We could not have asked for a better experience than we had! Everything was perfect. Shortly after putting Lydia to bed on July 6, I began labor. I had been having irregular contractions for a few days, but knew this was IT. I spent some time in the shower, squatting while Don held the shower head on my back. That really helped the bit of back labor I had as she turned into an optimal position.
I told Don to call our midwife and the rest of our birth team so they knew what was going on. Goldie, our midwife, decided to come over right then. I continued in the shower and walking to get things moving.
I decided I wanted to watch a movie, so we popped in "How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days" while I sat on my yoga ball. I'd heard lots of people enjoyed the yoga ball during birth. I did NOT! It made everything painful. So, I leaned my upper body on it while on my knees on the floor. That felt good.
Goldie got to our house and told me I should try and rest since it was late at night and I had a lot of work ahead of me. I propped myself on the couch with pillows and blankets and started focusing.
I had read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth a couple times, so I concentrated on keeping my throat open, following sphincter law. I knew if I relaxed my body would do the work with less pain. I had intense contractions, but not much pain for most of my labor. At one point, I looked at Goldie and said "I'm afraid I'm not relaxing enough." She assured me I was doing fine and I was able to relax even more then.
Goldie went into the spare room to get some rest while Don and I stayed in the living room. I drifted in and out of sleep for a while. I slept between contractions, then woke up and focused on my relaxation. It was all very peaceful.
After a while (I have no idea timelines because I was in labor-land the whole time), I began to tighten my throat, so I began to vocalize. Moaning a low and deep moan allowed me to keep my throat loose. I knew I was getting too tense when my voice was higher. I told Don to go get Goldie up because I was getting closer to transition and wanted to get into the birth pool.
She came out and had Don help her get everything ready. Our birth team began to arrive and get settled in. At one point, I came out of labor-land enough to announce that I was NOT in pain and my noise was for concentration only. My sister-in-law assured me that I didn't sound like I was in pain, I sounded great.
I got into the pool and things started moving quickly after that. During transition, I decided I was done and wanted drugs. I just couldn't do it anymore. After that contraction, I knew I was ready and nearly there. I was aware that I would have to feel at my limit before the baby would come. I reached my limit, had a rest, and with the next contraction the hardest work started.
I began to push without trying as my breath
ing adjusted itself, turning to a pant when I needed to slow my pushing in order to stretch. I asked for someone to get me a cool washcloth and my sister-in-law obliged. My best friend took some beautiful photographs as we welcomed Charlotte Josephine into the world at 5:30 am on July 7, 2010. I could not be happier to have had such a wonderful birth. I was not bothered in my own process, we never checked my dilation or anything. I was free to birth how I wanted. I am forever indebted to my wonderful midwife and family for the support they gave me.