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. 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.