I've had quite the varied birthing history. Tatum (4) my first was a c-section after a very long labor, it traumtized me. It took me a while to heal, but I now accept and appreciated what it has taught me. Kaleb (2) next was a planned homebirth, being more like a first timer we went to the hospital instead and after 3 hours of labor he was my all natural VBAC. It wasn't ideal but it was an incredible experience nonetheless. About a year after we had him I finally felt great about the birth. When we found we were expecting again in July 2009 I had no doubt we'd be having a homebirth.
I had 2 due dates March 12th and because of my wacky cycles that seemed to run longer my midwife also used March 15th incase I went past 42 weeks we had a 3 day cushion. The pregnancy was amazing. I made a huge effort to allow myself to be vulnerable and talk about my feelings and fears, I did a lot of fear clearing all the way up to my last appointment. I felt good! The end of pregnancy came and I felt huge! I made some friends with mamas excepting around the same time as myself and was getting jealous of all the beautiful babies being born and wanted mine. Through the pregnancy baby was a mystery, for a while we couldn't tell if he was head down or butt down, finally we had an ultrasound and I was thrilled to see a head down baby. As we got closer to our due dates we made guesses as to when the baby would come. Those days came and went and in the final week TJ and I made a bet, if there was no labor or baby by 5pm on March 13th I'd get a massage, if baby did come before then or if labor started before then he would get a massage.
One due date number 1, March 12th we had a prenatal appointment with our wonderful ever affirming, reassuring, and birth trusting midwife Kathryn. I was measuring 2 weeks ahead, barely dialated, and barely effaced. I was a little disappointed that I didn't have more freebie dialation or effacement to work with but was ok. I could go into labor that second or it could be another week or two! Still I was advised to walk, use evening primrose oil, and enjoy my husband TJ. After that prenatal we decided to take advantage of the beauitful weather and go for a walk, a mile long walk with our big boys. It was a wonderful day with my family. The next morning I really gave up, I had even shared my thoughts of "Pregnancy you won, you own my soul." We went out for a bit but I was just too done to be out. TJ being the prince amoung men that he is took the kids out of the house and let me have a rest while wearing out our boys. When he got home it was about an hour to dinner time so we got the kids prepped for a movie night and dinner.
Since walking was on my to-do list and the weather still being gorgeous I was excited for dinner to end so TJ and I could go for a walk. My mom was going to keep on eye on the big boys while we went out. We left a little after 6pm, TJ lost the bet which we joked about during our long walk. I did some curb walking during our outing knowing it's supposed to improve fetal positioning. That's when you have one foot on the curb and one foot in the gutter. It really got the baby to descend and I had to squat, wiggle and waddle to accomadate the now lower baby in my pelvis. Then I had a contraction, I had to hold on to TJ and wiggle my hips. This curb walking must be doing something so I did it some more. A few blocks later another contraction, woohoo! Had to stop and hold onto TJ again. We were about 4 blocks from home when my mom called us, Kaleb wanted to know where we were. I had another contraction just before we got to the house. Had to stop again. As soon as I saw Kaleb and he jumped into my arms I let go of the thought of labor and the contractions seemed to stop. I was feeling so overwhelmed by pregnancy I was sure I'd be pregnant for ever.
So I took Kaleb down stairs. Now he was happy that I was home so he ran off to play. I decided to sit down at the computer and check on my other expecting March mamas. I noticed I was having these beauitful sensations. I could feel my uterus pull up on the lower uterine segment, when it would come to a peak my upper uterine segment would press down peak then both sensations faded together. It was such a glorious sensual sensation. They we coming every 2-5 minutes lasting 10seconds to 1 minute. I watched this for almost an hour before they started to get a bite to them. I expanded the screen to show TJ but he didn't quite get it. "Contractions" he now knew we needed to get to work. I decided we should blow up the tub and prep the bed, just in case it was labor. I told TJ if I was still contracting after we finished getting our room prepped I would call Kathryn and let her know something was happening, or possibly nothing. At 8:30, after an hour and half of contractions, we were done with the room and I made the call. We both agreed a shower would be good for getting rest but I couldn't stop moving and felt like I had to do a million things. We finally laid down around 10pm to unwind. We watched some TV and cuddle Kaleb, when we were all settled at 10:30 we turned the lights. I had no sensations during this time so I really relaxed and that's when everything kicked in.
I told TJ "nope I can't lay down" and tried to get in the shower while telling him to call Kathryn now. I was feeling nauseous as I got into the hot shower. I started trembling for some reason this made me decide I wanted the tub filled so I turned off the shower and TJ came with Kathryn on the phone to check on me. As I went to step out I released some pink fluid, my water broke(or so I thought). Kathryn wanted to talk to me. I couldn't focus so I don't remember what was said, other than "well I'm shaking" and that I had bad reception on my phone. She asked me to give the phone back to TJ.
I still wanted the tub filled so I called my mom to come down and take care of it. In a blur I got my robe on, my birthing necklace on (bead sent from my fellow March mamas), got candles put up, had TJ light them, got my birth ball, and got to work. Every few minutes I had to get on my hands and knees and rock against the ball while vocalizing. "Yes baby!" "I love you baby!" "Oooopen" was my mantra during the contractions "yes baby, I love you baby, oopen" while crying with joy every few contractions, all the positive words kept the contractions painless but they were very intense. The room was suddenly empty but I couldn't resisit the pool any longer and I got in. I felt so womanly.
Finally TJ came back I made him get the camera so he could take pictures, he made me smile for a picture. Around this time I realized that our clock was 15 minutes fast and asked TJ to change it to the right time since we'd need it for the time. It was 11pm. I was suddenly fustrated with my hair and asked him for a hair tie, it took him a minute but he found one. I got my hair put up, tried to sit down but another contractions, a different kind of contraction. I wanted to poop! I immediately told TJ "I need to poop" I told him to call Kathryn. He asked if I needed permission to poop, I smiled to myself at his silly question but just said "yes" because I knew it wasn't a bowel movement, it was the urge to push. All the trembling and nausea had been transition
He got Kathryn on the phone, so I knew I was safe I had the mental back up on the phone. One of the fears we had discussed was pushing and waiting until I had to push. At first I said "no,no,no" when I realized that I wouldn't be able to not push, the first and last time the whole labor when anything hurt was with those negative words. Right then TJ was reminding me to breathe just keep breathing, slowly, while on the phone with Kathryn. This is exactly what I needed. I grunted and groweled, and beared down. TJ tried to give me the phone but I couldn't pay attention. I could feel my belly with my hands and feel how low baby was. I reached down to feel and the bag of water was coming down. I could feel baby's hairy head inside the bag of water. I grunted and growled again. I kept feeling, I could feel where the outer bag had broken but the inner bag was intact, I grunted again and his head was out still in the bag of water ( he was born in the caul!), I ripped the bag away from around his head and face. Then Kathryn asked TJ if he could see the baby while I asked for someone to catch the baby. I grunted and beared down for the 4th time and he was out, I lifted my leg over him and sat to grab my baby. He was gorgeous and COVERED in vernix. I was in love, I was thrilled. I just had a homebirth, an unassisted home water birth! Bram Xavier arrived at 11:08pm The midwives were almost there and I was rubbing the baby to get him making noise. He wasn't quite ready he seemed to have slept through everything, but pinked up in just a short few moments.
Once he was pink and wrapped in a towel Kathryn(still on the phone with TJ) suggested I get onto a chux pad for the placenta. I got out of the tub to the bed and onto a chux pad. I mentally told myself "it's time to let go[of the placenta]" Shortly I felt an uncomfortable contraction, gave a little push and the placenta came out half way. So I picked it up and plopped it in a bowl, it was huge and gorgeous. Shortly after we got it out Janelle, the midwife assisting Kathryn, arrived. She hugged us and told us how fantastic we all were, everything was just so perfect and calm she jumped into the clean up. Kathryn arrived not too long after. I was quickly examined for tears, and nothing not even a skid mark, a perfectly intact perineum. While everyone was busy baby and I cuddled and I was given some recharge and brought apples and peanut butter. We were ready to cut the cord, TJ happily got to do that his third baby and first time getting to cut the cord. He finally got to hold his new baby boy while Kathryn and I did the post partum bathroom trip which was smooth sailing. When I got back and settled in bed we did the newborn exam on the perfect baby. Covered in hair, weighing 7lbs 15oz, 20.5 inches long(the only length I grow my babies ), 14 inch head circumference.
Everything was done and settled, I was set with a placenta smoothie, and our midwives sang us a beautiful birthing day song and left around 2am. It was the most empowering, trusting, love surrounded birth I could have dreamed of. I cannot believe I only had 40 minutes of "active" labor.
********* Edit 10/27/2013
Bram should be 3.5 years old. He left this world 2 years, 8 months, 4 days, and 59 minutes after he was born. Killed by a distracted driver. In his birth I was the first to touch him I knew before anyone that he was really here, and in his death I held him as he left this world the first to know he was really gone. My perfect boy. <3
Sami , wife to , mama to Tate 10/14/05, Kaleb 12/17/07, Bram 3/13/10-11/17/12, Alden 2/1/12, October 2014
SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.
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~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.
A great reminder to say positive things during birth, I hope I can remember that!