I thought about my two birth experiences with each of our girls often in the first weeks after Ruth was born. They were both such completely different experiences and left me feeling completely differnt after, not towards our daughters of course, but about the experiences.
Elinore's birth was so calm and laid back. It was peaceful and went so smoothly. Even though I'd hoped for a natural birth, I had an epidural, we'd taken naps, and even though I'd gotten sick, it was a peaceful experience. Our nurses were awesome and when Elinore came into the world it was calm and we were talking and I was crying.
Ruth's birth was anything but calm and peaceful! I decided for the epidural at 4cm, but by the time they came for it I was 7, and by the time they were cleaning by back for it, my water broke and Ruth was ready to be there NOW. There was no time, there was no doctor, and they weren't quite ready for birth. It was hurried, I was angry they weren't ready and I wanted to have a baby NOW. It was hectic, it was fast, and before I really could understand what just happened, I had a baby on my chest!
The birth's were both very different, but the weeks following were very different too. With Elinore's birth the physical recovery was unpleasant to say the least. It was uncomfortable and just all around not fun. But mentally I was pleased with the birth experience and happy with it. I was surprised by that too; I thought I'd be disappointed that I didn't have the natural birth I wanted. My nurse was awesome about talking me into being okay with it and reassuring I could probably make it if I had another baby because of how quickly I progressed and other awesome comments. (She was super great!)
With Ruth's my physical recovery was easy peasy, but I struggled more with processing her birth because it was so fast (less than 2.5 hours). I felt bad for some of the yelling I did. And the whole epidural thing stuck with me too. The anesthesiologist didn't want to do it when he arrived, but I was mentally prepared for it and the nurse pushed for me, but then we couldn't do it anyway. It was just so different; I wasn't at peace with it for awhile. Now, 3 months later, I am, but it weighed on my mind a lot that first month.
I don't know that we'll have any more babies, but if I were faced with thinking about another delivery, I'm not sure what I would choose. I do know I'd be ready to get to the hospital right away though if I wasn't induced again!