After reading all the wonderful birth stories I had to add mine. I think mine show how much procedures can change over a ten-year span and how, when you are insistent enough you can get the birth you wanted.
My first child was born in 1992. I had a horrible pregnancy (morning sickness with eight weeks of bedrest). My doctor and I disagreed on due dates and I left the doctor's office one day in tears after telling him that I was two weeks overdue and him telling me that I wasn't. Anyway, I went into labor at 2 a.m. two days later.
I went to the hospital at 5 a.m. when the contractions were five minutes apart. The midwives were wonderful. On doctor's orders though, I wasn't allowed off the bed or any pethadine! They called the doctor to deliver me and he appeared all gowned up in green surgical gowns, but my son wasn't quite ready yet and after a lot of pushing (and apologizing from the midwives to the doctor for calling him in too early), it was decided that they needed to use forceps.
I was given an episiotomy (no local) and my son, Jason Mark, was born at midnight, weighing a healthy eight pounds. The doctor was heard to say, "Oh, he was well overdue". I had 'thousands' of stitches. Now I don't mean for this to sound like a horror story but just an example of what can happen when you don't speak up, stamp your feet and yell about what you want to do and how you want things done. That doctor has since retired.
My second pregnancy was in 1997 and as you can imagine I decided not to let my previous experience be revisited! I changed doctors to one that "didn't care if I stood on my head as long as I was happy". The pregnancy was a breeze and I decided it had to be a girl because of the huge difference from the first pregnancy.
Two days before my due date I was sent for a scan and it was found that the placenta was starting to calcify, so it was time for my baby to be born. I was booked in for an induction the next day.
I went into the hospital that morning at 7 a.m. The doctor said I was already 4 cm. dilated (not a twinge) and decided to just break my waters, which he did at 8 a.m. I had my first contraction half an hour later, and was in full swearing stage by 9 a.m. My mother was wonderful. She gave me the excellent strategy of concentrating on NOT squeezing her hand, it worked wonders!
By 9:15 a.m., the midwife decided I was serious and moved me to the birthing room and gave me a shot of pethadine at 9:45 a.m. She then checked my dilation and said, "Hello Baby's head!" and phoned the doctor who was heard on the phone to say, "What, already?"
He was there within 10 minutes, donned his gloves and apron and said, "Let's go!"
What a difference!
Baby decided that now was the time and after two pushes my daughter, Alicia Christine, was born at 10:08 a.m. weighing seven pounds, four ounces. One hour and thirty eight minutes labor - way to go!!
My third baby was born last year. I had another horror pregnancy so it had to be a boy!! This time, however, I didn't seem to be as big as the last two, so the doctors kept a close eye on me and I had regular scans. At 37 weeks I was sent for a scan and was told that the amniotic fluid was dangerously low and that it might be time to induce me.
An internal exam revealed that I was 4 c.m. dilated already! I was booked in for the next day.
I arrived at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. My partner and I were settled into my room and then at 8 a.m., taken around to the birthing rooms to get the show on the road. I joked to the midwife about my previous labor being quick and how she better be a good catch! Little did I know what to expect. The midwife broke my waters at 8:20 a.m. and then we began the wait. I walked and walked and even had a dance! Nothing - not a twinge! I was checked again and was found to be 5 cm. dilated.
At this stage the midwife decided it was drip time -- ugh. So the drip was inserted and once again we began the wait - nothing!! By this stage, 11:15 a.m., the midwife apologized and told me that she was going to have to up the drip and strap the monitor belts on -- with me bedridden! Good-bye plan!
She upped the drip and bingo… the first contraction arrived! By then I was 6 cm. and starting to think my baby was finally on it's way! By 12 noon, I was still at 6 cm. and having good, strong contractions. I looked at the clock at 12:20, and then everything went into overdrive. I was still at 6 cm. but the contractions were almost on top of each other. I remember the midwife turning the monitor away from me and telling my partner that if she said to, to push the red button on the wall. Then I withdrew into myself to concentrate on my partner's voice and each contraction.
I could feel the baby moving down and then there were three voices yelling at me not to push! The thing was, I wasn't!! They then attached an internal monitor to the top of the baby's head. Before I knew it the head had crowned and I was told to push gently once, and sure enough my son, Hadan James was born at 12:28 p.m. weighing six pounds, thirteen ounces and three weeks early. What was that I said earlier about the midwife being a good catch?
After things settled down I was told that each time I had a contraction, my son's heartbeat had stopped, hence the red button instructions. The upshot of my story is that I went from 6 cm. dilation to my son being on my chest, all within eight minutes! I had no control, my body just took over and got my son out as soon as it could because he was in trouble. Mother Nature is a wonderful thing!
My children are now ten and six years old, and thirteen weeks old. I have learned that no matter how much you plan, Mother Nature is in total control. That and the fact that I have the worst ailments when I am having a boy and nothing when I have a girl! Apart from that, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.