Labor and Birth

Giving birth is the most momentous part of pregnancy, and involves a lot of hard work, energy, and emotion. Whether you opted for natural childbirth or an epidural, tell us how your pregnancy progressed. Did you give birth at home or in hospital? Was it complication-free or was baby a little more stubborn? And, of course, how does it feel to have a new addition to your family? Help other women prepare for their birthing experience by telling us your story

And feel free to mention details of your baby's life like the type of baby bedding sets you chose for your nursery.

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Well I was 19 and had no idea I was pregnant. There was a lot going on at the time as my dad died in march, but on April 1st I went to the doctors because I thought I had something wrong with me, so he did some blood tests and it turned out I was pregnant.

I was scared but also excited; I was 12 weeks by then. Everything was fine through my pregnancy until I was 36 weeks and my baby went to a breech, we tried to get him turned but it didn't work, so we had a c-section.

I didn’t think I’d have one but things happen you can’t change, so on October 5th my son Rylan was born at 8:46am. It was such a miracle baby I couldn't believe it. Rylan Paul is his name.

A c-section isn't that scary. I was perfectly fine.


I did it & so can you! Natural Childbirth

I did a lot of research; I knew giving birth naturally was the best choice for me and my baby. But would I have the courage to go through with it? How painful was it, really? How could I stack the odds in my favor? I was 28 years old; I have always been healthy and strong, but I was definitely not an athlete and was a few pounds overweight. My genes were against me: my mother was always overdue and had long complicated labors that resulted in cesareans.

I chose to birth in a hospital with a low intervention and cesarean rate. My husband and I took Bradley Childbirth classes. We hired a doula. I followed the Brewer's Diet (high protein). I walked every day of my pregnancy. I kept working up until the day I went into labor (I have a desk job so I don't think this helped me physically; but it definitely kept me distracted!). With my mom's history, I was worried about being overdue and having the "induction" conversations with my practitioners, so starting a week before my due date we started the natural induction methods: walking, nipple stimulation, acupressure, sex.

I was due 8/22. On Friday 8/18 I had some bloody show in the morning and back pain that was really quite mild, like menstrual cramps. I am not being stoic; it was not bad at all! I finished out the day at work and went home.

My husband and I were eating dinner (Thai food) when I stood up and my water broke. It really wasn’t much so I wasn’t sure if it was the real thing or not. I called our doula and told her it was about 1/4cup of fluid. She said "That's enough!" And right then I had a very intense contraction, similar to what I had been having all day but multiplied by 5 or so. My husband started timing and the contractions were every 2-3 minutes but only 45 seconds in length. Our doula agreed to come to the house but after several more of the contractions, my limbs started tensing up during them and they began to get less bearable. I had several more that were a minute long but they were not consistent. I figured I had another 12 hours or so to go and didn’t want to go to the hospital too early. My husband was afraid he would have to carry me to the car if he waited any longer!

We went in about 10pm and met the doula there. We were quite a sight walking into the hospital because I insisted on walking the entire way to Labor & Delivery; I just had to stand and brace myself against a wall every few minutes. Several people offered us a wheelchair and I refused. After the car ride, standing felt good!

We checked in and I was at 4 centimeters. I was kind of disappointed by this but again figured I had a whole day to go. Baby's head was at station 2. One of the L&D nurses went to our church and was so excited that we were there on her shift. I told her I wasn't sure if we would have the baby by the time she went home (7am) and she said "oh yes you are!" I mostly had back labor and needed the doula or my husband to have their fists in my back constantly, even in-between contractions. I labored in the birthing tub for about an hour in the all-fours position with them pouring warm water over me. That felt good. I learned that I am very vocal; quite the moaner! Surprising what you learn about yourself during birth. At 1:30am I started shaking and felt restless; I had to get up and walk around. I was losing my composure and asked for an epidural twice. I felt panicked; like I just couldn’t do it any longer.

From my excellent Bradley training, I knew somewhere deep down that I was just in transition. The doula asked the midwife to check me; I was at 8 centimeters! Almost immediately after that I had an overwhelming urge to push but I was urged not to because I wasn't fully dialated. That was awful. The midwife asked that I go through 5 more contractions and then she would check me again…that seemed like an eternity. My husband says it was only 15 minutes. Thankfully by 2am I was at 10. I thought that would be the “relief” stage of birth but I have to be honest I thought it was almost more painful than the contractions, especially because the harder you push, the more it hurts!

I screamed during each contraction/push, it seemed the only way to really bear down at that point. Did I mention I was vocal? I was very concerned about disturbing the concentration of the laboring women in the other rooms, but not enough to stop. :) Anyway, I pushed for 25 minutes and the baby was born at 2:29am. My husband was in awe to see the head emerge. The midwife asked me to reach down and touch the head as it was crowning. The coolest thing was that after the midwife delivered the head and the shoulders, she asked me to reach over and pull out "my" baby! It was awesome. I put baby on my stomach and stared amazed at the life that had just come from me. We were so awestruck that we still didn’t know what the sex was and the nurses had to remind us to turn baby over. It was a girl! Rachel Sidney. All in all, it was a great, short, complication-free birth.

I wish the best to all of you women out there who will undertake this journey. It is overwhelming and beautiful. Best wishes for a safe and wonderful birth!


Quick and easy

I was 17 when I got pregnant with my daughter Jayde. I was due on April 7th, 2005. It was the easiest pregnancy ever! I never got morning sickness, no complications, no stretch marks=], NOTHING! I started going to my weekly appointments at 35 weeks. At 35 weeks I was 2 cm. Then I stayed at 2cm for 3 weeks. Then on Wednesday March 23 I was 38 weeks and 3 cm and 90% effaced. The Dr. said I would probably go into labor in the next few days!

Well! My fiancée was out of state on business. He wasn't due back for another week! I told him what the Dr. said and he said he would try his hardest to get back but didn't think he would. Well he called me the next day and said he will be coming back on Friday at 9pm but had to leave again Sunday if nothing happened. So all day Friday I walked and walked and walked until he got here. I was determined to have the baby before he had to leave again. Well Sat. morning I woke up at 6:30am because I was having a dream that I was on my period and leaking. Well, it was actually my water leaking. So I rolled from my side to my back and GUSH! It all just flooded my bed. I stood up out of bed and it was still coming. So I woke my fiancée up and told him and he jumped up and grabbed my things and we headed out. I didn't feel anything all the way to the hospital. Then we get to the parking garage and I see that the one doctor (I have 4) I did not want to deliver me was the one on call! I was angry.

We got there, and they put me into triage and checked to make sure it was really amniotic fluid. Well I was then 4cm and they used a strip to test if it was my water and the nurse said, "No it wasn't. You probably just wet yourself!" I said, "No this was not pee, check again!" So then she used this spoon thing and that confirmed it WAS amniotic fluid! So then they have me walk to my room, still no pain.

Then as soon as I lay down on the bed the contractions came on full force. It was 7am by now. And I never had a break in between contractions. And the nurses didn't realize how fast I was progressing because the monitors were not placed correctly. So I was asking for an epidural. So at 8am, when the Dr. came they made my fiancée get out for the epidural. They told me to sit up so they could give it to me, but I could barely sit up, I was practically crippled from the contractions. But once I sat up I felt like I was sitting on a ball. So I told the nurse "I think she's coming". Then right after I said that my body just started pushing all on its own. I wasn't even trying. And I was making these horrid grunting noises, which made my fiancée, come running in. The epidural Dr. said its too late, and no epidural for me! So they had me lay back so they can check me. And the nurse is all "Oh my god the head is right here!". All the nurses scrambled to find the Dr. to deliver. Then he comes running in with a plate of pancakes (he was just starting to eat breakfast). He sits down and gives me an episiotomy and 2 big pushes and she was out. 1 minute later placenta was out.

I delivered Jayde Marie at 8:12am on March 26, 2005. 6lbs. 13oz and 20 in long. She was pretty much perfect except she had a little case of Jaundice. Oh and I had prayed and prayed for a baby with tons of hair and a cute little round head, guess what, that's exactly what I got!

So I had the perfect pregnancy and delivery. 1hr and 45 min labor from start to finish and NO EPIDURAL!

Well I am currently trying for my 2nd child, and my Dr. said that my fiancée needs to take a class on emergency deliveries because more than likely I will not make it to the hospital with as fast as I went the first time!


emma grace

When I got pregnant, me and my husband were both a little scared. I was only 21 and he 24. I worried throughout my entire pregnancy, thinking I had every disease and complication in the book. Needless to say, everything went smoothly. The only mar was that my baby girl did not want to come. At 40 weeks I begged the doctors to induce me. At 41 weeks they finally relented and I arrived at the hospital on a cold Thursday afternoon.

At 6:30 that night I was given cervidel to soften my cervix. It worked a little too well and actually started contractions, so they took me off that. At 6:30 Friday morning I was given my first dose of poticin and thirty minutes later I was given an epidural. At 9:00 I was 2 cm and my water was broken. I was feeling good with no pain. At noon I was 3.5 cm. At 3 I was 8 cm and was starting to feel sort of weird. 4:30 I was 10 cm and the nurses said I could begin to push. Then another nurse rushed in saying I had a temperature of 102. I was put on antibiotics for an hour. The contractions were really rough by then. They were coming back to back with no relief. I also had a tremendous urge to push, but they wouldn't let me.

Finally the doc arrived and I began pushing. That's when they realized that she was sideways and refused to budge. The doctor first used the vacuum, but it kept sliding off her head. She finally had to use the forceps. It didn't hurt me, but I could hear my mom freaking out behind me. Emma finally emerged after an hour and a half of pushing at a whooping 8 lbs 4 oz. A week before they had said she was 6 lbs!! I had to be cut and I also had a 2 degree tear, but it was all worth it to see my chubby little girl!


My Girl (a long story)

January 2006, time for my Birthday. This was my 21st birthday & I had been looking forward to this day for as long as I had remembered. My boyfriend and I went to eat with another couple instead of going out with my parents like we had planned. My boyfriend, Wes, had said that our friends really wanted to take me out so I went home showered and met everyone at Wes' house.

We left and went to the restaurant where we laughed and had a great time stuffing ourselves. I was so stuffed and ready to go home when Wes' cousin (our waitress) came to me asking me what type of dessert I wanted. I really was not hungry but everyone insisted that I get something. "It's your birthday" they all said. So I gave in and got a chocolate cake.

When our waitress brought out the cake I started to laugh hysterically...I saw this bright shining thing sitting in the strawberry on my cake. That is when Wes got down on his knees and proceeded to ask me what I was doing for the rest of my life and would I spend it with him. Of course I said yes. I began planning my dream wedding the very next day, after I showed of my beautiful ring and my romantic story.

Fast forward one month, I had my wedding almost planned out perfectly I was so wrapped up in that fairy tale that I had not noticed that I missed my period for February. When March 2 rolled around I began to get worried. I dug out a pregnancy test that we had from a previous scare and called Wes. I asked Wes if he wanted me to go ahead and take the test or wait until he stopped by my house after work. He said to go ahead and take it and then we hung up. I sat there reading the box over and over so I would not make a mistake; I mean I had only done this once before. So it was time I could not put it off any more. I did my thing and then the test made a plus sign almost immediately. Oh I was pregnant.

I started to cry and I proceeded to called Wes. When he answered, I could not get any words out, he kept saying hello, hello, and hello, and finally I was able to at least get a cry out. Then I just began to cry uncontrollably and Wes' asked "Randi, are you pregnant?" All I could do was cry and Wes' began to laugh, he was so excited. We went to the doctor and they confirmed it: yes, I was pregnant and 6 weeks at that (I got pregnant on my birthday). Our due date was November 7, 2006.

Time went by and I began to accept that I was pregnant. We moved our wedding up from October to April and it was just as beautiful as I had planned. Until about May I had all day sickness where I just could not hold anything down. In July we went to the doctor and found out we were having a little girl. The first thing Wes said to me was "Oh she's going to date!!!!" That was the cutest thing ever. Everything was going great. When September rolled around I over analyzed every feeling in my stomach and every ache I had thinking I was going into labor. Remember this was my first baby and I had no clue what contractions were like. Now I know that they are nothing like any of the books said...but I definitely knew when they were real.

Since September I had my bags packed and in the car along with the car seat and stroller. On Wednesday October 25th I went to the doctor and he striped my membranes to get labor started. He predicted that I would have this baby within a week. I took my maternity leave that day and sat around the house just waiting. My husband had people dropping by to check on me and he called every hour. My dad called every evening if not also during his lunch, to check on us. I lost my mucus plug a day or so after my doctor's appointment. I just knew that it was time. But no baby.

That weekend my mother, brother, his girlfriend and I all went the new mall by my house and did some walking in hopes of me going into labor. But nothing. In fact, I kept up with everyone despite my 40 extra lbs. We had a great day but nothing. I was disappointed on Halloween when I woke up and nothing. Wes' and I proceeded to get dressed and go run errands. We planned on spending the day together because it was not often we were off work the same hours. We went to the mall and looked at some Christmas things and had lunch and proceed to head to the doctor for my weekly check up.

When we got there the doctor checked me and said that I was 2cm & 60% effaced. She asked if I wanted to schedule an induction since the baby was big. I screamed YES YES YES...I was at first against it because I wanted to experience going into labor and I was afraid of the stories I had heard of labors being more intense when they are induced. But I was so ready to meet my baby and not be pregnant any more and also to have my mother go back home (ha-ha). My mother came down 2 days after my last appointment so she would be with us for the birth. She lives 9 hours away and was afraid that she would miss the birth.

So it was Tuesday October 31, 2006 and we scheduled to induce labor Thursday November 2, 2006. We called all our family and told them that we were going to go into the hospital at 6am and they could come up there whenever they like. We went home and laid in bed, Wes' had to get some sleep because he was working night shifts at the time. It was 4:30 or so and we fell right to sleep but I woke up around 7:20. I felt like I was getting a bladder infection but the thought popped in my mind, maybe these pains are labor pains so I jumped in the tub to see if the warm water made them go away. I got out of the tub after an hour and the pains were still there. I was not convinced I was in labor so I lay down and tried to go back to sleep. The pains were becoming different and very painful.

At 9pm when I was supposed to wake Wes up to go to work I decided that I would let him sleep a little longer. At 920pm I started watching the clock & jotting down the times when the pains were coming. I was now in tears but not convinced I was in labor. At 10:15 I woke Wes up crying and asked him to please sit with me while I was watching the clock. I told him that we might want to call the doctor and see what to do. I went to the bathroom and my mother who was asleep downstairs on the couch heard me crying and yelled to me asking me if I was okay.

I told her no and she jumped up (she later told me that she thought that Wes had hurt my feelings) and asked me what was wrong. I kept crying and I was a bit hesitant to call the doctor because I did not want to bother her if I was not really in labor. But Wes had me call. They had the nurse call me and she determined that we needed to come in since I had contractions 5 -7 minutes apart for an hour and each were lasting about 1 minute.

We jumped in the car and started on our 15 minute journey to the hospital. We got there and went to a pre-labor room so they could check my "contractions" and determine if I was really in labor. They had me go to the bathroom and had me change into a gown. As soon as I got in there I felt a bit of water and noticed that my socks were wet. I climbed into bed and felt a gush and warm water (like I was peeing) came running out. I said to the nurse that I thought my water had just broken. She put monitors on my tummy and then checked swabbed me with a test that would determine if my water had broke and it certainly had and yes those pains they were real contractions. My nurse said that I was now 3cm 80% effaced.

They were now taking me to the labor and delivery suite. When Wes and I got settled we called my mother who had already called my dad who was with her by this time; they were about to head to the hospital. Wes called his family and told them what was going on. I got an epidural and began to feel much better; I was even able to get about an hour or two hours of sleep. Then my epidural began to wear off, I could feel everything on my left side so I had another one. I was very happy. Finally I made it to 10cm and 100% effaced and it was time to push.

I had been in the hospital for 10hours and I was ready for this to be over. We pushed and pushed the baby kept going forward and then backwards. I was not making much progress. Then I began to have a great backache. It was so awful. I began to plead that I just could not do this. I had been pushing for 4 hours when the nurse had the doctor come in and take a look. She said that it was time to have a baby, and people began to come from out of nowhere getting stuff out of every cabinet in the room. The doctor then asked me if I wanted to try forceps or go for a c-section.

I opted for the forceps and right as she was pulling them out to begin; Wes walks in from his hourly report to the waiting room. He rushed to my side and we began to push once again. Wes was very helpful and encouraging. He kept looking down with the doctor and then looking back at me and telling me "great job, she's coming, keep it up, your doing it" and finally I lost control of everything. I started shaking and screaming and crying and the next thing I knew, I was a mother and my strong husband was crying like a baby and kissing me. He ran over to our baby girl asked if she was okay and with a "yes she's great" from the nurse he walked to my side and stayed with me while the doctor finished with me.

I was lucky I had one small tear that required two stitches. My mother was out in the hall, I could hear her trying to come in but I had asked the nurses not to let anyone in until the doctor was finished and everything was cleaned up, there were too many people in there anyway. I gave Wes the okay and he went to the waiting area to give everyone the great news. On November 1, 2006 we had a 7lb9oz 20inches long beautiful baby girl. She is 6weeks and 6days today and she is so wonderful. I love being a mother and Wes is such a wonderful father. I will never forget this experience and I encourage others to video most of the experience as we did, we have enjoyed watching our reactions to the whole process.


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