I timed the contractions for an hour while facebook chatting with my mom and they came anywhere from 2 to 7 minutes apart. I woke Tom up and told him I thought today would be the day. He suggested that I take a bath to try to relax and see if it would slow them down or speed them up. We both agreed that he should try to get more sleep since we were expecting a long labor (Desmond's had been 36 hours long) and I was handling the contractions fine on my own.
I got into a bubble bath around 4am with my copy of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth with the intention of reading the birth stories at the beginning of the book to get pumped up for labor and delivery while relaxing and continuing to time contractions. I texted our doula (and good friend!), Abby, at 4:18 to give her a heads up that I thought it was the day. I only got through one birth story because I had to keep putting the book down to get through the contractions. After about a half hour or so I gave up, got out of the tub and poured myself a bowl of cereal. I sat down at the computer and skype chatted with my aunt until 4:49. Contractions were now coming every 2-5.5 minutes and I was starting to feel a few of them in my back. It was starting to feel a bit like it had when we'd decided to go to the hospital when I was in labor with Desmond so I woke Tom up and told him he should start getting ready because I was beginning to think this was going to be faster than it had been with Des. We still felt like we had plenty of time though and decided that we wouldn't call Tom's parents to come for Des until after I spoke to the midwives about when they thought I should come in. We wanted to labor at home for longer than we had last time. With Des we'd been at the hospital for 12 hours before he was born.
Tom got up and showered and I called the midwives at 5:06 (don't you love how everything has time stamps/logs these days?) and asked to have the midwife on call paged because I was in labor. I continued timing contractions and we began packing a bag (so much for packing in advance!) while waiting for a call back from the midwives. The contractions were getting stronger and we decided that Tom should call his parents and have them come over now regardless of what the midwife said.
The midwife on call ended up calling back at 5:18 just as Tom was calling his parents. We chatted for 7 minutes about what was going on and decided that I should come in, but I had enough time to take a shower. The midwife on call was changing at 6:30 so we agreed this would be great timing since then I would be able to have the same midwife throughout my labor.
I stopped timing contractions when I got into the shower at about 5:30 and tried to enjoy the last leisurely shower I'd get to have in a while. When I got out I dried my hair, put on makeup and continued gathering the things we needed to bring.
At some point during all of this running around, Tom's parents arrived. I reminded Tom that we hadn't installed the car seat yet and asked him to do that and grab the cover out of the washer since we'd only thrown it in the night before right before going to bed. I also asked him to give Abby a call and let her know we'd be leaving soon and to meet us at the hospital. It was all I could do at that point to walk and focus on getting through the contractions and then grab things to pack during the intervals. Tom called and left a message for Abby at 5:45 and Abby returned his call at 5:50.
Desmond woke up shortly after and Grace, Tom's mom, got him out of bed and entertained him. A few minutes later we were ready to go. We told Desmond that the baby was coming today and said goodbye. He was so happy that Grandma and Pappy were there that he really didn't care that we were leaving.
Just before leaving I realized that I was starting to get the shakes and my entire body was tingling kind of like it had fallen asleep and just woken up.
I called Dana, our friend and birth photographer, en route to the hospital at 6:20 and left a message that we were on our way to the hospital and would give her a call once I was checked in triage to let her know how far along I was so she could decide when to get there.
The contractions started getting really intense and I was moaning and writhing in my seat trying to get through them. Sitting strapped in by a seat belt really sucks when you're having contractions and the only thing that helps you get through them is walking.
Dana returned my call at 6:42 and I told her that it was happening fast and she should leave ASAP. The car ride to the hospital was definitely not the calm and peaceful labor we'd planned for. There was way too much swearing (all from me as I'm sure you can imagine) and demanding that Tom drive faster .
At 6:44 Abby called to let us know that she was at the hospital and waiting for us. I remember telling her that this was happening much faster than it had with Des. Around this time I started thinking, ?Maybe I should get the epidural when we get there.? Even though that thought popped into my head I still knew logically that I didn't really want it. That's when I realized that I was having typical transition type thoughts and told Tom that I thought I was in transition and he needed to go faster.
We pulled into the parking lot at 6:50 and made it up to the 2nd floor registration area at just about 6:55. I was still moaning (rather loudly) through each contraction as we made our way from the parking lot, up the elevator and to the registration lobby, but I was fine between contractions and even managed to have a conversation with a woman on the elevator. She asked if it was my first and I told her it was my 2nd and said something about how it was going faster this time.
When we got to registration I told them that I was in labor and my midwife had called over my info. I'd also pre-registered online months earlier. I was informed that it was the shift change and I'd have to wait for the new person to settle in before I could register. They asked me to fill out a form and I told Tom and Abby they'd have to do it as I was having another contraction. They had me come back to the desk just after my contraction and I interrupted their questions saying we didn't have time to register and I thought I was in transition. They said we'd do it really quickly.
My water broke immediately after and I told the registration woman we had no time, my water had just broken, my body was pushing and this baby was coming now!
I was rushed back to triage, they put a gown over my clothes, had me undress my lower half and told me to get up on the bed so they could check me and see how far along I was. The contractions were on top of each other at this point and I just kept telling them I couldn't get on the bed. I don't know how, but they got me up there, checked me, proclaimed the baby was crowning and took off with me on the bed, racing down the hallway to a labor and delivery room. All of this took place in just a few minutes.
Tom and Abby had to run to keep up so they wouldn't lose me as the triage team raced down the hall.
Somehow I made it from the triage bed to the labor & delivery bed and Tom and Abby were by my side again. My midwife, Emily, made it there soon after (Seconds? Minutes? It's all a blur!) and I was on my side continuing to let my body do what it needed to do. There were no shouts of ?Push! Push!? No counting. Everyone in the room was great about trusting that my body knew instinctively what to do, and they were right! I don't remember making a conscious effort to push. I just did what felt right at the moment and allowed my body to take over.
I remember Tom and Abby telling me that I was doing great and then at 7:06 am on Wednesday, May 11th (at 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant), just 11 minutes after we got to the registration desk, Simon was on my chest. Everything happened so quickly that Tom forgot to check the sex and I had to ask, ?Is it a boy or a girl?!?
After a quick check Tom shouted, ?It's another boy!? and we got to snuggle Simon and introduce ourselves to him. Dana got there shortly after and began snapping away.
They ended up calling a NICU Dr. down since Simon wasn't crying (not even when they took blood), he was floppy and he was having trouble maintaining his temp. His glucose levels were low, but went up on their own before we even had a chance to nurse and everything checked out perfectly normal. Even now he doesn't cry much. I think he's just a very relaxed guy who was extra tired from being born!
His birth wasn't what we expected at all (other than being drug and intervention free), but it was perfect. If we end up having a third though we might just camp out at the hospital a few weeks in advance .
See siggy for pic of Simon from today at 4 days old.