- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
Here is a picture of Erica. She is now 8 days old.
**went on and on without realizing u had the baby…congrats! She’s a beauty:) I’ll leave my story up anyways.
My first baby was a home birth. Family and friends thought I was crazy, but I did my research and felt comfortable and confident in my midwives. I bought a birth pool and prepped myself with an excellent Lamaze book about the stages of labour etc.
I couldn’t sleep the day before my due date so I sat on the couch surfing the net and my water broke! The next day I confirmed with my midwife it did break. i didn’t have any contractions so we mixed up some castor oil other wise would have had to be induced at the hospital because of the water breaking.
we set up our birth pool and a couple hours later I was in hard labour and Fiance called midwife to come. shechecked me i was at 7cm so she said to jump in the pool. The pool is amazing for pain relief. They suggested I try to push outside the pool and there’s no way I was getting out of there.
long story short, I delivered a healthy baby (I got to reach down and lifft her to my chest. My midwives monitored me constantly and I never felt scared or wrong. I felt so empowered to be able to do it by myself with their guidance and support.
I wanted a home birth for my second and she came a month early so we were at the hospital. We were on the cusp of a home birth. My water broke at 37.4 days and the cut off is 37.5. We chose the hospital because of some minor complications. I’ll say the induction was torture being strapped to the bed and no relief. I didn’t want an epi and the gas did nothing. The pain was unbelievable in comparison to being in the water.
i was disapointed with my second birth because i had differet expectations, but am happy with the decision as I wouldn’t want to risk her health because I wanted a home birth.
2 different experiences and I think home births are amazing. If you’re healthy and baby is and you’re in competent care of caring, supportive midwives….I say go for it!! Worse comes to worse you labor and move to the hospital. There’s nothing like giving birth in the comfort of your own home. im a huge supporter of home births when they are done safely and supervised.
sorrry I went on and on just reliving the memory☺️
Msg me if you have any questions!
Hi there! I just spotted this thread. I had my heart set on a hospital birth with a midwife because I was really nervous about the idea of a home birth and couldn’t envision how that could possibly happen comfortably or neatly enough in our home. Well, I found labor much more manageable than I expected it to be, I progressed fairly quickly for a first birth, the weather outside was horrendous, and the last thing I wanted to do was get dressed and get into a car at that point in my labor. So at the last minute I opted for a home birth, and I am so glad I did. It was a fantastic experience.
If there is anything in particular you want to know about it, you can send me a message or ask it here. I can also send you the birth story I wrote a few days after DD was born if you like.
I found this blog post really interesting, especially what she says about the reactions she’s received from people she knew well in the home birth community: http://www.popsugar.com/moms/What-Home-Birth-Like-36487613
You’ve probably seen it already, definitely worth a read if not.
My labor was totally normal, and I pushed great. Baby was sunny side up, but I got her out without assistance. Everything went great.
Until afterwards. I passed the afterbirth, and the doc began stitching me up. I felt super sick and when I puked, I passed a massive clot. Then another. I was hemorrhaging.
I ended up okay, but I had zero risk factors. It was completely random and had I been at home I wouldn’t have made it.
Just please be careful! We want healthy babies AND mommies! Good luck!
On Friday after work, I went to dinner and a concert with DH. I was 36+6, and I had one more week of work before I was off for the Christmas break and then mat leave. The dinner was great and we cleaned our plates (which we never do). The show was a lot of fun, and I had a great time despite feeling overheated and uncomfortably swollen all crammed into my seat. I was definitely on some sort of high. After the show we bundled up and wandered back to the car to go home, giddy and in great spirits. I had planned a very productive weekend, including packing my hospital bag, finishing up washing, sorting and putting away all the baby laundry, and getting our car seat inspected. They were forecasting -30 degrees Celsius, a huge dump of snow and strong winds for Saturday afternoon into Sunday, so I fell into bed soon after we got home so that I could wake up early and get a jump on things.
I had been experiencing a significant increase in discharge in the previous week, and by this point in my pregnancy I was waking up every two hours overnight to visit the bathroom. All pretty normal stuff for 36 weeks. So I didn’t think too much of it when I had a great big gooey string of CM at my 3 a.m. bathroom trip. My curiosity was piqued a bit when it happened again at my 5 a.m. visit. But when I got up at 7:30 a.m. and saw veins of red blood in it, I became aware that I also felt a little crampy. Oh well, I was clearly losing my mucus plug. Interesting. But my due date was still exactly 3 weeks away, and so I figured it was just my body getting ready for later on.
I crawled back into bed and decided not to wake DH since it wasn’t serious and I didn’t want to alarm him. But as I lay there I was getting increasingly uncomfortable, like at the start of a period. When DH woke up and heard me whimpering, I told him what was going on but assured him it didn’t mean anything. Still, we decided it would be prudent to pack my hospital bag as planned for that day. I alternated between going through my morning routine, gathering some things for the hospital bag, and lying down whenever the cramps came back. Wait a minute. Came back? They were coming and going in increasingly well-defined waves. DH made us breakfast, and I sat down and tried to eat my plate of bacon, scrambled eggs and hash browns, but it was hard to stay sitting at the table when I was gripped by a “cramp.” I stood up and paced around the dining room and living room as I munched on a piece of bacon.
After breakfast, I was no longer feeling up to packing the bag, let alone going out to the car seat inspection we had scheduled for noon. It felt like really bad period cramps, and it would hit every few minutes, so it was hard to get anything done. I dictated two lists to DH: remaining items to put in the hospital bag and a shopping list for snacks to add to the bag, and I sent him out to go to the inspection and stop by the grocery store. I still thought I was prepping the bag for weeks from then. It was just a precaution.
I went to lie down again and the cramps just kept getting worse. But still on par with the worst of my period cramps. The debilitating ones that kept me at home writhing in pain in bed once a month when I was a teen. I pulled up the contraction timing app on my phone purely out of curiosity and started timing them. They were 4-5 minutes apart and about 30 seconds long. I had instructions to call my midwife when they were 5 minutes apart and one minute long for at least an hour. Still, it was daytime and I was getting concerned, so I paged the midwife.
She called back a few minutes later and gave the expected answer. Take a shower, eat something, and page if they got longer or my water broke. I couldn’t imagine eating anything at that point, but a shower sounded good. I worked through a bunch of contractions in the shower, which were now making me cry out in pain. I was doing my best to breathe through them, but still didn’t believe this was really happening. I got out of the shower and collapsed into bed to wait for DH to come home. It was almost 1 p.m. by this point.
I get hazy on the timing after this, since I was in pain and not really looking at the clock. I was aware of the time only when someone else mentioned it. I dozed in between contractions, and at some point DH came home. He hadn’t yet gone to the grocery store, so I sent him out to do that before the storm got really bad. While he was out, the second midwife called me and kept me on the phone asking questions and giving me some coping techniques for about 15 minutes so that she could time my contractions. I asked if there was any chance this would ease off and turn out to be false labor, but she said she didn’t think so—it sounded like the real thing. I still didn’t believe it.
When DH came back from the store, I was still just willing myself to sleep in between these immense waves of pain, so I hadn’t been timing them. I handed my phone to DH and he started timing them. I can see from the log that around 4 p.m. a lot of them were 45-50 seconds long and they were mostly 3-4 minutes apart. By 5 p.m. they were 45-60 seconds and still mostly 3-4 minutes apart. I realized that if I made it to one-minute-long contractions I would be past the point at which we were supposed to give the midwives a heads up and into timing that meant we should head directly to the hospital. I asked him to page the midwife and tell her what was up. She said she was out walking her dogs, but would make her way over after she was done.
The midwives showed up sometime around 6 or 7 p.m. They coached me to relax my face and moan lowly through a contraction. They did a check and much to everyone’s surprise, I was 7 cm dilated and 85% effaced! I was expecting 2-3 cm at most. DH was still expecting a false alarm. They told us that if we were planning to go to the hospital, we would have to make that decision within the next 15-20 minutes. I had had no intention of having a home birth. I had wanted the security of a hospital in case something went wrong. I had wanted access to drugs in case the pain became unbearable. But at that moment the very last thing I wanted to do was stand up, get dressed, go out in -30 degrees and ride in a car for 20 minutes to resume the process in the hospital. Changing positions at all brought on a more intense contraction almost immediately.
The midwives said that they didn’t want to persuade us one way or the other, but my blood pressure was good, the baby’s heart rate stayed strong and steady, I was coping fairly well with the contractions (still like severe menstrual cramps), and they had everything we would need in their car. My big concerns were emergency access to the hospital if needed, and pain management options at home, but after a bit of reassurance I agreed we were going to stay put, and they went out to the car to bring in the supplies.
The rest of it is fairly fuzzy, because you really do go into yourself and operate on sheer instinct. I was aware of what was going on in the room and even made a few jokes in between contractions (when DH yawned at one point toward the end, I quipped “Oh sorry, are you getting tired?”). The short version is that the contractions were going strong but nothing was really happening for a while, so they had me kneel at the head of the bed and I labored mostly on all fours or gripping the headboard, and eventually leaning over a yoga ball on the bed. After a bunch of contractions that felt especially strong, one eventually broke my water, which felt pretty satisfying At least something was happening. And it was also strangely liberating to feel the liquid squeeze out with a contraction and just go with it. I felt like I was peeing all over the bed. But I had my waterproof pad down, and the midwives were really good at putting extra disposable pads and towels on the bed underneath me and changing them as needed so that nothing got messy or ruined.
After my water broke the contractions got very intense. I don’t remember them as straightforward painful, but pain mixed with extreme discomfort if that makes sense. Whenever I felt one coming on all I could do is call out “Help!” and right away the midwife and DH were right there massaging me and coaching me through it, which helped immensely. At a certain point I started to feel a bit of pressure in my lower back and butt during a contraction, so I knew the head was coming down. Within a few more contractions I started to involuntarily push just a little bit at the height of the contraction. This got more intense until I had 2-3 urges to push during a contraction, and the midwives urged me to give it a try. I felt like I couldn’t resist, but it also felt mostly involuntary and uncontrolled. Finally they told me to make a concerted effort to push, and especially on the third urge during a contraction, and to do it like I was trying to poop. I had to just trust that was the way I was supposed to do it as wrong as that sounded, but they told me I was pushing well.
This part dragged a bit, and it felt like forever without any sign of the head emerging. One of the midwives asked if she could check where the head was, and I said yes. She told me it was coming down but was not near the opening yet, but she could feel the baby trying to corkscrew its head down. So that was the weird sensation I was feeling between contractions. Eventually they had me flip over onto my back with my knees pressed back toward my chest so they could help coax the baby out in case there was a lip of skin blocking her (turns out there wasn’t). I really didn’t want to move, but they helped me get into position.
My contractions got a little bit less intense and more spaced out in this position and it took a lot of effort to get the most out of a contraction. I felt like I was doing more of the work myself instead of working along with a contraction. Finally they told me they could see a bit of the head, and invited me to touch it. It was really there! The progress felt pretty slow, but every time she emerged a little more, they asked me to touch her head again. It sounds gross, but it is really encouraging to feel the progress and also to know you’re that close to the end. Still, it took probably an extra 8 contractions or so beyond what it felt like I needed to get her head out [note: I now know I was pushing for just over 2 HOURS, but time doesn’t really seem to exist when you’re in the throes of labor], and the midwives were really urging me to push HARD because her cord was around her neck and they couldn’t quite reach it. Still, every time they checked her heart rate it was strong and good. I don’t think it dipped below 120, and she was usually somewhere around 140.
Finally, her head popped out, and on the next contraction her shoulder came and then they pulled the rest of her body out at 12:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. It was the freakiest thing to see and feel her body and legs emerge from me. She was so long and lean and it looked really weird, like the magic trick with the handkerchiefs where they just keep on coming after you expect it to be done.
They placed her on my belly and rubbed her a bit to get her crying more vigorously, and she happily obliged. They waited for the cord to stop pulsating before clamping it, and because DH had said he wanted nothing to do with it they asked if I wanted to cut it. I decided why not. One good snip with the special scissors and she was free. The placenta came easily and painlessly with a mild urge to push several minutes [note: It was closer to 15 or 20 minutes] later. I did have a second degree tear, so I got some stitches. I didn’t feel it happening, and it didn’t hurt very much afterward so long as I took it easy.
The midwives stuck around for a couple of hours to make sure we were okay and to do a bit of cleanup. They looked over the baby and declared her “perfect”, and helped me get in the shower to freshen up. And then around 3 in the morning they left the three of us lying dazed and happy in the bed where it all happened to get some rest. We got a home visit the next afternoon to see how we were all doing.
As much as her timing was a surprise, the biggest shock to me was that it became a drug-free home birth. When I began this journey I was certain I wanted to be in a hospital and have an epidural. I think it was mostly fear speaking. The birth overall was very peaceful and smooth.
There are over 25,000 stillbirths a year in the US. Of course, not all of them are from home births, but I bring that up to say birthing is risky business. And low risk is still too high a risk when it comes to the life of my baby. I still have moments of guilt that I couldn’t save my baby even though it was a freak accident that I couldnt have prevented. I can’t imagine what I would feel like if I thought I hadn’t done everything possible to keep my baby safe.
Many pro-home birth sites take down any negative information. Or they blame the parents for doing something wrong. Please go out of your way to read the negative stories too. Everyone wants to believe that the bad stuff won’t happen to them. I’m in good health, I’m a good person, lots of positive karma in the world. But really, really bad things happen to really, really good people.
I’m going to post some links you should read before making your decision.
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