is tearing and she said they do compresses, warm oil, support, and will help me slow and control my pushing at crowning to help avoid it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my prayers loud that I don't tear. And that pushing ends up somewhere between what I did with #2 and #3.