Baby Enzo was born May 21 at 12:15pm after a 12 hour med-free labor.

I was at 3cm and 80% effaced on my due date of Wednesday, May 18, same as I had been since 38 weeks. I had everything to naturally induce labor but this past week I said I was done, that baby would come when he wanted to and spent all week sleeping 15-18 hrs a days

On Friday night (40w2d) we took our parents, who had just arrived in town, to dinner and out for drinks. My husband and I arrived home around midnight and had sex; cramps started immediately after. Cramps turned into contractions that were 5 min apart around 2am. By 3am, contractions were 3 min apart so I woke my husband, we both took quick showers and headed to the hospital.

At 4am when we got to triage, I was 5cm and 80% effaced with contractions 3 minutes apart so we were admitted and given a room.
For the first 3 hours laboring in the hospital, I would spend 20 min on the birth ball for monitoring and 40 min on all fours in the tub with the stream of hot water hitting my back, my birth affirmations hypnobirthing recording playing in the background.

The anesthesiologist showed up around 7am saying that if I was even considering an epidural I had to get it now since both Dr.'s were going to be tied up in c-sections for a while. I asked the nurse to check me ( We had been taught in Med-free birth class to ask to be checked before deciding on an epidural- the progress or lack there of might help you decide you want to push through med-free or want the pain relief) We were surprised to discover I was at 7cm, 90% effaced and baby was at 0 station. 7cm to me meant it was only 1-2 intense hours until completion… So I said no to the epidural and my nurse guessed that I would have the baby by noon.

From 7:30 to 9am, at the suggestion of my nurse I walked in circles around the room, stopping on every contraction so that my husband could put some counter pressure on my sacrum. Around 9am, contractions got INTENSE I got on all fours on the floor and was moaning so hard the nurse came back in and said that by the sound of me I must be just about done.

On to the bed I went and I was 9cm, 100% effaced, baby at +2 and in the middle of transition. Nurse had me lay on my right side with my left leg all the way over so that I was almost face down. I gripped the side of the bed and “tried” to breath through the contractions. Tried and failed because there was a lot of “somebody please help me” and “why are you doing this to me” and “please give me something” screamed at this time. Sometime during transition my water burst. Towards the end of the hour I remember asking where the Dr. was and getting an intensifying feeling to push. I panted through contractions until the Dr. finally arrived. They asked me if I wanted a different position to push but there was no way I was moving so I ended up pushing sitting up in bed with a huge mirror between my legs.

Around 10am I started pushing, my husband had one leg and the nurse had the other. I would let them know when a contraction was starting and I got about 4 pushes out on ea contraction. Pushing felt great because I was so glad to finally be doing something other than just feel contractions. I pushed for 2 hours, the mirror being a great asset since I could see I was making progress and I could see results of the corrections the nurse would make. Dr. came in for the last hour of pushing. He poured mineral oil on baby's head and smoothed it around the vaginal opening, he also applied counter pressure on the area as I pushed to help baby squeeze out. Baby slid out, was lightly patted down with a towel and placed on my chest. I will never forget the look of amazement on my husband's face when our son was born.

I was pretty sore downstairs and the tugging and pulling of the stitches kept me distracted from my beautiful baby ( I've heard the opposite; they are so entranced with their baby that they don't realize they are being stitched

Overall; Achieving the unmedicated birth I wanted and planned for made me feel like a superhero but the biggest takeaway from the experience is how little control I had. My only contribution was saying no to the epidural, managing the pain and pushing effectively. As my nurse said, I was a textbook example of the ideal circumstances for a med-free birth. I went into labor already pretty dilated, labor progressed gradually, great length (12 hrs), ideal fetal positioning and a baby that tolerated it all like a champ none of which I had control over.