When she gave birth to her first son, Miles, at a hospital in 2005, Mayim Bialik didn't enjoy the experience.

"I had a very difficult first birth," she shares with Closer. "I was told that maybe my body is not the type that knows how to go into labor, and I might always have to have inductions."

So when she was pregnant with her second son, Frederick, in 2008, the Big Bang Theory actress knew exactly what she wanted: a home birth.

On Aug. 15, 2008, "He was born at home in my living room, and that was a more relaxed, exciting, fantastic day!" the 38-year-old raves to Closer.

"The sense of empowerment and beauty to naturally birth my child, in my house, was amazing."

The author of Beyond the Sling and cookbook Mayim's Vegan Table says with a laugh, "I had some strange sounds coming out of me," as she recited mantras and used self-hypnosis to manage the pain.

But getting to ride out labor on her own terms "repaired so many things I felt I could not repair. It was such an incredible experience!"

The actress adds, "I knew my body was able to do this joyfully."