I had been having fairly regular, labor like contractions the day before, overnight, and through the morning the day I was 39 weeks (Wednesday), so I had Maggie (my doula/student midwife/midwife's assistant) come over to check me around 2pm since she was eating lunch nearby with my midwife's other student, Michelle. At that time I was only 1cm and maybe 50% effaced which was frustrating because I KNEW this was the beginning. It felt a bit like last time where no one belived what I knew in my heart. Anyway, I decided to try to ignore them for as long as I could and have Nathan finish up his work stuff but to be ready to call in that it was time. By the time he was done with work I was really thinking that it was go time, but still was doubting myself. I sent him with Vala to publix and to pick up dinner from Moe's while I dealt with contractions by myself and talked to my awesome friends on this groupme text app that Nathan set up. Before he got home we had figured out I was having contractions about 3 minutes apart! I still didn't want to call Kelli (midwife) or Maggie, because I was sure that they would be coming out for nothing and I wanted them to rest since they had been at a birth the previous night. Once he got home, I ate between contractions and took some benadryl to try to get some rest. I had attempted to get Vala to sleep but my vocalizations kept waking her up, so I put her in bed with me and finally got her to sleep around 11:30pm. Nathan went to bed around the same time I think.
I probably got about 45 minutes of highly interuppted sleep before having to get up. I tried working through the contractions in any position I could come up with, but I kept having to run to the bathroom and pee between them but I couldn't stay on the toilet through them. I decided just to get in the bathtub at that point since the birth pool hadn't been set up and I still was trying to pretend that it wasn't really real (HA!). After about 3 hours (3am) of having a hard time handling contractions (with Nathan coming in and out of the bathroom because I kept waking Vala up and I wanted him to comfort her...though, my cats acted as doulas at the time, checking on me and letting me pet them) I told him to call Maggie because I didn't feel like I could handle them by myself anymore and by then I was just about sobbing at the end of every contractions because I thought I hadn't progressed at all and I would be going through this forever and I was just being a big wuss and I didn't want to bother the birth team and make them come out for nothing.
Well...15 minutes later I started having to squeeze my hips together during contractions and I felt her move down so I tried to feel for what was going on and had a bunch of bloody show and felt something hard not too far in. I made Nathan feel and he called Maggie exclaiming "I think her head is right there!". She arrived about 15 minutes after that and checked me and said that I was complete with an anterior cervical lip and that we were feeling the bag of waters bulging! So much for my fear of not having progressed!!! Kelli arrived shortly after and apparently Michelle did as well, but I didn't really notice. At this point I was dealing with contractions by kind of going into a zone attempting to breathe in between contractions by putting most of my face under water (oh, yeah, I NEVER got out of the tub...I was in there for like 6 hours. Haha.) and then vocalizing and squeezing Nathan's hand during contractions. Around the time they arrived I started to feel the urge to push. Kelli held back the cervical lip (which I was not happy about at the time because it was during a contraction, but happy that she did it) and my bag of water broke. I was on my back at this point, pretty much completely ignoring what everyone was saying (mostly because I was underwater when they were saying it and I couldn't hear them) because I literally COULD NOT not do anything I wasn't already doing. They were trying to figure out how to take off the stupid glass shower doors so they could access me, which couldn't happen because they only come off from the inside. I found it really irrating at the time, but now I find it hilarious that there were 5 people and sometimes Vala in my tiny bathroom all at once.
I pushed for about an hour and 20 minutes, getting really frustrated everytime she would move out and go back in...finally her head popped through and Nathan attempted to use both hands to catch her but I refused to let him go. So, he sort of guided her out with Kelli's assistance to flop onto the bottom of the tub (which had been drained at this point because I couldn't stop lifting up when I pushed and there was less water in the tub now). Then they lifted her to me and put her on my chest! She was perfect and wonderful and FINALLY the pain had stopped (this was at 5:37am Thursday morning). I delivered the placenta not long after and Nathan cut the cord long after it had stopped pulsing. We finally got me in bed and eating (and drinking a placenta smoothie). Then they did the newborn exam and I believe her APGARs were all 10 consistently. She weighed 7lbs 2oz and was 19 inches long. After her exam I got stitched up since I had a 2nd degree tear (because stubborn me pushed too fast and wouldn't get up off my back!), a small upwards tear and an internal skid mark.
It was AWESOME! I'm not quite at the "I'll do it again in a heartbeat" phase, but it was SO empowering that I KNEW and I did so much of it myself and I didn't really need anyone but myself until the end (though, it would have been nice to have Nathan's hand to hold, I think I would have been way more whiney about it had I been allowed the chance). So, anyway, A BABY CAME OUT OF MY VAGINA! WOOOOOO!!!