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Saturday evening, Jan 13, before bed I noticed I'd been having some braxton hicks contractions that felt different, but they weren't quite real labor contractions so I ignored it. I woke up around 2:00 am and was feeling kind of crampy. I went ot the bathroom and my underwear was pretty soaked. I thought it might be amniotic fluid so I tested with the nitrazine paper the midwives had given us and sure enough it was. I wasn't gushing and had no contractions so I went back to bed.

It was probably only half an hour later when I started to wake up every 10-15 minutes with a crampy contraction. By 3:30 they were every 5-7 minutes and I was pretty sure it was labor. I wanted to let him sleep, but I had to share so I woke DH up and told him we were having a baby that day. I tried to sleep more but couldn't so I got up and went downstairs, where I ate and puttered around cleaning up.

By 4 the contractions were getting stronger and were still around 5 minutes apart. I called one of the midwives and told her my water had broken and I was having regular contractions. She said ok and to call back when they were a little closer together. Less than an hour later they were 3-4 minutes apart and nearly a minute long, so I called back. She said they'd be on their way. I also called C, my friend and doula, who headed to our house too.

The midwives and doula arrived around 5.45, DS woke up at 6 and my mom got him at 6.30. Sometime after that my thoughts turned to a close friend of mine who, just 2 days before, had lost one of her prematurely born twins. I was still processing this devastating loss, and thinking of it made my labor come to a standstill. Nothing we tried got it going again, so one of the MWs suggested we go nap and they'd go home.

After an hour or so of napping I was awakened again by contractions every 10-15 minutes. By 11 I couldn't sleep anymore and we got up. We moved around the house, walking and sitting on the birth ball, but it seemed that contractions only came and stayed if I was upright and moving around. We kept on like this until finally around 3.00 they were 2-3 minutes apart and 60-90 seconds long and very intense. DH thought we should call C, and I agreed, so he called.

Not long after she arrived, I felt it was ok to get into the pool. I'd been avoiding it for fear it would cause my labor to slow again. J and C filled it up and I got in. It was wonderful, it really helped ease the sensation of the contractions, although they were still wicked strong. By 5:00 I decided it was time to call the MWs back, as I was feeling like the baby was decending into the birth canal.

Around 5.30 the MWs arrived and sometime soon afterward I had a pushy contraction. One of the MWs checked me and to my surprise and dismay, she found a bulging bag of waters (what I'd felt descending) and that I was around 6cm. I was frustrated and wanted to give up, I seriously considered going to the hospital for an epidural, but I really didn't want to leave home. So I sucked it up and got down to the business of laboring. I gave myself up to the power of my body and was so completely relaxed I can honestly say the contractions barely hurt.

Near the end, the last few contractions of transition, I began to lose control again, but DH and C helped me keep it together. They also helped me turn over to hands and knees, and after that I felt the undeniable urge to push. My water broke with the first push (seems I just had a high leak earlier in the day) and I felt this insanely intense pressure and pain, which completely freaked me out. Again with DH and C's help I got through it. The MW took a look and announced that the baby was crowning, all with just one push, so that explained why the pressure and pain just appeared so fast like that. All in all it took 4-5 pushes and he was born, all 9lbs 10 oz of him, at 7.08pm, in the water, with only a small abrasion, no tears.

And, because I love the slideshows folks make of their births, I made one too. The larger version looks crappy unfortunately so please don't look at it

http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site...edium=text_url