The birth experience with John could not have been more different than with Bridget. With her, I was induced and the whole process took 18 hours. And on top of that, all the billing issues we had to deal with. I was anxious this time around because I did not want to have to even think about another induction.

We were a few days past my estimated due date and I was starting to feel like I was going to be pregnant forever. On that day, Brendan’s mom came down, just in case, and because I was starting to go a little bit insane staying at home by myself. Things seemed to be moving in the right direction, but nothing — no Old Bay, eggplant, pineapple, and various other methods that are supposed to bring on labor — worked.

That evening, we went to the grocery store to grab something for dinner and on the way out we saw the OB who delivered Bridget. We haven’t seen her since my last checkup after Bridget was born. As soon as I walked in the door to the house, my water broke, so I called the midwives and my birth assistant to let them know. I was told to call back in a few hours to check in or earlier if things change. And change they did. What started out as contractions 10 minutes apart became contractions 6 minutes apart. So Bren and I finished up eating, quickly took showers and decided to call the midwife who’d be taking care of us well before the agreed upon check-in time. Next thing you know, we were on the way to the Birth Center. Another 30 minutes passed while we were on the road, and by the time we arrived, things were well on their way — just 3 minutes apart.

For me, contractions weren’t so bad for the most part. It took some concentration to work through them, but all in all, it wasn’t intolerable. And then things took a turn. There was one contraction that definitely felt different. Lisa, our midwife, and Heidi, our birth assistant, thought about checking to see how far I’d progressed, but no one really thought that it was time.

And then, all of a sudden a minute or two later, it was time. Thankfully Heidi was with me and stopped Bren from running to the car for a few CDs. It was game on.

I’m not going to lie, at a certain point it hurt, and I screamed — and I did not expect to be a screamer — but it was only a few and then it was over. I think I said “That wasn’t so bad” just after he was born. (Then, I saw his tooth! My newborn totally has a tooth.)

Since we gave birth at the Birth Center and we were going home about 4 hours after birth, we thought it’d be a good idea to wake Bridget up at 10pm and have grandma bring her to come meet the baby. (Thought it’d be weird for her to wake up in the morning and have the baby just be there in our room.) She did beautifully. She still is (for the most part).

All told, it was about 6pm when my water broke, about 8:15pm when we got to the Birth Center, and 9:51pm when he was born. We got home at about 3am. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the whole experience. It was just so completely different from Bridget’s birth and just everything that I had wanted it to be. Relaxed, unencumbered, and 100% natural.

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Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

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