Leading up to Collier's birth, I joked that he could come on Friday or after. We had been finishing up projects and were still getting things ready so I didn't mind waiting the extra days for him to come. We went to bed Thursday night, just like normal. I still hadn't had a single contraction to date. But at 1 am, I woke up to a dull ache in my lower abdomen...just like with Rilo. I laid in bed for an hour thinking about how I had planned on mopping my floors and going grocery shopping Friday morning so that I would be totally ready. I was a little disappointed my plans were being put aside, but all in the name of a sweet little baby. I wondered if this labor would be like Rilo's labor...I only hoped it would be a little shorter. I didn't know if I was mentally ready for another 28 hours. Around 2AM I decided that the contractions were definitely continuing and I better get the house as ready as possible. So I threw in a load of laundry and picked up around the house.
I had started timing my contractions using my iPhone. They were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting around 45 seconds. This didn't seem unusual to me though. I had contractions every 2-5 minutes for 45 seconds throughout Rilo's long 28 hour labor. After picking up around the house, I hopped in the shower to relax and mentally prepare for what was to come. The shower wasn't quite as relaxing as I was hoping though. I was having to concentrate much more through each contraction. As I dried off, I realized that they were getting increasingly more intense...much more intense than any contractions I had experienced with Rilo, even at the end of her labor. I called the hotline for my midwives at 4:15AM and spoke with someone on the phone. She asked how long I'd been in labor, how long the contractions were lasting and how long were the intervals. Through this brief conversation, I had to ask 2 or 3 times to pause so I could breathe through a contraction. She told me she would call back with instructions.
In the meantime I called my Mom to let her know he was definitely coming. As we were talking, the contractions were growing even stronger. We would pause and then continue once it was over. "These are coming fast. I think you better head there soon" was my Mom's advice. The midwife called back to let me know I should head to the birth center in a half an hour. I woke up Adam and had him pack my bag, which I still hadn't done. I told him to call our friends Puck and Jess. One of them was going to come over and stay with Rilo until she woke up. As he was on the phone with them, I knew that if we waited the 15 minutes for them to get to our house, I wouldn't make it. I had him hang up and call our friend Allison, who only lives 3 minutes away.
At this point, I was starting to panic. I had never felt this kind of intensity through Rilo's labor. My body was totally taking over and all I could do was breathe and remain as relaxed as possible. As I hunched over our bed, breathing deeply, several thoughts were flashing through my head. "If I'm not about to have this baby and I have to relax through hours more of this, I don't know if I'll make it." "I think I might have this baby here...and I really don't want to have to pay for an ambulance bill." I couldn't grasp what was occurring. Was this only the beginning or could I really be near the end? My whole body was shaking through the contractions. I was so confused and confused isn't something I had planned on experiencing this time around.
Allison arrived and I sent Adam to put everything in the car. As I saw Allison, I remember saying "This is way more intense than last time". She walked me to the car and more thoughts flashed through my head. Would I deliver this baby in the car? Would a cop be less expensive than an ambulance bill? We had already paid in full for this birth so apparently the idea of having to pay more was really bothering me (oh the things you think when you're in labor). Adam asked me if I wanted him to speed, which I emphatically told him "yes!". By some sort of miracle, my contractions seemed to spread apart during the car ride. I was feeling in control again. As we sailed through each green light, I knew we would at least make it there. We arrived at the birth center at 5AM.
We walked through the doors and I was so happy with my decision to deliver there, as opposed to the hospital like last time. The lights were dimmed and the mood was calm. There was a midwife and several student midwives waiting to greet me. They took me into the room to check my blood pressure, temperature and to quickly monitor the baby's heartbeat. I was hunched over the bed, breathing deeply so they were having a hard time finding his heartbeat. Not finding the heartbeat is always the worst thing, however they reassured me it was because he was so low and I was hunched over. They had me lay down on the bed briefly so they could monitor him through a contraction. He was handling each contraction perfectly. Then they checked to see how far I was. "She's complete" the student midwife called to the midwife. The two best possible words I could have heard at that time. As they helped me up, I looked to Adam and said " I think I need to push".
Adam escorted me to the huge jetted tub. I've never felt such sweet relief as I felt when I got in the tub. I rested my head back on Adam's leg, as he sat on the edge. He rubbed my head and I experienced a few minutes of complete relaxation. My body knew I needed a rest before pushing. But just like that, the rest was over and my body was telling me I had no option but to start. I pushed one push and realized quickly it wasn't a good push. You know a good push when you feel it. Not wanting to waste my efforts, I gave it my best. I heard Adam behind me, "Is that his head?". Motivation enough to keep going. I pushed again and the midwife told me grab his head. The instant I felt his head, I knew that this last push better be a good one. I pushed with all that my body had left and pulled him up onto my chest. Instant euphoria. I remember saying something like, "You're here!" followed by a "WOW, that was so fast". I think I was a little in shock. It was 5:23 AM. Only 20 minutes from when I had arrived at the birth center and only 4 hours from when my labor had initially started.
We spent the next little while marveling at this new sweet boy laying on my chest. There was no whisking him away, like my last birth. Instead I just took him in, little by little. We finally got out of the tub, cleaned off and hopped into our big bed, where we could spend more time examining our little man. Later, we would find out he was 7lbs. 15 oz. and 20.5 inches long and absolutely perfect.
After a few stitches, some sleep and lots of checking in on me and Collier, we were able to head home around 11:30AM. I know that seems like madness for some, but that was my biggest annoyance with Rilo's birth. I just wanted to be at home, snuggling in my own bed. So being able to be checked out so early was a huge plus for me. We've been at home, relaxing and adjusting to life as a family of 4. We are already so in love with Collier and we can't imagine life without him! I had such an amazing birth again. So different from Rilo's birth, but just as beautiful and special as the first time and I can honestly say, I can't wait for the next one!