The day we met our baby: Our homebirth story

It all started on Feb. 6, 2014

At this point I was soooo ready to have this baby. I was so uncomfortable in my pregnancy. My feet weren’t swollen, I wasn’t super tired all the time and thank the Lord I didn’t have any health concerns…

I did, however, have loads of shooting back pain, getting in and out of the car was exhausting and activities, such as getting up off the couch were so cumbersome…they were painful… I was tender and sore and I felt like I really couldn’t do anything but just sit there…

We know that’s all part of His plan… he gave us this time for us to just….sit there…

And I did, anxiously awaiting my due date for weeks, feeling like any moment I would just have the baby.

I went with Theo to my routine chiropractic appointment in the morning and my midwives came over later in the day.

My midwives, as I lovingly refer to them as “my wives”, came over for a check up around 3 or so… I was good to go, the baby’s head was, as they referred to as, “locked and loaded”… this meant the baby’s head was as far down in my pelvis as it could go. The baby was now facing out, which is ideal. The week before, the baby’s back was facing my belly so this was all great news.

My midwife asked me if I wanted an internal exam and if I wanted, she could do some pressure points that may help the cervix along. I think when she checked me, I was only about 1cm dilated, but 3cm if she moved it around… I think we still counted it as 1cm…

She basically gave my cervix a massage, hitting some trigger points that could, if I was ready, help the cervix soften and head towards labor. This was unlike the “stripping of the membranes” that my OBGYN had performed on me before I had Theo… this was not as disruptive to the natural labor process and I was very optimistic and comfortable.

My midwife also suggested I…well….we…as in, Sean and I…well, this isn’t that kind of blog but she basically said: What made baby…can also help make baby come out….sperm softens the cervix… I wouldn’t just mention this personal piece of information, but I think it’s all part of it…it’s all part of how one thing led to another…. and…women ask if this is really true and I have come to learn that if a mama is ready and she just needs that little push…. a number of things can work…and this very well can be one of them.

This evening, all I wanted was ice cream. The kids and I went to the mall and before I walked all the way to the other side of where we parked, I realized that the gift card I had for Cold Stone Creamery, would not work at the Marble Slab Creamery that’s actually in the mall…

Rats….

I think the kids played a little bit but it was hard for me to walk, I was getting really tired but my thigh soreness and pressure down there was not anymore than I had already been experiencing, so I got myself into the car and thanked God that I did not just have this baby at the mall.

Home…kids to bed…Sean was supposed to be home by now, with my ice cream, but he wasn’t…

He finally got home around 9:30 and he was in a sort of funny mood… he had a long day as well and I told him that I was in crampy pain and just wanted ice cream! I remember stretching out on my belly, on our couch, trying to get comfortable. I wasn’t noticing that the crampiness was getting worse and really uncomfortable…

Sean fell asleep on the couch, and when he awoke he went upstairs to bed… I think I was just eating my ice cream at this point…

10:03 pm

Facebook message to my midwife:

Feb. 6 at 10:03 PM

“Will I know the difference between cramps and contractions? These cramps are pretty knarly!”

I haven’t used the word knarly (and meant it) since I was in the third grade… again…another sign I should’ve known…

My midwife recommended I look for something more regular and asked about a bloody show.

“Just a tiny bit of pink fluid…I was lying down when I noticed it…that was about a half hour ago…the cramps hurt, I mean…I have been trying to time them, just not sure, will start to look at the clock”

 

“They seem to feel better if I hold up my belly while lying down”

“I haven’t had a cramp in about 5 minutes, I’m lying on my belly/side, stretching feels better”

She suggested we see what happens and anticipated a pattern if the cramps were actual contractions.

“Ok, sounds good…I will watch for something steady”

So.. we are looking for something steady…I can do that… if it’ll tell me if this is actual labor and not false labor then I am ready to find something steady…

I remember skating around my kitchen at this point… I was gliding, pumping my arms as I did laps around my island… this seemed to help the crampy pain…

Jimmy Fallon becomes my doula

At this point I was in really, super, uncomfortable pain…

I guess it was coming and going…was it? I just didn’t know what was going on.

The fact that I didn’t want to eat the rest of my ice cream really should have been even more of a clue…if the terrible pain wasn’t clue enough…

I decided to watch Jimmy Fallon and I jokingly have mentioned that he was my doula… he got me through a few of the contractions… let’s remember, I actually didn’t think of these as contractions at this point…I was just trying to wrap my mind around this experience… (enter future me here: hello, you are in labor!)

However, at the time, they seemed to come without consistency…

The 11:30pm hour

I was trying to look at the clock and see when these pains would start and if there was any rhyme or reason to them.

Time for another Facebook message:

“So far, 11:10, 11:14, 11:17, 11:23, 11:29…hmmm”

 

“I’m laying in bed….I don’t know”

My midwife asks me how long they are lasting and asks more about a bloody show. At this point they are all over the place.

“A little more pink…they last for maybe 10 seconds..just feels like a really bad cramp”

(Future me here: They were certainly longer than 10 seconds, I just didn’t know, my “1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi” counting was Not doing me justice…or accuracy)

“Doesn’t feel like a hug”

(My midwife had told me a few weeks earlier that I would know if I was having a contraction…like it was a hug all around my front)

“Just had one…it feels better when I push a little on my lower belly”

(I think this was the over achiever in me…I should get points for my own pain relief, perhaps. I also think my brain was thinking at the time that known fact about a contraction is it would feel a little better if you hold up on your belly…thus, you will know it’s a contraction!….Obviously I was searching for anything to tell me for sure what the heck was going on…was this real labor? Was it false? Was it going to last another day? Good Lord…I cannot go another day…)

“Its about 10-15 seconds”

Again…totally off..

She said a full contraction has a definite start and peak, and does it feel like that?

“It does…it feels like it starts a little soft then gets stronger and then subsides…”

 

“I will focus more on the next ones”

Again…a little over achieving I think, in retrospect…

“Maybe I will get up and see if that helps”

She asks if I can walk and talk through them, do they make me stop or catch my breath…

“Just had another one…started walking around…they make me stop and I have to move to try to relieve the pain, they hurt for sure”

 

“And the baby kicks in between so there is a circus going on in there”

Still keeping my humor at this point, even though, I assure you, it hurt….like…hell….

Also note, I am Googling all kinds of things at this point:

  • How do you know you’re in labor?
  • What’s a contraction feel like?
  • What is false labor?
  • What is actual labor?
  • How long are third time Moms in labor?

I think I read somewhere that babies don’t typically kick in between actual labor… did I actually read that? Maybe this again encouraged my wondering if I was actually in labor…

“I’m eager to see how the next hour goes…if this keeps going”

Still optimistic and adventurous!

My midwife suggests I see if they get longer, stronger and closer together…if they keep jumping around, it could be a false labor run.

“Ok”

Time them…

“Ok”

 

“Little more pink discharge…took another bath…still every 4-5 min, 15-20 seconds, I could be counting too fast…”

“I’m going to start over counting and timing”

“I was way off…just timed this one and it was 35 seconds…writing them down now”

 

 12:30am

This sucks…. I mean, what the hell is this?

I’m upstairs now…it’s quiet, dark, and I’m pacing…

I lay down on the couch upstairs and the pain almost seems to strengthen during a contraction… I remember thinking to myself,

“Is this how it ends? Is this how it all ends? I made it 9 months and then this is how this works?”

I think, looking back, I wanted to get used to this feeling before I made any moves…any decisions… before I told my midwife to come….before I woke up Sean…before….anything…

I wanted to get a handle…on…this…shit….

This was massive and I just wasn’t sure where to go from here…

I wasn’t thinking about the baby coming… I wasn’t thinking about the water tub that was all set up and brushed against my leg as I power walked next to it…back and forth…

I wasn’t thinking about pushing, or not pushing or what to do next…

All I remember thinking was: This…hurts…

Laying down was out of the question…It hurt too bad… I had to be upright…hunched over, even…

And I remember feeling like I wanted to master this pain…feeling like I wanted to get used to this feeling…

If that makes sense..

I remember feeling like I needed to really become alright with this because it was something I had never experienced before and if only I could just….for lack of a better description…

think my way out of this….

There was no thinking about anything but this pain, thus why I actually didn’t do anything or make any decisions…

Except to get into the bathtub… my safe haven…

1:30am

My cell phone records don’t go back this far, but I think it was about this time I called my midwife on the phone.

I was in my bathtub, leaning over the tub and I don’t remember our conversation but I do remember her telling me to relax my shoulders when the contractions came. This really helped… I remember her asking me if I was having one and I was, and I just tried to breath, and I couldn’t breathe, just feel that pain and tolerate it until it was over…

I ended up getting out of the tub, walking around again and I guess I started talking louder because Sean woke up…

He obviously said something about me and labor and the baby and if our midwife was on her way… He was frantic, but calm, I think…

He was up and down the steps and I think he was being really nice and I remember distinctly saying to him,

“Sean…you seriously cannot talk to me…. I cannot hear your voice when I’m having a contraction…”

I remember this feeling and it was just as painful as the contraction… his voice just went right through me and I couldn’t bear to hear anything but my midwife’s voice… I think she asked if I wanted to labor with Sean or something like that and I think I said,

“I want to punch him in the (swear word) face…”

What? Why would I say that?

Because…I hate to say it…but it was true… I was sweating….I couldn’t do anything but pace around the upstairs and focus on this pain… Clearly my mind was leaving me

I don’t remember how my midwife and I hung up the phone…I think she said she was going to leave for my house…

2:00-ish pm

I was in the bathroom a lot and couldn’t sit on the toilet… but I had to go to the bathroom… Sean was walking around and I think I did try to sit on the toilet and at one point I did say to him to call our midwife…I had just gotten off the phone with her… It was probably the baby talking….

Charlie came out of her room and I told her to go back to her room, that everything was fine, no matter what she heard, everything was fine.

2:14 am

I texted my aunt and told her: I am having contractions and I can’t talk…pray for me

This is all a blur… a foggy…blur…

I soon became stuck to my bathroom like a magnet…I needed to be here…I was going to the bathroom…on the floor…because sitting on the toilet was just too painful.

At one point, I was in my bathroom, and everything was quiet…and I was all alone… I remember thinking: I am going to have this baby by myself…

In retrospect, the pain and feelings and thoughts all started running together…

Sean told me afterwards that at this point, he had called our midwife and she said that I probably had another hour…. Sean then said, “Let’s say the baby is coming sooner than we think…I think the baby going to come soon…tell me what I need to know.”

She reminded him of the instructions she left with us a few weeks back. He grabbed them and brought them into the bathroom. He had already called his mom to come over to be with the kids, thank goodness.

I, still in the bathroom, remember stopping, in front of the toilet and my body clenched her fists..and pushed… as if I was having a bowel movement…

This I remember vividly… I did not tell my body to push…she just…did…

My hand is now at my crotch because I remember our midwife telling us what to do if she wasn’t there…she said to put my hand where the baby would come out because then I could visualize the baby coming out…

That I did…

I don’t remember getting down on one knee, but that I did as well….

Sean is here with me at this point, behind me, talking…saying something…in a soft voice…

My body pushes again and I feel something…a head….

My body relaxes and I feel the head go back inside…

Looking back, it was probably about 30 seconds, but in the moment I couldn’t tell you how long.. seconds…minutes…

My body pushes again and I feel the head again so I do push this time…. and the head comes out…

I look down and I see the baby’s head, to the side…(this I know to be a good thing…the baby’s head to the side)…

The baby has dark skin..my mind wonders in this moment, “hmmm….”

I know to wait….wait for the next contraction…. I wish I would’ve looked back at Sean’s face… I didn’t think about it then…

The next contraction comes and I push… Sean knows, from our instructions, to let the baby come…

Most Important: DO NOT DROP THE BABY

2nd Most Important: DO NOT PULL THE BABY AS IT COMES

Pulling the baby can both cause harm to the baby and cause Mom to tear

I remember Sean telling me to pant…you’re supposed to do this as the baby comes so you don’t tear and the baby doesn’t come out too quickly.

So I’m holding the top of the baby’s head with my hand….I am pushing and I remember thinking that I didn’t want another contraction to come…I didn’t want another contraction to go by and this baby not be out…

I kept pushing and fought the urge to push even harder, risking tearing….and I fought the urge to pull the baby out…

The baby came all the way out and Sean was saying nice things in a sweet voice…he put towels all over the floor and sat me down against the wall, handing me the baby, telling me to breath on the baby and rub the baby’s back (this is to stimulate the baby’s breathing)…

He knew to make sure nothing was around the baby’s neck and had the aspirator ready…although we didn’t need it.

At this point, Sean hears a long “beep”, looks over at his cell phone and realizes that he had left a message on our other midwife’s voice mail. His mid call to our mid wife left us with a recording of the birth…and how we knew what time to put on the birth certificate.

As I took the baby from Sean, I saw all the baby’s hair, and immediately thought it was a boy…

Then I flipped the baby up and over so I could see in between its legs…

I smiled…

“It’s a girl”

I held her close to my chest, and Sean took my sports bra off, up and over my head…

I let out a little wimper to Sean, in shock that our baby was finally here.

 

 

Our midwives got there as I was nursing and took the best care of me. This included all the fun stuff of birth, like facilitating the cutting of the cord by Sean!, helping the placenta out, managing blood loss, cleaning up the area and pretty much being everything of comfort and support. They gave Sean and I the opportunity to have this experience like we never had thought possible and we are grateful.
Baby Truly weighed in at 7lbs, 11oz and was born at 2:38am.

 

 

The birthing tub I never made it to

 

We had no idea what we were in for… when we considered a home birth as an option, we recognized the risks that were involved, as well as the rewards. We had no frame of reference, other than what we had seen in videos, movies and from talking with friends who delivered at home and our midwives.
We went into our experience with faith, love and hope… and there were moments that I was very scared…scared of the risk involved in having a baby that I never knew before…
Prayer and faith led us to know that baby was coming whether we were ready or not, just the way she was made to come, however it was…however she was…
10 fingers, 10 toes….breathes…strong heart….health and more health….
This is the part of the experience that I appreciated this time around more than ever. I prayed for health and feel very grateful for this every day. Grateful for us all.
Truly’s birth leaves us with an amazing story, an experience that cannot be scripted and will always be remembered…
When I married Sean, something I had written in my vows that I read to him was, “My mom always told me: Don’t marry the man you can live with….marry the one you can’t live without…” (which was and still is true!)
This vow is also true for Truly’s birth… this was an experience I was guided to have… although there are risks involved for both a hospital and home birth, this was an experience that I felt in my heart…. I could not live without…
So, for me, these moments were filled with faith and love…and gratitude.
…and miracles…
And my journey of choosing love rather than fear led me to a place of uncertain certainty…
Those who are certain of the outcome, can afford to wait…and wait without anxiety. ~ ACIM
Choosing love rather than fear led me to praying for peace and hope…that we did everything we could to have a healthy and safe pregnancy and birth….with love and support.
Our story ended well with the birth of our healthy baby and healthy Mama….and I can’t begin to explain, as I’ve written before, what makes one story positive and another negative… but I can say that, for me, it was about something bigger…something greater than myself…and this is what pregnancy, birth, babies and children have taught me.
There is a higher power that works on our behalf…
We are hear to tell our stories…be inspired and inspire others.
We are hear to fear not….love much and expect miracles.
Thank you to our family and friends, from the bottom of our hearts…for your love and support, for being here to listen, help and care for us all.
Our journey in creating this family is as meaningful as it is, because we have you to share it with. Our children carry parts of you with them and it is our desire that they share their gifts with the world, as you have shared your gifts with them.

 

3 thoughts on “The day we met our baby: Our homebirth story

  1. Pingback: How my life and belief changed as I became an awakened woman – Nikki Watson; love, spirit, light dweller and shadow worker

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