I was warned early on with this pregnancy that after having been through birth once I was likely to experience a lot of prodromal labor before the "real deal" began. You would think that a person who had done all this before would know when she was in labor, but there were several times when I thought, "this could be it", and it wasn't. Then finally when I actually WAS in labor, I was in total denial. Ignatius's due date was the 27th of June, and on the night of the 19th I woke up several times with what I would call "noticeable" contractions. Keep in mind, I had been having real contractions every once in a while for a week or two, but never more than a few. This night they came every hour or so and were enough to wake me but not painful... at least not painful to someone who knew how pushing a baby out would end up feeling. I woke up in the morning and did all the things they tell you to do to test if the contractions would stop or progress (bath, food, etc...). They didn't stop, yet they didn't progress either. Throughout the morning I would have a contraction every half hour, then maybe not for an hour, then maybe a few in twenty minutes. Strange stuff. I put Augie down for his nap around 1 pm and then tried to take a nap as well. Right after lying down I had a few contractions in a row that packed a little more punch, so I texted Forrest. He said he would be home soon (it was Friday, luckily, and he typically makes it home earlier). By the time Forrest got home, Augie had finalized his decision that he would not be taking a nap that day, so Forrest went to get him out of his crib. Since I still wasn't convinced I was in true labor, I decided to just message the midwife on call (Leslie) to let her know what was going on. I told her that I had had a few contractions that were around four minutes apart lasting about forty-five seconds, and she replied that I should give her a call. By this time I was in the tub again trying to relax and she told me that she was going to come over. I worriedly asked her if in the event I wasn't in labor, whether everything would be fine and she could just head back home. She informed me that I was in labor, and she would be on her way soon. Contractions were four minutes apart at this point, and I was still worried I was pulling a false alarm. The nurse (Diane) ended up showing up before Leslie, and soon after, they were both present and unpacking labor supplies. I got checked around 4 pm, and was 3-4 cm. When they first arrived, my contractions stalled out, which scared me, even though it is quite normal to slow down a bit when surroundings change. I labored on my birth ball, in the tub, and walking around my house and back yard. The whole time my contractions kept getting stronger and stronger. One big difference between labor with Augie and Ignatius, is that Augie's labor took a lot longer (18 hours) but the pre-transition contractions were a lot more manageable. With Ignatius, the total time from "knowing I was in labor" to birth was only about 6 hours, but the contractions that got me there were much harder to deal with. At 7:30 on the dot, Forrest, who had been splitting attention between Augie and myself, suggested that Aug be put to bed early since he skipped his nap. Usually he goes to bed between 8 and 8:30, but I told Forrest to just put him to bed right then. Leslie had mentioned earlier that she felt like I wouldn't be able to let go until Augie was taken care of, and she was absolutely correct. I am a very mental person (insert joke here), and Augie is of particular importance to me. He is one of the main reasons I wanted a home birth-- I knew that if he was being taken care of outside our home, I would be thinking about it the whole time and worried. Yes, I am an overprotective weirdo. There are worse things to be. Right as Forrest was putting Augie to bed, Leslie broke my water and I was at a 7. Between 7:30 and 8:10, I went from a 7 to a "here-is-your-baby". I will leave out the particularly graphic details, but I can't tell this story without admitting that I ended up pushing while sitting on the toilet. I kept pleading with Leslie that I didn't want to be one of those people who had their baby in a toilet, and she assured me that when he was coming out they would lift me and she would NOT let him be a toilet baby. I then (in my perpetual neuroses) moved on to worrying that he would fall out on the floor. She assured me that he would NOT fall on the floor, and she would catch him. Okay. Breath. Push. Push a few more times. I was exhausted at this point and told Forrest and Leslie (who were both standing in front of me in the tiny toilet room of our bathroom) that I just really wanted to go to bed and lie down and that when this was over I was going to lie in bed all night with my baby and be so happy it was all finished. They told me when I was done I could do just that, which I was happy to hear. A few minutes later, in a position halfway between standing and squatting, I pushed out first Ignatius's head and then his shoulders. Leslie handed him to me and I made a fast exit to my bed. Later Leslie and Diane would laugh that they had never seen a woman move so fast after pushing out a baby, and I must have been really serious about going to bed. Ignatius Roman Womack came out weighing 9lbs 11oz, yet I needed no stitches this time around. Phew! The whole recovery from his birth has been entirely different than with Augie. I am absolutely in love with him, as are Forrest and Augie. He has Forrest's pouty lip and handsome nose, and more of an olive skin tone than Augie or myself. He is a good sleeper and makes goose honks when he is hungry. Augie loves to talk about "our baby" and give him kisses. We are so happy to have grown our family, and so blessed that our home birth went incredibly well.