My first born son will be 2 weeks tomorrow. I had a successful unassisted birth on December 18th with my mother and husband present. The labor was only 6 1/2 hours. I had been walking a lil under a mile and a half every day from about 6 months and before that I was working at a surf camp. The day I went into labor I had walked about 3 miles and had a swim in the ocean. I think the walking and active lifestyle (i skated and surfed a couple times with big tummy!) contributed to the short labor. I never really felt Braxton Hicks. At around midnight on the 18th, I woke up with my first contraction. I never timed my contractions but they were definitely less than 5 minutes apart right from the start. I labored through the night with very little rest in between very strong contractions. Around an hour and a half before my son was born, right when I looked at my mother and told her "I cant do this any more," transition was over and i was into the "pushing" stage. The contractions weren't as strong and I had more rest in between. My mom had just read in Sheila Kitzinger's "Pregnancy and Childbirth" book that she referred to this as the "rest and be thankful" stage. Boy was it a relief! It felt really good to push with each contraction but in hindsight I think I may have pushed to hard and this might have been the reason I tore pretty bad. My son was born at around 6:30 am, he came out crying but hasn't cried since! He is so good and calm and we are convinced this is because of his mellow entrance into the world with no one grabbing him away and disturbing him. Around 20 minutes later (not really sure of time as you sort of lose a sense of time!) I birthed the placenta with a bit of a push. My mom and husband were a bit anxious about the placenta and cutting the umbilical cord but I assured them we should wait a lil. I would have waited longer. But we didn't need to tie it off. I instructed my mom to cut it nearer the placenta and it hadn't totally gone limp yet but there was only a little blood. My mom then shimmied on the umbilical rubber band i had ordered and clipped it on about an inch away from his belly button and we then cut the cord again. After examining myself I realized I tore pretty bad and we were a little concerned. We were sure I needed stitches but were not about to go to the hospital and have them take the baby and defeat the whole purpose of the home birth! The 2nd day it didn't look any better-I had torn inside and was really swollen! After doing research we decided to just leave it and let nature take its course. We had read a lot about stitches going wrong and it taking way longer to heal plus we tried to call a doctor to come to the house but they said we'd have to go to the hospital. I'll admit I was sorta freaked out about having a weird looking vagina and needing plastic surgery later on. But 2 weeks of staying put on bed rest and putting seaweed on it from time to time (we are very homeopathic around here!) and it looks totally normal! the perennial tear (right up to the anal sphincter) has jelled itself back together and the once mangled inside tear is gone. The body is amazing and magical if you just let it do its thing and not interfere so much! I am so happy I decided to go unassisted with my first and cant imagine doing it any other way. Power to the unassisted! And you can do it with your first!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stay at home momma of 2 with one on the way! A 3 yr old girl, 1 yr old boy and due Aug 22nd! Semi crunchy homebirthing, breastfeeding momma as well! Married 3 yrs to a man I couldn't be happier with!
Congrats! I also had an unassisted home waterbirth with my first back in September. I wasn't as active as you throughout my pregnancy so my labor was longer (though the really intense part was only 5 hrs or so...but I had painful, fairly close contractions for DAYS before). It's a great feeling, isn't it? I wasn't planning on it but midwives wouldn't help me since doctors were pushing for a c-section but I just knew that wasn't right for me.