I went into labor at 7:30pm on the 29th of December.

I remember laying on the couch feeling a tightening in my stomach. It felt different from anything I’d experienced before. Not painful, just new. I decided to ignore it and continued to watch TV with my husband while timing my contractions when they came. From 7:30 to 9:30 the contractions were 20 minutes apart.

At 9:30 I asked my husband if we could go for a walk. At this point, I was certain that I was in labor. As we walked I told him that I was having contractions. At this point, they were 10 minutes apart. I got excited because I felt things were moving rather quickly.

Shortly after our walk, we decided to go to bed to make sure I could get some rest. By 1:30 am the contractions were strong enough and close enough together that I could no longer sleep. They came every 4 to 6 minutes and were strong enough to need my full attention. In between contractions, my husband and I played board games and talked about how excited we were to meet our little man. At 5am we called my midwife thinking I was in active labor. I had been having contractions every 4 minutes for 4 hours at that point and was absolutely exhausted. Unfortunately, my body was actually just trying to get our son to turn around in the womb. My midwife told me to rest as much as possible and that she’d come to check on us later in the day.

Thankfully, my contractions spaced out to about 15 minutes apart. I was able to rest for about 2 hours. At 11 am our midwife came and checked on us. After 16 hours of labor, I was only 3cm and 70% effaced. She gave us stretches to do to get baby boy in position and told us to call her again when my demeanor had changed and I had gone into “labor land.”

Shortly after our midwife left, we began doing the stretches she recommended.

I was exhausted, but I was ready to meet our baby. Contractions continued to grow stronger and with each one, my husband provided counterpressure, reminded me to breathe, and continued to encourage me. We shared lots of laughs as I encouraged him in between contractions, that he could do it, his arms were not going to give up on him. (He ended up dislocating his shoulder providing counter pressure.)

From about 12 pm to 3 pm, contractions came every 4 minutes. They were strong, but I continued to talk and laugh through them. My husband continued to check in with our midwife and she encouraged me to get in a warm bath for some relief. That’s when things really started to pick up.

After sitting in the bath for about 20 minutes, contractions began to come every 3 minutes. My husband alerted our midwife and she showed up at around 5. Once here, our midwives helped set up the tub and made sure we were comfortable. Every once in a while they’d check in to make sure both my husband and I were eating and drinking, but aside from that, they let us have our space. It was truly beautiful being able to labor with my husband in our home.

Finally, around 8:30pm I felt the urge to push.

I was still talking through contractions, so my midwife encouraged me to breathe through the urges. My midwife encouraged me to have some contractions on the toilet, and as soon as I sat down, my water broke. She checked to see if she could see his head, and she could! We transferred to the birth pool right away.

Getting into the birthing tub was like stepping into heaven. I didn’t have much time to bask in the warmth before the urge to push took over again. I remember telling my midwife that I wasn’t even trying to push, that my body was just taking over. On my hands and knees, after 26 hours of labor and 26 minutes of pushing, my son entered the world like a rocket. I reached down and pulled my sweet babe out of the water and into my arms.

My son had his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck and once around his body, so with him on my chest, the midwives stepped in to unwrap him and help him take his first breath. His eyes were open immediately, and after what felt like an eternity, he let out his first cry. Immediately he grabbed my necklace. “Those are the birthstones of your brother and sister in heaven,” I told him, emotional about the sweet moment. I looked at my husband and smiled, our sweet son in my arms.

Shortly after delivering my son, I delivered my placenta and was helped out of the tub. Our midwives let us have a couple of hours to just bond with our baby while they cleaned everything up.

After about 2 hours, our midwife came in and helped my husband cut the cord and then checked my son out. He was 5 lbs 12 oz and 19.5 inches of pure perfection.

Afterward, my midwife let me know that I had a 3rd-degree tear and would need to go to the hospital for stitches. My husband stayed home with the baby and off to the hospital I went. Finally, at 5am I returned home and our new family of 3 went to bed.

Homebirth was certainly one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.