Re: Did you have a natural first childbirth?
You can do it! I was really wondering if it was possible, and it turns out that it is! The key for me was to find a provider that I trusted 100% (low c-section rate and only a 1% episiotomy rate) and who was on board with no IV, etc. Ask your doctor or midwife questions to make sure they are on the same page! You'll have enough going on without arguing with someone who should be your ally. Also, educate yourself! We took Bradley classes, and they were invaluable.
Our baby was a full 2 weeks late. I was at 4 cm for about a week, but no real contractions. At 42 weeks, I went to hospital to be induced. I was having some regular contractions, but not painful at all. They broke my water, and she was out 6 hours a later. It was intense, but it wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be! The pushing part was the part I was scared of - I always assumed that pushing a big old baby out would be the most painful part. In actuality, I liked that phase the best because I was more of an active participant instead of trying to just make it through the contractions. I slept between most of the contractions, which I didn't think was possible. Anyway, I'm glad we didn't have an epidural b/c the cord was around her neck and she was big. Her heart rate was dropping during pushing, but because I was able to push from the modified squatting position (opens pelvis up 10-20% more) and could actively work with the urge to push because no epidural, she was out before they needed to intervene. I needed one stitch, but I felt great immediately afterward. I just couldn't believe that she was finally in my arms and that she was so big (9 lb, 6 oz). However you have a baby, it is such an incredible experience, but if you want to have no interventions, make sure you know exactly how you want to accomplish it and make sure those around you are on board.