My husband wrote Annabelle's birth story from his point of view... While its not AS detailed as my point of view (which makes sense), it is pretty interesting to read an observer's point of view.
**********As I was waking up to go to work, Amy was coming out of the bathroom. She laid back down on the bed and within 30 seconds said her water broke. I replied "are you serious?" like this would be something she would joke about. Amy insisted on walking our dog because she said she didn't really feel any contractions yet, so she did that. When she came back, she looked over the paper from birthcare and realized she was supposed to call them as soon as her water broke. Oops.
Luckily, it was no big deal that she didnt call right the second her water broke. They asked her if she was having contractions or anything. She wasn't having any contractions she noticed at the time, so they told us to stay home and to check in with them periodically. I was clearly very antsy and doing no good pacing back and forth, so I went to work for a few hours. At 10:30 I left work and went back home, where we sat around watching TV, ate lunch, closed our eyes for a while. I made a baked ziti to bring with us to birthcare as our birthday meal.
We walked the dog again late in the afternoon. Per the midwife's instruction, we bought some castor oil and came home. Amy had that and I ate a small dinner (Amy was not hungry for obvious reasons). We then talked to Birthcare again (we had been speaking with them throughout the day periodically) and they told us to come in once traffic died down (it was now rush hour). So we waited until about 7:30 and then got in the car. We were there by 8pm. Amy went inside while i unloaded the car. We brought way more stuff than we needed, but we had no clue what we would actually need, so we brought whatever we were told. We brought way too much food/snacks as Amy was not hungry at all during labor, or very much afterward either.
So now we are at birthcare and we go up into the room where we will spend most of the night. Amy doesnt seem to be in too much pain and was dilated to 6cm so that we did not need Cervadil to speed things along. Since her water broke, the midwife, Laura, was concerned that after 14 hours the labor may have not been moving along quickly enough. Amy wasn't showing a consistent increase in length and duration of contractions, but instead when she moved around they were shorter in duration but came quicker and when she laid down they were longer in duration but came more spaced apart. Luckily for us, we were further along than we had thought. Laura and our doula, Claudia, were both great and helped keep us calm. They did a great job of telling us what was going on and giving suggestions. After a while, I changed into shorts so it would be more comfortable and I laid with Amy on the bed. We both dozed off periodically for a while and Laura checked in on us every 15 minutes or so.
Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, we decided to try the whirlpool. Amy got in and I sat on the edge and we just talked off and on while Amy relaxed. She wasn't overly thrilled in the tub and got out fairly quickly and we returned to the room. Fairly soon though, the baby started to make its final portion of the journey. Amy, with the help of Laura and Claudia, tried different positions for a while and Amy was so strong dealing with the pressure and pain as the baby was really coming. Eventually Laura and Claudia were telling her to slow her pushing so she wouldn't tear. Amy was having none of that and told them as much. I think she actually said "I dont care if i tear, i'm pushing this baby out now".
Before I knew it, I could see the baby's head coming out and then with one huge push, the rest of the baby came sliding out. Claudia or Laura held the baby up for me to see and I turned to Amy and said "It's a girl" and our beautiful Annabelle Yoojin Fry was here and the greatest part of our lives.
They got her all cleaned up, I changed my first diaper ever, and started to make phone calls. Before we knew it, we ate some ziti, got cleaned up, and we were on our way home to the District with Annabelle in her car seat and Amy in the back. I'll never forget that day, even though I've never been so tired in my life...until the next day...and the day after that...and the day after that. But its all worth it and she makes me smile every moment of every day.
And...no matter what anyone says...women are stronger than men. There is no way I would have been able to do half of what Amy did to give birth to our baby girl...I'm just proud of myself for not passing out.