It's a miracle: Both DS and DD are sleeping right now. I should be sleeping, too, but I've had so little (read: NO) opportunity to do anything just for me this week that I just can't resist a little MDC time!
First, here's a link to our family's website, so you can see a few pics of Maria (and Tony, and...well...all of us).
And here's a quick version of Maria's birth story:
After a long Saturday evening at a family St. Patrick's dinner party, we all got to bed kind of late. I'd had a couple of strong BH ctx on the drive home, but nothing painful--and, I thought, nothing to signal the start of labor. I told DH about the BH before we went to bed, but I told him I seriously doubted it meant anything.
At 12:30 AM another couple of strong BH woke me up. They weren't painful at all--just intense. I tend to get BH when my bladder is full, so I got up to pee. When I went back to bed, I couldn't sleep because baby was incredibly wiggly--way more wiggly than usual. After an hour or so of that, my back started to hurt a little, and my tummy started to feel turbulent. I continued to try to sleep for another 1/2 hour, then got up to use the bathroom again.
At 2:00 AM I woke up DH and told him what was happening. I still didn't think anything was up, but he insisted on calling Janet (our MW). I told her what was happening, that she didn't need to come over yet, and asked her what I could do to get some rest. She recommended a warm bath or a glass of wine (neither of which I did--I just felt like lying in bed w/ DH). DH rubbed my back while I tried to sleep.
I still didn't think I was in labor. DH, on the other hand, was secretly timing contractions, and at 2:30 he told me they were 5 min. apart and 30-45 sec. long. He insisted on summoning Janet, and she arrived (w/ her assistant and her partner) at 3:00. By that time I was in the living room, trying to ease my back pain with counterpressure from DH and by rocking on the birth ball.
The back pain just kept getting worse and worse -- which really pissed me off, because after having awful back labor w/ DS, I'd done everything in my power to make sure baby was OA, and when I'd gone to bed that night, she WAS.
Soon I moved to the bedroom and Janet checked me. I was at 6.5 cm already. (Ha! And I thought I wasn't in labor. Duh.) And Janet confirmed baby had suddenly turned OP. (The nerve! I can't tell you how mad I was about that.) I spent the next couple of hours trying various things (hands and knees, dangling, side-lying, all with counterpressure) to get more comfortable. None of it helped, so I moved to the bathtub. I spent about an hour there with DH pressing on my back with all his might.
I was starting to feel a bit "push"-y, so at 6:00 AM I asked Janet to check me again. I was 8-9 cm w/ a small lip. Janet said I should push if I really felt the urge--that the lip would probably give way. I decided I'd rather be completely dilated and avoid the possibility of a swollen cervix and longer back labor, so I panted and whined and complained my way through several more contractions before giving in.
At about 6:20 I stopped trying not to push and just let my body tell me what to do. I got on my knees and leaned on my birth ball (in bed) and basically yelled my head off. Amazingly, DS (whose room is right next to ours) didn't wake up.
Maria came out wide-eyed at 6:45 AM. A half-hour later, DS woke up on his own while I was nursing her and crawled into bed with us. DH joined the party, and the MWs quietly adjourned to the kitchen. That first hour or so snuggled with my whole family on the bed is one of the sweetest memories I think I'll ever have.