What Surprised You About Your Labor?

I’ve been avoiding this post because I could talk forever about everything birth related, especially the story of my first (traumatic-turned-cesarean) birth. So I narrowed down the topic and will attempt to stay focused

I think we all have some sort of idea in our heads of how labor will be… whether that image was created by the media, a close friend, a relative or a book. I think many of us go into it with some anxiety, some fear, and a whole lot of excitement. You make plans–medicated or natural, hospital or home?–and you set expectations–do you want to walk through your labor, use a birthing ball or tub, who will be in the room with you, will you consent to certain interventions like having your water broken, pitocin, etc.?

Whatever YOU decide, it’s YOUR birth. But labor can be unpredictable… you can have your mind set on doing it one way, but circumstances or experiences turn you down another path.

What surprised you most about your labor that you weren’t expecting?

I’d like to say pain and I think that might be a common answer. It hurt more than I thought it would, ha.   But… I think what really surprised me most was my experience in the hospital. Not to say everyone in a hospital will have the same outcome, but that’s how it was for me…

The staff (nurses and doctors) were rude, they rushed me, they ignored my wishes, and they pushed me (and lied to me) until I did it their way.

What did I expect? Hmm… people that loved their jobs of welcoming babies into this world. People that had mom’s and baby’s best interest at heart (instead of their own). People that respected ME as a laboring woman and supported my wishes for my body and my baby.

It was an incredibly disappointing experience–and at the most memorable moment of my life so far.

I know some women have lovely experiences at the hospital during labor and birth (and that is wonderful!), so I’m curious to see their answer to this question… what surprised you?! What threw you off, or maybe, what would you change or do differently?

Childbirth is such an incredible and memorable moment, a journey you’ll remember forever, and I’d love to know what went through your mind when you held your baby for the first time? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs October 17 to November 13, 2011. A random winner will be announced by November 15, 2011.

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