Ezra Michael Pedersen was born at home on November 21 at 12:20pm.
In the almost four weeks leading up to Ezra's birth I had several days of contractions pretty much each weekend and sometimes a couple days in a row. Each bout of pre-labor the contractions would gain intensity compared to the previous time and we would wonder hopefully, "Is this it?". Each time the contractions went away after I laid down for a while, or soaked in the tub. By the second week of this it was discouraging when they would go away. With my pregnancy with James I did the same thing in the two weeks before he was born.
The night before Ezra was born I began having contractions (again), but they were seemingly a lot like the last times - inconsistent in frequency and intensity, though more intense than the last bout of contractions. The contractions continued through the night, but John and I were very hesitant to think it the real thing since that's what we thought the last several times. In any case, I let our midwife, Cathy Rude, know I was going through it again and that I'd keep her updated with any change. We stuck to our usual evening routine and went to bed. I woke up about 12:30am to use the bathroom and get something to eat. It seemed the contractions stopped, but as I was up it felt like they were roughly 10 minutes apart and uncomfortable. I got back to bed about 12:45am and tried to go back to sleep. I continued to have contractions, though they hurt a lot because I was laying down. I worked on breathing through them, relaxing as best I could, and tried to sleep. I was in and out of sleep all through the 1:00 hour breathing through each contraction, but I wasn't aware of my surroundings - just the clock and contractions.
By 2am I couldn't sleep through the contractions anymore, and they were just as painful in an upright position as laying down. I woke John up to let him know the goings on. We moved out to the living room so I could try to rest in the recliner between contractions. We began timing the contractions before we let Cathy know so we could tell her the averages of duration and intervals. They were consistently inconsistent! Though quite painful in both my back and front and I needed John there for every contraction.
By about 6:30, we began letting people know that I was in labor, and made arrangements for James to be picked up after breakfast to spend the day at his grandparent's house. We let Cathy know that since labor began at 2am the contractions ranged an average of 2 minutes and 38 seconds to just shy of 9 minutes apart lasting an average of a minute each. At about 8am I called Cathy and left a message that she should come now. Unfortunately she didn't get the voicemail until I called again shortly after 9am to tell her I've been having double and triple peaked contractions. With James, I delivered shortly after the multiple peaked contractions began, so Cathy was quickly on her way! Thankfully she made it with time to spare before Ezra was born!
By the time Cathy arrived (about 9:45 or 10am) my contractions ranged from about 2 minutes to 15 minutes apart and the longest lasting contraction was over 5 minutes long (a triple peak). John helped me work through the contractions as Cathy and her assistant Virginia finished filling the birth pool and got things ready for the birth. My contractions never did get to the fairly consistent intervals of 2-5 minutes apart like all the books say happens.
Finally the time came where I was pushing! I'm not sure how long I was pushing, but it was longer than I pushed with James (20 minutes) and a lot more painful. In time, though, Ezra Michael was born! He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long and 6 days late!
We praise God for the safe delivery and that nursing and my recovery are going well!