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The First Time -- In Labor

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the first time a woman goes into labor JupiterImages/BananaStock/Thinkstock

My first time I was clueless as to what to expect as I welcomed my son into the world. I did what I could.

I read books and took birthing classes, in an attempt to prepare myself.

But in the end, it was the actual experience that would prepare me for my next two times in labor.

When I went into labor with my first son, I had a lot to bring to the hospital. Not to mention, I had it all packed several weeks before and stacked up neatly at the end of the hallway, ready to be loaded into the car at a moment’s notice.

I had many bags. When I checked into the hospital, I think my husband made about seven trips to the car and back toting my labor “essentials”.

How long did we think we were staying?

I would not be surprised if the nurses were chuckling and muttering “newbies” under their breath. It must have been clear that we were either first timers or extremely high maintenance.

Oh yeah, I had it all. The large exercise ball, a portable CD player, several CD choices, multiple outfits for myself as well as the baby, relaxation lotions and candles (did I really think they would let me light a candle in the hospital?) snacks for my husband, and the list went on and on.

By the time he was done unloading the car, he was panting as hard as I was.

By the second and third child, I knew the true essentials to pack and it all fit in two bags.

I also brought a birth plan. It was about four pages long, front and back. I had multiple copies for everyone that would be assisting with my delivery.

I didn’t know how ridiculous this was. All the books that I had read described how important a birth plan was. I am glad that the nurses didn’t hold it against me, the labor virgin.

By the time I was pregnant with my next two children, I ditched the birth plan only referred back to my favorite two pregnancy books for things I had forgotten.

Never having experienced labor before, I listened to too many labor horror stories. Why do women do this to other women?

I was expecting a Niagara Falls water breaking scenario (in a public place) and was too afraid to sleep or rest once admitted to the hospital, for fear of losing my epidural “window.”

In the end, it didn’t matter what I was anxious about, I was going to accomplish what I came there to do, deliver a child.

Every labor experience can be different, no matter how many times you go through it. First time or not, the reward couldn’t be greater.

Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.