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Arei Gracen ~ Unplanned Homebirth

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August 8th, 2009, 08:45 PM
Del4's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cali, baby!
Posts: 500
This is really, really long. Just warning ahead of time!

August 4th, 2009 - I woke up to bloody show and diarrhea in the early morning. I was also very aware of feeling "different." Tried to sleep, but I was too excited. Contractions were irregular and barely painful. They lasted all day, but remained spaced out and varied in intensity.

August 5th, 1:20am - woke up to strong contractions, about 5-7 minutes apart. They finally got me out of bed around 3am and went good and strong for about 3 hours. I rocked on my exercise ball trying to encourage them to continue. I was so ready to meet my little boy! They stayed pretty regular, but never got closer together. I decided to get into the tub. The warm water was so relaxing and Sergio got up soon thereafter. I think both caused me to lose focus and the contractions slowed down quite a bit, even in intensity. I figured no big deal and went about my business for the day. Contractions weren't going away all day, but they were definitely spotty. They would come on strong, get close together and make me think things were getting close and then they'd back off for 30-45 minutes. They were in the background all day, but never took center stage. It was a little frustrating, but I just figured when I went into "active" labor, I'd know. I spent the day cleaning and baking a cake to welcome Arei and trying not to focus too hard on wanting to be in labor and instead allow my body to do what it needed, without the influence of my thoughts. Night fell and I figured "welp, another day gone." I went to bed around 9pm. Or tried to. It was nearly impossible to sleep and for some reason lying down made the contractions sooo much stronger.

I got up around midnight on the 6th because laying down was impossible. I came out to the living room and rocked in the chair for a while. They contractions were coming and going like before, but they had gotten closer - as in, they'd come every 4-6 minutes and then back off for 20, then back to 4-6 minutes a few times, then back off for another 20. I really thought they would get more normal before anything happened. Around 1am, Sergio came into the living room and laid on the couch. I told him to sleep because I didn't want him tired if I needed him. He agreed and fell asleep. I rocked in the chair and fell in and out of sleep for hours - all interrupted with the contractions, but never regular enough to keep me awake. I finally got tired of passing out only to be woken up minutes later and thought I should get in the tub to try and relax a little and get some rest. At this point, I knew labor was imminent, but I had no idea I was in ACTIVE labor. I figured it was on it's way, but not yet. It was probably 5am when I got into the tub. I gave it a quick scrub before getting in, in between contractions and it was awful waiting for it to fill up. I finally got into the tub and felt better for 20 minutes or so and then the contractions got really strong. They were making me feel kind of pushy and I remembered that from Reicher (also remember not being ready to push yet) so I called out for Sergio a couple of times. He finally came and I told him the contractions were really strong and made me feel pushy, but that I wasn't sure if I was actually in transition because they weren't one on top of the other. They were probably 10 minutes apart? I kept thinking they were going to stop. But they didn't. Finally, I decided I needed to get into the shower and see if the warm water that way would help. I don't remember why, but I wanted to stand up. I got out of the tub in between contractions and walked to our bathroom (I preferred our shower to the one in the kids' bathroom). I turned the water on, got into the shower and no sooner had I climbed in did I realize I was having another contraction, but REALLY strong and the urge to push was no longer controllable. When the contraction came, I grabbed a hold of the shower curtain rod and let my legs go limp and tried not to push. After that contraction, I stood there for a second in shock like "did that really just happen!?" and then almost immediately, another contraction exactly the same and my water broke and I was grabbing the curtain rod and telling Sergio there was no time left. I don't think he believed me lol. After that contraction, I immediately went down to my hands and knees and pushing began. I remember saying, "OH ****, OH ****! He's coming!" lol. Told Sergio to get towels and blankets to keep baby warm once he was out. I remember clearly after the first contraction on my hands and knees wanting to move to the squatting position, but was never able to. The contractions and the need to push took my body over and I tried to just go with it. I was really scared I was going to tear horribly because it was going SO fast so I tried to pant through some pushes and that was NOT working, so I let go and just followed my body's cues. I think I had 2 good contractions and pushed nice and strong and I remember feeling the ring of fire and thinking "wait wait, let the nerves numb themselves so you don't tear" but the urge to push was soooo strong, I couldn't wait. I pushed through the ring of fire and Arei's little head popped out. The shower was still on, it was helping my back so much, but Arei came out and cried IMMEDIATELY (just a little head crying) so Sergio turned the water off. I clearly remember begging him to leave it on by whining, "But I neeeeeeed it!!!" lol So Arei's little head is out, he's crying and Sergio says "there's a lot of blood." He doesn't specify whose though and it freaks me out, I think maybe the baby. I get the urge to push and push as hard as I can and I feel Sergio do something and I say "NO!" then I feel Arei's shoulders turn and I say, "Okay, now!" and I push even harder (ignoring that maybe it's going too fast because I still didn't know where the blood was coming from) and out slides Arei's little body. Sergio was having trouble holding him, so I flipped around and gently moved the cord out from under me and took Arei. He was sooo beautiful. I could hear a little mucous in his breathing, so I held him forward with his butt above his head and it came out. I then held him skin to skin for a while until he started rooting. Then I let him nurse (took him a minute to figure out the latching thing lol) and we waited. Sergio was freaking out because the tub had blood all over it. I kept trying to tell him it was from me and that the baby was okay and that it's NORMAL for mom to lose a bit of blood after the birth, but he was pacing around and I could tell he was about to call 911 lol. I told him no (he asked) and said I needed to deliver the placenta, so he needed to stop flipping out. 15 minutes after Arei was born, I was still in the tub with baby and felt the urge to push. I pushed gently and out came the placenta, fully intact and looking fine. I couldn't see any parts that looked like they'd separated, so I assumed all was well. Blood was still coming out of me and this was making Sergio even more freaked out. I tried to tell him how badly I'd bled after Rei and that it was like that for DAYS after his birth, but he didn't listen to me. I gave up. Told him to get something to tie the cord with so we could cut it, since it had stopped pulsing and I needed to get up. He got a drawstring from some shorts lol and tied it really tight, then cut it. We kept it kind of long, just in case. By this time, all the kids were up, so they came in and said hello to the baby. They all gave him kisses and then I had them go play so I could get up. I had Sergio take Arei and get him in a diaper and some clothes. Told him to keep him warm.
I got up to try and clean the tub up a little and then clean myself up. Since we'd sat in the tub for about an hour, the blood had coagulated and it wouldn't go down the drain. It was pretty icky, so I had to remind myself it was not from some mass murder and then I was able to touch it and clean it. After I got the tub mostly cleared, I took a quick shower. I couldn't find any tears, but I was just sure I had because it had gone so fast. I did also find a piece of the placenta, so I took that out and the bleeding slowed way down. Got out of the shower, into some clothes and went to see Arei. Took his picture with my cell and then went out into the living room with him. Sergio kept saying we needed to go to the hospital and I kept ignoring him. I was fine and so was Arei, but he kept saying I looked so pale and I lost a lot of blood and what if there WAS something wrong with the baby and blah blah blah. At this point, I'd been up for about 30 hours and had just given birth ... I was so tired. All I wanted to do was sleep, but Sergio kept saying I couldn't sleep, so I didn't. Trying to convince him I was okay. He made me some breakfast - 2 organic eggs, 2 pieces of whole grain bread and a peanut butter nature valley bar. I ate it all and drank an Odwalla energy juice drink that I had bought for during labor. After eating, I still could not keep my eyes open, so I took Arei into the bedroom, fed him again and then we both slept. I had been asleep for maybe 45 minutes when Sergio came and said, "It's been an hour. I really think we need to go in." I glared at him, explained how incredibly tired I was and then tried to go back to sleep. He walked out of the room muttering something about cps or something and I couldn't sleep anymore. I got up and sat in the living room and drank some water. I told Sergio I was totally okay going and getting Arei checked out at a ped, I just didn't want to go to the hospital because I knew they'd keep us. He kept saying he didn't know why, that's silly, why would they do that, blah blah blah. Finally around 3:30pm, he convinced me to go. I really didn't want to, but the idea of getting into trouble or something because we hadn't gotten checked out and what if I really did bleed too much and didn't know it now had me concerned and so we went. We went straight to L&D, thinking that's where the ER would send us, but they were TOTALLY freaked out lol. They told us to go to the ER. Then they told us to go to the Mother/baby. Then L&D took me and the baby into a side room, but said the kids and DH had to go. So Arei and I sat and waited for about 5 minutes, when they came back with a wheelchair and said they couldn't keep us there and that we'd go to the ER. I said I'd walk, but they wouldn't let me. So, back to the ER we go and get checked in and everyone wanted to hear "the story" lol. Some of them made me feel like an idiot, others made it out like I was a freakin' hero. It was odd. They were all very nice, though. They check our vitals, all is well. We wait to see a doctor. He finally comes in, tells us he's never encountered this before and he's been working there for 10 years. Then says if we're both fine, he has no problem releasing us to go home. Checks out Arei, all is well. Checks over me and tells me great news - NO tears! I was SO proud of myself in that moment. And he said my bleeding was totally normal (yeah, that's what I thought!). So he says he'll go get the paperwork to get us released.
I am sooo relieved at this point. I am also STARVING. Hadn't eaten since that morning and it was around 7-8pm by now. A really nice nurse offered me a lunch pack. I accepted and ate half the sandwich and the fruit cup when the doctor returns looking bummed. Expresses again that he's never experienced this and had no idea how to maneuver it. Said he fully expected to release me, but had just spoken with a pediatrician who recommended we stay 24 hours. I ask if we can sign out AMA and he agrees. I start getting our stuff together and toss the rest of the lunch. I wasn't hungry anymore. 20-30 minutes pass and the nurse comes in and looks even more bummed than the doc. She tells me they won't allow me to sign out Arei. I can sign out myself, but they'll keep Arei so they can run tests. I say I'll decline all tests, so that would make that pointless. She makes it a point to apologize to me and tell me she actually agrees with me but can't/shouldn't say that. After more discussion on their part, the Resident is sent in to talk to me. His first words were "Pretty risky thing you did there!" and I told him it wasn't on purpose. His face changes completely and he says, "OH! Well I guess there are way too many stories out there, then! Let me get the real story from you." He asks me a bunch of questions and I ask him why he's asking me all this stuff. He explains and I decide I'm okay with that and we talk and I explain what happened. He then explains that if I decline all testing and the 24 hour observation, they will be "forced" to call CPS. It's the "standard" he says. I feel broken at this point and he asks what I'm going to do. I look at him like he's an idiot and tell him that they've basically tied my hands. We'll stay. He tries to comfort me with "we all just want what's best for you guys" but I just shrug him off and ask how soon we can get a room. I agree to admission at 9:50pm. We finally get a room at 11pm. I am beyond exhausted and just want to sleep, but if you remember having a baby anytime in the last century, you know the nurses do NOT leave you alone -- and certainly not when you're a "difficult" patient. When we initially get into the room, I'm asked a billion questions all while trying to sleep. I swear I told the **** story 50 times that night. Finally, around 1am, we are left alone to sleep. I fall asleep immediately, but at 2am, they are back for vitals. And to weigh Arei. Back at 4am, more vitals, want to check my pee, etc, etc. Back at 6am for more vitals and BS. At 7am, nurse comes in to introduce me to the nurse taking over because it's shift change. Thank GOD for the nurse who takes over. Her name is Jen. Her first question is, "what happened?" her second after hearing our story, "um .. so why are you here?" My thoughts exactly! She was a godsend. She left us alone most of the day, didn't bother with any of the other crap the first nurse had all night and basically just tried to make us comfortable. when Sergio and the kids arrived, they were allowed to stay until we left and Jen did everything she could to keep the kids happy. She brought in a table and chairs for the kids to color and brought them sandwiches and applesauce and juice boxes. She was just so great. We never saw a pediatrician (which was the whooooole reason they gave us for making us stay) until about an hour before discharge. He came in, checked out Arei and then that was it. It was seriously 15 minutes of his time that we waited 20 hours for. When we finally were discharged around 6pm on the 7th, nurse Jen was as sweet as ever! She brought a wagon to wheel all the kids down in lol. They enjoyed it. When we got out of the hospital, there were stuffed animals and a blanket in the wagon which she then gave to the kids. I could have cried at how nice she was. She said she just felt really bad for all the crap the hospital put us through. We hugged quickly and I hope she knows how truly grateful I was for her. She was the only bright spot in the whole experience.
I will say, no matter what happened in the hospital, I would never trade this birthing experience. It was ... incredible. I'm still trying to process it and still get a huge smile when I think about it.
So, that's it! The very, very long story of the birth of Arei Gracen, born August 6th, 2009 @ 6:15am. Weighing in at 8lbs 14.9 oz and measuring 21.5 inches long. I am so totally in love and wouldn't give back that birthing experience for anything in the world.

Last edited by Del4; August 25th, 2009 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Fix birth weight - he was really 8lbs 14.9oz which was confirmed when he was weighed again 6 days later and was 8lbs 12oz.
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August 9th, 2009, 05:00 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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This is such an awesome story. I'm sorry the hospital put you through such a ridiculous ordeal, but the birth part of the story is amazing!!
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August 9th, 2009, 05:43 PM
niknok's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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What a great birth story! You did awesome! I'm sorry the hospital sucked so badly. It really is ridiculous isn't it?

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August 9th, 2009, 07:27 PM
catherineclare's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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What an AWESOME birth story!!! That's amazing I hope I can be that brave if something like happens to us because I do not know what natural labor feels like.

Your baby boy is adorable!! Congrats again!
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August 10th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Beautiful story! Totally poopy abut the hospital though. To me that was the only bad thing about a hospital birth, having to stay afterwards.
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August 10th, 2009, 02:41 PM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So impressive that you ended up doing this unassisted, albeit not in purpose. Frustrating about having to stay at the hospital but glad all worked out. You are incredible! Congrats!!!
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August 10th, 2009, 09:34 PM
BoobyDutyAgainJen's Avatar Proud Mom & Birth Mom
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How neat!! Be very proud of yourself!! I am very glad I got to read such an inspiring birth story!

Thanks *Kiliki* for the precious siggy!

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August 11th, 2009, 07:34 AM
~*Kel*~'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Wow your birth story is amazing! I am in awe reading it.

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August 14th, 2009, 05:56 AM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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wow! what an incredible story!! sorry about the hospital. they would wake me every 1-2 hours to see if i fed the baby and flipped out when i was sleeping with her.

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August 14th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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WOW! That was awesome!! The hospital totally sucked with threatening CPS and everything but that one nurse sounded great. Congrats!!

Momma to Brynn 10/2/2002 (midwife at hospital)
Emme 5/26/2008 (midwife at freestanding birth center)
Pierce 11/28/2009 (midwife at freestanding birth center)
and Surprise Baby #4 due 11/13/2011
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August 24th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Twinkle's Avatar Platinum Super Mommy
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What an awesome story! Way to go, mama!

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September 5th, 2009, 08:57 PM
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incredible story!
Elizabeth, mommy to Judge and Zavier, and crossing fingers for an Ellen Paige this December!

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