Saw this at Beth and Becki's blog and thought I'd play along with this meme from Rocks in My Dryer:
How long were your labors?
Child #1-- about 34 hours of the hot place on wheels. Sorry, Mr. Bradley, but there is no such thing as a pain-free and drug-free labor.
Child #2-- 12 hours but we barely made it to the hospital. See here for the story.
Child #3-- 8 hours, and only because I wouldn't let her break my water and be done with it. I told my midwife I didn't want to have a baby that night--I needed some rest because I'd just had a houseful of guests over for dinner.
How did you know you were in labor?
I had the standard symptoms of crampy back and methodical contractions. All my labors started very slowly and I could continue with my normal life with only a small pause to contract. But once I got going, watch out! Once my water broke I was pretty much done. My first child was born in 3 pushes, the second in 2, and the third was barely a grunt. These hips were made for labor!
Where did you deliver?
Three different hospitals. I'm also not a home-birther; after all that work I figured I'd let someone else clean up the mess and make me some dinner.
Child #1--Epidural with Pitocin after about 24 hours of labor. I got the drugs and went to sleep until they woke me up to push. I can honestly say I didn't feel a thing, but then again, I didn't feel a thing for about 4 hours after the delivery, either.
Child #1--doctor, and I swore never again
Child #2--the most wonderful midwife in the world
Child #3--same terrific midwife