My Peaceful Birth

Having been blessed with relatively uncomplicated births so far, I chose home birth again this time. I am not saying it is the right choice for everyone, but it was a great option for me. Once again we really enjoyed the great Midwife care we received here in Canada. 

Once again, my storytelling can be quite long-winded. And yes, this story contains accounts of body fluids and bodily functions, so if anything like that makes you uncomfortable, proceed with caution.

The last few weeks of this pregnancy, my hands and feet were swollen, something that had never really happened to me before. So my wedding ring didn’t fit my finger and my feet hurt All. The. Time. I was getting tired of being pregnant, but still just a little bit nervous about how I would handle labor this time. 4 days before my due date, we went to the zoo. Where I waddled around forever and had no results. 3 days before my due date, we walked a mile into town, and a mile back, and nothing happened.

My due date dawned rainy and blah, and I was down. This baby was NEVER coming. The day dragged, I was so tired that I kept falling asleep on the couch sitting up, and I let the kids totally trash the house. I felt crampy all day, and was so emotional that I snapped at the kids several times and even burst into tears once or twice. I managed to make dinner, and when we sat down to eat, I was able to fit a whole serving of food inside for once. Just as I finished eating, (around 6:45 PM) I had a contraction. I moved to sit on the couch and got another one. They were fairly short, but they were the “real” kind. They were 6-8 minutes apart. At first I didn’t think it was the real thing, I had never had labor start at night before. My husband was pretty sure this was it, so he put on a cartoon for the kids and began picking up the disaster of a house.

By 7:15, they were coming consistently 5 minutes apart and I was pretty sure this was it. So we began wondering whether or not we should put the kids to bed, or call the church lady who had agreed to take them during the day and see if she was comfortable taking them for the night. Since we were not to confidant in their ability to go to sleep during an event like this, we decided on an overnight trip. At 7:30 I called my midwife and told her to come on over and then called the church family and told them the situation and she was more than willing to take them overnight, I told her to take her time coming over, since I had nothing ready. All this time my husband was still trying to get control of the disaster (seriously, you have no idea how messy the house was, and it had just been cleaned 2 days before!) so I began throwing some pajama’s, blankies and favourite stuffed animals into a box.

I stopped to breath through the contractions, and made a few stops in the bathroom with diarrhea. I was also feeling a ton of pressure on my bladder, so it felt like I needed to pee constantly, when in reality there was never more than a few drops there. I sat on the couch and talked with the girls for a bit, explaining that they were going to stay with the church family for the night, and the girls got all excited remembering how much fun they had at their house a few weeks before when we had gotten together. I felt at ease sending them for the night, they would be together, I trusted this couple, and their 4 school aged kids are sweet and love having “little sisters” for the day.

My midwife arrived at 8:30, around the same time as the church family. My husband bundled the kids outside and helped switch 3 car seats into the families van (later we discovered the sippy cups and blankies sitting on the counter, apparently they slept just fine without them), and I chatted with the midwife as she brought in her things. At 8:45 I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated, confirming that I was indeed in labour. My midwife also noticed that there seemed to be a lot of water between the babies head and the cervix, so much in fact, that the babies head wasn’t even engaged in the pelvis. The bulging bag could explain why I was feeling so much pressure on my bladder. I felt so much better just taking off my yoga pants, the waistband had been pressing to tightly onto my bladder! So I abandoned them, and wondered around the house in my shirt and underwear, finishing off my first bottle of Gatorade and opening my second one.

My husband began filling the pool (he never got around to getting the connector for the hose, so he was holding it in place under the faucet) I wanted to be near him, so I mostly hung out in the kitchen. I fretted a bit about how I had eaten an entire meal, since I was sure to throw it up during transition.We wondered if the baby would be born before midnight. I remember asking my husband if he felt like we were ready for this, but mostly I just felt peaceful and relaxed.  My midwife had called her partner, telling her to be on standby since I was in early labour, but about 15 minutes later when she noticed that I was leaning forward to put my hands on the counter and rolling my hips through each contraction, she called her back and told her to head on over.

By 9:30 my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, I was still feeling incredible pressure on my bladder, but I had given up on trying to pee. I was still walking and talking in between contractions, and asked my husband to place his hand on my lower back when ever a contraction hit. The second midwife arrived, and by 9:45, I was starting to feel a bit shaky, and after hearing me moan a little at the height of one contraction, my husband suggested that I get into the pool, since it was almost full. I said I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get in unless I was far enough that my labour wouldn’t stall, and my midwife said that since I was past 4 cm, I should have no problems there. So I changed into the shirt that I have worn for every birth so far, and slipped into the pool close to 10 o’clock.

The pressure on my bladder felt better, and so did my lower back. I half sat half knelt, and called to my husband that the water coming from the hose was cold, so he turned it off and put a few pots on the stove to boil, and came in the bedroom to sit with me. My contractions were still about 3 minutes apart, and I was moaning a little through them, while breathing. I was burping alot, and I was sure that I was going to throw up for like 3 contractions in a row, but nothing happened. I told my husband that the contractions were starting to feel a little bit “pushy”, but that there was no way that was right, because I hadn’t even thrown up, so I couldn’t have gone through transition yet.

The word “push” was all he needed to hear, so he called the midwife into the bedroom and told her what I had just said. She told me it would probably be awhile yet, since my water hadn’t broken. I was reminding her that so far my water has never broken until my babies are practically crowning, and right as the words were out of my mouth, my next contraction hit, and my water broke at 10:10. I was shocked, I hadn’t even vomited yet. I hadn’t reached the transition “I can’t do this anymore” feeling. The midwife called her partner into the room, and we all kind of laughed a little about how we had just been talking about waiting for the water to break. There was a ton of amniotic fluid, it was still gushing even after the contraction was over!

About a minute later I had what I think was 3 contractions right in a row, to me it felt like one really long contraction with 3 peaks. I was having so much pressure that I felt as though I couldn’t sit anymore and I moved into a squatting position. In between peaks, I was panting and asking why it was so intense all of a sudden? My midwife reminded me that typically the first couple contractions after the water breaks are much stronger. During the peaks I got that familiar feeling of being unable to NOT push, so I pushed through each one. I had about a minute of rest, and then the next contraction hit and I put my hand against the swelling perineum. My midwife asked if I could feel the head. I replied that I could feel “something” (Which she told me later kind of freaked her out, since that made her wonder if the baby could somehow be breech). I was unsure of what was going on, I could feel something coming out, but it felt slick and slippery, not like the hairy skin of a head. I was kind of freaked out for a moment wondering if my body was losing an organ or something, but it turned out that the baby still had the amniotic sack over his head, and that was why his head was so slick. At the end of that contraction I changed position and leaned back against the side of the pool and my husband gasped “Oh, there’s the head!” I guess he hadn’t realized that I had been pushing out the head with that last contraction. The next contraction hit what felt like seconds later and the rest of the baby slipped out and into the water at 10:17. I reached down and pulled him up against my chest, hardly able to believe that he was out already, and suspecting that he was a boy based on my glimpse of what looked like more than just a cord between his legs. My husband double checked and made the official “It’s a boy” announcement!

We just sat there for a few minutes, laughing and hardly able to believe it was all ready over. Baby Boy looked around and squeaked once or twice, but then settled against me and looked back into my eyes. Amniotic fluid was still gushing into the pool, and strangely enough, no blood at all. The pool still looked completely clean. After like 10 minutes I was feeling uncomfortable sitting and wanted to change position. I suggested giving the baby to my husband so that I could get out, but then the midwife reminded me that we had not cut the cord yet, which made us all giggle again. The cord was still pulsing, so we left it and they helped me get out of the pool and lay down on the bed with the baby. I nursed him for a bit, while the midwife checked to see if there was any tearing. I was completely tear free! The cord finally stopped pulsing almost half an hour after the birth so we cut it and then since the placenta hadn’t made it’s appearance yet, my midwife asked if I minded getting a small shot of pitocin. I moved into the bathroom and after the pitocin and a couple of squats later, the midwife’s partner suggested I try coughing and then the placenta finally came out, followed by a couple of large clots (the first blood we had seen this entire birth). The cord was very long and quite knobby and lumpy, much weirder looking than my other baby’s. But everything was done now, so I moved back to the bed with the baby and nursed him some more and held him skin to skin to help regulate his temperature.

So, Baby Boy was born at 10:17 PM on a Tuesday night, after 3 ½ hours of labour. He was 9 pounds 4 ounces, 21 inches long, 14 ½ inch head. He has a little bit of dark hair that sticks up, and grayish eyes that look like they are going to be hazel like mine. He has dramatic eyebrows and adorable little feet. My milk was coming in by Thursday afternoon which made him very content. This was our first birth where we recovered all by ourselves (since none of our family came out) and I must say I was proud of how well we did. In fact I didn’t overdo it at all until my in-laws came up to visit 2+ weeks later. For all my nervousness about how I would handle childbirth this time, this was my best birth ever.

  • http://remnantofremnant.blogspot.com priest’s wife

    sounds wonderful! and congratulations again

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12557248434888642114 Melanie B

    Wow! What a great experience. I'm afraid I'll never have an uncomplicated or peaceful birth; but I still enjoy reading about other people's. Congratulations on your new boy.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome and inspiring birth story! (Also, since I'm having my first in September, thanks for having one that's NOT a gruesome horror story.)

    R

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01641970264436339191 dulce de leche

    What a beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing it, and congratulations and much love to you! <3

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17217683418314819836 Sarah@EmergingMummy

    What a beautiful story! (Very similar – I was 3 and a half hours and E was 9lbs 13 oz.) Gotta love home births! Well done, mama.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16979912092987681396 Sandra

    I didn't have anyone other than my husband and the midwife in the house for either of my births and I liked it that way. I think it kept things calmer for me. Glad everyone is healthy and happy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03951937670507565105 Shelly

    Birth stories are so fun! I'm glad everything went so smoothly. It doesn't get much better than that!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15528465833214550644 Katy-Anne

    I've had three home births and loved them all. I felt like I needed to be in the hospital this time, and this is my first girl and there has been complication after complication so I am glad that I followed my instinct to do something I didn't want to do.

    My last little boy was 10lbs and he was born about 15 minutes before the midwife got to the house. I had to deliver him myself while on my hands and knees in the pool as it was the only comfortable position.

    Short labors are really nice, although I'm scared now that I won't make it to the hospital on time as it's 30 minutes away AND I have to load 3 toddlers into a van and take them to their grandmas, etc. I'm really genuinely afraid this baby will be born in the car, and while that's not the worst that could happen, I'm threatening to be pre-term and that's what scares me the most.

  • http://frommyfrontstep.wordpress.com/ frommyfrontstep

    Wow, what a quick and peaceful birth! I hope your little boy is peaceful too! :)

    Your home births sound a lot more calm and grounded then most hospitals ones. Sadly, as there's quite a bit of pregnancy and birth complications history in my family, I doubt I'll be allowed to have a home birth!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02614822971755761394 Rebecca

    Congrats! So happy for you. I tried a home birth and wish it had gone so well. I had a little "aha" moment reading your blog though. You said getting into the pool too soon could stall labor. Perhaps that's what happened with me.

    Also, I didn't know midwives could give Pitocin…Hm…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17046924507335607146 Amy

    O my gracious!! Beautiful beautiful… such an incredible birthing experience you had with your sweet baby boy.
    Just beautiful.. smiling from ear to ear.
    Hugs. Amy

  • Edita

    What a wonderful read! I hope you're having a wonderful time with your new one and the older three! Enjoy every second, even the messy, loud, stressful ones, those memories are priceless.

    I do have a question though, it's kind of personal so don't feel obligated to answer. I read the stories of your upbringing, what is your stand right now, do you want more children soon or do you plan on using a way to space them out? No details here, just your general opinion would be nice to hear at this point in your life!

    I hope you're having a wonderful day with your little ones!

  • http://www.ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com Young Mom

    Thank you everyone!

    R- I know that feeling! Congratulations on your upcoming birth, and I hope it goes smoothly.

    Sandra- I agree, I was much more relaxed without family members there.

    Shelly- It doesn’t get much better than that! So true!

    Katy-Anne- I hope that your baby stays put till their ready, and that the birth goes smoothly. It is complicated trying to care for all the toddlers in those last few months and as labour starts!

    Front step- It really was an amazing birth. It depends on the hospital, but some seem less concerned with the mother’s birth experience than others. I think the most helpful thing you can do is to study as much as possible and know what you would ideally like to experience, and then have someone there (partner or doula) who is educated in what you want to stand up for you during labour.

    Rebecca- I don’t think that midwives can induce labour at home, but they are allowed to give a small dose of pitocin after the birth if the placenta is not coming or the mother is having excessive bleeding.

    Amy- Me too. : )

    Edita- Doing pretty good, thank you for the reminder. : ) Baby boy was our first “planned” baby, (as in we decided we wanted to have him) and depending on life changes in the near future, we are hoping to postpone conception after this.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10254315970336710941 CM

    So glad to hear that it all went so well!

  • http://anxiousfornothing.wordpress.com/ anxiousfornothing

    Beautiful birth story! Congrats on your baby boy!


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