Congrats to all of you, hopefully my story can help someone else out!
During pregnancy: I switched to a new OB practice and hospital that were advertising a more med-free experience. I got two friends to be my doulas, they did the hospital tour with us and bonded a bit with DH and I . DH and I did exercises and I sat on the birth ball a lot. I also re-read Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth and found it very inspiring.
Labor: I went into labor with contractions about 4 minutes apart at 12:30am on St. Patty's Day. I tried to sleep more but they got too intense and felt like waves rushing over my stomach. We called our babysitter and doulas etc.. and headed to the hospital. It was wonderful because they didn't make me sit in triage. They took me right to my room and the nurses gave me suggestions for positions. We put the back of the bed all the way up and I faced it on my knees with my arms hanging over the back if that makes sense. I had the lights dimmed and music on. They didn't make me get an iv or do monitoring. Everything was calm and the nurse helped me breath. My husband and doulas all were on the bed pushing on my back. I kept thinking of myself as animals, lol. I kept telling myself that I was either a lion or jellyfish. The lion image helped me feel like it was happening to someone else like a wild cat having a natural birth. The jellyfish image helped me loosen myself and not tense up so I could breath with the contractions and own them.
Delivery: I started doubting myself through transition as expected but my support team was extremely encouraging telling me how awesome I was doing and I was the best at it and whatever else positive they could think of. I tried to push once I was 8.5 and the nurse had to get in my face and calm me down so I wouldn't swell my cervix. That was the worst part blowing through those urges to push and contractions. Finally the doctor told me I could give a practice push and I decide to turn around and lay down on the bed. As soon as she checked me it was like a gag reflex and I started to yell I'm pushing!! I pushed and he started crowning, lol Everyone was like oooh shoot, hahah and got the camera and got everything ready and he was out!!
My perfect little man Jason Lawrence born at 4:26am on St. Patty's Day. 19 inches, 6lbs13 ounces.
Afterwards: They let the cord pulse completely before DH cut it. They delayed his bath for 2 hours and let me nurse and hold him right away. I shook a lot afterwards from the adrenaline and they gave me a shot of pitocin in the leg after delivery. I had a 2nd degree tear and the stitching just felt like pinching barely noticeable. I also had my placenta encapsulated.
It was a beautiful and empowering experience. 3rd time is a charm, I got the birth experience I had always wanted!!