I thought it may be helpful to share my birthin' experiences. I've only had two (that I know of) and I'll try to keep the graphics and horror to a minimum.
I was 42 weeks pregnant with my first son when my doctor decided it may be worth inducing me. Frankly, I think it was because her waiting room wouldn't hold me anymore and she was sick of my whining. So I waddled into the hospital all ready to give birth with my extra pillow and overnight bag.
First thing they did was give me a foley induction which is inserting a small balloon into your cervix to get the party started. It's about as pleasant as it sounds and, to my surprise, I was sent home after being told that if it falls out, it's a good thing. Er, okay. Well, it didn't fall out so I shuffled in the next day all ready for step two.
Step two was having my water broken by satan. Yes, he was satan. He was old, mean and seemed like something out of a bad Grey's Anatomy episode. Now, many women I have spoken to said that this didn't hurt at all so don't be scared off by my experience, but he used something that looked like a knitting needle to break my water and you could have peeled me off the ceiling. He kept telling me to relax which seems to be what the medical profession tells you to imply that any pain is self-inflicted rather than having anything to do with what they are up to.
Next step was to give me oxytocin through an IV drip in my hand (ouch!) to start my contractions and, man, did it work. At first I was like "This is no problem. I can handle this." then the contractions started to get a lot closer together and a lot stronger. Panic set in and I thought "Holy shit. How do women do this!?" In the middle of one of these crazy contractions and nurse popped in to check my IV and said "just let us know if and when you want anything for the pain". I was like "Now. Now!! Are you kidding me?! How long could I have had drugs!? Get me drugs!!"
Then the most wonderful man in the world walked in, the anesthesiologist. I'm not kidding when I say there was a glowing aura behind him when he walked in but that could have also been the blinding pain I was in. Once again I was told to relax as he gave me an epidural. Did it hurt? Not at all but I was in such pain that you could have taken a shovel to my head and I wouldn't have cared. Then the drugs kicked in and it was glorious. I thought it was good because I was out of pain but I felt amazing – it was like an all over body buzz. It was fantastic!!
Sadly, I didn't dilate. I got to 4cm (out of 10) and stalled.
My doctor finally came in a gently suggested that maybe I should consider a c-section. Now some women would be horrified by this but I was pretty game. All I wanted was a healthy baby and I didn't care how he got here. So I said "go for it".
They suited me and my husband up and I was wheeled into the operating room where my angel anesthesiologist was waiting for me again to dial up the drugs. My doctor came in and went to work. Everything felt pretty good. Nothing hurt but it really was a strange sensation. Then my doctor told me I would feel a little pressure. She wasn't kidding. If I didn't know better I would swear she sat on my chest and jumped up and down but, again, it didn't hurt so I wasn't going to complain. All of a sudden she said "Here he is!" and she held up my son.
I'd like to say I burst into tears at the sight of him but it was all so surreal to me. I saw a baby but my mind couldn't grasp that he was mine. They took the baby and put him in the warmed up cart thing and started checking him out and the rest of them went to work on patching me up. My poor husband didn't know where to go so I barked at him to follow the baby like some kind of theatrical movie line. I don't know what the hell I thought was going to happen but I thought it was important for my husband to stay with the display baby at all times.
I felt pretty good lying there but all of a sudden my teeth started to chatter, I got really cold and drowsy and I threw up. Charming, eh? I never did find out what that was all about. I can only assume it was something to do with blood pressure or something but I didn't care at that point. All I wanted to do was sleep. Then they handed me my baby. My perfect, 10lb 1oz, giant lovely display baby. The nurse asked me if I wanted to try breastfeeding him (that's a whole other post) so I said "sure" and it seemed easy enough. We got to our room and I slept for about 9 hours (it was the last 9 hours of consecutive sleep I would ever have). When I woke up the next day I felt pretty good and I started getting used to the fact that the display baby was mine and that was pretty cool.
Overall, I was pretty happy with my birth experience. It didn't take too long for me to recover and I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. What more could ya want? Maybe to meet that satan doctor in a dark alley with a tire iron. I would tell him to "just relax".
If you want to hear more, here's Round Two.