I had my first child, Owen, in a hospital; his birth was so simple and easy I thought I would have my second child at home. I chose a midwife and settled into nine months of uneventful pregnancy. The night before Tori was due, my midwife informed me she was to go out of town on the weekend and that I should try castor oil that night to see if I could start my labor. I was quite large and I knew I was having a large baby, but no sweat -- big babies ran in our family and besides, I'm 5'11" with plenty of room to carry a big baby.
I took the caster oil (ugh) and it got started cleaning me out, and caused a few pains to start with. We went to bed thinking that it hadn't worked when I woke up around 3:00 a.m. with a few more pains. So I turned on the flashlight to check how long it was in-between contractions. They varied from 5 minutes to 10 minutes to 30 seconds. I woke my husband and we called the midwife, Lynn. She said this was the start and told us to call her back when they got consistent and she would be on her way. We got settled in the "birth" bedroom and in less than 45 minutes, I had to push! My husband frantically called Lynn back and she gave us a few words of wisdom and said she was on her way. She lived 30 minutes away and my husband was in a panic. Next we called our birthing teacher and she walked us through the next few steps. Ten minutes later, Tori poked her head out and said hello to the world. I had a little trouble getting the shoulders out but when I pushed real hard, out she came. She was a big baby all right: twelve pounds, four ounces and measuring twenty three inches long! I needed no stitches and she was just fine. It was a real experience!