We ended up driving to the birth center with me kneeling over a yoga ball in the back of our SUV. It's about a 25 minute drive, and in the back of my mind I was worried that we might get pulled over. Kyle talked me through the drive, telling me how close we were and reminding me to breathe. My midwife Nicole and the student Tara met us there. BFF (and photographer!) Ashley and my mom made their way in as well.
I was still doing pretty well when we got there, and everyone was worried that I wasn't really that far along. After listening to the baby through a contraction Nicole checked me and I was 6cm dilated, and my cervix was paper thin. Victory! It was so reassuring to know that my instincts were right and I had already done most of the hard work, and I was still under control. I could totally do this!
I got into the tub almost immediately after they checked me. It felt wonderful, and reset me a little bit. I was breathing through my contractions, in a world of my own. I was mostly doing well, although baby boy had a mean habit of thrashing about just as my contractions were dying down and I started to relax. Everyone laughed when I kept shouting at my belly for him to cut it out. But besides that, things remained manageable for me. We had spent so much time in class talking about when you can no longer handle contractions and your partner needs to swoop in with his take charge routine, but I never really got there, and I kept wondering when it was going to happen.
After a while of peacefully lying in the tub and breathing through my contractions, I think I hit transition. I suddenly NEEDED to change positions, and started to vomit at every contraction. I leaned over the side of the tub, and Kyle made sure that I was drinking in between my contractions to keep hydrated.
I was starting to feel kind of push-y but I tried to ignore the urge. I did okay for a while, but all of the sudden it was getting to be too much, and I wanted OUT. OF. THE. TUB. Nicole checked me again. I was almost completely dilated, but I had a small stubborn lip of my cervix. I tried to breathe through a few more contractions, but the urge to push was getting really strong.