After 42 weeks of pregnancy, lots of walking (ok some walking), drinking various herbs, membrane stripping and listening to advice from just about everyone regarding how to start my labor, I finally gave in and drank a bottle of castor oil on the 294th day of my pregnancy. 5 hours later, active labor started. I put my two daughters to bed just as labor was starting and hoped that they would fall asleep fast. I had always thought that when it finally started it was going to go fairly quickly and it seemed like it got intense right away. So around 10:30pm I had my husband call my good friend who was going to photograph the labor and birth and our midwives. Everyone showed up around 11:30 pm.
When I was checked, I was 4cm dilated. My first instinct was to get discouraged at that low number but instead I convinced myself that my body was working really hard and it would still move quickly. In the beginning, I moved around the house a lot trying to get comfortable. Eventually though I wanted to stay in our bedroom and labor pretty much on my own. My husband knows how I am in labor so he was there when I needed his presence and backed off when he sensed I didn’t. I kept asking when I could get into the birth tub but I couldn’t until I was at least 6 cms.
Finally around 1am (at least I think that’s what time it was!) I got into the tub. I was already in transition at that point so the water provided little relief. Every symptom of transition that you read about, I felt like I was having. My legs were trembling uncontrollably and it was driving me crazy! I asked one of my midwives to break my amniotic sac so that we could move it along a little. She did and I instantly felt like I needed to push. It is amazing the almost primal urges your body experiences in trying to get the baby out. Nothing else matters at that point. The baby had a little trouble coming out, due to his big size. I had to move into several positions to try and help him and finally he was out! All 9lbs 5ozs, 22ins of sweet baby boy. I am so thankful to have been able to give birth to my son in our home with the support of my husband and our wonderful midwives, and to have an amazing photographer to capture it all.