I believe my contractions started while at my mother-in-laws for Mothers Day.  It was Sunday night and we were at her house until about 10:30pm.  When we got home I was exhausted and went straight to bed.  After lying down for a few minutes I asked Joe for a glass of port wine to help me fall asleep because the contractions were keeping me up.  I didn’t think these were real contractions though, since I had been feeling Braxton Hicks for weeks I thought that’s all they were. My midwives had told me to take naps everyday and that if I thought labor was near to make sure I go to sleep even if I have to drink two glasses of wine, so that’s what I did…  and good thing!

At about 1 am Monday I was awoken with stronger contractions.  I got up went to the bathroom, walked around and tried going back to bed.  I think I was in denial that this could be the day!   An hour later I was up again, this time with hunger.  I grabbed a bagel and started pacing around while eating it.  I decided that I would not wake Joe up until I absolutely needed him, and at 3am I NEEDED him.

Joe set up the yoga ball and pillows in the bedroom so that I could be on my knees and leaning over the ball.  This was a laboring position we had planned on, so that I could rock back and forth and he could rub my back.  This worked well and got me through an hour and a half of contractions. During this time Joe had called the midwives and they were on their way.

By the time the midwives arrived it was 5:45 am and I had been sitting on the toilet laboring through contractions for quite a while (I found the toilet to be comfortable and I had the sink next to me to lean on).  The midwives wanted to check me to see how far along I was, so I had to move to my bed.  When one of the midwives checked me, she was shocked to see that I was 9 cm!  The other midwife found it hard to believe since I was so calm and quiet and had not said two words since they arrived, so she checked me as well.  She was also shocked when she found I was 9cm.

As soon as they were finished checking me I headed back to the toilet.   My husband pulled up a chair next to me and was rubbing my arm and soothing me through contractions.  I did not speak the entire time, except that I would say “water” once in a while and someone would give me a sip.  I was just focused on breathing.

By 8am, after about 2 more hours of being on the toilet, the midwives asked me to move to my bedroom.  They had set up pillows covered with shower curtains on the floor in front of my bed.  I kneeled on the pillows and leaned over the bed.  This position was great and I immediately started bearing down.  After a while, they told me to reach down and touch the baby.  His head was right there, and that really motivated me.  The midwives were great, they were calmly telling me “the head is there, use it to stretch you open and relax”.  So instead of me pushing his head sat there for a few minutes while I waited for the next contraction.

Baby Joseph came into this world at 9:19 and I couldn’t even believe I had been at it for over 8 hours.  It really felt more like 3, the time flew by!  Afterwards I was immediately on my bed with my baby on my chest.  I delivered the placenta and my husband cut the cord.  We were so in love and so pumped with adrenaline.  I got up and went into the shower for a quick rinse.  By the time I was out, my bedroom was all cleaned up and I got into my bed with clean sheets. The midwives helped the baby latch on.  They made sure I had something to eat and before you knew it they were gone.

My entire birth experience was better than I could have ever imagined.  It was a dream and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Kathleen