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Detailing Your Delivery

"Eighty percent of life is about showing up." Woody Allen

How to not forget a single detail of your experience.

When you think about giving birth you may think that you could never forget anything about it! You've waited so long and planned so carefully, but if you think back on any other significant event in your life you may be surprised by how little you remember unless someone asks you specific questions. So here's a list to get you started. Feel free to add anything you like. Let's get started:

The Onset

When did you realize you were actually in labor?

Where were you?

What did you do?

When did your contractions begin?

Date: Time:  

When did they become regular?

Date: Time: Intervals:

Did you realize any of the following?

Leaking or breaking of water?

Loss of mucus plug or bloody show?

Pelvic Pressure?

Back Labor or pain?

Baby dropping into birth canal?

Energy surge?

Nausea or feeling sick?

At what point did you call your doctor?




When were you told to leave for the hospital or birthing center?

On The Road

What time did you leave?

Who drove?

Who went along?

What vehicle did you take?

How did you feel en route?

Do you remember any specific thoughts?

What route did you take to get there?

How long did it take to arrive?

How long did it seem like it took to arrive?

At the Hospital or Birthing Center

What is the first thing you remember about your arrival?

What was it like?

When did you first see your doctor or midwife?

Who else was there with you? Partner? Family members/Staff? Nurses?

What did you do during contractions?

Where were you for most of your labor?

Where you transported to another room for delivery?

At what point?

How did you handle labor pain?

What is your most vivid memory of labor?

If you gave Birth at Home

When did your midwife arrive?

What was the first thing done?

What did you do during contractions?

How did you handle labor pain?

What is your most vivid memory of labor?

Your Baby's Birth

Who was there?

Do you remember their reaction to the birth?

Who do you remember most?

What do you remember about labor?

How was labor for you?

How long did it last?

Did you have a difficult transition?

Was it what you thought it would be?

What surprised you about labor?

How did it compare to previous labors?

Describe the birth?

What happened?

How would you describe the experience?

Did you have an episiotomy?

Did you touch the baby's head when it crowned?

Did you have a mirror so you could see?

Did you videotape the birth?

Did they place the baby on your chest?

Who cut the umbilical cord?

Who drew the cord blood?

Did you nurse right away?

How was that experience?

Is there anything about the experience that you would change if you had it to do over again?

Is there anything about this birth that you would want exactly the same if you had it to do over again?

What was the first thing that struck you about your baby?

Do you remember what your first thoughts were?

What was the first thing you said to your baby?

What was the first thing you said to your partner?

What was the first thing your partner said to you?

Did you know the sex of the baby in advance?

Were you surprised when you discovered the sex of your baby?


Was it the sex you expected?

Cesarean Birth

Why did you have a C-section?

What were your feelings?

Who was allowed to stay with you?

What happened during the operation?

What do you remember most vividly?

What were you thinking and feeling?

Your New Baby

Baby's Name

What made you decide on that particular name?

Date of birth?

Time of birth?



Did your baby have hair?

What color?

What color did your baby appear when you first saw it?

When did you notice it had changed?

To what color?

Was your baby on time?

How early?

How late?

Who did you call first?

What was their reaction?

Second? Reaction?
Third? Reaction?
Fourth? Reaction?
Fifth? Reaction?

Did you receive flowers?

From whom?

Who was your first visitor?

Were you comfortable holding your baby?

Did you save a newspaper from that day?

When did you bring your baby home?

What was the weather like?

Who was there to help?

Who drove? What vehicle?

What outfit did you dress your baby in?

What blanket?

How was your first day at home?

Who helped you?

Where did the baby sleep?

What did you think about the experience of the birth as a whole?

How did your partner feel about it?

What gifts did you receive? From whom?

What gift did you enjoy the most?

Whose reaction will you never forget?


How did your baby seem to take the entire experience?

What was the most memorable thing said about the baby?

Who said it?



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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