Five days before my due date, I woke up feeling like I was having some pretty intense menstrual cramps and I was elated. I ran around getting things ready and decided to accompany my partner to town (we live very rurally) to run some errands so I could take my mind off the contractions. I made him promise he wouldn't tell anyone I was in labor because I didn't want to jinx it.
We decided to stop at the doctor's office in case she wanted to admit me. She said I was three centimeters and I should go home and resume business as usual because the real thing would not be for a day or two. This was at 5:00 p.m.
When we got home, I got into bed and started visualizing my cervix opening and imagining the baby's descent. All of a sudden I felt (and heard) a pop in my belly, and as I stood up, water ran down my legs. My contractions became 20 times more intense. We headed back to town (which was an hour-long drive over a windy, hilly road), at full speed. When I would have a contraction I would yell at John to speed up, and when it went away I would yell at him to slow down. The poor guy was a mess.
We got to the hospital at 9:00 p.m., and I felt much more comfortable. My doctor checked me and found I was seven centimeters and 50 percent effaced. I got in the jacuzzi and felt considerably better, but it was still pretty intense. When I felt like I was going to lose my focus, a nurse helped me get my breathing back on track. John forgot most of what we learned in class and sat there rather helpless. He would try to hold my focal point up for me, but became more annoying than helpful. If it weren't for the nurse helping me with my breathing I probably would have drowned the dear man!
When my doctor checked me at 11:30 p.m., she said I was ten centimeters and ready to push. She used perineal massage and mineral oil to avoid tearing, and for this I am forever grateful because I healed in no time. Makai was born at 11:58 p.m. after about nine pushes. He was very alert and started nursing right away.
I knew I wanted to have a natural birth but I had been afraid. I researched natural childbirth early in my pregnancy and took some meditation classes, which convinced me that my body was made to do this. My mother said I was crazy for wanting to give birth without drugs. Ironically, most of my older female relatives considered birth without drugs unheard of and inhumane, which just goes to show the grip that western medicine has on us. I am so happy I didn't opt for the drugs. I would suggest to anyone considering natural childbirth to choose a hospital or birth center that is hip to natural birth and believe that you can do it.