My due date was June 3. That night I woke up with menstrual-like cramps. When I went to the bathroom, I discovered I was passing a little bit of blood. I tried not to jump to conclusions since I knew that these were signs that could appear days before labor actually begins. I woke up on and off through the night with cramps.
About 6:00 in the morning, Sunday, June 4, my contractions began. They were 4-5 minutes apart! My husband and I were both surprised by this since we were expecting labor to begin very slowly and gradually. This was nothing like the first-time labors we'd read about!! Throughout the morning, I experienced painful back labor, but not unbearable. When I had established that there was a pattern to my contractions, I called my midwife and my doula.
My water broke at 9:30 a.m., and my doula arrived soon after that. The midwife arrived around 10:00. By shortly after 11:00, I was fully dilated. I pushed for the next four hours (hardest work I've ever done!), but my helpers (especially hubby!) were fantastic--I could never have done it without them! I was so swollen that I kept pushing the baby's head partly out, and then it would go back in after the contraction ended. At last, I pushed the baby out to the ears. A few more pushes, and out she came!!
WOW!! It's like nothing else a woman can experience in life, isn't it?! Rachel Renee was born at 3:13 p.m. She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and 21 inches long. She was worth every minute of labor!! After hearing that the average labor for a first-time mom is 12-24 hours, I felt really fortunate to have a 9 hour labor. Guess all those hours on the treadmill paid off!