All of my babies were born au naturale... well, sort of. Robby (my first) was born at a birth center, and it was a horrible experience. First the midwife didn't get my page (at 11pm, when she KNEW I was in labor), so I had to go to the hospital, where they made me change and pee in a cup. Then my midwife showed up, checked me, and I was 8 cm (and very much in transition). So then she asked me if I wanted to go back to the birth center. Of course I said yes, but was hoping she wasn't going to give me that choice at that point.
So we went back, and when I got in and sat on the bed, she told me to start pushing, even thought I wasn't yet complete. Then I asked her to break my water, and she said that wasn't necessary. So I started pushing, and POP went my water, all over the place. Then Robby's head slammed into my not-complete cervix, with the combined pressure of a contraction, pushing, and floodgates opening, and his cord got pinched and his heart-rate dropped to 60 bpm.
So now everyone's panicking, they tell me I have to get him out NOW, so they drag me off the bed and put me in a squat on the floor and tell me to push as hard as I can. [Needless to say I had hemorrhoids for 8 months after that.] But then his heart-rate came back up and things were calmer. But all-in all, I pushed for over an hour, and my hips cramped when his head was half-way out, but I couldn't close my legs!! And it hurt like a mutha, and my dear son came out with his hand by his face, which caused a nice tear. He wasn't breathing at first, cuz he had "juicy" lungs, and then had to go to the NICU for 2 days, so we ended up back at the hospital anyway!!! AHHHHH!
My twins' birth, on the other hand, was much more peaceful. I really got lucky with them. My water broke at 9am on a Thursday morning (at 36 weeks), but I wasn't feeling any contractions, other than B-H ones. But since I was high risk, I was going to the hospital to be monitored, and they wanted me there around noon. So we went, and my midwife said she'd check in around 5pm. Still, all afternoon, the contractions were minimal, hubby and I were taking walks around the duck pond outside, and things were fine. So 5pm comes around and my midwife checks me, and I'm already 6cm! Totally painless!
Then they make me have an epidural, but I don't let them dose it becasue I want to be able to walk (they made me get one placed in case of an emergency C-section). But when she checks me again an hour later and there's no change, she says my contractions aren't strong enough so she's going to start the pitocin. ugh. So they let the pitocin do it's job for several more hours, and still, at this point, it's really like mild, early labor contractions.
They check me again and say there's still no change, we think their heads are lodged together, we are going to have to do a C-section. And I'm dissapointed and pissed and I say, "fine, but I'm going to pee first". When I got up to pee, I felt some weird dropping feeling, and all of a sudden the contractions are hard and fast. But I manage to go pee (and have like 5 contractions!), but on the way back to the bed I start to faint, and apparently I also said "I'm dying, I'm dying!" They took my blood pressure (it was 90/40!), and my midwife went to check me again (mid-contraction - ouch!) and she says "she's complete."
So then it's a lot of chaos, phone calls to the O.R. "we're ready for the twins!", people coming in and throwing yellow paper gowns at my mom and Drew, and then they are rolling my bed out the door and into the hallway, and my eyes have rolled back into my head and I'm chanting "epidural-epidural-epidural" with every contraction. My midwife is yelling "can we get anesthesia over here, please?!?!" Apparently, I had changed my mind about not having pain relief, as the memories of Robby's birth had come flooding back the moment Devin's head dropped and I hit transition.
So now we are in the O.R. (I had to deliver there, just in case), and they actually expected me to climb off my bed and onto the table. Somehow, I did it. And I can't start pushing cuz the Dr.s not there yet. grrr... and then the anesthesiologist finally gets there and shoots my catheter up with the meds. I ask "how long does this take to kick in?" and they say, "oh, only about 10-15 minutes." and that's when I start to cry, cuz I KNOW that Devin isn't going to wait that long.
And she didn't. The minute the doctor walked in I started pushing, and about 5 pushes later, Devin came out, 4 pounds, 10 oz. Her cord was wrapped aroung her neck twice, though, strangling her to the point that her tongue was sticking out, and of course, she wasn't breathing. So I didn't get to hold her, she went straight to the isolette where they intibated her.
I am panting and relieved, but then I say "That epidural didn't work for shit!" Yes, right there in front of God and all 13 hospital employees, and my Catholic doctor. heehee. Meanwhile, they are doing an ultrasound on me to make sure Kieran has fallen into the right position when Devin came out. I remember feeling relieved that Devin was out, and then realizing that I was STILL pregnant, and that I was about to have to do it all over again!
So the doctor sticks the vacuum in me, since Kieran was bigger than Devin, my cervix wasn't dilated enough for him, and apparently my doctor was in a hurry to get out of there. So he pulls Kieran through my cervix, and then tells me to start pushing again. Again, about 5 pushes later, comes Kieran, screaming and cheesy, 5 pounds, 10 oz.
So, the epidural NEVER did kick in. Not even after they were both out. I was up and walking about 20 minutes later. So, I have had three children vaginally with no pain relief. Even though it wasn't planned that way. And now I'm wondering why the hell I'm having a home-birth this time instead of a nice druggy hospital birth!