Originally Posted by BlueMonday
i've had two amazing homebirths so i've kind of nailed down my system. first, plenty of smartwater to drink, washcloths for my head and a portable fan to regulate my temperature and stay comfortable (especially in summer heat!). my favorite birth tub is the eco birth-pool-in-a-box, i love how you can bounce off the bottom and sides to change position fast and the handles and seat are things i tried unsuccessfully to fabricate with the hard-sided aquadoula tub.
i sort of enjoy giving birth. the first time
i didn't know what to expect and so i brought expectations to the birth. the second time was fast, just five hours, and i just stayed focused and kept an ina may mantra close: "keep it fun for your birth attendants, you're lucky to have them there". a positive, light attitude is so infectious. the first time i was a bit whinier. i was clinging to ina may's "loose lips make loose bottoms" and trying to visualize surfing the contractions, still attempting to stay on top of them instead of accepting it. i'm not a person who can easily drift to laborland, i have a hard time with leaving my mind so the best i can do is stay present and participate. it's really not that bad and you can deal with anything for just one day.
i'm lucky to have also discovered that my body will start pushing on it's own. the first time i think i bruised up my cervix with unproductive pushing for about an hour too long, once i thought i was complete. the second time my awesome CNM wouldn't give me a number for dilation because she knew i wanted to let my body do the work. she doesn't do internal checks or exams anyway, both labors i asked her to look. but at one point my uterus just did that curling over thing, i'd inflate my belly huge with air and as i blew out, my body pushed baby out. i only got involved for the last two pushes, when i get this stabbing cramp as baby pushes my pelvic bones aside on the way through.
oh and i was immensely successful with helping my cervix melt during that quick second labor. in between contractions (i woke up like two minutes apart and pretty much got right into the bath while the tub filled), i reached in and helped my cervix widen, drawing out more and more of the bloody mucus. sorry TMI, i did rather feel like an animal in the wild doing it, but i think it quite helped speed things along. that and of course the nightly bout of contractions over my last month of pregnancy