Ok finally getting my birth story out while I can (and while I'm awake). So on Tuesday Sept 20, I felt like absolute crap - exhausted, had a major dizzy spell, but didn't feel any contractions or anything. DH and I both suspected that labor was going to be soon because of the change from the day before (I felt great the day before). DH and I decided to do it just in case it would be our last time for a long time (so yes ladies, I think sex really does help). Fast forward to 2am Wednesday morning. I did my usual middle of the night pee routine except this time I felt a huge clot pop out and then gush - my water broke (thankfully on the toilet). Don't know if this is TMI but I couldn't move off the toilet - every time I went to move I would have more gushing. So it was a 10 minute toilet run since I was kind of in shock. Contractions started right away - about 6 minutes apart, 45 seconds long. They were period like cramps that kept coming and going. I waited about an hour and a half, trying to rest but not able to. I then woke up my husband and called the midwife. She said go ahead and go to the hospital. When I got to the hospital and the midwife checked me out, I was at 3 1/2cm dilated. They hooked me up to the monitors and Joshua's heartrate kept dropping and coming back up right away, so they kept me on the monitors for a few hours. Once I was able to get out of bed to get things moving, they definitely did. We walked the halls, did stairs (holy crap doing stairs made the contractions come on strong), bounced on the ball, rocked in a rocking chair, went into the bathroom to do some nipple stimulation in the shower (making out also helps bring on contractions by the way). All of this was so exhausting. I'm not sure what happened but my labor stalled and contractions pretty much went away. We called the midwife in and she said since my water broke she wanted to get things going with a little pitocin, but it was completely up to me. I opted to start the pitocin because she said it can take 2 hours to kick in and then I could rest while I was waiting. 1/2 hour after they started the first and only dose I got hit by the active labor train! (I later went on to find out it probably was my body kicking into gear rather than the pitocin). By the way, I was not able to do an epidural because I'm allergic to all of the pain meds. The midwife checked me out and I was at 4cm. I labored on the toilet (my favorite spot - I highly recommend it if you have the option), in the bathtub and a little on the bed. Fast forward 4 hours later and I was at 8 cm, alternating between screaming and controlled breathing and swearing (let me tell you, I usually don't swear and labor made me turn into someone who would make a sailor blush). All of a sudden I had the uncontrollable urge to push. The midwife told me to try to wait since I was only at an 8 and I couldn't - my body made me push. She checked again and I had only a tiny lip of the cervix left and she told me to get into position on the bed and she would try to push it out of the way, which she was successful. I started pushing and 15 minutes later my baby boy was born - and yes, the ring of fire is a very accurate description. I have a pretty bad tear since pushing was so quick - I actually tore up pretty far rather than through my perineum. We think the reason active labor and pushing were so quick was because he had the cord wrapped around his neck three times and he knew he needed out (also why his heartrate was dropping early on). My Joshua is absolutely perfect though - born at 37 weeks 6 days (September 21), 6 lbs 15 oz, 19" long. I am absolutely in love and the pain of birthing him is so worth it as cliche as that sounds. We were able to leave the hospital on Friday thankfully. We are just trying to get the hang of this crazy parenting thing, but I love it.