If you had a home birth with a midwife, please tell us about your experience here! I would just love to read them, and I know many others would like to share your experience too! Reading these stories can be so inspirational and sometimes just what an expecting mother needs to give her encouragement to have an assisted home birth if that is what she desires.
I keep telling myself I am going to write down my story, but I haven't been able to! I will make a point soon. I have my chart w/ notes of what I was doing every 15 minutes..I'm sure it will be great. lol :-) Post some stories ladies. I want to read some.
I posted this after Aiden was born back in July in the Natural Childbirth forum... I copy and pasted it here....
He was my 3rd homebirth. I'll get Xander and Lucas' up later if you'd like!
Aiden has been stubborn from the beginning. I was due on July 9 and he finally made his appearance on July 20th.
I woke up around 5:00 am on July 20th. I wasn't feeling any different but for some reason I couldn't fall back to sleep. It was okay my husband was getting up for work in an hour so I just laid there thinking to myself about all that I had to do that day. And then out of nowhere I thought to myself that I probably shouldn't let Mark go to work today. I was having mild braxton hicks... I had been having for the past two weeks. But then I just tossed those thoughts aside. I didn't want to get my hopes up and then this would be another false alarm. So Mark got up, as usual, got dressed and went of to work as usual. He accidently woke the other two boys up and I let them come in the bed with me to sleep until it was time for them to get up. After maybe being there for 15 minutes I got really sleepy. I told the boys that they could get up and play quietly in their room while I got an hour or two of extra sleep. For some reason they didn't even fight about it. (They usually throw tantrums when they have to go back to their room.) So after I got them settled I went back to bed for maybe about an hour and half.
And I woke up to my water breaking. It was a little trickle at first. Then I stood up and still just a little trickle. I went to the phone and called my husband home from work. Then I called my midwife. I was really shakey and kind of freaked out. While I was talking to my midwife a big gush came. (Thank god I was in the bathroom... although not on the toilet.) I was worried about the baby not having dropped enought and the cord having slid down when the water came out. My midwife was great... she told me to calm down... that water breaking happens. The liquid was clear... she told me not to worry and that she was on her way. I then called my MIL and asked her to come help with the kids. I still wasn't having any contractions and that was also worrying me. After I made all the calls I did as my midwife said and laid down on the bed with a pillow between my knees and kept myself hydrated.
Xander was so cute. He heard me freaking out and came out of his room and saw all the water in the bathroom. He asked me if I had an accident. I was so freaked out I didn't even clean it up. My MIL was the first person to arrive and she looked in the bathroom and saw all the water and thought that Xander had an accident. I had to yell at her from the bedroom that it was my mess. So my MIL took care of that.
Finally my husband came home and he went around getting everything set up for the birth. At this time I finally started having contractions. They were 7 minutes apart and 1 minute long, but not very strong at all. Then my midwife came and she checked me to see how dialated I was. I was only 2 cms! I was very upset by this. She also noticed that there was now a little maconium in the fluids. Which of course made me freak out very much, even though she had just checked the baby's heartbeat (a very healthy 140). Again she was able to calm me down greatly. She just looked at me and said... "This is normal for a post term baby okay. The baby sounds good. The fluid is still clear except for these little flecks of maconium. No need to worry. If the liquid starts looking like pea soup or something... then it's time to worry. But everything is fine now." So she had my husband and I lay down and try to get some sleep so we would be rested up. She asked my MIL to take the kids for the day, seeing as I didn't want them there for the actual birth. Which was great... it was very relaxing without them there. And I needed to be relaxed.
So two hours later... the contractions were still the same. And she checked me again... I was only 4 cms. I was still getting very discouraged. But the baby's heartbeat was still sounding reallly really good. So now she had me stand up and walk around a bit. And guess what... it still wasn't kicking the labor in. The contractions stayed the same and I wasn't progressing. She didn't do another plevic exam for awhile... but she knew I wasn't in active labor. After another 2 hours she checked his heartbeat again... it was still steady and strong.
Since Aiden was still taking his time in coming out my midwife decided she could go home and take care of reschedualing appointments that she would be missing because of my being in labor. I was calmer now, knowing that the baby was fine so I was okay with her leaving. She did have one of her assistants come over and check the heart beat and check on how my contractions were. Still not getting any stronger. So my midwife decided it was time to try to do something to kick me into a little harder labor. I started taking Raspberry Leaf (Not tea... but like the herb) a dropper full every half hour. Then she said because my water had broke it looked like my hormones hadn't been lined up properly for my body to go into labor. And that we would have to try something to try to line them up. So... yay me... I had to take castor oil.
As soon as I took castor oil she came back over. She listened to the baby's heartbeat and it was still fine. She said it would take maybe an hour for the castor oil to take effect. So she decided to have me try a few other things while we were waiting. The contractions were coming a bit harder now and they were 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute long. She wanted me to do pelvic rocks through three contractions. Then I had to sit on the toilet for 2 contractions and then I had to go outside and walk up and down the block (but not too far in case the castor oil kicked in and I had to go to the bathroom). I was to do all this while she went out and got coffee. So I did all these things and I think doing those things kicked me into labor and not the castor oil. (It never went through my system and worked like it should have... thank god for small miricals)
When she came back she could tell I was in active labor (we were walking in a school parking lot accross the street from our house) Every once in awhile I had to stop my husband and hold on to him. I think some of the people walking around that night thought we were strange. So she had me come in... I had to go to the bathroom anyways. She checked the baby's heart beat... still strong and she could tell he finally decended more. She said since the walking was working that I should keep on walking. So outside we went again. I walked for maybe 15 more minutes and they were getting stronger. To the point that when I stopped and leaned on my husband I started biting on his shoulder. And I was getting really hot and sweaty and uncomfortable. I told both my husband and my midwife that I couldn't be outside anymore that I had to inside.
So inside we went. This time she checked to see how far along I was and I was 6 cms. She said I should probably walk some more. I said I was too hot and she said okay... go take a shower in cool water and then go back outside and walk. My husband took the shower with me and I needed him badly. I had to lean on him a lot and I continued to bite his shoulder and sometimes his hand. I almost went for the neck but some how stopped myself, after all I'm not a vampire. I couldn't stay in the shower long... it was annoying me. I simply stated in a very firm manner that I wasn't going outside... I needed to lay down. I"m usually not that forward so my midwife said "Okay.... this looks like it might be transition... let me set up and call my assistants over and then I'm going to check you again." She first helped me to lay down on my left side with a pillow between my knees and my husband at the side of the bed. The contractions were becomeing extremely painful and I was starting to freak out a little. While she was setting up and her 2 assistants were arriving my husband helped me to breath through the contractions that were now coming really fast. Whenever I would feel a contraction come on I grabbed my poor husbands hair and held on tight... pulling it. He was great he didn't even acknowledge that I was doing it... he would just help me breath through the pain. It seemed to be taking forever for the midwife to get everything set up. I could hear the assistants arriving and everyonce in awhile I'd hear a laugh. OH HOW THAT WAS ANNOYING WHILE I WAS GOING THROUGH THIS. I had started shaking now too. Which was new... I didn't with either Xander or Lucas. It drove me nuts. And then all of the sudden I felt this erge to push. A practically screamed at my midwife to get in there because I felt like I had to push and knew that I couldn't until she gave me the okay. She checked me quickly then and I was at 8 almost nine. I had another contraction where I felt like I had to push and it took everything in me not to do so. I never had pushing contractions with Xander and Lucas until I could push. So agian... something new for me. Finally she said... okay now you can start pushing.
I pushed once and I could feel him crowning and that ring of fire that happens with it. Which was again new for me... with Xander and Lucas my water broke right around that time and it kind of washed away that experience. But she placed a wet washcloth there and the pain subsided again. On the next contraction I pushed again only not very hard so nothing happened. So finally I pushed once more and he came out in pretty much one push. They placed him on my chest and I was finally holding my baby in my arms at 11:53pm.
I had wanted a girl sooo badly but when he was in my arms I was... so... so happy it was Aiden. I wouldn't trade him for 1000 girls.
Well, I had always wanted a homebirth (I was trained as a doula and also volunteered with midwives in Ghana, so I already had rejected the idea that birth had to be a medical event). BUT, we had no midwives in our city and so my first two births were in the hospital where I worked. I can't say they were horrible experiences - I was able to birth naturally both times, but it was still far too "orchestrated" for my liking. I knew birth could be a more beautiful experience than being poked, prodded, and bossed around by total strangers in a sterile environment. I really hated being told what to do and how/when to do it. I also really hated having to fight for my preferences in the middle of labour, when I should have been focused on relaxation! The staff accomodated me and I was able to avoid interventions, but you could tell they regarded me as a bit of a nuisance because I didn't just meekly do whatever I was told to do. I was fortunate to be able to labour in a jacuzzi there, but when it came time to push - they make you get out. That completely SUCKED!
So when #3 was on the way I started to get really anxious thinking about the birth. I would just break down in tears even THINKING about going back to the hospital. I wanted to be able to labour and birth peacefully, just letting my body do what it needed to do and not being pestered by anyone! We considered using the nearest midwives and their birth center 3 hours away - but weren't sure just how we would go about pulling it off. Do we hit the road when I go into labour and hope the 3 hours in the car isn't too unbearable? Do I camp out in the city, starting a few weeks before my due date? It just didn't seem very practical. Then my friend told me about a midwife from Montana (Alberta) who willingly commutes to our area to attend homebirths! Dh had noticed my increasing anxiety about the hospital, and even though he was scared of the idea to homebirth - he said we could look into it because it was so important to me. :)
We met the midwife and both felt very comfortable with her! I was sold, but DH wasn't quite sure yet. I made him watch "Gentle Birth Choices" with me, and that's what helped him understand why I wanted a different experience so badly. He agreed and we booked our midwife for the birth!
Because the midwife lives 3 hours away, we decided it would just be easier if I did all my prenatal care with my family physician/OB (who had delivered the first two). I was upfront with him about our plans, and while he explained that he couldn't encourage me to do such a thing - he was respectful of our choice. Our midwife is semi-retired, so she only does one birth a month - that means she would be available to come to us whenever I felt I needed her.
A week before my due date, I was getting really grouchy. I'd been cramping and contracting for weeks already, and was just feeling miserable. From the tone of my emails, my midwife felt it was time for her to be near. She arrived on Monday and found baby to be in the posterior position - the reason I'd been so uncomfortable. I was almost completley effaced and 3cm dilated. She performed a technique called Diaphramic Release and flipped baby around. I felt immediate relief! I still continued to cramp a fair bit, but we waited. On Wednesday, the cramping intensified - so we tried to assist things along with castor oil and using the breast pump to stimulate contractions. She tried stripping my membranes. I contracted off and on for about 21 hours thinking it would finally happen - but eventually things died down. I was still just 3cms. I spent most of the time relaxing in the birth pool - we were planning a waterbirth.
The midwife had booked a scrapbooking retreat in a nearby town several months before, so on Friday she went to that. Of course, she kept her cell phone on at all times and was ready at any moment to come back if we needed her. She joked that it was Midwive's Luck; her prediction was that I would give birth over the weekend and interrupt her scrapbooking.
Sure enough, Saturday night after we went to bed, I had an especially painful contraction followed by a big POP that I both felt and heard! Contractions intensified immediately! I went straight to the bathtub while DH tried to contact our midwife and prepared to fill the birthpool with warm water. He wasn't getting an answer on her cell phone! He proceeded to call the Bed and Breakfast to ask the owners to track her down for us. The owners were not thrilled with a phone call at 1am, but transferred his call to the scrapbooking room anyway. No answer there. DH came to check on me and said he would just keep trying the cell phone. I was like, "My water is broken, this could go REALLY fast! Call them again! Make them go find her!" So he called the owners again, who were quite ticked off this time - but he explained that she was our midwife and I was in labour, we needed her NOW. They didn't realize they had a midwife staying with them and went to find her! Moments later she called us from her cell - she said it was the only time it hadn't been on because she was charging it in her truck! She was on her way!
She asked to speak to me, because she wanted to hear if I could talk my way through the contractions - they were coming really hard, and I was moaning a fair bit. She told me the water would relax me too much and I needed to get out of the bathtub in the hopes that I wouldn't give birth before she arrived! I had to lay on our bed on my side. It was so awful to have to get out of the water! I was in a lot of pain - looking back now, it was transition! Dh finished filling the birth pool and our midwife kept calling back while she drove to check in with us. About 45 minutes later she finally arrived and I couldn't get into that birthpool fast enough! She didn't pester me at all - she just supported me. Told me to push when I felt like pushing, to move however I needed to. 20 minutes later DH caught Kiara as she was born under water. She cried just enough to let us know that she could breathe, and then went to sleep in my arms. Our midwife stayed quiet and let us discover that she was a little girl. I held her for a long time, until I delivered the placenta - and then Daddy got his turn! The midwife didn't bother with weighing or checking her until after I was cleaned up and had breastfed her for a long time. I was really touched by that - our bonding was more important than the midwife being in a hurray.
Everything was so quiet and peaceful. It was perfect! It was so different than my hospital births! I bled less. I didn't need stitches for the first time (she was my biggest baby, 9lbs 12oz). Breastfeeding went so much better than it had with the other two. Overall, Kiara has been my least fussy baby! I think her quiet birth is totally responsible! I wasn't even swollen the next day, didn't touch a single ice pack.
My absolute favorite part was when it was all over with. DH and I crawled into our own bed to get to know our new daughter together. I hate that hospital beds don't have room for Daddy's! He was able to hold us both the way he had been doing for the entire pregnancy, and we all fell asleep together.
Let's just say I can't wait to do it again!
I had Grace in a hospital with an OB using the Bradley method. I had a good birth, just a lot of unecessary stuff involved.
Grace, born 12/16/99, 7 lbs 5 oz, 19 3/4 inches long, 37 weeks 2 days gestation
Grace's birth story:
I had just gone to see my OB for what I thought was the last time on Wednesday, and had gotten an ultrasound. I told her that I would be leaving her because of insurance issues (which was true, though deeper than the insurance issues was the ideology difference we seemed to have). She was disappointed, gave us a copy of some things in our files and told me to have my midwife's office call hers for other documents to be faxed before my next appointment. The ironic thing is that I had an appointment with the midwife scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, and I had asked the question, "I know this is me just being paranoid, but what happens if I go into labor between my appointment with Dr. Carol and my appointment with you ... who is responsible for my care if I have left her but have not yet gotten to you?" She told me until I was in their system at the Birth Center, that Dr. Carol would be responsible. Looks like it wasn't such a paranoid question after all.
Well, at midnight that evening, I had bloody show, thin streaks of red blood in with mucous, though not a big glob of mucous. At 4:30 a.m., I was awakened by a contraction, and my water either broke then or just before. It was not much water, maybe two cups, so I really was not sure it was my water until I started peeing about every three minutes. There was never a big gush of water after the bit in my bed. I tried to rest and sleep, but I was way too anxious for that -- some because I was excited, some because we didn't have any bags packed and most stuff not bought because she was 19 days early. For instance, we don't have a printer, and I had not printed a copy of my birth plan, so I had to write it all out by hand while I was in the early first stages of labor. I needed to pack a bag for baby and a bag for Rob and me, make a list of things we needed and didn't have, etc.
About five hours into labor, my contractions were about 10 minutes apart, and not any more painful than menstrual cramps. We decided to head for the hospital. During the ride there, my contractions developed a rhythm and were six-to-nine minutes apart. We arrived at the hospital right about 11 a.m. and I allowed them to check for dilation, and I was at 5 centimeters. I'd had mixed feelings about being checked for dilation, and the nurses were made aware of that. I asked *to* be checked but never was asked if they could or told that they had to. At 3 p.m., I had progressed to 7 centimeters and was fully effaced. At 5 p.m., my contractions suddenly became much more intense, lasted longer, and were about three minutes apart. I had not noticed much back pain up to that point, but it set in then. My friend Pat (our pastor's wife and an RN), was there with me also, and used her cold hand to put pressure on the area of my back that hurt the most, and it was exactly the relief I needed during the contractions. Rob was busy helping me focus and relax and brushing the hair from my face and being tender :)
About 5:30 p.m. I requested to be checked for dilation because of the dramatic change in my contractions. I was found to be at 9 centimeters. I continued to labor like this for another hour or so, and asked to be checked again, and was found to be very nearly fully dilated except for a part of the lip of the cervix. I finally began to feel the urge to push, and I was examined by my OB, who confirmed that I was ready to push. We began a series of pushing for three sets of 10 seconds apiece every time I had a contraction (still three minutes apart). For a while I was told to push, then for a while I was told to just relax. Eventually we got to a point where I was told to push every time, and I think that lasted for about 20 minutes.
I was in pretty rough shape at that point. I had been tired all day and had not wanted to get up and walk to help labor progress any faster and at that point I'm glad I'd done that, because I felt like I didn't have any energy to push at all. I cried and moaned and tried my best to relax between contractions, and every time another one would come, I would wish I'd had more time to rest between them. Pushing was a series of one step forward, two steps back, My OB, Rob and the nurses could see Grace's head come up and go back, crown and then go back in. Finally, Rob convinced me to look in the mirror they had set up so I could see Grace crowning, and that gave me my last bit of incentive to push her out. I gave several primal, groaning deep screams during the last several times to push, simply because that's what it took to get the drive to push her out. It was as if every cell in my body had to become involved in the pushing for me to really do it. It was indeed a whole body experience!
Grace was born with the umbilical cord tied around her neck once. Dr. Carol quickly unlooped it after telling me to stop pushing for a second. Her Apgar scores were first 8 and then 9, mostly because she wasn't quite pink enough the first time because of the cord. She cried almost immediately after being born, as far as I can remember, though I do think they did some suctioning on her with the little ball suction thing. I had requested that they wait to cut the cord until after it stopped pulsing, and it took no time at all for the placenta to deliver. My uterus seemed to continue to contract and the placenta sort of pushed its way out spontaneously with little help from me.
The OB and hospital staff paid close attention to my birth plan and were able to give us the birth we had hoped for, and we are very blessed and fortunate! The hospital stay was not great.. too many interruptions at night and too many restrictions about rooming in and stuff. Also bad feeding/scheduling advice from the nursery workers!!! Was glad to get home!
Lily, born at home 11/26/02, 9 lbs 4 oz, 21 3/4 inches long. 39 weeks 6 days
Lily was born at home in the water with a midwife, and it was an awesome and empowering experience:
was in pre-labor for several weeks prior to the actual day Lily was born. I had several days of intermittent contractions, cramping, and pain in the last 3 weeks, resulting in my walking around at about 100% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated for about 12 days. The off and on nature of the preparatory contracting and cramping left me hopeful sometimes and very discouraged other times. My midwife and my doula did their best to keep my spirits up and encourage me to go about my day to day activities as usual. I kept myself busy running errands, doing laundry, cooking, and washing dishes, last minute nesting activities like organizing the pantry. One never knows when labor will finally set in, but I was prepared for it to be fairly quick, since my body had already done a lot of work. Good thing, because I was blindsided!
Active labor began as I was leaving the grocery store with mom, Grace, and the Thanksgiving turkey, among other things. I'd had about a half dozen Braxton Hicks contractions while we were shopping, over the course of about 35 minutes. They never made me stop and breathe through them, I just noticed they were happening more often than usual. I had also begun to leak fluid that morning, but didn't think it was my water. I mentioned it to my midwife and she said it was probably the outer membrane of the amniotic sac leaking. After we checked out with the groceries, and I sat in the van, I had a small gush of fluid. Before we left the parking lot, I got my first contraction. They started right off the bat at 3 minutes apart and peaking after about 35-45 seconds. I got in the door to the house and called my midwife, and she and my doula came over about 45 minutes later. She checked me, the amniotic sac was still intact, and I was dilated to 6 cm or so. I labored on my hands and knees for a while, finding that holding my abdominal muscles tight and arching my back to keep my rear tucked helped alleviate the pain somewhat. Lily had dropped very low already into my pelvis, and my tailbone hurt almost as much as my belly! I was excited about the day finally arriving, and that excitement helped me through a lot of the early contractions. I spent a little bit of time chatting in my bedroom with my midwife and doula while I labored, and I enjoyed the camraderie of women, knowing they knew how I was feeling and I was excited that we were going to share this experience of bringing my baby into the world. I labored on the birthing ball awhile, while my doula was applied counter-pressure to my knees. This helped my tailbone area feel better, and mom was applying a hotpack to my lower back. I could feel the contractions becoming stronger at this point, and I think I started moaning through them while on the ball. I began to get a little frightened even as I let my body labor freely while I vocalized, I suppose because I was really surrendering to the contractions and not holding back. While the act itself seems relaxing and good, the surrendering of the control seemed unnatural to my personality. But I wanted to flow with it, and moaning and swaying seemed to be what came naturally. I finally decided I needed to get brave, and stood through a few contractions, hoping that gravity would help bring baby down more. I know that gravity does a lot of work, but I knew the contractions would be more painful then. I stood hanging onto the fridge a while, I was rocking and swaying my hips and moaning through these contractions as well. It was interesting to me that I did not want any physical support, I just wanted pressure and heat on my back, and some gentle encouragement and guidance. I suppose it relates to where I was in labor, that I really wanted to be left alone, since I was listening so intently to what my body wanted at various times.
Rob, my midwife, doula, and my mom finished setting up and filling the birth tub in my kitchen, and I decided to get in. My midwife never checked my dilation again, but said later that she suspected I went from 6 to 10 in about a half hour after she got there. She thinks I was probably complete soon after I got in the tub.
I hadn't been in more than about 5 minutes when I started feeling the urge to push, but I tried to hold out for a while... not stopping what my body was doing, but also not pushing. I was on my hands and knees for a while, leaning over the sides of the tub, moaning. Sonya was nearby and would hold my hands as I clenched them through the contraction. Then I got on my bottom in the tub, and sort of lifted my hips up and swayed through the contractions as I moaned. My body started pushing during contractions, and I just went with it, letting my body push sometimes, and helping it by bearing down other times. I started feeling very out of control at that point, even though following my body�s cues was what I wanted. I began to feel like the contractions were overpowering me, and realized that I needed to begin bearing down during the contractions that made my body push. I don't think I was holding myself back very much from beginning to push, but I do think psychologically I was not ready for the pushing stage. I really didn't think it was going to come as quickly as it did. My midwife and doula knew better, they told me afterward.. simply by the quality of my moaning and the denial I was in about how soon baby would come. The tub, although supportive, does not really give anywhere to bear down, so I asked Rob to get in with me. As soon as he was behind me in the tub, the pushing really started. On the birth video, I can see that I really quieted down and went deep inside. I was expecting to see more tears and more deep primal screaming, because that is how I felt that the pushing stage went. But all my fear and uncertainty during pushing was not apparent on the video. I knew that I could push the baby out, I just kept wishing for a break in the constant pain as the baby came down my birth canal. The ring of fire that women talk about as the baby crowns was something I felt for the whole 20 minutes of pushing. I was aware when my amniotic sac finally exploded, and announced that to the room, and soon after, Lily�s head was out. I have never felt such relief in my life as when her head emerged! I even leaned my head back on Rob's chest and said "Oh THANK you!" when her head came out. I knew the rest of her body was still inside, but I could not imagine that it was going to be more difficult than pushing out the head. Interestingly, all pushing sensation left for a minute or more. I know her head was out and in the water, but without a contraction to tell me to push, I was afraid to just barrel ahead. So I caught my breath and waited for the next surge. It did come, and she was out! From the sound of my midwife's voice on the video, and her words "The baby's trying to come out, Jen!!", I think she wanted to let me know I had not pushed the entire baby out in that one push. At the time, all I could do was let her know that I didn't want to force it. I don't think my midwife touched me during the entire pushing stage, until she saw Lily crowning, I hve a vague memory of her supporting my perineum during that stage, and then keeping her hand on Lily's head as I was preparing to push her body out. She lifted her from the water and handed her to me as soon as she was out. All the way through, she was offering encouragement, praise for my effort, and validation of what I was feeling. When Lily emerged, they were busy gathering the needed items for cord cutting, juice for me, towels for us, etc. They waited patiently as we had several minutes in the tub together as a family, and gently helped us out afterward.
Lily has been a great joy ever since her arrival. She came into the world in a peaceful way, surrounded by people who love her. I can't help but believe that it will affect her personality in a positive way. She is very instinctive at nursing, and makes me feel more centered than I ever have as a person.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed every aspect of Lily's birth. There�s not one thing I would change about it. The long pre-labor was emotionally draining, but encouraged me that I could look forward to a shorter labor than last time. The beginning of labor was what I had expected and emotionally prepared myself for, so I was not terrified of the intensity or the spacing of the contractions from the outset. I was able to labor on my own, at my house, in whatever position I felt most comfortable. I needed only to ask for physical or emotional support, and it was offered without hesitation. The joy of homebirth!
Felicity, born 10/06/05, at home in the water, 9 lbs 0 oz, 20 1/2 inches, 39 weeks 3 days gestation
Felicity was born at home unassisted, but we planned to have a midwife. It was very exciting, but I would not choose to have an unassisted birth again. Here is her story:
woke up at 4:30 Thursday morning (10/06) to a strange and intensifying burning and stinging feeling deep within my body. There was nothing I could do to ease it, but it dawned on me that it was my cervix that was burning.
The first contraction came about 20 minutes into the burning sensations, and the second one hit soon after. Five minuted apart if I was laying down, and 2 minutes apart if I was sitting or standing. I called my midwife and expressed my concern that I could not breathe through these 30 second long contractions, and she assured me that I was in early labor and that I should call if things changed.
I endured a few more contractions, and had my husband get up to provide moral support through them. I was not scared, but I was concerned that after having birthed two children naturally, I could not seem to handle the contractions alone, or with any of the techniques I had used with Lily's birth. I had spent a large portion of her labor on my knees, arching my back and tightening my abs during the peaks of my contractions.
I turned to using the techniques I remembered from my Bradley birth classes with my first child, to vocalize low and moaning, to keep my chin to my chest, those sorts of things. I was shocked at how incredibly painful they were becoming, and how quickly they progressed to 2 minutes apart peaking after a minute. Labor was a blur at this point, just trying to keep hold of the edge of my ability to maintain control during contractions. My husband called my midwife again to tell her of the change, and I had some significant bloody show.
I asked Rob to fill the bathtub, as I thought it might provide some relief. I had forgotten for the moment, that my midwife had told me that if you think you re going to birth quickly, get into a bath and get your tissues hydrated. It might also relax you enough to slow things down a little bit.
I was feeling like the contractions were much bigger than I was at that point, and I called my mom to pray for me and to tell her we were having a baby today. I had no idea I was in transition at this point!
I felt another rush coming, and got off the phone. I was thrown to my knees, my hands and head clinging to the couch as I moaned louder and louder as it progressed. During this contraction, my body started to push!
My head spun wildly during this contraction as the realization hit me that I was about to have our baby in just a minute. "What? This can't be pushing! I don't know if I am fully dilated! What if she'd not engaged? What happens if you push and you aren't dilated enough? How do I know it's the right time?"
As soon as that contraction peaked and I started to descend from it, I began tearing off my pajamas, and running toward the bathroom. "She's coming! She's coming!" I kept yelling.
I leaped into the tub, and placed my hand on my womb. I prayed very quickly that God would preserve me from tearing badly, and that he would keep us both safe.
I had my first contraction in the tub, gripping my husband's hand and the soapdish handle, and she crowned and her head was out!!!! Rob supported her head in the water while I waited for the next rush to push her body out. It seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a minute. My final push was much more her than me, and it seemed as through she propelled herself out. She spun perfectly, and her father's hands guided her body through the water and into the air. Time stopped, and we stared at her and then at each other. "We did it!" I remember exclaiming.
Her cord was nice and long, and it was looped loosely around her head, so we unwrapped her, and he handed her to me. She was perched on my knee in the tub, looking around, wide eyed and alart, and not even breathing yet. She was probably in shock! I just stared at her, taking in her surroundings quietly, reveling in the moment we had alone with our thoughts.
Rob called the midwife and asked what he ought to know about delivering the placenta. My midwife was in utter shock that I had already had the baby!!! She had not heard the baby cry while hwe was talking. As if on cue, she let out her first wail. She told him to get some chux pads from the birth kit and help me out of the tub and into the bedroom, to wait for the placenta and to not cut the cord till she arrived. My daughters woke up when the baby wailed, and came flying into the bathroom. They saw the baby in low light in the bathtub just minutes after her arrival. It was amazing and beautiful to share it with them. We made our way to the bedroom, and snuggled in, and my midwife arrived about 20 minutes later.
My husband is a very calm and levelheaded person. I always knew that if we were faced with a "precipitous birth" situation, that he would perform well under pressure and be a great source of strength and focus for me. He was just exactly those things, and I am so blessed to have a husband who can keep his wits about him! He told me later that I made it all look easy, not sure how that's possible since I was barely contained for that last half hour or so! He also said that if his hands had not been right there, she might have hit her head on the opposite end of the tub as she came out with the force of a freight train.
My midwife was a wonderful source of comfort and stability for me after Felicity's birth. She is one of my best friends, and was so happy for us and validated my feelings about the birth, saying so many empowering things after our unplanned unassisted birth. She and I both wish she has been here, but she was confident in our ability to UC even before it happened. While startlingly intense, Felicity's birth was an amazing experience. Thank you for letting me share it with you.
Posted from my ddc!!
Madalynn Elaine is here!! She was born at 4:41pm September 1st. Little Miss Madalynn
Elaine weighed in at 7 lbs 4 oz and is 19.5 inches long.
I am totally wiped out!! I woke up having contractions on thursday
morning about 6am. They were irregular till about 7pm when they hit
10 minutes apart. A few hours later they were 7 to 8 minutes part.
At midnight they stopped completely. I used that break to get a few
hours of sleep, like 4!! When I got up at 5 this morning i started
having them about every 20 to 30 minutes. We got the oldest two off
to school and decided to go walking. We did about 3 miles and the
whole time contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart. We came home
where they spaced out to about 5 minutes apart then they atsrted
getting closer. By about 1 they were about 4 minutes apart. We
called brenda, our midwife, about 2pm. It took her about an hour to
get here. I labored in the tub but it got to where the back pain was
horrendous and I couldn't take it. We went to the bed and after a
little bit I asked her to check. I was 7 with waters bulging. She
said she could break it and it would speed things up but be more
painful or we could keep going like we were. After two contractions,
I said screw it and told her to break it. I felt so much better
after she did. Just doing that sent me from 7 to 9.5 and she told me
I could push if I wanted. I had a few contractions and decided I
wanted the baby out NOW. I had to push slowly while she stretched
skin (what fun) but after 6 minutes baby was here. It was amazing to
be in my own bed holding my brand new baby. James took a peek and
let us all know we had our girl. I have no tears but am having
wonderful (notice the sarcasm) afterbirth pains.
Thank you so much for sharing ladies! I just LOVE reading these! :wub:
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