Well, I figured that I was about to post baby number 4's story and thought I should get ds3's out first. (Poor guy, he seems to get the shaft on all these things...pictures, handmedowns, birth stories...it's tough to be the third boy
(This was our second homebirth, third baby)
Thanks for reading and I hope it encourages anyone who might find themselves in that postion.
Elijah Isaac's Birth Story (Unplanned Unassisted)
At 41 weeks and two days on Fri. Feb 2nd 2007 I started having contractions in the middle of the night. I woke up and had Jorge help me get the bed ready thinking that labor and birth would progress and it would be needed. We went back to bed and tried to time any contractions that would happen. They were very sporadic. Some would be 10 minutes apart and last 30 sec. and others would be 2 or 3 mins apart and last 60 -90 sec. All of them that first night were manageable and I was able to sleep between most and even be in a relaxed state during them. When we woke up on Sat. they stopped after being up about an hour. I called our midwife Christina to let her know what happened and told her I would keep her updated. The day went typical for a Sat. We did things around the house and I began to think it was just a bit of false labor. Which was odd as this was baby number 3. So we put the boys to bed and watched some tv then fell asleep ourselves. It was difficult because the bed still had plastic on it and it was crunchy. At about 2 ish in the morning the contractions started again. Again there was no consistency to the timing and I was unable to get a feel for what was happening. I can say that they were harder to handle than the previous night, but I wasn't really thinking in those terms. I was just looking for a normal progression of time. Jorge was trying to be supportive, but since I wasn't sure what was happening he couldn't feel confident either. I was moving around in the bed and he went to sleep on the couch. The next morning was Sunday and again after being up an hour or so the contractions stopped. I talked to Christina again and told her how confused I was. She reminded me that they still had a purpose and it wasn't really "false" labor and to let her know if anything changed. With the uncertainty of the situation we decided to stay home from church and just had a nice Sunday with the kids around the house. I ended up having a few contractions throughout the day, but they were mild. That night the contractions started earlier than the night before and they were much more intense. If I was sleeping they would wake me up at the peak and I was not able to get ahead of them. I could feel myself tensing up and I really tried to fight that, but since they still were unreliable in the timing department I never knew when to expect one. It continued to be anywhere from 20 mins to 2mins apart and 30 sec to 2 mins. in duration. In hindsight the intensity should have clued me in to what was happening. I just wasn't sure if things were going to stop again in the morning and I was already tired since I hadn't really slept well for three nights. By 4:30 a.m. I had to get up and the only comfortable way to work through the contractions was by sitting/rocking in the office chair. I had the shakes and was nauseous (should have tuned into that). Jorge saw that I was up and asked if everything was alright, I told him it was, but the bed was too uncomfortable now. Since I was dealing with them better upright when he got up to go to work at 5:30 I assumed they would stop again and we decided he should go. I slept in the chair for an hour and then got hit with a whopper of a contraction. It was sharp and I had to stand on my tip toes to deal with it. I felt vulnerable and didn't want to be alone as I felt like the baby could come right then. I called Jorge and told him I needed him to come back home (he works 45min away and he had just gotten there). Then I called Christina and she said she was going to load up the car and work her way out here (about an hour). I neglected to tell her how intense the feelings were and that I thought the baby was going to come soon…only that I was giving her a heads up and the contractions were still inconsistent. Well, Jorge got home and of course contractions stopped! I still only felt relaxed in the chair and Jorge had to get breakfast for the boys. Since I was not tuning into my body (I was relying on other outside sources to guide my understanding of what was happening) and realizing how all of this prodromal labor was my labor and now my body was ready…Jorge and I had our eldest get ready for his co-op class that day thinking Jorge could take him. This was all around 9:00. I also got the shakes again at this point during the contractions and couldn't relax. So, the boys were out in the living room eating breakfast, Jorge was on the bed eating a bagel and watching the news, and I was still sitting in the chair, when I told Jorge that "I needed to go to the bathroom" (around 9:15) I got up and to the doorway of the bathroom when baby began to make an appearance. I hollered to Jorge that baby was coming now at which he was very surprised. He said, "Really? Are you sure? I didn't know the baby could come without the bag of waters breaking…?" (Somebody didn't read his books…
I sat on the toilet and had Jorge feel for the head, but since the waters were still intact he said it felt strange. I felt it too and it was squishy, yet I could feel the head if I pushed gently. He called Christina and she began to walk him through what was needed or what he should do. I had the fleeting thought to get the tub ready and asked Jorge to start filling it up, but then after a minute realized it was too late and told him that. I expressed a feeling of fear because we were unprepared and was having general transition/pushing feelings of doubt. He helped me get into the shower and with the change of movement the baby went back up a little bit. I was on all fours with the shower hitting my back which felt great. Everything had hit hard and fast at this point and I was struggling to allow my body to open up. Then the absolutely uncontrollable urge to push happened. I was not able to stop it or go slow. I was only able to begin the deep and low "mooing" as it happened. Christina had told Jorge to keep the water off of baby's face and so he put his hand on my back to keep the water from trickling down, it felt like he was pushing on me and it sent me through the roof. I promptly told him to stop that it hurt, so he told me he was going to have to turn the water off. After that it was only a matter of minutes that the baby's head emerged still in the bag of waters. There wasn't much time before another urge came over me and baby just flew out into daddy's waiting arms. The bag broke as the shoulders came out and everything looked clear. Jorge handed the baby to me through my legs and we were a little worried as the baby was pretty purple, but Christina on the phone still could hear little noises and said to just rub the back. Jorge had tried to get the bulb syringe, but then saw we didn't need it. In the mean time we saw that we had another wonderful boy. Christina had called a doula that lived "near" us and she arrived a few minutes after the birth, just incase we needed something. Then Christina arrived about ten minutes later to find us still just sitting in the shower, nursing. We clamped/cut the cord and handed daddy the baby. Christina began uterine massage, I had a few contractions (which were unpleasant) and the placenta came out a few minutes later (about 40 mins after the birth). After that I showered off and got comfy on the bed with baby (and family-the boys were thrilled and gave lots of baby love). We made the phone calls and what not and Christina did all the midwife things. Baby was great and I had a very tiny tear (No stitches), but everything else was good. It felt a bit hectic/crazy from then on. Jorge made breakfast for everyone, my in-laws came over and we really didn't get a chance to rest as I needed to recount how the labor and birth went to Christina and her assistant. After they left we rested for the rest of the day and the next.
Even though it was unexpected to be unassisted and I was frustrated that I was not aware at what was happening with my body; Jorge and I are both pleased at the outcome. It took me a little bit of time to process what happened (I am still bummed I didn't get to use the tub!). But we feel and have come to realize that it was something special that we were able to share together. We thank and praise God for a wonderful birth and healthy baby boy.
Stats: 9lbs 3oz.
21 ¼ inches
Born at: Home 9:30 a.m. Feb. 5th 2007
Name:Elijah Isaac Allen