I knew I wanted to have my birth at a hospital because I was so nervous with the idea of birthing centers or home births. I was worried, what if something went wrong with the baby? I didn't want to risk being too far from a hospital just in case.
Before I was pregnant and early in my pregnancy, I was so scared of the pain of childbirth, that I was 100% set on getting an epidural and even hoped to get an epidural early so I wouldn't have to feel any pain at all. As the pregnancy progressed and I educated myself (we took a childbirth class, I talked to people I knew who had natural childbirths, read up on the bradley technique and natural childbirth), I decided that maybe I wanted a natural childbirth and that I would try for it as hard as I could.
My mother had 2 babies naturally. She had really easy labors both times. My sister came 3 days early and I was 1 day early. I fully expected that I would go into labor right around my due date and that my labors might be like my mother's labor experiences. When my due date passed right by, I started to get discouraged. It actually was also difficult because my due date was right before my mom had to go back to work (she's a teacher and lives 4 hours away so she wouldn't have been able to come right away had Haley been born a few days late) PLUS my husband is in vet school and was starting classes just 11 days after my due date... people were calling asking if the baby had been born yet... It got really stressful.
I had so many times when I thought I was in labor. I'd have contractions regularly and they'd get pretty painful. We'd start timing them, but then after a day, they'd go away on their own. Very frustrating. I wanted it to really be labor! A week past my due date, I had a doctor's appt. I really hated to idea of having to be induced, but at that point, I was hoping that they would just induce me that day because I was so tired of waiting! That was the longest week of my life! Anyways, the doctor said they wouldn't be able to induce me until Saturday morning (it was thursday evening) which was a full 9 days past my due date. I was 3 cm dilated at that appt, but I had been 3 cm for the past week.
Later that night, I had contractions just like I had so many times before that. I figured they would go away on their own just like they did every other time, but I called the doctor anyways. I asked if they would send me home if I wasn't in active labor (I was hoping they would induce me right then if I wasn't in active labor). Unfortunately, the doctor said the hospital was really full and that they probably would send me back home. I really didn't want to be sent home, so I decided to try to sleep. I woke up an hour later in the most intense pain ever. I thought I was going to explode right there! I could barely move when the contractions hit which was like every 2-3 minutes lasting about a minute each! It was so intense that I actually toyed with the idea of having my husband call an ambulance and I am not the type to complain about pain. I'm more of the "no, I'm okay don't worry" type of person.
Well, I was somehow able to get dressed between contractions and get to the car. I iced my back during the car ride which kind of helped, but it was very intense and they were so close together. My husband had to wheel me into the hospital and I was in tears. (Again, I'm NOT usually like that. I had appendicitis a year ago and had to wait in an ER waiting room for a long time and that's pretty painful!)
When the nurse checked me, I was 6 cm. I asked for the epidural right away. The pain was too intense. I was shaking uncontrollably. I tried breathing and relaxing and icing, but nothing would help. I was in the most intense pain for about 2 hours before I got the epidural and it kicked in. I was 7-8 cm around that time.
A few hours later, I was pushing and had my little Haley! She was 8 lbs 1 oz. I know I didn't do it naturally like I had wanted, but the experience was great (with the exception of a crabby nurse who was too busy messing with the computer to hand me my baby!) I wasn't *numb*. I wasn't in pain and the uncontrollable shaking was able to stop, but I could feel the contractions a little and had no poblems pushing. I was even able to feel my baby come out which was great
My doctor wasn't into episiotomies, but I tore in a few places and needed stitches.
I tried breastfeeding in the delivery room. Haley took to breastfeeding right away and we've never had any problems with it.
For my next pregnancy, I would hope to get to the hospital sooner so I'm not in such a rush. I'd also maybe like to try to find a hospital with a tub so I could have the option of having a water birth. Other than that, my experience was great