- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
Evelyn’s 7 days old today and I finally have time to sit down, so here’s my birth story for our home birth (Warning: really, really long).
Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving, so we spent most of the weekend with family. On Sunday we went to DH’s parent’s place and helped them dig in their new garden. I had a lot of contractions that night, and had some bloody show Monday morning (Thanksgiving Day). I was pretty sure things were getting started, but we didn’t say anything to our families since it was still early and my contractions had died off. We went to my mom’s place for dinner and on the way home my contractions started again, but they were far apart and pretty short, so we went to bed.
At 1am (Tuesday) I woke up with contractions that were regular. I timed them at 4 minutes apart, but only about 45 seconds long. I called the midwife, Carly, anyway (she said to call at 4 min apart, 1 min long, but since it was a holiday weekend I figured she might need some extra warning). When I reached Carly she was at the hospital attending another birth, but she promised to send someone else out as soon as possible. This was one thing I had worried about through my pregnancy. I was a little nervous about having someone else that I hadn’t met attend the birth, but in the moment it didn’t matter to me. At 3:30am a really sweet midwife named Diane showed up at our door. My contractions were starting to get painful by that time and I was moaning through them and rocking on my birth ball. Diane watched for a while and said I was doing well, then asked if she could check my cervix. I was 100% effaced but only 2cm dilated. She said that they typically only attend during and past active labour, so she would set up all of her equipment and then head home so she and DH and I could all get some rest, and for us to call her when the contractions were a little longer. She offered to do a stretch and sweep before she left, and I agreed. That got me to 3cm. She hung an IV bag in case we needed it, unpacked the oxygen, oxytocin, etc, and then headed home.
At 8:00am my contractions were 3 minutes apart and about 1:30 long, so we called Diane back. She got to our house around 8:30am and checked me. I was at 6cm. Since I was now officially in active labour she said she’d be staying with us until the baby arrived. She warned us that labour could still be a very long, and that pushing often takes a long time and said that once I reached 10cm and was ready to start pushing she’d call a second midwife to help out. She asked if we wanted her help dealing with contractions, but Ben had been tending to me really well the whole time and I asked her to let us handle things on our own other than intermittent monitoring. I was pretty lost in the contractions by then, and it was taking a lot of my concentration to work through them, so I remember very little of what Diane did during that time, except that she came in every 15 min to check the baby’s heart rate. DH brought me drinks, rubbed my back, and talked me through the contractions. Around 11am I started feeling like I needed to push. Diane asked if she could check me again, and said that I was at 9cm. She said I could do some “practice pushes” if I wanted for a few minutes since that sometimes helps dilation to complete, but that we’d have to keep an eye on my cervix because if it got swollen from pushing it could cause complications. I decided that I’d rather wait to finish without pushing, but about half an hour later my body started pushing spontaneously at the peak of my contractions. Diane watched for a while and suggested that I labour on the toilet for a few contractions, since the extra pressure from sitting upright might help move things along. I think the walk from my bed to my toilet was the longest walk of my life, but I made it and sat down. As soon as the next contraction started my water broke. I sat out a few more contractions on the toilet and my body continued to push spontaneously. At 12:00 I went back to my room and sat down on the birth stool. My contractions let up at that point for about 5 minutes, and Diane asked if she could check me. She said that if I was at 10cm she would call the second midwife and I could start pushing more actively.
I was dreading an internal exam at that point because I was already in a fair amount of pain, but I didn’t end up needing to have one. When Diane put the light on me she told me I had to stop pushing (not that I had been trying to anyway) because the baby was already crowning. She tossed her phone to DH and told him to call her partner and tell her to get to our house ASAP. Everything went really quickly from there. DH made the call and grabbed the camera. As soon as my next contraction came the head came out, so Diane said I could go ahead and finish the job. Our baby was born on the next push. I pulled her up to my chest and told everyone it was a girl.
She had her hand beside her face at birth, and the time from crowning to birth was only 2 minutes so Diane warned me that there could be significant tearing, but when she checked there was just bruising and a bit of “road rash”. She gave me a pitocin injection since the labour and delivery went so quickly, because that can be a risk factor for hemorrhaging. The second midwife arrived while Diane was checking me, and the two of them helped me get cleaned up and into bed for some skin-to-skin time and to try feeding my little girl.
I couldn’t be happier with how our birth went. If we have another we’ll definitely do another homebirth (although Diane said that if we do, they won’t be waiting to call a second attendant!).
Here’s my Evelyn Marina the day after she was born.