So when people tell you that your birth won’t go as planned, they are right. I had a certain way I wanted our house set up before birth and Johnny had a few things in mind as well.. like having candles lit in the birth room, classical music playing in the background, all my essential oils laid out. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but we are so thankful for the way everything turned out. I had a really long early labor that started on Sunday night, April 22nd. I woke up in the middle of the night not able to sleep - I was having frequent contractions that were 7 minutes apart for about 4 hours. I didn’t want to pay attention to them since rest is more important during early labor, but since I was uncomfortable, Johnny and I figured I should stand in the hot shower to relax and hopefully be able to get some sleep afterwards. The water helped tremendously and I noticed contractions were slowing down. I was finally able to sleep after that. Monday rolls around and I’m feeling better, but did have a constant cramp around my lower back that lasted for a short while. Once that subsided, I really didn’t notice anything new until early Tuesday afternoon. Since I did have all of this going on, I knew my body was still gearing up for the real deal, so I took advantage of going to the chiropractor to get me in the best shape as possible, increased my red raspberry tea, and tried to take naps when I could. Tuesday afternoon is when contractions came and stayed consistent at 6-7 min apart and were progressively getting more painful, including my back (hello back labor!). I was taking lavender baths pretty frequent by then while listening to my labor/birth affirmations audio from birth class. I can’t tell you how much soaking in a tub helped me relax! Gentle stretches, rebozo sifting, massages, hip squeezes, and leaning on my ball were also very useful in relieving pain! Knee to chest pose was my favorite position during contractions, especially since I was having back labor. Wednesday, contractions were staying the same, but I could definitely tell something was going to happen soon. I went to the chiropractor one last time to get adjusted and went back home to relax. Contractions kept on progressing throughout the day, but I kept distracting myself with more baths and watching tv here and there. By dinner time that night, I was having trouble eating because of feeling nauseous. I tried going to bed later that night, but it was pretty hard to fall asleep with all of the contractions. Johnny was the sweetest and made me another lavender bath, lit some candles in the bathroom, and sat on the bathroom floor comforting me every time a contraction hit, and reminding me to relax and not focus on the pain. Once I got out, we tried to get me to sleep one last time, but that wasn’t happening no matter how hard I tried. Contractions were coming really fast and my body started shaking, so I timed them to see what was happening. They were already 3 minutes apart and staying pretty consistent. I also lost what I thought was my mucus plug during that time, but later found out it was most likely a part of the amniotic sac. Johnny texted the midwife to let her know what’s up and she said I’m most likely in active labor. Johnny and I moved into the living room where we were going to start comfort measures. Here I am leaning over our couch 5 minutes after thinking my plug came out and my water breaks! Immediately after that happened, I felt a ton of pressure and the urge to push already. Johnny informs the midwife and she at this point is on her way to us. Meanwhile, I felt like I had to use the bathroom, so I’m crawling my way there because walking at this point was uncomfortable. Once I was in the bathroom I could feel my body wanting to push the baby out, so I have Johnny check what’s going on, and sure enough there was a head already crowning! Midwife was still a little ways out from us, so Johnny is talking to her on the phone thinking he’s going to have to catch the baby. We were told it would be a good idea to call EMS to have someone there in case something bad were to happen. So Johnny calls EMS and they make it to us within 5 minutes. I was still in the bathroom, but had to move myself back to the living room since the bathroom was way too small to birth in. As soon as I make it in the room, EMS is walking in. You would think it would have bothered me having so many people in our house, especially considering we were wanting a very private birth, but at that time all I cared about was getting that baby out. I leaned over the couch, Johnny is sitting next to me cheering me on, and I’m pushing through the contractions. All it took was 3-4 pushes and our little girl was out! The lady EMS worker caught the baby. I would have preferred Johnny to catch the baby, but it was good having someone there that knew what they were doing. Three minutes after that and my midwife arrived! I was in active labor for maybe 1hr 45min which is not common for first timers! I never tore and didn’t hemorrhage one bit!! Praise the Lord! I was pretty shocked how fast everything happened and also impressed that birth wasn’t all that painful like I thought it would be. Sure I had some moments where I was very vocal, but it never got to the point where I couldn’t stand the pain. Our bodies are made to birth and knows exactly what to do! Of course, I do believe the way I prepared myself before and during pregnancy had a positive impact on everything. It really matters how you treat your body. Between healthy eating, staying active, drinking my red raspberry leaf tea religiously (which plays a huge role in making your uterus strong and making contractions effective), and avoiding medical interventions, it all played a role in a healthy pregnancy and birth. I’m so thankful to God that I was able to experience a natural labor and birth!