Labor Stories

What does a contraction feel like? How do you know when you're supposed to go to the hospital? And what actually happens once you get there?

This is a collection of stories from women in their own words. It includes the good, the bad and everything in between about labor and delivery. Nothing can quite capture the experience of giving birth, but hopefully these stories can demystify as much as possible.

Do you want to share your story? Submissions are anonymous. Tell us the details here.

 
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#1: Pizza Regrets and Mango Water Ice

Location: Washington, DC
Year: 2016
How pregnant: 39 weeks, 3 days
Baby number: 1
Hours in labor: 15
Delivery type: Vaginal with forceps
Medicated: Yes

 
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#2: Getting a garden start

Location: Richmond, VA
Year: 2014
How pregnant: 39 weeks, 4 days
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 12 total (from initial cramping), 7-8 active (from when I called the midwife/was certain it wasn’t prodromal/false labor)
Delivery type: Unmedicated vaginal birth without intervention
Medicated: No

 
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#3: This baby is a rush hour warrior

Location: Arlington, VA
Year: 2017
How pregnant: 37 weeks 2 days
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 31
Delivery type: Vaginal that progressed to C-section
Medicated: Yes

 
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#4: successful vbac

Location: Washington, DC
Year: 2016
How pregnant: 38 weeks, 5 days
First baby: No, this was the second time
Hours in labor: 10 hours of active labor
Delivery type: Vaginal
Medicated: Yes

 
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#5: Pain with purpose

Location: Arlington, VA
Year: 2012
How pregnant: 40 weeks
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 8 hours
Delivery type: Vaginal
Medicated: No

 
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#6: Surge of Love

Location: Alexandria, VA
Year: 2011
How pregnant: 39 weeks, 5 days
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 10
Delivery type: Vaginal with instruments (i.e. forceps or vacuum extraction)
Medicated: Yes

 
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#7: From Carvel to Yeehaw!

Location: Arlington, VA
Year: 2011
How pregnant: 36 weeks
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 12
Delivery type: Other
Medicated: No

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#8: The Waiting Game

Location: Alexandria, VA
Year: 2013
How pregnant: 41 weeks, 2 days
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: Never went into labor!
Delivery type: Vaginal that progressed to C-section
Medicated: Yes

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#9: tiny but quick

Location: Memphis, TN
Year: 2017
How pregnant: 39 weeks, 3 days
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 7
Delivery type: Vaginal
Medicated: Yes

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#10: ice cream and chocolate pain

Location: Boston, MA
Year: 2016
How pregnant: 39 weeks
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 11 hrs, but I was induced so the first 6-7 hours was just me hanging out, waiting for the drugs to kick-in
Delivery type: Vaginal
Medicated: Yes

#11: three-for-one

Location: Seattle, WA
Year: 2017
How pregnant: 39 weeks, 1 day
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 33
Delivery type: Vaginal that progressed to C-section
Medicated: Yes

#12: pushing is hard

Location: Richmond, VA
Year: 2017
How pregnant: 40 weeks, 3 days
First baby: Yes
Hours in labor: 29
Delivery type: Vaginal
Medicated: Yes