Friday, September 7, 2012

A Home-Birth Story

I have been trying to figure out the best place to start with the story of my second son's birth. It seems like ages ago that I was calling my husband into the bathroom to tell him I was pregnant. He had just returned from deployment 4 weeks earlier and we were a little shocked! Especially because our 1st son was only 6 months old. From the beginning I wanted to have a home birth and we quickly settled on an awesome midwife about an hour away. Then about 4 months in we found out we were moving. In order to save money (we were paying out of pocket) we switched to a midwife covered by insurance until we could find someone in our new home state. At about 34 weeks we were finally moved in and were incredibly blessed to find a home birth midwife covered by our insurance. I finally felt like I could relax and prepare for birthing at home.

Everything was progressing beautifully and I was becoming more and more confident that we had made the right choice with our midwife S. Confidence quickly turned into impatience as 37 weeks rolled around... I was having lots of braxton hicks, my belly was huge and I was experiencing all the normal discomforts of later pregnancy. I wanted my baby here! I guess now is where the real birth story starts!

This is me 2 days before my son was born. Sorry for the quality, I took it with my phone in the bathroom for facebook. 
Saturday night I had several strong contractions that fizzled out after about 3 hours. Thursday night my midwife had predicted my baby would arrive by the end of the weekend and I was disappointed when my contractions stopped. I decided to go to bed and that sunday would bring some action. When I woke I was very excited to find I had lost my mucous plug. My body was preparing! I wasn't having even mild braxton hicks contractions though so we decided to go ahead with our plans to spend the day at the lake. As the day went on I became more and more frustrated that nothing at all was happening! That night around 10:30 I decided I was done. I was done trying to figure out when the baby would get here, my body signals were just too confusing.

I started having mild and inconsistant contractions around 11, thought nothing of it, though I should have known something was up because I was too restless to go to bed. Around 3:30 am I finally forced myself to my room to lay down. Just 10 minutes later I had a really sharp contraction. Then another about 5 minutes later.. I woke up my husband and said "I think we might be calling her soon..." After another contraction just a couple minutes later I started timing them, knowing this was it but somehow not wanting to believe it. I tried my best to rest through these contractions. After about 30 minutes I told my husband it was time to call her. I think this was around 4:15. I could no longer talk through them and I could not lay down. Still, I wasn't convinced... I called her again and said "What if Im wrong?" She laughed and said I sounded like I was in labor and she was on her way. I was in a panic because this was the one night all week that I hadn't obessively cleaned the kitchen and there were dishes in the sink and food on the table from dinner. I tried my best to clean them but just couldn't do it. After only an hour and a half my contractions were about 3 minutes apart and I could no longer move around.

Our midwife was about an hour away and was able to get here at about 6:00 am. As soon as she came in I felt better... I wanted to get in the birth pool but it wasn't quite ready. I hobbled to the shower to see if I could get a little relief but got out after just 5 minutes because standing was uncomfortable. My son woke up about 6:20 and seemed to know something was going on because he didn't come over to me for most of my labor. At this point time is a blur so I am not real sure how quickly things happen. Not long after my toddler woke up, I was able to get into the birth pool. I immediately felt a relief from the pressure in my back. It didn't change the intensity of my contractions, but it did relieve the nagging back labor in between them for most of it. Almost immediately I felt my body giving little pushes at the end of my contractions. I remember being surprised how good it felt to do that.

Despite my facial expression, this is when I was telling my midwife what a relief the water was!
Things continued to get intense, I made quite a bit of noise during my contractions! After an hour or so my midwife asked if she could check me to see where we were at and I was an 8. It was so good to hear that!!! Quickly after this my contractions really peaked and I was getting tired. I was nearly falling asleep in between contractions. I remember during a few of my contractions my son was mimicking my grunts and I remember it making me feel stronger and more focused. There were a few moments that I broke down and cried because it hurt and because I was tired. I remember telling them I needed to be done soon. At one point my son wanted to give me kisses and I felt so much love for him! After that I had another contraction and he made growly and grunty noises to mimic the sounds I was making. I loved him even more and it got me through a few more contractions. Another hour passed, I think it was around 8:50, I agreed to let my midwife break my water. My back contractions were getting so intense and I was ready for him to come out. This part only lasted 30 minutes, but it felt like forever!



My contractions immediately changed and he began to move through my pelvis. I was having really intense contractions with back labor. I began to panic because the back labor wouldn't ease up inbetween my contractions. I remember saying over and over "They aren't stopping! I'm supposed to get a break in between!" Sobbing happened and I yelled at them all saying "It's time to go in, I don't want to do this anymore!" My husband calmly told me no, it was too late to go in. I really began to lose it (in my mind anyway, according to both my husband and midwife I wasn't that out of control) and starting telling them this wasn't transition talking, I AM DONE. I really couldn't imagine doing this for any longer.

Here is my husband holding me up so my midwife can reach me to break my water.
I suddenly felt my midwife quickly reach in while I was yelling at them to take me to the hospital and she said "I felt your baby's head! He's coming now!". I immediately yelled "No he's.." and then I felt this amazing, otherworldly push that seemed completely removed from myself. It was my body, not me, that did it.

My midwife was amazing! She pressed on my back the entire time to help alleviate the pressure.
I remember this part as being rather scary. I had read over and over that women felt a huge pressure like going to the bathroom and then they would push. Once they crowned, you would feel "the ring of fire". I immediately felt what I thought was "the ring of fire" and started panicking! I thought my pubic bone was going to explode and I felt my body try to run from the pain. At one point I actually screamed. I was terrified. I heard my midwife say "Wow! Your body is really efficient during this last part of labor!" Then I heard her say, "here's the head!" I remember thinking "What??? Your just now feeling the head?"  I was actually confused because I had been feeling that ring of fire for so long. I started yelling "GET HIM OUT! GET HIM OUT!" in between my contractions. I remember saying or thinking that pushing hurt but not pushing hurt more. I kept trying to hold them back. I finally realized that the only way to make it stop was to let it happen. I started listening to my midwife who was telling me to slow down so I didn't tear. I finally focused on what was happening. I talked to my midwife a few days later and she informed me that he had been sunny side up through my whole labor and that she thought he did his final rotation in my pelvis. That explains the extra pain and fire I felt in my pubic bone as well as my endless back labor at the end of labor.

Finally, the head was out. I was momentarily relieved, though it still hurt. It mostly felt strange... Just sitting there with a head sticking out of me. I was so ready to be done, I tried to push again on my own but my body wouldn't do it. I said so and my midwife kindly said I had to wait till my next contraction. Another moment and I was pushing out the shoulders. Next thing I know she is saying "Grab your baby!" I did and it was amazing. I just held him and cried saying "My baby, my baby!"



I looked at my husband who was holding my oldest son and they were both grinning. We hadn't planned for him to see the actual birth but when I screamed during the final pushes, he had been startled and wanted to be held (once he was held, he was totally fine). I kept holding my new son close to me, but my placenta was still high and so I had a short amount of cord. I was trying to hold myself out of the water enough to keep him safe and I was exhausted. We had planned to delay cutting the cord until it was finished pulsating, but I couldn't keep myself up anymore. My midwife cut the cord after about 5 minutes (it was nearly finished) and I was able to get out of the pool with help. My midwife handed my husband our new baby and I nearly cried seeing him holding both our beautiful babies. The look of wonder and excitement on my sons face was beautiful, I think he loved his baby brother immediately.



After this I got to go into my own bed and hold my baby as long as I wanted. I got to nurse right away. My husband and I were completely respected in everything we wanted and needed. Nothing was rushed, everything was peaceful. My midwife was happy to wait until I was ready to let him go before she weighed and measured him ( 8 lbs 3 oz and 20 3.4 inches long ) and did her exam. In fact, it wasn't even brought up until I asked her if she was ready. This is by far the most beautiful part of my experience. It was pure and uninterrupted. I just enjoyed my family and my new baby. We all did. My labor lasted 6 hours and my son was born at 9:17am. It was an amazing experience. It was painful, but I did it. It was worth it to have it at home with no meds. It was peaceful and even though the end was more painful then I thought, even though I had a moment of shear terror, I would do it again. I didn't have anyone telling me I couldn't have my baby yet like I did with my first baby. I didn't have anyone roughly handling my infant. I didn't have anyone telling me I couldn't do it or that I was silly and stupid for wanting to. I received the best care possible. This was a bonding experience for all of us. I know for sure now that birth is so much more then we think it is. It is the growth of a mother, a father, a sibling and the beginning of life for a baby.





Written By Happily Domestic Contributor: Brittney Thompson

Linked to: Simple Lives Thursday 

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3 comments:

Jodi Faye said...

Congrats!

Cami said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad that the overall experience was a good one for you! He is a doll.

Terra H. said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it with us. I've never had a home birth but I imagine the bonding is more intense since there's not a lot of distractions and people trying to do things with your baby.

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