I woke up at 2:30 AM the morning of December 15th feeling what seemed like heavy menstrual cramps, but they started in my back and slowly moved around. They were coming every 7 minutes or so and were just barely too uncomfortable to sleep through. Doc was sleeping still and I didn't want to wake him up if it was more prelabor or false labor, so I waited an hour to make sure that they were still coming regularly and that they were becoming increasingly intense. At 3:30 I woke him up and he laid with me, beginning to time contractions. They were becoming bad enough that I wasn't a huge fan of talking during them, but between contractions we would joke with each other and share kisses, smiling and anticipating the within-the-day arrival of our baby. Soon I got the hang of managing through contractions pretty well, and Doc went into FULL FLEDGED SUPERDAD NESTING MODE! I have never seen my house so spotless! He did laundry, dishes, cleaned, vaccuumed, all while I rested between contractions and he would come when one started to rub my lower back and help me through them as they grew stronger.
I called my family at 6:30 to let them know that the baby would be arriving today and I was in labor for real now. Doc checked my dialation and I had gone to 2 cm.
Progression + contractions = baby coming :)
We called the midwife just to let her know that I was in labor. She asked for continued updates as things progressed, but it was still going to be a while, so no worries yet.
We called our dogsitter and shipped A.C.E. our dog off to play with his friends around 8 and my contractions had progressed to being only 4 minutes apart. I moved a ton during labor, walking in the hall, leaning over things, using a birth ball, sitting, laying on my side, etc. I ate and drank a little, but found my appetite to increasingly disappear.
By 11:30 they were 2 minutes apart and extremely intense, but I had only dialated to a 4. We called the midwife again and she sent her apprentice out to see us at 2:00pm. The apprentice checked me, watched me for a while and commented "well, you're in real labor. It's odd that a first time mom calls us to say she's in labor and actually is the first time we come out." I went from a 4 to a 6 in 1 hour after that. The contractions were severe enough at this point that I couldn't keep my breathing regular through the entire thing. Soon I started feeling an urge to push. My bag of waters was pushing down hard, giving me an urge to push even though it wasn't time yet and making the contractions more severe.
My midwife arrived and began to set up for the birth. I slowly dialated from a 6 to an 8 and then finally a 10 by 6:00 pm. I had to push to get the rest of my cervix to open up, but cleared my cervix and was ready to push. My water broke with the first pushing contraction.
Pushing was way harder than I anticipated. There was a wall of pain that you had to push through to actually push well enough to cause progress. It was really hard to push when you knew it was going to cause more and more pain until you got to the point that you were pushing correctly. I also was really upset that I didn't get a pain break because between contractions, my midwife would stretch me and that hurt as bad as the contractions did.
2 and a half hours later, Evelyn was trying to crown by my perineum was not going to stretch and budge. She offered to cut an episiotomy and I told her yes before she even finished the sentence. With the next contraction she cut as I pushed. I could feel her cut, but it didn't hurt much compared to everything else I was going through. With the next contraction, I pushed Evelyn through crowning, then through shoulders, and then the rest of her beautiful body slid out. She was placed on my abdomen and immediately looked at me with these beautiful gray eyes. I couldn't believe I got through it. After 18 hours of labor and delivery, I gave birth to my daughter at home in my bed in the loving arms of my husband. She weighted 9 lbs which is why it took me so long pushing, why her head wasn't fitting without help, and why my labor took so long to progress. She is 21 inches long, latches like a pro, and is one healthy little girl according to the pediatrician she saw today.