I have lurked on this board but never posted. However, I found many of the posts and birth stories here informative and inspiring while preparing myself for a med free birth so I thought I would share my story. The short version is first and the VERY lengthy version follows if you have the time
Short and sweet version: My water broke in bed at about 6:40am on Saturday, January 5th (39 weeks). Per midwife's suggestion, I showered, ate and DH and I headed to the hospital. Was 5 1/2 to 6 cm when we arrived at the hospital and 7 cm by the time we were brought to our room. I labored for about 30 minutes in the room using a birthing ball and then moved to the jacuzzi tub. I labored in the tub for probably 3 hours before moving back to my room to be checked again. I was 9 1/2 cm when we returned to the room and began pushing shortly thereafter. I pushed for about 3 hours and at 9:21pm our little man was born. Samuel Joseph was 8 lbs. 2.8 oz. and 21 inches long with a full head of hair. He is beautiful and wonderful and we are so happy to finally have him in our arms!
Detailed version: At about 6:40am on Saturday, January 5th (39 weeks) I woke up to a small gush of fluid and jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, leaking the whole way On my way to the bathroom I announced to my husband that I think my water broke. The puddle on the bathroom floor confirmed that my water had indeed broken. I continued to feel small gushes each time I moved. Since I didn't feel any contractions or discomfort, I second guessed whether or not we should call the midwife (because I had wanted to labor at home for awhile and did not want to be 'put on the clock'). But since the emergency sheet stated that I should call if my water breaks, I did just that. My midwife suggested that I eat something, take a shower and head to the hospital. So I took a nice, hot shower and got myself dressed (leaking the whole time) and DH made me a couple pieces of toast with jam and we ate breakfast together. Neither one of us was able to stomach much because of the excitement/panic.
So DH packed up the car with all of our bags (most of which we didn't even use) and we made the nearly 1 hour drive to the hospital. Now DH had just gotten home from work when my water broke so he was about to go to bed because he hadn't slept since 2pm Friday. So in the car on the way to the hospital I joked with him that since I wasn't really feeling any strong contractions (I had started to feel some mild contractions at this point), he could take a nap on the couch when we got settled into a room. So we got the emergency room and checked in and they told me to have a seat and somebody from OB triage would be with me shortly. So we sat down for maybe 3-5 minutes and I felt two contractions during that time. It was probably about 10:30am when they called my name and took me back to examine me. The nurse/dr told us that baby sounded wonderful and I was about 5 1/2 - 6 cm dilated. I was shocked that I was that far along since I really wasn't too uncomfortable yet. So they admitted me and sent me upstairs to labor and delivery. We walked to the elevator and she lead us to our room.
They checked me again once I got into the room and I was about 7 cm at this point. They gave me a birthing ball and suggestions on how to use it. At this point I was getting pretty uncomfortable with each contraction, feeling most of the pain in my lower back. I tried to lean over the countertop during contractions, but found placing the birthing ball on the bed and draping myself over the ball worked best. DH applied counter pressure to my back with every contraction and continued to remind me to breathe through the pain. This really helped me to remember to relax my body and let it do what it needed to do. So it was obvious at this point that DH wasn't going to get any sleep since I needed him to apply counter pressure with every contraction and they were pretty frequent at this point. I labored through several contractions this way and then asked about the jacuzzi tub. They prepped the room for me and we walked down the hall and I climbed in the tub. It felt wonderful! I still felt each contraction, but the warm water and jets helped. Since I had only eaten toast, I was starving by this point so my husband kept feeding me crackers in between contractions. I was also downing lots of ice water throughout, trying to stay hydrated and avoid an IV. While laboring in the tub, my gown kept getting caught in the jets and stopping them from working so I eventually ripped off my gown. At some point my mom came in to see how we were doing. The plan was for her to stay in the waiting room unless we changed our minds and wanted her there. At this point I could have cared less who was in the room (as long as DH was there too), but DH decided that he would like her to stay so he could take short breaks from applying pressure to my back as he was occasionally feeling lightheaded because he hadn't slept and barely ate anything in over 24 hours.
A little while later, my midwife came to check on us and said, "Woah, she's naked now!" as if to say I meant business. My contractions started getting really close together and more painful by this time so she suggested that I try getting on my hands and knees and rocking my hips. This helped but the hard tub floor hurt my knees (even with a towel down). After a few more contractions, she suggested we head back to the room to get checked again. So they helped me out of the tub and put a new gown/robe on me (which I stated I didn't really care about at this point ) and I walked back to my room, pausing for a contraction along the way. They checked me again and was 9 1/2 cm, with just a lip left to go. I tried to work through the contractions by leaning over the birthing ball again, but it felt like a lot more work to stand this time and it made it hard to breathe through the pain so I got back in the bed. I worked though contractions by getting on my hands and knees and leaning over the back of the bed, while my mom and DH took turns applying counter pressure to my lower back. After doing this for awhile, they checked me and asked if I felt like pushing. I didn't really feel an urge to push but they suggested I try a few small pushes with each contraction, hoping it would get rid of that lip. I pushed a few times while on my hands and knees, but the contractions kept coming so I turned around and got on my back. I must have reached transition because I started shaking uncontrollably at this point. This began the marathon of pushing. It took me awhile to figure out how to effectively push. What helped the most was when my midwife told me to push like I wash pushing out a 7 1/2 pound poop Also, an OB joined the team by this point and she kept telling me to push longer and stronger, which was really hard because I was exhausted, but I sure tried. Everybody kept telling me I was almost there and I told them it felt like they had been saying that for so long! I later found out that I would push and they would see he baby's head emerge, but as soon as I would relax, the baby's head would retract. This is where the pushing longer and stronger came into play. They had asked if I wanted a mirror to watch the baby come out, but I couldn't keep my eyes open at this point so I declined. They did however tell me to look at how flat my belly was getting. I looked but really couldn't tell the difference at that point (or I didn't care ). They also told me on two different occasions to reach down and feel my baby's head which I did and it was AMAZING! It made me realized that I was making progress and really helped me focus on getting this baby out. So with contractions one on top of the other, I pushed as long and as strong as I could and FINALLY, after about 3 hours of pushing (1 1/2 hours of active pushing), at 9:21pm, Samuel Joseph was born!! They let the cord stop pulsating and put him on my chest for a few minutes. My mom cut the cord and DH announced that it was a boy. DH cried and I just started talking to Samuel, telling him I was his momma and I loved him so much. I couldn't believe he was here (or that it was a boy since I could have sworn that we were having a girl).
Since I started having uncontrollable shakes,
they took him away to clean him up and weigh/measure him. They asked DH
and I to guess how much he weighed and we had no idea but said maybe 7
1/2 pounds? They announced that he was 8 lbs 2.8 oz. and 21 inches
long. The nurse said just imagine if he would have stayed put for
another week! He has a full head of dark, black hair which neither me
nor my husband have, so they joked that he was a 'milkman baby'. Then
they were doing his footprints and asked who has the long toes in the
family...he has DH's toes!! It was such a wonderful experience (I
didn't even have to pull out my birth plan). I wouldn't change a thing
about it- except for the second degree tear .