Silas was born on Wednesday night/Thursday morning 5/12 at 12:03 am. He was born at home and was 7 pounds, 9.5 ounces and 20 inches long. It was my hardest labor yet, but I survived!
I was ready to be done being pregnant and my pubic bone and hips had been very painful--I was going the chiropractor once a week and having my husband daily massage the muscles around my hips that were locking up and so tight. At 38 weeks, I started walking a mile every morning and doing these exercises from spinning babies afterward: http://spinningbabies.com/start/in-pregnancy/daily-activities/ (I highly recommend them for those of you still pregnant!)
On Wednesday morning, I woke up, went for my walk, did my exercises and noticed I was having some bloody show. I haven't ever had that in any pregnancy/labor unless I was in hard labor, which I definitely was not. I went the the chiropractor at 10:45, and then came home. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew had decided the day before to drive through CS and visit. I was not excited about having company, so they got a hotel room and got to town about 11:30. I was contracting every 5-10 minutes and they weren't stopping, but we went to lunch with everyone and I made my husband stay home from work to entertain them while I rested in our room to see if it really was labor.
I was finishing up a good book while laboring standing up next to the bed and bouncing on the ball, not really paying attention to my contractions. This was making my husband crazy after my last really fast birth, so he asked my midwife to go ahead and come over and he sent the relatives away and a friend came and got our kids. My midwife and her assistant got here about 3:45 and found that I was 3-4 cm dilated, 90% effaced. I was still contracting really regularly--by now about every 3-5 minutes so she and her assistant got everything set up and ready for the birth.
I labored standing up most of the afternoon/evening--leaning over the bed or counter during contractions or on my knees on the ball. I labored in the bathtub for at least an hour, and when I got out I could not stop shivering and shaking from hormones. I continued to labor standing up and was feeling a lot more pain in my low, low back, so my midwife suggested checking me. At 10 pm, I was still 4 cm. She didn't tell me, but said that since my cervix was still facing my back and I was doing so much forward leaning during contractions, she felt like his head wasn't making enough contact with the cervix as his body was coming so far forward. She wanted me to attempt side-lying and pull/lift my belly upward during contractions. I did this for about half an hour and was feeling so nauseated and my right hip was hurting so much that I couldn't bear to lay down any longer. Contractions seemed to be very close/constant to me and I felt like I was losing control. She checked again at 10:30pm and I was 5-6 cm (again, she didn't tell me a number and I'm surprised I went along with it and didn't demand to know). I had to get up, so she suggested standing up and leaning backward during contractions, specifically tilting my pelvis up and leaning back against my husband. It was excruciating, but after about 30 minutes of that, I was groaning/moaning loudly during the contractions and crying at the peaks and saying I couldn't do it anymore. She checked and I was 9 cm. So, I went from 4-9 in an hour. It was a rough hour.
I felt like I was continuing to loose control, my hip was on fire during every contraction and I was crying/breaking down a lot. Shortly afterward, she asked to see if maybe there was a lip of cervix in the way she could move. There was a tiny lip and she shoved it out of the way. I wasn't getting an urge to push at all, so I had her break my water. I was done, done, done with it. After she broke my water, I sat on the birth stool. My pubic bone was really hurting and my hip was on fire, but I just lightly bore down for two contractions and I could reach inside and feel his head just about a fingertip deep inside. During the next contraction, I had a very strong urge to push and pushed hard and his whole head came out (I've never pushed a head out in one push and you likely won't until your 4th baby, but I don't recommend it, let it crown slowly). My hip was on fire, but I pushed his shoulders and body out in the next push. There was a lot of screaming on my part, so don't feel bad if you are loud in labor. He felt gigantic, but was the same size (7 pounds something) as all my kids.
In hindsight, I think laboring without that awful hip pain would have made it much more of a pleasant experience, but it is over with and he's totally worth it.