After a scheduled csection due to breech position with our daughter, my husband and I decided to do whatever it took to avoid another csection with our son. So, during my early third trimester, we switched from our OB to a home birth midwife that came highly recommended by a friend. I had experienced Braxton Hicks for the majority of my third trimester and I constantly wondered what true labor contractions would feel like. Well, whoever said, "you'll know when it's the real thing" was right. I woke up at 1:22am on March 16 with intense, steady contractions from the beginning. I was 38 weeks 4 days so I was somewhat surprised, although I think labor is always on the mind of a pregnant woman at this stage. I decided not to wake my husband in case we had a long labor ahead of us. I listened to some music and did my best to relax as the intensity and pain caught me off guard. I couldn't wait any longer, I woke my husband about 2am to let him know this was it! At this point, although I had to deeply focus on each contraction, I got complete relief in between so we excitedly talked between each one. We called our midwife around 215 to let her know and she just said to call her again when we wanted her there. I spent the next three hours kneeling over our bed trying to remain as relaxed as possible. My husband was amazing. He tended to my every need. Surprisingly, I needed silence and I didn't enjoy massage during contractions as I thought I might. I just needed to know he was there and he always was. My mom and midwife both arrived at about 530. The midwife checked me and not so enthusiastically told me "your only 4cm." She was basically saying, "we're going to be here a while!" She suggested I get in the tub which only lasted about two contractions because I HATED it! I decided to get in the shower (definitely more my thing). And this is where the magic happened. I went through transition in about 25-30 min. This was such an out of body experience. It was so intense but I remember uttering "this too shall pass" with each contraction. I got less relief in between each one. At one point, I remember feeling I needed to set my leg onto a ledge in our shower, as if my baby needed to rotate or I needed to "remove an obstacle" of sorts. Within a few minutes the urge to push came! I yelled for my husband who was watching NBA highlights from the day before to get our midwife who sleeping on the couch downstairs. She checked to make sure I was fully dilated and I was! Praise God. This was about 7:45am. My bag of waters hadn't broke yet (this happened during one of my pushes... lovely). I pushed for 15 minutes and he was born 8:00am exactly. 6.5 hours start to finish. This was the single most amazing, empowering, precious experience of my life! God protected us and saw us through every step of the way. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!