Once we crossed the 42 weeks 1 day threshold I was pretty sure I'd be pregnant for the rest of time....baby hadn't even engaged yet! On Wednesday, 42+3, he FINALLY engaged, and was LOA (just like we wanted). I was very hopeful that we would go into labor that day, but it wasn't until Thursday afternoon, 42+4 that contractions finally started coming regularly. I was still working (from home), so I finished up everything I could and told everyone that it looked like labor was finally imminent. Contractions were easy and 10 minutes apart the rest of the evening...but one funny addition is that I made a very strong infusion of Red Raspberry Leaf tea and drank it as fast as I could (as suggested by someone I can't remember off the top of my head) to help labor go quickly. I promptly threw up ALL of my food from the day, in grand fashion. Super gross.
About 2 hours later I ate a little bit of dinner, and contractions were about 7 minutes apart and slightly stronger. I let the midwife know they were finally timeable, but decided to go to bed in case we were in for a long night/day. I slept lightly from 8:30pm to about 1am, having contractions regularly that woke me and I had to hum a bit through, and at 1am I decided I needed to pee, have some water, and go downstairs to sit in a chair. I dozed and hummed through contractions from 1am to 3:30am, and then decided to take a shower. The shower didn't give enough relief, so I woke DH at about 4am and asked that he start filling the birth pool.
I had used a lot of the hot water in the shower, so it did take a while to fill the pool. DH helped me vocalize through contractions from 4:30 to about 6am, and I was finally able to get into the pool at that point. That was definitely helpful, but contractions were very strong at that point and it took a lot of concentration and vocalizing to get through them! At about 6:50am I had to pee, so I got out of the pool and had to make my way upstairs...contractions were VERY strong while standing, and I had 3 up the stairs, 4 in the bathroom while I peed/pooped, and another 3 coming down the stairs. Then, at the bottom of the stairs I basically yelled through two contractions that literally had me seeing bright lights and stars. Turns out those two contractions were me getting through transition! I didn't fully realize it at the time, but I had an inkling because after those I thought "I HATE LABOR" and told DH that I just wanted labor to stop! It obviously wasn't going to stop though :)
Our midwife got to the house at about 8am, listened to two contractions and held my hands through one while DH warmed the water in the pool, and said "you can try pushing during the next contraction"...I was very surprised! I thought we still had a ways to go! Turns out I was ready to push. It didn't feel good like I've read some other people say, but it felt better than trying to just "ride the wave." I think I pushed through about 6 contractions, then his head was out (and I now know what the "ring of fire" feels like), then shoulders, then body, and I scooped him out of the water! I had a third degree tear with my 8lb 6oz daughter 2 years ago, and not more than a skid mark with this 9lb 8oz boy!!!! I was floored.
After all was said and done, I realized that not an ounce of intervention happened with this birth. We waited until labor started on its own without doing anything more than eating spicy food, didn't have any cervical checks, no monitoring whatsoever, no one broke my water...It was hard work, but it was perfect :)
Henry Spencer was born at 8:51am on January 25th, and I couldn't have imagined a better birth for him :)