I woke up on Sunday morning, July 18, 2010, when my 2-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son climbed onto my bed around 6:30 AM and began chattering and bouncing around as usual. After several minutes, they got down and went to play in another room, and as I lay in bed, I realized I was having light contractions, about 12-15 minutes apart. At exactly 42 weeks pregnant, I was ecstatic to finally have some indication that labor was beginning.
We considered staying home from church, but I finally convinced T that I would rather be doing something than just sitting around waiting for contractions to get stronger. After church, we went home, had leftovers for lunch, and put the kids down for naps. My mom picked me up at 1:40 to take me to a joint baby shower at church for another 3rd-time mama and me. My contractions started getting stronger and closer together during the shower. During the prayer time at the end, they were coming about 8 minutes apart and making me perspire and curl my toes!
As Mom was driving me back home after the shower, around 4 PM, I called my midwives and let them know I was ready to come to the birth center. We agreed to meet there at 5:30. I called T and let him know the plans. He was running errands with the kids, but he came home quickly and loaded our things into the van.
I had two contractions on the ride to the birth center and one more as I stepped out of the van; they were uncomfortable, but not at all as intense as our last hurried trip to the birth center when I was already in transition before giving birth to our 2-year-old.
We checked into the birth center at 5:40. I had planned to give birth to this child in the same room we'd used with our other two children, but that room was occupied, so we were shown to a very nice, large room with an extra-deep birth tub.
At this point, I was 4 cm dilated and very effaced.
My midwives made me a turkey sandwich, and after I ate it, T and I decided to go for a walk. It was a perfect summer evening, about 70 degrees with clear blue skies. Once T and I started walking around 6:15, my contractions immediately became much more intense and came every 2-3 minutes, lasting about a minute each. We would walk a block or so, then I would stop and lean on T for support, then we would resume walking until the next contraction.
We returned to the birth center at 7:15. I laid on my side on the bed to try to catch what little rest I could between contractions. I remember having one insanely strong one and saying to my midwives and T, “It won't stop! Why is this contraction going on forever?” They assured me that it was because our baby would be born very soon.
My water broke at 8:07, and I sat on the birth stool at 8:08. After 6 minutes of very intense pushing, our daughter was born at 8:14 PM, weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and measuring 20 inches long with a 13 ½ inch head. I birthed the placenta at 8:27 and T cut the cord at 8:30.
We had planned to go home after a few hours, but we ended up staying overnight at the birth center because Baby Girl's breathing was a little fast. We arrived home around 1:30 PM the next day and introduced Baby Girl to her brother, sister, grandma, and grandpa. Baby Girl is doing great, and we're so thankful for her.