Belly binding? I'm intrigued.
I'm over 30 now, and was such a young whipper snapper with young ab muscles the first times, so I think I better think about these things this go-round.
I'm looking forward to a possible homebirth. Need to get DP on board of course. I want to hire a doula I interviewed, need DP to get on board with paying her, he's such a miser. Well, we did just take out a massive loan to buy our dream home, so I understand. But our new dream home has a huge jacuzzi sized tub with jets and I would love to have a water birth in it!!! And deal with labor in it! We don't live near a big hospital, only a little one, so I'm not so sure about that part of having a homebirth here. Where I had my homebirth last time, I was 5 minutes from a major hospital. That helped me to relax in case of problems.
vc2013, I think reading certain natural-birth friendly books will help you to loosen up about anticipating a need for pain meds. Natural Birth the Bradley Way did it for me, and this time around I ordered Birthing Within and Ina May Gaskin's book, so I hope that those will help me to get back into that headspace of not thinking about pain meds as even a potential need, really. My first was too fast and intense to have time for them anyways (I got to the hospital and moments later was in transition), although it was so intense that I would have taken anything if possible, but my second was a reasonable 5 hours from start to finish, and since it wasn't at lightning speed (i.e. each contraction wasn't doing the work of 40 contractions like the first time), I found it difficult and painful but entirely doable and never even wished for pain meds. I wished for it to hurry up and be over, but sheesh, doesn't every woman feel the urge for that finish line during labor? It was nothing where I thought, "Oh MAN I wish I was at a hospital and could have some stranger with a huge needle come in and poke me in the spine with it so I can just lay here and not feel my legs and roll the dice with that whole gamble." No way. Everything felt right and I soldiered through it without it ever being more than I felt I could handle.
I hope that was encouraging?