With DD#1, I had what I thought was a pretty quick labor: 5 hours from light/moderate contractions and water breaking to pushing, and then she was born after 28 mins of pushing. DH was deployed for #1, so I had been trying to prepare him for what I would be going through, what kind of support I would probably need, what to expect, etc. Neither of us expected this birth to be quite so fast, though!
In the middle of the night I had some contractions that were strong enough to semi awaken me. I would breathe/count through them and fall back asleep. At some point during these, I got up, saw that it was 3:45, and decided to go back to sleep in a chair in our living room, as lying down wasn't feeling great. I dozed through increasing contractions until a little after dawn and woke DH at 5:10. For the next hour or so, he showered and we got DD dressed and ready while I breakfasted and packed up the last minute things. We dropped her at my parents' house at 6:30 and called the doula again to tell her that we were on our way to the hospital and that my contractions were 3 mins apart. The ones in the car for the next half hour were the most difficult, since as you all know, there is little to be done to work through them other than breathe and jam your arm against the car door!
We arrived at 7 am and made our way upstairs. It was shift change, so a double staff was at the nurses' station when my water broke rather explosively and dramatically. As DH tells me, a male (anesth. perhaps?) said "I'll go get an epidural ready" and apparently DH bit his head off, telling him that if he said that word again in our presence he'd something something something. Not his finest moment, but he was pretty nervous (he had clocked my contractions at more like 60-120 secs apart in the car).
I got to our room and felt a pre-push urge while on the toilet. They checked me and pronounced me a 10 and +1 and said I could push when I was ready. In the next 5 mins or so, our doula arrived and started supporting me while they were barraging me with patient intake questions. DH couldn't find our medical info sheet (aside: doula brilliantly recommended that we make one with answers to ALL of those questions about GBS, weight gain, test results, address, family histories, etc. etc. But it doesn't help much if you can't find it in the hospital bag!) So it was a bit hectic.
I labored on haunches/all fours on the bed from 7:15-7:50 or so and was really "unghhhh" vocalizing, as I knew I wasn't quite ready to push. DH suggested using the squat bar so I climbed down but got stuck in a contraction right where they needed to be to put the squat bar on. I pushed once and she crowned up to her eyebrows while DH was behind me. All present wanted me back on the bed in some way so I could deliver her but I told them she was definitely coming right then. DH ran around to the other side of the bed and held my hands so I could have some crucial leverage while I squatted a bit. A second push and a bit of rotation by the OB and she slid right out into her hands at 7:51 am.
She was 8 days overdue and clocked in at 9 lbs 14 oz and 22.5" long! I literally didn't believe that they had gotten the weight right as she didn't seem that big, the labor had been so fast and easy, and I only had a minor tear that required a single running stitch.
We were in disbelief for a few hours as we got to Mother/Baby and rehashed it with each other. We joked that the doula should give us a partial refund as she was only there for a half hour of labor! DH was a terrific support and is very proud to tell people that I birthed standing up. The typical reply is something like "you can do that??" and I point out that gravity is a beautiful thing and is a big reason that my recovery has been so fantastic so far.
I didn't post much in this DDC, but I loved reading your comments and support of each other, and I learned much on the journey to this birth. Thanks for letting me post my (very long, apparently!) birth story amongst women who appreciate such things. My brother and SIL came over for dinner 36 hours after we had gotten home and didn't ask a single question about me, the baby, the labor, or anything. Anyway, you all have been fantastic. See you over on Facebook!