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Pregnancy Health Center - Labor and delivery

Search Health Information    Parents Tell Their Stories Of Their Delivery Day

Jennifer, 32 - 1st time Mom

What was going through your mind?

Yipe, I am finally going to have a baby. The 32+ years of waiting is coming to an end. My dream is coming true. Help... this is likely to hurt! Scared, I hope all is OK with the baby. A lot of different emotions, an up and down roller coaster!

Did you know what to expect or were you totally surprised?

I had read the books and done the classes but nothing can fully prepare you, as no two people are the same.

Did anything funny or unusual happen on your delivery day?

Funny... No.

Unusual, I was much calmer that I thought

How did you get through it?

Knowing that the end result would be my dream come true! They told me that within 24 hours of having my waters broken I would have a baby. It took me 23 hours! I just took it hour by hour.

The support of my husband and the nurses! I had a stress ball that I squeezed to death.

Was labor difficult? How long did it last?

I would not say I had a difficult labor until the last hour. I loved watching the monitor, seeing the heartbeat, etc. Watching the contractions 23 hours is a long time to be awake and giving birth - I was so tired by the end. Unfortunately I ended up with tearing very badly and ended up having to have two operations to fix it all. But at the end of the day I have my Dillon.

What was it like giving birth to a baby?

An amazing experience.

What advice would you give to an expecting mom about her delivery day?

You will get through it. The end result is worth all of it. Take each step one step at a time. Go with you gut instincts, it is your body!

Stacy, 31 - Birth of her 2nd child

What was going through your mind?

I remember thinking about my older son a lot during my second delivery. I kept wondering how he would be with his new brother, knowing very well how drastic his life would change. I spent a lot of time thinking about what the baby would look like... pretty shallow, I know!

Did you know what to expect or were you totally surprised?

I wasn't surprised. I was more calm with the second delivery because I deemed myself more of an expert by then! Everything went very smoothly on that day and I didn't have any surprises.

Did anything funny or unusual happen on your delivery day?

The fondest memory of that special day was when my older son came to the hospital and his aunt had picked him up from school and brought him to the store to buy the new baby a present. He comes walking through the door with the softest little stuffed animal that he could find and laid it on the bed next to the new baby. It was priceless.

In the delivery room, my husband had me in stitches during a contraction. He was joking around with me and it was so hard not to laugh! Since I was having a contraction, I wasn't able to fully laugh since my mind was obviously elsewhere!!

How did you get through it?

I knew going into this delivery that I wanted an epidural, so I didn't allow myself a lot of pain. As soon as I started to feel like it was enough, I asked for the epidural. During my first delivery, I struggled with whether or not I wanted pain medication and I remember the nurse saying something like all mothers get the same reward in the end, drugs or not! So, this time, I didn't struggle with it! I went in knowing that was my plan and asking for it as soon as I felt like I needed it.

My husband was all the support that I really needed. He didn't have to do or say anything. Just knowing that he was there, holding my hand -- that was enough for me.

Was labor difficult? How long did it last?

My labor wasn't difficult with this baby. My first contractions started at 10pm one night, but they were mild enough that I could sleep through them. We went to a scheduled OB appointment at 9am and we went to the hospital at 10am. My son was born at 2:51pm. So, if you count from the first contraction, it lasted about 17 hours. But I only pushed twice and the baby was born when I wasn't even pushing! That part was very quick.

What was it like giving birth to a baby?

It was very emotional, very draining. I can honestly say that if it hadn't been for the epidural, I would have been up and around an hour after the delivery. I felt great. I was in great spirits. I had a lot of energy by then. I was ready for anything!!

The unconditional love was immediate. It was amazing to me that I gave birth to a little something and that I would be in charge of formulating his life! What a rush to think about!!

What advice would you give to an expecting mom about her delivery day?

Be prepared for anything. Be organized and ready for the unexpected. I stressed about what I would do with my older son if I were in labor in the middle of the night. In that case, you have to have plans in place in the event that older children are involved.

Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. I was so stubborn on that day that I didn't want to tell the nurse that the IV that she put in my hand was killing me! It hurt so badly and it was in for the whole day, but I didn't want to tell her about it because I didn't want to seem like a nag!! How pitiful was that? Instead, I endured unnecessary pain because I didn't want to impose on that nurse!!

Things happen so quickly that day. Remember everything!! Write things down. Your child will want to know about the day that he was born!!!

Leslie, 29 - 1st time Mom

What was going through your mind?

Well, when my water first broke, I was so excited. My heart just raced thinking the baby would be born soon. I was completely ready to have him. I never once remember being scared.

Did you know what to expect or were you totally surprised?

I knew everything to expect, and even though labor was painful, I was amazed at the whole process (and still am).

Did anything funny or unusual happen on your delivery day?

Does telling my parents to "LEAVE NOW" count?

How did you get through it?

My husband was very supportive. Trying to relax also helped, but I would say the epidural saved the day! I think staying focused on the process helps if you have a normal labor time, but that's hard to do when you're in labor as long as I was (longer than 12 hours).

Was labor difficult? How long did it last?

Initially labor wasn't bad (when the water broke), and it wasn't too bad up until I was dilated 6-8 cm. After that, the pain is absolutely indescribable. It hurt to the core of my bones. My body was shaking with every contraction. I wasn't going to use an epidural, but after 4-5 agonizing hours I finally begged for it. From the time my water broke to actual delivery was 22 hours and 15 minutes.

What was it like giving birth to a baby?

Giving birth with an epidural wasn't that bad. I guess the only thing is that I couldn't seem to push as hard as I needed to because of the epidural. The baby had a hard time coming out, so they had to use the vacuum. Once he started coming out, it was like he just slipped out.

What advice would you give to an expecting mom about her delivery day?

Don't try to be a martyr for the natural childbirth cause. Try to relax, stay focused, and BREATHE (it really does work!)!!!

Greg, 36 - 1st time Dad

I flew out to a conference in Chicago two weeks before my wife's due date. The night before the conference was to begin, I sat in the hotel restaurant with some other people talking about the upcoming birth of my son. One of the women I was dining with began encouraging me to go home. She kept saying, "What if it happens while you are gone?" The more she said this, the more anxious I became. I began to feel this sense of immense distance between Chicago and Atlanta -- if my wife went into labor, it was possible I wouldn't get back in time. I pictured myself waiting for a plane to board while my wife was in another city delivering my first child. I called my wife, but she had just seen the doctor, and he said it wouldn't happen anytime soon.

When I woke up the next morning, though, I was so tense and full of anxiety that I raced to the airport instead of going to the conference. It was a long day getting back to Atlanta, with flight delays and other hassles. I was out of touch with my wife the whole day, and she didn't know I was coming back. I was so uptight by the time I was off the plane that I almost ran to my car in the airport parking lot. I called my wife on my cell phone. When she answered the phone, she seemed very baffled to learn I was back in Atlanta. "Why'd you do that?" she asked.

I was just relieved to be back in the general vicinity. No way was I going to miss the birth of my first born! I didn't care if it was a month away--I wasn't going out of town again until it happened.

I got home about 7pm, and went to sleep about 10pm. My wife woke me up an hour later and said her water had broken. We left for the hospital that night, and our son was born the next day.

This just goes to show that there's no way to tell for certain when it is going to happen.




Review Date: 12/9/2012
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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