… I was in labor, and every contraction was a blessing, because it meant I went into labor on my own, with no need for an induction (which would surely be considered a necessity by every medical professional for someone who went past 43 weeks, counting from LMP – which only proves sometimes that way of counting, can be way off track.)
Labor was shorter this time, and very intense – I could hardly believe how fast I approached the time to deliver. Like last time around, I used warm showers, a birthing ball, movement and prayer to get through. I also ate and drank throughout the labor to keep up my energy levels.
I truly feel as though I have no right to complain, now that I'm holding such a beautiful baby in my arms, but there was one thing I learned, which is: a hospital is a hospital. Even having a good experience once does not guarantee it will happen again, because you never know who's on shift when you arrive.
Physically, my labor was unhindered. There were no drugs, no i.v. poles. Emotionally, however, I felt very disturbed by being questioned, in length, about details of my pregnancy during intense contractions and by the presence of staff in the room who weren't necessary for the actual delivery. Also, instead of handing me the baby right after birth, the midwife immediately whisked her off to get weighed on another side of the room. There are many other details I'd rather not go into, but the whole experience lacked peacefulness and intimacy. If my first birth was something I fondly remember, this time is something I would rather forget soon. I woke up shaking on the morning after, thinking I'm still there in the delivery room.
This time, I had my baby by my side nearly the whole time, except for a couple of hours. However it didn't come easy, because for some strange reason, babies are viewed as hospital property that is "borrowed" by their mothers – a situation which, oddly, is seen as normal by most of the mothers. Except for me, there was only one other mother who chose to have her baby in her room. I don't like having to make a "special request" to be with my baby day and night. They also kept making ridiculous requests to bring the babies to the nursery, for things like having their diaper changed (!).
I stayed in the hospital for a total of about 72 hours, which was far too long – however we couldn't go home due to it being Rosh HaShana followed by Shabbat (for those who are unfamiliar with Jewish customs, we don't drive on Shabbat and holidays.)
I feel that if I'm blessed with another pregnancy, I will probably feel a strong desire to have a home birth with a midwife I know and trust. Despite the risk of being far from the hospital.
Time will tell.
PS: We haven't decided on the name yet. :o)