12 hours with my first. It probably would have been faster but I was afraid to have my water broken. I got an epidural after I was a 10. Probably a silly choice in retrospect, but I was afraid.
My second baby was 4 hours and drug free. It's not until afterwards you realize you are capable of a drug free birth cuz it sure doesn't feel like it whilyou're going through it. His birth was stressful though due to his size. I had a really really difficult time making progress. The biggest difference between the two births however was afterwards. I think I went into shock. I was a wreck, shaking, trembling, crying. I didnt even want my baby which was so strange! I was a mess. After about 4 or 5 hours I started to feel better. Those hours were actually harder than the birth.
Baby #3 due July 6 2013
DD1- SROM, 5 hours of labor and made it to 8cm in that time, when they discovered she was breech and off to csection.
DD2- 2 hour VBAC labor start to finish, membranes ruptured during pushing. Honestly, the first hour was so easy I didn't even believe I was in labor even though I was contracting every minute and a half. It was fast and intense, but not painful. I used hypnobabies leading up to this birth And 100% no drugs during delivery.
my first birth, he was posterior. labored for 20 hrs and got to 6cm. contractions weren't painful, but i was physically and mentally exhausted. got an epidural, they broke my water, and he was born 3 hrs later...so almost 24 hrs total. OB reached in and turned him as he was descending, so he wasn't born face up.
my second birth, again, she was posterior. prodromal labor got me to 4cm over the course of 2 weeks. active labor was started with pitocin. after 2 hrs, i had only progressed to 5cm. MW broke my water, things got REALLY intense and fast, pitocin was turned off, and within 1.5 hr, i had progressed from 5cm to 9cm. but i was stuck at 9cm for another hour...i think because she was posterior. i literally felt her rotate to anterior as she was descending, and then i was 10cm and pushing (they never checked me to tell me i was 10cm and could push, i just knew and they didn't stop me). so, she wasn't born face up either, and things went so much faster overall, that i didn't ask for an epi. it was 6hrs total, and only the last 2-3 hrs of that was intense or uncomfortable. i was also better prepared for a drug-free birth because of hypnobabies.
i think when your water breaks makes a big difference. it speeds things up but also takes away the cushion which greatly intensifies the sensation of each contraction...in my experience, anyway. i am hoping if i give birth again, i can avoid AROM and see what happens. both times, when the OB or MW has been breaking my water, they have had to really work hard to puncture the sack...both times they commented on how thick and sturdy my bag of waters is. not sure when it would break on its own! but it sure does help absorb the impact of each contraction.
DS Asher born 11/29/09
DD Clara born 3/9/12
My first birth was the most challenging, but it wasn't really bad or anything. He was born in a hospital, I had AROM at 39 weeks because I was 6 cm dilated with a bulging bag of water and we were preparing to evacuate for a hurricane. I didn't have any other interventions after the AROM, he was born after about 9 hours of labor, 8 lb 3 oz (my smallest baby). I did have to constantly refuse interventions (IVs, monitoring, offers of pain meds, etc.) but it wasn't bad as a first birth. I did have a good-sized tear because I pushed when I was complete and they told me to push, instead of listening to my body and waiting until I was ready.
#2 and #3 were nearly identical labors. Two hours from 1st contraction to baby, labored in water for DD1 but birthed on land, labored and birthed in water for DD2 (both at home), no vaginal exams or monitoring, fetal ejection reflex with less than 5 minutes of pushing each time. DD1 was 10 lbs and I just had a slight skid mark that didn't need any stitches, DD2 was 9 lb 9 oz. #4 was a whirlwind, less than 30 minutes of labor from first contraction to baby, born unassisted at home, 9 lb 8 oz.
Sonja ~ Chaotic mama to DS1 (9/04), DD1 (HB 7/06), DD2 (HB 7/08 ) & DS2 (UC 6/10)
My 1st and 3rd births were similar to each other (the difference being my level of preparation and my caregivers/place of birth)--both had ROM long before the onset of active labor, probably a positioning issue both times (DD1 was posterior in early labor, and DD2 was oblique, and not well engaged, having floated up to transverse and back again less than 2 weeks before). My second birth was my smoothest (water broke at 9+ cm) and shortest overall, (11 hours, start to finish)