For Part 1
After a check to see where we were and a quick sweep of the membranes (which wasn't as bad as I feared), they gave me some homeopathics to take, ummm, not orally.
I had 4 vials and was to take 1 every half-hour. Then they left and I was to call if I needed them.
I think they left about 1pm.
Shortly after taking the first vial contractions started. Not too hard and not real regular, but definitely contractions. By the time I took the third vial they were hard enough that I had to breathe through them and they were 2-3 minutes apart and 50-60 seconds long. No one in the house really noticed, I'm sure everyone thought it was way too soon for anything to be going on. I had told myself it would be at least midnight, and I couldn't seem to get that timeframe out of my head. I kept thinking, "How am I ever going to get to midnight? They are so hard and coming so quickly!" I sent Hailey to find a watch, so I could see if they were as close as they seemed. My mom started timing and was pretty surprised.
About then the midwives called to check on me. I told them I hadn't taken the 4th vial, but that they should probably come back. It was about 2:30 PM.
They came on back and hung out for a little while. They also gave me some tips for getting through the contractions and gave me blessed relief through counter-pressure on my hip bones. That was pretty amazing. The birth ball was also a surprising blessing. I had picked one up at their recommendation, but really didn't think I would use it. But it was sooo much more comfortable than anywhere else.
Mike worked on setting up the pool. He was rushing around and I'm thinking "You can relax a little, we have hours!"
I went ahead and had them check me again because the contractions seemed so hard and they were coming so quickly. I was at 8cm, 9 during a contraction. It was time to get in the pool :)
Once I was in the pool there was a little lull in the contractions. It was just what I had prayed for. Time to catch my breath and gear up mentally a little bit. I had prayed for a short labor, a little baby, and the ability to remain focused. God was so gracious to me. Although, I was pretty taken aback at how fast everything seemed to be moving. The bathroom was dark, with candles for light and everyone did pretty good about being quiet. Only a few reminders were needed :) And the midwives left me alone a lot, which was really good. The girls were there, but they were good about fading into the background :)
At 4:30 PM our sweet little baby made his entrance into the world! Born in the pool into daddy's hands. We all commented on how tiny the baby was. But most surprising was the fact that IT WAS A BOY! Mike and I were SURE it was a girl! But God has blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. So, now the count is 5 boys, 3 girls. Hailey says there is still time to even it up :)
The midwives didn't share our opinion that he was small, and after weighing him, I guess they were right :0 He is 9 lbs 3 1/2 oz. and 21 1/2" long. His head and chest were 14".
He also has a headful of hair (none of my babies have had any hair). At first they thought it looked red, but it isn't. It's light brown right now.
The cord was wrapped around his neck twice, and he delivered with his hand next to his face, so he is pretty bruised up, but he is beautiful!
The placenta didn't want to come, and that ended up taking quite a bit of effort. And the after-birth pains are...well intense doesn't begin to describe them, but we are all healthy and well, and ever so grateful. It is wonderful to have a new little baby in the house.