I was 39 weeks and absolutely exhausted. I had again assumed I’d go early since this was my third baby and I have a bicornuate uterus, so I felt super done. I’d had a very healthy pregnancy but chasing around two toddlers and working up until I was full term had left me deprived of energy. I was ready to have that baby. I went in for my 39 week appointment and asked my midwife to sweep my membranes. She did and I was so excited to hear that I was already dilated to a 5! At this appointment too, we found that I was starting to show signs of preeclampsia. My midwife ordered labs to confirm and we decided together that if the results were less than phenomenal, we’d try to get labor started. She got the results a few hours later and we decided that we’d go ahead and try to get labor going. My body was ready to be done with pregnancy. It was nice to be able to get the kids to my moms, settle in and get the last few things ready before baby got there. Emily, my midwife, arrived around 7:30pm. She got in and settled, then we got my basic vitals established. We planned on trying to get labor jump started and then waiting for it to kick in. Dennis wanted to get the birth pool all set up and ready but I told him he was jumping the gun. I wasn’t even having contractions yet, so I told him that we needed to wait. We got a card game out and started planning the evening. My water broke at 8pm. After that, I instantly went into hard labor. I walked to the bathroom to try and pee when I felt the first real contraction. I let out a low moan as the surge rang through my body. My husband asked from the other room “Shelby? Was that a contraction?” I couldn’t mumble out the answer. Then I had another contraction and the same low moan came again. I heard “I’ll get the pool going and call everyone. You go support her.” Dennis came in and rubbed my back. My contractions were so intense and long, with little breaks between. Dennis helped me from the toilet, where I had been laboring, to the birth ball in our room. I had a few contractions while being knelt over the birth ball as my husband rubbed my back. My midwife saw how fast I was progressing and told me “This baby is coming faster than we can get the pool filled. Where do you want to have this baby?” (Or something to that effect. I’m paraphrasing, of course.) I decided to get into the bath tub because water always helped me best cope with labor (or any type of pain for that matter.) I couldn’t find a comfortable position in the tub. It was hard, small and I was mad at myself for not letting my husband fill up the pool earlier. After another powerful contraction, I could feel my baby deep within my body. I told Emily, “Baby is right there.” I was in a semi-kneeling positioned at the time and she looked at me and said “okay, then you need to decide what position you’re going to deliver your baby in.” I remember uttering something like “I just want to be in the birth pool.” I ended up sitting back against Dennis, who supported me. The birth team arrived around 8:30pm. My wonderful birth photographer was out of town, but she had an amazing back-up, Brezi Merryman. Finley River-Dean was born at 8:38pm, only 38 minutes after starting contractions. It was a fast and furious birth, but I’m so happy I had the support and love that I did. Even my good friend, Becki, made it to cut Finley’s cord. It was absolutely phenomenal.