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This is the birth story of Tallulah Ame, my precious home birth baby. This pregnancy was the most unique and inspiring experience I could have ever dreamed of. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
After the experience that I had with my last pregnancy, I decided this time was going to be different. I researched the possibility of having the baby at a Birth Center and what my options were to have the birth experience that I desired.
I ended up deciding that I wanted to have a Doula instead because the Birth Center I wanted to go to was an hour and a half away, which I didn't see to be realistic to go that far in a car in labor. I met with a Doula at a store she owned and interviewed her. I had about 3 pages of extensive questions for her. I also mentioned to her about my past hospital births and how I was even considering a home birth but wasn't fully sure on what I wanted. She recommended a wonderful Midwife to me.
The Midwife and I really clicked. She answered all of my questions and concerns beautifully, and I felt very comfortable with her. I decided not to have a Doula and after a long talk with my Husband, Ezra, we decided a Homebirth with a Midwife was best for us. At 20(ish) weeks I ended my prenatal care at my OBGYNs office and switched over fully to her.
September 23rd was my due date. It came and went with no other signs of labor besides contractions that I could time consistently for about an hour and then taper off. This was not normal for me. My first pregnancy was a premature delivery and my second and third babies were born exactly 2 days before their due date. I was nervous. To be honest, I really freaked out. I thought my body didn't know what to do. I felt like it was failing me. The contractions that I was having for the past couple of weeks made me think that my Daughter was ready to be born, but my body was holding her back for some reason. Thoughts of the placenta failing and other crazy thoughts were running through my mind.
Two days later (40 weeks and 2 days pregnant) I was woken up by my Husband who went to use the bathroom across the hall from the bedroom. I tried to get back to sleep but about a half hour later I started to get some intense menstrual cramps. I thought I was just overtired and achy from being past my due date. Though after about another half hour they were time-able and not going away. The cramps were about 7-10 minutes apart so I was really not sure if they were the real thing. They weren't very consistent, except for the intensity of the cramps. I got up to use the bathroom and the cramps were still very noticeable. I use the term "cramps" instead of contractions, because it wasn't really a tightening sensation. Just felt like a needed a handful of Midol.
The cramps that I kept feeling while on my feet made me question if this was actually it! The contractions that I had in the past would always decrease with activity. I messaged my Midwife and gave her a heads up that I thought this might be it, then went downstairs to make something to eat. I woke up Ezra and told him I was pretty sure I was in labor. He didn't seem so convinced. The cramps were still there and getting closer together. I ended up going back upstairs to pee again and that's when I messaged my midwife that my cramps were about 2 minutes apart at that time. She decided it was time to come over. I kept thinking that I was just crampy and that they would stop soon.
The cramps got to the point where I had to lean over something and vocalize while swinging my hips during them. I still wasn't convinced this was it because they still felt like menstrual cramps and I felt completely normal when I wasn't having them. At this point I called my Mom and told her to come over because I was pretty sure this was it but not to get her hopes up because it could be nothing. I woke up the kids to tell them they weren't going to school that day either because I thought the baby was coming today. Ezra still wouldn't call his Mom because he wasn't sure I was truly in labor.
By the time the Midwife got here I was still able to talk and function without too much pain. They started to set up the birth kit and get the birth pool ready while I bounced on my labor ball to ease the pain during the cramps. I still was not convinced, as crazy as that sounds. I felt like I had my Midwife and her assistants come over for nothing. Ezra decided it was time to call his Mother. Unfortunately she was unable to attend the birth because of a mandatory test she had to take for nursing school.
Shortly after, the cramps got to the point where I really had to focus on them because they were really starting to hurt. My kids were very excited! My Daughter tried to console me during my pain by hugging me, and as much as I loved that, I had to tell her to stop because I couldn't have anyone touching me at that point. I wanted to get into the water but I was afraid it was too early and that I would get cold and want to come back out, possibly preventing my dream of a water birth that I so desperately wanted for my last 3 births. I still considered the pain as menstrual cramps as they still really didn't feel like contractions. I was only feeling them out front and down low. They weren't tightening sensations, nor did the pain wrap around to my back.
I was convinced I was in real labor once my whole body started uncontrollably shaking. No doubt in my mind. I also started to feel nauseous. Every pain after that was definitely a contraction.
After a short amount of time I decided I wanted to get in the pool in hopes it would make the pain a little bit more manageable. I'm pretty sure everyone thought I was insane because the only pain I complained about at that point was my shoulder blade. My muscles were tightening up from my body shaking. About an hour later my water broke. Each contraction was followed by tons of pressure. The second contraction after my water broke my body started to push! The pain from the pressure was crazy. I kept thinking a cesarean would've been easier (lies!). I was screaming through the contractions and that's when I had my Mother take my kids next door to the neighbors house to play. The screaming really shocked me. I was not expecting the pressure to be so intense. This was my fastest labor through all of my pregnancies so I am assuming this is why. Ezra stayed his distance but was watching from the doorway. I was determined to birth this baby on my own with very little assistance.
It was extremely hard to change my high-pitched screams to low-pitched screams, but once I managed to, I found it was more productive in pushing her out Once her head was out, we realized she had two nuchal hands! My body had no urge to push anymore. I was able to push her out on my own will. Once she was out, my midwife told me to sit back and take my baby. I couldn't believe she was out! I thought I had more pushing to do. I was able to push her out in only 4-5 contractions. I sat back and held her in my arms. She is so beautiful! She looks nothing like her siblings, and has her own precious facial features. She has a birth mark in between her eyebrows, which can only be seen when she is angry, so we think it will probably fade in time. She also has a really pronounced dimple on only her left cheek. She latched on and started nursing a few minutes after being born! We did delayed cord clamping, and my Mother cut the cord. I never had early labor. I went straight to active labor, then straight to transition.
Tallulah was born into the water at home, at 9:45am on September 25th, 2013 after 6.5 hours of labor. She weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 20.5" long. She is my heaviest and tallest baby even though she looks so tiny to us. Having a home birth was the most amazing experience for me. I would not have changed a thing!