My little guy was born on 1-19, with only one day to spare before the 42 week mark. I was becoming quite despondent over the fact that I had not gone into labor because I was thoroughly terrified of having to go to the hospital. The night before I went into labor I took castor oil. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It went down fine mixed with apple juice. After I took it I had the very stupid idea of asking DH to hook up the diaper sprayer so that my butt wouldn't get too irritated from toilet paper. Of course, DH breaks part of the toilet in the process and announces that not only will it not flush, but we also have a leak. It's 10 pm, so no stores are open. I completely panic, imagining myself with explosive diarrhea and no toilet. DH turned off the water and we ended up having to flush it by pouring water in the tank. At least I had a place to poop! But even though I took 4 ounces of CO I wasn't nearly as miserable as I had expected to be. I figured it was unsuccessful and headed to another MW appt, where the next steps were the foley bulb and breaking my water. Before we left for my appt I threw up, which I considered a hopeful sign of impending labor. I didn't even end up needing the foley bulb. I was very stretchy and the MW got me to 3.5. I had been having frequent contractions throughout the morning but since they didn't feel like "real" contractions I didn't get my hopes up. But the MW told me I was probably in early labor, so DH and I headed home with the intent of helping things along as much as we could. My exceptionally wonderful doula came over a few hours later and by then I was having strong and regular contractions every 5 minutes. When I was in my bedroom relaxing and focusing on opening to the contractions and allowing them to come, my water broke. My doula, who is also an L&D nurse, thought it possibly had some meconium, but I was also having bloody show and was wearing a colored cloth pad so it was hard to tell. She checked me and I was still only at 4. I tried not to get discouraged and focused on taking one contraction at a time. They were getting very intense and I felt wimpy for already having a hard time at only 4 cm. My doula took me to the birth center, and DH and DS came soon after. They stayed in the family waiting room. DH gets too upset and overwhelmed to be very helpful during labor. While I was in laborland I could hear DS laughing his head off at some movies we brought for him, it was a comforting noise that reminded me of the wonderful gift I gave him, and was now giving to Adrian-a gentle and drug-free birth. And oh god, I needed all the comforting I could get. This labor was so much more painful than my first. With DS1 I had a typical long labor but the contractions were much more manageable. I never even thought of asking for drugs, and transition was the worst of it, but also the shortest. With DS2 I had all the feelings I had seen expressed by other naturally birthing moms: "Forget it, I don't want a baby anymore. I want to go to the hospital and have drugs." I couldn't understand why I was in so much pain when I was only a 4 the last time I was checked. I didn't vocalize any of these thoughts. I am as quiet as a mouse when in labor. I go totally inward and direct all my energy to staying loose and open. I was only there for about an hour and a half when I felt the urge to pee. When I sat on the toilet I was immobilized with shock, fear, and pain. Bloody chunks fell into the toilet and it felt like a freight train was barreling through me. My doula held me and made sure I was safe before dashing to get the nurse. The MW was at home hosting a dinner party but she only lived 8 minutes away and was quickly summoned (and she ran every light to get there). The nurse didn't quite believe that I was ready to push because I was so quiet and hadn't even been there for 2 hours. She wanted to check me. My doula pointed out that my lips were already parting. No need to check! I was on all fours on the bed, which turned out to be the perfect position for what was to come. Pushing out Adrian was the most painful and difficult experience of my life. For some reason I didn't feel the "ring of fire" with my first birth. This time it felt like someone set fire to my crotch while it split apart (I didn't tear at all though, the female body is so incredible). It took many tries to get him out. I would push like hell, trying to ignore the pain, then he would slide back in, which was not a good feeling either! That happened several times. Then his head finally stayed out and it turned out he had a double nuchal cord. His shoulders didn't want to budge either, and suddenly the nurse was at my side, telling me I needed to get up on my hands and push very hard. He finally came out, covered in meconium. He was very dusky and had some gunk in his lungs but recovered just fine. When he was eventually weighed I was completely shocked that he was 9.2 lbs. DH and I are skinny people and DS1 was 7.12 lbs. I never anticipated having such a big baby! He cried for a terribly long time and we had difficulty soothing him. Thankfully he was much better today. I am quite proud of myself for this birth! I'm also lucky to have been surrounded by 3 women who are the best at what they do. I am grateful to them and to my son, who finally decided to come out, just in time!