And… for the short version.
Wednesday I went to my midwife's appointment to find out I was dilated to a 6, 100% effaced and baby was at a +1. Or, in other words, I was very progressed. I hadn't really been feeling contractions, so I was surprised. We decided to schedule a natural induction, so that my sister, Jalin, could come and be there for the birth.
Thursday evening Heather (the midwife) and her team of three others showed up at my house for the home birth, as well as my doula, Carrie. Jalin was there ready to blog the whole thing. BJ's sister, Jessa, was there to photograph. Just before we got the induction started, my water broke on its own. Good thing everyone was already there, because only 2.5 hours later, Abigail was born!
I had about another 20-30 minutes without feeling any contractions, and then I went on a walk and they hit pretty hard and fast. I only managed to down stairs, around the kitchen once, then back up to my room, stopping several times to breathe through contractions on the way. I sat on the birth ball for 15ish minutes while I waited for the birthing tub to finish filling up, then got in there for the rest of the labor.
Carrie and the rest of the birth team did a fabulous job of helping me stay comfortable. Someone (or sometimes up to three someones) was constantly massaging me and for most of it, someone kept a cold washcloth on my neck. BJ was right there with me, holding my hand, kissing me, and telling me I was amazing. It was very special to have him right there, focused on me, and keeping me strong.
I was able to breathe through contractions the whole way through. Towards the end my breathing became more and more labored, and finally came the overwhelming urge to push. Then out came Abigail! I held her in the tub for awhile until my placenta came out, then we transferred to our bed where we were wrapped in towels to keep warm. I was able to breastfeed fairly quickly and it was nice to be able to cuddle with BJ and Abby right away.
Would I do a home birth again? Absolutely!
And you didn't think I could write an abridged story about anything, did you? Well, ha! Shows you!