Once I decided I wanted to have children someday, I started learning about pregnancy and childbirth. It wasn't long before I started imagining my own dream birth: a quick, exciting labor, at home or in a birth center, without medication. Instead of being stuck in a bed, I'd push standing up and I'd catch my own baby (my prize for birthing like a badass). For a little while during my actual labor, it seemed like that might actually happen. In the end, things didn't go exactly like I'd imagined, but I wouldn't change a thing about my labor and birth.
In reality, the first part of my labor progressed rather quickly; some combination of my own and my son’s stubbornness prolonged my transition by a lot. (My birth class teacher and all the doulas I’d ever spoken to said that transition is the hardest part of birth, but if you don't resist it and just surrender to the intensity, it goes by quickly. I worked really hard to internalize that message during pregnancy, but I just couldn't. Surrender is not a strong suit of mine, and I’m just fine with that. Now that my baby is finally out, anyway.) All told, my labor and birth took almost 22 hours from start to finish, and I ended up pushing while laying in bed, with my husband and one of my midwives each holding one of my legs because I was too tired to hold them up and push at the same time. I still felt like a badass though, because all moms are badasses, no matter how our kids come out.
If I'm lucky enough to get to have another baby, there are some wishes I have for that labor and birth. I'd definitely rent a bigger tub to labor in, and I wouldn't exactly be mad if it took less time. However, I wouldn't go back and change any of the following things about my last birth, because it was so incredible, just as it was.