Adrian Matthieu Gabriel is here! He was born on August 17th at 10pm at our home and into his Papa's hands!
So I am one of those people who would totally love a homebirth, but have always been a bit scared and pressured by family to have hospital births. So, we went along with planning a hospital birth even though I dreaded going to the hospital to be poked and prodded and told what to do in French, a language I have difficulty understanding. Dealing with the cultural differences and needing to fight for the kind of birth I wanted just seemed so overwhelming to me the whole pregnancy. So, we planned on waiting at home as long as we could before arriving at the hospital. I figured the longer I waited at home, the less options I would have to cave in and get that epidural and then probably end up with problems like with DD's birth. I also had a good friend of mine, who is a midwife in the states, agree to attend my labor by video Skype to offer me the support I needed during labor, as I couldn't hire a doula here. And here is what happend:
I woke up around 7:30 or 8am with some light contractions. I mentioned them to DH, but was convinced they would go away or I just had gas or something. That morning we had some ladies coming to clean our apartment for the first time and I was a bit nervous already having them there. DH left for work at 9 and I tried to keep myself busy with DD and the cleaners though the contractions clearly were not stopping. By 11am I think the cleaners suspected something was up with me and asked if I thought the baby might be coming soon. Ha! I was still convinced it would stop, but I told DH to give his mom and our neighbor both heads up since they were DD's sitters. The cleaners left around noon and our kind neighbor (another english speaking mama) came by to check on me and invited me to her house with DD and to have lunch. We went over and ate and watched some TV and the contractions slowed down alot. She then decided to take me for a walk to get things moving. During the walk the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart, 35 sec long, and strong enough that I had to pause & bend over for them. I still felt like the birth was nowhere immenent and felt like I would probably be laboring all day and into the night. But I decided to call DH home from work anyway at about 3:30pm. My neighbor had been great so far, keeping me laughing and talking and not being embarrased at all when I got a strong contraction as we walked past a very busy intersection with lots of pedestrians around. So far I felt very comfortable and confident and kept trust in my body. I reminded myself of some hypnobabies cues and that seemed to help a lot even though I never completed the home study program.
DH came to get me at the neighbors and I lost my mucus plug. We went home and DH spent like an hour scrubbing out the bathtub and filling it while I listened to hypnobabies, not really entering hypnosis, but just relaxing with it. I finally was able to get in the tub and about 45minutes later we were able to get my midwife on Skype. She was great, keeping my confidence up and knowing just the right things to say. We pretty much stopped timing the cntx though I occasionally asked the midwife how I was doing. I felt like I wasn't progressing. There didn't seem to be a steady increase in strength or frequency of the cntx. She asked me if I wanted DH to check my cervix, but I really didn't feel like being touched. I also didn't feel like going to the hospital and began to wish even more I had planned a homebirth so I wouldn't have to get out of the tub and leave the house.
I talked to my mom on the phone from the tub, she warned me, Be sure you get to the hospital on time! 2nd babies can come fast!
Yes, mom, don't worry, the hospital is a 5 minute walk/drive from our place.
Sometime around 9pm I remember saying the epidural is sounding good about now, but I was determined to stay home till the pain was unbearable or the midwife told me to go. I had been laboring on my hands and knees for quite a while with DH pushing on my lower back during cntxs, I was getting stiff legs and changed position to laying back in the tub. Immediately the cntx got very strong and started to feel unbearable. I moaned loundly through each and they were coming fast. Mid wife asked if I could feel the baby pushing down and I said yes, she said Good, that's normal. I said I wanted to go to the hospital at that point but couldn't bear the idea of getting out of the tub and moving/getting dressed/getting in a car. My midwife asked if I wanted to wait a half hour longer and see if I still wanted to go. I said a half hour is too long. Ok, how about 3 more cntx? she said.
Well, I don't want to, but I will try, I answered.
A couple more cntx and I was ready to go to the hospital. With much difficulty, I got out of the tub and sat on the toilet to pee. Just after that I dropped to the floor w/ a really strong cntx. I started feeling like I had to poo, and was wondering if what I was really feeling is pushing. It took about 2 more cntx to realize I WAS pushing! Just as my neighbor arrived at the front door to take us to the hospital I yelled "I'm pushing!" Behind the door, she wondered, wow, I hope she means she's pushing furniture around or something! Lol! My midwife on skype told DH to call an ambulance but he said, no it's faster to just drive to the hospital. In my mind I was agreeing with him and still thinking (ha!) that we had time to even get to the hospital. DH got frustrated with the midwife and hung up on her and tried to help the neighbor carry me out the door, which didn't work too well. I said the baby is coming!! and reached down and felt the head crowning!! DH called the paramedics while I tried to stay upright with the help of the neighbor, who was having trouble holding me up. Paramedics told DH to have me lay down and I layed on my side. I pushed about 3 or 4 times and the head came out and maybe 2 more pushes for the rest of him. It was soo fast! We were in the hallway facing the front door of my apt which in the excitement, got left wide open!
DH caught the baby who was born in the caul! Since my water never broke, it was another reason we all thought there was more time! The paramedics got there just after Adrian was born and were able to help with getting him breathing. Apgar scores were perfect!
You have a beautiful baby boy! said my neighbor. I was so happy! "YES!! We DID it!" I couldn't believe we had just done it all at home!!
He cried a bit and I really was in a daze and didn't even see the baby until about 5 or 10 min after he was born they layed him on my chest. We were all wrapped in yucky metallic blankets and I just wanted to hold him next to me and offer the breast. The placenta came out easily right after the birth. They then loaded us into the ambulance and we went to the maternity where I got a couple stitches for a minor tear.
We are doing great now, so much easier recovery than from DD's birth!
Though we would have never planned it that way, DH and I are so happy we were able to deliver our own baby, naturally and at home. If we ever have more babies we will definitely plan a homebirth next time. It was amazing!