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Originally posted in the July DDC.

July 18th, 12:45 am: I'm woken up by one of my cats licking my face, not one that normally sleeps with us. 4 others are sitting beside me, watching. WTH? What's up with the cats? Oh, wait a minute - was that a contraction? Start watching the clock. Yep, those are contractions, about 7 minutes apart, lasting just over a minute.

1:10 am: Starting to vocalize & rock through the contractions. Hmmm, this might be the real thing, but I'm not sure yet. Try to wake up the hubby, just in case. Get a mumbled "love you" as he rolls over and goes back to sleep.

1:15 am: OK, now I'm standing up, leaning through the bed and swaying my hips through the contraction. I shake DH again, "Get up and get the birth tub ready!" DH: "Wha?? Are you serious?" Me: "YES! Don't argue with a woman who is swaying through a contraction!" He goes downstairs, preps the birth tub and starts some coffee.

1:45 am: I go downstairs, nightgown flying off, and get into the birth tub. Rob gets my iPod speakers so I can listen to my Hypnobabies birth guide and then calls & pages the midwife.

2:00 am: Midwife (P) calls us back. After listening to me through a couple contractions (now longer and closer together) says she is going to get ready and come on over. Contractions are pretty intense at this point, though bearable thanks to the tub & Hypnobabies. I start to think "oh, so this is why some women get epidurals!" Hmm, wait a minute, I remember having that thought with B, and I remember this type of contraction. Helloooooo transition! I drink some water and DH puts a cold cloth on my forehead. I know it won't be long now.

~2:40 am: P arrives and brings in her equipment. I remember her watching me vocalizing through a contraction but I was deep in my own little world. She asks if she can check me. Part of me is worried that I'm still going to be at 2 cm but I agree. After the next contraction passes I get out of the tub & head to the futon, which is made up with a waterproof liner, old sheets & chux pads. As I lean over to get on the futon my water breaks. I lay down on the futon but before P can check me my body starts pushing. What an odd sensation, completely different from the prompted pushing I did with Brandon and much more efficient. P reaches down and can feel the baby's head. Her head is born with the next contraction, then her body with the one after that. Time from water breaking to babe in arms is less than 10 minutes. I have one very minor tear (not even a first degree) that didn't need any stitches, I guess what they call a skid mark. Just like her brother she was born with her hand by her face, I got the skid mark where her arm came out.

Assistant MW shows up shortly afterwards. Placenta is delivered and they help get me cleaned up. Baby doesn't want to latch right so P works with her, essentially teaching her how to suck correctly. The MWs cleaned everything up before they left, then DH and I napped until DS woke up.
It was a wonderful birth!

Natalya M******
2:57 am, July 18th
10 lb, 0 oz
Length of labor: 2 hrs, 12 minutes
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