For two weeks I had been having hard cramping that felt like Braxton Hicks. Then my husband and I were having a late dinner when all of a sudden, it felt like a giant rubber band snapped in my pelvis. I sounded a great "whoa" and went down on my knees so I didn't get the recliner wet. My husband looked at me with anticipation and asked "water?", I replied "yep" and he ran and got me a towel. The clock was around 9:20pm.
After that I went to the bathroom and almost immediately after I sat on the toilet I started having hard contractions. I knew this was the real thing because these contractions felt completely different from the cramping. These felt like waves in my belly. I told my husband to call TL (friend acting as Doula) because it was getting intense already.
I sat on the couch for another 30 minutes, trying to breathe through the contractions until TL arrived. TL arrived and I got a pillow to lean on and I rested over the arm of the couch while TL massaged my lower back. (I look back now and I don't know how I would have managed without her.) Soon, the waves got stronger and more intense. It felt like I slipped into an altered state and all I could focus on was the massaging and riding the waves.
I remember starting to moan at this point and feeling nauseous. I barked out one line commands like "water" or "ice". I couldn't decide on whether I needed ice or water, and instead settled on throwing up in the bowl. The contractions became even more intense and the waves stronger. I moved to squatting on the couch cushions and laying my forehead on the back of couch. TL started giving me pressure on my sacrum and it felt wonderful. By this point my only thought was "I can't do 10 more hours of this." It wasn't even so much the pain as it was the feeling of adrenaline that made me shake and felt overwhelming. The only thing grounding me was the now constant pressure and massage on my sacrum.
It got even more intense and then I moved to a full squat on the ground and rested my head on the couch cushions. It was then that I suddenly felt like my pelvis was moving and I realized... I had to push. I yelled to my husband "Call the midwife I have the urge to push!" Immediately followed by frantic questions from my husband that I didn't have the mind power to answer. As if in a trance I just got up and walked into the bathroom.
When I got to the bathtub I turned it on and hopped in nightgown and all. At this point it felt like squatting or kneeling were the only comfortable positions. So, I braced myself by holding on the sides of the tub and balanced on my knees. Still TL applied pressure to my sacrum and it kept me grounded. The urge to push was immense. I recall my husband running in the bathroom with the cordless phone and saying he had my midwife on the phone. I tried to huff through a push to hold it in and my whole body trembled. It felt like the baby was very low in my pelvis, so I reached down and I felt the tippy top of his soft little head not far inside.
I announced it and my husband relayed the info to my midwife over the phone. She told him to check and he said he thought it was the cord because it was so soft. I disagreed and the midwife asked if it pulsed, if not it wasn't the cord. A few more uncontrollable pushes and he crowned, definitely not the cord! The midwife asked what position I was in and as soon as she heard I was squatting she said to lay on my back. Then told my husband he was going to deliver the baby! To no avail the pushes kept coming and I felt the ring of fire. As soon as the bulk of his head was out he turned and shot out like a torpedo. My husband reached down, scooped up the baby and laid him on my chest. After a few pats on the back he pinked up and slept on my chest till the midwife arrived. (5 more minutes) It was now 11:30pm....my labor was only 2 hours long and I was entered in my midwife's guiness book for fastest birth for a first time mother. :-) No tears either, just a skidmark.
I look back now and I wouldn't change a thing. It was so empowering to have an unassisted birth. Our bodies truly do know what to do, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!