Our little one arrived this past Friday night at 9:13pm and weighed 8bs, 9oz and was 20.5 inches long.
I planned on a natural birth at a birth center which was owned by a hospital and located on the hospital grounds. Leading up to the birth I didn't really have any of the text book signs that labor was approaching (other than BH contractions that were getting more frequent and stronger, although always irregular). I never received a cervical check and so I wasn't sure if anything was going on down there, never lost a mucus plug, my bowels didn't start emptying, and my baby didn't drop which I've heard for a FTM usually happens 2-4 weeks before the birth.
Finally, this past Friday morning at 4:30am I got up for one of my usual every hour bathroom trips and there was a little blood when I wiped. My first thought was that it was the "bloody show" but after about 4-5 hours of nothing other than my usual irregular contractions, I started to wonder if maybe my cervix was just irritated again as it had been earlier in my pregnancy when I had spotting. My mother on the other hand was convinced otherwise and told me that I was most likely in early labor and she coaxed me to come to her house. I arrived at her house around noon and she told me that she wanted to start timing my contractions to see if there was any regularity. Sure enough we noticed that they were 10 minutes apart. Within about two hours my contractons moved to 5 minutes apart and the painless BH contractions that I was used to were now stopping me in my tracks and growing in intensity. We called the Birth Center at 2:30 and let them know we were going to head in as my contractions had now dropped to about 4 minutes apart. I arrived at the Birth Center around 3pm. The midwife checked me and I was 3cm and almost fully effaced. At this point my contractions were down to 2 mins apart and extremely painful. We tried many different positions to relieve the pain of the contractions, I got in the tub, my support team which consisted of my mother, sister-in-law, husband and midwife were massaging me and applying counter pressure, and I got on a birthing ball, but nothing even came close to providing any relief and the pain was now causing me to vomit. After 3 hours of this I was still only dilated to 5-6 cm and to top it all off my body was suddenly trying to push on its own which caused my water to break . The midwife told me that the baby was still high up and she had a feeling he was posterior. At this point I couldn't take it anymore and wanted to be transfered to the hospital for the epidural. I was feeling extremely defeated. Once I got to the hospital my labor started progressing more quickly and I dilated from 5-10 cm in about 2.5 hours. During that time, through every contraction, my body was trying to push and the doctors and midwife were coaching me to fight every urge which was practically impossible and agonizing. Once I reached 10cm I was extremely relieved to be able to push with my body. The baby was out after 18 mins of pushing. I must say the pushing, "ring of fire", etc. was nothing compared to the labor contractions.
In the end I'm glad I ended up making it through naturally and with a beautiful baby boy. I'm already forgetting how harrowing the whole ordeal was.