It was a Friday night. The girls were already in bed, and Matt and I were watching a TV show (Person of Interest).
I'd been having contractions since 6 o'clock that morning. They were more painful than the ones I'd had the previous day, but then...I felt like I'd been having one long contraction spanned over 2 weeks time. There had been numerous times already that I'd thought, "Okay, the real thing is starting...now!" and then the contractions had been too far apart, or not painful enough...or they'd just stopped--much to my dismay. It seems that labor is--at least for me--one of those very rare times in a person's life when they're actually wishing for pain.
Around 10 or 11 that morning, I called the two midwives, the midwife's assistant, and my mom to tell them that the contractions were feeling a little different. Maybe this was the day! Mom offered to come and spend the afternoon, play with the girls, and so on, but I said I just wasn't sure if it was worth it. While talking to the midwives on the phones, I felt like I kept saying, "I just don't know," because I didn't want everyone to make the drive out to my house...only for my "labor" to stop.
Matt was due home at 4 o'clock that afternoon, and so finally Mom and Hannah decided to drive here anyway, just to hang out until Matt got home. Well, guess what. Those mild-feeling, inconsistently-spaced contractions just kept dragging on, all afternoon. A few times, Hannah said, "Please tell us if you're having a contraction!" and I'd respond, "Oh, I had one a few minutes ago...but it wasn't worth mentioning. " :)
We still had a pleasant visit, though, and they left a little before Matt returned home. Nothing of any significance happened until later that night, when Matt and I were sitting in bed, watching Person of Interest together.
At 8:45 PM, my water broke--just a little bit. But I can't tell you what it felt like, because I didn't really feel it. I looked down at my pajama pants, and they were wet, and I knew I hadn't peed on them.
I called the midwives back, and Mom (who I think was suspecting that she was going to be driving back to my house later that night :)), and they said they'd be on their way. Meanwhile, my contractions had seriously picked up some speed--and some hurtin'.
Almost immediately after my water broke, the contractions began coming 4-5 minutes apart (with some 2-3 minutes apart ones mixed in, too). But when the midwife's assistant, the midwife, Mom and Hannah showed up, I was still able to walk around the living room while having a contraction: I just had to walk slowly. :)
Every hour, the midwife's assistant would check my vital signs, and listen to the baby's heartbeat. Other than that, everyone just sat around the living room talking and laughing. Hannah and I shared a snack, some people drank coffee...we even watched part of comedy show on youtube. But the contractions were definitely feeling worse. I wasn't able to walk during the contractions anymore: when a contraction would come, I would kneel by the couch, while someone rubbed my lower back to ease some of the pain.
Then I had a contraction (while leaning against the kitchen table) that made me cry, which--for me--is a really good sign. The other time the midwife's assistant had measured my dilation (a couple hours earlier), she'd said I was 5 centimeters dilated, but this time, she said I was fully dilated. At that point, I got in the birthing tub.
I am all about birthing tubs and warm water during labor. I feel as if the pain is literally cut in half. The warm water is soo relaxing, and I think being in the water takes your mind off the pain, too.
The birthing tub was set up in our laundry room, and I could hear everyone in the kitchen (next room over) guessing at what time this baby was going to be born. I guessed the latest time (1:45 AM) because I said, "I'm not even feeling the urge to push yet!"
Several contractions later, I had one contraction where I felt the beginnings of an urge to push (during which, I was having trouble not *fighting* that urge because to push = more pain). The next contraction after that, there was an intense amount of burning pain, and I told the midwife's assistant, "I think I'm going to be pushing out the baby's head on the next contraction."
Sure enough, one very long, painful contraction later, Matthias was born! He weighed exactly 8 pounds, and was 20 1/4 inches long.
And he's a little sweetheart. :)