DS1: On my EDD, I finally had a menstrual-like cramp/contraction at 8:15pm while giving up and eating our saved "labor food" for supper. Had another about 8 min later, I think, then a 3rd at the same interval, so I told dh. We took a shower to see if the ctx spaced out, but they actually got more intense in there, so we knew it was time to head to the birth center. It was 2 hours away, and that was when the back labor started...can you say unpleasant? Also unpleasant: going through transition while speeding down the interstate in the middle of the night. I felt a small pop and then a little wetness in the Depends I was wearing for the ride there. We finally made it to the birth center, I HAD to sit on the toilet, had a pushy ctx, my water fully broke, DS was born about 15 min later, and I had a minor perineal tear. He was posterior until halfway through pushing (mw told me I had to get on all fours, which wasn't going to happen), when I had a lull--I'm pretty sure from the mw's (relieved) reaction that he went back up a little and turned to OA before deciding it was time to come, as he wasn't born posterior. He was born at 1:15am, so technically the day after his EDD, but that's just being picky. (exactly 5 hours start to finish; no early labor)
DS2: I was feeling huge and miserable, and hadn't even made it to my EDD yet. 3 days before, my doula friend and I went to a gathering of some moms from our parenting group. I'd had prodromal labor in the very early mornings that morning and the one prior, but things were weak and didn't get closer than 10 minutes either day. I got home from the party and was still a little wired, so went to my computer in the basement to check that group's message board. I logged off at 12:58am and felt a pop--but a medium-sized pop--and sure enough, my water had broken. I grabbed a blanket, put it between my legs, and went upstairs to tell dh to get the birth tub ready and all that jazz before sitting on the toilet and letting them break the rest of the way. (We decided to home birth, obviously.) Put on a Depends again and promptly got on all fours on the floor with my head on the floor to get baby off my friggin cervix. It hurt like hell and I could tell I was progressing faster than my mw (40 min away) and doula could get there. Stayed laboring like that until the stock tank (what we used for a labor/birth tub) was filled and everyone was there. Once in the tub, neither my ctx nor intensity slowed down. My legs got crampy and I got in a weird position with them straight in front of me instead of pulled up at the sides to stretch them, and of course, that's when he was making his entrance. Did my best to breathe him out, but still had a sizeable clitoral tear, probably because of the weird birthing position. I don't think I pushed for even 15 minutes--maybe between 5 and 10--and he was born at 2:58am 2 days before his EDD. (exactly 2 hours start to finish; no early labor; labor began with ruptured membranes) ...oh, and incidentally, I was born at 2:58PM on my birthday, so that was kind of a cool coincidence.
So things were fast with boy boys, but the intensity of my 2nd birth was a bit much for me. I think a good, 3-4 hour labor with membranes intact would be long enough to minimize intensity, but short enough that I don't get bored or tired. So that's my order for this birth. ;)