Positive pregnancy and birth stories

I almost don't know what to do with myself now that the big summer NurtureShock discussion is over. I've got something cooking for after US Labor Day, though, involving a special guest, so stay tuned. It's going in a completely different direction, and should be more fun than it is challenging for the upcoming Busy Season.

Anon writes:

"I am newly pregnant–9 weeks–and am not in a good place. I realized I only know one person who had babies easily. Everyone else close to me has had miscarriages or seriously traumatic births that endangered their lives or the lives of their babies. I am just so worried that something will happen to my baby or to me.

I know this doesn't make sense. Obviously humans wouldn't be here if pregnancy didn't work most of the time. But I just don't know enough people who didn't have truly hellish experiences to be able to talk away my fear. Help."

I think that a certain amount of worry is the job of pregnancy. Worry that prevents us from engaging in risky behavior (and by that I mean skydiving or drinking heavily, not eating soft cheese) is good, and worry helps us pay attention to our bodies and learn to trust our instincts, which is a necessary skill for parenthood. So a manageable amount of worry is normal and good during pregnancy.

But this sounds like too much. Like it's taking you over and putting you into that endless loop of anxiety. In addition to making your next 31 weeks horrible, this amount of worry doesn't serve any purpose. You'll be exhausted by the end for no reason.

If something horrible is going to happen, your worrying will not prevent it. And letting go of the worry will not cause it. Sometimes bad things happen. But good things happen more often.

Readers, can we flood Anon with positive pregnancy and birth stories? Maybe if she reads enough she can use those to push out the overwhelming negative in her thoughts. I know a lot of us have good stories. It would be especially helpful to have stories of healthy pregnancies after miscarriage or infertility, or birth stories that ended in health even if things didn't go as planned.

I'll start:

#1: Depressed, sick, cranky, and bloated the whole pregnancy. Induced with castor oil (NOT RECOMMENDED), long painful labor, baby came out fine!

#2: Depressed, sick, and cranky (but not bloated) the whole pregnancy. Went into labor on my own, long annoying labor, baby came out fine, a full pound smaller than his brother!

Now you go, please.

223 thoughts on “Positive pregnancy and birth stories”

  1. I was severely depressed with the hormonal cocktail of my first trimester with twins. But, the depression cleared up by the second trimester and I was able to have a healthy, full-term pregnancy and vaginal birth! Don’t underestimate the hormonal surges in your body and how they can effect your mental health.

  2. I was under the influence of hypnosis. I highly recommend it! I used the book Hypnobirth, and I had one session with a hypnotist and listened to a CD from her every night before bed. I had a fantastic birth! It was pretty short since I was able to labor for a long time at home– even in class– without feeling much at all. I did all the usual “fun stuff”, puking, moaning, etc.. But, I wasn’t stressed, and I was convinced that I was having a fantastic time. It’s so funny to think back on it! It was not at all glamorous, but throughout the whole thing I just kept thinking about how great it was. I am usually a pretty anxious and stressed out lady, so this was clearly the influence of hypnosis. Also, I was not a true believer before it happened, but now I know that hypnosis is the way for me to go!

  3. Although I was pretty nauseated for the first twenty weeks of my first pregnancy, the back half went quite well. Other than some hip cramps, I was pretty comfortable, even at the 41w2d point. My midwife insisted we schedule an inducation for the 42 week point, but the evening of that appointment I went into labor on my own. The whole labor and delivery lasted about 12 hours. My husband was awesome; my doula was awesome; and my midwife was awesome. I got the natural birth that I wanted, and, although it WAS hard, and it DID hurt, it was a great birth and a great experience. There was no point during that labor and delivery that I questioned my desire to go through it without drugs.Just for balance, I must admit that my second labor and delivery were rougher. Bigger, posterior baby; labor stalled, but artificial rupture of membranes was all that was needed to get it going again. (I might have chosen an epidural for this one, if I had known ahead of time, but it was so close to the end before I wanted it that I assumed it wasn’t an option and powered through.)
    In both cases, I was very happy with my expierence, felt so well taken care at all times by my husband, my doula, my midwife, and the nurses. Both babies were healthy and learned to nurse quickly.
    I personally don’t talk about my great birth experiences so much, because I don’t want to “rub it in the face” of someone who didn’t have such a good experience.
    I did my part up front by educating myself and ensuring I was surround by great support. After that it pretty much comes down to luck, and I was lucky.

  4. #1: normal, healthy, downright boring — only excitement is when I went into labor and my husband was out of town. He almost missed the birth, but thankfully didn’t.#2: just found out I’m pregnant (about 6 weeks along) and so far, feel exactly the way I did last time (tired, get nauseous when I’m hungry) — hoping for another normal and boring 9 months.
    Congratulations and good luck to you! I hope you are able to find more stories of “normal” pregnancies that bring you comfort and joy during this exciting time.

  5. Here’s my pregnancy story from 4 and a half years ago. I had a fair amount of minor complications but they all worked themselves out one way or another.13 week heart beat check (the first one) — heart beat not found, but I was still feeling pregnancy symptoms. Sent right over for ultrasound and saw a bouncing, back-flipping “creature” in there and it was the most hilarious, amazing thing I had ever seen.
    Partial placenta previa (sp?) diagnosed during second trimester. Put on “pelvic rest” and told not to have intercourse during um, horny period of pregnancy. Placenta previa corrected itself by third trimester.
    Diagnosed with gestational diabetes during third trimester. Came out of nowhere as I had zero risk factors. Was totally bummed out that I couldn’t pig out and had to prick my own finger several times per day to test blood glucose. Everything was controlled with my very limited diet and the bonus was that I gained very little weight during pregnancy and lost it really quickly after birth.
    Because of diabetes, I was induced at 39 weeks because they thought the baby would be very large (I am quite petite). Induction didn’t work. I was in hard labor (with an epidural), but I never dilated past one centimeter. Had to have a C-section (non-emergency). I wasn’t too bothered by this as I kind of had a feeling in the back of my mind that I’d end up having a C-section. Baby boy was absolutely perfect and beautiful. And the bonus for me for having a C-section was that I got to stay in the hospital longer and got a lot more help with breastfeeding than I would have, otherwise. I couldn’t have imagined being sent home only 48 hours after birth.

  6. After a textbook pregnancy, my water broke at 36 weeks. I had a fast and furious labor and baby arrived 6 hours later.I’d hoped to try an unmedicated labor, but the speed of things was too much. I got an epidural, and it was great. No problems. No side effects. Started breastfeeding right away. Baby boy is now 15 months and the joy of my life.
    I wish, now, that I’d spent my pregnancy reading books about how to deal with a toddler instead of “What to Expect.” I certainly don’t have time to do that with a toddler in my house!
    Good luck to you and your growing family.

  7. #1- Morning sickness, gone by 13wks. 2nd trimester felt fabulous. 3rd trimester tired but happy. Mild anxiety (but totally normal) about impending labor and parenthood. Water broke, didn’t go into labor on my own, induced after 36hrs. Had small amount of morphine and relaxant so that I could rest (didn’t want to end up so exhausted they would c-section and hadn’t slept since water broke), delivery with no complications. Healthy me, healthy baby.#2- Unexpected pregnancy so more depression and anxiety but not overwhelming. More tired because I was chasing a toddler too. Wonderful midwifery care who allowed me to skip most of the invasive and fear inducing tests etc. Fairly easy pregnancy. Went into labor on my own, gave birth after blissful labor in giant tub at the midwifery birth center. Would never give birth in a hospital again unless there were complications.

  8. Dear Anon,I also suffered from some intense anxiety while pregnant. My anxiety was traceable to previous miscarriages, but since I was diagnosed with a problem and treated with medication throughout my successful pregnancy, my fears–which pretty much paralyzed me–were mostly irrational.
    My Mom suggested that I try acupuncture as a way to deal with my anxiety, and–even though I was very skeptical of its efficacy–it really, really helped me to relax. Perhaps it was simply the enforced opportunity to meditate for twenty minutes a week? If you’re able to do so, I highly recommend trying it out for yourself.
    Aside from my fears and anxiety (and a bit of a rage problem in the second trimester), my pregnancy was fine (although riddled with those intense hormonal surges described by Jessica). It ended with a labor and delivery that really and truly weren’t even close to as painful or traumatic as I had feared (despite the length of labor and a lack of drugs). I know I’m lucky, but I also know a lot of women who have had similar experiences.
    —————–
    PS: I just started visiting this site, and I want to thank Moxie–and all her commenters–for providing such a helpful and nonjudgmental forum

  9. I was fortunate to have an easy, healthy pregnancy – but was too paranoid to appreciate it! I took pregnancy anxiety out a whole new door. I diagnosed myself with every rare condition, with the help of What to Expect When You’re Expecting (The only thing you can expect from that book is a nervous breakdown). Towards the end of the pregnancy, I had a slightly elevated blood pressure reading – which is totally normal – and I ran out to buy a home blood pressure machine and took readings 3 times a day. Yes, that was COMPLETELY insane.I had a very good natural labour, but the whole pushing stage wasn’t working out, so it was C-section. I was fine, baby was fine.
    Everything was fine.
    I really believed that worrying was going to buy me something. Maybe I’d see a red flag, maybe I’d catch something in time. But, it bought me nothing except a ton of anxiety. Oh, and a $200 blood pressure machine.

  10. #1 – easy pregnancy, morning sickness for all of 4 days (week 6), had uncomplicated unmedicated vaginal birth (used waterbirth tub, but ended up on the bed for the final pushes).#2 – early miscarriage (8 weeks)
    #3 – easy pregnancy, morning sickness for 4 weeks (managable with hard candies), fast uncomplicated unmedicated waterbirth – felt GREAT immediately after giving birth, went home from hospital early.
    Everyone loves to tell scary stories about pregnancy and childbirth. The #1 most important thing you can do is find a good provider you trust that is experienced in the kind of birth you want. Then you can just trust their advice/judgement.
    I LOVE my CNM practice and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  11. It’s actually difficult to find positive birth stories in this day and age. I suggest stepping a little outside the mainstream birth realm and checking out publications like Mothering Magazine. (They have a website too and great forums!) It seriously opened up a whole world of pregnancy, birth and motherhood that I didn’t really realize existed or were an option to me.Like the others said, don’t underestimate the hormones and changes your body is going through. You will likely be turning a corner soon.
    Oh, and remember to take each day at a time. You don’t have to have this baby tomorrow, you just need to get through today so try to eat healthy, get some sleep and fresh air. And once the baby is born, you don’t have to raise it on the first day – you just have to snuggle it and love it.
    You CAN do this! 🙂 Birth can be incredibly empowering if you believe in yourself and your body.

  12. #1: Anxious and depressed at first, resigned and then happily anticipating at the end. Induced because of low fluid the day before the due date, long-ish painful labor (+/- 12 hours, but only a few hours were painful) but managed to avoid C-section, despite 3h of pushing. Healthy baby boy, average weight, good apgar score. Felt like I was hit by a mack truck afterwards, but coasted on love hormones and light anxiety of being a first-time parent.#2: Anxious and depressed at start (theme?), resigned and prepared at the end. Induced because of low fluid 1 week plus one day short of due date (luckily, my brother-in-law and his family were available on short notice and drove 1.5h with their 2 kids to watch #1). #2 was born on my birthday, despite all my efforts to avoid it (I always hope for more special days during the year, not fewer). Again, no C-section, way less pushing–I felt she practically shot out. Healthy baby girl, average weight, good apgar scores. Felt like I was hit by a truck but felt happier and more energetic than with #1. (It helped that #2 was a way better napper.)
    At the end, I think that delivery/labor part was the easiest (at least you know that it won’t last forever as opposed to oppositional behavior, which appears and reappears in different guises for the next oh, 21+ years). I’m totally with Susan in saying that dealing with a baby and a toddler day-to-day takes more skills for you that you can start preparing for whereas labor, when you look at the 18+ years of raising a person, is nothing in comparison.
    Good luck!
    At the end,

  13. After a long struggle with infertility, I got pregnant on our first IVF cycle – TWINS! Talk about worrying, amirite? But everything was totally fine. I mean, I was big and uncomfortable, but there were TWO babies in me! And they moved and got hiccups and high fived us. It was awesome.At 35 weeks, on a Friday, my OB found me to be 5 cm dilated (surprise!) and told me to meet her in the delivery unit the coming Monday. I did, she broke my water, and 8 hrs later I had 2 beautiful little girls. They were both around 6 lbs and came home with me – no NICU time!
    My third daughter was a totally unexpected and awesome surprise. Just thinking about discovering her existence makes me grin. I had a great pregnancy with her even though she was due in the heat of September. Two days before her due date we had dinner with friends and later I thought, “Hmmm. Those contractions feel different.” We took a picture, I took a shower, and we tried to go to bed. We gave up around midnight and called my in-laws. By the time they got there and we got to the hospital it was 2 am. She was born at 2:30 – it was 4 hrs from my first “Hmmm . . .” to my beautiful girl. Her birth was AWESOME and I wr0te the whole story here:
    http://indigogirl.typepad.com/linda/birthstory/
    My twins birthstory is after hers.
    Like Moxie said, worry is totally normal. I worried, too. BUT I tried to keep in mind the logical fact that statistically, everything would probably be fine. Most people have normal, boring pregnancies and births and the unusual/tragic ones stick in our head, not the “Oh, it’s another easy delivery/healthy baby!” ones.

  14. Standard first and second trimesters (meaning: I slept my entire first trim. and ate during my entire second trim). Diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which I managed with diet and exercise — not so bad when insulin is the other option.Slight complications late in the third trimester: early and regular contractions kept me on bedrest for three weeks. Once I hit 37 weeks, I was off rest and baby came two days later.
    L&D was not what I had hoped/imagined (which was, I don’t know, candles and incense, I guess). I had pitocin and constant monitoring, my water was broken for me, and I had an epidural. And you know what? Everything was fine. And I have a totally awesome almost-five-year-old daughter who rocks my world.
    Things will be easy and things will be hard. Keep your eye on the end result and you’ll be just fine.

  15. #1: Finally got pregnant with clomid after 18+ cycles of trying. I had fairly bad morning sickness and a few other normal pregnancy complaints. Took Hypnobirthing and planned a birth center birth with a midwife. After a 16 hour unmedicated labor, our beautiful first daughter was born at the wonderful birth center.#2: Clomid didn’t work so we did IUI. Got pregnant and thought I had a miscarriage but didn’t. Worse morning sickness and other normal pregnancy complaints, but this time I took Zofran and went to physical therapy and massage. Our second beautiful daughter was in a hurry and was a surprise homebirth on her due bate with only a couple of hours in labor.
    Take the time to savor your pregnancy- even the annoying things- and then take the time to savor the baby- the middle of the night private moments go quickly and before you know it you might even miss them.

  16. My totally unplanned first pregnancy at age 37 (I was on the Pill, sigh) started out with a bang with terrifying spotting at 7 weeks. Then the 12-week ultrasound found some possible kidney issues and raised the chances of genetic problems with the baby, which was already a concern given my age and total lack of pre-conception preparation.Well, the kidney anomalies cleared on later ultrasounds, and the rest of the pregnancy went fine with no health issues whatsoever for me or the little one. At 30 weeks I started studying Hypnobabies in the hopes of doing a drug-free birth. Fast forward to 40 weeks and 2 days. Went into labor at 4am, arrived at the hospital around 11am, “wimped out” and asked for an epidural at 4pm, and had a vaginal delivery of a healthy 9lb9oz boy at 9:15pm. I don’t regret the epidural one bit; the birth was totally comfortable and drama free. My son was awake and alert and latched on just fine for his first feeding right after delivery. I actually feel kinda lame for not having a dramatic birth story to share when I talk to other moms. 😉

  17. I l-o-v-e-d being pregnant. That was the most tranquile time in my entire life! I felt like nothing mattered, not even pregnancy itself. Probably because i had my head spinning for about 5 months in a row. And i was dreading birth. As everyone does. Dealt with the worries by being on Epidural from when the show discharged (=very early stage of labour). Took 12 hours, but hey – I was in very little pain, which was the most important point for me. Can’t remember first 3 months of my baby’s life due to constant lack of sleep and severe anemia, but… but! he was born a healthy and happy and thriving boy, 1 day ahead of due date (23/12) and that’s what matters, right? I ate sushi with raw fish throughout but didn’t do much sports (being lightheaded). Don’t worry! Nature is the cleverest mechanism! It will take care of both yourself and the baby. Good luck!

  18. I was anxious with the birth of my first child when I was 33 but it was nothing compared to my pregnancy with twins at age 37. In the four years in between I personally knew so many people who had suffered crises and tragedies with their pregnancies (losing babies at 7 months, downs syndrome, premature delivery, etc., etc.) and then the fact that I was having TWINS… I probably should have been treated given how extremely anxious I was.I carried them to term (39 weeks) thank goodness but I was still so worried.
    Then I had to have general anesthesia for the delivery (long story) and that devastated me (I found out just before I was about to go in the delivery room) and the recovery from that was HELL.
    But… I now have two gorgeous healthy babies and I wish wish wish I hadn’t been so anxious during my pregnancy though I know that there was nothing that could have alleviated all my fears at the time. I probably should have tried meditation or something though.

  19. I was a wreck the first 15 or 16 weeks of pregnancy emotionally. Maybe you will begin to feel better soon!I had a very healthy pregnancy- I was morning sick for about 5 weeks (8 weeks-13 weeks pregnant) but then it went away (thankfully). I had no troubles the rest of the time. My baby was breech at 37 weeks so I went in to the hospital to have him turned in an external version. Really simple procedure that worked great! He turned around and I had a vaginal birth at 40 weeks. I labored at home for several hours then in the hospital tub. After about 8 hours I decided I wanted an epidural. Then my doc broke my water at 8 cm and an hour later I was pushing. I pushed for a while (2 hours) but it was fine and didn’t seem that long at all. Charlie was born at 3:03 am and he was perfectly healthy, 8 lbs 14 oz.
    You can do this! Most pregnancies and births are totally healthy.

  20. Moxie thanks for the invitation to share positive birth stories. In my experience everyone knows someone who had a traumatic/scary birth, and when you tell people you are pregnant, they start telling you about these scary stories.Here are my stories-
    #1- first 13 weeks felt crappy, tired, hormonal, and no appetite. Once second trimester came I had a really easy, straight forward pregnancy. My labor start to finish was 12 hours, and I only pushed for 45 minutes. The midwife broke my water at hour 9, and that’s when things really started moving. I had a unmedicated, easy birth. Little one did have to go to NICU because there was meconium when the broke my water, but she was only there for observation, and was out in my arm in 5 hours.
    #2- I’m 17 weeks pregnant and things are going pretty much the same. Again felt sick, couldn’t eat much till week 14. Was super tired and going to bed right after the toddler did every night. Now I’m feeling pretty normal, actually forget I’m pregnant at times because I feel so good. I’m preparing for another unmedicated birth, but as with all things pregnancy there is so much out of our control. I try to do the best I can to take care of myself and this baby, and control the things I can control.
    One side note about anxiety– there is something about being pregnant that increases my “what if…” daydreams. Most recently I’ve been pulling myself back from worries of getting into a car accident. So, even when I tell myself to only focus on the worries that I can control, the whacky ones still creep in.

  21. Baby 1: Uncomplicated pregnancy, unmedicated delivery of 8lb 11 oz boy on his due dateEarly miscarriage (6ish weeks)
    Baby 2: Uncomplicated pregnancy, unmedicated delivery of 9lb 14 oz boy 7 days after his due date.
    I worried a lot more during the pregnancy with my second son, but it did get easier as I got farther along. He kicked like a horse constantly, so, while I was uncomfortable, I loved the reassurance that provided.
    I had a Certified Nurse Midwife with my first son, and I HIGHLY recommend finding one in your area, if you can. To me, the midwife provided the safety net of modern medicine (the midwives were part of a larger OB practice) with hands-on holistic care that included my emotional health.

  22. I really liked being pregnant.#1 mild morning sickness. Felt GREAT during second trimester. Third trimester, felt really really big, but happy to be really showing and not just looking fat. Labor was fast for a first baby – 12 hours and that is with an epidural. Felt great. Recovered fast.
    #2 – pretty much the same, except I had migraines the first trimester with baby #2. And the siatica pain was worse. So I had massages every 2 weeks for 10 weeks. HEAVEN. Labor was FAST – 6 hours (again with a spinal…would have been about 4 without).

  23. My second baby I was convinced nothing would go right.I did have some issues gaining weight but everything else went tickety-boo. Labour was quick but not too quick (5+ hrs start-finish) and it was an easy vaginal birth (3 pushes!) with a wonderful, healthy 6 lb 11 oz kid at the end of it. It is totally possible. I’m 15 weeks pregnant now and besides having thrown my back out myself due to idiocy, things are going really nicely.
    I watched TLC’s Baby Story or whatever repetitively, because I had had a really bad outcome with my first child and I found the repetitive (if highly medicalized) narrative soothing. They even go into labour at about the same point in the half hour, etc. etc. I don’t recommend it as reality because of that, but it is a nice, soothing watch.
    Also if things do go wrong, you’ll cope. No one thinks so, but I’ve been through quite a lot and – you will. I hope that’s cheery enough. I’m pragmatic due to my experiences but I think a lot of the fear is “how will I handle this and that and the other.”
    Well – in pregnancy you just do. You’re kind of on the train and you can’t get off until it’s your station. When I got pregnant with my second I was like “HOW will I get this baby OUT????” And my OB was like: there really are only two options. And as stated above it really was almost lovely.
    It’s helpful to have your partner on board.

  24. I did not enjoy pregnancy. I was never physically ill, but with #1 I had no appetite and SO uncomfortable, and with #2 I was just uncomfortable. I have always been active and athletic, and I hated not having control over my body in the same way. Waddling is not my favorite mode of transportation.I induced both kids. #1 was an easy delivery. Literally pushed for like 15 minutes and out he came. No complications. Recovery was relatively easy considering he was 8 lbs. With #2, I had a c-section when it looked like he was in a tight spot and couldn’t go anywhere. (Which is pretty typical of him as a baby/toddler – constantly wedging himself into tight spots and screaming for help to get out.) The c-section was textbook. I do NOT recommend watching the video of a c-section that is often shown in childbirth classes. There is just no reason for you to have that visual BEFORE you go into labor and have that on your mind as a possible outcome. They do not show videos of brain surgery or open heart surgery to patients before performing them, and I feel the same way about a c-section. No complications, a slightly longer recovery but again….18 months later, totally forgettable. I pray you will have a relatively comfortable pregnancy and easy childbirth. Good luck to you!!!!!

  25. Pregnant with twins…anxious as could be about all the terrible things that could go wrong with two in there…was put on bedrest at 23 weeks because Baby A supposedly had low(ish) amniotic fluid levels and because I had a lot of small contractions. Weeks go by…more weeks go by…I keep expecting that I’ll go into labor…I never did! I had a scheduled c-section at 37.5 weeks and delivered two lovely and HEALTHY babies. One just over 6 lbs.; the other just under. As it turned out, Baby A, the one with low(ish) amniotic fluid levels, was bigger than her brother! Neither had any NICU time. A whole lotta worry for nothing. Although bedrest wasn’t all bad…sitting on the couch all day was about what I had the energy for anyway. Don’t pay too much attention to what they tell you based on ultrasounds–it’s great that we have the technology but it needs a lot of work before it can be considered really accurate.

  26. HUGE but incredibly happy despite less than optimal circumstances. Bed rest due to BP (see HUGE) for 2 weeks. C section (also see HUGE) Fabulous fast recovery, barely any scar, no depression but uncontrollable tears for a week, and one of the neatest kids you’ll ever meet – the best of his dad and the worst of his mother. (and 30 pounds lighter than when I began the pregnancy)

  27. #1 – I had one pg complication that sucked and was painful but wasn’t dangerous per say (kidney stones). Aside from that, it was a typical pregnancy and while I’m not a huge fan of the pregnancy part and get very uncomfortable at the end (because I have large babies) it was fine and totally doable. The birth was fine, I labored at home until I felt like going in, got there and was 7cm. My husband was taking the bar exam (BAD timing!) so I had my SIL with me and didn’t feel comfortable feeling primal and out of control even though the pain wasn’t unbearable, so I got an epidural that worked fine. She came out just fine at 9#1oz, I had a 2nd degree tear that was really the only sucky part of any of my births.#2 – I went with a natural-birth-friendly midwife group this time, and my doula teaches hypnobirthing so I did that. It was AMAZING. There was still pain, but I just felt so content and not out-of-control. It worked for pregancy anxiety and insomnia too! This one was a wonderful labor, i went in for my scheduled appt, said I thought I might be in early labor, and was measured at 7cm and told to head over to the hospital. That one got a bit hung up with his football player shoulders but a couple quick position changes with my highly competent midwife and he popped right out just fine. No tears at all and he was 10#6oz. Even with the sticky shoulders his apgars were 7 and 9.
    #3 – another typical pregnancy, I don’t LIKE the pregnant part but hypnobirthing takes care of many of the parts I dislike most. Since I’m genetically disposed to these giant babies I really find the last month highly sucky and uncomfortable, but that’s the worst part of any of it. Here’s the baby’s birth story for that one at the following link – it was pretty much a picture perfect natural birth of a 10#0 with the same midwife group and hypnobirthing. http://flickr.com/gp/lakeline/954A7t
    My biggest advice is to envision the type of pregnancy and birth you want, then to find a provider who will work with you and who enjoys caring for women who want that type of care. Going to a typical OB wanting mostly hands-off care and going to a typical midwife wanting weekly ultrasounds and an elective cesarean are both going to end up with your feeling unhappy with your care.
    My secondary advice is to do hypnobirthing/hypnobabies. Even if you don’t want a natural birth, it will help with everything from pregnancy insomnia to anxiety about having to have a cesarean.
    Good luck! I LOVE trying to reduce anxiety about birth, I think our culture loves a good horror story and so expecting mothers get inundated with them when what they really need is to be able to be comfortable and confident in themselves and their care providers. <3

  28. I was extremely anxious pretty much up until my 20 week ultrasound during my pregnancy – what really helped me to let go of that anxiety was to stop reading any message boards or pregnancy books. I had WAY more knowledge that was necessary and it stopped being helpful and started becoming an obsession. I felt much better once I just made myself stop cold turkey with the information overload.My pregnancy was very uneventful and pretty textbook. You don’t hear about those because they aren’t very exciting. Everyone just wants to tell horror stories! If you want to read more about my boring pregnancy, you can click on the pregnancy tab of my blog.
    Birth was a little more exciting but still pretty easy – I was in labor at home without really being sure I was in labor for nearly 20 hours – got to the hospital and was dilated 6cm and 100% effaced, got to 10cm about an hour later (no epidural) and then pushed for nearly 3 hours – she came out fine despite an umbilical cord issue that could have made me a horror story. More details are on my blog.

  29. I never feel comfortable telling people this for some reason, but this seems like an OK moment. I have three children and their births (10, hrs, 8, hrs and 6 respectively) were the most wonderful moments of my entire life. Not that it wasn’t work – it was! – but I felt so so strong and powerful, and even without pain meds I always felt that it was work I was able to do. Babies were big and healthy, recovery pretty quick.

  30. Though I was nauseous through most of the pregnancy, it was otherwise smooth sailing. I had prodromal (“false”) labor for two weeks before I finally went into real labor with a little help from the doctor breaking my water. My little girl came so surprisingly quickly and easily after that, and was (and is) a very healthy little girl. Recovery for me was smooth, too. I had some stitches, but the pain was actually really mild.

  31. Here’s mine: had a miscarriage but quickly recovered, conceived again 2 months later, had the usual annoying but harmless pregnancy problems (backaches, etc.), did an all-natural (no painkillers!) childbirth that was more challenging than expected, but overall went well and baby was fine!

  32. After 6 years of trying to get pregnant, the last three actively undergoing treatments, we conceived twins. I was exhausted and nauseous most of my first trimester. And third trimester, during the absolute worst heat of the summer (I gave birth mid-September), was hot and uncomfortable. But in the end, I carried 36.5 weeks with two very large babies (they were 6lb 11oz and 6lb 15oz at birth) with really nothing more than normal first-time-mommma-paranoia. That’s not to say I didn’t end up with some “quick” visits to the ER or L&D during my pregnancy – I did. At least three times that I can remember. But they were always, “just to be on the safe side” sort of visits to rule out anything dangerous and put my mind at ease. And they all ended up being just fine. I ended up going into labor at 36.5 weeks – and ended up with a c-section because my little guy, baby A, was not in the proper position. He had been breech most of the pregnancy and was frank breech at time of birth. But the c-section really was fine. And recovery from it was really pretty easy – nowhere near as bad as I had expected.The office staff at both my ob-gyn and perinatologist’s offices really kept my head on straight during the whole pregnancy. They continually assured me that it was totally okay to be nervous. And to not stress if I wanted to come in just to make sure that both babies were doing okay – that I was not inconveniencing them in any way or sounding like some obsessive crazy woman.
    Hopefully you will be able find a way to relax and enjoy this time – and the newborn time. It really does go by SO quickly. My kids are turning three in a few weeks and are just not babies any more. I already mourn not having any babies in the house anymore – but I love my little people and who they’re becoming. And it’s so intriguing watching them develop. Enjoy!

  33. No.1 (DS)Nausea first trimester. Active during whole pregnancy, but achey from around 20 weeks onwards. At 3rd ultrasound (32 weeks), was told baby wasn’t growing, but at 34 weeks I was told everything was normal, even though Bubs was a little on the small side. At 38 weeks, rushed to hospital by ambulance after my OB found I was 3 cms dilated (and 100% effaced) . False alarm. DS born on due date after a short drug- free labour (7 hours). Perfectly healthy and ‘big’ by Italian standards at 3.37kg.
    No. 2 (DD)
    I was still breastfeeding no. 1 ( 14 months old) and was spotting until I weaned at 10 weeks gest. Terrible nausea especially when nursing (extra reason to wean). Very active but again terribly achey from 20 weeks on. Toxoplasmosis scare at 26 weeks ( tested positive on one test) , but on re-testing all negative. At 3rd ultrasound, as with no.1, was told baby wasn’t growing. Retested (twice), and repeatedly told baby was very small . During third repeat, sonographer found potential heart malformation, and so was sent to have fetal heart ultrasounds. These confirmed Ventricular Septal Defect. At around the same time (32 weeks), OB found I was 3-4 cm dilated ( 100 effaced) and was put on bed rest as DD was still really small and needed to grow more. Was told I would not get to 35 weeks. HUH! DD was born (fast, 4.5 hours from first contraction to expulsion) on due date at a healthy (for Italian standards) weight of 3.23 kg. Hole in heart closed by itself by 2 month ultrasound.. She is still a wee slip of a lass, but perfectly healthy.,

  34. I LOVED my first and second trimesters. The end of my third trimester felt like it lasted FOREVER because I was so anxious to meet my daughter.My labor was long but easy. I went in around 5 pm to be induced (I was 5 days past due), and found out that I had been in early labor all day. They gave me my first round of i.v. antibiotics (I’m Strep B positive), and we settled in to wait. I went in to active labor around midnight, but my cervix stayed at 2 cm. Finally had my water broken the next morning. After that, it went so fast! By the time my doctor got there, I pushed through 4 cycles, and had a daughter to hold!

  35. #1 – didn’t worry a huge amount during pregnancy, heavy bleeding shortly into the 2nd tri (blood clot in placenta, nothing to do about it, couldn’t have known/prevented it), edemic ankles, premature birth (blood clot caused infection, undetected) at 28wks, 3m of NICU and loads of complications = (currently) 6yr old boy who’s wicked smart, has low muscle tone and is small for his age, is a typically troublesome boy.#2 – worried incessantly during totally normal pregnancy, full term birth to a normal (50th percentile) boy = (currently) 3.5yr old boy who’s wicked crafty, is huge for his age (outweighs his older brother by several lbs), is a typically troublesome boy.
    My conclusion is that worry makes big, crafty boys. Also, labour was hard but natural (no meds) – the first was so fast there wasn’t time, the 2nd they tried (twice!) once I “caved” (my issue, not a judgement to women who choose) and asked for an epidural – since it wasn’t going to happen I did what had to be done (scream and push) and all was fine – I found the need for drugs kicked in right when I hit “transition” and if I were having a 3rd I’d know this and not even bother with the drugs!

  36. #1-early miscarriage#2-totally healthy pregnancy, very little sickness/pain/etc., no true complications. Went into labor on my own at 39 weeks, had a 16 hour labor (totally textbook predictable in progression). Baby boy was born (totally natural birth) at a hospital that was extremely supportive of birth. Great bonding experience for me and my husband, and we had a healthy baby with only normal breastfeeding issues that quickly resolved.
    #3-Healthy pregnancy (like the first), went into labor on my own at 40 weeks 4 days, after both my husband and I spent the entire night awake vomiting with the stomach flu. We called my parents to ask them to take our son for the day, and assured them I wasn’t in labor, just really sick. Baby was born 5 hours later in our bathtub and we got to surprise them with THAT phone call (the homebirth was planned, we just didn’t think it would happen that day or that FAST). Beautiful birth, wonderful support from an incredible midwife, and a lovely recovery and healthy baby girl.
    #3–Much of the same, but baby boy was born at 40 weeks, 3 days after 4 days of annoying false labor. We thought when it finally kicked in he would come quickly, but no…he took his sweet time. I had a long, super lazy labor (would have certainly been hooked up to Pitocin and every manner of drugs at the hospital, but my midwife at home wasn’t concerned, and we took about 100 laps around my apartment building and the neighborhood), and a healthy baby was FINALLY born much to our jubilation (and shock, since I had convinced myself I’d be in labor forever).
    Find a supportive care provider who will talk to you about your fears and concerns, and don’t listen to the people who feel the need to tell you the nightmare stories! Pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum can all be lovely and delightful (and f-ing hurt), and you will most likely both come out of it just fine!

  37. I spent the first trimesters of both of my pregnancies feeling car sick (but not actually throwing up). I spotted a bit, and that gets treated way more seriously when you’re over 35 (as I was the 2nd time around), but came to nothing both times.The rest of my first pregnancy was pretty standard- hormonal mood swings, uncomfortable, etc. The rest of my second pregnancy included super itchy legs for no apparent reason and PUPPs on my tummy (so super itchy tummy) but was otherwise uneventful.
    First delivery was 5 days early, induced because my water broke and nothing happened. A long pushing period (4.5 hours) that I honestly can’t remember anymore, and a healthy baby was born. They gave her to me right away, we tried to nurse, but in retrospect she probably didn’t latch. I didn’t know what I was doing! We had a bit of difficulty establishing breastfeeding, but that worked out pretty quickly and I breastfed her until she was 23 months old and I was pregnant with her sister.
    Second delivery was 2 days late. Contractions, which had been happening for a couple of weeks on and off, got serious as soon as my water broke, and we hurried off to the hospital. I got there 20 minutes later and was already 6 cm dilated. I got up to the L&D room and got my epidural ~10 minutes after that. Contractions were only ~20 seconds apart at that point. I was just starting to try to relax and settle in for the labor, which was clearly going to be FAST, when my doc checked me and said “I feel a butt”. He told us we had about 5 minutes to decide how we wanted to handle our surprise breach baby because things were progressing fast. We had a quick discussion, and decided that since he thought this baby was about a pound bigger than the last one and therefore big enough that just about everyone would recommend a C-section, we’d do the C-section.
    Uneventful C-section, baby had to get antibiotics because it all happened so fast and I’m strep B positive… but she was healthy, and they brought her to me fairly quickly, and she latched right on to nurse. C-section recovery was just standard suckiness- you use those ab muscles for a lot of things! And then I got an epidural headache, which really sucked. But all of that, too, is fading from my memory. I have a happy, healthy 10.5 month old now.
    I think the worry is normal to a certain extent- I remember worrying about insane things during my pregnancies, like “what would I do if a car crashed through our bedroom window while we were sleeping?” and worrying about the usual things, too. Since I was over 35 the second time around, there were more tests, so more chances to worry. So don’t feel bad for worrying. But do try to come up with some strategies to cope with it!

  38. I’ve had one good birth and one incredible birth.First birth, my daughter: went into labor at 38w4d, 100 miles from home. Ended up giving birth in strange hospital with strange doctor, and it STILL went okay! 11-hour labor, no pain meds. Certainly had a couple panicky moments, but no complications. I made it! Loved finding out how much my body was capable of.
    Second birth, my son: went into labor at 37w6d, gave birth with midwife in hospital close to home. 9-hour labor, no pain meds, no complications. An exhausting but transformative experience for me. I still think of it when I need to concentrate on something soothing.
    If you like long, happy birth stories with no scary parts, I wrote out the story of my son’s birth here: http://ennorath.typepad.com/arwens_blog/2009/05/blaises-birth-part-1.html

  39. #1 is a story that shows even when things start out rough they can be good. I had severe preeclampsia, they induced 6 weeks early and I was bitter for awhile about mean doctors, an emergency c-section I didn’t think I needed and a sick daughter who spent a long time in the nicu. But now, she is the happiest, healthiest, tallest 3-year old you’ll ever meet, and I have realized that the start to your life is important, but far less so than how you live the rest of it. She is a huge blessing.#2: Dream pregnancy, last-minute emergency c-section that I was totally at peace with, healthy 9 pound boy, more than twice the size of his sister at birth. Now he’s a healthy, happy little man.

  40. Found at at 38 weeks my son was breech and had a scheduled c-section the next week. It was a great experience. My pain was well managed with medication. My favorite part of the birth experience was that my husband got to announce the baby’s gender to me.

  41. My son’s birth story:- Pretty easy pregnancy. I was active and healthy throughout the whole thing. Had to convince my midwife that just because I was overweight did NOT mean that I automatically should be treated for Gestational Diabetes, but otherwise all went fine.
    – My son was born at a freestanding birth center, not at a hospital. In retrospect, my labor started around 4 or 5 am, but I just thought they were Braxton-Hicks. Around 8am I felt like I had bad menstrual cramps, and called my husband (who – famously – said “call me back in half an hour”). At 8:15 am my water broke and my husband came home. We were at the birth center by 9:15 am and I labored in the tub for about an hour, then was removed for a check and never went back. My son was born a little before noon that morning. We were home by 6pm that night.
    My experience was absolutely the opposite of hellish. It was, in just about every way, the perfect birth experience. I credit this to three things:
    1) Avoiding OB/GYNS and Hospitals as much as I could, using midwives and CNAs for my healthcare instead.
    2) Giving birth at a birth center vs. a hospital.
    3) Trusting my body during labor (and particularly laboring in the tub). I had an unmedicated birth, and I firmly believe that’s why my recovery was so easy and quick.
    I am not one of those people who says “avoid medicine if its needed”. I AM one of those people who says “our births are over medicalized and not every little thing is a crisis.” I think sometimes, listening to friends, that they wear their birth nightmare stories as some kind of badge of honor – trying to outdo the next woman in line. When they hear my short, easy birth story they all regard me as something of a freak, and I sometimes feel dismissed, as though it can’t be true.
    It is true. Trust yourself, educate yourself, and trust your body. Giving birth is what we were designed to do.

  42. I worried a lot with my first pregnancy. Less with my second when I had a positive experience behind me.Both times I was super barfy and exhausted until about 13 weeks. Beyond that there were various indignities of pregnancy (constant nosebleeds!) but nothing scary.
    Labor and delivery are both hard work, but were not as bad as I expected. My doctor and the hospital were very repsonsive and respectful of my wishes. I rested, snacked (albiet secretively) and then pushed ’em on out.
    I think people are far more likely to tell a scary/bad story. See how boring mine was? I don’t tell it often. It’s boring. But we’re in the majority.
    I totally understand your fear. But I was fine. My babies were fine. Odds are much in your favor that you’ll have a boring story to not tell too.

  43. Also, get a doula if you can. I had one with my second, and she made the difference between another rough experience, and a peaceful happy birth.

  44. With #1 I had a fairly normal pregnancy (mild gaggy morning sickness, awesome 2nd trimester and brutal edema) followed by a long and traumatic(ish) birth due to a posterior baby who is too stubborn for his own good. I don’t usually tell people about this birth as I don’t like to freak people out, but while it wasn’t ideal (lots of false labour, late epidural, forceps, etc, etc) it wasn’t that terrible either. Baby boy came out perfect. I had a mildly uncomfortable week or two in recovery. But even with the ridiculous interventions and multiple days of labouring I can remember sitting in the hospital bed ~5 hours postpartum saying to my husband “That wasn’t so bad, lets do it again”.#2 was a normal pregnancy again (minus the edema this time – YAY!). Induced at 39 weeks due to slow intrauterine growth. Was pretty much the exact opposite of delivery #1 (9 hours start to finish, MAYBE 3 hours of hard labour, completely unmedicated and the doctor barely had time to make it into the room to catch her) I felt FANTASTIC after her birth.
    I’m with @wouldhave100more, it is so hard to explain and people generally look at me funny when I mention it, but I absolutely LOVE giving birth. It’s definitely hard and exhausting and WORK but it’s work for a reason and the end result of all the pain and suffering is so 100% worth it. If I could just skip the pregnant part and just have babies I’d be happy to have hundreds hehe.

  45. Today, I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my third child. I had to have surgery to remove my gall bladder at 24 weeks after weeks of misery. Sitting here today feeling pregnant, but fine. Tired, bloated…yes!..but fine. My 6 and 3 year old are happy, loved children. Their pregnancies, birth and first days and months are just memories some good, some bad. I realized after my first child that all that self-induced stress caused by worrying over everything really made what should be a joyful process very unpleasant for me and that I didn’t need to do that to myself. It is a delicate balance between what we can control and what we can’t. I’ve made some parenting mistakes along the way, but can honestly say I made the best decisions I could at the time with the information I had at the time. That is the best we can do.

  46. I second the doula suggestion – a wonder for taking away all the worries!#1 wonderful blissful pregnancy, 4 hour labor, born at home, my lovely boy
    #2 horrid vomiting for whole of pregnancy, exhausted, losing weight, 1 hour labour, again born at home, gorgeous chubby baby at the end.

  47. #1 – Infertility, some spotting and “take it easy rest”, a kidney scare on ultrasound, and ultimately, a fantastic kid who is 5 now and started kindergarten yesterday. How he was born or how long I breastfed him just doesn’t seem that important any more. Fart jokes are important now. (I was a nervous, anxious wreck for the entire pregnancy and most of his infancy…and beyond.)#2 – A wee, tiny bit of subfertility, some spotting, some wonky blood suger readings, but I felt GREAT. Fabulous. I was cutting the grass at 7 months still and riding my bike (although I gave both of those things up shortly after that because exercise started to give me Braxton Hicks contractions which were not dangerous, just uncomfortable). I felt awesome and was still carting my #1 around in my arms the day before the birth. I would have a hundred more pregnancies like that. But it was horrible in that I was so aroused for months on end and on pelvic rest for placental issues. Talk about irony.
    Both kids are great. Both were delivered via c-sections and were healthy once all was said and done.

  48. Pregnancy #1- SO excited, miscarriage at 11 weeks – literally the day after telling both sets of parents.Pregnancy #2 – 15 months later, miscarriage @8 weeks.
    Pregnancy #3 – ummm- totally unplanned, next cycle pregnancy. Six weeks after miscarriage #2 I was wondering why my period hadn’t come back! It did my head in when I had bleeding around week 8 again so had an early ultrasound. Seeing the heartbeat on the ultrasound, oh it was fantastic. I was nervous for the first 20 weeks but had NO problems. No morning sickness, a little mild reflux but was still out hiking at 34 weeks. A bit puffy towards the end but no high blood pressure. My labor was short – 6 hours total and only 3 hours were distractingly painful. I didn’t feel the need for any pain relief beyond my awesome TENS machine. And my baby was born beautiful & healthy. 🙂

  49. Easy pregnancy and easy birth. Labor lasted for 4 hours two of which I napped through, went to the hospital and an hour later my baby was born. While I was sitting on the bed waiting for them to finish checking me in, my water broke and the baby was out in the next 10 minutes. No epidural so the recovery was incredibly quick and easy too. I think I may have had 1 or 2 stitches.

  50. I always tell people that I hope they have the kind of labor and delivery that I had. Both times were short and easy, although I also “wimped out” and had epidurals both times just in time for transition. I would like to add that I took Zoloft throughout my first pregnancy and Welbutrin during the first trimester of my second and had two perfectly healthy daughters.

  51. I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks followed by an uneventful, healthy pregnancy and birth. Gave birth at home using self-hypnosis (Hypnobabies). Baby was posterior in the days leading up to labor, I had a cold, my water broke spontaneously with no contractions. I was sure I was in for the labor and birth from hell. And after less than 8 hours of quite manageable, intervention-free labor–I had a gorgeous healthy baby! It was awesome.The funny thing was that despite the inherently worry-producing nature of pregnancy, I felt the pregnancy and, later, nursing hormones chilled me out so very much. Wish it could happen this way for everybody.
    If you’re the kind of person who will feel better–more like you’re “doing something about it”–if you take supplements to (hopefully) increase the chance of a good outcome, you might consider the following, if your doctor or midwife okays them:
    – taking a higher dose (1,000 IU) of Vitamin D; low blood levels of Vitamin D are linked to failure to progress and ending up with a c-section.
    – taking extra Vitamin C, which may decrease your risk of premature rupture of membranes.
    – taking Fem-Dophilus probiotics and/or G.U.M. periodontal probiotics–these may help prevent vaginal infections and gingivitis respectively, both of which are linked to preterm labor. Probiotics may also help you avoid getting thrush while nursing.
    I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice, blah blah.

  52. I try not to mention it often, so I’m glad you asked, but I had the most wonderful pregnancy. Felt great the whole time. Walked something like 5 miles the day before giving birth. I had contractions that night but they didn’t really hurt. I finally decided I should call the doctor. I was about 5 cm dilated. I played Scrabble until about 30 minutes before my 8 pound baby was born (maybe I should have skipped the epidural, but it was nice). I would like to be pregnant again, except for the whole raising another child part.

  53. Like @Arwen, I think about my son’s birth when I need something soothing to calm me down. I could not have *asked* for it to be more perfect.#1 – hyperemesis gravidarum (bad bad bad morning sickness) w/Zofran & Phenergan until week 24, complicated birth with negative repercussions, but a perfect, healthy handful of a daughter who is now 3.5 y/o.
    #2 – hyperemesis again until week 22, scary test results for baby that couldn’t be confirmed until birth … then a magical, perfect, empowering, life-changing, transformative, transcendental birth resulting in a healthy, vibrant, magnificent boy who is now 23 months.
    His birth was the best, most satisfying, empowering and fulfilling accomplishment I have ever had. I would give birth once a week for the rest of my life, as long as I didn’t have to go through the hyperemesis part again! Hence, no more for us..

  54. #1 – Surprise pregnancy, took us some time to warm up to the idea. Had some bleeding in first trimester that scared us, and is how we came to realize that we really did want this baby. Turned out fine, bleeding stopped and didn’t return for the rest of the pregnancy. Had issues with high blood pressure at the end, and was supposed to be induced. Ended up going into labour on my own, had a very quick (3 hour) labour with no drugs. Baby was born very healthy, and still is today at nearly 4 years of age!#2 – Very planned pregnancy. And very normal. Had similar symptoms as I did with the first (nausea, food aversions, etc), but nothing too troublesome. No bleeding this time, and blood pressure stayed in check. Again went into labour on my own, had a 2 hour labour this time that ended in a beautfiul and healthy baby. Baby is now 1 year old, and still just as healthy!

  55. Positive birthing experiences do happen! I had two ideal pregnancies and labors. I never had any morning sickness, but I had all of the other typical side-effects (moodiness, fatigue, swelling, cravings).For the first labor, I was up all night, tossing and turning with awful cramps. I didn’t think I was really in labor (or at least I was afraid to admit that I was in labor). My friend took me to the hospital that morning and two hours later, I was a mom! I didn’t know what I was doing in regards to pushing, so that part of it was not fun. My eyes were swollen and red from pushing so hard.
    The second birth was similar. I woke up that morning and just knew I was going into labor that day. I went about my day as usual, packed my bag, and went to the movies with friends. I went into active labor in the theater and rushed out during the credits. Two hours later I was holding baby #2. I understood how to push this time (use your butt, not your face), so it was not as bad. Not to mention I had an epidural that time. I really wouldn’t recommend going to the movies while in labor, though. I’m thankful my water didn’t break until I got to the hospital!

  56. #1 – No sickness, no depression, no NOTHING besides an increased appetite and some swollen feet at the end. Long, but easy, labor, epidural, healthy baby, happy tears.#2 – slight sickness for about 2 minutes, then a whole pregnancy of NOTHING, no swelling, but a little bit more tired than the first but I also had a toddler at the time. Very quick, very easy labor. Healthy baby, happy tears.

  57. both pregnancies were fairly easy and i was able to stay active. no morning sickness except for one bout.#1 was an emergency c-section – breached, cord wrapped around his neck, after 10+ hours of labor! scary but everything worked out fine.
    #2 was a VBAC – long labor but recovery was much easier.
    both kids are great and when its all said and done, they keep you too busy to remember the labor, pain, and anxiety.
    wish you all the best!

  58. I normally commute by bicycle, a round trip of 11 miles. During pregnancy #1, I stopped that at 20 weeks, due to feeling self-conscious on a bicycle visibly pregnant. Got shin splints and couldn’t walk comfortably on pavement, so got the dog walked by driving out to the Fells and hiking on rough trails (up and down was more comfortable). Craved beer and coffee the whole time – drank Clausthaler and iced espressos. Four hour labor, healthy 7lb baby boy.Puking on the hospital admissions officer was what it took to get me to a room before delivering the baby. Prenatal classes had prepped me to think a long labor was normal, so nearly didn’t make it.
    Pregnancy #2, kept biking until 34 weeks – no shin splints; could still carry the toddler up a flight of stairs. Got ornery about food restrictions, ate sushi the whole time, but tried to cut back on the black tea with every meal due to anemia. Another four hour labor, spent with delaying tactics, since we needed group B strep prophylaxis, and there was barely time for that. Another 7lb baby boy.
    Baby #1 was alert and nursed right away; baby #2 slept for his first 24 hours, and would not suckle at all, but was nursing fine within a few days. No labor pain relief either time, though the nurses were really quick to credit the natural labor on an alert baby the first time around – confirmation bias in action.

  59. Haven’t had time to read the comments, so I don’t know if I’m repeating anyone but I highly recommend any book by Ina May Gaskin. Most of them are birth stories that are normal, joyful births. Also, I think it’s Mothering Magazine online has great birth stories you can read. These really helped normalize birth for me since I really hadn’t known anyone who’d had a baby and had no idea what to expect. Also, I wanted to say that some people process a negative birth experience by telling the story over and over and that often (unfortunately) those are all we hear in this culture.

  60. I had severe anxiety with my first pregnancy – so much that I convinced myself I was going to die and wrote my husband a goodbye letter (which I gave to his best friend “just in case”) with instructions that he should never, ever tell the baby that I died in childbirth because I didn’t want him or her to feel guilty for killing me.Oh yeah. I was one sick cookie.
    Not surprisingly, I had postpartum depression after that pregnancy, too, but it took me 9 months to get help – almost a full YEAR after my symptoms started. I almost got myself hospitalized, almost destroyed my marriage, washed my baby in stress hormones for the better part of the pregnancy, freaked out all my friends and my family, lost a couple friendships because those friends didn’t know how to deal with all the crazy… I DON’T recommend it!
    Please talk to your care provider about your anxiety, because you can TOTALLY take Zoloft during your pregnancy and postpartum period, and it really, really helps.
    Meanwhile, I had a perfect baby after an easy 3 hour and 45 minute labor, and we both lived. And my next pregnancy was so much easier, emotionally (YAY ZOLOFT!) even though the pregnancy had (extremely weird and rare) complications (which you seriously won’t get so forget I said anything). In spite of those, both the baby and I were fine, too. And I’m pregnant again as I write this, and we’re going to be fine, too.
    Please talk to your doctor or midwife about how you’re feeling, and make sure that you choose a doctor or midwife that you really trust to take good care of you. Get recommendations from everyone in town – not just your friends, but people in the grocery store with babies. Ask them who their provider was and if they liked him or her.
    You don’t have to spend the next 31 weeks in a constant state of anxiety. While worry is normal during pregnancy, obsessive worry is not. Don’t hesitate to get help.

  61. Sick in the beginning, felt better than I ever felt in my life in the middle, uncomfortable at the end (though I got no end of joy out of feeling movement and hiccups and whatnot).Birth story is here. A not-traumatic c-section. If I had it to do over, knowing what I know now, I would probably have waited it out – but there you go.

  62. Only one pregnancy – a spontaneous conception after we had just gotten a male-factor infertility diagnosis. Had morning sickness but from 14-37 weeks I was able to do tons of yoga and felt great. Got monitored for pre-eclampsia but never actually got it. Went into labor at 3AM on the morning of Mouse’s due date, went to the hospital at 6:30 at 5cm, made it to the room about 7:15, started pushing just before 8, Mouse was born at 8:12. 7 lb, 14 oz. Mouse was on the boob within 10 minutes (after a little suctioning). No drugs, just a couple stiches so I was able to get up and take a nice shower within an hour of birth. Couldn’t have gone better – I realize I’m very lucky and I’m grateful but hey, it does happen and it could totally happen to you. :)And @Moxie, thank you for permission to talk about this! I often feel like having an easy birth is a taboo subject, especially if you didn’t have an epidural.

  63. My pregnancy and birth were as such: I was 37 when I got pregnant. Had nausea, but no barfing in the first trimester. At 9 weeks, I had “spotting,” (bright red blood gushing, was what it was) and after being very carefully examined with ultrasound, I was declared ok.Nothing eventful after that, til I went past my due date and had high blood pressure. I wasn’t allowed to do much, so I got very bored. Induced at 2 1/2 weeks past due date. 16 1/2 hour labor with wimpy drugs and no epidural (not my wish; urgh).
    Healthy baby, healthy me, got to stay in the hospital for 5 days until my milk came in. But this is Denmark.

  64. Congratulations!After three years of infertility and losses, the pregnancy that resulted in my daughter was totally textbook, almost boringly so. And my labor and delivery was awesome and also straightforward; my daughter was born healthy and I recovered quickly.
    Because of my history I had a ton of anxiety with my pregnancy as well. I found it eased as we got past the big milestones, and found the best thing to do was to just focus on the next immediate thing…the doctor’s appt in a week, the u/s appt the week after that…rather than gazing into the big abyss of anxiety about the whole process.
    Here’s the thing: it’s hard to unknow what you know once you know it (sorry for the Rumsfeldian rhetoric). But remember that people don’t tend to tell you about their positive experiences, only negative ones. The fact is that MOST pregnancies are normal and uncomplicated. There is no real reason to think yours should be any other way.

  65. I had a miscarriage around 11 weeks with my first pregnancy, but everything was wonderful for the second. After the morning sickness ended, I felt like I was on happy pills all the time — I wish I could be perpetually in the 2nd trimester. Right until the end I had tons of energy, felt good about myself, and didn’t have any serious physical complaints. The birth was easy (for childbirth), natural, empowering, and exhilarating — the best day of my life by far. The baby (8 months old now) is healthy and thriving and being with him the most fun I’ve ever had (most of the time).

  66. I had a blissful pregnancy. Seriously, except for a few weeks of mild nausea and feeling tired in the first trimester, I have never felt better in my life. I loved knowing that I had this little life inside of me and wrote letters to my son so that that he could know how much we anticipated his arrival. When I went into labor the day before my due date, I was almost a little sad because I felt so wonderful. My labor was long and hard–really tried to avoid an epidural, but I got one at 8 cm and I don’t regret it. I was laughing and giddy while I pushed him out. His birth was the most joyous moment of my life. Good luck and many happy thoughts headed your way!

  67. #1: Sick for the first 16w, then felt great, then unexpectedly delivered at 32w. 2 week NICU stay. Now a healthy, normal 5 year old.#2: Sick, early miscarriage, grieved, discovered pregnancy was not singleton but twins & lost one. Hyperemesis & hospital stays. Delivered at 38w, great doc but worst L&D nurses EVER. Epidural didn’t work.
    #3: Surprise! Freaked out. Early bleeding & panic. Freaked again. Very mild sickness. Easy pregnancy. Got huge then huger. Willed baby out at 37.5w & 8lbs12oz. Had amazing home waterbirth. Even traditional non-crunchy worried DH thought it was incredible.

  68. Like @Kate said “I personally don’t talk about my great birth experiences so much, because I don’t want to ‘rub it in the face’ of someone who didn’t have such a good experience.” Me, too. The last thing I want to be is unsupportive of someone who has suffered any type of loss. I’ve also learned that sometimes mothers are quite sensitive whenever someone suggests their particular bad experience might not be such a common experience for many or most other mothers… sometimes that seems to make the mother feel invalidated or even self-blaming when it is certainly not the intent! The intent is merely to inject some reality into the conversation, as in “relax, because usually everything turns out ok!” So with that little preamble out of the way, I’ll briefly share my 2 out of 2 positive pregnancy & birth stories.#1 – Got pregnant on the first try, had light brown spotting very early in my first trimester which can be a perfectly NORMAL sign of implantation, I didn’t even start showing until month 7, I felt great physically, my skin never looked better, and my only ailment was some pregnancy anxiety which I only realized in retrospect many months after I gave birth – my anxiety literally went away at the moment of birth. I’ve commented about it here before when I was just realizing my thoughts during pregnancy were not exactly normal:
    http://www.askmoxie.org/2008/08/qa-husband-not-into-pregnancy-yet/comments/page/2/
    At my weekly OB appt, at exactly 41 weeks, my amniotic fluid was dangerously low, & I also had high BP, so she asked me: “Would you like to have a baby today? Then go to the hospital at 5pm and we’ll induce you.” I should also mention this was at the opulent new Prentice in Chicago, a mere 2 days after it opened, so everything was brand new, and extremely clean and quiet. Got the epidural easily, slept great that night while having my water broken and painlessly going through transition. The next morning my OB said it was time to push. I pushed painlessly for 3.5 hours and had no tearing. I credit that amazing epidural plus my extremely patient OB with preventing me from having a C-section due to exhaustion/inability to keep pushing, because I was so well-rested and had so much energy stored up that I was able to breeze right through it. Labor didn’t hurt a bit and lasted only 12 hours from the time of induction to me holding my beautiful, healthy baby boy.
    #2 – Got accidentally pregnant a few months before we were planning to start trying, had another ridiculously easy pregnancy, this time without any pregnancy anxiety or depression – probably because I was no longer in denial about the likelihood of it, and I was able to use exercise plus healthier self-talk to keep it at bay. However, now we lived in Podunkville, with only one shitty little hospital that everyone and their mom told me horrible stories about involving mean, utterly incompetent nurses. Turned out none of it was true for me – I had the sweetest, most caring nurses ever. To this day, I love running into them around town from time to time. Had an even easier but MUCH FASTER labor than my first piece of cake one which I’ve also commented about here before:
    http://www.askmoxie.org/2009/09/qa-how-do-you-know-when-youre-about-to-have-a-baby/comments/page/2/#comments
    Only 2 hours of labor, just a few pushes, no tearing, and into my arms by OB placed our healthy, gorgeous baby girl. Now, this is where some people more wonderfully crunchy granola than me usually try to tell me I actually had a more “perfect birth” because it was vaginal and drug free, but I say Sweet Baby Jeebus, I wish my epidural had actually worked!! Give me my drugs, people! I am someone who won’t willingly subject myself to any unnecessary suffering, so I’m a huge proponent of the miracle of epidural anesthesia – which is usually not the kind of “good birth” story women brag about on the internets, but I digress.
    Good luck, @Anon. Remember that pregnancy depression & anxiety are SUPER COMMON but no one ever really talks about it. If that’s ever what you suspect you’re feeling, I urge you to speak up. I also want to draw an analogy between all of your friends’ horror stories that you’ve been hearing to the idea that it’s usually the airline that has just had the recent crash that is often suddenly the safest one to fly. 😉 Keep us posted please, and best wishes to you & yours.

  69. I got to the same overly stressed out place while pregnant and read a book called Fearless Pregnancy which really helped. People do tend to talk about the negative. I’m terribly wussy with pain and always wanted little ones but never liked the idea of actually giving birth.The actual birth though was amazing. I was at a clinic specialized in natural birth. Everyone told me i would know when the contractions were for real, but i really didn’t. took a bath and tried to go back to sleep. then finally started timing them and may have had the poor kid at home on all fours in the kitchen if my mom hadn’t very gently suggested that maybe we should call the clinic. the contractions were not the worst pain imaginable. i just took really long deep breaths, which hubby did help me focus on, and they only lasted a minute or two, especially at the beginning. it was kind of a rush or a high when they would subside. was already dilated 7cm by the time we got there, and i got to go in a bathtub and that was just lovely. actually sent hubby out to get a sandwich as i felt pretty great in the hot water. the pushing part did wipe me out. i kept explaining to the midwife that i needed a break, but we were past that point. hubby worked about as hard as i did, letting me push against him and holding my legs up (they did make me lie on my back at the end to monitor the baby) and then they let me hold him when he came out. was just so thrilled that it was over, didn’t really think about the infant until he cried and i sang him his first song. hubby and i still tell the story to ourselves, he was so proud of me and it was such an incredible thing to have done together.

  70. # 1, horrible awful pregnancy, followed by horrible birth ending in emergency c-section, followed by a week long stay in the ICU (for me). But so so so worth it, and as a reward for my troubles I had an incredibly easy-going happy healthy baby.#2, in progress, but man – halfway there and it has just been effortless and wonderful. And a planned c-section, so not anticipating any problems on that front.

  71. Oh oh! Me me! I was exhausted, bitter, fat and angry for most of all of BOTH of my pregnancies. BUT — the births! So lovely! So easy! I used pitocin + epidural the first time and only epidural (and baby came 1 minute after epidural, so it was practically natural) the second. And both were so — wonderful, and joyous, and WORTH IT. I spent a lot of time obsessing, too, but easy births and vaginal deliveries DO happen, and they happen a lot more than you think. Best of luck — oh babies are the best ever (just get through the pregnancy!).

  72. #1 – miscarriage at 8 weeks – depressed and miserable, thought I would never have a baby. all i wanted was to hear positive stories about people who were able to have kids after MC#2 – sick for first 20 weeks, then at 20 wk sono, nuchal fold was thicker than it was supposed to be. sent me for more tests, so the second half of the pregnancy was consumed with worry. at 30 weeks discovered too much fluid, had to be monitored constantly. there was no part of me that thought any of this could end well. BUT IT DID!! i have a lovely sweet and active 9 month old boy. labor wasn’t so awful either. went on for 26 hours, pain was intense for about 12 of those hours, pushing required more effort than i expected, but somehow i could still smile on the other side of it.

  73. I also had a wonderful experience using birth hypnosis for the birth of my son. The techniques I learned were also very helpful for dealing with those inevitable spurts of panic during my pregnancy… it’s never too early to start practicing and listening to birth hypnosis tapes!My son so enjoyed his time in my womb, he went almost two weeks post-term. When I arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight on January 11, 2003, and calmly announced to the nurses on duty that my due date was New Year’s Eve, they rolled their eyes and said to take a seat, my doctor would be with me sooner or later to see if I was REALLY in labor. 15 minutes later, when I got checked, I got to laugh at the nurses… I was already 8cm! My hypnosis training had kept me so calm, they couldn’t believe I was in active labor.
    My son arrived at 4:11am, healthy and strong. No meds, no IV, no interventions, no complications. I won’t say it was easy, but all the way through I felt confident that my body would do what it needed to do, and it did. As soon as the doctor laid my son on my chest, he lifted his head and looked around the room. It was awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

  74. tried to post earlier but it wouldn’t go through …had ivf & icsi for no 1, otherwise normal pregnancy, induced 4 days before my due date. normal labour with lots of gas&air but no epidural. I think 10 hours total but only the last few were hard work. Baby and I were both fine.
    I’m now expecting no 2 from a frozen embryo (I’m 9 weeks so probably a similar due date to Anon). things seem fine. I try to take it a week or two at a time, and just think – if I can make it through the next 3 weeks, then I get to the 2nd trimester and the risk of miscarriage falls. Plus hormones should be easier to deal with then.
    So good luck Anon and I’ll be thinking of you in March!

  75. Got pregnant after years of mystery infertility; doc said, “how did this happen?” with a big smile …Loved being pregnant, despite a little pre-eclampsia at the end of the first. Sad about c-section being required, but baby was fine, he nursed well, I couldn’t believe my luck. Lost too much weight, but that was housing stress …
    Loved being pregnant second time, no pre-eclampsia, went past due date in hopes of going VBAC but had an easier c-section than no. 1 and healed superfast. Lost all my weight quick.
    Two healthy, happy boys! Wish I could go ’round again ….

  76. I’m not necessarily a good example of a “normal” pregnancy myself: IVF, high BP during pregnancy resulting in some bed rest and monitoring eventually an induction due to pre-eclampsia ultimately ending in a C-section.BUT – I took photos for a friend at the home birth of her 4th child, her second home birth and her second VBAC. It was an amazing, and (strangely) affirming experience for me. Even though it wasn’t my birth to see a birth that went so smoothly, peacefully (it really was), made me feel better – just knowing birth could happen like that ….
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiigirl/3116930883/

  77. I had a miscarriage early in my first pregnancy, which was scary to me, as there is a family history of miscarriages and this seemed to be the beginning of my own chapter in it, which I had sort of always expected and dreaded. I told my OB this, and she did a lot of blood tests for genetic mutations associated with clotting disorders and found several and told me that as soon as I got pregnant the next time, I had to go on Lovenox immediately, which means shots in the belly every day through the entire pregnancy. So that was all a bit scary. BUT, when I did get pregnant again soon thereafter, I found the shots to not really be that big a deal. It was a thing I quickly got used to. And despite the needles and extra monitoring involved (or perhaps because of them, as they may have prevented terrible things), I would say I had a very easy pregnancy. I felt good, I wasn’t nauseous, the baby and I grew right on schedule, and I wasn’t too scared. I really believed everything was going to be all right. And it was. I had exactly the natural childbirth I wanted and exactly the perfect baby I wanted. Even when things don’t start out quite the way you want, they can end up exactly right.

  78. Let’s see….with baby #1, I felt fine for the most part. A little tired and super sense of smell with maybe a few days of nausea. Ended up on partial bedrest at 34 weeks due to rising bp. Ended up being induced at 36.5 weeks as ultrasound showed a significant amount of calcification on my placenta. Induction didn’t work…15 hours after my OB broke my water and 12 hours of pitocin (no paid meds)…I was still dilated a whopping 2 cms and the baby’s heart rate started not looking so great. So c-section time….not what I had planned but it was fine. Had a 6.5 pound healthy baby boy (apgar of 9). Recovered fine from c-section.I was terrified with baby #2 for some reason. Although I felt fine for most of the pregnancy (very uncomfortable at the end). My first OB appt was on a terribly stressful day at work and my blood pressure was significantly elevated. Which resulted in bp meds for 6 weeks, and monthly growth ultrasounds Baby consistently measured a week ahead of dates. BP started creeping up at the end of my pregnancy so I got partial bedrest again for a few weeks. I delivered via c-section 2 days before my due date. To a healthy happy 10 pound baby! Clearly some mild hypertension didn’t stunt his growth any. LOL! Healthy baby boy and I recovered quickly from my c-section.
    But I can relate…I worried probably more than was necessary before both 1st trimester screenings, amnios, etc. It will be ok. Some days will suck for sure but odds are you and the baby will be just fine. Good luck!

  79. #1: Nauseated and tired during first 16 weeks (also moved house during this time and didn’t realized that the exhaustion was more from pgcy than moving!). Rest of pregnancy was pretty good, nothing scary on any tests I took. Had a midwife practice that allowed me a lot of control over my care (e.g., refusing the bullsh*t glucose test with the slimey syrup and opting for a regular fasting blood sugar and 2-hr post-prandial) instead. Tired and cranky by the end of pgcy, but was able to work out right up til delivery. She was 1 week overdue. Born in a free-standing birth center after 20 (long) hours of labor. My advice: If you can sleep through ANY part of your labor, do not get excited and have someone wake you up. Baby perfectly normal.#2: 6 weeks old, less nausea, injured groin muscle doing yoga (my fault, I wasn’t feeling so ‘pregnant’ and didn’t scale it back appropriately) which bothered me til the end of the prgcy. WAY TIRED this time (btw, if you are super-tired, get your doc to check your iron early). I was anemic and wish I’d known in the first tri instead of the start of the 3rd. The baby parked his head on my pelvis for the last month or so or the pgcy, which was very painful, and resulted in a large but temporary lump on his noggin. Baby was born at home (planned) after 2.5 hrs of labor, without the midwife present (UNPLANNED). Shortest labor ever…he would have been born at home even if I hadn’t planned a home birth, so it was really good we were ready.
    I can’t recommend a midwife enough…I know many people who have dramatic birth stories (read: panicked rushed c-section) that might have been avoided if they hadn’t gone into the hospital system. I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that I’d have had interventions (pitocin/epi/etc) if I’d had #1 in a hospital.

  80. Pregnancy #1: Sick, exhausted, severely anemic, developed severe-pre-eclampsia and liver failure and was induced at 37 weeks. 60 hours on magnesium sulfate during and post labor to prevent seizures from high blood pressure. Vaginal delivery, healthy 8 lb baby boy, breastfed beautifully, now almost two and is fabulous.Pregnancy #2: Better in every way. More energy, more realistic expectations of my body during pregnancy, better management of nutrition and all the benefits of eating well (lots of protein! lots of food! soft cheese is wonderful! so are medium rare steaks and a glass of wine!) that follow from it. Am 39 weeks now, with every indication of health for baby and me.
    Good luck, and don’t fall down the fear-mongering hole that keeps Big Medicine in business. 🙂 Trust your body, and listen to your body.

  81. I blogged at length about both of my pregnancies and how they turned out, so anyone who is curious is very welcome to read there. Here it is:http://paginglucina.blogspot.com/
    #1 ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks, during a business trip, right before Xmas; it was agonizing.
    #2 was a gorgeous, perfect, awesome, beautiful pregnancy. I was all pumped for a natural birth, jumping around and kickboxing and headbutting things, etc. — but my little one didn’t descend, so after my water had been broken for two days, we had to go with a C-section. The experience of being abruptly separated from him, after all those intimate months, freaked me right the heck out. But it went perfectly, I healed fast, and there was no point at which either of us was in distress or danger… I just had to process the mental side of it all.
    So — yes — plenty of processy stuff is included in the blog. You’ll also have to wade through some random commentary on pregnancy/parent culture, alas. 🙂

  82. Oh, and yes, hire a doula!!! My biggest regret for my first pregnancy, and hiring one has made all the difference this time around. In fact, I was just emailing mine before I read this post 🙂

  83. I had easy pregnancies and deliveries both times! It does happen! My biggest complaint during pregnancy was some throbbing hip pain when I laid on my side, so sleeping was uncomfortable, but that was IT. No heartburn, backache, swelling, stretch marks, nothing. With my 2 deliveries:#1 — 5 and a half hours from water breaking to holding baby in arms. No drugs, no interventions.
    #2 – a little over 6 hours from water breaking to baby in arms. No drugs/interventions.
    I think the best case scenario is (if at all possible) to go into labor on your own, and not let a nervous OB say something like “oh, you’re so close, and you’re due in a few days…let’s just induce you” etc. I’ve heard too many bad stories that started that way.
    Delivering a baby is a truly amazing experience – good luck!!!

  84. After one miscarriage I became pregnant a second time. Pregnancy was awesome. Birth was fascinating. I had some postpartum depression after Drew was born, but about 3 months in I finally got help for that, and ever since, it has been a delight. (Well, now he’s teething. But it’s mostly a delight. 🙂 The baby’s almost 9 months old now and he is a ton of fun.I wish you a pregnancy as intriguing and glorious as mine turned out to be — and, more importantly, I wish you joy in what’s to follow. 🙂

  85. I think that trying to find your positive stories will actually help you have a positive birth. I really believe that your expectations will greatly influence your interpretation of the intensity of pregnancy and labor. For me the pain of labor felt natural – cues for me to listen to and change position, rest, walk, stretch, breathe, etc.Reading Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth was a good start for me. Many birth stories begin and then a lot of information that prepared me for choosing the kind of birth situation I wanted. A bradley class helped to ready me to advocate for myself and my baby. Hypnobirthing – just the book and CD gave me sooo many invaluable methods of transforming the pain into cues and sensation. Truly effective. And a supportive husband who worked hard to be in tune with me during pregnancy and birth.
    I had only minor complications during my first pregnancy, but a lot of discomfort. This was easy to handle since the baby growing and moving and responding was incredibly awe inspiring.
    My second pregnancy brought more fear and complications and much more discomfort. The baby was/is fine and well and I still had a home birth in water (recommended for pain and extremely effective). I walked a lot during labor and got a lot of help with pushing in the warm water.
    Women are made for birthing (among many other things). Know that your body is wise and you are embarking on a natural but sometimes magical process and that your child will be one of if not the most amazing part of your life. Best wishes!

  86. I was 36 when I became pregnant, so I worried a bit about complications. All completely unnecessary! My pregnancy went wonderfully with minimal morning sickness, the only other discomfort was back-pain in the last 6 weeks, for which massage was great. My labor took about 8 hours total with “real”, i.e. quite painful contractions for only about 4 hours, when everything was progressing nicely. I had an i.v. drip with painkiller, which didn´t do much, and so was stopped soon. I had a wonderful midwife and never felt that I couldn´t manage. It was an amazing and wondrous experience to give birth, and even though it did hurt, it was absolutely bearable ( and I´m normally quite a wimpy person when it comes to pain). So, please try not to worry too much- as you can see, there are a LOT of uneventful, undramatic pregnancies and deliveries going on. For what it´s worth- try and be nice to yourself, pamper yourself a little, rest, read a nice book, you get the picture. Maybe it will help with the anxiety.

  87. I was blessed with an absolutely delightful pregnancy and a beautiful, uncomplicated homebirth. I can’t think of any way either could have been improved. I second (or third) the suggestion of reading as many birth stories as you can lay hands upon; this helped me recognize that even the weirdest, more unpleasant parts of my labor (I actually HEARD my water break! Also, lots of vomiting and diarrhea, anyone?) were actually very normal responses for some women, and so I wasn’t afraid even as it happened. Natural labor has so many faces, and I was glad to be able to recognize them as they presented themselves.

  88. Sorry- I forgot to mention that I had a healthy and lovely little girl who looks just like her father. Must be the sleep deprivation after nearly nine months of interrupted nights with nursing (but that´s another story…)

  89. #1 conceived while in tech for an opera I was assistant directing (intense experience as I neither read music or speak German. The learning curve was vertical) I’d had two very early, very low impact miscarriages in the two years previous. Pregnancy had the usual annoyances (back ache, reflux) but otherwise uneventful. The most stressful part was house hunting while pregnant. Natural delivery in 8 hours with 45 minutes of pushing. It was intense, but my sense is that the pain was not out of scale with the experience. Afterwords, felt like a freaking superhero! Healthy bouncing boy who is now 5 years old and beautiful and smart as hell.#2 was conceived while directing intense show (immediately after directing two other intense and difficult shows, theme here?) I’d had three miscarriages in the 2.5 years we’d been trying. Only one of them required a D&C. Same sort of pregnancy as the first and while he was 12 days late, he made up for it by coming in three hours from start of labor to delivery of bouncing boy #2 who is now almost a year old. The stressor this time was a remodel and my husband being laid off when I was 5 months pregnant. But boy #2 is also healthy and smart and bouncy. Birth was also natural and felt like a super hero all over again.
    Oh and he showed up the day the remodel finished and while I was in the hospital the entire neighborhood descended like a cloud of locusts and moved us into the new part of the house. And my husband got a job a few months after #2 showed up.
    So, the very first thing to remember is that the only thing that really matters is that you and baby make it through healthy and safe.
    The second thing is that giving birth to a baby is AWESOME! And I mean that in the original, not the surfer sense. Yes it’s hard and intense, but you’re giving birth to a BABY!
    If you want to go natural, go natural. If part way through you want to get drugs, get drugs. If you need a c-section, get a c-section. You can’t really control your birth experience. But no matter how you cut it, it’s a freaking miracle. Not to mention that birth is a tiny tiny fraction of the whole experience of parenting.
    Oh and for the record I was 37 going on 38 when #1 was born and 42(!) when #2 came down the chute.

  90. I discovered my first pregnancy when I went for a cleaning and my dental hygenist said my gums looked like I was pregnant. Surprise! She was right. I lost the pregnancy at 5 weeks, however.I was pregnant again before I even got my next period. It was a little tougher to get excited this time but everything went smoothly. Found out he was breach at 36 weeks and he couldn’t be turned because of low fluid levels. I ended up having a planned c-section, which certainly wasn’t my first choice but it turned out to have some perks.. I knew exactly when he would arrive, I got an extra day in the hospital to recuperate and rest, and it was all over in 21 minutes. And now two years later, I have a gorgeous, active little boy to show for it all.

  91. If there’s one thing I’ve found out after joining the mothering club, it’s that women LOVE to share their birth stories and read about others’.Both pregnancies: wonderful, easy, and yet I still worried a lot about the health of my babies and convinced myself something would be wrong….
    Baby 1: planned pregnancy, early headaches, no complications. Long labor, no meds., healthy 7.5 lb. baby girl.
    Baby 2: planned pregnancy, morning nausea, more weight gain, baby had coroid plexus cysts on 18 week ultrasound. Scared shitless. Cysts resolved at 24 week ultrasound. Still scared. Shorter labor, no meds, healthy 8 lb. baby boy.

  92. Pregnancy #1: Morning sickness, followed by fairly normal pregnancy. Teeny bit of swelling at the end, vaginal delivery at 40 weeks exactly. Was GBS+, so needed to get to the hospital fairly early in labor to make sure I got my IV antibiotics. Ended up with pitocin augmentation and an epidural. Pushed for a couple hours, ended up with a beautiful little coneheaded baby!Pregnancy #2: Ended in miscarriage at 7weeks. It was a complete miscarriage with no need for D&E.
    Pregnancy #3: First ovulation following miscarriage. Normal pregnancy, did even better physically than Preg#1. Was in veterinary school and stayed on clinical rotations until 38w6d (scrubbing into surgery is super fun when you’re the size of a small horse). Delivered at 39w6d. Easy, easy, easy delivery. Had contractions throughout the evening on a Tuesday, went to bed, woke my husband up around midnight to say we should probably start timing things. Got up to use the bathroom, had a bloody show, contractions were 3 minutes apart, but very short. Called my doc at 1:15am, got to the hospital by 2ish. Was 8+cm at triage with a bulging bag of waters. Was all checked in and laboring by 3am. Baby was born at 5:50am Wednesday morning, after what I thought was 5 minutes of pushing (but my husband informed me was more like 15). No pain meds, saline lock only. That baby is now busily crawling around my house wreaking havoc.

  93. Horrible first trimester, great second, uncomfortable third-heartburn, insomnia, big-as-a-boat, but I had an amazing birth experience. At 42 weeks, my midwife wanted to induce but I wanted to go into labor naturally so I had acupuncture at 10am at 42wks exactly. That evening I went into full-on labor, labored at home until 3am, called my doula and midwife and we all went to the hospital. While I was not able to birth without an epidural (which I desperately wanted and planned for) I had a beautiful baby boy at 7:25pm the following day after only 20 minutes of pushing. The day did not go exactly as I had originally envisioned (it never does) but I had an amazing experience and wouldn’t change anything at this point. Good luck!

  94. I started bleeding 2 days after I found out I was pregnant and continued to ‘spot’ throughout the first trimester.I was terrified I would miscarry and those first three months were really difficult. I was placed on bedrest and spent most of my day searching the internet for what might be causing the bleeding. What I found were stories of other women experiencing similar symptoms. Unfortunately many of those women ended up miscarrying which exacerbated my anxiety.
    Second trimester ultrasound revealed parial placenta previa and I was placed on ‘pelvic rest’ for the duration of my pregnancy.
    Preterm labour at 29 weeks which fortunately did not progress.
    Baby was transverse lie from 30 weeks until 39 where I had a scheduled c-section.
    After everything I went through I ended up with a beautiful baby boy and had a quick recovery. He is now 9 months old and the center of my universe 🙂
    I had very little morning sickness and overall LOVED being pregnant. I am already looking forward to baby number 2.

  95. #1 I worried my entire pregnancy about how to tell people at work and ultimately how I would still work in my all-male highly competitive field; I dreaded showing and didn’t even mention the “p” word until I was near 5 months along. I was going crazy at 41 weeks and had acupuncture done to induce- it didn’t work. I was 10 days late when I went into and was sent home twice from the birth center. 28 hours later delivered a very healthy 8 pound 15 ounce boy. No real hormonal aftermath.#2 I was thrilled to be pregnant. I went into labor the day before my due date and worked from 2 to 5 while in labor. Around 730, I called my midwife who told me to come on in. I got to the birth center an hour later and delivered by 930pm. Easy breezy labor and delivery- got a little dicey toward the end when I wasn’t fully dialated but my daugher’s cord was wrapped around her neck, but my midwife coached me through. She was very healthy albeit a little blue at first. I had a hormonal surge and lost my *bleep* a couple weeks later but once I asked for some sleep and help, I was fine.

  96. #1-Normal pregnancy-dare I say I felt great the whole time, longish induced labor at 39.5 weeks with vacuum extraction, healthy girl. Now age 7.#2-Same super easy pregnancy, water broke at 2:30am healthy baby boy-unassisted born 8 hours later.
    Welcome to the sisterhood!

  97. First two pregnancies (possibly 3) ended in miscarriage, one after we’d had early u/s and blood work and were told everything was fabu and go ahead and let the news loose on the world. Not.Anyway, I was understandably (I think) nervous the next go round which (spoiler alert) resulted in my now-sassy six-year-old. I was also beyond terrified of childbirth. Absolutely in the “why can’t I have a general anesthetic and have you remove it” camp.
    I had morning sickness (always in the evening) and an ovarian cyst (btw, Dr Google is NOT your friend when you’re pregnant) that both resolved themselves after about 12/13 weeks.
    I remained (a) unconvinced a child was actually forthcoming and (b) terrified of the actual birth up until really about 2 hours into my 3 1/2 hour attempt to push that puppy out the primary exit.
    I will tell you that labor and delivery were not the horrorshow I’d been led to believe (by oh, almost every single person I encountered during my pregnancy and EVERY SINGLE movie or TV show in my vast viewing history). Labor itself Did Not Feel Good. I got an epidural and then it wasn’t a big deal. I don’t exactly know how to describe the change I felt during pushing except to tell you when, 3 1/2 hours in, I finally had to capitulate to the pressure to have an emergency c-section (she was stuck 1/4 turn to one side — shoulders trying to go through my pelvis the narrow way) I was devastated. I wanted so badly to finish this thing my baby and my husband and I had started. It wasn’t exactly fun, but it was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything, if that makes sense. And the devastation I felt was completely washed away when they put my healthy screaming daughter in my arms a half hour later and she listened to my voice, looked at me and quieted, like that’s what she’d been waiting for all along.
    Next pregnancy was unintentional and just 9 months later. Let’s just say I had a lot less time to obsess. Morning sickness was milder. I was much more able to adopt a “whatever will be will be” attitude and guess what? The outcome was pretty much the same. Healthy baby (boy this time) born c-section (planned this time). He now an adorable-but-naughty 4 1/2 year old.
    You’ll get there. It’s not out of line to ask people to keep their damned horror stories to themselves (though maybe you could be nicer than that, if you feel like it).
    Best of luck!

  98. My first pregnancy, was textbook normal. I’m typically very in-tune w/ my body so I had plenty of the usual aches and pains of pregnancy, but really it was typical back aches and sore feet and Braxton Hicks contractions. Induced on my due date due to large size baby and had a wonderful (though I admit that the wonderful was influenced by the epidural!) labor. Healthy, happy baby.2nd pregnancy – felt the aches and pains a lot more – some sciatic pain and very loose hip joints, but overall pretty textbook there, too. About to deliver via scheduled induction in less than 2 weeks, so I can’t tell you exactly how it ended yet, but there is no reason to suspect anything other than normal.

  99. I had a panic around 12 weeks when I no longer felt miserably nauseated, bloated, or had tender breasts. There was also spotting, and I was sure I was having a miscarriage. I made an appointment with my health provider for 2 days later, which took FOREVER. Everything was fine, though. She advised me that you don’t have to be miserable to feel pregnant, and that I basically was just feeling better.I ended up having a very easy pregnancy, with very few symptoms. I was able to be very active right until the end. I did develop gestational diabetes, but controlled it easily with diet. I had a scheduled c-section because of that, but my daughter was very healthy and I recovered from the surgery without complications and on schedule.
    I often worried about complications, birth defects, etc, but it’s very normal to be concerned. Everything was fine.

  100. #1: Easy pregnancy. Mild morning sickness (as someone else said, carsick but not throwing up–love that description) during the first trimester. Induced at 41 1/2 weeks. 18 hour labor, epidural didn’t really work, forceps delivery. Robustly healthy baby (despite some food allergies), relatively easy breastfeeding experience, moderate PPD.#2: Easy pregnancy with the same mild morning sickness in the first trimester. Took Hypnobirthing classes. The hypnosis part never worked but the relaxation and comfort with a non-medicated birth experience was key. 5-hour labor (jumpstarted by acupuncture) ending in awesome accidental homebirth. Robustly healthy baby and mom. Rocky-ish breastfeeding experience complicated by multiple food allergies, no PPD.

  101. Me! I had a normal, healthy, I daresay EASY pregnancy and labor/delivery. Nine hours of labor, no pain meds, and she came out in just a few pushes. If I could go back and tell my pregnant self anything it would be DON’t WORRY SO MUCH! Because in spite of all that, I worried and worried. Don’t forget that people who have normal boring experiences aren’t out crowing about it everywhere and on the internet!

  102. Sick as a dog for 17 weeks, then bloated like a tick. BUT smooth, unmedicated, relatively quick delivery of a healthy 10 lb 6 oz baby! Very positive breastfeeding experience too!

  103. #1. Suprise pregnancy, super easy, stayed active the whole time, went into labor on my own at 38 weeks, went to the hospital at 4-5 cm, the labor and delivery was 10 hours total, only one dose of any pain medication, healthy baby with 10 10 apgar score. Ate the best egg salad sandwich EVER afterwards.#2. Planned pregnancy, bed rest at 34 weeks, emergency c-section at 36 weeks, 9 lb healthy baby. For a number of reasons (fabulous OB and Midwife working together) this birth was even more enjoyable than the first one even though the circumstances were not ideal.

  104. i love how many comments there are! sharing our birth stories just feels good.my daughter’s birth was awesome. she was my first and only, i was nervous, had no idea what to expect.
    on her due date, my water broke in our OB/GYN’s office (we were there for our weekly checkup) so we went home, then to the hospital, where i delivered 5 hours later after pushing 10 minutes. baby f was small and it was discovered that we’d had IUGR so my placenta hadn’t been functioning well (hence her smallish size, 5 lbs 14 oz) but she started eating like a champ and is a rocking, healthy 3.5 yr old today.
    good luck! it can be awesome.

  105. 4 miscarriages in the first trimester, 1 miscarriage early in the 2nd trimester, TERRIBLE NIGHTMARES ABOUT MISCARRIAGE ALL THROUGH PREGNANCY, sciatica that made it difficult to walk, 3 days of labor, C-Section, have a totally awesome, hilarious, active, adorable 17 month old now with tentative plans to have another child ~~in the future~~. In other words, would totally do it all again.

  106. I have no idea what I was thinking. I really thought that when people tell you to plan 6 months to get pregnant, that it takes six months to get pregnant. So, my husband and I started trying in the midst of some employment turmoil. I got a job and started June 29 and, uh, found out I was pregnant July 4. Luckily, my new company is completely amazing. They were understanding and wonderful and afforded me maternity leave and a flexible schedule. A+ to them!I had a great pregnancy. I wasn’t very hungry and didn’t eat much (left the hospital 11 pounds lighter than the day I “passed” the pregnancy test). The two things I desired more than anything in the world were clementines and skim milk. Never together, but both those things. In fact, the way I realized I might be pregnant was when I was considering knocking one out of a man’s hand on my walk to work. Stealing is generally not my SOP. 🙂
    First trimester was perfect. Felt great, rare bouts of car sickness as others have described, and only threw up until they switched me to a vitamin for sensitive stomachs. Second trimester may be the best I have ever felt in life. Really. I felt round and healthy and purposeful and fulfilled. It was amazing. I actually felt that way until 33w. At 33w, the baby flipped and her little butt became lodged in my pelvis so I had severe pubic pain but only when I climbed stairs or rolled over in bed or walked up hill. This lasted until 36 weeks.
    I will gently gloss over the emergency C-section with consideration to the poster with the exception of two things: 1) Listen to your body. I don’t mean you need to make yourself crazy with worry, but if you think something is amiss, you know best. No one, I mean NO ONE, will laugh at you or not take you seriously.
    2) Your birth may not go as you envision or plan. You know what? Getting a healthy baby into this world is the most important thing.
    I will never, ever regret sheepishly reporting my decreased fetal movement and having to leave work to be monitored. I will never regret the urgency or the procedure that brought her into this world because she is here.
    That’s my story. Easily got pregnant. Great pregnancy aside from some pain at the end. Urgent birth. Beautiful, healthy, happy, delightful almost seven month old. (I am the Melissa of the previous question with the fabulous sleeper. Thanks to all who answered. I feel so, so much better. My ped. said that was within the normal range when I called, too and that as long as she was alert and awake when she was up, it was ok. Thank you everyone!)

  107. Both pregnancies gave me some anxiety but you know things were pretty easy. After 13 weeks the morning sickness went away. I was sometimes tired, I was pretty active. The biggest issue with the first pregnancy was that at the end my son was pressing on certain nerves and joints and I had some PT to help with that. The second pregnancy the baby didn’t flip into the right position until 37 weeks. Both labors were pretty straight forward and fast. (9.5 with the first and 4.5 with the second) When I was in labor with my second baby I went berry picking in the garden with my son and my sister and then we baked a cobbler. The last thing I said to my sister as I went out the door to the hospital was, “take the cobbler out of the oven” My sister, husband and son had the cobbler for dessert that night while I had a new baby to hold.Heck I was canning jam a few weeks before I gave birth.

  108. My birth experience was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I did it naturally, using deep breathing to relax through the contractions. My husband and doula were there supporting me every step of the way, and our L&D nurse was amazing. My husband and I are even closet than we were before, and I would have never thought that possible. It really was awesome.And FYI – my biggest fear was tearing and it ruining my sex life. I did tear but the sex life is definitely not ruined.

  109. #1 – IVF pregnancy, unmedicated waterbirth at freestanding birthcenter with midwife. Fantastic. Moving country six weeks after was no so fantastic!#2 – extremely surprising natural pregnancy. Planned homebirth. Had an OB consult at my local public hospital at 35 weeks as my midwife was worried about my blood pressure. I went into labour in the hospital while waiting for my blood test results. Didn’t tell anyone and was admitted to have my blood pressure monitored. Laboured on my own to 10cm all afternoon, then called the midwives on staff. Baby had not engaged. Tried all kinds of tricks to get baby to come down. Finally, when they started asking for forceps, I stopped that discussion and asked for a caesarian. 12lb baby (5.45kg) baby was born. Breastfed like a champ right in the operating theatre.
    Both births – had done my homework, made my decisions, didn’t let anyone bully me and they were both wonderful, happy ocasions. I feel great emotionally. (Won’t lie – a caesarian is MUCH harder to recover from, but you get what you get!)

  110. I love this thread!Ok, got pregnant after 7wk miscarriage, so I was a nervous wreck the whole time but had no reason to be. Kid was strong and healthy throughout. (I mean, I google obsessed over things that don’t even happen in the developed world.) Had average sickness, but sciatica that appeared immediately and magically disappeared at month 5 when my uterus popped up. Extremely annoying, and slowed me way down, but not terrible. Overall, physically, pregnancy was uncomfortable and I was huuuge at the end, but at the same time it was SO COOL to feel her in there alive and growing.
    Had a water birth at home with CPM midwives. I tried but just couldn’t get the hypnobirthing thing into my brain. However, Birthing From Within just clicked with me, particularly the non-focused awareness technique. 8-10 hour labor, was spacey and in the zone for most of it, although I won’t lie, it was hard and it hurts. (Pain level is different for every woman and even every pregnancy.) It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, although “done” is a funny word for something that your body is doing without you. I can’t imagine trying it without the water. Right about the time I thought I was over the edge and about to panic, it changed and I was ready to push.
    Word to the wise: when they tell you not to push, do what they say! For some reason I didn’t believe she was almost crowned and gave a mighty, mighty push and basically spurted her out and got myself a nice tear. That would be the worst thing that happened the entire pregnancy and birth – I didn’t feel it happening, but the recovery was not fun. Still, the repair was perfect and I can’t tell any scar is there now.
    This word is so overused these days, but I have to say the overall experience was empowering.

  111. 6 months ago I had The Most Transcendent Birth. It was exactly what my heart needed to finish the healing of my very emotionally traumatic (although non-interventive and perfectly healthy) first birth experience.If you can, get a midwife and deliver out of hospital – be it home or birth center. It will greatly increase your odds for having an awesome birth! Plus, meeting with your midwife will totally put your mind/heart/soul at ease – she’ll meet with you and talk with you a LOT. You will felt known and nurtured throughout your pregnancy.

  112. Hi! I had what might be called a “difficult” labour by some people and I was fine with it. I think the main message I would like to pass on is that even a non-ideal labour can still be TOTALLY within your normal stress and pain tolerance. It’s a hard thing, but I did NOT find it to be a whole new and unbearable level of hard. Think of other hard but manageable things you’ve done in your life, difficult days you just have to get through. That’s how it was for me.I had blood pressure problems in pregnancy (that never escalated to gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia). I was eventually induced with gels and syntocin (Pitocin) after 41 weeks and 4 days. My labour was painful but SHORT. I was helped a lot by my husband and my doula. I was happy. My son was delivered onto my chest and I loved him from that moment. He is fine and beautiful.
    An hour after birth, I told my husband I didn’t see why there would be a problem doing it all again.

  113. I had a normal healthy pregnancy, during which I felt good – sickish and exhausted during the first trimester, the best I’ve ever felt in my LIFE during the second, and tired with a few aches and pains in the third. Labor started “late”: helped along with black (blue?) cohosh, though I think it could have waited a little longer.Labor itself wasn’t ultra-long, 16 hours or something, but the pushing part was 4 or 5 hours. I wanted to home birth and pushed at home for hours before the midwife recommended we transfer to the hospital. My daughter was born a half hour after we got there, drug-free. Happy, healthy, perfect baby. Recovery from the birth took longer for me than I expected but it was all ok.
    I didn’t have the greatest midwife experience. Her assistant was FABULOUS but she was kind of distracted and vague (never gave me my records after the birth, for example, though she promised them a lot of times). I wonder whether if she hadn’t hurried me along a little with the cohosh the baby would have descended farther and I wouldn’t have had to push so long and ineffectively.

  114. Baby #1: After pre-conception hormone test, doctor told me the chances were nearly zero that I would ever be able to conceive on my own. Hubby flew home from overseas so we could start trying ASAP. Conceived on first attempt. Smooth pregnancy with only a few bouts of heartburn and a bad case of metal mouth early on.Delivered in a third-world country with nurses who didn’t speak English and a doctor who wore flood boots. They pushed the epidural too early (and I was too scared to refuse) but it made the delivery very easy. Beautiful, marvelous, healthy baby boy, 7 lbs. 15 oz., now 19 months. Awesome.

  115. I had an awesome pregnancy and birth experience. I attribute it to these facts-a.) I have always struggled to maintain a healthy weight, so I didn’t allow myself to just let loose when I learned I was pregnant because I knew I’d have to take it off later. Now, if I wanted food, I ate whatever I craved and enjoyed every moment. I think not over gaining really helped me feel good throughout my pregnancy. That and still staying active.
    b.) I trusted my body and allowed it to do its job when it came time and gave up mental control. Whether you believe in evolution or creationism, you can’t deny that the female body is designed to give birth.
    c.) I had a thorough book knowledge of what was going to happen. I would read and reread sections in books and videos online that told about what would happen during labor and delivery. Knowing what to expect really helped me be able to picture walk myself through it. (I did not, however, read up enough on pushing advice. The whole pushing part, even though only 25 minutes, perplexed me because I didn’t really understand what they wanted me to do.)
    d.) I knew and understood how I best deal with pain. Utilizing this knowledge really made the contractions not that difficult to handle. They weren’t fun, but they were manageable. The ride to the hospital and once I was told I couldn’t leave the bed were when the contractions were hideous and made me wish I had the epidural, even though I wanted to go natural (and did).
    e.) I labored at home as long as possible. My contractions were all over the place in terms of duration and time apart. There was no consistency. I really believe that had I gone in sooner, my birth experience wouldn’t have as fabulous because I could have been labeled as stalling and medical interventions may have been advised.
    The labor and delivery of my daughter is one of my proudest accomplishments as a woman. It was awesome and a great confidence boost in terms of what I am capable of. I’m really pleased with how things turned out.

  116. I have ridiculously easy pregnancies that I don’t even like to tell other pregnant women because I feel so guilty. Other than being tired, I almost feel better while being pregnant than normally. Perhaps because I’m more conscious about taking care of myself? I liked the books about Bradley Natural Childbirth, it really helped to know what my body was doing and to think of it as an athletic endeavor so that I could work with my body instead of gritting thrrough it.#1- No morning sickness whatsoever. Didn’t even feel “big” until halfway through my eighth month. First sign of labor was my water breaking (just as I lied down to go to bed…baby girl didn’t even give me one last night of rest). My eight pound daughter was born 6 hours later. Vaginal, unmedicated labor. Fast labor means fast, intense contractions.
    #2- No morning sickness again. A bit more fatigue seeing as how I had a toddler running around and couldn’t rest when I wanted. Some extra back pain compred with first time around. Also probably due to less resting and carrying around said toddler. I was nursing my older child until I was 5 months pregnant. Labor: I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I needed to use the bathroom but then realized I was in labor. My son was born only 2 hours after waking up. Eight pounds again. And again a vaginal, unmedicated birth. The pushing was super easy, only 2 pushes and he was out.
    #3- I’m 16 weeks along. SOOO tired during the first trimester. I pretty much laid on the couch while my kids watched movies for the entire 14 weeks. Feeling much better now. No morning sickness again, but I did consume a lot of potato chips and Coca-cola. (It’s what the baby wanted, ahem…). This time around I’m just worried about making it to the hospital in time, I’ll probably be slightly prepared for an emergency home/taxi birth.

  117. I also LOVED being pregnant and giving birth, even at 40 and with possibly the LEAST supportive work environment imaginable. My boss tried to burden me with all her own anxieties about pregnancy and birth. And I was working in retail, on my feet 8-10 hrs a day, and getting to hear lots of customers’ uninvited birth horror stories. People adore telling you how horrible it’s going to be. We decided to skip all the genetic testing b/c we knew too many people who’d had scary test results and then ended up with perfectly normal babies.My pregnancy was easy, textbook morning sickness that ended at 13 weeks, after that I felt fantastic. I worked until 10 days before the birth, swam the night before, and baked banana bread just before my water broke.
    My husband and I did Hyponobabies and I recommend it HIGHLY. There is lots in the program to help you work through your anxiety and many excellent tools for having the birth you most want. Our son was born at our local birthing center, with a great midwife, great nurses, a wonderful doula and my sweet husband holding my hand the whole time. It was a fantastic experience. I felt totally prepared and went to a very deep, calm part of myself. On the drive home the next day I told my husband I was ready to do it again really soon.
    However after getting through the first 18 months I’m reconsidering. The pregnancy and birth – for me at least – was the EASY part. Dealing with being this tired at 41 is much harder than I was expecting. But on the other hand, I am madly in love with this little person and am so incredibly thankful to have him in my life.
    For me deciding to have a baby was about taking a giant leap of faith – and learning to actively push the anxiety away. This is just as true when it comes to loving another fragile human being more than one ever thought was possible. Just keep breathing.

  118. One more thought – we saw this movie a few weeks before our birth and it was SO affirming. It will blow your mind in the best possible way – women having orgasms while in labor!! Who knew??!! It will literally flip your fears on their head!www.orgasmicbirth.com

  119. I had 2 totally normal pregnancies, and two totally normal vaginal deliveries, and have two beautiful, healthy boys. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about avoiding a C-section at all costs (my mom and sister both had them for different reasons), and I really wanted to do natural, drug-free childbirth. I was lucky and got my wish, but I also knew that anything could happen, and even an “abnormal” delivery (for me, a C- or emergency C) that resulted in a healthy outcome for my babies would be ok. Don’t get too attached to your ideal birth scenario because you never know. But do have faith that your body will do the right thing, and if you trust your doctor or midwife, and you’re clear about your birth plan, you’ll be fine.

  120. Easy, healthy twin pregnancy — sure, I worried alot (especially when I found out we were having twins at 5 weeks… had gone in for a blood test to confirm my home test, the levels were so high they called me in for a pregnancy test to determine if it was multiples or a molar pregnancy), but focused on getting sleep, eating better, and committed to a positive attitude.The sickest I ever felt was that first week after I found out we were having twins — it was just emotional, I’m sure. I was tired a lot, as many women are.
    Semi-emergency c-section at 38 weeks when we went in for induction — I was on the monitor (x2) and babyB started having heart decelerations (no contractions or anything yet on my part), so they brought them out. Thank god, because who knows what might have happened otherwise. They were beautiful and healthy, and came home with me (no NICU time).
    It’s easy to worry, especially the more you read, both in books and online. Trust in your body’s ability to grow a healthy baby, check in with your doctor for your regular visits, and try not to worry. You’ll have plenty of time for worry when your baby is here and as he or she grows up! 🙂

  121. I found out I was pregnant mere weeks after my only sister lost her 3 year battle with cancer and died. I was not in a good place mentally. It was a terrible pregnancy–mourning her loss while growing a child was not a good mix. On the other hand, though, I often say that the baby saved me because I truly wanted to die too. There were so many conflicting emotions for those 9 months. I gained 80 lbs.I was induced and labor did not progress at all. 8 hours later I was only 3 cm dilated and then the baby’s heart rate dropped unexpectedly. I was rushed to the OR and had an emergency c-section. My daughter was a healthy 7 lb, 8 oz. I ended up spiking a fever in recovery but in the end everything was totally fine.
    Pregnancy with baby #2 went well and now my son is 14 weeks.
    In all honesty, I don’t enjoy being pregnant. I’m constantly nauseous and end up eating a ton of carbs and getting fat. We’re talking about adopting #3 (in the future) because I just don’t think I can be pregnant again. But that’s just me! I know many others who LOVE it.
    Allow yourself to worry but don’t dwell in the negativity. A life created is nothing short of a miracle. You can do this!

  122. Was told about 25% risk of miscarriage within 1st tri and freaked. Despite crazy anxiety and slight hypochondria, had healthy baby after ~6 hrs active labor. Only thing worth mentioning was that they thought my water was leaking so no one realized my water never officially broke…until the first push. Then water broke all over the nurse at my feet. Poor gal didn’t freak (to her credit).Baby #2 showed a “thick neck” during 20 wk ultrasound. We declined amnio/other tests, because we wanted him however he was. Luckily, it was bad math or something else designed to scare poor pregnant mamas to be. Healthy baby born after ~3hrs active labor.
    Last thing, I have 10 BFF from college. We all have miscarriage or trouble conceiving (as in trying for years), and we all have 2-3 kids. We joke that we learned at least one thing in college. Don’t take the horror stories too much to heart…

  123. #1 I was incredibly anxious for the first 16 weeks or so. At first I told myself that this was because my pregnancy followed five years of infertility, 6 IUIs, IVF,a frozen embryo transfer, and two miscarriages. When I felt similarly out-of-sorts during (surprise!) pregnancy #2, I decided that it was more about the out-of-control hormones making me anxious and depressed. Whatever the reason for feeling so bad, by 16 weeks it started to abate, and the rest of the pregnancy was easier. I had a lot of smallish contractions starting at about 20 weeks, but nothing that worried anyone. I went into “real” labor (although, to be honest, the contractions felt about the same as my “Braxton Hicks” contractions) at 37 weeks. I had a home birth. I labored for about 5 hours after the midwife arrived (when I finally knew it was “real”), only the last couple of those hours and the pushing were really tough (but not scary). No complications. Beautiful, healthy, 7.5 pound baby boy. He came out with an incredibly long cord wrapped around his neck and then around his body like a bandelier. He cried as the midwife unwound him, then stopped when she handed him back to me. He cuddled up neck to me like a warm, snuffly miracle.#2 Again with the really difficult first few months– probably the hardest times my 10-year marriage has endured because, to be honest, I was insane. Again it all calmed down. Another homebirth after about a 12 hour labor. No complications. Another happy, healthy, baby boy. He was a pound and a half bigger than his brother, but the labor and delivery were no more difficult. In fact, the second time around I was much better at pushing because I knew what wonders awaited me in the end! Number 2 loved to nurse. (Actually, that shouldn’t be past tense. At 18 months, he still loves to nurse.) He spent the first five days of his life next to me, nursing away.

  124. ~2 years of infertility#1 miscarriage @ ~6 weeks + ~1 more year of infertility (devastating, would not wish infertility on anyone, not my enemy, not anyone)
    #2 exhausting 1st trimester, trying not to worry too much, ok 2nd trimester, and huge, huge 3rd trimester – unhappy hospital v. birth, didn’t get bf established, lots of ppd, but kid’s 6 and fine now
    ~1 year of infertility after started “trying”
    #3 exhausting 1st trimester, ok 2nd trimester, and again, huge, huge 3rd trimester – unhappy hospital v. birth, had rocky bf for about 4 months then stopped, got cycle back and got pregnant (yeah, “infertile” me!). Didn’t have ppd before, but definitely had depression after, kid’s 4 now and fine
    #4 exhausting (even more than usual) 1st trimester, plus depression, 2nd similar b/c of depression, huge again for 3rd but depression was lightening – unhappy hospital birth, but got bf well established (lasted for over 1 year), decided to go completely hormone free and do Natural Family Planning (and have loved it). This was birth was the best postpartum recovery I had had to date (I attribute it to bf’ing and no added hormones), but there was still a lot of emotional baggage I had to work through from my hospital birth. This kid is 3 now and doing just fine.
    #5 (my views on family size had very much changed by the time of this pregnancy and I wasn’t so threatened by the idea of adding another child to our household). I decided to plan a homebirth with this one, so although this pregnancy was very happy, it was also very lonely in some ways, because my husband wasn’t really onboard with the homebirth idea during the planning stages. The homebirth was AWESOME! It truly gave me a benchmark of what a NORMAL birth is, and how little labor and birth need to be managed. I felt so much like a whole person afterwards, BF’ing came amazingly easy (for the first time in my life!), and even though I was older, the recovery was so much better. This kid is just over a year old and doing fine.
    #6 About 3 months along with this one. This pregnancy wasn’t sought after or avoided. I will say I wouldn’t have planned it, my husband was out of work at the time we found out, but I couldn’t be more excited about the addition. The big hitch with this one is I can’t do a homebirth again, because we are moving overseas (new job for husband) to a country where you would be deported if you had an illegal homebirth (and flying out of the country near the time of the birth is not an option for us). It’s strange, most people I talk to seem to think of homebirth as this big, brave thing, but it wasn’t like that at all for me. I sought homebirth mostly out of fear. Fear of what would happen to me if I had another hospital birth. So, not the brave thing for me is to go back to the hospital and figure out how I can have the most normal birth possible.
    I will also note that I can’t really tell a big difference between my children as far as health and intelligence, between the ones that were homebirth or hospital birth, or the ones that were BF or formula fed. I have a close friend who had all three of her kids via c-section and I can’t see any big difference in her kids and my kids in that regard. I mean, if given the choice, I’m going to choose a v. birth, a homebirth, and to BF, but really that’s because those choices have been so much better for me and I’m kind of hoping there’s some benefit for my kids, but the benefit for the kids is all sort an intellectual argument for me at this point.

  125. I just wanted to add one other little thing that I sort of realised after my first was born. You hear all of these horror stories prior to going through it yourself and it all sounds so terrifying because you’re hearing about the whole experience ALL AT ONCE and not in manageable little pieces. When I hear myself tell my DS’s birth story even I get a bit overwhelmed and intimidate by it and I lived it and it wasn’t that bad. When you’re in the moment, even if you get interventions or an emergency c-section or whatever, you deal with it one thing at a time. One contraction at a time and then on to the next one. You don’t have to do the whole labour and birth instantaneously (usually). Maybe that’s why even after a “horror story” of my own it didn’t seem like such a big deal?Also, I’d like to add that this tread is officially giving me baby fever again and Baby #2 is only 4 months old…Gah. I am so in for it.

  126. #1: Nausea that ended at 17 weeks, felt physically very good for the rest of the pregnancy, lots of anxiety (not directly about the pregnancy), a great birth experience with a long, gradual labor, no drugs, three hours of pushing (that was hard!), and a beautiful, healthy girl in my arms at the end of it allI had some post-partum OCD, not surprising since I’d been diagnosed with OCD ten years earlier. Cognitive behavioral therapy was extremely helpful.
    #2: Now 19 weeks pregnant, nausea until 16 weeks (not as severe as with #1), now feeling terrific and utterly calm and content
    Honestly, this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. The second time around is so different–I simply don’t have the doubts and worries I had with the first. I don’t think there would have been a way to avoid the worry, though. Just know that when you are on the other side of this, your confidence will grow.

  127. When I was about ten weeks I thought I was going to die because of my heartburn. (I had never had it before, didn’t have any idea what was going on!) I’m pleased to report that heartburn and swollen ankles were the biggest complaints of my pregnancy.Despite being medically “weird”, I didn’t have any big medical issues. We had a doula, labored at home, started labor about 9 pm and left for the hospital at noon the next day. I had the Bug about half an hour after I got to the hospital.
    I worried all through my second trimester, and reading stories out of an Ina May Gaskin book made me a little calmer. I still wasn’t about to give up my OB and give birth on a farm, however.

  128. The hormones of first and third trimester are really strong. I found that for hormonal depression and anxiety, extra flax oil helped a lot. I really want to encourage the OP to take whatever self-care measures seem appropriate, and to consider seeing a counselor/talking to her OB/midwife about her worries. Prenatal depression is real, and rarely talked about. That plus all the expectations that you be happy and find morning sickness cute make it much, much harder to cope with. That said, big worries can be normal for this time . . . . It’s always a judgment call. OTOH, maybe the extreme worry is a good sign the way morning sickness is? A sign that the hormones are in high enough gear to sustain the pregnancy?I had a rough pregnancy. Pretty much, I struck a bad deal with the universe: I had a friend who went through bedrest and lots of scares (and who now has two beautiful, smart, healthy, strong five-year-old girls), and I was scared of bedrest. So I made a sort of silent pact with the universe that as long as I didn’t wind up in bedrest, that was all I wanted.
    It turns out I wanted a lot more than that. My dog died, I moved, and my best friend from childhood decided to ditch me while I was pregnant. And the University I was teaching for that summer decided to mess around with my pay, which was very sorely needed. I had to find an in-network midwife, had problems with the intake nurse, developed anemia (but had to try four times to get the actual numbers from them) and had to wear a haltar monitor because I had increased heart palpitations and shortness of breath (probably from the anemia). And I was so exhausted in the third tri that sometimes driving to campus and walking to the office was all I had in me — I had to rest, turn around, cancel office hours, and go home.
    On the other hand, I had some really wonderful friends and family, my husband and I grew much closer, I had a fantastic doula, and in the end, after 29 stupidly long hours of labor, pitocin and epidural at hour 23, the epidural quitting during pushing (and unrevivable) and a whole hospital staff who later remarked “I thought for sure you’d need a C-section,” it all got better the moment my son came out. Not only because he’s awesome and my son and ooh and ahh and baby, but because suddenly I wasn’t having the life force sucked out of me by a greedy little nine-pounder with a head circ in the 95% percentile. We were both healthy, even though DS was bottle fed before I got him because, ironically, he was so big they were worried he’d have a glucose crash, which I now suspect is bunk. Whatever, we lived though it, he’s asleep with his Daddy in the next room, and the past few days he’s been interested in giving me hugs again rather than just playing.
    But yes, also because having a child is the best thing that I ever did, and has changed my life tremendously– maybe for the worse when it comes to sleep, but for the better when it comes to all the deep, abiding things.
    My mother and my sister all had stupidly easy pregnancies and births. My youngest sister was born after a night of so-called false-labor that my mom slept through in the hospital. She woke up, wanted to take a shower, asked the nurse who check her dilation and told her she didn’t have time. The doctor came in and said, “You probably don’t feel like it, but give me a push and let’s see what happens.” She did, and my sister came out.
    My mother to this day is upset they didn’t get the chance to set up the mirror first. Some people don’t know how good they have it.
    It’s not all you want, OP, but I’m wishing you *at minimum* a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth for you and your child(ren).

  129. I neglected to mention that after seeing a cardiologist (scary!!!) and wearing the haltar monitor, I was told that there was nothing wrong. It was hard to believe, but basically true: I could, cardiologically speaking, call myself healthier than your average untested citizen. I was in the clear, heart-wise. And the palpitations got better with iron (Floradix: love it for the absorbable, nonconstipating iron, hate it for the taste).

  130. May 2008: Spotting at 6wks leading to one of way too many vag ultrasounds. Growth a week behind, slow heartbeat, miscarriage, trip to ER, D&C at about 8 weeks along.August 2008: Pregnant again. Oh, the acid reflux! Hospital stay at 8wks due to back and SI joint dysfunction followed by 5 weeks of rehab. Fun Times. Stupid diabetes at 14wks (through Thanksgiving and Christmas) with insulin regime from there. Lots of non stress tests and ultrasounds to make sure I didn’t have gigantor growing in there. Worked full time up until 4 days before due date when my BP was touch too high.
    Induction started with some cervidal at 6pm on 5/19/09. 6am started pitocin and broke water. Stalling labor.. stupid Anesthesiologists.. bp drop.. bad back.. acid reflux.. c-section worries. Beautiful,completely healthy 7lb 1oz boy born at 10:15pm on 5/20/2009.

  131. Cranky, anxious and depressed pregnancy, very short but intense labor and a natural unmedicated vaginal birth. I had PPD and anxiety issues at first (and probably during most of my pregnancy if I’m being honest), but am doing wonderfully with meds, only wish I had gotten them sooner.My daughter’s birth was amazing and wonderful and I’d do it again in a heartbeat, not so much with the pregnancy though!
    For positive birth stories I highly recommend Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It is chock full of positive and uplifting personal stories and lots of great birth advice too.

  132. 3 pregnancies, 3 kids.#1, some bleeding @ 5-6 weeks and all-day nausea til 20. But went into labor on my own, pushed about 45 min, beautiful 7 lb, 5 oz baby girl, zero tearing and quick recovery.
    #2, repeat exactly except 8lb, 8 oz baby girl! No tearing and quick recovery.
    #3, also repeat with 8 lb baby boy. No tearing, quick recovery. It CAN go well!

  133. #1: Fairly easy pregnancy, worked until 3 weeks before (when maternity leave starts here in Norway) with no days off except two when I had the flu. Some back pain and tiredness, spent a lot of time in front of the TV.Natural water birth at the birthing center, no complications, took 18 hours from the first contraction until she was born. Some tearing, the stitches hurt worse than the actual birth.
    #2: Pretty much the same story as #1. This time, it took 9 hours from the first contraction to birth.
    Both my girls were big and healthy. It’s a fun and exhausting ride you’re in for, but it’s worth it 🙂

  134. Baby #1: successful IVF on the first round, boringly normal full-term pregnacy, long but normal labor, vaginal birth, healthy beautiful baby boy. The love of my life.Baby #2: successful FET after two failed FETs. We were on our last embryos. Pre-natal depression but physically a boringly normal and exhausting pregnancy. Baby 2 was deemed full term by a whopping 27 minutes and was a beautiful healthy baby boy. The love of my life.
    I want to urge you to talk to your doctor about your worry; sounds like anxiety, and pre-natal depression/anxiety is unfortunately a pretty good marker for post-partum depression/anxiety. BUT. Therapy *during* the pregnancy can significantly reduce your risk of PPD. I’ll be honest, I had some pretty crushing PPD after my second but with support and treatment and time it went away and we are all happy now and those boys, who I just now hear running up the drive from soccer practice, are the love of my life.

  135. Yeah. After a long, oong,, natural labor at home during which I felt basically like this was the worse experience of my life, I was super negative about baby number 2.I did some reading and my midwife recommended this good workbook, wish I could recommend the name. Anyway what turned me around was a quote from an experienced midwife saying “labor is hard. It hurts a lot. You can do that.”
    Meaning I could both do what I wanted– labor at home– and give up on the whole candles, ecstatic, peaceful, blahblah stuff that gets publicized. I don’t like labor. It fucking sucks.
    But I’ve done it twice.

  136. Infertile for unknown reasons, crappy response to IVF drugs, yet pregnant on the first IVF cycle. Bear arrived 5 weeks early but was and is completely healthy. And beautiful. And brilliant. And funny.

  137. While I didn’t love being pregnant because my legs swelled up right around 5 months, and I had to wear flip-flops for the entire rest of my pregnancy :), it was easy. Minor nausea, and both of us were healthy. I echo the others – don’t over-research and throw out “What to Expect”.I loved feeling like my body was doing what it needed to, and I didn’t obsess over what I ate, except to cut out the junk, which probably made me feel better 🙂
    The birth part was EXACTLY what I wanted. It’s obviously not everyone’s choice (scheduled C-section) but it was fast and 2 days later I was walking up stairs with my baby. Here’s the rundown of it (no gory parts, I promise):
    http://houseofpeanut.blogspot.com/2009/09/in-desert-of-my-dreams-i-saw-you-there.html
    For me, going through the childbirth classes actually caused me more anxiety. I think it was too much information to stew over ahead of time. (Plus, in the end, I didn’t need all those breathing techniques anyway!)
    I know a lot of moms want an unmedicated birth, and really don’t want to consider a C-section, but keep your mind open to the possibility in case you need one. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I had a GREAT experience with mine and would do it again in a heartbeat.

  138. #1–took 2 1/2 years to get pg, infertility work ups & medicated cycles…happened in aug/sept while waiting for dec/jan crack at IVF.easy pregnancy. easy. i was tired. the end.
    advice for labor & birth: have a doula.
    (87 hours of labor, mostly at home, ended in a non-emergency c-section for failure to progress.)
    #2 happened four seconds after i stopped the minipill (when #1 was a year old)
    easy pregnancy (as much as possible while chasing nursing toddler)
    doula helped me to manage 71 hour labor to non-emergency c-section. (vbac didn’t pan out.)
    so: one easy conception, two easy pregnancies, two long labors, two uncomplicated c-sections, two healthy babies, two successful nursing relationships, and two amazing kids.

  139. i wanted to add, though, that while my second pregnancy was easy physically (no nausea, etc–just more fatigue), i was mentally in a very bad place–extremely stressed out by the idea of kids so close together…our post-infertility mindset was that we would never be able to conceive so easily; the fact that we did was SHOCKING. took me pretty much up until i was 9 months pg to get over.

  140. After a long time trying to conceive, with the help of a good RE, I became pregnant with my son.My pregnancy was glorious! Sure I was queasy and even threw up some, but I was utterly joyful at the chance to be pregnant. I have never felt more beautiful- I positively glowed. My skin was rosy and clear. Everyone told me I was “cute pregnant”- round belly, not much weight gain elsewhere.
    Labor was…laborious. But the birth was sheer bliss! It was the most exhilarating feeling to see him for the first time. He nursed right away, before the nurse weighed him or bathed him. It was perfect. Not what I expected (induced after water broke and no labor progress, took a dose of fentanyl when I was bound and determined to take no pain meds…), but perfect.
    I will probably not get the chance to experience it again due to IF, but I am thankful every day I got to do it once.

  141. I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I had some nausea and heart burn, but that’s about it. My life during the pregnancy wasn’t easy (not due to pregnancy, because of marital issues) and everything still turned out fine.I was in labor for 16 hours (8 of those hours I felt NO pain because of the epidural) and only pushed for 20 minutes. My son was 8lb 14oz and completely healthy. Neither of us had any issues!

  142. I got pregnant after years of infertility with IVF/ICSI. I was hyper-anxious. I read all the books. And what did I have? A super-easy pregnancy with very mild nausea and fatigue in the first trimester that faded into nothing but energy by week 13.And the birth? Let me tell you, when I started having contractions a month and a week early, I was so, so scared that This Was It. The Moment of Awful. Then I went to my OB, who told me my baby was just fine, and looked big for his gestational age. A week later, my water broke, and we had to induce, but again, my wonderful OB said, “Eh, he’s kicking and healthy. He’s just going to be a little early.” The birth was amazingly intense and painful at only 2 hrs and 45 min from start to finish, INCLUDING PUSHING FOR ALL OF TEN MINUTES, but it was absolutely empowering and good. No tears, baby healthy and just over 6 lbs – it was allll gooooood.
    I am just pregnant (also 9 weeks!) with my second baby (also IVF), and once again, I am mildly freaked out by how few symptoms I have. Other than big, tender boobs and fatigue, I’ve got nothin’. I don’t tell anyone, though, for fear that all the hoardes of normal, nauseated pregnant women will decend on me like the Furies and rip me a new one.

  143. Do you have any help lined up for immediately following the birth? Start planning now. You don’t know what kind of birth you’ll have and how mobile you’ll be. You need at least 3 weeks of help and by help I mean, someone who can be physically present most of the day to cook, do dishes, laundry, buy groceries and *take care of you in recovery*. Even with the best partner in the world you still need help.If you don’t have any family or close friends nearby then try to save up for a post-partum doula. Or take a loan. It will be worth it.
    This is the advice I wish I’d been given.
    No-one focuses on what happens for the immediate few weeks after the birth.

  144. My pregnancy was good, and even though I was super-sick the first 15-ish weeks, I just have happy memories of being really excited. (That said, I prayed a lot for a healthy child and for the strength to handle a child who had special needs.) Got anti-nausea meds from my OB, which worked great. I cried the first time I saw the baby on the ultrasound and fell in love with my OB at that moment because she said, “It’s a miracle. Every time.”Felt awesome from about week 16 until about week 36/37. Then I was uncomfortable with my large belly, but still ate well, slept all right, and enjoyed a sense of well being. I labored for 10 hours sans drugs, 14 hours with drugs. I cried when the doc said my daughter wasn’t descending (despite 3 hours of pushing), and she recommended a C-section. My daughter was born about 20 minutes later, and the toughest part was that my hubby got to take her to the nursery while I waited to be stitched up on the operating table. Yuck.
    I was still bummed the following morning, when the pediatrician was making his rounds. He said, “Your daughter looks perfectly healthy. She’s great!” and I realized that even though my labor didn’t go as planned, the outcome was just what I had prayed for: a healthy girl, a healthy mommy. The rest of my time in the hospital was great. We had visitors; I slept a lot; the nurses were loving and kind; my hubby and I bonded with our baby girl. I was sore for a couple of weeks, but after about three, I was feeling really, really good.
    When I have another one (our daughter is 15 months now), I’d like to have a vaginal birth, but if that doesn’t happen, I’m going to be okay with it.
    Good luck!

  145. Short and sweet versions:Daughter #1 – No morning sickness, happy pregnancy but had heartburn and I swole up like a whale. The birth was ok – Baby was in a posterior presentation (sunny side up), had an epidural which slowed my labour and ended up with a forcep delivery. HOWEVER, baby was perfectly fine and I was perfectly fine with very little tearing.
    Daughter #2 – Moderate morning sickness, very tired pregnancy (courtesy of the toddler), but mild heartburn and no swelling. Baby was born at home in 30 minutes (!!!), but was by far the most simple birth I could have had. Baby #2 was completely healthy and I only needed 2 stitches.
    ::hugs:: It is so easy to worry and freak out during your pregnancy and birth. My best advice is to stop people as soon as you think they’re story is heading towards the unpleasant. I just held up my hand and said “Sorry, but this story isn’t helping me”. I am not sure why we as a society feel the need to share our horror stories with others. Take heart. Millions of women give birth every year with very few problems. ::hugs::

  146. When I was pregnant, I read constantly (I was worried too, and when I worry, I research), and at some point I came across a statement along the lines of “pregnancy is long and physically difficult, but it is long enough to teach you to pay attention to your baby and to run on a clock that isn’t your own”. In many ways, it sounds like you’re at the beginning of that process.Things you can do? For me, reading about what was happening developmentally helped. I liked the BabyCenter.com mails, and loved the book “What’s Going on in There?” as it had a great prenatal section. Talk a lot (with your partner, and if you’ve started telling people, with your parents, friends, a sympathetic coworker.) A good cry helped a lot in the first trimester. You’re going through a lot, physically and emotionally, and it’s really hard work, and you don’t have anything to show for it yet.
    My personal stats: one pregnancy, pretty uneventful other than swollen feet until I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at 35 weeks. We started 2x per week stress tests, but the baby and I were both stable, and I delivered naturally at 40 weeks 5 days. No drugs, less than 5 hours of labour. Things that really helped? Once I was in the second trimester, I loved prenatal yoga — a chance to stretch, relax, breathe, and be in the company of other pregnant ladies. And then I went to the farmers market for a cookie on the way home — perfect. 🙂 In the second trimester, I also liked the advice to read as much about newborns (and nursing, diapering, happiest baby on the block, dr. sears, skin issues, feeding issues, etc) as about pregnancy, since you’ll build up a whole arsenal of helpful information.
    I hope your pregnancy keeps ticking along and that you and your baby are well. It’s such an exciting, hopeful, scary, long process.

  147. I have had an entirely different pregnancy with all 3 of my children…the 2nd was the most difficult, but I was severely overweight with bad blood pressure and other problems due to my weight…and then our baby was born with a septal valve defect and we waited to see if he needed open heart surgery…thankfully not, and it all cleared by age 2…but still has not stopped the worry and anxiety associated with pregnancy…now having had a miscarriage not too long ago, we are trying again and hopefully we will be successful…to worry is natural, it’s in a woman’s instinct to be the nurterer and protector of all, and this includes our unborn children…but don’t overworry or the stress may affect your pregnancy adversely…just trust that you’ve been given the miracle of pregnancy and be thankful that you’re going to be holding your little baby soon enough…

  148. I loved being pregnant, too! Though my pregnancies were not easy – I used to joke I should wear a sign for my friends who hadn’t had babies yet that reads “This will NOT happen to you.” I had a miscarriage, and then in both pregnancies I suffered from hyperemesis, which I was thankfully able to control with medication. By the third trimester I was usually feeling great. ALL my friends who’ve had babies had great pregnancies – no morning sickness, healthy & uneventful, good births. I loved feeling the baby move, I ever felt fat or bloated, I thought I looked great, I walked a lot, I felt lucky that I got to participate in something so miraculous and amazing.My first birth wasn’t easy (30 hrs of labor, 3 hrs of pushing, a vacuum extraction) – but it wasn’t scary or dangerous, and the baby and I were fine. OP, just know that even if it doesn’t go textbook smooth, that doesn’t mean it will be scary or life-threatening!
    My second birth was amazing. It was unmedicated and I felt all the things people talk about when they praise unmedicated births. I coped beautifully with early and active labor, mostly by walking and a birth ball. I felt GOOD in between contractions – happy and positive and relaxed. I again pushed for 3 hrs, but had a posterior baby, so it was tough going. But even that was okay – pushing lengths sound intimidating but when you’re pushing you lose all sense of time anyway. And the baby came out, beautifully healthy, no problems.
    I had midwife attended births. My favorite book about birth is The Big Book of Birth, because it goes through everything, very clearly and calmly. Having a calm environment really helps – midwives are better at being calm during births than most OBs, in my experience/opinion. Sometimes people just stumble into a great birth, but it usually takes some planning (reading good books, finding a mother-friendly hospital, a supportive midwife and/or doula, etc).
    Birth can be a wonderful experience! My second birth made me want to give birth again.

  149. I feel for you, since I can certainly work myself into an anxious tizzy sometimes. But people definitely do have wonderful and healthy pregnancies and birth stories. I was pregnant last year and although those 9 months of feeling bloated, hormonal, grumpy, seasick, achy, etc. weren’t my favorite, my baby was perfectly healthy and fine. We had one ultrasound to find out the gender. I took the regular precautions (like avoiding fish high in mercury) and tried not to stress too much. I went into labor naturally 2 days after my due date, labored for 25 hours, and out she came, perfectly healthy and absolutely fine. No complications, nothing out of the ordinary. Labor does hurt, and I had back labor on top of that, but with a good support system, you will get through it absolutely fine. My biggest advice to you would be to get a doula, whether you are having the baby at home or in a hospital. A doula is a woman who supports you emotionally during labor. It gets intense sometimes, and it’s great to have someone there taking care of you every step of the way (in addition to your partner who will probably be experiencing their own ups and downs during the process). And no matter how much it hurts, it won’t last forever. It’s like running a marathon – just focus on the finish line. Good luck and all the best to you!!! ps my sister-in-law also had a great birth. I had my baby at home, she had hers in a hospital. Labor lasted for 8 hours, she drove to the hospital at hour 7, then her son was born, perfect and healthy. So there are 2 healthy birth stories for you!

  150. first pregnancy:We had been ttc for 1.5 years and were in the midst of infertility testing when suddenly I was “spontaneously” pregnant. Lost the pregnancy at 11.5 weeks and was in utter hell until I found support a couple of months later at silentgrief.com.
    second pregnancy:
    Spontaneously pregnant 5 months later (felt like 5 years at the time; feels like 5 minutes looking back now). First trimester symptoms included super sense of smell, “evening” sickness, and scary spotting. Great fetal heart beat at 7.5 weeks, but I was still scared for the next 33 weeks. During second trimester I was full of energy. Lots of nesting during third trimester. Three trips to the ER for gall bladder attacks. [GB was removed 4 weeks postpartum.] Midwives wanted to induce my labor at 41 weeks (as I was a “elderly primigravida” at 40 years old). Induction at 9am, baby at 8pm, epidural in between. Vaginal delivery with vacuum assist–out on my last-chance push before c-section. Healthy, happy baby girl! Tearful, thankful parents!
    I have a history of depression but was trying to do the pregnancies drug free. Went back on meds 8 weeks postpartum. If there is a “next time,” I will keep on the meds: happy mommy makes for a happy baby.

  151. I didn’t expect to enjoy pregnancy–and certainly not labor–so don’t think I’m one of those people who babbles about the beauty/joy/miracle of it all. And yet, I had a happy, healthy and lovely first pregnancy that ended with a three-hour (!!) labor. I went into labor at noon, arrived at the hospital at 1:30, and Gus was born at 3pm on the dot. It was intense and painful but not the slightest bit scary. I did it without drugs–not my plan, but it all happened so fast. It was empowering and humbling and awesome.When I became pregnant with my second son just 10 months later, I enjoyed my pregnancy even more, and I actually looked forward–in a weird way–to the labor. Knowing that I was likely to have another fast and “easy” (relative term) labor, I went with a midwife practice and asked a dear friend to serve as my doula (she was undergoing the doula certification process at the time). The second labor was similar to the first, but I felt more in control because I knew what to expect. It was even more empowering because I was surrounded by exactly the right support system. Painful? Hell, yeah. But it was good pain, and Eli was born healthy and happy.
    I’m so lucky to have had easy pregnancies and fast labors. May you experience the same! Relax and enjoy it.

  152. Can I just say, even though I’ve never had an epidural, I don’t think having the drugs is “wimping out”. :)There is no ‘right’ way or ‘wrong’ way, just the way that keep you and baby safe and happy.

  153. I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant – and am truly the last person on earth that ever expected to (I remember telling people I’d like to be handed a baby and skip the whole ‘being pregnant’ schtick.)Getting pregnant was a surprise but I felt great. I had some spotting at 13 weeks so stopped being active (my own anxiety coupled with doctors advice). I had two days of heartburn and a week of being incredibly itchy but otherwise A-OK. I ended up having a C-section as he was breech and too big to move but it was all fine and, to be honest, I was far more scared of delivering naturally than having the Cesarean. My darling son is just over 3, amazing and kicking my a** with the stage he’s in.
    Getting pregnant with #2 took a lot longer than planned and we needed Clomid to get things started (apparently BFing can act as birth control – who’d a thunk?) Again, I had a very easy pregnancy and felt only mildly nauseous in the first trimester but that was it. The worst part was dealing with a ridiculously hot and humid summer while heavily pregnant… I had a planned C-section (too scared to try VBAC); my beautiful baby girl is now 18 weeks and has charmed all of us – especially her big brother!
    It can be scary but it’s also wonderful,life-affirming and worth it! wishing you all the best…

  154. I have no time, but will give the uber-short versions:1) Long labor, but pretty easy (used Bradley Method), 2 doulas, hospital transfer from birth center due to the duration of labor (needed epidural to sleep after that many hours), fabulous birth, healthy everyone. 8 3/4 lb baby, didn’t even tear. 2 doulas, my mom, and epeepunk. 🙂 🙂
    2) Polyhydramnios (too much fluid), risked out of birth center, horrible backup OB but STILL fantastic (SHORT! 4.5 hour) labor and birth, 1 doula, 1 midwife, 1 OB, 1 other friend (plus ep). 9 lb 6 oz, didn’t tear, easy joyful Hypnobirthing birth (even with pitocin needed no pain meds – there just wasn’t any pain).
    3) Twins, risked out of birth center, OB didn’t make it in time because again, 4.5 hour labor, but backup OB was fantastic, twin breech/breech vaginal birth with no meds (hypnotherapy again), 1 doula, my mom, ep. WONDERFUL birth, easy, laughing through labor, hit transition while walking to the bathroom.
    I highly recommend hypnotherapy if you’re being loaded with fear stories. It really really helps. I got lucky, and my mom loved labor and birth – not that it was easy or painless, but that it was powerful, life-altering, profound. You birth yourself with your baby – you remake yourself into Mother. Labor is hard work – hardest I’ve ever done, even in the easy labor with the twins. But it is amazing.

  155. oh, and the twins, 38 w 3 d, @ 6 lb 10 oz and 7 lb 6 oz. :)Meant to say – my mom loved labor and birth, and so everything she told me expressed that joy and power. Even the rough parts were full of triumph.

  156. one child. easy, easy pregnancy and easy, easy birth. i had a traditional, hospital birth. my water broke at 5am one morning (no contractions or discomfort prior to this), and by noon i had a baby. i had an epidural and for me this was really critical as it allowed me to be pain free and focus on pushing. i had a fantastic, fantastic labor nurse. my ob/gyn just happened to be on call so she was there for the last 30 min, but i wasn’t expecting that and it would have been fine if she were not there. good luck!

  157. I had an easy pregnancy (very little morning sickness, etc.) and a quick and easy birth – barely 5 hours from first contraction to baby out! I wrote the whole thing up here: http://jojojonah.blogspot.com/2007/10/birth-story.html I did Hypnobirthing, too, and I think it could be really helpful for you! They put a lot of focus on eliminating fear.I LOVED being pregnant, and I loved my son’s birth. I mean, to the extent that I’ve toyed with the notion of being a surrogate.
    Oh, you can find a ton more birth stories here, too: http://www.tcoyf.com/forums/10063.aspx
    Good luck!

  158. #1 – Nausea until about 16 weeks. Relatively normal otherwise. Long delivery process. Everyone perfectly healthy and happy.#2 is still on the way but so far I’m cranky, easy gag reflex and tired all the time.
    I’ve found that the worrying decreases as your risk of miscarriage reduces and as you progress.
    Good luck!

  159. I really, really needed this topic right now – my due date is three weeks away, and even though we’re taking “preparedness” classes and planning for a natural birth, I feel a lot of unease about something going wrong – which is only made worse by all the people who say “oh, you really can’t prepare for birth, things NEVER go according to plan.” It’s amazing what people will tell pregnant women without a thought. Can’t wait to read through more of this thread.

  160. I was depressed and petrified for my 1st trimester. Then, LOVED the rest of my pregnancy. We took hypnobirthing classes and I had a wonderful, easy labor and natural birth that was THE highlight of my life thus far. Well, except, for the beautiful, healthy son who was the result (that’s the real highlight, isn’t it?). I highly recommend hypnobirthing whether you want a natural birth or not as it really deals with the anxiety and fear that you’re feeling. I was so relaxed for my labor… and that is not the kind of person I am usually. When I say that I LOVED giving birth, people laugh…but I really did. I felt like a powerful, beautiful beast! Best wishes!

  161. I had an amazing pregnancy. I even ran a 10k when I was 20 weeks pregnant! My body responded really well to pregnancy. My only problem was some hand and feet swelling near the very end of my pregnancy. My labor was also pretty easy, I wasn’t even sure if I was in labor. My delivery story was not so great. I had to have an unplanned emergency c-section, which I was not happy about. Nursing went really well and I nursed up until my son was 16 months old.My advice is to take care of yourself. Eat healthfully, stay hydrated with a lot of water, and get rest when you can. Also, exercise for as long as you can in your pregnancy. Even a short walk or swim can be very good for you. Finally, expect the unexpected for labor and delivery. I was very disappointed that I had to have an emergency c-section. I never even acknowledged a c-section as an option for me. If I had been more accepting of what can happen in a labor and delivery I think I would have been better prepared to handle things.

  162. I had a very good, unmedicated birth–it was hard and it hurt, but it was always okay. I never felt like I couldn’t handle it as far as pain went. My water broke at about 9 p.m. and mild contractions started, getting pretty serious by about 4 a.m. We went to the hospital at about 7 a.m. And I felt calm and happy and centered through all that–it hurt, but it was interesting and I didn’t find it scary or overwhelming as I feared I might. My partner referred to “unbearable pain” at one point, expressing sympathy, and what I told him was, “It’s not unbearable pain–or it just is for half a second at the top of each contraction, and then it’s okay again.”At about 2 p.m. I started pushing, and that was the long, slow, overwhelming (but not especially painful) process for me. I had a baby with a large head and her fist up by her face and thus I had a 5 hour(!) pushing phase. After hour 3 or so, they talked about trying vacuum extraction and I said that was fine–I was tired and frustrated and feeling like it just wasn’t working. I started to feel like I couldn’t do it, not because of pain, but just because all my efforts didn’t seem to be making any progress. I also never really felt the urge to push that everyone talks about, so wasn’t sure if I was even doing it right and at the right time. But my vitals were good and the baby’s were good, and we had some great labor support and nurses, who kept trying one more position, one more thing, and in the end she was born on her own, no tearing, 9 out of 10 apgar, 8 lbs 4 oz., about 22 hours after my water broke. (And crowning hurt like hell, but that was very fast and brief.)
    I would definitely try for a natural birth again; especially since my doula promised me I would never again have a five hour pushing phase. I plan to hold her to that. And I had a fast recovery. A week later, I felt fully myself.

  163. #1 – food aversion during first 3 mos. I lost weight! The pregnancy went smoothly, only major thing was weight gain, as in not enough. I had some sciatica during the second trimester. Diastasia (ab muscles splitting) caused stabbing pain in the middle of back, especially when sitting and typing at a computer. Birth went fine – less than 24 hrs. Only thing is the epidural (that all the women I had talked to said to get) didn’t take. But I made it through ok. In the hospital for ~36 hrs. Couldn’t wait to get home (my mom and MIL were around to take care of me – much nicer than a hospital).#2 – So far, so good. Same 1st trimester food aversion and weight loss. Less sciatica, more stabbing back pain. I am 36 weeks and still have problems gaining weight. But my fundal measurements are increasing and people say my face looks thinner. So I am trying not to worry… see we all do it, even when it goes smoothly. Am hoping for a faster labor… This time I will skip the epidural! Wish me luck.
    Can anyone make mid-Sept. get here faster? I am tired of being pregnant!

  164. #1 – no morning sickness, very very mild heartburn the last trimester, vaginal birth, 13 hours from onset of contractions, 6 lb baby (40 weeks and 9 days)#2 – morning sickness for about 5 months, heartburn for about 6 months, c-section, but BABY WAS FINE!!! she was about 5lbs 7 oz, and she was 40 weeks 2 days.
    I think I just grow them small.
    Anon – It’s normal to worry, but don’t obsess 🙂 Enjoy the next 31 weeks of your pregnancy!

  165. So many positive birth stories, this is wonderful! One more…My pregnancy was pretty great, apart from the usual discomforts (achy hips, getting comfortable enough to sleep as I grew larger…). Definitely moments of anxiety — particularly around genetic testing, since I was 37 at the time, and also towards the end when I kept having transient hypertension, but the midwives I worked with (at a local hospital) were fantastic in encouraging a sense of calm and don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff attitude (“take baths! Have a glass of wine now and then…!”).
    My water “broke” (more of a seep than a splash) on a Saturday evening last May, but no labor pains in sight. Again, the midwives were fantastic in allowing me to come into the hospital to get checked early Sunday morning, and then letting me go home again to try to stimulate labor on my own. An afternoon/evening of nipple stimulation, long walks, and adjustments and homeopathic pills from my neighbor who is a naturopath, and by 10pm Sunday night, labor was in full swing. We were off to the hospital by 1am. It wasn’t pretty (some nausea and diarrhea) but there was no turning back – my body and baby had their own agenda! Once there, we had to wait a bit for the tub room to be ready, but contractions were coming faster and faster. I was off in “laborland” when I wasn’t contracting, so my memories of all this are a bit hazy. My husband and doula were wonderful support. By the time I got into the warm tub at 4am, my body was telling me to PUSH and it was like an freight train moving through me. Quick – out of the tub to do a cervix check (my first) before they would let me push, and there was no cervix in sight – I was fully dilated! Two exhausting, transformative, and drug-free hours later, my beautiful daughter was born into my husband’s hands, and she latched on within 20 minutes (after a bit of suctioning).
    I have such sweet memories of that first day in the hospital (yes, even though we were in a hospital) – we were exhausted but elated. The nurses were amazed that my birth was drug-free, and I was glad to provide an example of what a natural birth can be.
    To Anon, you have already found a great way to support yourself – great idea for a Moxie question! Keep that attitude and you’ll be fine. And remember, as soon as you get used to anything in your pregnancy, it changes! (good lesson for parenting, too, I’m finding…)

  166. I had two wonderful pregnancies and deliveries – not perfect, of course, but wonderful.First pregnancy was great, gained a ton of weight because I used pregnancy as an excuse to eat ANYTHING, was induced at two days over my due date because my blood pressure was going up a bit. Amazingly, a fast delivery with no anesthesia and a healthy girl who is now 9-1/2!
    Second pregnancy also great, despite getting pregnant on a night that later involved our house getting robbed! Felt more like myself throughout. Natural onset of labor the day before the due date, had some bleeding that stressed the baby a bit, but he came quickly vaginally, had a few hours of breathing a little fast and needing some extra heat, but is now a thriving, happy 7 year old.
    FYI, I’m a pediatric ER doctor who was scared through both of my pregnancies about some catastrophe, mostly because of all the crazy awfulness I’ve seen. But it’s important to remember that the overwhelming majority of pregnancies and deliveries in this country end very happily for mom and baby.
    Enjoy your pregnancy, if you can! Congrats!!

  167. Pregnancy #1 – hormonal, but really pretty happy the whole time, went into labor five days past due date, labored at home for about 12 hours (mild contractions, was able to shower, nap, wander around, watch a movie, etc.), drove to hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart, had baby just under 2 hours after arriving with midwife in attendance. Tore, but nothing crazy or horrible. Daughter #1 was 7 lbs, 3 ounces and remains healthy, 7 years later.Pregnancy #2 – was horribly sick (sinus infection that progressed to throat and chest, lost voice for 6 weeks – as a side note, if an ENT ever says he’s just going to take a quick peek at your vocal cords, say no, because he’s going to thread a camera down your nose – YUCK) and had miscarriage at 11 weeks. Not the best few months of my life.
    Pregnancy #3 – again hormonal but happy. Ate spinach every single day and believe baby may be Popeye. As I was insisting that I was having a huge Popeye baby, I went for an ultrasound 3 weeks before due date (first ultrasound of this pregnancy), and was assured by doctor performing ultrasound that baby was definitely not gigantic. Went into labor one day before due date at around 5am, left for birth center at 8:30am, delivered baby at 12:30pm with midwife in attendance. Daughter #2 was 11 lbs, 6 ounces and remains healthy nearly 3 years later. Midwife: “That’s a really big baby!” Me: “I TOLD you I was having a gigantic baby, didn’t I!??!?!”
    I’m sure others have suggested having a doula, and I would agree with that recommendation.

  168. mine doesn’t fit the parameters of the discussion, but there’s a nice write-up of someone being surprised that she wanted a natural labor & birth at kinda the last minute with her second at dooce dot com. poke around for marlo’s birth story.and, yes, most midwives are awesome, awesome women (and a few awesome, awesome men).

  169. #1-and-only: normal pregnancy, nauseous and tired for 18 weeks (but that’s normal!), birth at a birth center with 2 CNMs and my mom and husband; normal healthy baby who turned right into a butterball. Took a 5-mile walk two days before the kid was born and took a 1-mile walk 7 days after. It does happen!(Also, by the way, lochia is GROSS!!)

  170. oh, and the twins, 38 w 3 d, @ 6 lb 10 oz and 7 lb 6 oz. :)Meant to say – my mom loved labor and birth, and so everything she told me expressed that joy and power. Even the rough parts were full of triumph.
    I did have a lot of losses (6), but even with the anxiety that produces, it is possible to get through and enjoy the pregnancy, and birth.
    (I’m with thebigmeow – I’ve had an epidural, and I’ve had not, and while I way prefer both labor and recovery with no meds, I am not unhappy about using meds when they were needed.)

  171. Reading through more of these, does anyone notice that it doesn’t seem to feel ‘okay’ to tell GOOD, easy, normal, ‘boring’ birth stories?I had a panic attack when I ordered the birth hypnotherapy program the first time (tapes)… because, well, I might end up with an EASY birth. GASP! What the HELL? I was afraid of having an easy, peasey, no-issues, no-problems ‘I didn’t have to triumph over anything and nobody had to rescue me or the baby’ birth. Even though my mom was so positive about birth, I’d also developed that ‘birth is this trial of the ages, it isn’t real unless you have a big dramatic story to tell’ thing…
    Plus, why does it feel like rubbing it in the faces of those who had a harder time? Why do we exclude those who weren’t miserable, in the ‘misery loves company’ crowd? Why do we suppress the good stuff, the ‘this is what can happen, and I hope it does for you, too!’? Do we just not teach skills about how to say ‘I loved my birth experience’ without it sounding like bragging? I’d like to be able to offer hope without creating a false impression that I’m better than anyone else. I’m not. I’m human. This is in the human range of normal. Yes, I worked at it, but yes I also got lucky. No I didn’t know everything, yes, each time something took me by surprise that I wished I knew more about, etc.
    More questions than answers, there…

  172. OP – congrats for reaching out to this community. I did my best to surround myself with positive pregnancy & birth stories when I was preg. (My son is going into K in Sept.)Literally every night, I read a positive pregnancy and delivery story from Ina May Gaskin’s delightful book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” (published in paperback March 2003.) At least 100 pages of that book is devoted to positive birth and preg stories. I barely, if at all, read the “What to Worry About When You’re Expecting” (ha) type of books; I even found the “Girlfriend’s Guide” series too negative at times.
    My basic birth story: very lucky pregnancy, just very tired first semester, craved avocados like mad, a little heartburn towards the end, was about two weeks late, but water broke naturally at about midnight one night and he was born a little before midnight the next day via a planned home birth using two Certified Nurse Midwives and a Doula (BEST $500 out of pocket I have ever spent in my entire life was for the Doula – fantastic). There were some rough moments in the birthing but once I truly, emotionally “got it” that no one was trying to hurt me (ie the labor) and I began to actually work with the contractions, things greatly improved. It hurt, yes, but not nearly as bad as some told me. He began to breastfeed even before we cut the umbilical cord. Amazing.
    warm, positive wishes to all.

  173. Oh, also, a note to the original poster: I don’t know if your anxiety is a symptom of depression, but for women who experience depression before or during pregnancy, the chances of having a moderate-to-severe episode of PPD are about 80%, if the depression is not being treated at the time of birth. Motherrisk is an excellent Cliff’s Notes on which drugs are safe in pregnancy (most antidepressants are). Good luck!

  174. I so love being pregnant that I am planning on being a gestational carrier (once the little baby is weaned). I had some minor complications during delivery with #1, but had completely textbook pregnancies with both and a wonderful delivery of #2. I biked to work the Friday before both Sunday deliveries.

  175. I know I’m late in chiming in, but I wanted to share my story, too.#1 was an easy pregnancy, despite my high anxiety about miscarriage (no real risk factors, just my mom had lots of trouble getting/staying pregnant so I thought I might have issues). I was induced with him at 41 weeks for size, and had a pretty standard labor w/epidural. Pushed for about 45 minutes and the first words out of my mouth were, “Oh, I want to do that again!” Unfortunately, it turned out that he had fractured his clavicle on the way out (8lb5oz boy out of 5’2″ me), which was undiagnosed until the morning after he screamed the entire first night at home. Which kind of spoiled our breastfeeding relationship, but that’s another story.
    #2 was a great pregnancy too, except for chasing a baby/toddler around and a lot of sciatic pain. Tons of anxiety about miscarriage, too, but I eventually settled into a really happy place. As the time came closer for delivery, I was getting lots of pressure about her size again. Because the risk of repeat shoulder dystocia is high, my OB made it clear that she’d prefer if I’d agree to a c-section, but would let me try another vaginal birth. Induced at 38 weeks, labor lasted about the same amount of time (9-10 hours). I woke up from a little nap and was feeling pressure, so the nurse checked me and called my doc, who was across town at the other hospital. She came over and was talking to a partner on the phone at the nurses’ station when the nurse came in to get the bed set up for delivery. She put my legs up and there was baby’s head bulging out with the contraction. The OB dropped the phone, threw on her gloves, and I pushed once. Out she flew, exactly the same size as her brother. She had no issues whatsoever, and trust me, I had everyone in that hospital check her clavicles before we went home!
    I have to recommend the one-push delivery. I never even broke a sweat!

  176. Old Mom. Several rounds of IVF (turkey baster, but in a lab). Barfed for 4.5 months, then gestational diabetes. Induced. 44 hours of labor (mostly easy – Pitocin kicked my @$$ for the last 6.5 hours). 20 minutes (max) of pushing. Beautiful, fabulous, incredible child. No complications, no problems.I was paranoid the whole pregnancy. Woke up convinced the fetus was claustrophobic and had to be removed immediately. (My husband had to talk me off the ledge for that one.)
    Despite having a lunatic for a mother (at least when she’s pregnant), my son seems quite sane and normal.

  177. Couldn’t possibly read all of the comments, so hopefully you’ve gotten some positive stories. BTW, I think we as women share FAR too many horror birth stories with newly pregnant women…it’s like it’s a badge of honor or something. I used to wear a button that read, “No scary birth stories, please…my baby is listening!”If you’re having a lot of anxiety about your birth, I highly recommend taking a hypnobirthing class and listening to some affirmations. I had a CD that I played over and over and it really helped release any anxiety I had (and anxiety and fear can slow your labor once you do go into labor).
    I had 2 natural births, one in a birthing center and one at home. Both were quick (6 hours and 4 hours, start to finish), which is a hallmark of hypnobirthing, both were incredibly empowering and very hard work. The endorphin rush after a natural birth is like nothing else!

  178. I was so terrified of the unknown elements of pregnancy and fearful of the pain of labor that I waited until I was 39. Scheduled a voluntary c-section. And chose the most mellow, avuncular doctor I could find.Because I was so nervous about my son’s birthday I wrote out a “manifesto” of what the day would be like…the way I wanted it to go…knowing that anything could happen.
    But once I wrote down how I wanted it to be….then I had MY manifesto to focus on rather than other people’s stories. (I even shared it with the nurses who probably laughed at me behind my back but at least were gracious to my face.)
    I also created a CD of uplifting and reassuring songs that I put on every morning. The playlist was called, “Rise & Shine.”*
    I went in on my scheduled day and time, having had a lovely dinner the night before with my mother, husband, a glass of wine and a fabulous dessert. I felt and looked good. I felt excited, nervous and ready.
    My c-section was a little scary but only because I’d never done it before. My surgery was scheduled at 10 a.m. and my son was born at 11:09 a.m. He got a near perfect score on his APGAR test and was 8 lbs. 12oz. and 19.5 inches. He was perfect!
    Recovery from surgery was not super easy, but for me it was worth the peace of mind.
    Of course there were minor complications along the way…but all and all me and my son were fine. I think that’s the thing…you have to continually look at the big picture!
    Good luck! As Bob Marley sang, “Don’t worry about a thing…cause everything little thing’s going to be all right!”
    *Rise & Shine
    Three Little Birds – Marley
    Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac
    Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
    Mushaboom – Feist
    Unwritten – Bedingfield
    Somewhere over the rainbow – Kamakawiwo’ole
    Ain’t No Stoppin us now – McFadden & Whitehead
    Beautiful – Aguilera

  179. After an initial miscarriage, I’ve had 2 healthy all natural labors resulting in my 2 healthy little girls. I was sick the first trimester with both but nothing unbearable. I look forward to future pregnancies and deliveries.

  180. #1. Took 6 months to conceive. I gained over 80#. Was happy and healthy and huge. He arrived a week early, and was delivered in 6 hours start to finish.#2. Secondary Infertility. Took 1 month of a “helper” drug, I can’t remember the name. Got pregnant, great pregnancy, gained slightly less weight. Two or three days early, delivered in about 6-8 hours start to finish.
    #3. Got pregnant the month I stopped BF DD#2. 🙂 Awesome pregnancy. Exercised my way through the whole thing, gained less weight than with #2. Delivered her a few days early I think, same smooth 6-8 hours in the hospital after several days of checkups in the unit. (I was trigger happy then.)
    If I hadn’t waited so long to start having children, I think I would have had a few more.

  181. Easy pregnancy. Baby was very sleepy, so I had a stress test done a few times just to make sure she was OK. (This means you’re attached to a monitor and they watch heart rates for a little while. No biggie.) Some minor spotting at 17 weeks.Went into labor at 38 weeks. Literally went from no labor at all, to baby born in 4.5 hours. No time for drugs, but it was so fast and my doctor was so awesome, I wasn’t exhausted or drugged or traumatized afterward.
    I remember feeling, in the middle of labor, that I was in a deep tunnel. The main thing I had to do was give in to what my body was doing. Yes, there was pain. But I allowed myself to let go, and it all turned out beautifully OK.

  182. With my first, a ton of anxiety having already had 2 miscarriages. Once I saw a healthy baby on the ultrasound I felt a lot better, and we took a birthing class based on the “Birthing From Within” book which was awesome. Getting really informed about how it all works made me feel ready for anything that might happen, and we had a problem free home birth (and another one 2 years later).I will add that anxiety doesn’t really leave after the birth, the number of awful what-if things that can creep into my tired mind are limitless, but it gets better every day.

  183. I am a worrier, so I can completely relate.First baby – I was nauseous for 11 weeks, rest of pregnancy i felt great. I felt like I enjoyed and trusted my body more than I ever have. 11 hour labor, 3 hours of which was pushing. Ended up with an episiotomy and 4th degree tear and it was the happiest day of my life 🙂 I felt/feel SO empowered by birthing my first. A totally different relationship with my body. Power-full in the truest sense of the word.
    2nd Baby – I threw up so much with this pregnancy i couldn’t imagine the baby was getting any nutrition at all. Seemed like 1 thing after another… all the throwing up, that finally relented after 20 weeks or so, then horrible colds, bad poison oak, back pain, etc. It was very different than my first pregnancy! 5 hours labor, 2 hours of which was pushing. She was 9 lbs 11 oz (i am not a big woman! she was HUGE).
    I gave birth to both my babes at a birth center, no drugs. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the most satisfying. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I loved birthing my babies, and mothering these children is the most amazing, challenging, beautiful, stressful, wondrous thing ever!
    I recommend some humor. And connection with other women/moms. THe books “Operating Instructions” by anne lamott and “Waiting for Birdie” by Catherine Newman are my favorites.

  184. Oh, Anon, I feel you. The blogosphere especially can be filled with stories to make you think no healthy baby will ever be born again.Here’s the thing: labor hurts. Birthing is messy. BUT.
    Nothing compared to the feeling of growing a human being. Nothing compares to looking at these creatures and thinking, I grew that. It is scary but medical science today can help ease those fears for you.
    My most important advice is to get a doctor you trust. I went to my OB with a birth plan from the internet and he looked at me and said, “My plan is to do whatever it takes to produce a healthy baby and a healthy mom at the end of the day. What’s yours?” And I knew I was in the right hands. I knew his philosophy (c-section rates, epidural use, etc) agreed with mine; and I knew I trusted him to bring us through it. That was a massive relief.
    I wish you luck with this, and may your anxieties lessen with time!

  185. my pregnancy as an older mom wasn’t horrible. i had lots of swelling and gained — gasp– 70 pounds. (all of it and more went away with breastfeeding. quickly)i didn’t feel great but it wasn’t the worst thing ever. i was put on bedrest the last few weeks due to verging on pre-e and i was trying to avoid a c birth.
    i desperately wanted a natural birth. i practically memorized Ina mae’s guide. 40 weeks came and went. still on bedrest. then, my waters broke. i called the ob/gyn, whom we adore.. he said to meet him at hospital when it seemed to be time. all night, no baby, no anything but lots of water. the next morning, the doc wanted us to meet him at hospital, which we did. i was neither effaced nor dialated at all- got the pitocin that i had sworn i wouldn’t have. 8 hours later.. no effacement, no dialation. none. the waters had been broken for a long time, long enough that a homebirth midwife, had we gone that route, would have transferred me anyway. so the birth ended as a c-birth, which up until that point I would have told you was one of the worst possible things that could have happened.
    but the funny thing is, i don’t feel that way now. your birth, and pregnancy, are what they are. you can control some things, and educate yourself, but in the end, you get what you get. worrying doesn’t change any of it. i was stressed out and worried the whole time i was pregnant, because i had had a miscarriage prior to that pregnancy. i felt like the universe wasn’t going to let me have a good pregnancy or birth, and you know.. it ended up being fine. i wasted a lot of time worrying. i won’t do that if we have a second child. i will NOT waste another single minute thinking things are bound to go wrong.. and even if you build up something to be horrible in your mind, such as the possibility of a c birth, the reality is that you will be strong enough to deal with it. you will, because that’s what being a parent is- that’s your initiation. you will never again be able to run away from problems or avoid doing things you don’t want to do or be irresponsible (well, maybe sometimes). you’ll rise to the challenge and do it every single day you’re a mom!

  186. You probably don’t need anymore examples, but I’m going to chime in anyway. I’m an older, overweight Mom and they expected me to have problems and at least one crisis. Instead, I had the easiest pregnancy ever. I didn’t want it to end and I have a healthy little to show for it. I wish I could have the time I spent worrying and crying back. My biggest piece of advice for you? Walk away from the internet. It is not your friend at this time. Only use it to come here and maybe register. Have a wonderful pregnancy. Enjoy!

  187. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  188. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  189. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  190. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  191. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  192. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  193. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  194. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  195. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  196. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  197. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  198. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  199. I’ve had three pregnancies- two singletons and then twins. All of them were fantastic! I didn’t even have a single pregnancy symptom and was happy and healthy throughout (I didn’t even know it was twins until the 20 week u/s). Even with the twins I simply felt great! I carried all four of my babies to term, gave birth without interventions (in the hospital), and have nursed each of them exclusively. I’ve been told that I was born to have babies! Though I think I may be about to retire!

  200. I got prego with my first/only when I was 39 and I would be 40 at her birth. Docs freaked out, because I was Advanced Maternal Age. Perfect pregnancy, never even threw up once. Had a perfectly beautiful, healthy baby after an uneventful labor & delivery. P.S. now she is beautiful, healthy and smart.

  201. My pregnancy with my son went off without a hitch. I did have a tough labor (induced, 22 hours, kid turned sunnyside up) and ended up having a c-section, but it was totally fine. I was safe healthy, he was safe and healthy (and big — 10 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces).I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you!

  202. Let’s see…I got pregnant at 37, gave birth at 38. I had a few a la carte pregnancy symptoms — nausea weeks 5-20, reflux weeks 8-15 and 25-40, and pubic symphisis pain for the back half of the pregnancy — but nothing really scary. I was very worried about the pubic/pelvic pains because I’d been battling other musculoskeletal issues before I became pregnant, and I was certain that labor would exacerbate all these problems and make it impossible to move around in hopes of avoiding drugs. In the end, not one of my fears materialized.
    I began to efface and dilate about 4 weeks before my due date so we were prepared for my LO to be a bit early, which she was. 2 weeks before her due date I felt my water break at 1:30a.m., got to the hospital by 5a.m., and my daughter was born at 6:16a.m. When I arrived at the hospital I was 9.5 centimeters so I never did get any drugs. I delivered vaginally, no perineal tearing. My daughter was healthy and we’re doing great at 15 weeks.

  203. Like some of the other commentators, I highly highly recommend hypnobirthing. I took the course, read the book, listened to the CD and practised breathing techniques on a daily basis for the last 4 months of my pregnancy (yes, you have to spend a lot of time practising if you want make the most of it), exercised throughout most of the pregnancy, and then last week after a less than three hour slightly painful but manageable labour, my second daughter was born after three pushes. The midwife only arrived 15 minutes after the birth (baby was born at home). During my first pregnancy I was terrified of giving birth and I ended up suffering through 18 hours of painful labour and a ventouse delivery. I do realise second births are usually quicker but I think not fearing labour and instead looking forward to it made a huge difference and helped me relax and make the second birth so much easier.

  204. Easy, easy pregnancy (at 30 years old, first time), stubborn little girl stayed in there and I was induced at almost 2 weeks late, couldn’t progress pst 4 cm to save my life, then had a C-section. Easy recovery, home within 48 hours, easy baby!I did NOT want a c-section, but in the end, it was no biggie. She’s here, she’s healthy, I’m healthy and that’s what matters. You’ll do great!

  205. First baby: wonderful pregnancy (thanks, Brewer diet!), only uncomfortable the last month, gained 12 pounds (I was overweight to start), a long but bearable labor, natural birth – at a hospital, even, without so much as an IV or heplock – and just an overwhelmingly positive feeling about the whole thing. I look forward to doing it again!

  206. Human Rights and Freedoms. For now she is the regional head for the Bamenda branch office. She specialises in guiding people to get in touch with their higher selves and working for world peace. Still in her late forties, she is a mother of many biological and God children.

  207. Hy blog is giving very useful information.. I wanna share my knowledge about Tubal Ligation ReversalWomen, having a tubal ligation (getting your “tubes tied”) is a permanent way to manage your family size, now the procedure can be reversed and women can be pregnant again.

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