I did my own prenatal care during my pregnancy this time and I really enjoyed having that responsibility. My previous three births were fairly quick, the first being 8 hours and the last being 2, so I expected this labor and birth to be quick and intense.
After a week of feeling "wierd" and like labor was imminent, I started having contractions in the middle of the night before my due date (June 4th). They were about 10-30 minutes apart and I could sleep through some of them. I kept this pattern up the next day and I was about 5 cm with a bulging bag of water. My labor stalled around 3 pm when the kids all came home but started back up a bit stronger in the evening while my husband and I watched a movie. We slept downstairs on the futon couch in the living room so I could be closer to the bathroom. I was really uncomfortable lying down, so I was up and down and around all through the night without the contractions becoming any closer together than about 10 minutes.
At 8:30 the following morning (Tuesday June 5th) I was visited by my acupuncturist to help get my contractions stronger. Some time later, around 11 or so, they seemed to be getting closer together and stronger. I was about 8 cm at that point, still with a bulging bag and I was dying for it to pop! I didn't know what was taking so long, and I was starting to cry pitifully, tried lying down and going to sleep, said I couldn't do it, etc- general transition yuckiness- which lasted a couple of hours. Then FINALLY my bag popped around 1 or 1:30 and then I started having those pushing urges.
I pushed for about 15 minutes. It was hard to get his head down past my pubic bone, and I was frustrated. Then it came and his head started to crown. I was leaning forward on the futon with my hands and my knees were on the floor. I was slipping on the dang painter's plastic and ended up with a very messed up pubic bone because of that!! Anyway, his head was gigantic and took about 4 pushes for it to all come out. Then he just hung out there for a bit since I wasn't having a contraction, making faces. His head didn't turn/restitute, which is interesting. Then I gave it my all to get his shoulders out on my hands and knees. He was born at 2:05 pm into daddy's hands.
The cord was kind of short and he was so hungry, poor guy, but the cord didn't stop pulsing for about 15 minutes so we were a little awkward for a bit... and those afterpains- wow! I took two tylenol. The kids all got there before the cord was cut. He nursed, we had a bath, weighed him (woah! 10, 12- 8 oz more than my biggest!), cleaned up and had dinner.
My husband was so incredibly patient, was right by my side the whole time. It was SUCH a different experience than I ever expected. I suspect his head was cocked with a hand or something and it wasn't putting even pressure on my cervix. But no matter, in the end, here he is!!http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...4/DSCN7380.jpghttp://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...4/DSCN7498.jpghttp://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...4/DSCN7503.jpghttp://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...4/DSCN7518.jpg