The contractions came exactly six years ago on a hot afternoon - soft and far apart - just like they're supposed to. I conducted my day as usual - worked (there was a deadline that had to be reached!), hung out with Joe, a new neighbor came by to visit. I called my doula - a longtime girlfriend who was coming up from Santa Cruz to help me out and take photos - so she could start her one-hour drive. My friend, the midwife, lived next door and checked in on me often.
Once admitted to the hospital my friends and I lit a gardenia scented candle and tried to get some sleep (then-husband was at home with 4-year-old Joe). In the morning they offered pitocin to speed things along. When it was time to have the epidural I questioned it - maybe it's not needed? But the nurse and midwife-friend said to take it then or I there wouldn't be another chance. I took their advice.
My husband (at the time) arrived just as I was starting to push, and Maia slipped out fifteen minutes later. A beautiful healthy baby girl.
Especially when you compare it to my first birthing experience: with Joe I had back labor and the pain was excruti----oops - I said I wasn't gonna do that.
What's your labor story? I know you want to tell it.
(All photos by Deborah Bresnick)