Bristol Charlotte Kemper was born 6 days after the due date I was given on August 15th. It was a Friday. She weighed 9lbs and was 22.5" long.
I was very emotional or "fragile" as Cindy called it (love that term) for the whole pregnancy. With my first three I was well prepared to let them come weeks after their due date. When I had prodromal labor at 39 weeks and thought "oh maybe she'll be my first EARLY one?!", I was setting myself up to be a wreck. And I was a wreck for the following two weeks. I was so ready to be done, crying multiple times a day. My sister from Kansas visited for eight days and had to leave the day before Bristol was born. I asked for my membranes to be swiped. We did that twice with no results. I was dilated 3-4 cm at the first swipe and 6cm at the second swipe five days before she came. I had never been dilated that much before labor! I had three separate times where I had prodromal labor and each time I really thought it *could* be it. But after the first time seemed so real I didn't trust myself anymore. This was my fourth baby. And my first time with false labor! Everything I knew went out the window with the false labor. And I considered myself to be pretty well versed in birth having already had three all natural, awesome labor and deliveries with no interventions, in birth centers with midwives.
My water broke at Target. The kids and I had walked around finding a gift for a friend's birthday party we were heading to. I had already paid for the gift and had just purchased a coffee from Starbucks. But I never took a sip. Instead, Jer drank it later. ;) I squatted down to put my wallet away when all of the sudden I felt a small pop, immediately felt liquid streaming down and thought to myself that it had to be my water. There was no mistaking that for peeing myself. Thankfully, I didn't have contractions until hours later! I called Jer slightly panicked and he said to drive home. So I did. My water came out in gushes until I had her. Apparently I had a lot of water. I soaked through three different pairs of pants and dripped all over while walking and sitting for the 3-4 hours before I went into labor.
We were supposed to have her at a birth center in Kirkland called the "Puget Sound birth center" but the three rooms were full with birthing mama's. At that point my options were a home birth or transfer to the hospital. I wasn't a fan of either so I ended up asking if we could go to a birth center in Seattle called "The Center for Birth" that I had researched back when I was first pregnant. They just started accepting Microsoft insurance August 1st so it worked perfectly for us to fill out paperwork since they had room. They ended up filling up as well by the time we were done having our baby and a woman came in and delivered in one of their appointment rooms! Because of all that, we drove to meet our midwife first so she could start my antibiotic IV because I was GBS (group B Strep) positive. We were on 520 (freeway bridge that leads to Seattle) and on the way to where it connects to 405 we saw a sign that said it was closed for bridge traffic from 2:30-3pm. Our clock said 2:25pm. So we decided to go north over the Lake Washington instead. (we live in Redmond). It was a little crazy since we had no clue when I would have her since my water broke but I wasn't contracting. So we got to the midwifes office and I had a couple contractions but they weren't close. More than five minutes. I assumed it was from being in a jolting car ride for 45 minutes. Instead of starting the IV at the Midwife Seattle office, we decided to head to the birth center to get settled in. Cindy left to get her stuff at home while I laid down on the couch in the waiting area and slept for about about an hour or so (according to Jer). Jer ran next door to get food and he let me sleep a little longer while he ate because I was OUT. I woke up with drool on my face. We left the midwife's office and arrived at the birth center in Seattle at just after 5pm. I had been having some contractions in the car on the 20 min drive from our midwifes office but when I got to the birth center I was only dilated to a 6 like I had been for a week. That was slightly discouraging. I got into the tub right away when we got inside but only stayed in there for a little bit. I was so tired that I just wanted to lay on the bed and work through the contractions instead of holding myself up during contractions in the tub. I was shaking in the tub but when I mentioned it to the midwife she said that it was normal. I think after about 20 mins in the tub and maybe 30 on the bed, I started pushing at the end of my contractions but didn't tell them because I wasn't quite sure. It was happening quicker than I thought it would! Looking back, the shaking was probably because I was in transition pretty quickly after arriving. Maybe the tub helped that along? After a couple of those contractions, pushing took over and I whispered to them that I was pushing. I think they were surprised, like I was. They quietly dropped whatever they were doing and started getting their stuff ready to deliver her. She was born about 10 minutes and five or so pushes later. She came out sideways and turned as she was coming out so that after I delivered her head, she was staring up at Jer and the midwives! Cracks me up. Apparently she also started to cry before I delivered her head but I didn't remember that. Initially her coloring was not changing as fast as they liked and she seemed gray for longer than maybe she should have. But thens she pinked up and all was well. She wanted to nurse almost immediately and everything was wonderful. She was born at 6:19pm and we were home by 9:30pm!