Men really don't need to read this and if they do when they were warned then they shouldn't whine about being grossed out. The experiences we've had giving birth and being pregnant have often been touched on in other threads so I thought it'd be nice if we all had a thread to put down our personal experiences and any thoughts. I have two children who are now grown up. I really enjoyed being pregnant, I'm not really a morning person (I need two coffees and several cigarettes before I'm even approachable) but when I was pregnant I found myself getting up all perky and peppy. I didn't have any problems when I was pregnant, my mum had had six kids, four of them home births, so we'd all been in the house when she was giving birth and I didn't remember any screaming, I knew she'd been fine a few hours later so I wasn't scared about giving birth. Then when I was about five months or so the doctor who was doing my routine check up glanced at my feet and said what size shoes do you take, I said 2 or 3 and he decided that indicated a tiny pelvis so I had to have an x-ray as the scan wasn't precise enough, the x ray came back and they decided my pelvis was 'adequate' which to me sounded like there was enough room - just. But I didn't worry about it, what will be will be. I sailed through my pregnancy, I didn't like having huge tits one bit, they were always there in my way, but that was the only bit I wasn't keen on, I didn't have any heartburn or aches and pains. I was always convinced my waters would break in a shop, my waters did break but not in a shop, it was all over my mum's sofa. I told her and my dad (I was there for dinner waiting for my husband's arrival from work) that my waters had broken and I expected it to be like it was on films, everyone would rush around panicking but they all calmly got on with their dinner so that was a bit disappointing. I wasn't having any pains so I carried on doing what I was doing, at around 9 pm I wasn't sure whether or not I was having labour pains, I was aware of rhythmic slight discomfort but it wasn't what you'd really call pain, but I went into hospital anyway. The pains got stronger, they were more or less like very bad period pains, but nothing unbearable, I didn't get any pains in my back. I was examined when I arrived at hospital and I was already 4 centimetres dilated then. It moved along very quickly but it still wasn't that painful, and at around 11.30 I wanted to push, my husband called a midwife to examine me, as she came in she said 'you can't be ready yet' but after a quick feel around she said that I was fully dilated. I was wheeled into a delivery suite and commenced pushing, damn that's hard work Things seemed to be moving along very quickly, me pushing and grunting, my husband holding my hand, the midwife not really having much to do, then I felt a burning pain and the midwife informed me that I'd started ripping and she was going to give me a 'little episiotomy', I'd imagined that an episiotomy would involve numbing you up first but no, that bloody hurt like nothing I'd ever imagined, fortunately it was over so quickly that as soon as my body registered the pain it was over. A few pushes later and she was born. Dead on 12, now this makes it difficult for them to decide on the day of birth, clocks may be out a few minutes or so, so they told me that in cases like this they don't cut the cord, while she's still attached to me in some way it's not counted as being born, so they waited a few minutes, then cut it. And that was it, all over surprisingly easy and quickly. She weighed 7lbs 10 oz, she had a huge mass of black hair and was absolutely gorgeous. Almost three years later I'm back in the same maternity hospital having my son, my water's didn't break this time, I had a show, which I'd read in books was a 'tiny amount of blood and mucus' it looked like the Texas chainsaw massacre was going on between my legs, there was so much blood I asked if something was wrong but I was assured that was quite normal. The pain was stronger this time but still nowhere near unbearable, but after three hours I started moaning that something was wrong, that second labours were supposed to be faster than first labours, they had a look at me and said nothing was wrong, that it was progressing very quickly, I was dilating nicely and basically to stop whining. The midwife said it was taking longer because my waters hadn't broken, a cervix dilates more rapidly around a baby's head than it does around an amniotic sac. Anyway he was born after 5 hours, I didn't have an episiotomy this time but I did rip exactly along the episiotomy line but I didn't even feel that, the second stage of labour was much quicker this time, with my daughter it had been approximately half an hour, this time it was less than 5 minutes. He weighed 8lbs 10 and had the same shock of dark hair that my daughter had, in fact they looked so alike when they were born they could have been identical twins. I had three stitches both times but neither time suffered much perineal discomfort. I was very lucky and I found giving birth a very positive experience but we'd decided when we were married that we wanted two kids so that was where we stopped. Oh yeah, placentas are the most disgusting things I've ever seen, I had no temptation to take it home and fry it up for sunday lunch.