I started having contractions on Monday, December 1. They were about 5 minutes apart the whole day and we were excited that it finally seemed to be "IT." I was due November 23, so I was ready! The contractions slowed down in the evening and I went to bed and slept until about 8 am the next day. As soon as I woke up the contractions started again: five minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds.
I went to the midwife that morning and allowed the first cervical check: I was 4 cm and 90% effaced. We expected me to go soon and quickly. Hahaha! I had contractions all day long, easy ones though. My sister came over to hang out just in case. I took a bubble bath that night and the contractions slowed again so I went to bed.
I woke up Wednesday morning at 5 am to some stronger contractions, still coming at 5 minutes apart. My mom came over that day so get things going, we went to the mall. We walked around the mall for about 3 hours -- not buying anything -- just walking in the warmth of the mall to get the contractions stronger. Then we came home and walked up and down the stairs of my eleven floor apartment building. The contractions got a little bit stronger, coming every five minutes and lasting about 30-45 seconds. Then, around 10 pm they slowed down a little bit to allow me to sleep. I slept until about 4 am then got up. I hung out with my mom until 10 am when we woke Chris (my husband) up. We had plans to go out for lunch. They fell through. Around 11 am the contractions started getting really strong. I needed to stop and breath through them instead of walking and talking.
I was supposed to go to a non-stress test and biophysical profile that morning but didn't go because of the contractions (and because of my low-intervention beliefs). My midwife called and stressed that I should have gone but when she heard my voice during a contraction she changed her mind and decided to come over and check me. I would have hated myself for going and having an ultrasound done. I went the entire pregnancy without an ultrasound. I certainly didn't want one the day before I gave birth!
The midwives arrived around noon. I labored hard for the next four hours. I needed someone to hang off of during contractions. They were hard contractions! But, I could get through them. I also made sure that I thanked everyone who volunteered their body for me to hang off of. I knew that it was hard work holding up all 195 lbs of me! The best thing was when this one midwife (I had 4 there) pushed on my hips during a contraction!
At around 4:30 pm we decided to check me again. I was 5cm and 100%. Not enough progress for my midwife so we decided to break my water. I crawled onto the bed made up for the birth in the spare room and they pulled out the hook used to break water. My mom sat on the bed at my head and they broke it. There was meconium in the very little fluid there. Immediately the midwives left the room to start making plans to move to the hospital. I felt so alone. This moment changed everything that I thought my birth was going to be and they left me alone, dripping amniotic fluid with my pants around my ankles. They didn't explain the situation. They just left. Finally they came back and told me that we were abandoning a homebirth and moving to hospital. They said it wasn't an emergency -- just a precaution. I was fine then. We knew it was a possibility, especially since this was my first baby.
The car ride was the worst. I made Chris drive so slow! We got to the hospital and into the birthing room. The OB on staff (Dr. Fingers, I named him because he was a huge man with enormous fingers!) checked me and I was 7 cm now. Too late for drugs. I didn't want them anyway but it was nice to know they were an option!
They hooked me up to a monitor and started timing contractions. The monitor was really distracting. One of the student midwives would only look at the monitor and wasn't supporting me, so my mom, a midwife, took me off the monitor and sat me in the bathroom (where the monitor couldn't go). I labored on the toilet for a couple of hours. I remember staring at the label on my moms overalls.