I was pleased to find out I was 3-4cm upon arrival. That was encouraging because I knew my contractions had been doing something. It wasn't until noon that the midwife broke my waters. But when she did- Niagra Falls. The amount of fluid! It was such a nice release. Surprisingly nothing much happened after that. I expected the contractions to hit intensely like they had in my last labor when my water broke. Instead Ed, Teresa (my wonderful doula) and I just sat around and chatted. We periodically inquired about the woman in the tub room to gage when I'd go in. We learned around 3pm that she'd given birth and that the room would be available shortly.
That was when I started feeling consistent contractions. Nothing intense, just a pattern and caught my attention. Just before 4pm I noticed a distinct change and contractions became more intense. I was having to close my eyes and breath through them. Up to that point I just enjoyed listening to Ed and Teresa talk while I had one. Nice distraction. But now I was "working." Up to this point I wouldn't even say they hurt-just lots of pressure. It was after one particularly strong one that I said : "I need to get in the tub." Just then the nurse came in and said they were filling it now. I had another couple powerful ones and then Ed helped me shuffle down the hall to our waterbirth room. His job was make sure my gown didn't flap open and reveal my rump while getting to our room. LOL
I got straight into the tub and knew I had hit transition. The contractions took over and I could only surrender to them. I just floated on my side and let the water hold me while the contraction peaked. I had a handful like that and then felt the need to get on my knees with my hands draped over the tub. They became stronger and stronger. I started doubting myself and really needed Teresa to look at me and vocalize with me. Ed kept putting icy cold washcloths on my neck and head. That was so nice. Then during the peak of one of these contractions I felt "pushy." Then the next one there was no mistake: I was pushing! I could feel Shepherd move down into the birth canal. I told Tersea he was coming. She told me to reach down and feel if he was there. I did and could feel his head just inside. "I feel him!" They got Margaret (my midwife) and I started to really bear down. He moved down quickly and the next two pushes I felt the all famous "ring of fire." I didn't realize I was crowning and just kept thinking: why is it stinging? Margaret was like: "His head is half way out." Oh! By then I was so motivated to get him out I just pushed with all my might. His head was born. Then I pushed again and felt his shoulders, body and legs be born. I would have never thought that was a cool feeling, but it really was. I turned around and Margaret brought him up out of the water and into my arms. It was the most amazing feeling in the world.
Shepherd Avery Gordon was born at 5:24pm (After only an hour and a half of noticeable labor). He weighed 8 lb, 6oz. 19 inches long (shorty).