I had my second son on January 18, 2011. It was a long labor and this will be a long post. I am still processing the experience and would be interested in reading anyone's thoughts about it if you can manage to get through the whole story!
My first son was a hospital birth with a midwife. I'd hoped for a natural birth but I was GBS+ and my membranes broke before my labor began. I ended up getting pit and then an epidural to deal with the contractions. I luckily had a vaginal birth and healthy baby but I was disappointed with all the interventions. I knew I wanted a homebirth with my second. I live in an isolated area and was thrilled to find out there was a recently licensed midwife who lived just 30 minutes from me. The next closest midwives willing to attend my birth were 1 hr 45 minutes and 2 hours away. I chose to go with the close midwife (without interviewing the other two) due to concerns about traveling to prenatals with an rambunctious toddler.
My pregnancy was uneventful. I was getting a bit impatient as I approached 39 weeks - my first son was born at 39w2d. On Thursday (38w6d), I had a bit of bloody show in the morning. On Friday, I again had a bit of bloody show in the morning. In the very early am hours of Saturday, I woke to contractions. I timed them and they were irregular in interval and length. I managed to get some sleep listening to Hypnobabies. When my husband got up for the day, I told him about the contractions and he told me I should call the midwife. I did so at a reasonable hour (9 or so am). She said she would be on stand by and keep her updated. She reminded me to eat, drink, rest and pee. The contractions petered out for the most part as the day went on. I did a bit of light "nesting". I'd have a random contraction here and there.
Went to bed Saturday night and woke up again with contractions in the very early am hours of Sunday. Again the contractions were a bit on the short side and a bit irregular in interval. Again I managed to get some sleep in listening to Hypnobabies. The contractions continued throughout Sunday and started to get more intense in the evening. I spoke to my midwife who left it up to me when she would come out. I decided to try to get some rest (and let her rest). Listening to Hypnobabies wasn't helping this time. Finally around 2:30 am, I called the midwife to take her up on her offer of keeping me company. She got to my house about an hour or so later. We sat and chatted a bit and she casually observed me. She offered to do a cervical check to see what was going on since my contractions were still a bit short and irregular. I turned out to be 5-6 cm dialated which surprised us both. She contacted her assistant (a student midwife) who lived an hour or so away to come out.
(My memories get a fuzzier as time goes on.) Monday morning, the midwife made scrambled eggs for all of us since she wanted me to eat some protein and my hubby doesn't cook. Contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart. My hubby was going to run an errand and stop by the market and the midwife recommended that he not because she worried he'd miss the birth. I got into the birth pool at some point but my contractions slowed down so I got out. At some point, the midwife checked me and said she couldn't feel the cervix but then declared that I had an anterior lip and was approximately 9 cm. The birth assistant was a bit vocal about how she felt I really needed to sleep. I would try to lay down and rest between contractions but the contractions hit me like a ton of bricks when I woke to them. The midwife tried some herbal remedies to help the lip go away, to help the contractions be productive and later to slow contractions to try to get me some rest. She also had me breath through some contractions, changing positions after two to try to get the lip resolved. The midwife decides to try to have me push beyond the lip. She tried holding it back for me but it was so painful I couldn't even try. She had me sit on the birth stool to try some pushing. His head moved just a teeny bit.