I had contractions for about a week off and on before she was born. The real stuff began just after midnight on the 20th. I woke up to a "different" contraction and uncontrollable shivering. I went to the couch to snuggle up with a blanket and see if anything was going to come of these contractions. They were about 8 minutes apart. At around 1 am, I called my best friend so she could start the hour long drive over. I managed to sleep between the contractions. They weren't bad, but I knew it was the real thing. My BFF arrived just after 2am. She helped me put plastic sheets down under the pool then we both crashed in the living room. Contractions were consistently 7-8 minutes apart and uncomfortable. I had to breath through them, but they weren't so bad that I felt the need to get off the couch. I couldn't sleep anymore after about 530. I got my husband up to put some water in the pool. I wanted to have it at least half full. Gotta have that water!!
At about 630 I texted our friend and photographer to let her know today was the day and to get ready and head on over!! Our 4 children got up around 7am. We told them their sister would be coming that day. They were so excited to see a little water in the birth pool. They were all so sweet, hugging me and the belly. All of the activity slowed contractions down a bit. I just walked around the house and sat in my rocking chair. At around 8am, things started to pick up. Contractions were more consistent and 5 minutes apart. Another friend showed up about 815. Contractions continued to be 5 min apart. At 845, everyone talked me into calling the midwife. I was still a little hesitant cause the contractions weren't so bad, but figured I should let her know. She let her apprentice and assistant know to head on over and she would be close behind.
Just after talking to the midwife I noticed contractions picking up a little. They were about 3 minutes apart and much stronger. I really had to focus on relaxing through them. My friends were amazed to see how my belly changed shape during a contraction. I could hear them talking about it while I was off in labor land.
I really wanted to get in the tub around 1030. I kept asking if it was ready. My husband had been dumping pots of boiling water to get the temp up. Finally it was full enough and I jumped at the chance to get in. My kids were so excited when I climbed in.
The midwives wanted to check the heartbeat, but were having trouble with their dopplers. I knew she was alive though, I could feel her moving! I laid back and tried to relax through contractions. I could tell it was getting close because I was really starting to moan at the peak. I even felt a little pushy.
Then at about 1105, my water broke. Now it's down to business. Immediately I moved to a hands and knees position and that overwhelming urge to push took over. It wasn't long before I could feel her descending. I had to really try hard to slow down the pushing so I wouldn't tear. Moments later her head was born and I had to move a bit to make room for her body. My husband said it looked like I was Tebowing. Silly guy!! One last push and she was here. At 1111 am I pulled her up out of the water and she cried right away! I couldn't believe how chubby she looked. I sat back and thanked the Lord that it was all over. It was a wonderful birth. I am so thankful that I was able to have my children present to witness the birth of their sister. Having friends there was great too. As I look at the pictures I am in love with the whole experience.
At my one week visit with the midwife assistant, she asked me how I prepared for my birth. She called it "elegant" and was amazed at how well I handled it. I prepared myself by thinking positive thoughts. I rested on the word of God and the work Christ did on the cross. He shed his blood to break the curse that Adam and Eve introduced to the world when they first sinned. He shed His blood so that we could be reconciled to God! I claimed that the whole pregnancy. Along with my faith in Christ's victory, I also educated myself. I watched homebirth videos, read birth stories, and flooded my brain with knowledge about how our bodies were created to work. I had complete faith in my body and in trusting that, I could just let go and let my body work.