I just wanted to share my son's wonderful birth story, hopefully it will inspire some of you expectant mamas!
Asher Zane was born on his due date, January 2, at home in our bathtub! My first son's birth was a completely unnecessary "planned" c-section, and I knew immediately that I wanted a home birth the next time. He was actually early, and was jaundiced and had underdeveloped lungs. He had to be in the NICU, where they gave him bottles of formula. It was a horrible experience, for him and for me. When I got pregnant with my next child six years later, I began seeing a midwife and our prenatal care was so great, very low-key and relaxed. I had a totally normal, healthy pregnancy.
My labor started out with a bang; I woke up on my due date sure that we were going to have a tardy baby. But at 2:00 pm I was hit with a hard contraction--I had been having more or less regular Braxton-Hicks a couple of days before, but they had stopped. My husband came home from the gym and I hopped into the shower with him, and got hit by another contraction. I remember saying "These aren't very far apart" and we started timing them at 5 minutes apart. I started doing laps around the house, stopping every time i had a rush to smash my forehead against something and bellow like a moose! About 4:00 I called my midwife and doula to give them a heads up that I might be in labor; they told me afterward that they could tell by my voice that I was definitely in hard labor, but didn't want to say anything since I was apparently handling it well.
My husband and I kept up the walking, and sometimes I would roll around on my birth ball. About 6:00, I told my husband that I was having trouble integrating the pain and that he should call the birth team and tell them to finish up dinner and come over; I figured that we would probably be there all night and wanted to let them eat and be with their families (apparently I get very polite when I'm in labor). Because I never labored with my first child, I still wasn't sure if this was "it" or not.
My midwives actually got there before my doula...at that point I was pretty unaware of anything other than the contractions, but I asked if I could get in the tub. They didn't examine me or anything, just let us do our thing.We lit candles, and I lay in the tub for a long time, but started to fall asleep between contractions and wanted to get out and into bed. At this point I was well into transition, but didn't know it; my midwife was so calm, she was actually just sitting in the hallway knitting! As soon as I got out of the tub, I felt like I had to push, but I was too scared...I didn't think it was time yet. It had only been 4 hours! I started to lose confidence, and got back into the tub. I told everyone I felt like I had to push, and my midwife said to go right ahead. I was like, REALLY??? So I got up and my hands and knees, and let out some screams then! And then just pushed as hard as I could, and in four pushes his big head was out! I reached back and felt him, then with the next contraction pushed his body out! It was less than 6 hours from first contraction to his birth, and I only pushed for 12 minutes!
I couldn't believe it! I lay back in the tub with him for about half an hour, then delivered the placenta. We got out and into bed, where they let my husband and I just hang out with the baby for about an hour and a half while they cleaned up (!). Then they came in, my husband cut the cord, and they examined me and the baby. I felt so relaxed, everything was still lit only by candlelight. The baby latched right on to my breast and started nursing. I basically labored and birthed all by myself, the midwives were there if we needed them but since they saw I was doing ok on my own, just let me do my own thing. I think if I were in a hospital, with nurses hovering around me "letting" me labor by "trial" I wouldn't have had the confidence to do it. It was so wonderful to do it at home, in my own environment, with absolutely zero pressure; I truly believe that was why my labor was so fast. I can't wait to do it again next time!