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Homebirth turned hospital birth; my birth story

1444 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Shonahsmom
I should pre-empt this by writing that I was with my daughter's father during my pregnancy. Sadly, the relationship was awful and abusive. While I was tremendously healthy physically, I was an emotional wreck my entire pregnancy. I cried every single day at the cruel treatment from S (my dd's father) and was just in immense emotional pain.

I had a midwife, but hadn't considered homebirth seriously. A visit to the hospital around 20 weeks affected me dramatically. I spoke with the administrator, asking her various questions on the hospitals policies. They had strict rules about inducing after 24 hours of water breaking. They did not allow for food or drink to be consumed during labor. They required you to stay in bed to be monitored if induced. I walked out and cried. I knew I couldn't give birth there. I went and saw my midwife, who I really, really liked and told her I wanted a homebirth. She supported me entirely and referred me to a practice that did homebirths and hospital births.

There I met some of the kindest, most loving women. My midwives just rocked. I loved them all. I was never upfront about the situation with S, but I think it was obvious to a certain extent and they offered me a lot of love and support.

S was incredibly against the homebirth and natural birth in general. I spent everyday of my pregnancy desperately trying to make things okay for me and S, trying to get him to love me, be kind to me, support me, be at home with me, treat me humanely…. But when it came to my birth I had so much resolve. He actually said to me "If you don't have an epidural, I won't be there." And I said simply "So don't be there". It didn't faze me in the slightest. He had stripped joy out of every single moment of my pregnancy. He wasn't going to f*%@ with my birth experience. My midwives, who were definitely not fans of S told him that he was welcome to be at the birth as long as I wanted him there and he was being supportive. They made it clear to him that he would be told to leave if he and his negativity were disruptive in any way.

Unexpectedly during the last two weeks of my pregnancy, S temporarily became human. I was so hungry for kindness, affection, attention, and support that I ate it up eagerly and almost (but not quite) happily. But for those two weeks there was peace and quiet and I was actively cared for by S for the first time since I announced my pregnancy. He came to terms with the homebirth or at least decided to be quiet about it.

The day of my due date, my sister took me out for a wonderful lunch to celebrate the day. I came home and S had come home from work early and had rented movies and gotten me ice cream. We had a quiet peaceful night. We joked around about me taking the castor oil I had on hand. We went to bed and had sex and I was in a deep sleep by 10:30. I slept peacefully and woke slowly around 8:30. S woke and I mentioned wanting doughnuts. He willingly obliged and ran to the Dunkin Doughnuts down the street. I talked a little to my baby and dozed and felt the best emotionally that I had in as long as I could remember. I was actually in a good mood!

I had dozed off and was awaken by someone buzzing the apartment. I stood up to get to the intercom in the hallway and felt a huge wet gush. I looked down and giggled and went to the intercom. It was S; his hands were full and he wanted me to buzz him in. I replied, "My water broke" and buzzed him in.

He raced up the stairs and into the apartment. He cleaned up the puddle on the floor and I called my midwife. I hadn't had a contraction yet. She said she would come over shortly. I decided to take a shower. In the shower, against the white of the bathtub, I could see that the fluid streaming out of me was a greenish tint. Oh no, I thought. Right then there was another gush of fluid and a long, hard contraction. I got out of the shower and sat on a chux pad on my bed. My midwife arrived and when I stood up to greet her the first thing she saw was some of the greenish fluid on the chux pad and she said, "Oh honey, you've got meconium." She explained to me that they had pretty strict protocol to follow and that any signs of mec meant that I had to go. She called another midwife to confer and they agreed that I had to go. She listened to my babe's heart tones for a very long time and she said they were absolutely perfect. She checked my dilation and said I was all the way effaced but that to say that I was even 1 cm dilated was generous. I forget the exact station but the baby was high up. She explained to me that sadly she felt that going to the hospital would result in an induction, because of my sac being ruptured and the mec and that I was hardly dilated and because I was GBS positive. I had been pretty steadily contracting ever since the shower about every 8 minutes. It had been about an hour. I stated that I was contracting regularly and that I felt like the contractions were pretty intense. She said that it was common when the sac ruptured for there to be a series of intense contractions because the buffer between the cervix and baby was suddenly gone, but that it may slow down considerably. I think she was trying to prepare me for the worst and I think she felt doubtful that I would progress the way the hospital would pretty much require me to.

She told me she would go talk to S and that she would give me sometime to myself to process what was happening. I had nothing packed. I was completely unprepared for a hospital birth. I was supposed to have my baby at home! I allowed myself to be devastated for about ten minutes. I cried my heart out and then I decided to let it go. I was still determined to have the birth I wanted.

My midwife left to run home and the meet us at the hospital. While we got stuff ready to go I was realizing how strong my contraction were and that they were now 6-7 minutes apart. I was already moaning a bit through them. We got in the car to drive to the hospital, about 30 minutes away. Sitting in the car sucked. Sitting through a contraction was awful. My body really, really wanted to be standing up. We got to the hospital and my midwife was there and showed us to the room. She had a big smile on her face and I let out a huge sigh of relief. The room had an enormous freestanding tub in it. It was the only one in the hospital. We were both so beyond thrilled that it was available.

It was now about 11:30 am; about 3 hours after my water broke. My midwife listened to the heart tones and they were still perfect. She checked me and found that I was only 1 cm. But my contractions were now more like 5 minutes apart and were lasting a minute or more. They were quite intense and I couldn't talk through them. My midwife told me she had spoken with the attending OB and it was his opinion, because of my dilation (and the mec and GBS+) that I should be induced right away. I asked my midwife if she or anyone would object or if it would cause my baby any harm if we waited an hour and made a decision then. She happily obliged and brought me some food because I hadn't eaten yet and I was starving. I was so sure that the contractions I was having meant business. I could feel my babe moving down during contractions. I don't know how to explain except that I knew my body was serious about what it was doing and I absolutely knew I would not end up with any pitocin… that it wouldn't be necessary.

My midwife went to check on another patient. S was parking the car and dealing with paperwork. I sat on a low stool in the room and ate my food between contractions and was actually cracking myself up. I just thought it was hilarious that I was holding a chicken breast sandwich during contractions that I would take bites from in between. When I finished eating I started to walk around the room, squatting through contractions. I have to say I was quite enjoying myself. I was elated by the sensation of the contractions. I felt completely connected with my body and felt that I knew exactly what to do; when to squat, when to walk, when to sit on the stool (I sat on it low to the ground and it had wheels so I could actually get good movement like a birthing ball). My midwife and S just kind of sat off to the side and let me do my thing. I felt very calm and confident and so totally within myself I really wasn't interested in any outside interaction. The contractions seemed to me to be one on top of the other so I was really in another world, just riding along. I knew if I even looked up and tried to engage with anyone I would get thrown off of the wave I was riding so well.

After the magical hour was up, my MW brought me back to reality for a moment to get me in bed and check my dilation. I was 6 cm!!!!! 1 to 6 in an hour! I gave myself a moment to feel vindicated and got back down to business. A little while later a contraction hit and it brought with it an incredibly, incredibly intense pushing urge. It was the first time I faltered at all since labor had begun. I was saying over and over "Oh I've got to push, I've got to push…" So my MW checked me again. I was at 7. The forcefulness of the pushing urged made me feel a little panicked. I was holding my breath during contractions to keep from actively pushing. My babe was descending so fast and I just wanted to push sooo badly. They had started filling the tub and my MW suggested that I get in the shower while we waited. S helped me in the shower. It didn't help at all and I started to cry. Moments later the tub was ready. I sank into the sweetest relief I have ever known. The water brought me back to myself and I felt every part of my body relax. I smiled and laughed. I leaned on the side of the tub and just closed my eyes and loved the water like I've never loved anything in my life. S and my midwife went back to sitting quietly on the sidelines. I labored in the tub for about another hour. My midwife checked me and gave me the go ahead to push. I kid not that those first pushes were ecstasy. It was such a relief! Pushing felt so good to me.

After a bit I got out of the tub. The hospital allowed women to labor in water but not deliver. It was really never my intention to have a water birth so I was okay with that. I got onto the bed and pushed a few time on my side. That felt unproductive and exhausting. So I turned over onto my knees and leaned over the raised head of the hospital bed. I asked for hot compresses on my perineum, which my midwife applied. The compresses felt so good! I highly recommend it! I pushed for what tuned out to be an hour and fifty minutes. I had no idea during the time that it was so long. I enjoyed pushing the entire time, but I did poop out for a little while. I was resting in between contractions and then heard my midwife reminding me to push with the contractions. I told her I just needed to rest. I had some cranberry juice and closed my eyes for a while. And a little while later my daughter was born. I am forever grateful for what my midwife did. While my babe's heart tones were great the whole time, she knew there was the possibility for complications. When I was close to bringing my babe into the world she had a nurse summon the NICU team and then she has them wait outside the door. I love her for that because even though my babe turned out to be quite a bit sick, I still was able to bring her into the world quietly, peacefully, gently and respectfully.

As soon as she was born the room was full of people. I had delivered on my knees so I barely caught a glimpse of her. I heard the Neonatologist saying, "come on, breathe baby breathe" while I delivered the placenta. She had aspirated deeply and required intubation for a few days. I saw her about 2 hours later. She was 8 1/2 lbs. (I did not tear a single bit.. not a stitch needed) and 19 inches long. She was so round and perfect! I still feel sad, to a certain extent, that I didn't see her until she was a few hours old. It took a long time for me to deliver the placenta, and I wasn't allowed up for a while after because of heavy bleeding.

Aside from the setting, I birthed exactly as I had intended to. S was in absolute awe of me for weeks after and told my birth story to anyone who would listen. He apologized up and down about giving me so much crap about natural childbirth and sang its and my praises anytime the subject was brought up henceforth. I walked away from that birth so incredibly empowered… empowered in a way that hasn't left me since. I swear that with every contraction that I embraced I regained a little dignity and self confidence and power. I found my strength again.

Getting this little girl to nurse after being tubed for three days is a whole other story.
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Congratulations! That is a beautiful story. I am sorry you had to transfer, but glad you had such a wonderful midwife. Wow. I am also sorry you were separated from your dd, I was sep. from my dd for a couple of hours too, I know it's hard. Sending you peaceful and healing vibes for your relationship with dd's dad. Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl. How is the nursing going?
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Thanks for your reply. My dd is now almost 5. Reading other stories here inspired me to really write this out for the 1st time.

After a lot of bumps in the road and ups and downs, I am pleased to say that my dd never received a drop of formual and she nursed happily unti she weaned herself at 2 1/2 years old.
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Well! I didn't realize. It is still a wonderful story
I didn't realize you were pregnant, but then I certainly don't know everyone who is. I got a lot out of writing mine when I did also.
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Originally Posted by Mom4tot
Well! I didn't realize. It is still a wonderful story
I didn't realize you were pregnant, but then I certainly don't know everyone who is. I got a lot out of writing mine when I did also.
I'm not pregnant! Lord no! :LOL

I just felt inspired to write this out.
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