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Did *anybody* have a good first birth?

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
This is repost from my DDC, but I thought I'd throw it out here to see what responses I get:

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 69
OOOH, pick me, pick me!!

I had a great first birth (in a hospital)! Looking back, there are a couple of things I would do differently, but it was a beautiful experience!

Here is a link to my story on my website!
post #3 of 69
I was happy with my first birth, it was a med-free birth with a CNM in the hospital. No, I didn't choose to birth in a hospital again for subsequent births but I think that DS' birth was good. I stood up for what I wanted and what I didn't want.
post #4 of 69
Thank you for this. I am also a FTM, hospital birthing, and I get incredibly upset and aggressive whenever I think of birthing there. I'm not sure how I'll have a positive birth experience feeling as angry and tense as I do, and I'm grateful for this thread. It could not have come at a better time!
post #5 of 69
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce View Post
Thank you for this. I am also a FTM, hospital birthing, and I get incredibly upset and aggressive whenever I think of birthing there. I'm not sure how I'll have a positive birth experience feeling as angry and tense as I do, and I'm grateful for this thread. It could not have come at a better time!
I figure I'm going to practice throwing hard things at people while in pain just to make sure I get my point across From what I've been told, stay at home as LONG as you can...frig, labor in the car in the hospital parking lot and come in crowning. If someone tells you to wait because some silly doc can't get his gloves on, tell them "too bad, I'm pushing".
post #6 of 69
My first birth, knowing what I know now, wasn't "as good" as my second in some ways, but I was happy with it at the time, am still happy with it, felt empowered by it and believe it went well.

I had a birth with a CNM in a hospital. The hospital is both baby friendly and very used to natural (by which I mean unmedicated, not just vaginal) birth. The hospital in question actually requests birth plans, has a fill-in-the blank one that that send to all local providers who use them. The plan is placed in your chart when you preregister, is reviewed on your arrival, and is actually followed, and includes things like no episiotomy, don't offer me drugs, wait for the cord cutting, etc etc. I had an easy 6-ish hours of labor in the hospital, use of the jetted hot tub, and birthed my 9-point son with just a small tear. The nurses were all also LCs, and I recieved great breastfeeding advice and support.

However, I know that at a different hospital my labor would have gone very differently. I don't labor "by the book," my body does not conform to the Dublin Protocol. In many hospitals I would have had my water broken, my contractions augmented, and finally, my baby ripped away from me and intubated for the slightly meconium-tinged fluid he came out with.
post #7 of 69
Well, my first (and so far, only) birth wasn't "ideal", but so few things are in this life, especially when you have no idea what to expect!

It was awesome, amazing, empowering, and the most wonderful experience in my life. Three hours later I wanted to do it again. I was convinced I that I should have ten children just because giving birth ten times would be great! I was respected by all the staff, and was never coerced into anything, scared, or lied to. I *did* have a difficult labor and more interventions than I had planned, but I'm convinced they were all necessary or at least helpful in that particular situation. I'm happy with the decisions I made.

I certainly learned things about labor and about myself in labor that are leading me to make different choices this time, but I don't think that detracts from the beauty and the glory that my birth with my son was. I'm having a homebirth this time around, and even if it's absolutely "perfect", I still don't think it will be as amazing and powerful as my first. Because it was my first, ya know?
post #8 of 69
I think that the first time for most things, by definition, isn't going to be as "ideal" as going through the same experience for a second time...but a first birth can and usually will be an amazing experience.
post #9 of 69
Ya know, we induced me at home post dates, I went to the hospital after nasty contractions from the amniotomy, ended up with an epidural. Totally not what most here would consider a good birth. But I had a WONDERFUL experience and I'd totally do it again if I had to. But of course I want to try something different this time, because I can.
post #10 of 69
My first birth was a homebirth with a midwife. I was very happy with my birth experience, and I'm glad I learned about HB before having my first baby.
post #11 of 69
My first was a hospital birth. Well, both births were, lol. Anyway, some would say it was a set up for disaster. I was 36 weeks and on blood thinners for my blood clotting problem. We had been watching my dd closely for a month, and my amniotic fluid kept getting lower and lower, and she stopped growing all togther. The big kicker was when they saw that my placenta was bleeding and there were clots in it. So I was sent over for an induction. They kept me overnight to get the blood thinner out of my system. I was too nervous to sleep. But the next day they started the pit, and I wasn't in any pain at all. When I finally started dilating I dilated fast (same thing with my non induced son's birth, I just have painless labors until transition, and then things go FAST). They let my dh catch her, so the OB just sat by and told him what to do. I had no tears, no stitiches, and just a nice, peaceful birth. And she was healthy, but small, and had a little bit of a clubbed foot from the low fluid. But like I said, healthy, and that is what matters most. The next few weeks were a tiny bit rocky for her, since she was so small, got high billi levels, and had some typical preemie things going on, but nothing life threatening. It's only scary to a first time mom.

My son's birth was nice as well, except I could have done without my midwives snarky comments to me and her unprofessionalism towards the Dr's there. But my ds wasn't positioned optimally, but I still had a vaginal birth with no tears, and once again all of my wishes were followed. It was really an empowering birth, and I learned that I have enough room in my pelvic outlet for one full sized baby head and 2 grown woman's hands, lol. I could probably birth a Buick.
post #12 of 69
: to Ruthla
post #13 of 69
I had a wonderful first birth in hospital with my CNM, who had attended me through pregnancy. The nurses were WONDERFUL. This was 21 years ago. I made it clear I wanted no interventions (although I did have to have an IV) and they let me labor naturally in all positions, walking hallways, etc. I can't express how fantastic that birth was. They had to send my husband out during transition because I got out of control and he wasn't helping me breathe and was just generally unhelpful (I think he was just overwhelmed.) While he was gone, Margarite, the head RN, got me back under control with my breathing. I asked for meds and they "pretended" to give me some LOL, knowing how I'd made it clear in my birth plan that I did not under any circumstances want pain meds no matter how much I begged for them. Strangely enough, once I got my "pretend meds" I was fine and started breathing and moving with my contrax. They encouraged me to kneel on all fours to push the baby out. When my son was born (my DH barely had time to get in the birthing room) they immediately handed him to me to bond with and encouraged me to breastfeed. My CNM is the one who discouraged me from Circ-ing.
So I had a great experience and I think it is possible for others to have one as well, with a good MW or even alone at home.
post #14 of 69
I was happy with my first birth at the time. My wants and needs changed as my experience grew and I probably wouldn't be happy with the same again. (it was a hospital birth with ob, my only with meds, not my only with 'repair work', vaginal, no trouble bf)

**my childbirth experience, my mothering experience, my life experience
post #15 of 69
I had a GREAT first birth... of course it was a homebirth, as was the 2nd and will be the third. I feel very fortuntate to have known before my first birth JUST how crucial hb would be for a "good birth".
post #16 of 69
I had a beautiful experience for my first (and only so far) birth. I delivered in a hospital and our midwife was with us during active labor. We had discussed my wishes well in advance and completed a birth plan. I have no regrets and unless my DH and I decide on a different experience (maybe HB? but he really didn't support that for baby #1), we'll go with the same midwife practice and hospital. Of course, since I can't guarantee she'll be able to be with us the entire time, I'd like to hire a doula (the doula I love was already booked and in the hospital the same day I delivered..so, I did see her, but she was with a friend).

I would recommend hiring a doula to help you get your wishes respected...gives you a chance to focus on the birth and not on getting frustrated with the establishment.

Good luck and congratulations!
post #17 of 69
I had a great first birth with a CNM in a hospital. Everybody was super supportive and we had no interventions. I would have done it exactly the same way this time around except the OB/MW practice broke up so I had to find new care providers. And now I'm on blood thinners, so we'll see how it goes, but I'm hoping to deliver at a birth center w/o intervention again. BTW, I was 9 days late and DS weighed in at 9.5 pounds.

post #18 of 69
My first birth was not a *bad* birth, given that I was a totally mainstream mom, who had absolutely NO CLUE about ANYTHING birth related. I took the hospital birth course. I read "What to expect". I was PREPARED!!! NOT!

<P>Six weeks before my due date, I started leaking amniotic fluid. Not that I had a clue that what happened, I just was "leaking" mucous or something. I went to work. I went to the mall to buy DH something for Valentines Day. When I had to lean over the counter at the register and breathe through a "crampy feeling", and the clerk looked at me with complete fear in her eyes, I thought *just maybe* something might be up.

<P>Long story short - When I finally got to the hospital at 6pm, I was 7 cms dilated and in full blown active labor. No one told me that I was in the hardest part, and it wouldn't be too much longer. No one told me I wwas handling the contractions so well, they could not tell when I was having one.&nbsp; So, envisioning HOURS AND HOURS of walking up and down the halls in the level on pain I was in, I decided on an epidural. By the time the anest. got there, and got the catheter inserted, I was pushing. Pushed a tiny preemie out in less than 20 minutes, and TORE badly, 'cause I was so far into laborland, I didn't listen to anyone about pushing slowly with the shoulders. 'Course that big ol episiotomy (standard of care back then) didn't help. The OB was supportive, though. She lied to the insurance company, so that I could stay in the hospital extra time, to be near dd in the NICU.

The worst part about this birth was holding my babe for a total of two seconds before they whisked her off to the NICU to do all sorts of crap to her, and their scaring the pants off of DH and me, telling us she was "very sick and might die". She wasn't. She just needed a little time, and lots of love. I wish I had been more adamant about kangaroo care, but I just did not have a clue. She got a bottle first, too. Took us three months of determination and frustration to get the breastfeeding to work.

Had a "great" hospital birth with #2 (advocated my way out of almost everything they threw at me, pissed off a bunch of nurses), but I was still clueless about being allowed to keep dsout of the nursery, declining "standard" procedures, etc.

With #3, I stayed home.
post #19 of 69
I had a good hospital birth. There were things I wanted different but in all it was a good experience.
post #20 of 69
I had a great first birth and it was in the hospital. It started off kinda worrisome because the hospital I was supposed to give birth and where my family doctor had privileges was full. That contingency plan had never even crossed my mind. Anyhow, so I went to the next hospital over, not as fancy, older, but there were only two women at the time giving birth there so I had all the attention and then some. My husband and our nurse ended up having an hour long chat about curling. They completely respected my birth plan-which was sensitive because I'm a sexual abuse survivor and have issues with being examined in certain places by males (unfortunately the only doctor available was a male! But we all worked around it and made it very comfortable for me), they were very kind and positive, and though my Mooch was in trouble, they didn't immediately run for a c-section, but we all worked together to get him out and he was absolutely fine.

Personally in my work as an advocate for women in hospitals who have just gone through a sexual trauma, I felt my experience helped a lot. I was always clear, I had DH ready to clarify for me, I always asked for time to think, and asked lots of questions. I also didn't go in charged up. Nervous, excited definitely, but I've always found that if I go in expecting difficulties, they're going to be there. Sometimes they are there if I don't expect them, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it and then we'll all work through that together. In the end, I think most people want the same thing, it's just a matter of how to arrive at that point, and bottom line is, that it's my body, my baby and I do call the shots. Knowing that gives me the power to address things calmly.

I pretty much avoid the labels of different types of births. My only label is, happy or not, and I had a very happy birth experience.
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