I started feeling contractions at around 7:30 pm two nights before my due date; I was watching Magnum PI and I wanted to finish the episode, so I didn't tell anyone, although I was quietly timing them.
I was a little nervous because I was fully dilated by the time that I got to the birth center to have my son 18 months ago, so I didn't want to push it too much. We live an hour from the birth center.
After the show was over, I went upstairs and called my midwife. She told me to keep timing the contractions and call back in about half an hour. I did–they continued to be regular and were about 5 minutes apart.
We finally left at around 10. With my son, my water broke at the beginning. I think that is why that time, there didn't seem to be any downtime at any point during my labor.
This time, I was able to chat with my husband between contractions, and that was very nice. When we arrived at the birth center, I tried to sit on the big exercise ball and a few other things, but basically I got right into the birth pool, which was wonderful.
It was very windy out, and it was really special listening to the wind chimes right outside. My husband kept telling me how beautiful I was.
When we thought I was fully dilated, I tried pushing in the birth tub, but that just didn't work for me. I got onto the birthing chair that I had used when I had my son, but I felt dizzy, so I got into bed.
We discovered that I wasn't quite fully dilated, but one of the midwives did something with my cervix, and shortly thereafter, I was really ready to push. My daughter, Iona, was born at 2:50 am! Four hours later, we went home with her.