At 4:10pm, October 8th, 2012, my son was born at 6lbs 13oz.
His timing, which is two weeks early, is also a fitting bit of cosmic symmetry for my parents; their first child and their latest grandchild were both born on October 8th.
Esther woke up at 5am with mild contractions, 10 minutes apart, lasting through 7am. We continued for a few hours monitoring contractions, which sometimes got as close as 5-6 minutes apart, but just as often 10-12 minutes. This is what we in the parenting business call "non-progressing contractions." (This contraction monitoring chart is from a nifty little applet, aptly titled Contraction Monitor.)
At about 8am, she had a small water leak and some pink show. All of this is textbook false labor, which i know, because of my vast experience and the two books i skimmed. Coincidentally, we had already scheduled her weekly checkup for 10am that morning, so we just went in. We briefly thought about bringing all our stuff there, but figured we'd be sent home. We didn't want to be that couple that keeps showing up at the hospital after every few contractions.
The doctor said, "Welp! you're 2cm dilated, your water's leaking, and you're still having contractions, you aren't going anywhere."
They checked us into a room about 11:30 and esther ate lunch. We were settling in and mentally preparing for the common birthing horror story... 22 hours of non-stop, exhausting labor. Esther's contractions were steady at 5-7 minutes apart, and things seemed to be under control. At about 1pm, i ran back home to get all our stuff. At 2pm, i'm back at the hospital, esther's contractions are 4 minutes apart, and she's 6 cm dilated.
We get into the birthing room at 2:30, and Suzanne, our miracle working midwife from Kansas City, started helping esther through the contractions. The most interesting part of her labor for me was that esther was never in a bed, feet up in the stirrups, etc. She rocked back and forth on a gym ball, sat on a birthing stool, walked around, and of course, sat in the water.
We used Aima's waterbirth option, and esther is a preaching convert now. From the point her contractions got debilitating, maybe 2pm, it took just over two hours total, no painkillers, no complications. Suzanne said it was a textbook waterbirth.
Since then, we've been resting a lot and basking in the amazingness of our little boy. Jordan took his first bath and went for a swim. The grandparents came for a visit. All in all, Aima has taken incredible care of us, with great food and attention from the staff.
So that's our story, enjoy a few pictures from camera one.
~Kevsther and Jordan