So after going 12 days overdue I finally had my LO, and what an adventure it was!
My due date was the 14th of July and since I had never gone past due with any of my previous four births, I was sure I would have her at least by that day (if not on that day, since my other DD was born on her due date). I knew from early on in my pregnancy that if I was still pregnant past the 19th of July that one of my closest friends would be able to come be a doula for me (which I really wanted, but was sure I wouldn't last that long). I started having contractions in the middle of May, they were quite regular at every 30 minutes, but they weren't strong or painful. Then by beginning of July they were every 10 minutes and more intense, but still not 'labor'. I ended up having at least two nights when the contractions got to about every 2 or 3 minutes and were painful enough to wake me up, but I still wasn't in labor. My due date came and went, the 19th came and went and my friend made plans to come stay with us. One of the two doctors I had been seeing decided on my due date that he wanted me induced no later than one week overdue, so the date of July 21st was set for that. Not wanting to be induced I tried everything short of castor oil (that and sticking a pineapple in my vagina and taking semen orally) to try and start labor. After nothing working and talking with my DH, my midwife, and family about being induced we decided that we wanted to give it another week (since both my DH and I were 2 weeks overdue when we were born). We had two non-stress tests and two ultrasounds (checking the amount of fluid left) which showed everything to be fine still. Finally though the other doctor (the one I saw more regularly and liked better) said we couldn't push back the induction date any more, he wanted me to be induced either Monday, July 27th or Tuesday, July 28th. Well both days were 'booked solid' at L&D so they gave us a date of Wednesday, July 29th. I've been induced twice in the past and really didn't want to go through again, so I started walking like crazy (in the early morning before it got too hot, and in the evening after it cooled down and until it got dark). After it got too hot to walk outside on Sunday, July 26th my DH and I tried some nipple stimulation again and me walking and dancing around the house while my friend took the kids to swim for a few hours. The nipple stimulation really got the contractions started (which it had in the past as well, but it they always slowed down after we had stopped for a while), I kept walking and dancing (my DH even video taped me dancing to 'Twist and Shout' LOL) and the contractions kept coming so we decided that it was time to call the midwife (this was right around 1PM). Well it turned out that she had just gotten back from a 48 hour labor and needed a nap before driving all the way up here (it's about a 2 hour drive). I then called my sister to see if she could come pick up my three older children because we were supposed to be bringing them down to stay with her for a week of camp (which had been planned for Hannah to be born on the 14th, have two weeks of bonding time with all the kids together before they left for camp). She would leave shortly she said. Then I called my mom, but she was in the middle of a project that she needed to finish before leaving. I felt lost and almost betrayed, here I was finally in active labor (and I could feel it moving fast) and no one was on their way, everyone was busy! We started filling the birthing tub (even though my DH thought I was nuts and that it was way too early). My friend got back from swimming with the kids just as we were calling the midwife again to let her know that things were really getting going. She suggested I take a shower. Well in the shower the contractions started coming about one a minute and about a minute apart (it seemed to have actually accelerated the contractions, but it was quite soothing). I got out and went into the back room to get straight into the birthing tub, instructing my 9y/oDD to go get my DH. I told my DH that he needed to call the midwife again that things were getting close. My friend (who is a doula) got the other kids all situated (my 12y/oDS, 10y/oDS, and 22m/oDS, and her 5y/oDD and 23m/oDD) and joined us in the back bedroom. The midwife wanted to talk to me and she said I sounded quite well for being as much in labor as I thought I was in. Well then I started having another contraction and had to pass the phone off, my friend/doula told my DH that the midwife probably would want to hear my contraction so she held the phone up to me as I moaned through it. From there we took turns talking to my midwife and people holding the phone up to me through the contractions. My midwife realized that, yes, I really was that close and had me check myself (I had not been checked for dilation once at any appointment at that time). At the end of my finger I could feel my LO's head in the bag of water. When I told the midwife she said she was pretty sure that I was fully dilated then. My body was also starting to push at this time, which I was still resisting. We decided that it would be better for my midwife to guide us over the phone than to try and drive to us since there was no possible way she was going to make it in time. Along with the pushing contractions I thought my water might have broken, but it turned out that I had just peed LOL, but at that point I hadn't pooped with the contractions (though I definitely had farted a few times, quite obvious to everyone since it was in water). A few more pushing contractions (with the midwife listening to me over the phone) and I actually did poop, which my DD fished out so nicely for us. As I would have the contractions where my body was pushing I would say 'My body is pushing, I'm still trying not to' finally I realized that my doula was saying 'It's okay' so I took that to mean that it was okay for me to push along with them. Between the next contractions I then turned over onto my hands and knees because I had read that that was a better birthing position (better for both the act of pushing the LO out and to help prevent tearing). This whole time I had had one of my hands down touching myself (basically trying to stop myself from pushing) and I could feel that her head was just inside. With the next contraction I decided to push along with my body, as I pushed my water broke, my LO's head came out (right into my hands), her body started coming out, the contraction ended but I kept pushing and the rest of her came sliding out (through my hands) into my doula's hands (she had been receiving instructions from my midwife over the phone of what to do). She was put onto my abdomen (because her cord was very short). We rested there for a while (with her under a towel to keep her warm) while we talked with the midwife, my DD brought time apple juice to drink, and until we decided it was time for me to get out and work on delivering the placenta (which at first I thought was coming out as I stood up, but that was just some blood clots, the placenta finally came out a few minutes later while I was sitting on the bed). Basically from the time I knew 'this is it' and my LO being born was less than 3 hours, and it was only 1 push to actually deliver her.
Shortly after she was born my sister showed up, then my mother, and my midwife asked if it would be okay if she showed up around 9PM (she still really needed rest after the last labor she had attended and wasn't safe to drive that tired). We all ate dinner, finished the packing for my three older children and they left with my sister, my mom left to find a hotel room, my doula put her two LOs to sleep, my DH put our 22m/o to sleep, as I just sat and bonded with my new little Hannah. Finally at about a quarter to 10 my midwife came to check on us. Hannah weighed exactly 7lb (of course by this time she had pooped three times, once shortly after birth, before we had a diaper on her, once filling beyond full a diaper, and finally as we took her diaper off for her to be weighed, and she had been nursing almost non-stop, though I don't know how much she was getting since my milk wasn't in yet) and was 18 1/2 inches long. she has fuzzy brown hair, long finger, long narrow feet. When she was born she was absolutely covered in a thick layer of vernix yet still had wrinkely hands and feet and very long finger nails. She is now nursing like a champ (thank goodness my milk is finally coming in!). So I may have been in early labor for over 2 months and had several false starts to my labor, but once it finally started for real there was no stopping it and it went FAST!