I had been having contractions every night since 37 weeks. They would come and go, irregular, but would make me wonder "was this it??" and I would get my hopes up, only to wake up in the middle of the night to no contractions :/ Elijah (5 years old) was born at 37 weeks, and Jeremiah (3 years old) was 39 weeks, so I was SO sure I'd go early. Well, around 38.5 weeks I went into labor. I called my midwife team and my friends who were to attend the birth (this was about 10pm). Contractions were every three minutes, but not really increasing in intensity. So when the midwife got here I was at 3 cm. I labored like that until 6am...when the contractions just stopped. I was 5cm. I couldn't believe it! But I was pretty exhausted so everyone went home and I slept, believing labor would restart any second. It didn't.
I walked around 5 cm until the day before my due date. That night my mother-in-law told Larry (my husband) and I to go have a hot date before we couldn't have one for awhile...so we did! During dinner I was having some good contractions, but I was so not getting my hopes up this time. We went home, put the kids to bed, then turned on some Star Trek (I know, so us, haha). Well, during the first episode we watched I noticed that the contractions were coming closer...but I wasn't timing them. During the second episode I was totally zoning out. I would ask Larry to stand up so I could lean on him, and he kept asking me if I thought I was in labor. I'd answer "no, I'm going to be pregnant forever." After some really good contractions he asked if he could call the midwife. Remembering the last time, I said, well, let me have three more contractions like that, then maybe we can call the midwife.
The contractions were still only 5-7 minutes apart, so I really didn't think that I was in labor. And they didn't hurt enough. Well three went by, and I didn't say anything to Larry...then with the next contraction I was on my knees moaning! Larry called the midwife, haha. After that contraction I told Larry to move the kids upstairs to my mother-in-law's room and start filling the birth pool "just in case"....I was still in denial! So we move upstairs to our bedroom, where my "birth nest" was set up...at this time it was 1am.
I start pacing around, dropping to my knees and moaning with each contractions, still only 5 minutes apart. Finally the birth pool was filled, and I dived right in! The first three contractions in there I didn't even feel...that water is simply divine. Around this time (1:30am) the midwife and her apprentice arrive. She checks me, I'm 6cm, so now I'm thinking maybe I really am in labor? They checked the baby, baby was doing well, so she set everything up. Well each contraction is getting harder than the last one...no time really to adjust before it gets harder. During this time the water in the pool was cooling a little, and our water heater couldn't keep up, so the apprentice had to boil water on the stove! How cliche, haha! But that kept it nice and warm for me.
Also during this time I heard thunder...I had a dream earlier in the pregnancy that the baby would be born during a thunderstorm, which is pretty rare in Nov, so I was amazed that it was thundering outside! So, so weird. I also was saying weird things in the long space between contractions...I would try to make a joke, but no one laughed....the weird things a laboring woman thinks, hehe. Anyway, when I start getting pushy (3am) the midwife tells Larry that if we want Elijah to be there, we better go get him! So I start pushing in earnest...and it HURTS! With the other two, pushing felt so good, and I was able to push them out pretty quickly (20 minutes for Elijah, 4 minutes for Mimi). This time it SUCKED. I screamed with almost each push!
Elijah came into the room, sleepy-eyed, and with the biggest grin on his face. He said, "Mommy, you're having a baby!" and I almost cried, it was SO, so sweet! Each contraction Elijah would say, "I see the baby!" (when the head wasn't even close, hehe) or would clap his hands and say I was doing a good job. I was so glad he was there :) Well, after about thirty minutes of pushing I could feel that I was pushing out the baby's amniotic sac, not his head, so I asked the midwife to break it, because I couldn't break it with my fingernail. The next contraction she did and the baby's head came right down. I had my hand on his head the whole time so I could feel where to push, and within two more pushes he started crowning. I was thrashing around the pool, trying to run from pushing/pain (I still don't know why I thought I could do that, hehe), and ended up on the far side of the pool, so Larry was leaning over the side to ensure that he was able to reach when the baby came out (and got wet in the process). So the next contraction I deliver his head, then Larry says, "he’s turning," so I wait to push out his shoulders. Then I push to release his shoulders and after they were out I thought he would just slide out....nope! I had to push to get his chest out, then he stopped at his hips! So I had to push his booty out too! Well I am on my knees, holding onto the side of the pool, and the baby was delivered by Larry behind me (345am). He brings him up out of the water and I hear Larry laugh and say "Its a boy!" I said, "WHAAAAAAT??" because I had thought it was a girl the whole time, haha!
The midwife helped me put my leg over the cord and I turned around and Larry handed the baby to me. I cuddled him and said "so you were the little one inside the whole time?" It was so wonderfully precious! The midwife put a wet towel over both of us, and I started rubbing him to hear him cry. He peeped, but that was pretty much it. He was pink, so I knew he was fine. After cuddling him for about 10 minutes, I feel the placenta ready to come out, so I push and it popped out. The baby was still attached to it, so they plop it in a bowl which floats in the water next to us. They say its about time to get out, so Elijah cuts the cord (he was SO excited to do that!) and hand the baby to Larry who cuddles him skin to skin (can't do that in the hospital, hehe). The midwives help me out of the pool, and onto the bed. I then got the baby back and nursed him. After about 30 minutes the midwife had to check me. I did tear, so they did have to stitch me up (which I screamed through too, even though I was numbed...I’m such a wuss), then I was able to get into my OWN shower! That really was heavenly, even if I felt like my insides were going to fall out. Then they helped me into my bed, fed me (the most delicious PB&J I’ve ever had), laid the sleeping baby beside me, cleaned up, and they went home! We were all together in bed by 6am. The next three days I stayed in my room, while my mother-in-law fed me and Larry tended to me. It was wonderful :)