After stopping at the playground for a little while, we all headed home for lunch and a nap. On the drive home I had a couple of contractions that felt a little stronger and different. They were still really mild, but noticeable and felt more like real contractions, starting low in the belly and wrapping around to my back. After I put Madeline down for her nap I gave my dad a few babysitting instructions, made myself lunch and went upstairs to take a nap. Unfortunately I had so many things running through my mind that I wasn't able to sleep. So instead I ran myself a bath and soaked in the tub. Heavenly!
At 2:30pm I was hanging out in bed, resting and watching tv when I felt a contraction that was so intense that I had to stand up to work through it. It was like flipping a switch and suddenly my labor was on. I called Erik at work and told him that I thought labor was starting and I wanted him to come home. I wasn't having consistent contractions yet but the ones I was having were very strong. I called my midwife and doula to let them know that things were starting. Erik arrived home around 3pm and found me in the bathroom vocalizing through a contraction. I was so happy to see him because in the last 15 minutes my labor went from irregular to contractions every 4-5 minutes, each one lasting over a minute and very strong. Erik freaked a little seeing how hard I was already working. He realized, though I did not at the time, that I was pretty far into labor. All I wanted at the time was some counter-pressure on my back but Erik was busy trying to get the bed ready and putting plastic and towels down on the floor.
Things moved really quickly and by 3:40pm, Erik called my midwives and doula and asked them to come over. Jamin, La Shel and Kani all arrived at one time around 4pm as I was stepping in the shower trying to get some relief from these crazy contractions. After only a few minutes in the shower I wanted to get in the bath to try and relieve some of the pressure in my back. I told my doula, Kani, that these contractions were way too intense for this early in labor. I had been a little worried about how I would handle labor this time around and I really thought I was just being a weeny about the pain. I realize now looking back that I was in transition and everyone knew it but me. I was only in the bath for a few minutes when I started feeling pushy. So I got out of the bath and made my way over to the bed. I was standing next to the bed, leaning over a big pile of pillows when my water broke. My midwife checked me at this point and I was 8cm! Thank God! I climbed on the bed and spend the next 20 minutes on my side vocalizing very loudly through my contractions while my wonderful doula put counter-pressure on my back. I absolutely loved her for that. Then my body started involuntarily pushing at the peak of each contraction. When I asked if it was okay that I was pushing, I was reassured that it was fine and just to follow what my body was telling me. After a few more contractions like this, my body was full out pushing and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was, and still am, absolutely amazed by the power of my body and this involuntary pushing. I could feel my baby moving down with each push. 10 minutes and 3 contractions later I birthed my 8lb 3 oz baby girl into my midwife's hands. She was immediately placed on my chest and in my arms. I saw her take her first breath and make her first cry in my arms. It was love at first sight! She was so big and beautiful and had tons of vernix on her back. Linnea Mae was born after a crazy and intense 2 and 1/2 hour labor on May 26th at 5:01pm.