I posted this on the December 2003 board, but thought I'd put it up here too - for others to see... Here's a brief run down of my first five births.
I've given birth five times... All very different. Here goes...
First time I was an almost-20 y.o. I had a private obstetrician and went to the best private hospital in the city I lived in. I had a birth plan, read tons of books and had a fairly easy pregnancy - slight nausea, some spotting around 20 weeks etc.
I went to the Dr on my due date, and was given an internal. He said I should deliver within 2 days. I went to work for a couple of hours, had lunch with workmates and dh (we worked together for the later mths of my pregnancy, I was a student before then)... When I got home I had a show (first timers - that's the mucous plug from the cervix)...
Went to bed early for once and woke around 4am to go to the toilet. After emptying my bladder I went to bed, but noticed fluid leaking as I walked. Went back to the toilet, thinking it was incontinence (oh, my, I thought, what next?)... But then realised it must be amniotic fluid. It stopped so I went back to bed to snuggle dh (fiance then) and tell him baby would be here soon! With a gush, my waters broke (in bed). The pad I'd put in my knickers didn't help a bit!!
Dh was up, packing, wanting to call the hospital etc. I had a shower, washed my hair, packed my last items and THEN let him call maternity. They said to come right in so we did. It was near 7am then and I'd had a few twinges.
As we were being shown my room and heading to the labour room, my contractions started up fast and strong. They continued like that for a couple of hours, and I asked for pethidine when they became too much to handle. Little did I know I was in transition!! So, 10 minutes later I wanted to push - but all staff were on morning tea!? The enrolled nurse (does bedpans, cleaning up, makes beds etc) checked between my legs and saw bub's head "right there" - but told me not to move!
I was so wanting to push, but I panted through the contractions till a midwife came. He arrived (I had a male midwife!) and said I was ready to push (had gone from ? to 10cm in 15 minutes - he was amazed), BUT I had to wait for the Dr. I said I wouldn't, and started to push. Dr arrived when I'd been pushing for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes he wanted to do an episiotomy, I was tired from the pethidine and apparenty it was taking too long. I screamed NO and a few other choice words at him! I pushed bub out on the next contraction - a four hour labour in total. I got a few stitches and felt really sore for days (bruised and swollen). But I had a daughter - 7lb 11oz Brittany Jai.
1.5 yrs later I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks. It was the scariest, most horrible thing I've ever been through.
A year later, I was 38 weeks with our second daughter. My waters broke (again) but I stayed home to do some laundry, pack my bags again and clean up. I wanted to go to hospital when the contractions were starting. Nothing. By the afternoon I went to the hospital in to see what was going on. We'd moved and I was under the care of midwives and a public Dr. in a country hospital this time... I was only just dilated and having no contractions. I had to stay at the hospital due to risk of infection... Next day, still nothing - so they put a drip in my arm. I had a midwife attending me who "upped" the level of the drip too often and it was quite painful quite fast! After 2 hours I had pethidine, and again "automatically" dilated to 10cm - before the pain relief set in! I was ready to push, and two midwives delivered 6lb 7oz Imogen Ellie. The Dr walked on over after bub arrived to check how we were and give me stitches. The brusing etc were no where near as bad this time! Phew!
15 mths later I was 39+ weeks with our third daughter. I had a check-up and Dr thought bub was breech so ordered a type of x-ray to check her exact position (it wasn't u/s, it was different)... Sure enough, this bub who'd turned a few times in the later weeks of pregnancy had gotten herself stuck breech. Her feet were tucked behind her head, and her bottom was in my pelvis.
I had to choose between going to a city hospital and attempting a breech birth (which they painted a scary, dangerous picture of for me), or having a c-section on my due date, in a few days time. After much deliberating I chose the c-section (I had a 3 y.o. and a 15 mth old and they made the breech sound so dangerous - I just wanted a healthy bub and mum)...
So, the night before my due date I slept at the hospital and was prepped early in the morning for the 9am op. It was awful. I had a spinal block, so was awake but felt nothing. I found the atmosphere of the operating theatre terrifying and resenting having this happen since I had such easy births before. The c-section was hard to recover from, with 2 toddlers at home, but Abby Jade (born 7lb 11oz like Brit) was a delightful baby.
21 mths later I was due with my fourth baby. I was a VBAC "high risk" case this time, so when I had a few contractions at 39 weeks, 6 days I was admitted under observation... Boring!! It was my 25th birthday and I was annoyed at having everyone treat me like glass and boss me around - I had delivered babies before, I was young and healthy, I felt their concerns were unecessary. By night time nothing had happened, and I was to be sent to the city hospital for a c-section if the on & off (mild) contractions continued, because no doctors could do a c-section at our country hospital over the weekend (not enough staff there) and I was "high risk". I went to sleep feeling very upset and barely 1cm dilated. After 11pm I woke with a huge contraction. I was shocked and rolled over to have another one right away which also broke my waters with a gush!! I buzzed the midwife, who was busy as it was shift change time... She helped me change and I insisted my baby was about to be born. She didn't believe me of course, and we walked to the labour room. She looked and sure enough, I was 10cm and ready to push... She called dh and my Dr and both arrived just in time to see our first son, Bryce Abel, 8lb 9.5oz, arrive all blue and as surprised as mum!! He was fine, though I was in shock after a half-hour labour. Again I had stitches, but the swelling and bruising wasn't too bad, and it beat a c-section any day!
2 years, 10 mths later I had another baby, #5... My waters broke in bed (I'm good at that). It was late and as soon as mil arrived, we went to the hospital. I was having contractions and after Bryce's speedy arrival I was concerned I'd deliver at home or in the car!! The hospital is about 10 minutes away. When we arrived, I was hardly dilated and the contractions weren't regular so we slept there to see what would happen. I didn't actually sleep as I was too excited and the contractions were enough to distract me. by 8am or so I was exhausted and concerned about making it through labour being so tired. The Dr said I was 1cm and we could use a drip on the lowest dose. I am still always considered VBAC and am not supposed to be induced by their current rules. Since everything has stopped, I agreed. Right after the drip was in I started having real contractions. Just over an hour later I was ready to push! Lily Paige was born all tangled in the cord in the messiest birth ever - I was kneeling on a vinyl bean bag on the floor and couldn't move when the pushing urge came, so the midwives said to stay - ugh!!! It was a good position, but messy. She was 8lb 1oz and I had no stitches - hooray!
I am expecting #6. Now I know
a) what transition feels like - it isn't time to ask for pain relief!
b) kneeling on a bean bag is super comfy for contractions, but awful for birthing!
c) you never know WHAT to expect with having a baby....
I'd love to hear other birth stories, as would the first time mums (moms) especially, I am sure!