Alexis's Birth Story - Our Accidental Unassisted Home Birth
Alexis Eva Margaret - Born August 31, 2011
8lbs 4oz and 21.25in long
My pregnancy had been very different from the beginning with this baby. It was our first surprise pregnancy which meant a lot of different feelings and emotions came with it. I had wanted a home birth with my last daughter, but my husband wasn't comfortable with the idea so we used a free standing birth center instead. When I got pregnant this time, I brought it up again and he agreed we could at least look at the options and try to find a home birth midwife. We were fortunate to find several that would come to our area and found Kate, who we felt very comfortale with and confident in.
As I got near the end of the pregnancy, I started feeling as though this could be a late baby. My last 2 daughters were born at 40 weeks and 40 weeks 3 days, so I still hoped I wouldn't go too far, but still had this feeling like I could. As my due date came and went, I realized that my feeling must have been my mother's intuition. I passed 42 weeks, which luckily my midwife was very comfortable with since the baby and I were both still healthy. She didn't want to go past 43 weeks though, so I could start to feel the pressure to push labor along a bit. At 42 weeks 3 days, a Wednesday, we went about our day normally. I saw my midwife the day before and she did a membrane sweep, which gave me some good contractions that night, but they were still spaced out a lot, and tapered off before I went to bed. We had my oldest daughter's kindergarten meet and greet Wednesday evening and when we came home and started making dinner, I decided to take a little bit of castor oil to see if anything would happen. I was nervous after having a bad experience taking it with my first daughter, but I thought it was worth a shot, and my midwife had been encouraging me to try it. This was around 5:30pm, so we had dinner and got our daughters ready for bed. I could feel my stomach start to get upset, so I was just waiting for it to kick in so I could start using the bathroom. I was dreading what effect it was going to have and started regretting even taking it.
I came downstairs as my husband put our daughters to sleep and around 8pm I noticed some contractions coming much closer together than usual. They seemed to be about every 5 minutes, but they were not very strong, I was on the computer and watching TV and they were barely enough to take my attention from either. I knew the consistency could mean it was early labor, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. These continued for the next few hours, and I figured I would just see where things went before I took the next step. I still hadn't used the bathroom so I was praying that would happen if this was early labor. Around 10pm, I noticed a much stronger contraction, and about 5 minutes later, another. I hadn't told my husband yet that I was having contractions, so at that point, I decided to fill him in. I decided if the next was just as strong, we could call my midwife and give her a heads up, since I had decently quick labors with my first 2 daughters. So Zane got on the phone to call my midwife and my mom, who was coming to watch our daughters if we needed it. The contractions where nice and strong, and as soon he got off the phone, I told him he could get the tub ready since I knew I would want to use it.
He went upstairs and I started timing contractions. They were now coming every 3-4 minutes and at that point, I decided I wanted to be upstairs. He was just getting the tub up and ready to fill. The next few contractions came quickly and I realized that I was feeling some pressure with them, even though I didn't want to push yet. I told DH to call Kate back, but I realized that it was probably too late already. I leaned over my birth ball for the next contraction and found myself moaning through it, a sign that I was in transition. DH left the room to call Kate and as the next contraction came, so did the urge to push. He walked back into the bedroom and I let him know I was pushing and asked if the tub was full enough that I could get in. I could hear that bit of panic in his voice as he realized that even my midwife's assistant was probably 20 minutes out still and there was a good chance this baby was going to come before they arrived. I got in the tub as quick as I could and immediately got on my knees and kept pushing. I could feel her coming down and over the next few pushes, I felt her head crown. I tried to control pushing the best I could because I didn't want to tear, and I felt like I was controlling it much better than I had last time. Instead of screaming, I just focused on pushing down like I would if I was using the bathroom. I could hear DH still running around and as I felt her head start to come out, I asked him to come catch her. After her body came out, I turned myself around and sat down so I could hold her.
Everything came naturally after that, I knew we needed to get blankets over her to keep her warm and we would have delayed cutting the cord, so we left that alone also. I think I was just in shock, I don't even remember crying like I did after my other 2 births. Alexis immediately started crying and I could tell she had a lot of mucous, probably because of such a quick birth. She also started rooting around, so after about 10 minutes, I decided to get out of the tub and get us both warm and dry so we could try to nurse. DH got the bed ready and we got in and dried off a bit while waiting for everyone to arrive. DH called Kate to let her know that I had the baby and I heard my mom come in the house, so I had DH go downstairs to get her. My midwife's assistant, Connie, arrived next and helped me deliver the placenta and clamped the cord so DH could cut it. I'm not even sure what the timeline was during most of this, but DH said he glanced at the clock after she was born to get the time, 11:06pm, just over an hour after active labor had started. After my midwife arrived, we did her weight and Kate realized she had a tongue-tie, so she offered to clip that right away to avoid problems with nursing, like I had with my first daughter. I knew I tore a little bit, despite trying to be so controlled with pushing, but once she crowned, I let her come out quick. I luckily only had a small tear, which was only a little sore for the first few days after the birth.
I had prepared myself for possibly having a quick birth, but was suprised when it was so quick that no one else even made it in time! I'm glad now that we planned a home birth though and had everything prepared instead of being on our way to the birth center or hospital, and giving birth on the side of the road. Afterwords, I realized that despite her being OP (posterior) my entire pregnancy, I didn't have any back labor, so she must have flipped at some point during labor. I'm still in shock that everything happened so quickly, but it was such an amazing experience to give birth right in my bedroom, with just my husband and myself there. After the birth, we just curled up in bed and were even able to get a few hours of sleep that night. I don't know if we'll have another baby, but I wouldn't hesitate to have another home birth if we do, we'll just be better prepared for such a quick birth next time!
Meeting her big sisters the next morning
Re: Alexis's Birth Story - Our Accidental Unassisted Home Birth
Wow what a story!! I think it went beautifully and im really struck by how you kept your cool despite the unexpected unassisted birth. Your hubby sounds like he did a good job keeping his head through all that too. Having just you and your hubby there is awesome. The way mother nature intended I think, after all women gave birth unassisted for years and years before hospitals and such came along. Congrats on your beautiful little girl and hope to read your next home birth story one day ;)
Re: Alexis's Birth Story - Our Accidental Unassisted Home Birth
congratulations, what a great story!
my oldest shares alexis' birthday, and was also 8-4 and came super-fast. :)
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