On July 30th 2:30 am Orson came into our bed (he started doing so during the last weeks of my pregnancy.) I tried to fall back asleep but I hate being in the middle and with my belly it was too much. At 3:30 am I started to feel contractions, immediately I knew it was it, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on. At this point I was hungry. I decided to get up; they were consistently every 4 minutes, but I still found their duration confusing. They were intense for 30 secs yet lingered for a minute but kind of stopped for a bit in the middle. I wanted to let Tanya and Audrey know, but I felt silly that I couldn’t tell how long they were. That’s a big difference 30 secs vs 1 minute?! I just kept timing them meanwhile I knew this was happening so I decided to do some last minute straightening up. Phil heard me and came out to see what I was doing….if I called Tanya, and if I was in denial, as she adamantly warned him would happen. I told him I was just trying to get a read on things and I would call her soon. I was going to lay down and he should do the same. So we did. And then I had an intense contraction where I could not move and my water broke. Leaking I ran to the bathroom and alerted Phil on the way, “I need you”. I called Tanya right away, it was now 4:30 am. We talked for awhile and assessed the situation. We agreed I was breathing through contractions but still probably had a while. Tanya wanted to come and sleep on the couch. I tried to get her to wait a bit and see what happens but she insisted. Phil was already on the phone with Audrey when we were hanging up. As soon as we hung up with her it seemed like we were in the throws of labor. I couldn’t cope. I was pacing around the apartment trying different things, Phil was trying different things, all the things…Nothing was helping. I was panicking fuck why was this so hard so fast, I was screwed. Phil insisted it was just really intense and I was strong. He kept trying to help me and I kept telling him to set up the birth pool while simultaneously trying to set up the apartment and he was telling me to let him do it. It was chaos. I threw up and I started to think maybe this is was going fast. Just after 5 am, I started to feel the contractions pulling me down. I thought things are shifting. I threw a cover over the couch in case my insight and hopes were right. Still not convinced what was going on, as I didn’t want to think it was going to be quick if I had a ways to go. I was flailing. It felt totally wild. Out of control. Crazy adrenaline. Audrey arrived at 530 am. She wasn’t expecting me to answer the door let alone in my bra and depends but that was where I was pacing around. Tanya buzzed just a few minutes behind, I asked Audrey to start the shower. I was hoping it would give me some relief. I was waiting until they came because I was nervous it would move things along. As soon as they arrived, I felt a huge sense of relief wash over me. I told Tanya I was not ok. She calmly said “I know” and told me I was going to have the baby within the hour. Which I knew she never said that but I still thought she better be right. I jumped in the shower, which felt great, but things continued to intensify. I started to feel like I had to go to the bathroom. At first I thought great baby’s coming but then it was clear I also had to go. I jumped out of the shower to get on the toilet. On my way, I had a contraction, I held onto the towel rack and Audrey squeezed my hips. It felt so good, it took away everything and I thought, fuck fuck fuck. I just needed a good squeeze this is early labor I’m fucked. I said to her “fuck is this it?” She was like “yeah this is it.” I got on the toilet and she gave me counter pressure on my back. I didn’t want to be touched more than that. My body was expelling everything. Audrey helped me find a bit of a rhythm in that moment. Reminding me to get on top of my breathing right before it started and encouraging me and breathing with me throughout. It was just a few contractions on the toilet and I started grunting with contractions as my body started pushing. I had to get off the toilet immediately. Tanya popped in and told me the pool was ready. I hurried down the hall and climbed into the pool. It felt so good for a second, physically but also mentally. It wasn’t completely full, I had to squat down to get her in the water, which was not happening during the intensity. It was so intense. I clutched Phil’s hands as I leaned over the pool on all fours. She was coming. She was right there. My body was a force. I felt all of its power. I panicked in the intensity. It felt like forever. Why didn’t I feel any contractions? I wanted to push her out! One common theme between births is I am impatient during pushing. It felt like forever. I later found out it was only about 5 minutes. I totally thought something was wrong where were my contractions? Was I going to get her out? Tanya was so calm and said “she’s right here you can push a little if you want.” Her calm positive manner and voice assured me. And I did with a guttural yell Ornella Rose was born at 6:10 am. Give me my baby I yelled and impatiently stood up to grab her as I bent over and took her from Tanya between my legs from her reverse water birth. My girl.