I just wanted to revisit this post, now that I have had my baby!! During the entire pregnancy, I never reclined on my back, only on my left side. I slept on my left side about 90 percent of the time. I also saw a chiropractor through week 38, and she did Webster a couple of times, but this baby had settled into LOA (with back pretty much right against my left side) by 32 weeks. So, he was in a good position for the labor.
I decided not to get a doula, since I had done a lot of preparation on positions. I also did the Hypnobabies course to help cope with the discomfort. We once again started at the birth center. My water broke at 6 am in the morning at 40+3 weeks. Contractions started at 7.30 pm. Baby was 8 lb 9 oz, two oz heavier than first birth.
The labor itself this time around was equally intense/painful as my first! It felt like a steam train! Contractions started at 2 minutes apart, and only increased in duration, until there was practically no time between them. I worked through the early contractions using my hypnobabies, but at some point, when the pain got to be too much, it didn't work for me anymore (though I still recommend it because it helped me a lot to prepare for the birth and in the early first stage). As soon as the pain got really intense, I had flashbacks to my first birth -- I thought, "this is the same! I can't do it! I should have gone for the epidural/hospital birth." I labored on a birthing ball in the early stage (at 4 cm), then moved to the bed, first draped over a birthing ball and then on hands and knees (with DH providing counterpressure). I had to vocalize between contractions, doing "oohs" and "ahhs'" and then sounding like a whale/cow and then eventually a lion, roaring through transition and pushing. I moved to my left side for the last contractions right before pushing, and pushed him out on my left side.
This time, he came out in 3 hours and 15 minutes! The intense steamroller was extremely hard to withstand, but it was short. As soon as he was out, I felt an amazing sense of relief and elation, as I'm sure my body was pumped with endorphins. It was a fabulous experience!
So, even though I was hoping the pain would be less, it wasn't. This time I was more prepared to cope with the pain, and used different positions during labor. I do attribute his coming so fast to the position he was in (and of course the fact that he was my second vaginal birth). Oh, and he came out with a nuchal hand!