I really loved nearly all of my birth experience. I got nearly all of my wishes and I'll go over the ups after the downs, to end on a good note!
In a perfect world, I would not be a VBAC mom -- most of the negative parts of my birth experience stem from the restrictions and attitudes that go with the VBAC. Continuous monitoring (and of course the telemetry monitors didn't work). Crazy charge nurse having to be there for 2nd stage. Said crazy charge nurse flipping out during crowning because they couldn't get a good FHT reading. Said crazy charge nurse telling me how to push when I was doing fine. I had a 2nd degree laceration and I wonder if I had been able to continue pushing as I felt it, as I was trying to do, if I would've remained a little more intact!
I wish PA was more homebirth friendly and I hadn't had a previous cesarean, and that our house was a little more suited to a homebirth. Then I might have considered a homebirth. I missed my kids immensely -- my mantra was "oooooookay" which is Badger's latest favorite word, and it just felt horribly wrong not to have Chim with me since she had come to every midwife appointment and shared the excitement and comforted me in a way that no one else in my life did.
Now, what I will remember positively...
I am so glad my midwife is my midwife. He advocated when needed and gave me space to advocate for myself and joked around when needed and told me what I needed to hear -- as he has since I had unexplained bleeding in February 2006 when I was pregnant with Badger. My only regret involving Patrick Thornton is that I did not try to transfer to his practice while I was pregnant with Chim.
I had a ball for most of the labor. Even hooked up to the monitors and after my water broke, I was able to freely move about the room and drink (and if I wanted to eat I reckon I would've). I brought my doula bag and my midwife got a kick out of nosing through out. And as with most clients' births, the only thing I used was lip balm and lotion!
I loved being emotionally and mentally present in a way I wasn't for Chim's and Badger's births. A combination of being that much more familiar with the process and an acute awareness that this was the last time I'd have this experience.
Similar to the way in which Badger's VBAC resolved a lot of pain from Chim's cesarean birth, this birth resolved a lot of pain from my miscarriage last year. And in another way it made me mourn that loss on a deeper level.
It was a very good birth. My biggest regret is that it was my last birth (barring a massive failure of an IUD that has my name written all over it... or a stellar increase to our income level). My greatest joy, well, that's easy: