Posts Tagged ‘homebirth’

As you can tell from the title, if you don’t wanna know, you shouldn’t keep reading. 😉

My water broke at 6am Christmas morning. I had been uncomfortable and couldn’t sleep since about 4am, and was just laying there trying not to be frustrated with still being pregnant on Christmas. Suddenly I felt a cramp and two little pops and a trickle.”Oh boy…” I said, and Nick woke up and knew.

The contractions didn’t kick in hard right away like we expected. We called the midwife and then headed downstairs to open presents with the kids. We were done pretty quickly since we just bought stuff for the kids this year, and we made breakfast and ate. I was contracting every 10 minutes or so, and wanted to breathe through them, but it was nothing that intense.

At 10:30 my sister Holly and brother in law David came and got the big girls and took them to my parents for the family party. Then it was waaaay too quiet! Nick and I paced the house and went up and down the stairs hoping to intensify the contractions a bit. Toby our dog followed us from room to room.

At around 1pm Laura the midwife came and checked me. Only 4cm but very ripe. Baby was not as low as she had been. I got in the tub but it wasn’t that comfortable. I tried sitting on the birth ball and hated it. I paced around the house.

After about 3pm it’s all kind of a blur. It took everything I had not to fight the contractions. They hurt soooo badly. Since my water had broken we didn’t want to do any more internals than absolutely necessary so I didn’t know where I was at with dilation. Homebirth regulations only allow for 18 hours of labor with ruptured membranes before transporting to the hospital so the clock was ticking. With Audrey I never felt the urge to push and I kept wondering if that was happening again. Laura practically had to make me try the shower and that gave me a little relief until the water ran out. Laura suggested I try pushing a bit to see how it felt and it felt better, but I never felt the urge to push with Audrey and wasn’t sure I was doing it right. Nick climbed in there with me in his clothes, and I leaned on him and the wall of the shower. The cold wall on my face and the warmth on my back were helpful.

When I got out, I tried kneeling by the bed. It was awful. I was too tired (it had been more than 12 hours by now). Laura, her assistant, and Nick were all trying to encourage me but it was overwhelming me. I couldn’t keep my head wrapped around the fact that I was about to have a baby. She checked me again and I had a cervical lip just like i had with audrey. I was discouraged and frustrated. I couldn’t stop my legs from shaking with pent-up hormones and energy. I was praying for strength and suddenly knew what I needed. I stood up, climbed the half flight of stairs to Tessa’s room, and grabbed the blankie we had bought for her, the one that matches Hannah’s and audrey’s. I held it to my chest and ran up and down the stairs. I knelt on the stairs through a contraction and did it again. I had to get blood to my head again, to be by myself, to remember all the time I had spent preparing for her to come. And I had to make my legs quit shaking. I went back to the bedroom and was ready to push.

Pushing hadn’t hurt much with Audrey, but this time it felt like I was ripping open. Two good pushes had her crowning though. Once I knew she was really coming I was ok again. Laura wanted me to push on my back and pull my legs up but that was impossible. I flipped over to my hands and knees and within three pushes she was out. I heard Laura say something like, “ok, we need to….”

The pain was because Tessa’s hand was up by her face. Nick said when her head came out, there was a whole arm there too. In addition, the cord was wrapped around her neck, chest, and waist. They unwound her while I sat down and then placed her on my chest. I don’t think I will ever get over the feeling of a wet, warm baby being laid on me for the first time…

I only pushed for 18 minutes. Her apgars were 8 and 9, in spite of the cord. Over 14 hours of labor. She was born at 8:18pm, 7lbs 2 oz, 19 1/2 inches long.

More reasons I love homebirth: I would not have been able to do this if I couldn’t follow my instincts and do what I needed to do to make it work. If I had been placed on pitocin because of my slow labor, it likely would have caused distress to the baby because of the cord, and I would have been off to the OR before you knew it. I was able and even encouraged to eat and drink the whole time. I can’t imagine I could have done what I did after a whole day without food. I was at home. I had my bathroom, my bed, and Tessa’s room here. And I needed them.

This wasn’t the birth I was expecting, and that made it difficult too, but it was also so easy to see God’s hand in the whole thing.

So, I got my Christmas present. 🙂 She is snuggly and warm and smells good. Nick is taking great care of all of us. In some ways it feels like a break to us, after Nick’s 60 hour weeks. We’re hanging out, sleeping a couple hours at a time, enjoying our family. It’s nice to feel like I know what I’m doing. Not too hard to remember what we need to do, and I don’t worry too much this time. 🙂 Thank you so much for all your prayers! We can’t wait to show her off -call and come see us!


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I have a good friend who is getting very close to her first homebirth. I’m so excited for her I can hardly stand it. 🙂 She’s been on my mind a lot.

I came across this post this morning. This is so true! We homebirthers are certainly not stupid. We know we’d have access to more emergency help if we were to need it, birthing in the hospital. It’s just that because of the high stress (and other things brilliantly explained in this post) of hospitals and doctors, we feel that it’s better for us (and therefore for the baby!) to be at home. We believe that the best way for a baby to be born is without drugs or unnecessary interventions, and without stress. Our best (sometimes I think our only) chance for that is at home.

Natural childbirth is incredible. There’s nothing like it. When I hear women say things about how much they love their epidural, I don’t feel judgment toward them, but sympathy! They don’t understand what they missed!! Natural birth changes a little girl into a woman. I may even go so far as to say it changes a woman into a warrior – she has conquered the world and knows she could do it again. Having experienced both a c-section and a wonderful homebirth, I can confidently say I would do 10 homebirths before choosing a single c-section.

I often say I would do something totally different if I had more than one lifetime to live – midwifery is one of those things. Along with being a Naturopathic Doctor, an English teacher, a biologist… Although I can’t picture a single one of those lifetimes being complete without being a mother as well…

(Fascinating midwife blogs: Navelgazing Midwife (She’s not shy with the pictures, or really anything at all – just warning you), and Belly Tales.)

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Another Home Birth Link

I wonder what the outcome of this will be? Will it cause the government to crack down on what they see as risky? Or will there be greater freedom and understanding of the safety and reasons behind choosing homebirth?

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