Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 I woke up around 2:00am on Sunday March 22 with some cramps and contractions. Our due date was the next day. I didn't really think that it was labor- I just thought that it meant that my body was gearing up for labor in the week or so. I did notice some blood and extra discharge when I went to the bathroom, which made me a little more alert. I got out of bed at 4:00am when I still was feeling some cramping and I decided to take a relaxing bath. I stayed in the bath until about 4:30 and things continued. I decided that I should get something to eat and then go back to bed in case this was really it. I woke up my husband to let him know how I was feeling and we went to sleep until 8:00am. I'm so glad that I got some extra rest in there! We got up, ate breakfast, and went for a walk to see if it progressed anything. Contractions quickly became stronger and closer together. They were consistently 5-6 minutes apart and lasting about 30-40 seconds. We called our doula and she came to the house. When she arrived an hour later, she watched me for about an hour and suggested that we go to the hospital-I was much more comfortable through the contractions on my hands and knees and she knew that the car ride would be tough for me. Contractions were now more like 3 minutes apart and 40 seconds. When we arrived to the hospital, I was checked-I was 4cm and 90% effaced. Baby was still in station -2 though. Because we wanted a natural delivery, the doctor didn't even make me get an IV, just get set up for one in case I needed one. I worked through the contractions by swaying and rocking back and forth on my hands and knees on the bed. I also sat on the birthing ball on the side of the bed with my head on the bed. This felt great! I was checked again about 2 hours later and was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced, and the doctor said "I'm breaking your waters now"-he didn't even ask. My doula thinks that he did this without asking because they had reason to suspect some distress-and he was right, there was a lot of meconium in the water. I now had to have the baby's heartbeat monitored the whole time. This was ok since I stayed on or near the bed most of the time anyway. Labor became intense at times but I never thought "I need drugs". Sometimes I did say "is this going to get worse?" or "I am exhausted". My husband and doula reminded me to stay on top of the contractions and to keep breathing. My doula really made an impact when she simply said "your body is doing the work; all you need to do is breathe!" I would then calm down and breathe through each contraction. I was working so hard. I was checked again and was now 8-9cm. I continued with the same breathing and positions. I was checked again by a nurse and she thought that I was ready to push. I started pushing but of course had no idea what I was doing. It felt so strange. The doctor came about 30 minutes later to check on my progress and discovered that I still had a small lip of cervix on the one side and I had to stop pushing. This was very frustrating! With the nurse and doulas suggestions, I sat on the toilet backwards for a few hard contractions to try to get rid of the lip. I also laid on my side for a few. Then I was checked again and was ready to push, for real this time! I pushed for 2 ? hours! I squatted and used the bar, I pushed on my hands and knees on the bed, and I laid down on my side to push. Slowly and steadily I made progress and the baby was ready to come out. It felt amazing when my husband said "they're calling the doctor- you're almost there!". The doctor had me go into the traditional pushing position on my back, but I was only there for a few pushes anyway! I pushed like heck and the baby felt like it flew out of there! I said to my husband "tell me what it is! Tell me what it is!" and he got to tell me, so proudly, "it's a boy!". I was so happy and relieved that we had worked so hard to achieve this kind of labor- and we did it! My husband and I made such a good team! They held up the baby for me and my first words were "he's huge!" He was a whopping 8 lbs, 14.8 oz and 20 ? inches long. I couldn't believe how big he was and I'm glad that I didn't suspect a big baby, otherwise I would have been a little more scared about that labor!