First-time labor and delivery stories from real moms can IMMEDIATELY make you feel connected, more informed, not alone and more prepared to have your baby, especially if you are a first-time mom. Before having our first baby, I WISH I would have read more first-time labor and delivery stories but I told myself, I was too scared.
I felt like I wouldn’t be able to handle the stories. But this is so untrue! Reading first-time labor and delivery stories is incredibly helpful. You’ll soon see why!
However, if you find yourself with a major case of the jitters when you think about what labor will be like for you, first I would seriously advise taking a SOLID prenatal (childbirth class). The BEST one I’ve run across (and taken) is by Hilary Erikson who’s been a labor and delivery nurse, delivered hundreds of babies and taught this childbirth class for OVER 16 years. You’ll love her and she’ll make sure you are confident going into labor. She’s got a free prenatal class too!
Now, if your partner is SUPER stressing about this whole labor and delivery thing, I HIGHLY recommend Alice Turner’s Supporting Her class. She has more than 13 years of experience as a doula and seven as a Lamaze certified childbirth educator and has supported more than 200 births. She created this class because she found that having a prepared partner is INCREDIBLY powerful.
Below are first-time labor and delivery stories from women who are here to share their knowledge as well as give advice, options and let you know you are not alone!
- What I Wish SOMEONE Had Told Me About The Postpartum Hospital Stay
- What I WISH I’d Known BEFORE Going Into Labor!
- 10 Vital Labor Tips For First Time Moms
14 First-Time Labor And Delivery Stories You Need To Hear From Real Moms
Surrounded by an amazing family
Cendu Param // Cenzerely Yours
The best piece of advice I can offer in terms of birth and labor is to keep an open mind. It can be helpful to have a birth plan in place so doctors and nurses know what you would potentially like to happen but keep in mind that many times things don’t always go exactly as you want and the most important part is the safety of mom and baby.
When my time came, I felt ill-prepared and had all kinds of anxiety. I had gestational diabetes throughout my pregnancy which led to my placenta deteriorating earlier than expected so I was induced 2 weeks before my due date.
Knowing that interventions like these can increase the chances of a c-section, this was the last thing I wanted. So, I had specifically asked for no drug interventions and wanted to try a natural birth.
However, I did end up with an epidural and a C-section as my labor just wasn’t progressing but at the end of it all, I didn’t care. I was holding my little guy as happy tears ran down my face. Everything else faded into the background.
What I remember from that day wasn’t the birth plan but who was there and how I felt. I was so happy to have the best team of nurses who actually cared about me. They checked in often, asked how I was and encouraged me the whole way through. It was like having your own cheerleaders at your birthing. They made me feel confident and in control.
My husband was right there holding my hand and it felt amazing to know we did it. We did this thing. I was surrounded by my family and could see how proud they were of us. This is what I remember from the birth, not the birth plan, but the amazing people and the best gift ever that I got to take home.
A planned natural birth
Natasha // The Artisan Life
I grew up knowing I wanted a natural birth. My mom is an OBGYN and I watched her give birth to my sister when I was seven. My mom always told me that preparation is key to a successful natural birth, so when I became pregnant in 2017, I started researching natural birth classes. I ended up purchasing Hypnobabies and it was one of the best decisions of my life.
Hypnobabies is a complete natural birth course with information about nutrition, exercise, medical procedures, and more. Every day you practice self-hypnosis with guided tracks and repeat affirmations that help reprogram your mind to expect a positive experience from pregnancy and childbirth.
Hypnobabies empowered me to change providers when I realized my first doctor saw birth as a medical emergency, not a natural process. I moved to a natural-birth friendly practice with a supportive nurse-midwife.
I ended up with a premature rupture of membranes. When my contractions hadn’t picked up in 12 hours, my midwife started me on Pitocin. This was not in my original plan, but I stuck with my Hypnobabies tracks and training. In spite of the Pitocin, I was so comfortable I was afraid I wasn’t making “enough progress” until I suddenly started feeling pushy! I was so relaxed because my hypnosis queues I actually had trouble figuring out how to push for the first few minutes.
My advice to first-time moms is to become informed and don’t obsess over horror first-time labor and delivery stories. Don’t be shy about interrupting people who start to tell you their worst birth or pregnancy story to ask them what went well. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself at the doctor’s office and don’t hesitate to get a second opinion if something doesn’t feel right to you.
Pick an experienced doctor (or midwife) that you trust 100%
Erin Reeder // The Incremental Mama
During our last meeting with our delightfully “granola” birth instructor, she very somberly explained that the only way some babies safely get here is through a c-section.
I knew she was talking to me.
My mom was born via c-section and went on to have 5 c-sections herself. With 2 generations of c-sections behind me, I knew that I had probably inherited traits that made a c-section more likely. Despite this, I secretly prayed that I could have an unmedicated vaginal delivery.
A week after my due date, I waddled up to the hospital to be induced. I was pleasantly surprised when the nurse informed me that I was actually in labor. I guess my discomfort wasn’t just from having been pregnant for what felt like years!
With Pitocin administered, the labor progressed, my contractions becoming very painful. I was so grateful for the breathing techniques from birthing class!
When the pain became unbearable, I begged for an epidural and was too grateful for the relief to be disappointed. However, 24 hours later I was only at 4 cms and my baby started distressing. An emergency c-section was ordered.
Luckily for me, I had selected a highly-rated, very experienced OB-GYN with a super low c-section rate (10%). When he made the call, I had complete confidence—despite feeling disappointed.
And within a few scary minutes on the operating table, I heard the most glorious sound I’d ever heard—my baby’s very healthy wail. The fear and disappointment vanished.
My 2 biggest pieces of advice to expectant mamas, are to:
- Pick an experienced doctor (or midwife) that you trust 100%.
- Remember that getting your baby into the world as safely as possible is the most important thing—not having some sort of birthing bragging rights
If you’re nervous about labor and delivery as well as having EVERYTHING done before baby arrives, download this FREE Nursery & Home Checklist Guide: the only checklist you’ll need to prepare for baby.
First-time labor and delivery stories: Twin Birth!
Katherine Betts // twinpickle.com
The Twins were not my firstborn, but the unique challenges of twin pregnancy made my choices for their birth a little more complicated. When I arrived at the hospital for my scheduled C-Section I was beaming with excitement but unnerved by the casual welcome. Without the presence of labor, it felt so surreal.
I remember the operating theatre feeling incredibly cold, conditions important for sterility in the OR. With my husband dressed in scrubs beside me, I was as calm as I could be considering I was half-naked and surrounded by strangers. When you give birth to twins, each baby is assigned a team, so the delivery room is a busy place.
When I looked up, I saw the mirror. Unexpected but appreciated, I was able to see my two beautiful boys enter the World. It wasn’t the slightest bit gruesome to watch. In fact, I don’t remember seeing anything but the Twins adorable purple cheesiness, arriving screaming with perfect enthusiasm.
I was able to do skin-to-skin with one while the other was being delivered, and within a couple of minutes, I had two babies snuggled up on my chest while my OBGYN finished up beyond the screen. It had been a long 8 months, I am small and they were big. I was totally overwhelmed by love and relief; a feeling I will never forget.
When I consider if I’ve missed out on part of the journey by having an emergency C-Section with my first and an elective one with the Twins, I always come to the same conclusion: I have three beautiful healthy children, what more could I want?
An emergency C-Section with a healthy baby
Amy // The Postpartum Party
My birth story went nothing like had I planned.
I was induced due to being overdue. The induction was slow and took 12+ hours to get to 1 cm. After many induction methods including Cytotec, foley bulb, Pitocin, and 30 hours of labor, it was time to push!
Pushing wasn’t as bad as I imagined. It just made me wish I had worked out more!
After pushing several times, my daughter’s heart rate dropped. We took a break to see if that would help. After waiting an hour and then pushing again, her heart rate dropped again. We repeated this many times before the doctor recommended a C-Section.
I was exhausted and didn’t really know my options. I didn’t want a C-Section but I also trusted my doctor. They took me into the operating room and told me I was getting a medication that would make me feel like I couldn’t breathe. They said, “remember, if you’re talking, you’re breathing.”
As soon as the medicine kicked in, I freaked out. I COULDN’T BREATHE! I remembered what the doctor said, but I really couldn’t breathe! The doctor reminded me to talk and said again “if I was talking, I was breathing.” I started singing my ABCs through struggled breaths and before I knew it, my daughter was here!
The C-Section seemed like it was lightning fast! I couldn’t believe it was over and that my baby was here!
I grieved my labor for a long time, wondering if getting induced was a mistake and if it had led to the C-Section. Which made me wonder if I should have done things differently. But then I realized that I had a happy and healthy little girl and it really didn’t matter how she came into this world. She was here and she was perfect.
Your body knows what it’s doing
Thandi Nagel // Life Love Mama
The evening of March 7th, 2019, I started getting some spasms of pain in my lower back. I went to bed that night still feeling it, but I was able to get some sleep.
4:00 am the next day I started feeling cramps along with the back pain, and it was starting to happen at regular intervals. I timed them all morning and afternoon. I went to the hospital around 2:00 pm to get things checked out. My water hadn’t broken and things weren’t too intense yet, so I was sent home.
We got back home around 4:30 pm. By 5:00 pm contractions were hard. We ended up heading back to the hospital almost as soon as we got back home.
When I was checked, I was already close to 9cm dilated. I continued to breathe through the contractions, which were one right after the other for a few hours. The back labor sucked. Hubby rolled a piece of pool noodle on my lower back through the contractions, which really helped. The nurses and my OB were all amazed at how well I was laboring, just breathing through contractions. I had planned to do everything naturally and was determined, as long as everything went smoothly, I would just let my body do its thing!
I pushed for two hours, but it didn’t feel like that long. Honestly pushing was more relieving than going through the contractions.
At 11:26 pm, our baby boy came into the world. I’m so thankful for how smoothly my labor and delivery went, because I know it doesn’t always happen that way. My biggest piece of advice would be to advocate for what you want, but keep an open mind! Your body knows what it’s doing and no matter how your little one comes into the world, you are a rockstar!
First-time labor and delivery stories: scheduled C-Section
Rebecca // Collecting Clovers
I went into my last pregnancy with the assumption that my delivery would be just like my previous vaginal deliveries.
However, my son had other plans. At 30 weeks, I found out my son was breech. I tried everything: spinning babies, moxibustion, hypnotherapy, and I try a chiropractor certified in the Webster technique. That little man wouldn’t turn. At 39 weeks, I was offered an ECV, but I declined.
I had decided to trust my baby and boy am I glad I did! When little man was born, the doctor confirmed he had the cord wrapped around his neck, and that was the reason he didn’t turn.
Having a scheduled c-section wasn’t what I had envisioned, but at the end of the day, despite the nerves, and the recovery, I am so glad I trusted my gut and my baby.
To say I was nervous about my scheduled c-section would be the understatement of the year. I showed up to the hospital on the morning of my scheduled c-section, both elated and scared.
My anesthesiologist was an angel. She stayed in my ear the entire surgery, making sure I wasn’t feeling nauseous and talking me through the whole procedure. When I got the “shakes,” she spoke to me and asked me questions to get my mind off of them. She was such a fantastic support system, and I don’t think I would have been as calm if it had not been for her.
The hospital where my son was born allows gentle c-sections. We had skin to skin contact in the delivery room, and I was able to breastfeed in the recovery room. My room nurses were amazing! Despite the discomfort of healing from a c-section scar, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthing experience for my son!
An unpredictable birth (as many are!) turned out just fine
Holly Connors // Simplify Create Inspire
My first birth was a long, slow experience so I expected similar the second time around. Early in the morning on my due date, I had a trickle of water and contractions began. We went to the hospital that afternoon on their advice, and they said it was only a rear waters trickle and my full waters hadn’t broken yet so they did a sweep of my cervix to speed things up and sent me home.
Well… we pretty much turned around and went straight back to the hospital as half an hour later my contractions were coming fast and painfully.
At the hospital, they hooked me up a heart rate monitor as they were concerned about our baby’s heart rate. She was showing signs of distress during my contractions. The gas did not seem like it was helping, so they gave me morphine. This did very little to help with the pain and made me very drowsy. Something I never expected to need – I asked for an epidural.
They did a quick examination to make sure there was time for the epidural and were satisfied there was. While making preparations, the midwife asked me to turn on my side and that was all it took. My baby was coming.
It was a bit of a panic in the room at this stage and I remember being told not to push yet. It was only around 5 minutes later my daughter was born and soon after I had her against my chest, healthy and perfect.
Birth is so unpredictable and being flexible is essential. We went from a slow painful build-up to the fasted birth imaginable. Completely different from our first birth experience where it was almost 24 hours of labor and an hour of pushing.
A beautiful, healthy baby girl came into the world
Carly Verdi // This Emotional Heart
I dropped my 3rd graders off at music and headed back to my classroom when I felt a small gush from down below. I had an inkling at the time and turned out to be right, that my water was breaking. But I wasn’t sure. I felt fine and still had a week until my due date. So I finished out the day, and prepped some things in case I didn’t make it back after the weekend. What are teachers if not dedicated?
Upon arriving at the hospital that evening, I was 6 cm dilated and they gave me an ultrasound to make sure she was head down. I could hear my husband saying, “Look, you can see her eye sockets!” I should’ve known then that something wasn’t right, but I was in too much pain to think clearly.
They administered an epidural once they found me a room, and I could relax a bit and try to close my eyes. After a few hours, the doctor announced that it was time to push.
Three hours flew by. Before I knew it, the doctor was telling me that the baby hadn’t budged, and it was now becoming dangerous for both of us. She said a C-Section would be necessary.
I was upset and crying, but agreed. I just wanted my baby out safely.
Hearing Baby Bel cry for the first time was amazing. I wasn’t the first person to hold her, and I didn’t get skin to skin with her right away, but she was safe and I got to nurse her as soon as they brought me back to my room.
It wasn’t the birth I wanted, but the end result is exactly what I’d hoped for. A beautiful, healthy baby girl who is my whole world.
My birth plan was to do whatever I needed to do
Jen // Minnesota Momma
It was 2 am and I was 2 weeks early when I got up for my usual bathroom trip and realized my water was breaking – or more accurately: “leaking kind of fast”.
I called to my husband and we headed to the hospital. I wasn’t feeling any contractions yet, but since my water had broken, the nurses recommended that I come in. When I got to the hospital, I was 3 cm dilated. It took a couple of hours, but I finally started to feel my contractions – just like period cramps.
When morning came, I was still 3 cm dilated and my contractions weren’t any stronger, so I was started on Pitocin. I decided to get an epidural, and while I waited for the anesthesiologist, I decided to sit in a warm bath. The Pitocin worked quickly and I was feeling stronger contractions in no time. Once I got my epidural – I felt SO much better!
My birth plan was to do whatever I needed to do. If things were going quickly and I felt I could go natural, I’d do it. If I felt like I wanted an epidural, I’d do it. And let me tell you, I loved it. A couple of hours later, I started to feel extremely nauseous, hot, and light-headed.
My nurse mentioned that it can be a sign that you’re completely dilated. She quickly checked me and confirmed that it was time to call the doctor and I’d be pushing soon. Thankfully, my nausea subsided quickly and it was time to push.
My epidural worked so well, that I barely felt my contractions – which was a little tricky to know when to push. I pushed for 45 minutes (and it felt like 10!). My baby arrived, my husband cut the cord and they announced that we had a little boy!
You’ve got this mama!
Elly McGuinness // Elly McGuinness
Eight months ago, I gave birth to my second daughter. She was born at my mum’s house, in the lounge and in the same birthing pool that my older daughter was born in five years earlier. This was very special for us, and it was also lovely to give my mum as well as my older daughter the opportunity to be there.
When I gave birth to my first daughter I wanted as few people present as possible. I certainly didn’t consider inviting my mum! I’m so glad she was there for the second birth though. It was the first birth she had attended outside the births of her own children and I even let her take some photos and video!
Having her there was also part of our plan in case our five year old “got bored” or needed attention while I was in labour. Second time round it all happened pretty quickly though and wee Romy was with us within a few short hours. It also happened at a sociable time on a Sunday morning, so our five year old was a stellar addition to our support team.
To the mum’s who are about to give birth for the first time:
Have a bit of a plan of what you want to happen, who you want to have there and your wishes for immediately after the birth. Then also be open to the possibility that your plan might go ‘out the door’. Remember that your birthing team is there to support your wishes AND help your baby enter this world in the safest way possible.
You’ve got this mama! There are exciting and beautiful times ahead for you xx
First-time labor and delivery stories: Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Amy B // Younique
During pregnancy, the doctors diagnosed me with hyperemesis gravidarum: a rare case of morning sickness that has fewer 200,000 US cases per year. Lucky me. I found out that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge herself suffered from this, so I must have been in good company! The doctors told me that it would ease by 13 weeks, but sadly it did not. I was in and out of the hospital until 26 weeks pregnant. I lost 40lb in weight and did not gain any weight until after 30 weeks.
Best advice: don’t be afraid of going to the doctor or your hospital, even if you feel you might be a nuisance. You are not. Your safety and the baby’s is the most important thing!
Thankfully, the pregnancy was smooth after that.
I went into labor early on Wednesday the 17th of January in 2017. This was three days before my due date. I had severe back pain that day (before I knew I was going into labor). I got up and did what they had told me to do: go get something to eat and drink to see if the pain stopped. It did not. I then got into the bath to see if it helped. Still no relief! The pain became constant and I did not realize I was having contractions. I called in and the nurse instructed me to head to the hospital immediately.
They had me in triage for what seemed forever but it turned out to be only 4 or 5 hours. I was 1.5 cm when I arrived and they finally admitted me at 4.5cm. I was issued with an epidural at around 11 am and was told that my contractions had stopped.
They told me that it was the point of no return and if they did not start the contractions again it could lead to a C-section. So I agreed to the Pitocin and thankfully that did the trick. My doctor came in and broke my water at around 2 pm and told me that I was at 6 cm, then returned at 3:30 pm and told me that I had developed to 9.5cm and he was preparing me for birth.
Pushing started at 3:55 pm. I remember pushing twice and found myself not being able to breathe and panicking. They gave me oxygen which helped me to calm my fears and within another 3 more pushes, my son Benjamin was born at 4:16 pm.
Allow your body to do the work and trust your nurses
Ashley // Mom like you mean it
I’m a huge planner, so the unknown that surrounded the labor and delivery process for my first baby was scary, to say the least. To ease my fears, my husband and I took a class at the hospital and then also followed up with a quick class online. Learning as much about the process before-hand really set my mind at ease!
I went 10 days past my due date! The day of my daughter’s birth I knew something was up– I was having contractions all day, but they weren’t consistent at all. Around 3:30 I went for a walk, which I thought would speed things up.
As soon as I finished the walk, I went upstairs to lay down, and about 5 minutes later I had a pretty painful contraction. Soon after, I had another serious contraction, and I just knew it was time to go to the hospital.
My husband and I rushed out the door and arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later. By the time I checked and got set up in my room it was around 5:30 pm, and my little girl was born around 8 pm that night!
To say my labor and delivery process was fast is an understatement! I had planned on getting an epidural beforehand, and luckily I was still able to get one. I was so impressed by my labor and delivery nurse; despite the fact that the whole process was super fast, she coached me through the whole thing.
No matter how much you prepare ahead of time, in the moment, you may go blank. In my experience, allowing my body to do the work and trusting in my nurse made all the difference.
First-time labor and delivery stories conclusion
First-time labor and delivery stories can be super helpful to read, but sometimes they can be a little scary. Just know that MOST births are easy-going. Your baby’s heart rate dropping during contractions (the machine shows your baby’s heart rate number) is normal. If you decide you want to go painless and get an epidural (I did this!), you totally can. I had two regular no C-Section deliveries WITH an epidural and Pitocin added the second time around. My water was also manually broken the first time around too. Mommy and baby turned out happy and healthy!
Go with your gut. Listen to your “mommy instinct” because a nurse or doctor will tell you there is something about this that is usually correct! I was told this, so I listened and went with that pull – during both deliveries, I was the one who told the nurse I was ready to push. And I was right! This is helpful when making decisions on the fly about pain relief options as well.
But in the end, no matter how many first-time labor and delivery stories you read, just know that a healthy baby and mommy is the end-goal. Trust the doctor you have chosen, the nurses and know that MOST deliveries are drama-free and normal. Women have been having babies for A LONG time.
You’ve got this, momma.
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