By 11 am, the waves were lasting around 30 seconds, and 5 minutes apart (so not yet the 5-1-1 rule for when the midwives would come over). We rested some more by ourselves while the doula kept her mom busy. I would read the Hypnobabies birth prompts to her when the waves came. By noon she was getting more vocal (ahh-ing), and waves were around 45 seconds and 3-5 minutes apart. Jumping ahead, the midwife came at 2:30 and checked her cervix, we did not want to find out then, but later we found out that she was 2 cm dilated. The midwife tried to leave casually saying she would get some lunch and be back soon, but she basically intended to go back to the office and wait it out, because it could take a while, but we just thought she was out for lunch :)
The doula was great in helping Leslie with different positions, and she made sure she wasn't too comfortable in one. I also suggested a few positions from the Hypnobabies handout. By 5:30 pm, we knew for sure that Daniel was coming today (we probably knew that before, but definitely by then by how Leslie was sounding). The waves were getting "longer, stronger and closer together". Then the doula suggested we do stairs to move the baby along. She suggested that instead of just walking up & down, Leslie should slowly sway as we walk down, and slowly lunge as she walks up. This was pretty hardcore, but Leslie took it like a champ. We're on the second floor, so on each floor, we stopped for a pressure wave, then continued. She did the down & up to the second floor twice. By the time we were done, the doula could tell that things were changing fast. She called the midwife again and asked her to come.
The midwife came around 6:30, did another cervix check, and told us that she had definitely progressed along (she told us later that Leslie was at 8 cm). They had already blown up the birthing pool, now they filled it with water and the midwife got into her scrubs (which was apparently a good sign). The assisting midwife came around 7 pm, and by 8 pm Leslie was in the pool.
She was having very strong waves now, and around 8:30, she felt like pushing. The midwives directed her in a couple of different positions for pushing. She had about 4 or 5 strong waves where she pushed, and in the last one, the head fully came out. We thought she would stay there for a bit and wait for another wave, but her current wave hadn't ended yet and with another push, the whole baby was out!! I was technically supposed to catch him, but because he came so fast, the midwife reached into the pool to catch him and then handed him to me so I could take him out and give him to Leslie.
Leslie was in utter disbelief and amazement that he was actually here. Below is a picture of that moment! The placenta came out in about 5 minutes, she had a small wave and with a few tugs, it was out too! After the blood had pulsated fully through it, they clamped the cord, and I cut it. Then it was off to have our "golden hour", the first hour of bonding with the baby, establish nursing, and get our first cuddles. Then the midwives came to weigh him and do their thing, and by the time we all finally went to sleep was 1 am. All in a day's work :)