Birth stories from other mothers can help you prepare for your own experience. Read on for real tales from our Peanut community.
Pop culture has inundated us with birth stories that range from the not-too-realistic to the downright terrifying.
It might make for good TV, but for many people, the media is their first education on birthing.
When these portrayals are not only negative but also inaccurate, it has a tangible impact on real people who are about to embark on this one-of-a-kind journey — as this study explores.
While things don’t always go exactly to plan, there are so many positive birth stories out there.
And hearing about them can help you prepare for your own unique experience.
So we’re adding our voice to the mix with real birth stories from real people.
In this article: 📝
- Why birth stories matter
- 5 birth stories, as told by real mothers
Why birth stories matter
Your birthing experience matters and deserves time and attention.
Research has shown that confidence is a key factor when it comes to one’s experience of labor and birth.
But only 42% of women in this study reported feeling confident during birth.
All sorts of methods are being tested to prepare mamas-to-be for the birthing experience.
What’s known as the BELIEF (Birth Emotions Looking to Improve Expectant Fear) study, for example, has explored midwife-led counseling during pregnancy to decrease fear and raise confidence levels.
And innovative strategies like art therapy are also proving to be effective.
What we know for sure is that confidence counts during birth and it can be boosted by what you do during pregnancy.
One of the ways to prepare is to tap into the experiences of others.
Read on to hear the remarkable tales of mamas from our Peanut community.
Some stories have a rocky start and obstacles along the way, but they all have magnificent endings.
5 birth stories, as told by real mothers
It can be reassuring to hear what other moms’ experiences are like during childbirth, and the impact they have on their lives.
Even if things don’t go to plan, it’s good to know you’re never alone in your birth story.
So let’s hear it from the moms…
(And if you want to show them some love, just join our Peanut community and leave them a comment!)
1. “It was worth it 100 times over in the end.”
“I gave birth this morning via emergency C-section.
I came into the hospital at midnight with painful contractions at 3 cm dilated.
They admitted me because I had been fully closed a few days before.
They immediately started me on Pitocin so my labor could speed back up because it had slowed down due to the pain.
I got my epidural and let the medicine work its magic.
In a few hours, I was 6 cm dilated, but my baby’s heart rate showed signs of distress.
After about an hour and a half of trying different methods to regulate his heart rate, my OB broke my water.
They found that he had pooped in the womb, which could be the reason he was in distress.
(It was. Turns out he swallowed some).
The doctor tried one last method of regulating his heart rate.
But after 30 minutes of no improvements, we decided to rush to do an emergency C-section.
It was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through.
But my baby is so perfect and I am so in love that it was worth it 100 times over in the end.
He’s so chubby and hairy and chunky like his daddy.
Malakai James, born 10/11/2022, weighing 8 lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long!!!
Mommy’s big boy! 💙”
2. The youngest kid in kindergarten
“My April baby arrived a bit earlier.
At 38 weeks my water broke at work.
(I’m a kindergarten teacher. That was a fun moment.)
Twelve hours later, I was only 1 cm dilated but I was having contractions.
They gave me Cytotec to help.
My contractions became very strong.
I was planning to try to have a vaginal birth and avoid medication.
But at that point, I asked for morphine.
The pain was unbearable.
The morphine did nothing.
So they told me that the next step up would be to take fentanyl.
That also didn’t help the pain, but it left me feeling very groggy.
I vaguely remember things from this point, but according to my husband, I asked for an epidural.
That helped the pain.
But the contractions were still too strong and they started affecting the baby’s heartbeat.
Her heartbeat was slowing down very fast.
The nurses tried everything until they finally sent me for an emergency C-section.
When my baby was born, I was still so drugged from the fentanyl that her cry seemed like a faded dream.
I was fighting to keep my eyes open.
I wanted to be there for my baby and not being able to was heartbreaking.
Thankfully, my husband was there for her and me every step of the way.
She was 5 lbs 10 oz and needed to go on oxygen for an hour or two after she was born.
Other than that, she is a very healthy baby. I just wanted to share my story with other moms out there.”
3. “I have a new appreciation for my body.”
“The days after my due date and leading up to our daughter’s birth, I tried everything to help start my labor.
Raspberry leaf capsules, pineapple, clary sage baths, long walks.
I became quite disheartened to be overdue as I was so excited to meet our baby and I wanted as little medical intervention as possible.
Three days overdue, I started to have very mild but regular contractions at home, which we eventually timed.
These progressed steadily from 4 pm until 11 pm.
Just before 12 am, we drove to the hospital as the contractions were now much closer together.
The midwife in triage advised I go in for a check-over.
The beds in triage were full and I was 2 cm dilated, so I was sent home and advised that my contractions may last another week!
I was so upset to be sent home as the contractions were pretty intense and getting harder to breathe through.
Four hours later, I went back to triage with reduced movements.
And after being checked, I was 4 cm dilated!
I was sent up to the ward as a high-risk pregnancy (I had been low-risk right up to this point) and continued to labor in our birthing room.
At this point, my boyfriend was allowed to come into the room, wearing a mask.
I had skimmed through two hypnobirthing courses in my second and third trimesters and I used the breathing techniques to help me through my contractions.
I found the contractions painful but manageable despite being strapped up to the monitors and only being allowed to sit in one position on the bed due to the wires.
My water broke at 8 cm!
Due to my daughter’s positioning, I had really intense pressure and pains in my pelvis, and it honestly felt like she was trying to come out of my bum!
(Nothing is TMI to me anymore.)
After an hour or so, I was 10 cm and it was time to push, which, truthfully, I found excruciatingly painful.
The midwife offered me gas and air but advised that, at this point, nothing would take the pain away apart from birthing my daughter.
She was born with my legs in stirrups at 8 lb 3 oz.
I had two labia tears.
And one small perineal tear.
I had the injection to help birth the placenta.
Luckily, we had immediate skin-to-skin.
I was not prepared for the immediate situation of my body after giving birth.
Despite my midwife being absolutely amazing, my hospital was short-staffed and I was very much left to get on with it once they had done the initial checks on my baby and helped to tidy the bed up a little.
Luckily, she latched straight away, which I am so grateful for as I was too exhausted to concentrate on anything else at that time.
I attempted to shower myself, fed her again, took some acetaminophen, got her dressed, and went straight home just a few hours after labor.
Then I began my postpartum recovery journey, which I really don’t think is given enough recognition or credit.
Having a baby is hard, but postpartum recovery is something else!
Nothing prepared me for the weeks I’d spend crying, trying to go to the toilet with tears or hemorrhoids.
My peri bottle was my bathroom best friend, along with huge postpartum pads covered in Spritz for Bits.
I feel really positive about my daughter’s birth.
Despite the constant monitoring, it was the unmedicated birth that I had hoped for.
I’m immensely proud of myself.
I found the experience empowering and I have a new appreciation for my body!
That is my birth story.
I hope by sharing this, I can help pregnant women prepare for birth and help any mamas out there whose labor didn’t follow their birth preferences.
No matter what your labor looks like, you’re amazing.”
4. “Do what feels right at the time.”
“Our little girl arrived today, a week early.
I thought it would be useful to share my story.
I found reading others really useful.
My contractions started at around 8 pm last night and I lost my mucus plug at 9.30 pm.
Contractions were every half an hour until 3 am when my water broke.
I called the birth center at this point and they said to come in when I was having three contractions in 10 mins or at 7 am.
We ended up going in at around 6.30 am.
I was 2 cm dilated and contractions were regular but not strong enough for me to need to be there.
We were sent home and told to call back when contractions were a minute in length, 3 times in 10 mins, and more intense.
I went home and managed the contractions by having a bath and massages.
During this time, I just managed the pain with acetaminophen.
We went back to the hospital when the pain became unbearable at 6.30 pm and we no longer felt we could manage at home.
I was 9 cm dilated and ready to push!
Baby arrived within two hours of us getting to the hospital.
They had read my birth preferences in the morning and had the bath ready for me — dim room, electric candles, etc.
Unfortunately, my water birth didn’t happen as it slowed the contractions too much. I birthed her on the floor on my hands and knees!
I used gas and air as I found the pushing and pressure painful.
I listened to my body and pushed when it felt right.
The midwife told me when NOT to push, which was also very helpful and I didn’t tear.
I did have to have one stitch, but this was done quickly and was relatively painless.
She is perfect.
She latched to feed straight away.
We got skin-to-skin after.
I had the injection to birth my placenta (something I originally put in my plan that I didn’t want) because the thought of pushing anymore was just a NO from me!
Also, my contractions didn’t go back to the regular “3 in 10 mins”, so we were at risk of:
a) Me having to push the placenta out with no contractions (ouch) or
b) My uterus closing and them having to operate to remove the placenta.
Don’t be too attached to your birth preferences.
We don’t get a trophy for how we bring our babies into the world, so do what feels right at the time.
And as long as they’re safe, that’s all that matters 🥰
Overall, painful but magical.”
5. I couldn’t imagine it any other way!
“He’s here! 🎉🎉
Little man came just two days after his due date.
I had a stretch and sweep at 6 pm and was 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced.
Went home and contractions started at 9 pm, already 4 minutes apart!
Our midwife came at 10.30 pm and said we’re having a baby tonight!
We got our birth pool set up, which I would highly recommend!
The warm water was such a relief during contractions.
By 2 am, it was just about time to start pushing.
I decided to push outside the pool and was happy I did because I needed that extra support and was getting cold from going in and out.
I pushed for an hour and 45 minutes!
It was crazy and intense, but I really listened to my midwives and only pushed when I felt contractions.
After birthing a 9 lb 2 oz baby, I didn’t need a single stitch!
(Which was one of my big fears.)
It was such an amazing experience, and I’m so happy I had a birth team I could feel comfortable and safe with.
So if you’ve considered a home birth, I would 100% advocate for it!
It was not a walk in the park but a beautiful moment for my husband and me.
I couldn’t imagine it any other way!”
So there you have it. Incredible birth stories from real-life Peanut mamas.
Why not share your experience with us?
We’d love to hear from you