Here's the birth story!
I woke up November 5 around 4:30 a.m. because I was feeling crampy. I timed them for awhile but stopped because I had been timing uncomfortable Braxton Hicks' contractions for days and it always petered out. I took a bath to try to slow them down or stop them if it was prodromal labor but they were still coming, although irregularly and just feeling like light menstrual cramps. I half jokingly told Sky that he better not be at a client too far away because today might be the day. I called him about a half hour after he left because I had a contraction that stopped me in my tracks and told him to keep his phone close... I don't think he believed me
I got Cashion and myself dressed and headed to Lowe's to get the hose for the birth pool. As I was driving I was loosely timing them looking at my car's clock and they were about 9 minutes apart but still very light and I wasn't for sure that I was in labor. Lowe's didn't have the hose I needed so I drove to a different hardware store and found what I was looking for. I then drove to my MIL's and told her I might be in labor, but I still didn't really believe it, and I was going to finish a couple diapers I had lying around at her place (she lives at her place of business, which includes an industrial sewing workroom). The contractions still weren't very regular or getting closer or stronger so I hung out and chatted with my 2 SILs and the other woman that works there. I talked with my SIL about the contractions because she just had her son in September and she said they sounded like the contractions she had a couple of days before she had him so that made me even less sure that it was the real deal.
We ate lunch and throughout lunch I was looking at the clock and timing the contractions and they were coming every 5 minutes and lasting about 30-45 seconds each but I was stilling talking through them and they weren't bad at all. I called Sky and told him I was in labor but he could probably finish out the work day and that my SIL and BIL were going to drive me home and hang out with me until he got home. On the way to my house I called my midwife and she told me to call her if/when they started getting stronger, longer or closer together. I called my DH as well and told him to wrap things up and come on home because I was definitely in labor.
We got home and cleaned the kitchen, washed sheets, and blew up the birth pool and started filling it. All the activity made the contractions start coming every 3 minutes and they were getting harder to walk and talk through so I sat down and chilled out until Sky got home. SIL and BIL left and my contractions had slowed and become really irregular, like every 7-8 minutes and some as far apart as 12 minutes, although they were stronger than the ones earlier in the day. I called my midwife and let her know (around 3:30) and asked her if I should walk around to get them going and she suggested I take a nap and eat dinner and maybe take a walk after then. So, Sky went and got one of my favorite meals, steak nachos from a place with impossible parking so we rarely get it, and we ate an early dinner (around 5). I was putting my shoes on to go for a walk around 6:30 when I started to have to breathe through the contractions and not able to walk or talk through them and decided I didn't need to wallk around the block. But they were still pretty irregular so I stopped timing them because it was exhausting me.
My midwife texted me around 8 to ask how I was doing and I said they were about 4-5 minutes apart and lasting 1-2 minutes and she immediately called me. She asked if I was having to moan through them and if I was feeling pressure. I told her I wasn't feeling any pressure and it felt better to just be quiet during a contraction and focus inward. I told her I didn't think it would be before midnight so no rush for her to come over. I did feel a little pressure when I laid on my left side so I did that for awhile but every time a contraction hit I flipped to on my hands and knees... still just breathing through them and rocking a little. I had Sky put Cash to sleep and I got in the birth pool but it was a little too hot (we made it hot when we filled it up in the afternoon but it held heat better than I expected) and it slowed the contractions down so I got out and put more cool water in and walked around the house a little. I was glancing at the clock and noticed they were 3-4 minutes apart so I called my midwife and told her... still not moaning and no pressure but she asked if I wanted her to come and I told her yes even though I was still worried it might be awhile. She said she wouldn't rush over because she thought I still had some time. She told me to have Sky lift my belly up and inward during my next contraction because she was thinking she was sitting forward on my pelvic bone and wasn't dropping into my pelvis and that's why I probably wasn't progressing as quickly. I had to wake Sky up twice because he fell asleep in the bed and the second time I shook him pretty violently and was like, “GET OUT OF BED NOW.” This was around 9:30 p.m. He tried to do what the midwife told me to have him do but I couldn't stand up during the contraction and did NOT want anyone touching me during. I got in and out of the pool because it was still too hot and I didn't want to slow the labor down.
My midwife arrived around 10:45 and checked baby's heart rate and my blood pressure. Both were good and I asked her to check my cervix even though I was worried it might be less than what I though (I was hoping for 6-7) and would discourage me. I had a couple of contractions between when she got here and when she checked me and I was starting to moan through them and feeling a little pressure. She checked me and mentioned something about the edges of the cervix being so thin its sometimes hard to feel them and SURPRISE! I was 9 cm dilated. I was totally surprised and energized by the news and we walked back into the living room and told Sky, who also looked shocked. I had him fill the pool with some cold water to cool it off a bit and my midwife and her assistant started getting stuff ready in the dining room while I had some contractions that I was DEFINITELY moaning through. I had one contraction outside of the pool where I started to feel a lot of pressure and I told everyone and my midwife said to go with the pressure and not fight it because that was how I was going to get the baby out.
I got in the pool and when the next contraction hit I started yelling, “She's COMING!!” because I was feeling intense pressure and felt her come into the birth canal and my midwife told my husband, though I didn't hear, that she would probably be here within the hour. I was on my knees holding my husband's hands leaning over the side of the birth pool and all of a sudden started bellowing and yelling that she was coming. My midwife reached down and checked me and said she was crowning and told me to push slowly. I was like, “I caaaaaan't!” and felt her coming down and I was involuntarily pushing her out. My midwife said she was out to her nose and with 1 more push she was out and they put her on my back, I flipped around and held her to my chest and was in complete shock that it had happened that quickly. Delilah was born at 11:24 p.m., less than an hour after the birth team got there. I sat in the pool and looked at her in amazement and at my husband in shock while he took pictures. I stood up and they helped me out of the pool and to walk to my bedroom. I lay there holding her while I pushed the placenta out and Sky cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. I was bleeding more than they liked so I ended up getting three shots of pitocin and a pill of some other drug along with them pushing on my uterus to help it contract faster. Delilah had some trouble keeping her temperature up so we bundled her and did skin-to-skin and she was doing much better by the time my midwife left around 3 a.m.
All in all, it was a great birth experience. Crazy and like a freight train at the end but I probably handled that better than I would have handled a slower one where I would have had time to doubt myself. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my birth story-turned-novel!