There were pros and cons to both.
DD1's labor and birth were simply not all that painful. The recovery was pretty bad, but the hospital was great about keeping me medicated after the fact. The whole experience led me to believe that (a) extreme pain in childbirth is a mental thing brought on by overexposure to TV and movies and a lack of education, and (b) hospital births are preferable as long as the hospital is a good one.
With both children, I believed natural childbirth was unarguably the best choice, because of the reduced likelihood of C-section started by the domino effect of medical intervention, and also because I am terrified of the thought of a needle in my spine. I chose homebirth for DD2 because we don't have maternity coverage and can't afford to pay an OB and hospital out of pocket, especially when it isn't necessary.
DD2's labor and birth, however, WERE all that painful. And this is what trips me up. Because I know that if I had been in the hospital I would have been one of those women who brags about going all-natural, then ends up in tears begging for an epidural before the show is over. And I think if I had had an epidural, my labor wouldn't have progressed; I think standing, squatting, kneeling, etc. all through labor was what brought her into the position to be born. I don't think I could have done it lying down in one place. So I bet if I had been in the hospital I would have ended up with an unnecessary C-section, with all the risks and pain of that.
Therefore, it's awesome that I had DD2 at home, naturally.
But I don't feel awesome. I feel tired. I feel tired and my milk is coming in and my breasts hurt and I've already forgotten what it feels like to not be uncomfortable in some way. I'm so tired of being in one kind of discomfort or another for so long, I want to throw myself a pity party instead of celebrating.
Mommy to (age 9) and (age 5)
I also feel like my second labor was more... I guess you can say "painful." I try to remain optimistic about the whole experience. It definitely hurt to push her out, which is different from my labor with my son. I had some serious ring of fire this time around. Stange, because I didn't have the ring of fire the first time and I tore pretty badly. This time I just had a little "mark." Go figure.
We have a lot to process. I have to remind myself that it is ok to process all these recent experiences and take some time to adjust to my new little family member. I have the tendancy to just want to hop up and say "Well, that was all peachy! " and run around like normal, when the truth is, there is a whole new normal establishing itself around this home. And 'm not sure what that normal is yet. And hopping around is exhausting myself.
It's a lot to take in, that's for sure.
All-in-all though, I'm still way more satisfied with the way things turned out. I had more control of the situation, which means everything for control-freaks like me.
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
So, now I'm waiting on birth #3, any day now, and I have no idea what to expect. Will it be more like birth#1 or birth #2? all I can say is, I'll let you know!
BUT, I remember after my 1st was born, how shocked I was at the post-partum stage. I never knew I'd be bleeding so much, engorged with milk, how hard BFing could be, etc.
2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11
I couldn't believe how tired and sore I was ALL OVER, like I had climbed Mt Everest. I think I used every muscle in my body when I was pushing. He's 5 days old and that is finally subsiding.
And I do worry about the next birth--I no longer have "ignorance is bliss" on my side anymore!
Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.