I was 24 when I became pregnant with my first child. I was scared, stressed out and had white coat syndrome so bad! Which is funny because I'm a nurse! I dreaded those pre-natal appointments in the Ob-gyn office. The rude nurses, and the quick doctors who didn't remember me anyway. Needless to say, I had high blood pressure whenever someone would check it. They wanted to send me to L&D floor at 20 weeks pregnant even when I insisted it was normal and low at home. They wouldn't listen. So I wouldn't stay. I decided that night I would look into home-birth Midwives. My husband and I watched The Business of being born as soon as I got pregnant and I said I would NEVER have a home-birth! That's just crazy! And guess who had a home-birth...
So here is the story of the birth of Leo.
I met my Midwives at about 20 weeks. Loved them. I loved the fact that I went to her cozy home for prenatal check ups and the fact that it was just me, no other patients, no waiting, no nurses. They could do pretty much everything the doctor did. It was so comforting. So my Husband and I decided this is what was best for us and our baby-- a home-birth.
I woke up at 40 wks, 3 days at 5 am with mild cramps. I went back to sleep but was so excited because I knew it would be the day. I told my Husband to go back to sleep and not to go into work that day, because we were going to meet our baby boy. His Mother was staying with us to help out. When I got up a few hours later, I called my Doula and let her know I was having mild contractions. She told me to just let her know when I was ready for her to come over. We already had the house all prepped. Birthing pool was up and ready, towels, birthing kit, everything was set and I was anxious to meet this baby! My doula came over around lunch time. My mother in law was cooking and my Husband was helping her. My contractions were 3 mins apart for the whole day! But they were so mild my doula didn't think too much was happening. I called my midwife when my doula arrived to let her know I thought today would be the day. She also told me to call her when I was ready for her. She came around four pm and checked me. I was 4 cm dilated with contractions every 3 minutes. She suggested we go for a walk and she wouldn't be far and to call her when I thought I needed her to come back. ( when the pain got worse ). So my Husband, my doula and I went to the park and just walked. And walked. I gained over 55 pounds with my first child so I was definitely getting uncomfortable. We decided to go back home around 6 PM because I felt the pain starting to increase. I called my Midwife because there was a home-birth meet up that night ( this was a Friday night, and we had a meet-up one Friday a month ) which my doula was going to take me to, but I decided last minute that It wasn't a good idea. This baby was coming, tonight! So my midwife told me to try a hot shower and she would be there shortly. She arrived a little after 6 and I was getting out of that hot shower with my Husband with me ( best pain relief ever! ) and wanted more hot water on my back. I had back pain and could not lay backwards. ( I couldn't imagine doing it in a hospital bed on my back! ) So they got the birthing tub ready and hot and I hopped in. I wanted to be alone with my husband, as was the plan all alone. So we set the tub up in the baby's nursery, lit the candles, put on some Jack Johnson and Jewel and I sat in the tub hanging over the edge while my Husband rubbed my head, sang to me and rubbed my back. Eventually he came in with me. My midwife came in every so often to check the baby's heartbeat, then would leave us alone. Everyone sat in the living room and chatted while I labored. It was nice to have privacy. My midwife called the other midwife to come around 9 or 10 pm, I'm not really sure on the time. My midwife checked me right before she called her to come and I believe I was around 7 Cm. He was very low, but I was progressing very fast. She eventually said I should get out of the tub and try to sit on the toilet. Being upright really helped open me up. I rested my arms around my Husband as he sat on the floor in front of me. My midwife checked me again and I was 9 cm, but still no water had broke. By this time it was about 1:30 am or so. She asked if I wanted her to break my water and it would get things moving a little faster because I was running out of energy. I eventually said yes. She then broke my water on my bed, and then my memory gets sort of foggy. I remember getting help back onto the toilet for about 15 minutes and then had to tell everyone I felt like I had to poop! They all shouted good, now where do you want to have this baby? I originally wanted to have a water birth in the tub but by this point the water was too cool and the buckets of boiling water they kept dumping into it was not making it warm enough. So I decided to squat in our bedroom on the birthing stool. I remember pushing being the most intense time. I screamed and my Husband said my eyes looked like they would pop out of my head! I pushed about 40 minutes. My midwife coached me so perfectly and my doula, other midwife, mother-in-law and best friend were all standing in the door way taking pictures. Everyone cheered me on. I didn't think that baby was coming out so my midwife told me to reach down and touch his head. I was hesitant at first but then I reached down, felt a warm gooey something, and pushed with all my might because I just couldn't believe this was inside of me and had to see it for myself. So here he came, Leo Robert, at 2:41 am , after almost 24 hours of labor, into his Daddy's arms and up onto my chest. I didn't tear at all, my midwife's perineal massage and warm washcloth helped immensely. I just loved this little guy so much as soon as I felt him. When he came out, they helped me onto our bed, cleaned us up, delivered the placenta and helped me to breastfeed. I was in Awe. I could not believe I did it. That WE did it. I was so happy. He was perfect.