I had Finley at Kaiser Zion in San Diego, I didn't take a class or read much about giving birth before I had him. I was open to having him naturally but decided to just decide when the time came. I went to the hospital after my water broke at about 5 am, I didn't get an epidural for almost 4 hours after I requested it and unfortunately the nurses were transitioning from one shift to the other so I didn't get a lot of help during those 4 hours. The nurse checked me after the epidural was administered and I was already fully dilated... I was pretty sad about that because I felt kind of robbed by the process. It took over 3 hours of pushing for Finley to be born and finally they had to do a vacuum assist. The doctor warned me that the vacuum was the last hope before going in for a c-section so it was a very scary experience. The whole experience was pretty traumatic physically and emotionally. Finley had gotten into an unfavorable position, we were both running fevers and he was showing signs of distress. The pediatrician was ready to take him for some extra care after he was born but luckily he tested an 8/9 on the APGAR and I got to keep him for kangaroo care after he was born.
If I could do it over again I probably would've been more educated and learned more about the labor process in hopes of identifying where I was in the process without the nurses help. I also would want the class to be a couples class so my husband could help me through the process :)