Steve wrote this earlier today.
I'll post my story with some pictures later on this week.
My wife and I watched the Giants vs. Rockies game last night which ended in a walk off grand slam by Ryan Spillborgs after the Giants scored 3 in the top of the 14th breaking a 1 to 1 tie. This may seem irrelevant, but I suspect that it's no coincidence that my wife woke me 4 hours later to say she was in labor. My bleary eyed reaction? "Great, why don't you lie down and try to get some rest, you'll probably need it."
"I'm gonna have some chocolate milk," was her reply.
After laying there for a minute or two I realized that if I wasn't yet, I would soon be in the running for the creep of the year award if I didn't get up right away. For the next hour she would have contractions and we would track them using the Contraction Tracker ap on her iPhone (little shout out there). About an hour later her parents arrived to watch Eden and Emily said she wanted to head to the hospital. I felt like it was a little early, but wisely held my tongue and began slowly preparing to get us out the door. The next contraction seemed pretty severe, which quickened my pace a little. She had a contraction in the breezeway outside of our apartment, two in the car on the way to the hospital and 3 or 4 between the ER and Labor & Deliver and by that time they were quite strong.
By the time the LD nurse did the pelvic exam, Emily was 8 cm dilated and just about to go into transition. We essentially got there just in time. Less than an hour later we were holding our newborn baby.
I won't go into the gory details save to say, there are mysteries of the woman's body that, in hindsight, I might prefer to have remained a mystery. Truth be told, I was there to see my first come into this world and now my second and wouldn't miss either for the world, the moon and all the stars in heaven.
As for Emily? Make no mistake about which sex is the strongest. I'm clear that it isn't the one to which I belong. She was amazing, brave, determined, focused , undaunted (okay, maybe a little daunted, but took the coaching from the midwife brilliantly). Four hours after her first contractions started we were holding an 8 pound, 5 oz, 21 inch baby with a 5 minute APGAR of 9. Anyone familiar with the birth of our first child knows what a victory this was. All this without a single medical intervention. No epidural, no pitocin, no cervadyl.
So here's the advice I have for any expecting parents out there. First, don't bother having a first baby, skip right to the second, it goes a lot faster. Second, if at all possible, go natural, and if you do this make sure your ob is fully on board with your plan. We recommend a midwife, doula or both. Ours was totally awesome!