When I got married, my husband and I knew that we wanted to have children right away. I won't go into the details of our decision (okay, truthfully there aren't that many details about our decision, we just knew that's what we wanted to do). So when I found out I was pregnant 2 months after being married, we were thrilled. My first pregnancy was pretty much a breeze. Yes, I was sick and tired and all of those things that come along with a pregnancy, but nothing really out of the ordinary. I had a very normal, healthy pregnancy. We found a wonderful nurse midwife and had read a book given to me by a friend on natural birthing. I read up on all of the things that I wanted/didn't want. We wanted a natural, drug free birth without the use of any added unnecessaries. (We read this book, if you're curious, although I definitely took some things in there with a grain of salt)
So about a month before my due date, we went to a conference a couple of hours from home. We stayed at a dear couple's house while attending the conference. The second night of the conference, I had contractions for a few hours in the night. When I woke up in the morning, the contractions were gone and I had slept some of the night. The lady we stayed with commented, "I prayed for you last night! I just thought you might have a baby last night!" She knew nothing of my contractions, but it was very cool that the Lord had prompted her to pray.
Two more weeks went by. I woke up on a Sunday morning thirteen days before my due date with very light contractions. I knew they were contractions but told myself (like every other mother-to-be) that it was probably nothing. It was just my body getting ready, practicing for the real thing, blah, blah, blah. So we went to church and at church I continued to have contractions, some which I had to stop and breathe through. I consider this labor, but I still don't count this as real labor. Maybe some people do, but this was nothing to write home about. After church we had lunch with some friends, then I went home to take a nap. My husband snoozed away, but my contractions starting picking up. This was around 2:00pm. From 2:00 until around 5:00, I was in "real" labor. Hard contractions 2-3 minutes apart, at least 45 seconds long. I chose to do this laboring at home instead of go to the hospital. I was more comfortable at home and thought I'd be able to tell when I was close. Plus we lived 2 minutes from the hospital. We could make it in plenty of time. Or so we thought . .
Around 5:15 we decided that we should probably make our way to the hospital. We had gone back and forth trying to decide which stage of labor I was in. In the book we read, when describing the stages, they said, "you'll know when you are getting close to transition because you won't want to be laughing or joking around. You'll be serious, all business." (paraphrased) So my husband is cracking jokes and I'm still laughing. So I'm thinking, maybe it's going to get much worse than this. I'm still laughing at his jokes!
When we were first married, we lived in a second floor apartment. So when we decided to go to the hospital, it took awhile to get down that long flight of stairs in labor. The ride to the hospital was supposed to only take a couple of minutes, but with every bump I'd have a contraction and had to have my husband pull over. It took a little while to get there.
We made it to the hospital, got wheeled to the Womens Care center and made it to our room. They asked if I'd like to get into the whirlpool. No, thank you, I'm fine. Nurses in and out of the room, asking questions. One of the nurses checked me and said, "honey, your water is close to breaking."
So - this is the funny part. She stands at the end of the bed kind of holding something up like a water balloon is about to burst, saying "it's gonna be a gusher! it's gonna be a gusher!"
I have one contraction and out comes baby! Her head came with the water intact and then her shoulders broke the water. No pushing that I recall, although I'm sure it had to have been at least one push for baby to come out. No midwife, just the "gusher" nurse (saying, "BABY! BABY!") and my husband in the room at the time. Lest you think this is just a Kentucky thing with no qualified nurses around (;-)), I think she was just an exuberant nurse. I was actually very happy to have her there, funny comments and all.
Our first little one was just 6 and 1/2 lbs. A teeny tiny little thing. Right after she was born and they handed her to me, she did the sweetest thing: her eyes were open wide and she didn't cry; she just looked at my husband and I as if she were finally coming face to face with the voices she had been getting to know for 9 months.