I wasn't due until April 14 and, since I had had both my girls 4-5 days late, I was rather surprised when I started having somewhat regular contractions on the evening of April 8. The whole night I had contractions about 5 minutes apart--only they weren't particularly painful, just uncomfortable enough to keep me awake. I kept thinking, this must be pre-labor, these will start to get stronger--only they never did. I finally fell asleep at 3 am and was disappointed to wake up in the morning clearly not in labor.
The whole day of the 9th I had very little contractions. My mom called while I was making dinner that night and I complained to her that I had had false labor all night and she said the same thing had happened to her with her third and she didn't deliver him for another 3 weeks--that's not what I wanted to hear!
Pretty immediately after I got off the phone, though, I had a couple of painful contractions. Well, I said to myself, I'm not falling for it this time. Only they didn't let up and pretty soon they were coming every 7-8 minutes--and these contractions hurt! I didn't think there would be any way to sleep so I decided to clean my house instead. While I worked I kept glancing at my watch and noticed the contractions were about 5 minuted apart and when I went to the bathroom there was a little bit of blood on my panties. So around 9:30 pm I called my mom back and told her I must really be in labor. I then went and laid down to rest and better time the contractions.
My sister called around 10 and we talked for 30-40 minutes. Unfortunately I only had 2 contrax the whole time we talked. So was I in labor or not?!! I didn't think I could handle another night of contractions without labor. For the next hour the contrax were only coming every 11-12 minutes--not very typical of true labor. I tried to sleep only to be awoken by painfully strong contractions--still 12 minutes apart. Finally around midnight I had a 7 minute, followed by a 5 minute and I lost my mucus plug. At 12:30 I called my midwife to tell her I thought I must be in labor so she said she'd be right over to check me. In the 30 minutes it took her to get to my house my contrax became 3 minutes apart and extremely painful.
She checked me and I was shocked to learn that I was 7 cm dilated! With both my other babies I had gone from 7 cm to delivery in less than 2 hours--was I really that close?
The plan had been to labor and deliver in a birthing tub--only the tub takes 3 hours to set up and fill so clearly that was no longer an option. I opted for my bathtub instead. The water worked wonders for reducing the pain. After about 45 minutes I found I needed to go to the bathroom. The next two contrax I had on the toilet with the midwife pushing on my knees. I was in a lot of pain and suddenly felt like I just wanted to get into bed. I climbed into bed and had to most incredibly painful contraction, followed by my water breaking.
My midwife checked me and announced I was complete. The next contraction was less painful and I started to push. I wanted the baby out NOW! I pushed like mad, threw up several times, and soon I could feel the head. The midwife suggested I slow down some so not to tear, but I just couldn't. After 9 minutes of pushing Henry popped out onto the bed. The assistant midwife untangled him from the cord (he was all wrapped up) and I immediately picked him up. He breathed right away and after a little suctioning began screaming. His apgars were 9 and 9 (he got a point off for his color). He was born at 2:24 am, Thursday April 10, weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long.
Patrick went and woke up the girls so they could meet their new brother and they got to watch the cord getting cut, the placenta being delivered, and held Henry for the first time. As for me, I tore, of course, and had to get several stitches--but I am healing well and have had very little pain.