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Did *anybody* have a good first birth?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Everywhere I look, I see/hear/read "well my first birth wasn't ideal" or "My first birth was horribly scarring and traumatic, thank god for my 2nd/3rd/4th homebirth". It's REALLY unnerving for a first time mother who's probably going to have to birth in the hospital. Every time I think about it, I find myself getting aggressive and tending towards ranting. I start imagining what I'm going to say or do to the resident or the nurse who does something I don't want...God this is so frustrating because I don't want to be one of those traumatized women who doesn't like to think on her first birth. I want the first one to be good, and I don't want it to be some tug of war between myself and the medical establishment.
post #2 of 64
I had a great first birth, in a hospital. Please don't listen to any horror stories. Everyone is different, and your attitude will affect you greatly during delivery.

Try to relax, look forward to childbirth and enjoy every moment!!
post #3 of 64
I had a good first birth, but it wasn't natural (had an epi). I felt very loved and surrounded by wonderful women, my mom and ds' dad's mom. My second and third births were pretty awful, but that is because of the hospital I chose to birth at.
post #4 of 64
My first birth was great! (Birth center) There were some things I would have changed (and did) with my subsequent births. (homebirths).

My MW was on top of things, we were able to turn my DS#1 from a transverse position (side/shoulder/neck first) to a head-down position (though he was still posterior! ) with no big issues. I'm thankful for what I learned with his birth and was able to take into my next births knowing exactly what I wanted/needed.
post #5 of 64
If I knew then what I knew now, I think I could have had a good 1st birth. You're educating yourself very well, Halfasianmomma! Just being a part of this board is going to increase your likelihood of having an excellent first birth! I don't think anyone will tell you 1st births are easy. They're not. They're hard, but if you're well educated, I think they can be a positive experience, regardless of your choice of birth place.
post #6 of 64
I had a really good first birth - and it was in a hospital! It was with a midwife and my husband was in the room with me. We had written a birth plan (and made several copies ) and things went pretty smoothly. I was pretty far along when I went to the hospital, so I am sure that helped a little. I made sure that everyone knew I wanted to do it all natural - no drugs at all, and my midwife knew I HATED needles, so she kept people from poking me! I was able to stand/walk around/use a birth ball etc. at my own discretion - and everything went well! So, don't worry - you could have a great birth too in the hospital. I will say that the hospital I was in was VERY mother/child oriented - HIGHLY reccomended mother/child contact AS MUCH as possible (touching right away skin to skin/breast feeding/sleeping together, etc.) So I am sure that helped as well - but all in all I am having another hospital (at a different hospital with different midwives, but am hoping for the best!)
post #7 of 64
I had an amazing first birth (in a hospital, with a midwife) and I can't wait to do it again. Mine was a vaginal, drug-free birth and I didn't even tear (to put to rest the tearing fears that you might have, it is possible!).

The downside of my birth was that dd was rushed to the NICU, but the labor and delivery was fine. Totally empowering and not at all like the horror stories that some women like to share with a first time mom.

Hope that helps!
Jacqueline
post #8 of 64
My first birth was a scheduled c/section (DS was breech). While I was very disappointed that I didn't get to "do labor" and have my baby the way I had been imagining for the previous 9 months, it wasn't a bad experience. It was more... surreal. I did everything that I could to channel all of the energy I was planning on putting into labor and instead heal my body quickly and prepare my baby for the world. We talked to him the night before and the morning of and told him it was going to be his birthday. My husband was in the OR with me and was able to hold our son right after he was born. Because we didn't know the sex of the baby, the doctor didn't even say "it's a boy!" - instead he had my husband stand up to see for himself, which was a nice touch. As soon as I was done in the OR they handed me my son and I had him the ENTIRE rest of the hospital stay, which was great. That said, I would never elect to have a baby that way again, which is why I'm planning a VBAC now. But it wasn't horrible. It wasn't traumatic. It just wasn't what I wanted.

I think no matter what your actual BIRTH is like, whether it is how you planned or whether it ends up being completely different, it is an amazing experience. You get to meet this little person that YOU MADE. Wow. Every time I looked at my son I just couldn't believe that I made a person. It still brings tears to my eyes to think about how much I love him - you just can't even imagine until you have a baby of your own. I guess my point is that even if the actual mechanics of the experience weren't ideal, the actual birth of a child is truly a miracle and as mothers we can't help but to be amazed.

On a related note, I posted a good friend's first birth story here just yesterday - and it was a wonderful drug-free hospital birth.
post #9 of 64
I had a wonderful first birth! It wasn't perfect, yet it was, kwim? There is not feeling in the world that compares with seeing your first child for the first time. It was a learning experience, but all good things in life are. The key is educating yourself, surrounding yourself with support, and being committed to the birth experience you want.
post #10 of 64
I agree, my first birth experience at the hospital wasn't perfect--from what I know now. But, I didn't know what to expect, how I'd feel. So, I just went with the flow and I don't really have regrets.
My hospital is like Tonia_Jo's, very mother/child bonding (baby never leaves the mother except if you ask), pro-BFing, etc.
And, I was able to labour in a spa like tub for a long time.

I just know, this time to really wait it out until the contractions come on crazy-strong. Even if it takes days! Eek! (I thought I did SO good! And darn that back labour!)

And I know I need to come home early from the hospital because I don't sleep and it affected our BFing for a day or so. (as soon as we relaxed and rested it came easy again)

Make sure your DH knows all your wishes for this birth and he can step it and be your support. I know we had a hospital tour before the birth too, where we could ask questions and get a feel for the staff and atmosphere. Maybe you could look into that?
post #11 of 64
Nope, mine sucked.
post #12 of 64
I had a good first birth. I had 2 failed epidurals, but I labored well and was able to have my son vaginally. I did need to have a episiotomy, but my OB asked me first and both my mom and my husband could see that my son's head was not able to come through as is. One snip and one push and his head was out.

I gave birth to a big, healthy baby and you can't ask for anything more than that. I did learn that epidurals are not for me and I don't plan on having one this time, but will go the hypnobirthing route.
post #13 of 64
Mine was very good I knew homebirth was the way for me to get what I wanted, though. I think you can absolutely get what you want in a hospital, but you do need to be prepared to fight for it. I think the smartest way to go about that is to hire a doula and have a partner who will advocate for you. That, and labor at home as long as you can before going in. SO many women think you have to go in as soon as your water breaks, or as soon as contractions get going, and you really don't. Laboring at home will lead to the best chance of good progression so that when you DO go in, you are less likely to stall. Just the change in environment causes many women to actually stop laboring (hence all the stories of "false alarms" we hear about - my one friend went in three times and finally took pitocin to get it going b/c she quit laboring as soon as she checked in, and I believe it was b/c she was so uncomfortable there.)

HTH some. Preparation really is a huge key.
post #14 of 64
I had a great first birth....it was LONG, but it was great with a healthy baby at the end

I had preterm labor and PROM so I had to be induced.....ended up with an epidural and was in bed for 36 hours....and I still see my experience as positive because there were no serious complications.

It depends what your definition of "good" birth is. If I had my heart set on a homebirth and ended up in a hospital with an epi and pit, sure I could have been disappointed. But a healthy baby was my goal, and that is what I got
post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by akl7248 View Post
I had a wonderful first birth! It wasn't perfect, yet it was, kwim? There is not feeling in the world that compares with seeing your first child for the first time. It was a learning experience, but all good things in life are. The key is educating yourself, surrounding yourself with support, and being committed to the birth experience you want.
I agree! My experience was not bad (delivered in 5 hours) and I did tear and in the end it completely does not matter because your babe is in your arms.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by LianneM View Post
Mine was very good I knew homebirth was the way for me to get what I wanted, though. I think you can absolutely get what you want in a hospital, but you do need to be prepared to fight for it. I think the smartest way to go about that is to hire a doula and have a partner who will advocate for you. That, and labor at home as long as you can before going in. SO many women think you have to go in as soon as your water breaks, or as soon as contractions get going, and you really don't. Laboring at home will lead to the best chance of good progression so that when you DO go in, you are less likely to stall. Just the change in environment causes many women to actually stop laboring (hence all the stories of "false alarms" we hear about - my one friend went in three times and finally took pitocin to get it going b/c she quit laboring as soon as she checked in, and I believe it was b/c she was so uncomfortable there.)

HTH some. Preparation really is a huge key.
I totally agree with you! My dh and I followed the Bradley method and I think it really helped us avoid a c-section when I was hospitalized at 32 weeks with a placental abruption. If we hadn't been informed and pushed for what we wanted, I would never have been released to partial bedrest at home. I remember seeing the ob who finally allowed me to go home, after I delivered my dd with my regular midwife. She was shocked that I held out as long as I did, but she was pleased that I got the birth I wanted. That is not to say that if things had been dire I would have been totally opposed to a c-section, but I just had serious mama intuition that all was well with my baby!

Anyway.....

Jacqueline
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgirl View Post
I agree! My experience was not bad (delivered in 5 hours) and I did tear and in the end it completely does not matter because your babe is in your arms.
Agreed. But pardon my rant for a second. As a mom who had a scheduled c-section, this was NOT what I wanted to hear. All people kept telling me was "The most important thing is that you have a healthy baby". This REALLY rubbed me the wrong way because isn't it ALSO important to have a healthy mom (and major elective abdominal surgery does not equal healthy mom IMHO).

Anyway, I think that we all have this vision of a "mystical birth experience" - feeling empowered and amazing AND having a healthy baby. And in an ideal world - and many cases - this works out. But just because you *don't* have your "mystical birth experience" doesn't mean you didn't have a good birth. Think about it - lots of women go into the hospital, get their epidural, have their baby, and walk out completely happy. A lot has to do with expectations. I even know lots of moms who are happy to have the elective repeat c-section, and a friend of mine is planning on being induced at 39 weeks (next week) because she wants to have her baby before Christmas! I'm sure she'll come out thinking the entire thing was great.
post #18 of 64
For me, it's hard to say... my first birth definitely wasn't terrible and it wasn't nearly as bad as it could've been. But, it wasn't the birth that I would want NOW, if that makes any sense?

I had some pretty spectacular physiological issues (parts of my body had to be literally cut away so I could deliver vaginally), and that could've been made to be truly terrible if my oh-so-randomly-chosen OB had been less trusting of women's bodies. I got LUCKY!! I was pretty young and didn't have a clue what I was doing and was so overly trusting of everyone. I might seriously have believed them if they had just told me I needed a CS b/c of my uterine type.

All in all, I've had 3 decent births, but all of them, for different reasons, left at least a tiny something to be desired. I definitely PREFER my birthcenter births to my hospital experience. I actually tend to focus less on the birth itself as on the immediate aftermath. I spend my energy ensuring that from the moment baby is here, everything goes according to my plan. I don't necessarily have control over when/how/how quickly my labor will develop. But, I *can* control how my babe is welcomed into the world. That I insist on. The birth environment must be calm, gentle, and peaceful. If all is well, babe never leaves my arms, until I'm ready for a shower. Well, and dad gets a cuddle now and then.

I know that, for me, an intervention during labor is much less traumatic to me than being separated from my baby would be. So, I try hard to make sure that doesn't have to happen.

I can absolutely say that the more educated that you are about what you want and *why* you believe that is the best choice, the more likely you are to have your wishes respected. Make sure that your support network is on the same page, and is willing to speak up on your behalf. Plus, be sure you trust your CP. If you have even the tiniest smidge of doubt, WALK AWAY. I've heard too many stories of mama's whose intuition told them that their OB/MW/whatever was only telling them what they wanted to hear, and then ended up doing the exact opposite during their labor. Ugh. Plus, check your hospital's policies. And don't believe them if they say that you can usually "bend" the rules. It's Murphy's Law that the day you're in labor you'll get the crusty ol' bat who thinks the rules are G*d and will even ratchet them in a bit. So, if there's something that is non-negotiable for you, find the place that does it that way routinely, even if it's a little farther away.

Hmm, is that enough of a novel??

In other news, mamas have been having healthy babes for, oh, forever.... You'll do fine, mama!
post #19 of 64
Mine wasn't picture perfect, but it also wasn't traumatic or terrible. I wasn't educated about things like I feel I am now. I read books, I've joined this group... I'm going to make it a good birth. The first one was great for me. When I came home, I felt wonderful and thought it was a great birth. Looking back there are things I'd change.... and I'm going to. It doesn't have to be bad. It just seems to be that once someone has a bad birth, they're more inclined to learn why. You just happen to be doing that BEFORE you have a bad birth.
post #20 of 64
I had a great first birth in a free-standing birth center. I was very glad I didnt choose the hospital, personally.
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