The birth of my daughter River Lynn has to have been one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. After an unwanted hospital induction with my first daughter, we wanted a homebirth for River but didn't think we could afford it since our insurance doesn't cover homebirth midwives. We went back to the midwifery center we had used before, planning to be stubborn if they tried to suggest induction just because my babies run large.
I was expecting to go over my due date by at least a week since that is what had happened with my 1st daughter and that is what the midwives predicted. When I started having contractions the night before my due date, I assumed they were Braxton Hicks and went to bed. I awoke a couple hours later when the contractions continued and decided to wait a while to see if they increased in frequency and intensity. They didn't really hurt and they weren't terribly regular-- five to seven minutes apart, lasting maybe thirty seconds. It wasn't until 4:45 the next morning that the intensity began to pick up a little and I woke my husband. We called our doula around 5:00 to confirm that it really was labor; after listening to a few contractions she said it was labor but that I was still early. She suggested I eat something and drink some red raspberry leaf tea. I never got the chance!
Things started to pick up so rapidly that I called her back ten minutes later to tell her that I was going to the hospital. It was chaos-- we had nothing packed, my husband couldn't find the midwives number, I was in the bathroom hollering my way through transition/pushing (without even realizing I was pushing...it felt like my body was doing everything without me and I was running to catch up)
We finally abandoned packing and tried to get to the van. I didn't even have shoes. We made it to the sidewalk and I felt the baby crown. I told my husband and he got me into the back of the minivan, where I knelt against the back seat and pushed out the baby's head. My husband delivered the shoulders and out slid our beautiful baby girl. He cleared her passageways and got her breathing and we moved the cord from around her neck-- it was just a very loose loop. He wrapped her in a tunic of mine which was in the car and I was able to nurse her right away.
My mother, who was there to pick up my toddler, had called 911 while my husband and I were delivering the baby so an ambulance came to take me to the hospital. My only regret was going with them. They wouldn't take me to the midwifery center where we planned to deliver but insisted on taking me to a local hospital. My experience there was less than impressive. Not to mention the fact that said hospital wants to bill me almost a thousand dollars for NOT having my baby with them! It's called the "delivery outside dept" charge.
Next time, we're doing an intentional homebirth, although the midwife will be there mostly as support. My husband did such a good job this time that we want him to catch the baby again
It truly was the most amazing experience of my life. After laboring and delivering at home, I don't understand why any woman in an normal, healthy birth circumstance would go to a hospital.
And we did have the minivan professionally cleaned.