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Mother of two (born 2000s), from Scotland

My first was a natural unmedicated birth. I felt no pain. Only used breathing techniques and had two paracetamol to get me from home to hospital in the car. No more drugs, not even gas and air tho it was offered. I just didn't feel I needed it and was a bit scared of drugs in case they made me ill when I felt perfectly fine. Arrived at the hospital 5cm dilated and gave birth 3hrs later with three pushes. DH was with me at home when contractions started and rubbed my back thru them but by the time we were in hospital was strapped up to monitors so he couldn't do that. I had to lie on my back on a bed but it all progressed as quickly as the early stages and I was quite happy with that but for the nurse shouting at me to push like I was stupid. I don't like being shouted at and my body was doing all the pushing by itself. Anyway, baby popped out quick and only a small tear (I blame the nurse for rushing me!) - no need for stitches.

Second birth much different. From the first experience I'd have been a good candidate for homebirth but DH is squeamish so it was the hospital again. Had some complications in pregnancy but never had a second scan after the statutory 12 week one. Was in labour the Monday before I was due, got to hosp and was 3cm. I think there was a bit of worry about having to get the child we already had looked after while we went to hosp so possibly accounts for the 'scares' but on that occasion everything stopped within five hours of arriving at hosp and I signed myself out. Felt like I laboured on and off for four days before we went to the hosp again, this time on the friday evening, was having a horrible labour time, DH had ignored me all evening because he thought 'oh not this again' but by 11pm when he came to bed I told him 'this is the real thing, we have to go' - took sleeping ds from bed and dropped at auntie's on way to hospital. We arroved 20 mins later and I needed a wheelchair to get me upstairs. As I stood up off it in the delivery suite my waters broke and the cord came down with them so i was wheeled right up to the operating theatre for a crash section under general anaesthetic. DH was made to wait outside without being told what was going on and he saw my trolley come out covered in blood and a blue baby being wheeled away. he thought we'd both died. We were both fine in the end but new baby had a strange complication where his cord didn't run straight from belly button to placenta but rather the veins and arteries ran thru the bag of waters. When the bag burst we were both bleeding out as veins and arteries had ruptured - so it was really rather lucky we were at the hosp when this happened and that the cord came out so that we got the hurried section we did. All's well that end's well but dh is mentally scarred for life. he didn't want to be at the second birth anyway as he found the first one quite traumatic - being in 'full view' of the 'action'.