I only read your OP, and want to respond to that. Then I will go back through and read the rest of the thread later this evening.
I have had 4 children, all at home with a midwife & DH. Babes were 9-10 pounds and 19-22" long.
No scary incidences like shoulder dystochia, or even a tear. I did have two slightly malposition babes - nuchal hand & posterior.
Labor was hard work, and yes - painful. Out of my mind painful at times. Worth it, absolutely - but still painful at times.
For babe #4, I did Hypnobabies somewhat. After a very personal stillbirth situation of my most closest friend, I found that my trust in birth was shattered and no amount of hippie talk nor faith talk within myself could take that anxiety and fear. nor guilt away. This is why I bought the Hypnobabies home course.
I faithfully listened to the scripts, though I did not practice with my husband.
I will say that it was the most POSITIVE, BEAUTIFUL pregnancy I had experienced, and I really believe Hypnobabies was the reason for it. I (as I said) had a lot of emotional garbage going on and I think Hypnos scripts helped that SO much.
When labor time came, things went very fast for me (as is normal with a multip mom). I had contractions all day that were annoying, but it was at about 3:30 pm when they became coming very regularily and getting to the point that I could not really talk comfortably through them that we went ahead and called the midwife.
She came around 5 pm and contractions were definitely 5-6 minutes apart and lasting 45 sec-minute.
I bounced on my ball and relaxed through it as best as I could, but movement was still necessary for me. I think some of Hypnobabies was very helpful here, because in between contractions I was able to talk and laugh.
By 6:30 there was no doubt in my mind I was in labor. It was requiring all of my EVERYTHING to get through contractions. Time did seem to fly, and the pain seemed lessen if I stood in the shower and had DH rub my back while I breathed through contrax.
By 8:45 pm or so I was in transition and.
That is a time when normally, I feel - out of control, crying, denying that I am having a baby (or even wanting to) hits full force. This time the pressure of the baby and lack of water being warm and high enough in the tub (which I had slunk to seeking some relief) just made the situation major suck. It was as if all the relative 'ease' I had had during labor was gone and I was dying.
Pushing sucked worse than normal.
In fact, usually I can push one of my chubby munchkins out in 8-15 minutes. This time it took over a half hour and I think that is the surest indicator that Hypnobabies was still influencing me even if I didnt think so. (You know, the whole "breathe your babe down"..) I like to be active, this time I very much just surrendered to the process and it was not pleasant...
So..Where was I again?
It was an ideal birth by many peoples standards. It was NOT ideal by mine.
Still - Babe was healthy, pushing time was still less than what is considered standard, labor was 10-12 hours long, active labor was 3 hours (which was the exact amount as #3. #1 was 24 hours and 6 hours, and #2 was 12 hours and 4 hours) --- BUT
I feel so scared of pushing another baby out of my body that if/when we have another child I am seriously contemplating a hospital birth so I can have some drugs....
A part of me knows I won't do that (Women in my family have always home birthed except for 3 births by my Grandma in a hosp, which involved twilight sleep) so to me natural birth in all its glory and gore is just....normal. But, I fantasize and debate...lol
I don't know if you have a lower pain thresh hold or not. My personal peanut gallery opinion??
You (as a first time Mom) made the decision that you were going to have a beautiful, positive, pain free birth. Your reality was much different. Now you are picking up the pieces. Sherlock Holmes would be proud of my astute observations.
Nah, seriously though....
As a second time Mom you are both battle wounded (knowing kind of what to expect) and battle experienced (meaning because you know kind of what to expect, you can take the experience for what it is without all of the "THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE RAINBOW KISSES AND ANGEL FARTS!" distractions.)
I know of a woman I talked to who for her first birth did Hypnobabies and had the blissed out, pain free birth. She was pregnant about the same time as me this last time. For her #2 birth she faithfully did her Hypnobabies and (smugly, perhaps?) told all of us in our play group due how WONDERFUL birth was and how she could not wait to do it again.
I believed she could, she was empowered and had a great frame of mind which really are very important for birth.
They are not every thing.
I truly am saddened to say that for her second birth (as best as I could gather before she quit coming) was quite traumatic for her because there was a lot of unexpected pain.
Needless to say there was a lot of spring out of her step, and even though I could tell others felt she may have gotten a bit of her comeuppance...I just felt sympathy for her.
(I figured I would let her process it a few months before contacting her, I actually forgot about her until now..So I will be doing that this weekend.)
Basically, birth pain is nothing new under the sun. Some births hurt worse than others. I screamed a lot this last birth.. For my second birth, I felt as if I was being drawn and quartered and couldnt sit (lots of bruising on my tailbone) for YEARS afterwards. I also didn't bond quite so readily. I still think I would have been better off if I had sought some pain meds for that birth.
It is ok to desire drugs. It may even be ideal under some circumstances.
You need to work on your new plan for this birth with your adjusted expectations, and then 'let it go' peacefully - this is a new babe and a new birth and I can say as a 4 time mom - None of them have been the same! . I say this with all love. There is always going to be something unexpected. If we wanted something predictable, we would have baked cakes - eh?
I hope I helped in some way.