After having no signs Tuesday night that labor was imminent, I Woke up around 6am Wed by a couple contractions but fell back asleep. Woke again around 7 to another contraction and when I got up they began to start happening more frequently. Decided I would go ahead with my play date plans with the kids, as I assumed things would probably slow or stop until later that night. I immediately got in the shower, and had a few contractions about 3-4 minutes apart that made me stop and focus. I immediately knew that I needed to find care for the children and that this was the real deal.
As soon as they left, my contractions were pretty consistently 3-4 minutes apart and while I was able to complete tasks between them, I was stopping to breathe through them. I called my midwife, just to let her know that I was in labor but did not need her at the time. She said to call back in an hour and let me know how we were doing. Soon after that the contractions started getting a lot stronger and I decided to take a warm bath. My husband was concerned that this was just early labor and kept trying to distract me, worrying that I was focusing too much, too soon. He kept asking me to come out of the tub and we would walk to lunch. I tried to convince him that there was no way I was 1.) Going for a walk or 2.) Going to a restaurant but he was insistent that it was in our best interest. I told him to update the midwives but still didn’t feel like I quite needed them there. My husband called them and assured them we were fine, told them we were going to go out to lunch (hah) and that he’d call back in another hour, unless things changed. I tried to get out of the tub but the contractions were coming so fast I never got a chance.
Finally I made it to my bed, and had 3 or 4 contractions with no break. Told my husband to get me immediately back in the tub. At this point I think he still thought it was early labor since it was happening so fast. I labored in the tub, while he sat on the toilet timing contractions. I was mostly groaning loudly through contractions but the sound of my own voice being loud was very helpful for me to distract from the pain. I told him I needed the midwives here and he proceeded to page our on call midwife. Generally she calls back pages immediately, but we were not getting a response, and my husband attempted three times (not sure if it was due to the building she was in or my husband’s user error as to why she never received the pages). At this point I remember having a thought of “I’m so glad I’m not having an unassisted birth because I really need the midwives right now”. This was followed by a thought of “I can’t do this anymore” and then noticing that it was feeling better to bear down. My last two births I had epidurals so I never had felt this feeling and wasn’t quite sure it was what it was. I told my husband I thought I could feel her and as I reached my hand down my waters burst. I told him that she was coming and when I reached my hand down again I could feel her and then I gave what felt like one push and she was coming out. My husband jumped into the tub, slippers and all and caught her. He handed her up to me and got out to grab blankets. I was both euphoric and totally scared because I had this new baby in my arms and no “professional” around to tell me that she was alright. My husband got on the phone with our midwife who had been home sick and she was guiding him through what to look for and told him to get us to the bed (meanwhile she had her husband on the other phone calling through to our other two midwives telling them to get to us asap). Greg helped to lift me up while I held onto the baby and he carried us into the bed. I lay in the bed and she began nursing right away. Midwives showed up about 20 minutes later, and helped me deliver the placenta another 20 minutes after that. DH and I kept looking at each other and laughing, in disbelief at how it had all happened. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be having an unassisted birth but it was so magical and I felt so proud and protected by my DH who I know was horrible frightened but completely kept his wits about him and handled it all so well.