Back again after some delicious enchiladas.
I think the hypnobirthing book(s) was great but I don't think expecting a pain free birth is realistic.
I wasn't just no afraid of labour, I got excited about it. Dam it, this baby was coming out and I was NEVER going to be pregnant again!!! (That was reason to celebrate for me because pregnancy was rather hard on my body.) By the time the cxs were about 6 or 7 minutes apart they were painful but still very manageable. Again, no hysterics or anything like that. Just counting, long deep breathing and chalking another cx off. I went to hospital at about this time (which was about 1pm the following afternoon). Unfortunately I lost it a bit on the car journey. What does NO woman (or partner!!) want o face when they have a woman deep in labour in the car? A traffic jam! EEK! What should have been about a 15 minute journey took about 30 minutes and things escalated very fast in the car. The stress of the traffic jam didn't help either. I got to the hospital at 1:30 and asked for an internal. I thought anything less than 5cm and I'm going to struggle to make it. When the MW said to me "you're a good 8cm" I could have danced a jig. I had no idea I was that far along. The pain had only ramped up to being really bad when I was in the car and that would have been mostly due to the stress of the car journey. I took some gas at that point and it was a great focus. The cxs were virtually on top of each other at that point but I was coherent enough between them to get DF to put my CD of classical music on and collect myself. I should have gone into the shower at that point but I started to feel the urge to push and DD was born at 2:05.
So, in summary if you're after a natural, intervention free birth then I would recommend the following:
Develop total confidence in your body. It knows what it's doing!!
Read anything and everything on positive birth stories to make them really normal to you.
Watch nice homebirth videos
Have plans in place on what you will say if your care providers start talking intervention.
Get some music together that you can listen to during labour that you find totally relaxing (I had really nice classical music - I can recommend some tunes if you like)
Know your options for unmedicated pain relief like shower with water on your back, groaning etc.
Read the nice birth stories in here.
Most of all - get excited about labour!!