My birth stories:
Our first daughter was born in April after 26 hours of labor - from first contraction to delivery. My first contraction was at 9 am ... just after I had nestled back into bed in an attempt to savor the last few days of pregnancy. I labored at home until 7pm, when we left for the hospital. When I arrived, I was only dilated to 2cm. Woopsy. It took another 12 hours to dilate to 10cm. My obstetrician was patient and knew that birth is not something to be rushed. As he told me, "It's your show." At 10:10 am the following day, after 3 hours of pushing (I shouldn't have been on my BACK. During pregnancy, a mother is told to not lie flat on her back, especially for long periods of time. The reason for this is that the weight of the uterus, the baby, the mother's intestines are all putting pressure on the mother's inferior vena cava
. also, when you are lying on your back while pushing, you are working against gravity.) Our daughter was born. She was very purple as her cord was wrapped around her neck (which is very common and not usually a cause for alarm) but we placed her skin-t0-skin with mama and right away she began to turn pink. She was 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 1/2" long.
Our second was born in October after a much shorter labor - 16 hours. At 11pm I felt my first contraction. I was very excited and knew that my excitement could slow my labor. So, I went to bed. I slept off and on until about 4 am. The contractions were coming consistently, but far enough apart that I kept falling asleep while trying to time them. By 6 am, I was pretty sure I should wake everyone up and let people know this was happening: I called my midwife
, woke up my mother (who was sound asleep in the guest room), and broke the news to my husband (who was walking through the door from his coffee-run). My midwife arrived at 9am and I was dilated to 6cm. This was great news! I was pushing by 3:15pm - squatting this time (phew!). And by 4:32pm, our baby was born. My midwife did a fantastic job with the baby's compound presentation - head AND hand presented first. Baby was 8 pounds, 2 ounces and 21 1/4" long (the weight of your baby really won't have any bearing on how your body functions or how much pain you feel). She was pink and alert and instantly looked up at me with alert eyes and gave mama the "gaze