Our home birth, with our second child, was my ideal birth. Everything went exactly how I envisioned. With the help of my husband and midwives we were able to bring our beautiful baby boy into the world. Looking back I can’t think of one thing that I would want different. Birth looks different for every single person. It can be traumatic or not go as planned. It can also go exactly how you want and be magical. Here is our beautiful home birth story:
Home Birth Begins
I had been having contractions on and off for days leading up to birth. Nothing extremely painful or consistent until the evening of December 23rd. After feeling a couple strong contractions, that night, I started to clock them. They were constantly 5 – 7 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds. I used a contraction tracking app which was extremely helpful.
Around 6:00 pm, while cleaning up toys, I started to leak fluid. That was the first strong sign that we were going to have a baby later that night. My husband and I communicated our plan for the evening, which was to call the midwives as soon as our daughter was asleep and fill them in on my labor progress. As the evening continued I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned because I figured it would be my last chance before baby arrived. My contractions were definitely getting stronger. At this point, whenever I felt a contraction I would stop what I was doing and focus on it, breath and allow it to finish without interruption. This was extremely helpful to me. By focusing on the contraction/pain I was able to keep my mind calm and stay in tune with what my body was doing.
After T fell asleep, around 9:00 pm, we called our midwives. We communicated to them exactly what was going on and they agreed that I was active labor. Their plan was to pack up and head to our home. My contractions were constantly 5 minutes apart, 30-45 second long. I continued to focus through each one. They were painful but I was still able to handle them fully on my own.
While waiting for the midwives, my husband and I hung out together in our living room, in front of the warm fire and watched Schitts Creek. The funny show kept the mood light in between contractions. Whenever I felt a contraction coming on we would pause the show and I would put all my energy towards it. I was switching between experiencing my contractions on a birthing ball and experiencing them standing up. In between contractions I was also still prepping for what was to come. I set up my essential oil diffuser with lime and lavender, ate a bowl of yogurt and a protein bar, drank a mixture of water and coconut water, and had my birth playlist ready to start at any moment.
Our first midwife arrived at 10 pm. She brought bags of supplies that my husband helped her carry into our house. While she was setting up we talked about my contractions and she observed while I went through a couple. Once she felt situated we headed to my bedroom to check my vitals and dilation. As we walked toward the bedroom I heard my daughter saying “Mama!”. My husband was able to go into her room and check on her. She was half asleep, but needed to use the restroom really bad. He took her to the bathroom and then tucked her back in bed. She did not even catch a glimpse of our midwife and fell back to sleep almost instantly.
Once my daughter was settled in again we made a second attempt to head to the bedroom to check vitals. Know that every movement I made was in between contractions and I would instantly stop the moment I felt one start. My vitals (temperature, blood pressure and heart rate) all looked great. Baby’s heartbeat also sounded great. I was 4 cm dilated when I wasn’t contracting and was more during a contraction. We transitioned back into the living room and waited for our other midwife to arrive as labor progressed.
The next midwife arrive right at 11:00 pm. At this point contractions were feeling exhausting. After a contraction all I wanted to do was rest. Sometimes it felt like I could fall asleep briefly after experiencing one. The TV was now off for the night and our birth playlist was playing faintly in the background. I was taking full advantage of my birthing ball by constantly bouncing on it. My husband was assisting with pain relief during each contraction by pushing on my lower back. That pressure gave me so much relief as contractions continued to intensify.
At 11:30 pm, I requested that we slowly start to migrate to our bedroom. This is when nausea began to set in. I was handed a bottle of peppermint essential oil to start smelling and was brought ginger tea. Thankfully, the nausea began to subside. I was constantly rotating between water, coconut water and ginger tea.
Transitioning to our bedroom was smooth. We did it in little increments as to not disturb my contractions. In the bedroom we tried some other positions. We placed the birth ball on the bed and I laid over it get some rest. I even laid down on the bed which felt amazing and I was actually able to get a little bit of rest in between contractions or at least that’s how it felt.
I started to feel pressure around my anus but my contractions still felt like they were far apart. At 12:30 am a midwife came in and said “if you start feeling any pressure you can push”. I was and had been feeling pressure but didn’t think my contractions had gotten strong enough to have transitioned to the pushing stage. I told her that I was feeling pressure, but I thought my contractions were supposed to be closer together and hurt a lot more before I would be able to start pushing. She asked if I wanted her to check my cervix. I was all for her checking me, but I did not want to lay down on my back (flashback to labor with my first born, when I laid down to have my cervix check and had a contraction so bad I threw up) She said she could do it with me standing so I was all for it! She checked me and said “You have no cervix. You can push whenever you are ready.”
Here Comes Baby
With my next contraction I mentally prepared to push. Once that contraction stopped we moved positions. I stood up over the front of my bed while my husband sat on the bed with his arms around me. During the next contraction I listened to the pressure and pushed with it. Surprisingly with that first push I felt a pop and water running down my leg, my water broke!
When the contraction stopped I told everyone that I needed to go to the bathroom and pee (once again flashback to my previous birth where the nurses forced me to go to the bathroom to pee because they told me once the baby got in there they might have to put a catheter in me if my bladder wasn’t empty. I had the worse contraction ever sitting on the toilet.) Thankfully my midwife knew that wasn’t necessary and told me to pee right where I stood and that I didn’t need to go into the bathroom. What a relief. Another contraction came, I pushed and could feel baby moving down. The next contraction I felt the head crowning and knew if I kept pushing I could get them out, so that’s what I did. First the head popped out then the shoulders and my baby was in my arms at 1:06 am.
This was our home birth. To be continued…
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