I've not participated much in this group (something about a demanding two year old and an exhausting pregnancy stopped me), but have been reading all your birth stories...so many amazing stories and strong mamas! I wanted to post the story of Coralie Quinn's arrival on January 15.
I had about 3 weeks of off and on prodromal labour...no fun. I thought I'd have no idea when real labour hit, but on January 15, I woke up around 4 am with contractions. I tried to sleep through them and couldn't, so got up to make a tea and try to relax. They started at about 10 minutes apart and moved to 8 minutes, gaining in intensity. I woke up DH around 6 am, and got in the shower. He was timing me at 5-6 minutes, and strong enough to make me moan. We called our doula, midwives and my parents (to watch DS). DS woke up around 6:30 am, and we had some leftover pancakes and hung out for a bit before everyone got there. We started filling the birth pool. DS would rub my back contractions, which was cute.
When everyone arrived I was at about 3-4 minutes apart and painful. I was actually kind of excited to know it was labour, after all the prodromal stuff before. There were 3 midwives (my main one, a back up and a student), a doula, and my family. I found it pretty overwhelming. I went to my room to lie down, but could hear everyone chatting. The contractions seemed to be slowing, though still coming at 5-6 minutes. The midwives came to check me, found I was just 2-3 cm, and told me it probably wasn't labour and to take a nap. They left. My doula reassured me that it probably was labour, and just slowed due to be overwhelmed by so many people. She went out for a bit to give me privacy, and my parents took my DS for a walk. With the house empty, I cried to DH for a while and then decided to get in the birth pool to relax, as we had already filled it.
In a very short time, it became clear that it was labour! I was having very painful contractions every 3 minutes. We called back our doula. I still believed I was early though, as the 2-3 cm check was in my mind. My parents said they came home from their walk and KNEW the baby was coming. They were playing downstairs with DS, and when he heard me yell he'd say "Mama is yelling to help get the baby out" or "the baby is coming today." He was great!
Anyways, things kept moving with me, it was very intense, and so before long we called the midwives. They didn't want to come initially, but my husband put on speaker phone to have them listen to me scream, and that convinced them! I had been going on my knees and draping my upper body over the edge of the tub to hold hands with DH for contractions, when our doula suggested sitting on a birthing stool in the tub. I gave it a try. I was having contractions about 3 minutes apart, lasting 1.5 minutes, and intense pressure. I could vaguely detect that I was starting to push, but didn't really believe it, as I didn't think transition had happened. I gave a big push, and felt something...my water had broken. I thought that was it, but then my doula was telling me to reach down and there was her head! I caught my own baby without the midwives! That was about 12:30 pm, just 3 hours after the midwives decided it wasn't progressing!
The midwives arrived minutes later, and helped me onto my bed to deliver the placenta. I was nervous as I had PPH with my first, but all was well! Her big brother came up as soon as the placenta was delivered and he cut the cord (with help, as he's only 2!) Coralie stayed on my chest for about 2 hours before her check up - she weighed 8 lb 6 oz and was 22 inches long. It was my first home birth and I LOVE home birth!!! She is now 9 days old and hasn't been in a car yet! We've just been cuddling this whole time, undisturbed!