A Home Birth Story

by Josée

Over the last couple weeks I experienced clusters of early labour contractions. They would build up for a couple hours and then vanish completely for a day or two. I had been warned that this is very common for third and fourth babies, but that when I finally go into labour it would be fast. My last labour and delivery was very quick. I expected this one to be fast as well, but not faster… which it was!

On Saturday morning, March 3rd, I met my midwife at the hospital for a Non-Stress Test. A standard, non-intrusive, test for pregnant moms that are past their “due date” by a week. Everything was looking fine. The midwife checked my cervix and performed a stretch and sweep. Since my cervix was favourable (3cm dilated and 90% effaced) she told me that I could drink the cocktail if I wanted. The cocktail is a combination of verbena oil, castor oil, almond butter and fruit nectar. I’m all for letting little ones come when they decide to but at 41 weeks pregnant I was willing to try sometime to get things going.

I returned home at 1100 and told my husband I wanted the washer and dryer hooked up. They had been disconnected throughout the week during our basement renovations. At 1130 I took the cocktail and set about making chocolate chips cookies and putting ribs into the slow cooker. If I did go into labour at least there’d been some food ready to eat. An hour went by and I started feeling hot and nauseous, but no contractions. I tried to drink and eat a little and my husband took out some summer maternity clothes for me to wear. It was such a beautiful sunny day outside. A perfect day for having a baby.

The Birth Tub

At 1310, the first contractions started. They were the same that I had been experiencing on and off the last couple weeks. I called my doula and then my midwife but told them not to come yet. I told them to come when my husband called back, which he did at 1400. My sister came to pick up Sweetpea shortly after that. Monkey had already been picked up by his grandparents the night before. I wasn’t sure where my little ones would be during the birth but I’m glad, in hindsight, that they weren’t home for this time.

My midwife arrived at 1415 and I was pretty happy between my contractions but they were getting closer, every 2-3 minutes apart. My doula showed up 15 minutes after. Everything was getting set up. The water birth tub was almost filled. I was sitting on the couch breathing deeply through my contractions. My doula pressed on some pressure points and my husband rolled a tennis ball on my lower back. I still felt good during the breaks but by 1500 (3:00pm) the breaks were getting shorter and I started moaning my way through them. From this point onward time gets fuzzy.

My doula suggested sitting on the toilet backwards if I was serious about getting things going. I got on the toilet, had about four contractions there, cursed the toilet for making things so intense and my husband for taking a picture of me there, and then realized my body was pushing. My midwife suggested getting into the water tub if I wanted to have the baby there so somehow I managed to hobble over.

Labour isn’t all rainbows and kittens and butterflies.

The warm water felt fabulous until the next contraction came. This one was so intense. I screamed. I pushed. I moaned. They told me to flip onto my back. I did. The next contraction came and I pushed and screamed. I could reach and feel the baby’s head coming down. The amniotic sac was bulging out too. Another contraction came, it was so intense and the baby’s head was born. I felt no burning from the crowning. The contraction stopped but my midwife told me to push. I tried but the baby wouldn’t budge. I was told to stand up and my husband pulled me up from the pool. I pushed and my midwife pulled and out slipped our baby. I was in the birthing pool 7 minutes prior to delivering the baby, it was 1527 (3:27pm).

My husband noticed that it was a boy and started to laugh. I had been so sure that it was a girl that I knit the baby a purple romper and a pink Easter dress.

Sigh of relief!

He was a little blue and gurgly because he had come out so fast but after some encouragement and a bit of free flow oxygen he became nice and pink. The second attendant arrived 5 minutes after he was born. I was shell shocked but so relieved. We spent some time in the birthing tub before my husband cut the cord and our little guy was examined. The placenta came next. I don’t like this part, because of the bleeding, but everything was fine, if not a bit messy.

It took me a good couple hours to start feeling somewhat normal again. Everything was so quick and intense. After the birth I snuggled our little guy on the couch and ate a chocolate chip cookie. Everyone else took care of cleaning and tying up loose ends.

My husband calling family to make the announcement.

I am very happy that I was able to have a home birth and that everything unfolded so perfectly. I didn’t miss the hospital one bit and can easily say that this has been my most positive birth experience so far. I’m so grateful to my Husband, midwife and doula for their wisdom and support and to God for blessing us with the beautiful gift our second son.

8lbs 3 ounces, our little Teddy.

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Chelsea Rae March 6, 2012 - 8:46 pm

Wow. That's crazy, I'm glad it was such a positive experience for you though!!! I can't wait to meet him.

I think his blog name should be Chipmunk. 😉

Anonymous March 7, 2012 - 4:59 am

What a story! Wow, I can't imagine all the labour pains pushed into 2 hours. You are a strong woman! I can't wait to meet Teddy – he looks just beautiful, and no doubt will fit perfectly into your family. Praying that these first days with a newborn go smoothly and that Monkey and Sweetpea adjust quickly to a new brother. I'll probably give you a call next week sometime.

Cindy and family

Amanda McDonald March 14, 2012 - 10:08 pm

Wow, you are certainly brave not only for the home birth but also for posting the pictures online. Congrats!


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