My water broke at 1:30am and I started having contractions right away - the pain seriously blew me away. Like Muffin says, you hear it's painful but then the classes talk about relaxing away the pain, so I was a little unprepared for the sheer amount of pain. I got in the bathtub in the near-dark and alternated between there, the bed and the toilet - staying mostly in the hot water until 6:30 when family started to get there.
I have no idea how I passed those five hours but it really, really helped to be alone. DP checked in every so often but I was alone and really confronted it mentally. At first, truthfully, all I could think about was an epidural - that *something* existed that could make *this* stop! I was panting/swaying in the bathroom and blood kept dripping on the floor...pat pat pat...and I was thinking there is no way I can do this.
Once in the tub, I really confronted myself that I was clenching/nervous and not relaxing. It was really difficult as I could tell in my nervousness I was fighting my body. In this way the classes really helped. I knew I had to get my mind unwrapped. I pulled a full-size towel into the tub, covered myself with it soaking wet and moved through contractions. I asked DP to bring me some beer
: and in retrospect, once I had some, I was really able to start to unwind a bit - especially since I hadn't had a drink in so long. I thought about the desert. I tried to use the Hypno visualizations but they didn't correspond with what I was feeling so I pictured mountaintops...sheer, craggy, sharp, rocky mountaintops in spirals and imagined myself hanging on the peaks at the peak of the pain and coming back down afterwards.
I laid on the bed with the heating pad and blankets. I wanted to be really hot. I wanted to sweat under the blankets. I listened to Carlos Nakai which really helped zone me out.
DP started filling the pool around 6:30 and asked if I wanted to get in, which I did. In the pool I was moaning from the absolute depths of me, the pressure was so intensely overwhelming. I moaned and moaned...really roared, actually. My family arrived and I remember being really hazy seeing them come into the room. I got out and sat on the toilet, pushing. I knew I shouldn't push mentally but I couldn't help it, I pushed and pushed, moaning. I heard the midwife come in at 7:00...she checked me on the bed and I was already 8cm. Like pps have mentioned, knowing I was probably in transition really helped. I was afraid she'd say I was like 3 or 4 - I really didn't think I could go on all day if I was.
It went quick from there, all a blur. Everyone was moving around and talking...at the time it seemed like everyone was busy and nobody was listening to me, which wasn't bad, because I felt like I was in compete meltdown and apparently nobody noticed! I stood in the middle of the room and said "NO! NO!" but DP was the only one who heard. At one point I announced "STOP TALKING!" to the room but apparently I only said STOP out loud, ha. I rocked against the bathroom counter and finally laid down, it was too much. I tried picturing the mountains again but they were too "short" for the peaks so I only saw plateaus - desert plateaus - where the pain was a long, long stretch before the downward slide. I was handling this pain but the unbearable part was my body pushing at the end of each contraction, huge, toe-curling THRUSTS inside. They went through me and came out and seriously shook me with their force.
I said I felt sick. I thought I was going to throw up - twice. And the pain stopped. All of a sudden, hi endorphins! I pushed for two hours and felt NO pain. NO contractions, only a tingling urge to bear down.
Let's just say pushing was, er, pleasurable.
I tore, too...she was asynclitic with a nuchal hand. Didn't feel it at all.
The whole experience was so amazing. I was a little thrown off by the pain afterwards, just the unexpected I think, but it was such a positive experience...