On Thursday, September 18th, my midwife stripped my membranes. I was 39 weeks 5 days pregnant and miserable. I was dilated to 5-6cm at that point. All that day I had spotting and contractions off and on. I even called DH home from work around 3:30pm, thinking they were turning into something real. My backup childcare person, A, came over after work. We waited for labor to start, and when nothing was happening by 8:30, we sent A home.
The next day was nothing new, random contractions that I had to breathe through but no pattern. Saturday morning (my due date) just before 5am, I woke up to two small gushes. I ran to the bathroom thinking I had peed in the bed. There were white flecks in the toilet, so I was pretty sure my water had broken. I waited a little and the contractions began, still about 10 minutes apart but fairly strong. I called A and told her today was baby day. She had been out late the night before, but came over anyway. She spent the morning with us while we waited for labor to start, again. Around 11am, she decided to go home and take a nap, and told us to keep her posted. Nothing was happening, I was still breathing/vocalizing through contractions but they were pretty far apart and I was in decent spirits between them (albeit frustrated).
At 2pm I went to take a nap and A called. She told DH that she was going to go to her boyfriend's house 1 hour away, and then later would be going to a friend's house 45 minutes away. When DH told me this, I got very upset. A was supposed to remain in town that weekend since my parents were away and she was our only childcare option. I told him we would not be calling her if it happened that day, since she was too far away to get there in time, I just knew once labor truly started it would be fast. Later I discovered that she was incredibly nervous (she has never given birth or been to one before), so I almost wonder if my body refused to go into labor until I knew it was impossible for her to be here. I ended up calling my sister, who did not want anything to do with my UC, but agreed to come and stay downstairs just in case the kids woke up if it happened that night.
Later that evening I sent DH out to get some dessert. While he was gone, I had a fairly strong contraction, and thought to myself that I no longer wanted the dessert, as I felt that the baby was coming that night. I did not tell DH b/c I was afraid I was going to be disappointed again. I couldn't concentrate on my book anymore, so we turned on the TV. Halfway through an episode of Scrubs, around 9:45, I told DH to go fill the birth pool b/c the contractions were every ten minutes or less and very strong. I followed him upstairs, calling the m/w on the way. I told her it was starting and she asked if I wanted her to head over (she knew I planned a UC). I knew she was over an hour away and still had to arrange for childcare, so I told her she could come over and that it was going to be fast. She called back 5 minutes later to tell us her childcare was all set and she was heading out. I screamed at DH to get off the phone and help me into the pool, which was barely full. Almost immediately after I got into the water, I started pushing. DH ran to call my sister, and when he came back, I told him to get behind me, since I was on my knees and couldn't catch the baby. She came out in three pushes, sliding right into her daddy's hands. He scooped her up, I turned over, and he handed her to me. Total time for active labor = 10 minutes. It was intense, amazing, and wonderful. It was the best birth experience I could have asked for, and totally made up for last time.
I was so proud of DH, he was so calm and did everything right.
My sister arrived at the very end but did not hear anything. When DH went downstairs to tell her the baby was here, she thought he was coming to get something and was shocked that it was over. The placenta took about an hour to come fully out, it was really irritating. The m/w arrived just after midnight and cleaned everything up. She was gone by 2:30am.
We are all so in love with Charlotte and slowly adjusting to our new lives as a family of five.