Short version - after 17 hours of labor Timothy Reeves Jr. was born via a med free vaginal birth. He was born at 7:48pm and was 7lbs,1oz,19in.
Long Version: At 2:30 in the morning I was woken up by some strong cramps, that I was still thinking may have been from something I ate (denial much?) After about 1 1/2 hrs of noticing that the pains were consistently about 10 minutes apart, I decided that I was probably having contractions. After having a brief meltdown that this might really be happening and how much I really wanted Tim to be there with me, I called my best friend at about 4 to tell her I might be in labor. I then called the midwives and they told me to try and get some sleep and to call when the contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart and lasting for a minute. I did my best to sleep but was excited/nervous so I really couldn't. At around 6:30, I called my friend again and we decided the birth team would come meet at my house. I took a shower and got dressed and waited. After forcing down a bacon, egg and cheese and an apple, we decided that perhaps going for a walk would help. It was a gorgeous fall day, and that sounded like a nice thing to do. We walked a mile total, stopping for many contractions along the way. On the walk, the contractions intensified and got closer together. After arriving back at home, we tried to have a snack and watch some television but the contractions started to get much more difficult to get through and we started discussing going to the hospital. After getting all of my stuff in the car and trying to eat a little snack, I said goodbye to my pup and climbed in the front seat with a garbage pail and a blanket. Other than some tough contractions, the car ride was uneventful and we immediately headed to Labor and Delivery. I was brought into a room and got dressed in the outfit I was planning to labor in. The nurse hooked me up to the heart rate and contraction monitors and asked me what felt like a million admission questions which are awfully hard to answer when you are in pain. After that Kathy, the midwife, arrived to check how far along I was. I was at 4cm and I think it was around 1pm. I have to say I was hoping I was farther along but was still feeling pretty good. I then decided I wanted to labor in the tub, which was an awesome idea. Before getting in, they made me use the bathroom and I lost my mucous plug. I then went in the tub and ended up being in there for an hour or so. It was pretty funny though, because I needed to be on my knees during a contraction, half my body was almost always out of the water and the bubbles needed to be turned off because the hot air was making me nauseous. At this point during every contraction I needed to squeeze someone's hands and have someone putting intense pressure on my lower back. Donna, my doula, also used a shower head to put water on my back the whole time. I often was resting very heavily/dozing in between contractions. Throughout the tub time and all the other positions that followed, Kathy was able to use a fetal heart rate monitor to check and see how the baby was doing, and every time the heartbeat was nice and strong (although I barely recall hearing it, I just remember people telling me to listen to it) After a long time, I was getting too cold in the tub so I decided to get out. They wanted me to use the restroom at that time and I had several fast and intense contractions while in there. That was one of my least favorite labor positions but it did help progress things - Kathy checked me right after and I was between 7-8cm . This was really good for me, because I had bargained with myself in the tub about getting an epidural and I told myself that if the next time I'm checked I am farther than a 7 I won't get one, but if I'm only a 6 it would still be an option. Donna then suggested I try the birth ball (essentially a yoga ball) which I really liked. I stayed there for awhile before they made me use the restroom again, and again those contractions were terrible - and when I got out my midwife wanted me to try a few contractions standing up next to the bed and squatting during them - let me just say for the record that this was NOT FUN! The wonderful thing about Kathy was that every time I had a super intense/really long/really hard contraction she was so encouraging and said how awesome that one was because it was helping things move along faster. After a few standing contractions I went back on the birthing ball and while I was there I felt some liquid start to trickle and said that I thought my water was breaking. They had me get on the bed to check me again and while there I had what I think were the worst contractions of the day - but I was 9 cm, almost 10 there was just a little bit left! While I was being checked my water broke in full force. Kathy had me wait through about 6 more contractions before giving me the go ahead to push because she wanted to make sure the cervix was totally out of the way. Finally, Kathy told me I could try pushing with the next contraction. After the first try she explained to me exactly how I needed to push and after that I think I was good to go! I got about 2-3 pushes per contraction. Pushing, while incredibly intense, did not hurt quite as much as contractions did for me. I was really out of it between pushes and got really emotional. At one point I felt and heard a pop and when I asked Kathy what it was, she told me i popped my coxxyx bone. All through my pushing Kathy was laughing because the baby was really moving and wiggling themselves into position - she said she had never seen anything like it. Finally, the little one started crowning and it got major intense then! I was really focused and pushing with everything I had and I heard Kathy yell "Jessica! Stop pushing!" And she made me focus on her and she told me to push just a little, and only when she told me to. She saved me from having much worse tearing. All of a sudden, the head came out, and then the rest of the body, and then the baby was on me and everyone was asking of it was a boy or a girl! I was so overwhelmed with emotions just seeing this precious baby, and then I looked and saw that we had a boy and I just melted. The room was in tears of joy and happiness. After waiting a bit, I cut my own cord and the little man got to snuggle closer and was eating like a champ in no time. I was given a couple of stitches for a few 1st degree tears which were not bad at all. Timothy Reeves Jr. was born at 7:48 PM on October 26th, 2013 (6 days early from my due date, but only one day from my original due date). He weighed 7lbs, 1oz and was 19 inches long. One of the very first things we did was listen to Daddy's voice on the elephant. It was a wonderful and extremely difficult moment for me. I know my hubby would be so so proud of this beautiful little man!