I woke up Wednesday morning to a few little gushes. I'm not sure it was my water, but there was definitely an increase in some kind of fluid. I started having some regular light achy contractions and that kept going through the day from maybe 5 to 12 or so minutes apart. They would be stronger after the bigger breaks. I noticed they kept up during my nap which was notable. By late afternoon I talked to my midwife and she said to let her know if things picked up. I decided not to take my daughters to dance. Even if it wasn't labor starting it was a new level of labor prep I wasn't used to. Plus one of them was just starting meds for a tooth infection (I had to take her to the dentist the day before. While it went relatively well I felt like I used up some of my reserve birth energy and I was a bit worried about that.) So I knitted and played Candy Crush and rested and waited.
Things continued though and around 11pm I called my midwife again and said things were continuing to pick up. They were around 5 minutes apart and not real long. I had been moaning and starting some of my native American sounding birth sounds through them. She said to call when they were 3-4 minutes apart (start to start) and a minute long.
I read to my youngest two kids and took a bath, which was lovely. Pouring water on my belly felt so good. We timed some again and I was about up to what the midwife had said. We kept waiting a bit to be sure (she said she tells people to call after contractions are like that for an hour sometimes). I rested in between them, leaning against a pillow chair I had made on the floor next to my bed. Paul held my hand. He called the midwife around 3am. Mostly I remember the contractions feeling low and achy. As with my other births it was a great comfort to make sounds that matched the sensations. The midwife is an hour away and I remember things seemed to be getting pretty intense and far along. I could feel myself opening. When she came in I was pretty deep in a contraction and had my head resting to the side on my new nursing pillow. She said I looked comfortable. I drank a lot of water throughout. Sometimes I would feel the baby kick and push down and that would increase the contraction. He did that a lot in my prelabor time and I felt like he was anxious to be born and would be a conscious part of the process. In this actual labor he was more sober but I still felt like he was there with me.
After a bit the midwife suggested I pee. The standing contractions were hard but my husband was awesome at helping support me. I was relieved to make it out of the bathroom and back to my bed. I asked how I was doing and she offered to check me. I was 8-9 cm with a bag of water in front of the baby's head. I think that is when she mentioned pushing and that the baby wasn't far away. Paul was excited. I felt more serious and was starting to have some fear about staying on top of things and relaxed. I felt a little water gush with one contraction and laughed a weird laugh for awhile because of the bliss, but then I went back to worrying some. My sounds got higher as I felt like I was holding back. My contractions had some longer breaks and I rested. I was afraid of things feeling sharp and wanted to get comfortable just right and close with my husband so I could let go and get low into it and surrender. I actually talked to my husband about how much I really do need him in "regular life" and asked if he was with me. That was important to me and I wanted the baby to know and feel it while he was still inside me because husband and I had gone through some challenges during the pregnancy. I gave him a good shakti kiss and I was ready to go. At first the contractions felt tough, I'd get some pain in my hips and back I didn't like, and then I started pushing with real low sounds, which was kind of cool, but then I'd go silent and into a new level of automatic bearing down with my breath out that was amazing. I made a mental note to remember the bliss and how it was what I had wanted. There were only a handful of those serious pushes until his head was out. My 7 year old woke up and got to see. Midwife said baby needed to come out and I had to keep going (no prob) then she said to stop (that was nice too) then another push and out he came! I told my daughter to get the rest of the kids. I was babbling about how there was a person here, and how I did it,and was all happy, shocked, and amazed. Because it is really like that and so amazing! The kids observed from a careful distance. The placenta came without trouble. Bleeding was good. The midwife said he had a hand by his face and the cord around his head as he came out. He was quiet. The midwife said something about him not making sound as she was busy with placenta or something. I said he was moving and had opened his eyes. I asked him to make a sound. He cried a little and stopped! He nursed a bit after a little while but wasn't very interested yet. We passed him around for the kids to hold. Paul held him while I went to the bathroom. It didn't even burn to pee, no tears or anything. I certainly felt weak and sore. Baby fell asleep with Paul. All was bliss!