The Schmoopadoo has arrived! His name is Jonah Thomas, and he came into the world at 10:32 AM Thursday morning. He has a shock of black hair, full little lips and no eyebrows. He weighed 7lb, 14 oz. and was 20 3/4" long.
And now for the specifics:
My water broke some time between 2:50 and 3:00 AM. Thursday. As it turns out, the husband had JUST made up the bed according to the midwife's instructions: clean sheets, covered by a waterproof pad, covered by older sheets on top. The husband was in bed with the Schmoopette in her bed, and the Schmoop had come into our bed after looking for lip balm in our bathroom (he has perpetually chapped lips) and conking out after giving me a hug in bed. All of a sudden, I felt a lot of fluid gushing out and called the husband to bring me a towel. (Thank God for the bag of Depends I had bought -- thanksto an online friend for the tip! -- in preparation for the lochia after birth.) I went back to bed, but I couldn't really sleep, seeing as even the tiniest movement meant a geyser of fluid coming out of my body.
At around 6:30, I started feeling mild contractions. Nothing major, so I waited another hour to call my midwife at around 7:30. She said to call back in another hour or so to see if the contractions were getting harder/longer. Shortly after talking to her, the kids got up, and I decided to go to "birth central" -- i.e. the basement rec-room. We knew we could send E on the bus, which stops RIGHT in front of our house, at 8:45, but getting D to pre-school was trickier. I had found someone to bring her home, but not drop her off. Somewhere around this time, the husband half-filled our rented birth tub and decided to take D himself, since my contractions were longer but still manageable. I just kept staring at my labor candle and listening to my labor playlist on iTunes.
The husband left at around 9:00. I was alone, but I felt fine. My contractions at this point were requiring the birth ball to manage, but I still didn't think I was very far along. I filled the rest of the tub, thinking I'd want to start laboring there soon. Joey, my amazing midwife, called at 9:16 to say she was on her way, and the husband got home at 9:30. I got in the tub at around 9:45. I told the husband the contractions were closer together and more intense, but that they didn't feel like I was close to transitioning.
When Joey arrived at around 10, I was having to close my eyes, visualize, and hang off the side of the tub to relax during my contractions. I asked if she should check me, and she said "OK," but she wanted to take my temp and get the baby's heartbeat first. Then she asked where some of the birth supplies were, and got a few things ready. I had a couple of contractions more and then said: "I feel like I have to push," but the husband had inexplicably gone upstairs, so I was clinching my legs. He came down and mentioned going to rearrange the carseats in the minivan, and I just shook my head no -- I couldn't talk during my contractions anymore!
At approximately 10:20, the birth assistant/doula Bobbie arrived. I can't say for sure, because I wasn't really paying attention to the time. At 10:22 or so, I moved into a kneeling position, holding on to the side of the tub. I just let my body take control and push when I needed to push and rest when I needed to rest. Joey and Bobbie were incredibly supportive, telling me I was doing a great job, to just relax and push whenever I felt like it. I remember asking if the baby had crowned, and in another moment feeling his head when Bobbie said to feel for myself.
I could feel ever sensation as his head moved down, crowned, and emerged. Then the shoulders and the body slipped out. I reached down, turned around and put him to my chest. It was amazing. I smiled, cried, and remember saying, quite selfishly, "I did it!" The first time Joey had to touch me was to help me move my leg, as I had twisted the cord around it when I turned over! I never had an internal, an IV, mandatory fetal monitoring or any of the other interventions I had experienced at my first birth at a hospital-attached birth center. Despite having had two natural, unmedicated births, this was my most satisfying, which is appropriate, since it was my last.