I was able to be present at the most perfect delivery of my baby neice today.  My sister in law waited until she was 5 cm dialated before going to the hospital at 9:30 AM, they gave her an epidural at 6 cm and it was perfect, no pain at all, it was so good she needed pitocin to augment the labor but still no pain.  We laughed, told stories, and had a fantastically stress free experience.  The baby was delivered at 2:50 PM and there was still no pain, no ripping, and she delivered her face up. Both mom and baby were completely healthy, the baby was 3 weeks early and only 5 lb 4 oz. When the nurse asked my sister in law what the level of her pain was she replied she had no pain at all.

The parts that I find interesting about births are that everyone wants to be there to share in the excitement and see your baby right when it was born. The problem with that is that babies come out long before afterbirth.  When your parents want to walk into the room you have a baby in your arms but your crotch exposed to the world as they wait for the afterbirth to be delivered.  I remember with my sisters birth, everyone wanted to rush into the room when the baby came and that was the point when she was completely exposed in stirups as the Dr. sewed her up and delivered her afterbirth and cleaned her up.   So the parts of you that you wanted to keep private from your friends and family have now been shown in full bloody view.

Now even after your sewn up and cleaned up now you have the flocks of people waiting to see the baby and if you want to nurse the first thing the baby wants to do is nurse.  So you have to try to do something completely new and uncomfortable to you and people are pressuring you to let them come into the room.  Now the time when you need to be completely relaxed and bond with your baby you are not comfortable exposing your friends and family to your breasts, and the way the Nurses always disrobe you completely to have the baby up against your skin you are totally out in the open with no way to cover yourself up.

Maybe other people do not have an issue with this and think that this is a normal part of life to expose the parts of you that have never been exposed except in the most intimate of circumstances to your whole family and friends.  I think hospitals need to come up with a plan to make it so that new mothers have some privacy bonding time with their new children before visitors are allowed to enter, maybe 2 hours after giving birth. I know I requested it from my family after the birth of my daughter and I do not feel guilty about that decision at all, by the time my son was born I knew how to ask my friends and family to step outside without guilt but that was not something that came easy for my first.   Good luck with your birth experience. I hope you have a perfect delivery like my sister in law but maybe come up with a plan for after you give birth so you can bond with your baby and not completely expose yourself to your friends and family.