I have three children and have experienced some extremes in labour and delivery.
My first child, Jaisha, was born in a hospital after 36 hours of labour, three weeks of back pain, and with the help of an epidural and forceps. The cord was wound around her neck and she was posterior. All in all a pretty miserable experience. My second child was born after one and a half hours of labour, and that included trying to slow it down. Of course there was no time for any drugs!
When I announced that I was pregnant with our third, my husband informed me there was no way he was driving 90 miles an hour to the hospital, which is about 40 minutes away from our house.
With that in mind we found a midwife who would deliver at home. The pregnancy itself was smooth sailing, until I hit six months and got the chickenpox. This spelled the worst pain I have ever experienced - worse than labour! After that everything was great.
About five weeks before the birth, I begun to dilate all the way to 5 cm. Then nothing happened. When I was two weeks overdue I started to think I'd never have the baby and was convinced I would have to be induced at my next appointment, which would place me at 18 days beyond my due date.
The day before my appointment I woke up with indigestion, which is pretty normal for me when I'm pregnant. For the next hour or so, I tried to decide whether or not I should get up and have a glass of milk, when all of a sudden the first contraction hit. Seven minutes later the next one arrived, followed by yet another one four minutes later. At this point I woke my husband and told him to call the midwife. We guessed I had about an hour to go.
While the midwife was on her way, the contractions quickly went to one minute apart, to practically no spacing in between. One would barely stop before the next one hit. Then my water broke, which, with my second, had meant that the head was right there.
My husband looked and said: "Oh my God, you have to push!"
With one push Aidan James was born, 25 minutes after the first contraction. The midwife arrived 10 minutes later.
This is one story my husband will always love to tell!