Motherhood

How Long (or Short) Was Your Labor?

While we’re on pins and needles waiting for our second baby to finally arrive, I’m curious: How quickly did your babies come, once you were in labor? A friend of a friend told me the freakiest thing the other day…

She was pregnant with her second child. When her water broke, she and her husband got their things together and hopped in their car to drive forty minutes to the hospital. Her contractions increased fast and furiously, and by the time they reached the hospital, she was so far into her labor that THE BABY’S HAND HAD POPPED OUT!!! How insane is that? She said she was totally traumatized—I mean, she had been in the front seat of the car driving wildly through Manhattan! Can you imagine?! What a hero she was.

And another crazy story: Jenny was walking out the door to the hospital to deliver her third child when she realized that the baby was coming immediately—so she turned right around and delivered her while lying on her living-room ottoman!

On that note, my doctor recommended that we get to the hospital as quickly as possible. “You know those scenes in movies, where women are delivering babies in cabs or as soon as they arrive at the hopsital?” she told me. “Those are second babies.” Apparently women’s second babies typically come much more quickly than their first. Your body is just ready to go, I guess.

Toby’s labor lasted 14 hours from the first big contractions to the moment the doctor placed him in my arms. The time flew by, though, since I was in such a zone. I remember feeling like the hands of the clock were spinning around like in a cartoon.

This time around, I’m hoping that we’ll have time to get to the hospital without any troubles. The tricky thing about living in Manhattan: a) we don’t have a car, b) cabs can be hard to find when it’s raining (side note: rainy forecasts every day this week!) and during morning and evening rush hours, and c) even once we’re in the cab, it could take us as long as an hour to get to our hospital since it’s 75 blocks from our apartment with lots of traffic jams and red lights along the way. All this to say: Please wish us luck!

I’m curious to hear: How long was your labor? Very long? Very short? Somewhere in the middle? If you have a second baby, was it faster than your first? Any delivering-in-the-cab stories out there? :)

(Photo by De Vetpan)

  1. Texas Boy Mom says...

    With my first (and only so far) I was dilated to a 2 at 36 weeks. 37 weeks I was at a 3. And at 38 weeks I was a 3 with a bulging water bag. I went home after thst checkup and had my bloody show. No contractions yet but I went to the hospital hoping they may just keep me. They sent me home and 30 minutes after arriving my water broke and contractions started right away. I was 4 cm when i got back to the hospital and i went from 4 to 10 really quick. From first contraction/ water breaking to the time he was out was 5 hours and 2 minutes. That includes about 40 minutes or nore of pushing. I’m eager for my next baby and I hope it comes quickly but not too quickly! I didn’t have time for my epidural with my son but now I want to plan agead for a natural birth next go around!

  2. I don’t have children yet, but when my mom had me (first baby) she was only in labor around 2 hours. When my younger sister came around, about an hour! She was told that if she wanted a 3rd, she’d be advised to have a home birth, since she’d never make it to the hospital in time!

  3. My son was born after just four hours. My midwives said for number two, make sure any future midwives/birth attendants were warned that it will likely be a quick one (sadly, we don’t live near our previous midwives – they were absolutely amazing)! And thank goodness for that! :)

  4. Jessica says...

    With my 1st pregnancy I labored for 10 hours. With my 2nd my water broke at home, 2 weeks early, and I had my daughter 2 hours later, only 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Both were 100% natural births. I’m now pregnant with my 3rd and I’m terrified I won’t make it to the hospital on time.

  5. I had to be induced! Got to the hospital around 2 pm Tuesday, our first son was born 4:19pm on Wednesday.

    I guess everything worked well and fast.

    I had back labor from about 8am to around 1pm when I got an epidural. At 2 I was at 10 cm and started pushing at about 2:30.

    ….And now I’m really nervous about having a second baby hahaha

  6. Hi! My first birth was 15 hours, but ended in a dramatic c-section(he was 11,2 pounds). My second one, was such a great birth, just 8,8 pound and fours. Love your blog!

  7. I don’t have children yet, but when my mom had me (first baby) she was only in labor around 2 hours. When my younger sister came around, about an hour! She was told that if she wanted a 3rd, she’d be advised to have a home birth, since she’d never make it to the hospital in time!

  8. Baby #1 was 31 hours from water breaking/first contraction to delivery. Baby #2 was 6 hours from start to finish.

  9. FIrst off… praying for you and wishing you a quick and safe labor… but not too quick! Like… not on the living room ottoman quick! Yikes! To answer your question, I went into labor at 2 am or so and she was born at 8:20 am. So, about 6 hours. Pushed for 20 minutes and voila! She was with us! So, I guess it was a “quick” labor! : ) Again, best of luck!

  10. My first labor was 14 hours and painful. My second labor was 3 hours, and didn’t really feel more than uncomfortable until it was time to push. Second labor was a breeze by comparison to the first–and very, very fast. I pushed twice with each, so that part was fortunately very fast as well.

  11. My first labor was 14 hours and painful. My second labor was 3 hours, and didn’t really feel more than uncomfortable until it was time to push. Second labor was a breeze by comparison to the first–and very, very fast. I pushed twice with each, so that part was fortunately very fast as well.

  12. First – 24 hours (Posterior)
    Second – 5 hours
    Third – Just a bit of back pain (no front labour pains) QUICK no time to spare …6 weeks early emergency cesarean (footling breech) Lucky I was having a check up that day when I went into labour.
    BUT….
    If you feel good, have had no earlier complications then just trust your instincts and go with the flow. RELAX (easier said than done) and think about how empowered you are and how capable your husband is.
    GOODLUCK!!!!

  13. Just had my second baby one week ago! My first was a 24 hour labor…plenty of time for that dreamy epidural. This time around, my water broke right after we arrived at the hospital and I went from 2 to 9 cm in 40 minutes and delivered him naturally (against my will) 20 minutes later. So yes, for me, the second came faster!

  14. Mine was 12 hours from water breaking to holding her! That was long enough for me – I can’t imagine these ladies with 30+ hour labours! Aarrrggghh!

  15. My forewaters broke for bub #2 and nothing much happened so I sent hubby home to put our daughter to bed as she was with a friend, in the meantime contractions started, so I called for him to come back (he was waiting for my parents to arrive from 3hrs away)! They moved me to delivery room Dr checked me I was only 4cm, had 5 or so big contractions, begged for an epidural – off went the nurse to get one, hubby walked in, told him I had to go to the bathroom then what do you know… out comes baby in the bathroom! Standing up is the way to go! Thankfully there is an emergency button in the bathroom, everyone came running. I surprised myself that for baby #2 I didn’t realise I was about to push a head out!!! It is surprising any time!

  16. My first labor was about 11 hours. It all went pretty much by the book without much intervention, but the first half seemed to take forever – probably because it was night time and I was tired! But once the contractions got really intense, the time seemed to fly by. Good luck to you!

  17. All of these stories are incredible. I’m 36 weeks along with my second and my midwife told me the other day that second babies almost always come faster than the first baby. It is the third baby that can either be even faster or else way longer. My sister-in-law had her second baby in the emergency room of the hospital because she came so fast they couldn’t get up to the right ward. Her third though took his time and was even longer than her first labour.
    My first labour was 6 hours, so I’m curious to see if this theory about second babies is true. From all these stories it seems to hold true more often than not.
    Hope it all goes well for you!

  18. All of these stories are incredible. I’m 36 weeks along with my second and my midwife told me the other day that second babies almost always come faster than the first baby. It is the third baby that can either be even faster or else way longer. My sister-in-law had her second baby in the emergency room of the hospital because she came so fast they couldn’t get up to the right ward. Her third though took his time and was even longer than her first labour.
    My first labour was 6 hours, so I’m curious to see if this theory about second babies is true. From all these stories it seems to hold true more often than not.
    Hope it all goes well for you!

  19. My water broke at one a.m. the day of my son’s birth, but my contractions were really mild so we dilly-dallied getting to the hospital, and got there around two or two thirty. When we got there they said my real labor hadn’t begun but they would give me some pitocin if the contractions didn’t pick up in a few hours, which they did about five-thirty in the morning. My son was born at 11:04 am. This was my first baby.

  20. Oh, man. First baby was 8 hours from water breaking to the birth, with only 8 minutes of pushing. On the first.baby. I am sure I will be the deliver on the ottoman variety, drug free without a choice. :)

  21. Sign up for Uber! Its an app on your phone that communicates with many car services in the area. Its all prepaid by credit card so you don’t have to even worry about paying the driver once you get to the hospital. I have used it a bunch and I’ve never had a car take more than 5 minutes to come even during rush hour or heavy rain.

  22. First (ans so far only) labor: 4.5 hours from start to finish. You think you’re nervous about number two being quick? My nurses joked about getting me a tent to camp in on the hospital lawn so that I’d be close the second time around!

  23. Our first baby arrived in 5 hours from the time I woke and my water broke to having him in my arms. At home…in the bathroom. We didn’t make it to the birth centre. It was amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thinking of you Jo, sending lots of birthing blessings x

  24. Oh, and this is so silly, I was scheduled to be induced with my second baby and was up all night before with a terrible “backache”. I was taking hot baths and doing just about everything to make that “backache” go away. Silly me, it didn’t dawn on me until we went into the hospital that I was in labor (but it was still a long one and they ended up giving me induction meds to get things going).

  25. I have six and had to be induced with all but the first one. My second one was so late she had mirconium (sp?) aspiration because at that time they weren’t much for induction. After that, I chose my doctors based on their beliefs on induction! My first labor was about 13 hours. The rest were at least a day, so I’m not at all like the norm!

  26. BOTH of my babies were planned home births. THANK GOD. I would never have made it to the hospital in time for either of them. My first was delivered in 1 1/2 hours from 1st contraction to the placenta delivery. My 2nd we were warned to take “delivery lessons”. Crazy fast. And so, SO grateful to be at home.
    Good luck!!!

  27. Good luck Joanna. I feel your taxi anxiety. I had my first baby in Beijing, where we’re currently living, last month. We don’t have a car, the traffic is crazy and taxis often non-existent. Thankfully, when the time came we found a taxi fairly quickly and the driver did a great job, dodging and weaving through the morning rush hour to get us to hospital, with me rolling around on the back seat. I had made hubby memorise the directions to the hospital in Mandarin, so he could direct the driver – I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the talking like I usually do. He did a great job. I don’t know who was more relieved when we reached the hospital, me, hubby or the driver!

  28. Our son arrived 24 hours – nearly to the minute – after contractions began. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my labor and his birth (except the barfing, no one told me there might be barfing), but I am hoping round 2 goes a little faster. Not too much, but a little would be nice.

  29. My second labour actually took longer than the first, but it was just the easy ‘first stage’ that took awhile, when the hard contractions hit it was go time. With my third it was good we were 10 minutes away from the hospital, my water broke, contractions started an hour later and within the hour we had a new baby! I work at the hospital and my husband loves to tell the story -that I was 10 minutes away from giving birth but was instructing him on where to find the free parking (requiring us to walk an extra block).

    • Oh, and thinking of you this week! Wondering if you are holding your little bundle right now :)

  30. 106 hours of “active labor”! Woot! Woot! Three cheers for us marathon laborers! Our babies must be EXTRA special! :)

  31. I teach preschool in Brooklyn and EVERY YEAR there is at least one baby born at home or in a car due to the speed of labor.

    I have only one baby so far, and I had lesser contractions for about 4 hours before the big ones started to come. From that point I continued to labor at home for another 3 hours, not wanting to be stuck in the hospital forever. I think that next time around I’ll heed the second baby advise and go sooner than later! All said and done, about 14 from the big contractions (including nearly 3 hours of pushing-hmph)

    Here’s hoping for a SAFE and speedy-ish delivery, Joanna! Best of luck!

  32. I’m the eldest child, and according to my mother, she was in labor for 14 hours with me. My sister (the second child) was born in half the time.

  33. I don’t even try to get to PARTIES when it’s raining in a cab; call a car service. I have three programmed into my phone.

  34. I’ve never had a baby, but my mom was in labor with me for 48 hours, and then had to get a C-section!!! I’ve apologized to her so many times…I feel terrible about it hahaha.

  35. Baby #1 – 12 hours from induction start and about 6 hours from heavy contractions.

    Baby #2 – water broke, but I wasn’t having contractions so I showered, cleaned up the house and then went to the hospital. Two hours later, 5 minutes after arriving at the hospital I had my first first really strong contraction. 40 minutes later I had delivered. There wasn’t time to get a warmer in the room or my doctor to arrive. I went from 3cm to done in that amount of time. Nuts.

    I recommend skipping the shower and house cleaning. :)

  36. first and foremost, wishing you a happy, healthy & quick (but not too quick) delivery.

    i was induced with my second after 9 days (we were moving in a week, and I didn’t want to get picked up from the hospital in a moving van). By the time I felt like i was “in labor”, as compared to my first delivery, I was already 7 cm, and baby was in my arms less than 30 minutes later. i went so quick i didn’t have time for an epidural.

    you’re going to do great (even if you do it in your living room)

  37. First Baby I was over a week late, induced and he took 15 hours and 2 epidurals to come out.
    Second babe, on her due date, got stuck in traffic due to an accident, a 20 minute ride took over an hour. I thought that I was going to deliver in the car and was only at the hospital for a little over 2 hours before she came. Oh and I sat through the epidural but they didn’t even have time to administer the drugs so au natural… Best advice… GET THERE EARLY!! Second Babes come faster!!!

  38. I delivered my first baby last July. I woke up feeling a little crampy around 1AM, woke my husband up around 4AM, called my doctor at 5AM, got to the hospital at 6AM, & our baby boy was born at 9AM after about four pushes. It was very quick for a first labor. I was expecting to be in labor for hours and hours.

    Best of luck to you for a fast and easy time!

  39. Labour! I am pregnat with my second baby, 5 months last week…
    My first labour was 24 h, with a lot of pain. I use epidural in the final 6 hours, my best decision, because i could enjoy the final.
    I have read that second time it is used to be about half time, so i hope in 4 months my new labour is gonna be 12 h.
    Happy and short labour for you !

  40. My parents were living in Queens when my mom went into labor with me in the wee morning hours. They managed to get a cab to the city even though the cab driver was off duty. When they arrived at the hospital the midwives told my mom it would be about 4 hours. They vanished to another room or section of the hospital. About ten minutes later my mom started to deliver. My young frantic father ran into the hall, yelling for someone to come. No one came. He ran back into the room and within minutes they delivered me without anyone from the hospital present. They were so dazed from the events that I don’t even have an exact time of birth. Oh, the joys of NYC in the 80s!

    (I’m a second child.)

  41. Very practical advice I received when pregnant in NY depending on cab service to get to the hospital: DO NOT TELL THE CABBIE THAT YOU’RE IN LABOR. They might decide your fare isn’t worth the drama (including a delivery or not.)

  42. Another fascinating thing I learned the second time around: my midwife said that years ago, when she was a labor & delivery nurse, she overheard an experienced nurse say, “watch out for those Type A (blood) mama’s, they deliver FAST.” She wasn’t kidding – with my second baby we showed up to the hospital at 8 & I delivered baby June by 9. I laugh when I think about how I looked, hanging onto the intake desk for dear life as my husband got us checked in.

    But take heart, I labored at home (mildly) for a while before the drama of the active part of labor.

  43. How about going in an ambulance? Insurance covers it, and if you’re worried about not making it, you can have skilled medical attention AND the sirens will get you there faster

  44. My first labor was 30+ hours. I ended up having to be induced with my second, which I did NOT want. After a false start (the induction didn’t work the first day, which is apparently somewhat common) being induced actually ended up being a great experience. I was still able to deliver naturally without any pain medication. Total labor time was around 6 hours. My midwives and the hospital nurses were very supportive of my desire to have a “natural” birth even though I was being induced. I like to tell my story just so people know that it’s possible. (Don’t put stock in the common belief that induced “pitocin” contractions are stronger/more intense than regular ones. They felt about the same.)

  45. My labor with my first son was 23 long hours and I pushed for about an hour. With my second son my labor was…get ready…4 HOURS and I pushed twice! Good luck Joanna! You’ll be holding that sweet little bundle in your arms before you know it!

  46. Yikes! My mom, a third baby, was born in the hospital parking lot, and her third nearly was. Good luck!

  47. With my first babe, labor was…horrendous. 60+ hours of intense back labor followed by 2.5 hrs of pushing. I was exhausted and a lot of it is a blur since I ended up needed a bunch of different drugs. something to help me sleep since i was exhausted coming in (I had complications for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy that lead to zero sleep), pitocin to get things moving along after contractions stalled, an epidural to get me through the last 4hrs of labor and pushing and more pitocin to help deliver the placenta. My recovery was relatively easy but I was soooo tired for a long time.

    Second babe was much quicker and a more enjoyable L&D. From first inkling of a contraction to holding her in my arms was 11hrs. 30 minutes of pushing. I felt AMAZING afterwards. It was a completely different experience than the first time around.

    Wishing you a speedy, enjoyable L&D!

  48. Why not choose a home birth? The birth of my son was so relaxed in our own home. I don’t even want to think of having contractions in a car. Good luck this coming week(s)!

  49. I just had my first at the end of may. My labor was about 60 hours from the first contractions to his appearance.

  50. My second arrived in barely enough time to get to the hospital. The rumors are true! The difference for me was that I was shaky from the start of labor the second time around, much like when you begin transitional labor. Listen to your bod. If something feels diff’t you know the baby is coming fast. Good luck! You’ll be fine.

  51. I would book myself into a hotel close to the hospital for some peace of mind! Good luck. I hope you have a nice, quick, easy labor :)

  52. I’ve been lucky – I come from a line of women with fast labors! My first was about 6 hours, and 2nd and 3rd babies were about 3 hours. #4 is due in August and my husband is SOOO nervous we won’t get there in time! :) I think we’ll be just fine, but we can’t forget the story of my youngest sibling (my mom’s 6th child) who was born in our station wagon on the way to the hospital! Ah! I’m sure that won’t happen to you – best wishes for a safe delivery.

  53. I secretly wished for a delivery on the way to the hospital..but boy did I have anything but that! My water broke first and then 28 hours of slow progression, not responding to pitocin, two epidurals, my little one’s head never descended into place and was finally born via c-section. Sounds pretty dramatic, but is now a distant memory :)

    I wish you the very best Joanna! Hopefully a quick and easy delivery!

  54. I was in labor for 16 hours, the first 2 or 3 merely uncomfortable, the last 13-14 with intense back labor. Water broke at hour 15, emergency c-section at hour 16. :( Disappointing, but I’m hoping #2 will work out better!

  55. Active labor: 12 minutes. It was crazy! And my first! I was on bed rest due to preterm labor but, the doctors and nurses assured me the baby was not coming any time soon. So, I sent my husband and mom home for a good nights sleep and BAM! she was born. They didn’t even believe me when I told them. So quick!

  56. Good luck! I was super nervous about not getting to the hospital in time. We moved while I was pregnant and my hospital ended up being 45 mins (with no traffic) away from the hospital. In the end it all turned out ok. I was in labor for 22 hours before the doctor decided I should have a c-section. Hopefully baby number 2 will be easier.

  57. My first 2 hours of labor and only 7 minutes pushing! and here she was in my arms… I can’it imagine how will be my second!!! Probably i will have it at home!! Silvia fron Italy

  58. Good luck Jo
    My first labour was 13 hrs, second exactly half 6.5 hrs.
    Third labour was the complicated one :)
    Can’t wait to read your good news and find out bub’s gender.
    Enjoy your last days as a family of three x x

  59. Haha My mom would scoff at the second baby comes quicker story. My older brother took 4 hours, I took 26 with back labor :)

    I just wasn’t ready I suppose.

  60. Baby #1 = 12 hours (a beautiful boy – Frederik) ♥ Baby #2 = 5 hours (a beautiful girl – Nadia) ♥ Baby #3 = 7 hours (yet another beautiful girl – Rosa) ♥ Giving birth is the craziest but most giving and wonderful experience of my life… nothing compares… nothing as wonderful ♥ Wishing you all the best!

  61. Also my water didn’t break with either. The first time the midwife broke t after labour slowed and my second broke as the baby crowned. So don’t wait for that sign.

  62. My first labour was 42 hours long (10 hours from 6cm to baby in my arms), and I pushed for an hour and a half. My second daughter was about 10 hours in total, but only 3 hours of noticeable “yep I’m in labour” type contractions, only 45 minutes from 6cm – baby in arms (i very nearly had her in the hallway between the first “observation room” they take you to when you get to the hospital & the labor room), and only 2 pushes and she was out. Dont mess around this time!

  63. With all the others,I wish for you a safe and quick delivery, without much pain.. I have had 5 and all of them were late.. the first only by a day, but the others were all 2 weeks after expected..my second as induced in hospital and she arrived 4 hours later.. I had the others mainly induced too, so all of them wanted to stay where they were for longer!! they are all grown up now and starting to have their own children.. I am jealous for the wonder you will be going through when you meet your darling little one.!!!***.Thinking of you, sending hugs from across the pond, janzi

  64. My first baby, born less than four weeks ago, arrived in under four hours! I didn’t believe this was really, truly labor until the urge to push arrived – while I was still at home, in the bathtub. The paramedics were called, the bedroom was set up for a homebirth, but the shock and fear slowed the labor enough that I could be transported by ambulance to the hospital. Baby girl arrived 45 minutes later – which is longer than it could have been; I still couldn’t believe it was time to push!

  65. Just reading all these stories is giving me a panic attack…good luck Joanna!!

  66. My sister-in-law gave birth to her second in the front seat of their car as my brother drove frantically down the highway to the hospital. It was a precipitous birth and (obviously!) unexpected – she labored 24 hours with her first child. Women are heroes. You may have seen the video of a NY woman who delivered in a cab. She is super calm and even asks the fireman to unwrap the baby for skin-to-skin contact. Amazing. All the best to you guys!

  67. My twins were 12 hours and second pregnancy with one baby was only 3 hours, the contractions came very fast and intense.

  68. What an exciting time for you all! My first was laborious and problematic – Waters broke at 10pm (just got into bed, inconvenient timing) and she was finally born after much intervention just after 9am.

    My second girl was induced, with almighty contractions soon thereafter and a drug-free labour and delivery all up around 2 hrs 40m. I sent my husband out for hot chips and stunk the hospital room out. Chips were all I wanted and boy did they taste amazing. I know everyone tells you what works for them, but a friend told me about getting into the shower at the hospital and directing the shower head around your stomach and pelvis. It sped the delivery up and really eased the contaction pains. It must have as I didn’t have the epidural or anything else unlike the first time around. I would do that again in a flash.

    Best wishes to you three!

  69. Mine were both quick. 2.5 hours first time and 1.5 the second time. The doctor just told me to go straight to hospital as soon as contractions started. We were out the door as soon as I was sure they really were contractions… and not just Braxton Hicks!
    Luckily, most babies are born at night – I’m sure you’ll get there fine!

  70. I’ve heard the same about the second baby coming faster than the first, which scares me a little because my first came very fast! It was at least 4 hours from my water breaking to giving birth.

  71. My labor was around 20 hours-ish. Labored at home for about 5 hours and then headed to the hospital. I hope and pray for at LEAST half of that labor time for my next child! :)

  72. You know what? I was so terrified that my second child would come faster than my first, but it was opposite for me. My first labor was 6 hours from the first contraction until he was born. My second was 8 hours, and my third was 7 hours, but I had been having contractions for days and days with that one.

    They are all different! Just like the babes that come out!

  73. I don’t have any kid, but I’m the younger of 2. My mom said that she remember watching her soap opera the morning of my birth, then she went to the hospital and I was born by 1:30 pm. She joked that if she had ended up pregnant with a 3rd kid, it would have just plopped out on the driveway. I hope you have more than enough time for your second birth!

  74. My baby was born sunny side up and it took 25 hours of labor, 4 hours of pushing and 10 minutes of kiwi extraction to get her out. It was worth all of the pain… I have always heard the second + babies come faster! Good luck! Can’t wait to see pictures!

  75. First deliver was 22+ hours of active labor. Second baby we decided to deliver out on Long Island because we loved a doctor. I called my husband with the first contraction. It took about three hours for him to get back to our Sunnyside apartment from work north of the city, and then drive me out to Long Island (on a Sunday morning!). We made it into L&D with about 18 minutes to spare.

    I’ve had nightmares about “a little hand just popped out”!! Eeeeks!

  76. I’m a second baby. My mom had three girls–all natural, vaginal births. My mom was in labor with me for a very short amount of time, and I was almost delivered without the doctor. The nurses said that they could deliver me without the doctor if my mom felt like she had to push. The doctor gloved-up, my mom took 1 push, and I was out!

    Congratulations!

  77. My first came so quickly (less than 3 hours) think I’m camping out next time.

  78. My second came quickly! I was stepping into the passenger seat of the car to head to the hospital and my water broke right there on the sidewalk. I IMMEDIATELY had the familiar urge to push, so I knew we would not make it to the hospital after all. I yelled that the baby was coming then I turned around and went back into the house, and laid down in the bathroom while my mom called 911. My baby was born TWO MINUTES and three pushes later. Thankfully it was a healthy and straightforward birth, so there was no emergency situation. But still… my advice is to get to the hospital on time!!!!!

  79. I started having irregular (every 3-5 mins) painful contractions around Sunday Morning. Went to the doctor that night and was told I was only 1cm so I was sent home. I didn’t move from the couch until Tuesday morning (it was that bad) and I only got up because I had my 41 wk check up that day (around 1pm i think) well I went to the appt, and kept having to stop what I was doing every few mins because of the contractions, and finally right when i walked into the exam room, my water broke, so I hobbled over to the birthing center next door, and when i was checked I was BARELY 3.5 cm dialated. I opted for the epidural (it must’ve already been around 3pm) and had my baby boy at 10:24pm. So I was in labor for a couple days before he finally came

  80. I only have one child currently and that labor was a 34 hour long adventure! I am hoping with my second to be at least under 24 hours! haha a girl can dream right?

  81. Labored 36 hours with #1. 4 hours start to finish with #2. It’s true what they say. :)

  82. I just had a baby in January :)

    Labor started at 3:00 AM
    Arrived at the hospital 5:00 AM
    Received my epidural 7:00 AM
    Baby was born at 11:00 AM

    8 hours total, but you’re right, that time flies by! It felt like it was only a couple of hours!

  83. Oh my! I definitely feel nervous just reading your post. I’m not pregnant (although I wish I were, but we just started trying), so I can’t give you any direct advice. I just wanted to tell you that you are in my heart and I wish you a speedy delivery and a healthy baby.

    Can’t wait to e-meet him/her! How sweet your life is with so much love around you <3

    Carmen {shugarlove.com}

  84. We have a great story in my family, about my sister’s birth (my mother’s second baby).

    My father drove my mother to the hospital as SOON as her contractions were about 5 minutes apart. He dropped her off at the front entrance of the hospital and went to park. He ended up having to pay a Muni Meter, put the ticket on the windshield, etc. By the time he got inside, my mom was already admitted and pushing.

    My sister’s time of birth was 8:37.

    The time on the Muni Meter ticket? 8:30.

  85. I was in labor for 57 hours while my husband was at work in Europe! And insanely enough, my hubby made it to the delivery in time for me to push! Two hours after he arrived, the baby came. I swear, my daughter was just waiting for him to arrive :)

    I wrote a lengthier, more detailed piece on it here along with our video baby announcement: http://www.dailyampersand.com/miya-nariko/

    (57 hours be damned- if the baby’s hand pops out of me first- THAT would traumatize me!)

  86. About 38 hours, but only intense for a short part of that time!

    Contractions started at 5am but active labour didn’t start til about 6pm. We’d been planning a home birth but transferred to hospital at 10am the next morning when labour wasn’t progressing. Just before 7pm he was finally born via emergency c-section.

    We had a great midwife and the hospital staff were also really good so overall it was a positive experience, despite the change of plans!

    Best of luck Joanna!

  87. i had my first baby this february. She was born about an hour after checking in at the hospital. We basically had to wait for the doctor to get there (it was 2:30am) while they set me up in the delivery room. My mom had my older brother 2 hours after arriving at the hospital, so I was hoping to have a similar experience but I guess i have her beat!

  88. I hear your trepidation… my first labor was 6 1/2 hours total which included 3 hours of pushing (she was in a TERRIBLE position). By the way, my first and Toby were born only a few weeks apart and I am due anytime with my second, too! It’s been so fun to follow along with your pregnancy! Good luck to you, you’ll do great!

  89. Considering a homebirth for #3.
    #1: Water broke. Mild contractions started during drive to hospital to be checked and increased over the next 2.5 hours before my daughter was born.

    #2: Three hours of irregular contractions the night prior but they stopped on their own. Checked dilation at appt next day; 6cm. Told me to rush to the hospital if I felt anything. Felt braxton hicks that night; midwife said to go just in case. By the time we reached the hospital (20min), contractions gone but I was 8cm. She broke my water (didn’t want to send me home!) and 30 min and six contractions later, there was my son!

    Apparently I have ‘silent labour’, which means I don’t feel a lot of the early contractions (yes, I know I’m lucky!). But it also means that #3 might need to be born at home despite my preference for the hospital – better home than in a car!

  90. These are fascinating to read! My son was breech and required a c-section so my story doesn’t really qualify. We had surgery scheduled for a Tuesday morning but Monday morning, at 2:30 a.m., my water broke when I got up to use the bathroom. I was at the hospital by 3:30 a.m. and was 4 c.m. with tolerable contractions. Our son was born at 6:04 a.m. I think it would have gone pretty quickly if the tiny guy was headed downwards! He was only 6 pounds when he was born at 39 weeks, 5 pounds when we took him home. If we have another I am stocking up on preemie clothes.

    Good luck Joanna! No matter what it will be a great story to tell!

  91. DC says...

    I had a very long latent labor- Four days of crawling around with contractions every 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 7 minutes, back to 10 and no sleep. Did anyone else have a long latent labor? It was awful, I had never heard of long latent labor. I learned if you have had previous miscarriages, you can have scar tissue which can be harder to dilate and efface. I went the hospital four times before checking in and finally,finally having our baby!
    May I ask, did anyone else have long early latent labor?

  92. I just had my third Saturday, I was due the 4th and have been tracking along with you :).

    My second came 5 days late and we made it to the hospital with plenty of time to spare because I was afraid of all the second baby stories.

    This time I was unsure if my contractions were real at first and I didn’t want to be confined to a hospital bed for hours, so I stayed at home until they were closer together. By the time my mother-in-law arrived to stay with our boys, we had a twenty minute ride to the hospital and I was already feeling some pressure. I was a little afraid we wouldn’t make it, luckily we did, but I was between 8 and 9 and by the time they checked us in and put me in a room, I had the baby in the next hour and a half and that felt like cutting it close to me.

    So good luck and like your dr said, leave as soon as you can :)!

  93. First one was 15 hours. Second was less than five, and I went from 7 cm to delivery in less than 45 minutes. If there’s a third, I’ll head straight for the hospital!

  94. Reading this makes me want to drive to NY from Seattle and make sure that you get a safe ride! Joanna, you are in my thoughts and I hope everything goes well. You know how to give your readers chills!