Freestanding birth center. Okay birth. Looking back knowing what I know now there are things that bother me. It was fairly quick (7 hrs from active labor - defined as 4 cm onward) and I was lucky enough to start effacing and dialating several weeks in advance (Dd was born at 41wks6days) so I think that saved me a lot of time. But transition was a bitch and my midwife had broken my water and I was really really scared. I was terrified at what my body was doing and I lost control and stopped trusting my ability. Dd was born after about an hour of pushing at 9lbs4oz. I had a minor tear and several stitches. I lost a fair amount of blood and passed out the next morning (when I stood up for the first time). I bled for 14 weeks postpartum and had severe PPD.
Second Birth -
A little over two years from my first and my planned homebirth. An EXCELLENT birth in every way. Very very quick. I was a week overdue and my MIL came to my midwifery appointment with me (she's also a midwife) and I was effacing and at about 2-2.5 cm. The next morning I took cauliphyllum (sp?) and then a castor oil cocktail. By 6 pm I was having regular ctx. My MIL, Dh and mom went upstairs to set up the birth tub while I sat in the recliner and read a book. I would moan or whatnot through ctx and finally my mom came to say that my MIL thought we should call the midwives. I thought it was too early - 11 pm. The midwives and a good friend who was serving as childcare for Dd arrived at midnight. By that time I was in some pain and really wanted them there. I had been in the birthtub, but it just wasn't working for me so I was on the bed doing this really strange birthdance of standing up and getting in weird positions for ctx. Every few ctx I would wallk down the hall to sit on the toilet - though I never had to pee, it just felt good. After awhile I was getting antsy and the midwives recluctantly offered to check me. To their surprise I was at 8 and within 10 minutes I could feel the baby's head descending on it's own. I COULD NOT lay down, but they had brought a birth stool and it was fabulous. We woke up my Dh (who gets up at 5am, and so had a "pass" to be sleeping!
) and he came up and caught our son after only 20 minutes of pushing. Ds was born OP and in the caul. I had the teensiest tear ever - probably because once he came, Ds shot out like a rocket, and didn't even require a stitch. He was born at 2am.
Dd woke up about 20 minutes after he was born, came down the hall and immediately claimed him as her own.
We are planning a homebirth again. And I love my midwife from last time, and have called her to set up prenatals - but I am considering going UC this time around.
My first was a hospital birth in 92 before the pitocin revolution
: I told them I wanted to be left alone and would let them know when I needed them. They were great, I did some walking but preferred to spend most of my time sitting up in bed. The whole labor was 12 hours, I was at the hospital for 7, pushed him out in 10 minutes. Baby was 15 days early 6/8 but the birth went really well for a hospital birth.
Second birth was also at the same hospital with same OB practice but it was 95 now and EVERYTHING had changed
: I had cervical cancer between #1 and #2 and had a build up of scar tissue and was stuck at 6 cm for 18 hours and they administered pitocin while I was
and begging them not to
Once the scar tissue broke I went to 10 immediately but the nurse didn't believe me when I said I had to push because she was too preoccupied with the monitor
: Baby was 3 weeks early and came really fast at the end and my OB didn't make it, the nurse tried to push him back in with the heal of her hand - DS#2 was caught by a stranger. Labor was 22 hours but he was out in 2 pushes, less than 10 minutes.
When we were talking about #3 I knew I wanted a different experience and started looking into center & home birth options before I even got pregnant. Ordered all the old Mothering issues that had anything to do with birth.
My third baby was born into my hands in my bathtub after 6 hours of labor, my MW was there for about 40 minutes prior to the birth. We were shocked to see a girl and she was 8/8 and born with a compound presention - I had one skid mark but no tearing after 10 minutes of pushing.
My fourth baby was also born at home into our tub with the same MW, caught by DH. My water broke before labor started and I just knew it was going to be a fast labor and got into the tub right away. I woke up DH as the tub was filling and told him to call MW. She got there as fast as she could and just in time - from first contraction to birth was 45 minutes
10-15 minutes of pushing WAY too fast for me! She was 9/9.
For this birth I am planning another homebirth with the same MW, we are just hoping for a labor that is a bit longer
Midwife assisted, gave birth on the tatami floor. I was very happy to be able to move a round as much as I wanted. Labour was quite long ( 17 hours) but in hind sight I went in way too early. I felt overwhelmed and scared but once my daughter was born I was very satisfied with everything until
my 2nd one four years later with a different midwife who was awesome.
I stayed home and ran with things, getting in the shower through some contractions and was 9cms when I went to the midwifes. Throughout I felt
very calm, I was empowered by the whole experience. I had a lip on the cervix which took some time to get through but all in all it was great and lasted about 8 hours.
Baby 3, same midwife , again I felt I knew what was happening at each stage, I could handle it and let it take me where it was going, lasted four hours. I had asked that my baby be placed on my stomach I wanted him to root for the nipple ( Mothering mag had just done a series of photos of this happening that blew me away) however the cord was wrapped around his neck and was too short, so that didn't happen, but again a very positive experience. My MIL was also there in the delivery room holding my hand, it was a very powerful experience.
Same midwife, labour 2 hours start to finish way too quick, I completely lost my grip on things I was frightened and overwhelmed like I had been with the first one.
The midwife was extremely kind and supportive during and after the birth and DH was there throughout to give back rubs and get shouted at !
My first pg was horrible from start to finish. Pretty much any complication you can think of i had it...I started hemmoraging at 12 wks, for about one month straight, and Im not exagerating im mean litterally pools of blood. then again at 24 wks. Im smack myself now but looking back, my water broke at 29 wks,I thought i was just losing control of my bladder!
: Then that time when i started hemmoraging again i was admitted to the antenatal floor of the hospital..can you believe I actually held that baby in with no water for 3 weeks! I didnot even know that was possible...32 wks i went into labor,wasnt to bad till I hit about 4 cms,,,i was eben doing crossword puzzles! I was forced into having a epidural because of the serious possibility of a c-section...they just kept pushing it on me every 5 minutes! once my epidural was in I insisted they put the pitocin up full blast..my baby needed to be born before the next shift, because then Dr.Jerk (as we called him) would come and for sure section me. so my ds was born after about a 24 hour labor and about only 4 pushes..he weighed 3 lbs 2 oz and spent 3 weeks in the nicu...i attribute him doing so well to the steriod injections i recieved while in the hospital. ( pharmeceuticals do have there place sometimes). So i cant really even plan my birth until I see how this pg will go. I cant be seen be a MW bcuz im considered "high risk". but if all is well i will be having a home birth with my MIL who is also an CNM..sory so long!
First birth was planned as a birth-center with CNMS, but ended up a planned (not scheduled) cesarean for a big late breech first baby. Still wonder if I could have done it, but I believe it was the right decision. It was a pretty rough experience, inadequately anesthetized, bad pain afterward, depressing and totally not what I had wanted.
Second time around I planned a homebirth with extremely crunchy handsoff midwives, sadly when I went into early labor and my water broke I began hemorrhaging - placental abruption. So I got an ambulance ride and a cesarean under general anesthesia instead of my home waterbirth. Rats.
The trauma of that last experience is part of my feeling really unready for this pregnancy and unsure of what I want to do as far as a birth plan this time. I'm really struggling with it. At this time I am thinking to try for a vba2c in the hospital, hopefully the in-hospital birth center.
I'm only a mom of one (currently), but I think I still qualify since i've given birth.
I had a great pregnancy, to much morning sickness but I felt great. At 32 weeks I went into preterm labor and was admitted into the hospital where I was put on mag sulfate. The mag caused my heart to relax a little to much and my lungs filled with fluid. So I had preterm labor and on top of it I had pulmonary edema. They fixed my and my baby up though, and I went home after a week. I returned to my midwives care and went into labor naturally at 39 weeks, 5 days.
My labor was pretty easy. I started contracting at 1 am and arrived at the birth center at 9:30. I was 7 cm dialated and 100% effaced. Baby was at +3 station. I got in the tub right away and started pushing at 12:00. Julian was born at 12:19. I can't remember his apgars right now, but he pinked up quickly. His cord pulsed for 15 minutes and after it stopped we cut it. I got out and birthed the placenta on a birth stool.
Nursing was great, I didn't have PPD and he was an overall easy newborn. I am hoping i'll be just as lucky this time around.
1st - horrible c/s after 20 hours on pitocin, most of those without an epidural, plus about 10 hours of in the hospital without labor, but couldn't leave cause my water had broken. After 2 days of that my body had enough and shut down, not able to breastfeed. Months to heel, nearly 8 months!
2nd- c/s planned to remove scar tissue and b/c I wanted to bf more than I cared about natural childbirth -- plus doc told me that would be best
3rd - asked about vba2c, was fired from the OB, hired a mw and had a HBA2C
now this 4th will be a mw hb, no prenatal testing, no u/s, no OB, nothing to upset me
Induction at 40w0d (or 39w0d, depending on what dates you use - I got bumped up a week at 28 weeks because baby measured ahead). Aggressive pitocin induction; really hard labor; got an epidural at 7cms, episiotomy, vacuum extraction, difficult recovery. Did not want to do THAT again.
hospital again. Water broke, no labor, GBS+ (assumed, from last pregnancy). Went to the hospital to get abx. No contractions - progressed from 2-3cms in like 4 hours. Started a gentle pit augmentation; kicked labor into gear, 2 hours later baby was there. Unmedicated. A totally fun labor - had my mom & MIL there too.
planned to deliver at birthing center. EDD came and went. 9 days later, had stomach flu (along with entire family). Went into labor. Progressed very quickly; at 8cm water broke, thick meconium. They got me out of the tub - yep, really bad. So we tx to the hospital. Worst car ride of my life. Push baby out. 12 day NICU stay. Awful. Heartbreaking. She's my best baby girl though (only baby girl
) but really, a hard birth experience. Sitting in a mat ward with no baby afterwards is really hard.
So what do I take from all this?
-I hope I go into labor on my own
-I am pretty much NOT willing to go past my EDD for fear of reliving what happened with my 3rd baby, whether that's rational or not I feel it's a risk for me
-I do better with no meds than with meds
-We are sticking to the hospital this time
-If all goes well and I go into labor on my own, I hope to arrive close to transition, get a healthy baby out, and go home w/in 24 hours.
My first (and only birth so far) was not horrible, but not what we had hoped for either. I went into pregnancy not being crunchy at ALL. I assumed I would have an epidural, hospital birth all the way. Never even occured to me to want anything else.
Because of my fear of needles I started looking at alternatives to the epidural and started learning about natural childbirth. Everyone thought I was crazy until I talked to another woman at our (large) church who just became a Bradley instructor. So we started taking Bradley Method classes right at the end of our pregnancy - the last 10 weeks. I ended up switching OBs at the last minute because I realized I would NOT have the birth I wanted with the OB I had at the time. He thought a birth plan was stupid, did routine episiotimies, the whole 9 yards. I was able to find someone who was generally supportive of what we wanted to do. We kinda met halfway on some things and we were content with that.
The labor and birth was not what I was expecting. My contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes from the beginning and all said I was in labor for 42 hours. I went from low intervention to them breaking my waters, pit, some typed of medication I don't remember, epidural, 2 hours of pushing, and then a vacuum extraction. We were so close to a C/S. Gah. I won't even go into all the problems we had with ds and the hospital basically confiscating him and taking him to the special care unit. His head had been turned which is why the long labor and we think they were worried that they had let me labor so long because they kept wanting to keep ds, but they never really could say what was wrong, what they thought MIGHT be wrong, etc, etc.
Sorry so long.
This time around I won't be going to the hospital until the very second I need to, and I won't be afraid to ask for what I want (ie in-laws leaving me the heck alone in the laboring room). And of course, I'm trying again for a natural birth! Here's hoping for a smoother round 2!
Well, I birthed DS at home in my own bed completely by surprise, way too early for him to survive. It was the most horrible thing that's ever happened to me, which is a terrible way to feel about the birth of a child, whether that child survived or not.
So when we conceived DD, I was a paranoid wreck that something was going to go wrong, so I went the full OB and hospital route. I had everything but Pitocin, the works, for a 26 hour labor that ended in a c-section. It wasn't traumatic or anything-- I knew what I was getting into, and how it would be, and I never felt out of control or anything. I had lost all faith in my own body and didn't feel safe with anything less than the full medical toolbox.
I've learned a lot since then., though An awful lot, and this time we're going to attempt a VBAC with a lovely midwife (yeah, I finally found one).
#2 - HB transfer after 24 hours of labor, stuck at 7cm for 12 hours. PP hemmorage. Made me realize I never wanted to birth in a hospital ever again. But it was an excellent learning experience.
#3 - HWB. 2.5 hours of labor after AROM to avoid transfer at 16 days past my edd.
#4 - HB. 5 Hours of HARD labor after castor oil induction. Will never ever do that again. Severly dehydrated, passed out twice after birth. Made me realize juts how much I could handle. But I would never ever do castor oil again.
#5 - HB 4 hours of labor
#6 - 14 hours of super easy labor. Cord around the neck and placental seperation during pushing but it all worked out great. I know if that birth had been in the hospital it could have been really bad.
For this one I am totally avoiding the whole post dates thing, I will refuse to induce for dates alone. No way no how. I would like a waterbirth again, but will see where labor leads me.
Well, totally different than I expected. Spent the night rocking on a birthing ball at home, ctx 10 minutes apart and waiting for "real" labor to start (a bit scared, because the "not real" ctx hurt!). Checked my cervix and realized I was dilating. Called the birthing center 1.5 hours away, they said wait until ctx were 5-7 minutes apart.
Didn't listen, got in the car right away, ctx still 10 minutes apart the whole way in (but awful and strong, I HATED being trapped still in a car). Was dopey when I got to the birthing center, but 15 minutes of walking and being able to move and I was fine.
Midwife checked, I was 4-5cm dilated, so they filled the watertub. Got in the watertub, ctx went 15 min apart. Had 4 of those, midwife went for coffee and breakfast. Had a "picked up and thrown against the side of the tub" ctx I totally wasn't ready for, totally panicked, figured it was transition and I couldn't handle an hour of this!!! Then I realized I was pushing, and it was suddenly all OK (ah, the power of perspective).
Midwives running everywhere, LOL... "Ah, can you stop pushing for a minute, love..." Heck no - how does anyone stop a force like that???!! DD was born 20 minutes later in a peaceful waterbirth (everyone stopped rushing once they figured out what was going on). A magical birth - very different than what I expected, we took 2 days of food, I had no conception of short, easy labor!
This time we are doing a home waterbirth because I refuse to get back in a car while in labor
Had strong braxton hicks for months and months, and so I had trouble distinguishing them from active labor contractions. Finally, 5 days past DD's due date, I had contractions that sort of started getting stronger, but still far apart and short. However, they were strong enough that I asked dh to start filling the tub because it sounded so nice. Took a shower while I was waiting, and when I got out I said to myself "Yeah, I guess I see why women like epidurals." Got in the tub, had one heck of a contraction, and then nothing for 10 minutes. We had no idea that I had just gone through transition! Suddenly I was pushing and there was nothing to do but let my body push. DH called the midwife, and 9 minutes later my DH was catching our beautiful babe as the midwife rushed in.
I would like to have a chance to actually enjoy the tub during labor for this one!
It is really nice to read all these stories. I just have one ds and he was born at a hospital. We have no birthing center around here, and dh is not comfortable with homebirth. I was induced at 38 weeks to the day because of extreamly low amniotic fluid. After a week of u/s and nonstress test daily they decided they couldn't let him cook any longer. I think if it had been up to ds he would have waited four more weeks. I went into the hospital on Monday night and they gave me cervadil which didn't do a thing. Then on Tuesday morning they gave me pitocin and my contractions hit full force and were one on top of the other with no break. It hurt so bad I couldn't move. I got an epidural and they turned off the pitocin. I progressed superfast. I only labored for 6 hours and only pushed for two contractions. He can out not crying with the cord around his neck. He was alright, just had the doctor worried. He just didn't feel like crying. We left the hospital the next day a little less than 24 hours later. This time I want to leave sooner. I don't like staying in the hospital. Overal I liked my birhth, but want less intervension this time around.
1st baby: Thought I could just tell a OB what I wanted & he would do it, so I went ahead and stayed with him after the midwife left his practice. My water broke at 38 wks 6 days. Went to hospital & was told I peed the bed. They let me stay since that was my OB's day at the hospital anyhow -- and I am having contrax, just so light I couldn't feel them. Hours later they find that my water HAD broken (small high leak), but I'm still high & tight, so they start me on pit. After upping the pit a few times with no results, he breaks my water (choosing a time when dh has run home to shower & change) with an internal contrax monitor (because the hook thing was too big too fit!) and MANUALLY dialates me to 1. (Sidenote: that was the most painful thing to do with childbirth I've ever experienced). Contrax get more painful/close together, but I never progress. Eventually I give in to a narcotic. 20 hours after my water broke, a nurse brings in an ultrasound machine & tech. -- they discover baby is breech -- almost transverse. C/S.
2nd baby: Determined to do it right this time. Hired a homebirth midwife. Wake up in labor on a Wednesday, a few days before 41 weeks. Slow progress, but pretty steady. By Thursday evening progress has slowed. My body wants to rest, baby is fine, but midwife encourages me to move. Stomping while walking around the house, etc. Tells me no birth pool as it will slow my labor. Eventually I let her break my water. A few hours later I've reverse dialated from 8 down to ?? (4? don't remember). She & her (older, more experienced) backup midwife realize he is posterior & has his head at a wierd angle -- now wedged into c/s scar & not moving. Baby is still fine, so we spend hours & hours trying to wiggle him out by having them shake me semi-violently while I am having contrax in different positions. Doesn't work. End up transfering to hosp. for a repeat c/s at 10pm on Friday. Am called a silly girl for "even trying" and told to just come straight to them next time.
This time: homebirth midwife who has no problem being laid back & super super patient. We do live very near a hospital so if I do rupture or something, we are close.
Sort of cheating here because I am too tired to write out my birth story (hospital birth center, CNM and doula, all natural, 18 hours, good experience), but I have a little tidbit for those who had less than desirable previous birth experiences.
An IRL friend of mine had a wicked experience with her first and is due with her second in a few weeks. She just had a session with a Birthing From Within instructor to talk about her first birth and came out of the session almost a new woman. Totally different perspective on what happened, no longer fearful of this upcoming birth, etc. Just a thought in case it helps anyone.
Let me add a vote for the Birthing from Within classes. That's what we did before DD's birth, and it very much prepared me to stay with the moment no matter what happened (and what happened was very unexpected and very fast). I emerged feeling so connected with my birth experience, and so did DH. The leader probably makes a difference - mine had 5 births, an emergency c/s, stillbirth, traditional hospital birth, home birth, and unassisted birth. She was so amazingly affirming of so many different birth possibilities, and so clear that it WILL NOT happen like you planned, LOL...