My gentle, healing homebirth of Ryder Matthew - LONG - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-10-2010, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I woke up on 6/7 at about 1:30 am in a complete panic. I couldn't figure out why I was feeling panic or why I was tossing and turning. I got up to go pee and a contraction hit me. I thought it was more false labor and didn't give it a second thought. But my brain wouldn't shut off and I was really emotional. I was still feeling panicky and the next thought to cross my mind was, "I have to give birth. Eventually, this baby will decide to come and I cannot get around giving birth. I can go into the hospital for an epidural to avoid the pain and trauma that happened to me with my surrodaughter's birth, but the epidural and the interventions all hurt, too. And recovery is awful after an epidural. I can give birth at home and avoid interventions but it's still going to hurt like heck. Oh my goodness, I HAVE to give birth. There is no way around this". And then I burst into tears. I paced for about 5 minutes and then back to sleep.
Then at 4:30 am I woke up in a panic again. Finally I woke up DH and I gushed my fears and what was going on in my head and how fearful I was. At that moment, I was a captive of fear and I was scared out of my mind. We talked for about 20 minutes and DH soothed me. I was annoyed because I hate losing sleep and because I’d had so many days of false labor. But I was to the point that I could not find a comfortable position to sleep in, and was edgy physically. So I decided to start my day, the last thing I wanted to do was wake up the girls since we co-sleep. I got up and took a shower, which helped my back a bit. Then I came out and thought about making myself some breakfast, but wasn't very hungry. I let the dog out to take care of his business and then turned on the computer and sat on the yoga ball, figured I'd do my emails and message boards early. Once the sun started to rise I remember looking out and thinking, “ok just a little bit longer and these contractions will stop and I'll be able to crawl back into bed with the family”. My false labor had always stopped as soon as the sun rose for the past 2 weeks.

At about 6 am things still hadn't stopped and were pretty strong. So I went onto that website contraction master to keep up with them. I was pretty sure they'd stop after that. By this point my back was achy and the yoga ball was the most comfortable place to be, so I stayed on the computer, but got up and moved around with each contraction. After 30 minutes of tracking I was shocked to see I had a regular labor pattern, every 3-4 minutes and they were all at least 50 seconds long. I didn't get my hopes up. I've been known to have long labors that have long contractions close together. And I’d never started my labor in the middle of the night previously, so I thought for sure it would stop soon. But then in the back of my mind I couldn't stop thinking about waking up DH. At about 6:45 am, I woke him up. I let him know what was up and told him to look at the computer. From here on out, things are fuzzy. I don't really remember perfectly, but I did let him know that I wanted to start getting stuff together for the birth. So we started setting things up.

By this point I was using my birth board and affirmations with every contraction. I would tell myself how strong and powerful my body was, but still able to birth in peace and love. I told myself how gentle this birth would go. That I loved myself, my baby, my husband and my body. With every contraction, I would sit on the yoga ball and circle my hips while reading down my list of affirmations and saying them out loud. This really helped ground me through each contraction. Around 7:30 am I let DH know he needed to call the midwives. I was adamant and he double checked with me, as he knew how badly I had wanted to do everything on my own. I snapped at him and told him to call her and to not ask me again. I was starting to have to urinate with some of the contractions, but I disliked it. With my surrodaughter's birth I spent a large part of labor on the toilet, so being back on the toilet brought back some of the fear. I quickly emptied my bladder and decided I would rather spend contractions on the yoga ball. We spoke with the midwife and she said she could be there in an hour if that was ok. I said it was fine and I was afraid that it may be nothing or could taper since I’d still had no bloody show or anything and could still talk through contractions. Then DH was setting stuff up, moving the birth tub, getting the hoses connected and when I called to him during a contraction he'd come back and rub my back. I truly thought this was a false alarm and we were getting our hopes up, because for the first time in 4 labors, there was no pain between contractions. Yes, I had back labor again. But the 3-4 minutes in between each gave me time to refocus. I remember even saying to myself “that one is done and gone, never to be redone again. I'm ok I can do this, it doesn’t hurt in between”. At one point I told DH to start filling the birth tub. All I really wanted was to be in a warm tub.

My 2 daughter's woke up and came in and gave me a hug. I let them know that possibly their little brother or sister was coming that day, but I wasn't 100% sure. I also let them know that we had called Auntie K to come and she would be there any minute (we had called her about 2 hours previously as a just in case, and she had a 2 hour drive). I reassured them I was ok, but that I would be making some noises to help open my body up and allow the baby to come out of my body. They were ok with it and ran off to watch some TV. I yelled for DH and started throwing up in the toilet; I threw up all of the dinner I’d eaten the night before. The girls came in and were worried, but I let them know it was ok. I then asked for some apple juice to rinse my mouth out with, to get the taste of vomit out of my mouth. I got into the shower. Contractions continued at the same pace, but I’d long ago given up timing them. I found myself rocking while standing, then leaning my head against the cold granite shower with each contraction that hit. As I was in it, I realized I didn’t have my list of affirmations to go over (you'd think they'd be memorized by then) so instead I started focusing on the word Open. This became my key word for the rest of the labor. I would repeat to myself "Open, open, open" for the length of each contraction. I kept my voice low and deep, it never went above or anywhere near panic. I felt incredibly calm and peaceful. And I wasn't scared or fearful, at all. I was shocked to realize that I was ok with everything that was going on. I stayed in the shower for about 30 minutes (I think) then when I heard the upstairs neighbor getting his young girls ready, I decided to get out. I knew they could probably hear me through the vents and didn’t want to scare his girls.

I dried off, and heard someone come through the front door. I figured it was either my sis or the midwife, it was about 8 am. I put on a sports bra and thought to myself that I simply didn’t care about the rest, in the back of my mind I wondered if I was right around the corner from transition or possible in it. I mentally checked vomiting and stripping down clothing off the ‘transition list’. It was my midwife T, by this point I couldn’t get through contractions without DH being near my and rubbing my back. I was in my own zone and just remember riding each contraction, while telling my body to open. DH was rushing around trying to help me through contractions and deal with our girls. T stepped in and did really good at helping put pressure on my back and talks me through contractions without telling me what to do. She asked if I would be ok with a check. Originally I had said internal checks only if we were transferring to a hospital for the birth. But I was pretty sure my body was screwing with me and I was nowhere near birth or even labor. I had yet to have any bloody show or even discharge. And my water hadn’t broken. I had always previously had bloody show at the very beginnings of my labors. So I told her absolutely to check me, I didn’t want to waste her time if it wasn’t the real deal. But our agreement was, she wasn’t to tell me how dilated I was if at all. My body is slow to go, and then blasts off at the last minute. It wouldn’t be out of the norm for me to be in labor with this exact contraction pattern for 10 hours and only be a 2, then 15 minutes later I could be crowing! So she checked me and didn’t give me any sign of anything and helped me through another contraction. That one I got through on my side, which wasn’t so bad and I thought maybe that was a better position and stayed lying on my side. The next contraction was right around the corner and lying down was a no go, so she helped me back onto the yoga ball.

I had a few more contractions and we all realized the tub was not going to be full anytime soon, our water heater was puttering out. There was no hot water left, even though we’d turned it up earlier that morning. I made a joke about how my children were just hell bound and determined to not let their mother ever have the much wanted water birth I had wanted since my 1st labor. DH came in and reassured me, told me how well I was doing and had a grin across his face. He’s horrible at lying to me and for a split second I contemplated asking him how dilated I was. Instead I told him we weren’t having anymore children. Not because of the contractions, but because I suddenly knew I was getting the birth I had so desperately needed and wanted after my 3rd traumatic birth. I knew I was achieving it, and the look on DH’s face of awe, admiration and love let me know . . . today was the baby’s birth day. This was the real deal.
At one point I expressed how much it was starting to hurt in my back and how overpowering it was. T told me it wasn’t pain, it was energy. I latched on to that with a vengeance. Not sure if I said it out loud but I thought how dead on she was and that the energy passing down and out from my child was outrageous. Almost trippy, but not in a crazy sense. Just that this was what it felt like to intercept someone else’s energy. I was experiencing the energy of my child as he/she was coming into our world on its own accord. It was pretty strong and no longer ‘pain’. It was intense and powerful. But I could work with it, still repeating the word Open until each contraction passed.
My sister arrived as did the midwife assistant, J. The girls were thrilled to see Auntie, and she took over with them. DH was at my side and was trying to fill the tub, even offered to boil some water. I told him to forget it and that he could not leave my side anymore. The yoga ball was no longer cutting it, so I got in a crouch position. My left knee was on the ground; my right foot was on the floor a few feet away. I was able to put my hands on the ground and really feel the energy move through me as I started to feel the beginning of pushing. I think I commented how we were really close and the baby was going to be born soon but that I didn’t understand how because my water hadn’t broken yet. T said how the pressure I was feeling was my intact bag of water. I thought to myself how awesome affirmations are. My entire pregnancy I had told myself that the bag of water wouldn’t break until right before crowning or until the baby was born.
My knee and foot kept slipping on the floor, as we’d put down a table cloth to protect the carpet. I said it wasn’t working, I hadn’t started pushing yet, but I had to ground myself with each contraction and would bend down and lean on my hands and knees. I had my left arm in the birth tub, thinking about how I was willingly about to give up any aspect of a water birth if I moved up onto the bed. I thought to myself, “screw it, I’m really ready to meet this baby”. I got up and moved onto the bed after telling everyone I couldn’t do the floor anymore.
I got on hands and knees, same position the last 2 had been born in and realized it was go time. DH asked about if I wanted the girls in there and I think I said it was up to them and give them the choice. So someone called my sis and the girls into the room. They ended up staying through it and I said something about someone grabbing the camera. I had no pictures of the previous 3 births and was suddenly comfortable with the idea. I’m glad, because my sister ended up recording the whole end on our flip cam. Total pushing was about 2 minutes and 43 seconds according to the video. I did one push without much thought and then a huge gush of water hit the bed. I asked if that was meconium and the midwives’ said it was. We’d never seen so much water! Now we knew why I was so big and why the baby had been able to flip from breech to transverse up until the night before!
And then my body was pushing on its own. I felt down and felt the head, and couldn’t believe how silky soft it was. The midwives’ asked if I wanted to deliver myself and if so if I wanted support to get up on my legs and crouch. That sounded like way too much work to me and I said no and for someone else to catch. The head came out so easily, but then I realized I was going to have to really work at the rest of the body. I was finally very vocal and let out a few loud sounds; this was my way of releasing all the energy as it came straight through me. One shoulder came out and then my pushing tapered off a bit. T asked me to push, and then told me to push. Babe was turning pretty blue and they had just cleared out its mouth due to all the meconium. So I pushed with all my might and the rest of the babe’s body was out. I was so glad to be done and still in shock I had been in labor! I somehow turned over and was able to look and everyone let me announce what the baby was, something I’d really wanted to do. It was a boy! My sister asked me to repeat that and I mentally flipped her off and vocally cursed her. The family had been teasing me the entire pregnancy how it was going to be a boy and I knew how I was going to have to hear for the rest of my life how write they were and a bunch of “I told you so’s”. My sister laughed at me.
And so Ryder Matthew entered our lives. My daughter’s watched his entrance into the world, my sister documented it with the camera and my much wanted gentle and peaceful birth became a reality. There was no fear, there was no true pain. The birth was everything and more I ever could have hoped for. I was in awe at how wonderful it had gone and that my body was in fact intact and not ‘broken’ by my last painful, traumatic birth. And the moment I met my son, I fell in love with him. Something I had been so worried about, that I wouldn’t be as in love with a son as a daughter. But I love him more than anything and am so thankful I was given him. Ryder weighed in at 9 lbs and was 21” with a 14.5” head. His shoulders were wider than his head, hence the reason I slowed down with the pushing. But we didn’t get to measure because he was having some fast respirations and a fever. I had already showered and we were doing the baby check when we decided that we would take him to get checked at the local hospital due to the amount of meconium and that he possibly could have swallowed some.
The one side of me refused, I’m terrified of hospitals and I believe my body did everything it could and Ryder could naturally recover no matter what. But the look in my DH’s eyes as he looked at me let me know he needed to have our son checked out and that it would be ok to take him in. I got some clothes on and was amazed at how great I felt, it didn’t even burn to pee! I had a slight skid mark like tear, but when they checked me out it was already starting to heal. I felt awesome!
So we packed Ryder up and headed to the hospital after T called to find out what the protocol was. Halfway there Ryder started turning blue and T put the oxygen on him. We weren’t sure if it was from his birth (he was really puffy) or from other things. We arrived at the ER and someone came out and asked if we were the newbie and then escorted us to a room ready with a staff of at least 7 people. They laid him down, checked his pulse ox, temp and respirations. His pulse ox was in the 80s, respirations were over 100 and his temp was still 99.9. They checked him out, listened to him and gave us the options and what they wanted to do. He looked ok, but he did have noise in his lungs and a few other things. A lot of it is blurry for me, but we agreed to a blood draw. They came back to us and recommended that they observe for 24 hours due to his chest x-ray which showed there was something in his lungs. This was a really hard call for me. They had no room for us since I’d not delivered there. He would be admitted to the NICU and we couldn’t sleep up there. I was already running on being up since 4:30 am and it was well after 4 pm by this point. I was torn and scared and nervous. I did not want anything done to him without my permission. We didn’t want to be badgered and forced to have intervention after intervention. For a whole 5 minutes I got really upset that here we had had a homebirth and yet here we were starting the road to interventions and people telling me what was best for my child. Then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and decided to be an advocate for my son. I spoke with the NP in the NICU and made sure that everything that was done to my son was going to be with full consent, that we were going to be made aware of any and all possible treatment plans and that we would be treated with respect and dignity. Then we took our son up to the NICU.
They walked us in and forgot to have us scrub up, put Ryder in a bassinet and then made us walk out and scrub up. I panicked and thought for sure they’d sneak in Vit K or eye ointment while we were doing this. I remember tears streaming down my face and just watching the darn timer as I scrubbed my hands. We hurried back to his side and watched and listened as he was checked over again. The Dr spoke to us about his findings and said that they would prefer to keep him 24 hours for observation because there was something in his lungs and they wanted to watch his labs for fear of infection because of the fever. We agreed and asked if I could breastfeed him. They said yes, as long as he remained hooked up to the monitors. Then the best news came when we found out the Dr. had acquired a room in the pediatric unit for us that had a bed so that I could stay the night and sleep. This was quickly overshadowed by his ‘lecture’ about how we needed to do the eye ointment since they didn’t know if I was GBS positive and the vitamin K because it’s simply unsafe and he could bleed out. The doc went on about 15 minutes, basically lecturing me. I smiled, nodded, took in his info and said “No thank you”. He went on for a few more minutes, mentioning how you can’t get degrees online and I said, “We really do appreciate the information and the right to make an informed consent, but no thank you we will waive it all”. He gave up and walked away. An hour later we were moved up to the pediatric unit and settled in for the night after giving him a bath with washcloths since he still had meconium inside his ears and between his fingers.
I was scared, tired, exhausted and having flashbacks to my first and only birth in a hospital with my oldest. It was a long night, one at points I didn’t think I’d make it through. Every time Ryder moved, his monitors went off beeping loudly, keeping us both up. Ryder couldn’t sleep in his bassinet or lying down next to me. He had to be in my arms, and I can’t blame him. He had been poked, prodded, moved, jostled, and away from the most important place it is for a newborn to be in his first 24 hours . . . my arms. And so, he sought refuge in them that long night and I don’t blame him a bit. I stayed up the entire night and at one point cried, begging him to clear out those lungs for the x-ray set for the morning. I told God that I loved this little boy and was sorry for being so ungrateful so many times during the pregnancy because it was an unplanned pregnancy, that I wanted this little blessing more than anything. Then I stopped throwing a pity party and around 5 am realized that everything happens for a reason. This was our chance for bonding. I’d not bonded at all during the pregnancy, and here was the perfect chance for uninterrupted hours to kiss on him, hold him, stare at him and not have to share him with the girls or DH. This was my time to fall in love with my son. And did I ever.
At 5:30 am they came in and did a blood draw, 15 minutes later his chest x-ray. DH came back at around 9 am (he had to go home and be with our girls that night since I knew they would be freaked out with mommy gone) and the day started. We planned for my sis to pick me up around noon so I could go home and take a shower. Around 11 am a social worker came in, and my heart stopped. Homebirth is totally legal in our state, but I wouldn’t put it past them to try to pry for issues. I was so worried. Then she told us she was there simply to see if there was anything else the hospital could provide to make it easier for us while we were there. She explained that they know homebirthers don’t intend on being in a hospital and so termed with having to check our son into the NICU it must have been a hard night and what could they do to make the stay easier on me. I was shocked. Here I was, not even a patient and they were offering me the option to ask for what I needed. And they weren’t judging. In fact she knew this was the last place I wanted to be, and was trying to be proactive in helping me. It meant a lot to me. I had been prepared to have nothing but battles to fight in this hospital, and instead I left not fearing hospitals and being strong and confident in my abilities to walk into a hospital and leave feeling empowered and thankful for modern medicine when used properly.
The doctors arrived to go over Ryder’s results. His chest x-ray from the morning was almost clear, a drastic improvement. The preliminary lab results, clear. The only concern they had was his blood sugar levels and because I’d not been tested for gestational diabetes and because he was “such a large baby” they were concerned about diabetes in me and him. I rolled my eyes, but at this point I was exhausted and knew neither him nor I could take another night in the hospital. I asked to please be released that night if after monitoring the rest of the day resulted in better blood sugar numbers for him. The Dr agreed that if his blood sugar was better, we could be released at 6 pm. I knew this meant giving into the formula they had been pushing. But I will be clear, I didn’t give into the formula because they pushed. I gave in because I wasn’t willing to sign out AMA though I knew I perfectly well could have. I also knew I had 2 little girls at home who I had to go home and tend to for at least an hour, as well as myself. So I let DH know I was going home for an hour to shower and reassure the girls who were concerned about me and to give him one feeding of formula. I left and came back to the news that we were being released at the agreed upon time because his blood sugar had drastically improved. Inside my head I rolled my eyes again, of course his blood sugar had been low . . . my milk wasn’t in yet and he was just on his 2nd day of life. But again, a battle I wasn’t going to fight that day.
We finally got discharged and walked out the doors at 7 pm. We rushed home to our girls and got all of us fed and into bed that night to finally be a family of 5. Today has been a great day, wiping away the grime of it all. And tonight, I’m ok with it all. It happened the way it did. We don’t regret how anything worked out. Instead I’m perpetually amazed at the beauty of birth, the strength of women and the abilities of motherhood. Life is good and I can’t think of anything I would change!

Loving mom to 2energy.gif ,1jammin.gif , & 1dog2.gif . Surrodaughter 4/09
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#2 of 8 Old 06-10-2010, 07:45 AM
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Wow - congratulations!! He's gorgeous!!

And thanks for sharing. I'm planning another HB after a very traumatic transfer last time, and really hoping that I can have a gentle healing birth this time too.

You were so strong and calm and stood your ground amazingly well - how empowering!!

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#3 of 8 Old 06-10-2010, 12:53 PM
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I love your birth story momma. Thanks for typing that all up, it was nice to read. Funny how you woke up feeling so anxious that day, your body knew what was happening even if your mind didn't. You had a beautiful birth and so much support around you. Makes me wish I hadn't made the decision to birth at the hospital this time. Even though you needed to take your son to the hospital for reassurance you were seriously amazing in standing up for what you wanted and didn't want. I wish I was as strong a woman! Your son in so cute. You did a great job momma, congratulations!

Heidi, Married to my sweetheart of 13 yrs Kristopher, Mommy of 7 yr old Kairo, Expecting our sweet little girl Penelope 6/26/2010!
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#4 of 8 Old 06-11-2010, 12:01 AM
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You did a wonderful job, and told it so well! He is beautiful!! A big congrats!!!

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.


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#5 of 8 Old 06-11-2010, 12:34 AM
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Congratulations on your very beautiful baby. So glad you got a healing peaceful home birth. I know how healing that can be after a traumatic birth. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

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#6 of 8 Old 06-12-2010, 02:24 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story

Wife, childbirth educator and homeschooling mama to DS 6/05, DD 8/07, DS 6/10 and new baby July/Aug 2012.


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#7 of 8 Old 06-12-2010, 02:46 PM
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Congrats!! I so totaly agree about the energy thing. I wish I'd thought of it at the time because that's how it felt.

Thanks for sharing. He's gorgeous.

Mom to angel baby, grew wings at 5 weeks in May '07, William, born Dec '08, and another angel who grew wings at 8w4d (lost at 11w) in Oct '10. Rachel born Feb 2012, Another angel Lost Sept '13. New bean due Nov '14!
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#8 of 8 Old 06-12-2010, 02:58 PM
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Congratuations, mama! You are a brave and strong woman!

Momma to my beautiful blessing pinktongue.gif (Nov '08) and two Spirit babies angel3.gif (Dec '09) and angel2.gif (July '10)
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