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Posted 06 May 2007 - 05:16 PM
Just realised that this forum needs this! When I was planning my own homebirths I LOVED reading other people's homebirth stories.
So come on, what was YOUR story?
Posted 06 May 2007 - 05:24 PM
Maybe we could get a mod to pin this so that it doesnt get lost over time, i just posted mine last night but will cut and paste it in here so it doesnt get lost.
Isabella birth story
For weeks I had been having , lots and lots of Braxton hicks contractions. I had thought many times that this was it, this is the night I’m going to have the baby. The 11th November came and the BH were getting quite strong, I thought yes I knew it, this baby will come when I thought. I rang my homebirth midwife Jill and told her that I thought I was in labour, she came and checked me out, my cervix was still closed and she didn’t think I was getting real contractions and said she was going home again but I could call her any time I thought I would need her. I went to bed that night feeling really down and thinking this baby will never come out. It didn’t that day!
I got a letter home from Ashley’s school saying that his school concert was going to be on the 23 and 24th of November, great I thought this baby is due on the 25th and I knew it was going to make its appearance just in time for Ashley’s school concert, and OMG he has a line to say in it. I just knew it was going to happen.
I went to dinner at mums on the 22nd of November and went into the toilet where I noticed that I looked like I didn’t have very good control of my bladder. I called to mum and said mum I either incontinent or my waters have broken?? She quickly packed me up and sent me home, I rang Jill and told her so she said keep a close eye on it and if I thought I needed her to give her a call. Mum followed me over and slept the night at my house.
On the morning of the 23rd of November my BH were on and off regularly. The fluid loss had seemed to have stopped. Jill came to see me in and did the test for Liquor which came up negative (god did I feel like a dill, I must have imagined that as well) It won’t happen today, why would it, it hasn’t happened any other day is what I thought. As the day went on I started to feel really odd, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I was feeling just strange (looking back I should have known that I was going into labour). Ash had his school concert that night. I was feeling pretty awful by the time it was getting close to leaving for the concert. I asked him if he really wanted to go to the concert and would it be alright if I stayed home. But he said that he really wanted me to go. So I did the right thing and went along. During the concert I started to get some really painful BH (or so I thought) I went to the toilet at the concert and noticed that I was again leaking fluid. Thank god I had put a pad on. I sat through the concert and had begged mum not to tell anyone about my waters breaking cause I myself wasn’t sure that this was it and I didn’t want people to be disappointed when I went to school with Ashley the next day (god was I in denial or what). We left at the half time interval (I had warned Ashley that I would only be staying until then). Mum had a meeting to go to that night as well so dropped me at the door and scooted off to her meeting. As I opened the door and walked in, the fluid gushed. This was it I thought, I have to be in labour now??? I rang my sister and said could she please come over, because mum wasn’t going to be home for ages. She came right over. I laid on the couch, and nothing was happening, but fluid was leaking everywhere. Mum got home soon after so we all had a cuppa but decided we should probably go to bed and get some rest. I hopped into bed and fell straight to sleep, it was all of about 15 mins later when I was woke with a really really painful contraction. I laid in bed thinking I will see what happens before I wake anyone, about 8 mins later I got another one, but decided to stay laying there and wait and see. When I got the next one about 7 mins later I called out to mum, I couldn’t move. Ok I thought I’m definitely in labour now. Mum called Jill.
My sister Kelly and mum sprung into action, Ashley was asleep in bed still at this stage and I wanted him to stay asleep for as long as possible. I got out of bed and started wandering around the house between contractions they were getting thick and fast. I started to panic that Jill wouldn’t make it in time. Ashley was woken by all the noise and was very excited to see that he was finally going to get to meet his little brother or sister.
Mum started filling up the pool and lighting the candles while Kelly kept me company. Ashley laid on mums bed playing his game boy. I had told him while prepping him for my labour that he can play game boy while it’s all happening if he wants to, so this is what he had been looking forward to. Mum kept saying “hop in the pool Angela if you want to” but I didn’t feel comfortable hopping in until Jill had arrived. Jill arrived about 45 mins after I had woken in labour. I was so so relieved to see her there, she put the little Doppler machine on my belly and I heard my babies beautiful strong heart beat. She said “come on Angela hop in the pool”, which I proceeded to do. It was so beautifully warm, mum had prepared it perfectly. I kneeled down and leaned over the edge of the pool and moaned my way through each contraction, they were becoming extremely painful by now and I burst into tears. I didn’t think I was ever going to get through the contractions. Jill said to me “yes you can, you will do beautifully Angela, your doing a great job already” that was just what I needed to hear. Jill wanted to listen to the babies heart beat and tried to put the Doppler on without making me roll over on to my back but after a while I said its ok I will turn over for you to listen (I was keen to hear babies heart beat anyway) As soon as I rolled over I felt the most intense contractions, I started to become very restless and grumpy, I knew I was going into transition.
I felt the strongest pain as yet. Mum had gone into the lounge room to try to find the CD’s that I wanted to play (we had forgotten to set that up), I called for her! She came back down to the Games room and I felt like I needed to push! Kelly had Ashley and asked me if I wanted ash to be where he could see everything, I really didn’t care at the time but was very worried about him at that time. He looked quite worried as well. I remember him saying to me “Come on mum you know you just have to do it, to get this baby out.” Jill said to go with what I felt like I needed to do, I wanted to get back into the kneeling position but couldn’t move myself. I remember begging Jill to give me something for the pain (which is ridiculous now looking back because I knew she didn’t have anything to give me) I started to loose a bit of control over my body, Jill reminded me to slow down my breathing which helped calm me down, she asked if she could have a feel of the babies head and then said Angela put your hand down you will feel it yourself. I remember feeling its head and thinking that it felt pointy (The fontanelle must have been molding to allow the head to descend) I gave a big push and the head was out.
Next thing I knew, at 2.22am on November 24th 2006, I had my baby in my arms. It was covered in thick Vernix. Jill asked Ashley to tell everyone what the baby was and he looked very unsurely and said “It’s a boy” We all said “are you sure Ashley, have another look” so he looked and said “It’s a girl.” I asked Ashley if we were calling her Isabella Grace and he said “yes!”
So there she was, At last, Isabella Grace had joined our family!
I stayed in the birthing pool with her attached until her umbi cord stopped pulsating. All the while, having really really bad after pains. I don’t remember them hurting at all when I had Ashley, though with him I had the injection to make the placenta detach. When it stopped pulsating I was helped out of the pool by Jill and my backup midwife Corrie (who arrived just after Isabella was born). I hopped into the bed that mum had prepared for me, and Ashley cut the Umbilical cord.
Corrie, Kelly and Ashley took Isabella into the lounge room to clean her up a little and check her over while Jill stitched up the tear that I had ( I didn’t want Ashley around for that and seeing to Isabella was a good way of getting him out of the room without making him feel left out). Corrie bought Isabella back to me as soon as Jill has finished and we had another big cuddle.
I then moved into my own big comfy bed with Isabella in my arms. Jill and Corrie came and said good bye and I laid down in my own comfy soft bed with my beautiful baby and Ashley beside me, so that we could get to know each other. Ashley then went and hopped in his bed and fell asleep. I laid with Isabella absolutely in awe of this beautiful baby I had created. By this stage my sister had left, and mum had hopped in her own bed, with instructions not to get out of bed and to call if I needed anything. I found it very hard to fall asleep and simply dozed on and off until later.
When Ashley woke up it was his job to ring everyone. Seeing the joy in his face as he rang people was absolutely beautiful, he was so thrilled at being able to tell everyone that he saw the “whole thing.” We spent the rest of the day just spending time with each other.
Isabella’s homebirth was everything that I wanted, in my own home with just the people that I wanted around me. It was just beautiful!!!
Posted 06 May 2007 - 05:37 PM
Okay, here goes...
My son's birth story: (an edited version from the one on my blog).
I conceived my son on September 10th 2001. I found out that I was pregnant at 5 weeks. At 6 weeks I started bleeding. As I'd had a miscarriage previously I was sure that it was happening again.
The next few weeks were angry weeks. I was just waiting for the miscarriage to happen. Waiting waiting waiting... It didn't occur to me to see a doctor. The bleeding kept up, mainly just spotting, sometimes a bit heavier. I was so angry at my body. I cried a lot. I kept thinking "okay, so I have no trouble GETTING pregnant, it's just the STAYING pregnant thing that is a problem for me". I truly thought I was on the road to multiple miscarriages. I remember thinking "forget it. If this is going to happen every time I get pregnant, then I just won't bother having children". I wasn't a happy girl back then.
Finally, at around 11 weeks pregnant, the bleeding stopped. I realised I had never actually miscarried. I hesitantly started telling people. I finally realised I should call a midwife (in New Zealand the majority of women use midwives).
So, I got a recommendation from some friends and called Jean. It turns out she lived around the corner from me, so she was happy to come to my house on her way home to do my ante-natal checks. Great - I am lazy so the thought of not having to go anywhere for check-ups was a big bonus.
The first time I met Jean I was slightly surprised. I'm not sure what I was expecting a midwife to look like, but it wasn't a 40-something woman with layers of hippy clothes, long red dreadlocks with beer caps braided into them, and multiple facial piercings. But Jean was so relaxed in her manner that you couldn't help but feel relaxed around her too, and relaxed is an excellent thing for a pregnant woman to be.
The pregnancy progressed well, almost in textbook fashion. I did however have morning sickness that lasted until I gave birth, but it wasn't too bad. Just got up every morning, retched for a few minutes, then went and started my day.
I just assumed I would give birth in a hospital, as it was my first birth. But then, at around the 30 week mark, my midwife gave me a hospital tour. I was less than impressed.
I asked tentatively if I could have a home birth. She said "of course you can. And if you change your mind, we'll still keep your name down on the hospital list". Phew!
My due date was the 4th of June, but I had this psychic premonition that I was going to give birth on the 6th of June.
I am a crap psychic.
I went overdue. 7 days went by. Nothing. 10 days went by. Still nothing. 14 days went by. Not even a lousy Braxton Hicks contraction had been felt.
I asked Jean if there was some "rule" that I had to be induced (which meant a hospital birth). She said no, only if the baby was in trouble. We went to the hospital to do a "track and trace" thing to check the baby out - it was absolutely fine. We decided we'd wait a few more days, inducing around 17 or 18 days overdue (as a woman can only take so much of this late pregnancy state! ).
At 16 days overdue I took some castor oil. It worked! After the initial bowel cleansing, it kick started labour. Thank goodness for that! My waters broke in a huge gush as I was cooking dinner that evening, and then the contractions started quietly at around 10pm.
The great thing about home births is that you don't have to GO anywhere. People just come to you. For a lazy person like me, this is fantastic. I rang Jean to let her know it had started, and she told me to call her back when I thought I'd need her. My friend Vixen came over to help out, but nothing was happening except the occasional twinge so we all went to bed.
I couldn't sleep, and at around 11pm the contractions started in earnest. I started moaning quietly through them, and after a while Vixen came in, telling me she'd been timing my moans and the contractions were every 4 minutes apart.
We got up and went into the living room, where we made cups of tea and sat around chatting. Every few minutes I had a contraction, and Vixen and my husband would rub my back during it. My contractions only lasted about 30 seconds, so once they were over we just kept chatting and joking.
I remember thinking "ooh, these hurt, but they're not too bad. BUT if they get any worse I don't know if I could handle it". But the great thing was that they NEVER got any worse - they were always JUST bearable. And having a 3 -4 minute break in between each pain was a great relief!
Suddenly I had a wave of nausea sweep over me, and my body just started PUSHING! It was the weirdest feeling! Vixen quickly rang Jean, and she was here within 10 minutes. The back-up midwife Lisa arrived shortly afterwards.
It was about 3am when I started pushing, and I'd been in labour for just 4 hours. I felt so relieved. The baby would be here soon!
So I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. Then pushed some more. The support crew were doing a great job with the encouragement as I'm sure I would have lost morale if they'd told me I was not really making much progress!
I pushed for 4 and a half hours in total, but it really didn't seem that long. I am just so glad that I wasn't in hospital, where I'm sure a doctor would have forced me to have an episiotomy and then put huge forceps inside me to drag the baby out after only 2 hours - that is really my biggest nightmare.
Anyway, I WAS making progress, just very slowly but surely. And the baby stayed strong, and his heartbeat never dropped (it helped that it had been a relatively quick labour without any drugs, of course).
Finally the head was about to crown, and Jean told me NOT to push, so she could try to ease him out without tearing. But I was sick of it by then and just PUSHED. Out came the head, there was a "split second" of white hot pain, and then the pain was all over! I felt amazing!
Of course, I was there on all fours on the living room floor, with a huge HEAD dangling down between my thighs. A VERY weird feeling to say the least.
Everyone was saying things like "WOW! Look at that head! It must be 7 pounds by itself!" I refused to look on the basis that I didn't want such an image to be forever imprinted on my memory.
We had no idea whether we were having a boy or a girl, so it was quite funny when my husband said "Wow, he looks huge!" And the midwife asked why he thought it was a boy. My husband replied "No girl of mine could be THAT ugly!" (He later admitted he really regretted saying that, as, what if it HAD been a girl?! )
4 minutes went by, we were all waiting for the final contraction so that I could push the baby's body out. (I think that's why my pushing stage took so long - I was only pushing with each contraction, but they only came every 4 minutes or so and only lasted 30 seconds). Finally, it came, and the midwife helped guide this huge LONG baby out into the world.
I looked down at him as he lay on the floor in front of me and my first thought was "It's a boy!" My second thought was "Oh my god, he's so ugly!!!" My third thought was "I can't believe I just pushed THAT out of my vagina!"
After 5 minutes or so we cut the cord, and the baby got handed around and cuddled. I was waiting waiting waiting for the placenta to come out. It took forever, and I was bleeding a lot, so finally the midwife gave me an injection to clamp down the uterus and stop the bleeding, and the placenta came out about an hour after my boy was born.
In the meantime, my boy was weighed and measured. And it was official - he WAS huge. He weighed 10lb 6oz (that's around 4.7kg), and was 57cm long, and his head circumference was 38.5cm. He was healthy and strong, yelling a lot at first, but then calming down and just looking around the place.
He WAS pretty ugly, what with the huge conehead from all that pushing, PLUS a bubble on top the conehead (called a caput) from even more of all that pushing. Thankfully, within a day he looked normal.
As for me? I felt like I was Superwoman. He was born just before 8.00am in the morning, on 21 June 2002, and I was on the telephone ringing everyone I could think of at 8.05am. I was so excited that I had to share the news with the world!
Physically, of course, I was tired. I had a small tear, that didn't need stitches thankfully. I fainted when I stood up for the first time, due to exhaustion and loss of blood, but a few cups of tea and chocolate biscuits sorted that out.
But mentally, I was on top of the world.
It was truly the proudest moment of my life.
And here's my DD's birth story:
Having had a successful home birth with my first-born, there was no question in my mind that I'd have another home birth for my second.
I was much more relaxed about everything this time around, which was good, as my pregnancy was a lot harder. As well as having a toddler to chase after, I bled a little in the first trimester, but didn't freak out about it as I'd done with my son's pregnancy. I chose the same midwife, Jean, and as I felt like such a birthing professional, I didn't bother to see her until I was 17 weeks along.
At the 20 week scan I was sorely tempted to find out the sex, as I really wanted a girl and had strong "girl feelings", but my husband persuaded me to not find out, like last time.
Towards the end of the pregnancy I was very uncomfortable and found walking difficult, especially as the baby's head had dropped early and so it felt like I was waddling around with a basketball between my thighs. I pulled a pelvic ligament just after my due date and was in a lot of pain and so started getting quite upset that I might go more than 2 weeks overdue like with my son.
My midwife put me at ease, and said it sounded like things were going to happen in the next day or two. God, she's good.
At 4 days overdue, I had the "show". Then all through that day I had occasional tummy tightenings and vague cramps. I was very excited as I knew I was in "pre-labour", and so told everyone things would happen in the next day or two.
That night I couldn't sleep, and sat up reading, and timing the cramps. They weren't painful at all, and were now coming every half an hour or so. It was quite exciting.
Finally, at around 2.15am, they sped up to every 10 minutes and started hurting a bit. Yippee! I leapt out of bed and called Jean to let her know that it had started - I told her I'd call her back when I thought I'd need her, maybe in a few hours. I also rang my mum and asked her to come on over, as she was going to be a support person along with my husband.
My mum arrived around 2.30am, and things suddenly accelerated. It was amazing. The contractions got stronger in intensity, and sped up to every 5 minutes, then 4, then 2 minutes. We quickly rang Jean again at 3.00am and asked her to come IMMEDIATELY.
The contractions, like last time, were JUST bearable. Any more and I wouldn't have been able to handle it. I just moaned and counted through them, which seemed to help a lot. I also really felt like I needed to sit on the toilet, so I did. It just seemed to be the most comfortable place to be.
Around 3.10am I got the overwhelming urge to PUSH. It freaked me out as the midwife wasn't even there yet, and I was on the toilet. My husband was rubbing my back, but I couldn't speak to tell him what was happening. I didn't push, but just kinda grunted a lot!
The midwife then arrived and after a few minutes of chatting to my mum out in the hallway, popped her head around the door to see how I was. I managed to blurt out "The head's coming out!!!" She looked surprised, and said "surely not!?" But had a quick look, and SOMETHING was indeed coming out.
She got me off the toilet and into the living room where everything was set up, and she discovered that it wasn't the head coming out, it was the bag of waters, which hadn't yet broken. I kept saying "I don't want to push! I don't want to push! I'm not pushing!" And it's funny, but I didn't push at all. My body just seemed to take over and pushed for me, like involuntary convulsions - a very very weird feeling.
Jean said "Fine! Don't push! But the baby's coming out anyway." And so finally the waters broke by themselves, then the baby's head popped out straight afterwards. I couldn't believe it. What?? No pain?? Where was the pain??
Then the whole baby came out in a huge gush of waters, splashed onto the floor, getting amniotic fluid all over Jean. I was in shock at how relatively painless and quick it all had been.
Then I looked at this baby - it was a girl!!! I was over the moon! And she was the most perfect, most delicate, most tiny, most round, most beautiful baby I had ever seen!
She was born at 3.55am, after just over an hour and a half of labour. The placenta came out almost immediately and without any problems.
We then weighed and measured this tiny little baby - Oh My God! We weighed her 3 times in all, as we couldn't believe it. She was 10lb 10oz (that's around 4.8kg), and was 57cm long and had a 37.5cm head circumference. She was bigger than her brother had been at birth, and we'd thought he was huge! She was born on the 8th of December 2003, just 5 days overdue (thank goodness!)
And I couldn't believe how physically amazing I felt. I had no tears, no bruising, no swelling, not even a vague soreness "down there". I felt like I could have jumped into bed with my man and started trying for another baby then and there! (But of course, I didn't).
So that's my "can't believe I got so lucky" birth story. Easiest birth in the world, and I got the most beautiful baby in the world out of it too
Edited by cesca, 06 May 2007 - 05:41 PM.
Posted 06 May 2007 - 05:48 PM
You can find both of mine, and some others too, here...
PS mine are Sam and Jake's stories
Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:15 AM
I'll pin this thread at the top of the forum.
I agree that it would be great for potential homebirthers to be able to easily find a number of homebirth stories.
All the best
Posted 08 May 2007 - 09:31 AM
The Home Birth of Joshua Steven - 1.39pm on Monday 19th February 2007
The times that I remember may be a bit off, as I wasn't really taking much notice, especially once it all really kicked in. I may come and edit the times correctly once my midwife writes up and gives me her version of the event
At around 2am on the 19th (I was 40+1 weeks) I woke with a feeling of heavy period pain. It lasted around 40 seconds and was very much reminiscent of an upset tummy. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Another 'pain' woke me around 15 minutes later, so I went to the loo and sat for a few minutes. Nothing more so I went back to sleep. I woke a couple of times with other pains, but just breathed through them and barely even opened my eyes for them. The children came in at around 7.30am to wake us up. Once up and about, the pains seemed to be coming anywhere from 8-15 minutely, lasting anywhere from 15-40 seconds. I wasn't sure this was early labour, or just a tease. I told Andrew to go to work, jokingly telling him to expect a call as soon as he got in there, to come home. I truly wasn't sure what was happening.. I walked Julia to school (a 6 minute walk). Had a contraction while chatting and laughing with another mum at the playground, then had another walking home. They were really weird pains, not what I had experienced with Nathan at all. These were felt exclusively down in the lower part of my uterus, as if it was purely dilation pains I was feeling. Where was the supposed textbook contraction, beginning gently at th top of my uterus, working down, slowly tightening to a peak, holding, then releasing slowly? These ones hurt, they took all my concentration to remember to breathe, rock and let them happen. Especially while trying to hold a conversation with a 3 1/2 year old!
I was expecting my midwife and my follow-through student midwife to be over at about 10.30-11am for a check up, so I just pottered about and chattered to Nathan, while slowing regularly to listen to what my body was telling me. My main midwife rang to say she was leaving her house, I almost cried hearing her voice, because I was so unsure of what was happening and needed someone to tell me what was going on! So much for being a doula myself huh My student midwife arrived at 10.30ish and immediately started doing some vacuuming (I was having a mad nesting urge to clean the birth pool and the floor of the kids crumbs) and general tidying up while I stopped every now and then to work through a contraction. Nathan was busy watching tele, chatting to me, helping the student clean. My main midwife arrived at about 11.15 and I told her what I was feeling, she sat down and got out her paperwork and BP cuff etc while I kept pottering.
Midwife doing her paperwork-
She watched me for a bit, then I heard her say to the student, that she was going to get her kit out of the car, that baby was arriving today.. I finally called Andrew and told him to come home- by taxi from the city, not train.
At about midday Nathan needed a nappy change, that was way past my concentration ability to clean up (he still isn't toilet trained) so I popped him in the shower to wash, while I sat on the toilet for a while. I noticed I had a bloody show when I got up, I reported this to my midwife when I next passed through the lounge room. She quietly got on the phone to our back up midwife to see where she was. She was unable to leave work, so we had a quiet brain storm about who I wanted to come and be back up. My choice was contacted, she was only 15 minutes away and free to join us. That was fate stepping in to pull together the birth team that ended up being in attendance
Andrew arrived home shortly afterwards, hearing me getting slowly more vocal as the contractions were really getting teeth. They were truly all centred around the base of my uterus and my cervix, with no seeming regularity, timewise or lengthwise to them. Admittedly, I was not watching the clock, I was just wondering around, and stopping where I needed to when I needed to. The birth pool started being filled at about 12.45, while I paced around it and the lounge room and the kitchen.
My boys filling the pool-
I had a massive contraction that actually had me crying out, with tears and the first thought of 'what am I doing, I don't want this, go away' (transition anyone?) This contraction is caught on video and it was a long one, with Nathan in the background asking why I'm crying, with Andrew reassuring him that I am okay, just working hard.
When it finished, I stood up with my eyes closed, wiped the tears away and looked at the camera with a relieved expression. Thank goodness for the spells of nothing between contractions!
I sent Andrew and Nathan off to get Julia from school at 1.15. Apparently as soon as Nathan was gone, I got really vocal and serious about working through the contractions, which now seemed to be constant. The water temperature felt so good on my hand, when it was deep enough, I literally threw my clothes off and loaded myself in. Bliss. Utter bliss.
In the pool-
Labour land in the pool-
The heat and depth of the water dropped me to another level totally. I laboured hanging over the edge of the pool, I laboured with my head resting back on the edge, with my hands wedged under my sacrum. I could hear with each contraction, I was really starting to bear down. The roar I had with Nathan, was happening again I heard my midwife asking the student if she had Andrews number, because he and the children had to come home RIGHT NOW. His was the only number not listed on the fridge. I could have given it to them, but of course, they didn't want to disturb me. They found the number, his phone didn't answer anyway..
I was on my knees over the edge of the pool, when I felt that familiar poo sensation, that I recognised as baby moving past the bowel. I tried to not push, but it felt so good to work with that, so I sat back on one knee, with the other lunged to the side, put my hand down to feel what was happening. I could feel his head pass down the birth canal, I could feel his head crowning, it felt so, so good. I was again trying not to push, trying to breath him out, but he was just coming, my body was in control, not my mind. As soon as his head was born, I rested back to lean my head on the pool side. Again, the contractions were ruling my actions, my midwife was reminding me to breath, I was trying, but the roar was happening. It was now that Andrew and the kids ran in the door. Apparently they had heard my roaring from 3 doors away and bolted home. Andrew picked up the video camera in time to film Joshua's body being pushed into the water at 1.39pm. The kids had raced to be beside my head. My midwife had to unravel his body in the water as he was tangled in cord bodily and around his neck, then she bought him straight out and into my arms. The time from his body birthing to him being given into my arms was just seconds. Julia was indeed already touching Joshy as I was still coming to terms with the fact that I had done it. Given birth, at home, in the pool, to our third child. Fantastic, powerful, shocking, fast, intense, satisfying, primal, sensual, joyous..
First photo, with Julia covering her ears from Josh's first cry-
Still catching my breath, seconds after his birth, Julia reaching out to touch her new baby brother-
All wrapped up in a few hours, with the prize of a beautiful 7lb, 14oz (3.5kg) fair haired baby boy. I would say that officially 1st stage was about an hour and 20 minutes, 2nd stage about 15 minutes, physiological 3rd stage about 25 minutes. So all up, about 2 hours again.
Joshy had a little cry, then gazed around and fell asleep. During this time Alexis arrived and I realised that the people around me at that moment, were exactly who were meant to be there. From having a planned cast of thousands, to just my close family and trusted midwives, with a dear friend arriving practically straight after the birth. Couldn't have asked for more.
I stayed sitting in the pool for about 25 minutes, then I got up to get out, so I could birth the placenta. It was then, that I saw that there was a knot in his cord.
What a spin out that was. Born wrapped in his cord and with a true knot in it as well. What a special boy I had.
Placenta party (note DD eating an icypole while watching)-
The placenta came without a fuss (Alexis helped with that by holding the bowl for me), we moved to the lounge, then Julia cut the cord and Joshy had his first feed.
No problems with bleeding, or feeding, or anything. The only reportable 'issues' were that some of the membrane was retained (has since come out) and I got a tear along my old scar line to the second degree. Again. Pesky scar tissue. And while being sutured, a small nick was made to my bowel, but that was discovered and addressed straight away and I am on antibiotics to counter any possible infection. Joshy does have what appears to be positional talipes of the left foot, so will be seen by a paediatric boneman ASAP. Oh, and no worries with my blood type being AB- either, as so is he. Very glad I didn't have prophylactic anti-D during this pregnancy
Josh and I on our first morning together-
Here I am on day 3 at home with my husband and older children, with milk coming in, and a beautiful, healthy, calm and clear newborn. Perfect. Normal. So simple. Home birth rocks!
Edited by Isis, 03 November 2007 - 10:28 AM.
Posted 08 May 2007 - 03:08 PM
Wow, Isis - love the pics! I kind of regret not taking any photos during the actual births... just afterwards.
Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:36 PM
Ok here's mine- warning very long!
My journey to an empowered home birth (HBA2C)
My birth story begins almost five years ago with the birth of my first child, when I was surgically delivered of my baby lying abject and disembodied on the surgery table. It ends with me powerfully birthing my third baby at home on the lounge-room floor. My story is a journey of discovery and empowerment and one I hope many more women will take as they begin to fight for their right to have a normal birth.
Although some caesareans may be life- saving to either baby or mother, I do not believe this to be the case with the birth of my son in 2001 and my daughter in 2003. I believe I had two unnecessary caesareans and was denied the right to birth my own babies. Many friends wonder why I feel so wrong -done by; they say it doesn’t matter how babies are born as long as they are safe and healthy. They say its not the birth that matters, but the rest of your life as a mother, they say its better to have a caesarean anyway because its safer for the baby and at least you don’t ruin your vagina.
No one ever mentions the health and safety of the mother however, who has major surgery, as if it were as simple as removing a wart. No one ever questions how being unable to have skin on skin contact with your baby after birth, or being unable to breastfeed properly because you are in pain and still partially paralyzed for the first day, or how being off your head on morphine, affects your ability to mother in the crucial first days of your baby’s life. No one ever wonders how being delivered of your baby on the surgery table may make you feel totally powerless, inadequate and like a failure. How can this be a good way to enter motherhood, the most important thing you will ever do in your life?
My first son’s birth was a so-called ‘emergency’ caesarean. I thought of myself as well informed and well prepared. I had one-to-one care with a great GP/obstetrician and a community midwife in a small country town in North East Victoria. What I didn’t know was that if I was induced I’d be very likely to end up with a caesarean. Like most first time mothers, my due date came and went, and after 10 days I desperately wanted to have the baby and naively asked my GP for an induction. To give him credit he actually tried to talk me out of it, insisting that I could wait a couple more days. I think he wanted to keep me at the local hospital, as to be induced I would have to travel to the next town, Wodonga. But I was adamant, and so on Boxing Day 2001 I had what I now know was a ‘failed induction’.
I had probably 8 hours of pre-labour overnight with the gel on my cervix and then 6 hours of real labour. I thought I was doing fine until my waters were ruptured and I was attached to the syntocin drip and foetal monitor. Of course my movement was limited so therefore I was unable to manage contractions the way I had been until that point, which was by walking up and down the hall. I lost confidence due to being treated with contempt by an awful and impersonal obstetrician. When I heard the obstetrician say ‘oh she’s only four centimeters, this one will be a caesar’, I lost all will to continue and an hour later I was being prepared for an ‘emergency caesarean’ . I have since got hold of my medical notes and discovered that there was no indication whatsoever for an ‘emergency’. I think all I needed was for someone to encourage me or tell me I was doing fine, but all I got was continual discouragement.
The caesarean was traumatic, I could feel the tugging and pulling and I could see the reflection of the operation on the lights above me- blood, blurred body parts, gloved hands, masked faces. This was not the birth I had imagined or planned for. The surgeons and nurses made small talk about their Christmases and there was an awful commercial radio station playing in the background. I felt completely detached and alienated from my body, I felt like a piece of meat, but what I also felt was relief that the contractions were over and I would finally see my baby. A was born at 12:20pm on the 27th of December 2001. A big beautiful, healthy, baby and of course I was over the moon, despite the trauma of the birth. He weighed 4.8kgs and everyone said it was just as well that I had a c-section because he would not have ‘fit’.
My next pregnancy, in 2003 ended in an ‘elective’ caesarean. I use the term elective very loosely as I only elected a caesarean because I was told I had no other choice. In the time since A’s birth I had come to partially accept that I had a caesarean because my body had failed and because A was too big. On the other hand I also read about the ‘cascade of intervention’, how one medical intervention leads to another and to another, resulting in the ultimate medicalised birth- a caesarean. I realized that this was had happened to me and I was angry. However, I also distrusted my body and didn’t really believe I could give birth vaginally. I planned for a VBAC but I didn’t do enough research, on how to maximize my chances.
I booked into large public hospital in Melbourne and received very little support for my desire to have a vaginal birth. It seemed that no one wanted to commit themselves to me- I was always told ‘to wait and see’, I was always referred to as a ‘trial of scar’ and everyone kept reminding me that I’d be likely to have another large baby and would may therefore not be able to birth normally. I encountered negativity everywhere; no one ever said ‘you can do this’.
In the end I went two weeks past my due dates, which was really pushing the limit of hospital protocol. I was angry, disappointed and sad that my body had failed once again; no one ever told me that it is possible to go three and even four weeks past a due date safely. I was advised to have a caesarean, as there was no other choice. I was told I could not let the pregnancy continue. I was not offered monitoring or ultrasound to see if the baby was ok, I was offered surgery and I took it. My darling baby girl, was born on the 27th of October 2003.
I would still describe S’s birth as beautiful although it was not the birth I wanted. The sheer joy of bringing a new life into the world partially made up for the birth experience. Once again I felt completely detached and disembodied- like a talking head without a body. It seemed there was no connection between the baby emerging from my body and what was going on in my head. Before I left the hospital, an obstetrician told me in a jovial but scolding manner: “Now you wont be having any more babies vaginally, if you have anymore children they will be by caesarean”. As soon as she left the room, a midwife gave me a pamphlet- it was the Midwives in Private Practice pamphlet and she said, “don’t believe a word of it, you can have a natural birth and when you decide to, call a private midwife”. I kept that pamphlet hidden away in drawer even though I’d made the decision not have any more children.
At the end of 2005 I discovered I was pregnant once again, although we had not planned a third baby! My first two antenatal visits were at the same public hospital I went to for S’s birth- god only knows what I was thinking! The first obstetrician I saw, looked at my history and assumed I would be having caesarean. I will recount my encounter with her because it highlights so clearly the kind of attitude I was up against in my quest to have a normal birth.
“We’ll book you in for the caesar now, what date would you like?” I tell her I am planning to have a natural birth and she is dumfounded. “I wouldn’t recommend that, there are risks associated, uterine rupture for instance, with trial of scar births”. I tell her I have done my research and the risks are very small and that in fact there are more risks in having a third caesarean. I tell her I’d like the opportunity to try. She tells me she doesn’t think hospital policy allows ‘trial of scar’ after two caesareans. She says it was “quite reasonable” with the last pregnancy but not this time. I tell her I am prepared to go to another hospital if that’s the case. She looks worried and then tries to talk me out of it. “Uterine rupture is quite a serious condition” she says (as if I didn’t think it was) “it can result in maternal or child death- your baby could die. A caesarean on the other hand, is a simple and safe procedure”. By this stage her logic is starting to work on me, how does one react when told they could kill their baby? I start feeling like a bad, selfish mother and my confidence begins to waver. I tell her apologetically that I still want to try, that its important to me. She really is lost for words, she simply does not understand my desire for a vaginal birth, and I’m sure she thinks I am crazy; she looks at me in total disbelief. After she finishes the physical examination she leaves the room for twenty minutes. I wonder what she is doing; maybe she is calling the bad, selfish mother police! When she comes back she tells me she has spoken to the hospital and is now clear on hospital procedure. She tells me, rather embarrassed and flustered that there is no policy on trial of scar after two caesareans and they could not therefore, “prevent” me from labouring although they strongly discourage it. However, I was not to labour at home, I must come to hospital immediately, I must have constant foetal monitoring and a saline drip in preparation for surgery!
I knew I had no chance of normal birth here. I was a caesarean waiting to happen.
After this encounter I decided to do everything I could to have a natural birth and so began my journey to empowered birth.
First, I changed hospitals to a hospital that encouraged VBAC. I met a wonderful midwife at the second hospital who made it clear I was still fighting an uphill battle and my chances of VBAC depended on staff who would be there when I went into labour. Some supported it, others did not. My next step, after joining Maternity Coalition and getting some great advice form the ozbirthing email list, was to find a private midwife and a student midwife to support me. I read everything I could about VBAC and discovered that I had a much better chance at success if I had the support and care of a known and trusted midwife. I dug out the old pamphlet given to me two years ago and began making phone calls. In the end however, it was through word of mouth that I discovered a midwife who’d had a vaginal birth after two caesareans herself. I then made the most important decision so far; I decided to have a home birth.
When my midwife first suggested a home birth, I admit I was hesitant; I had been so conditioned into a medicalised framework to believe that I was a risk, that my body was faulty and that I therefore needed the full safety –net of technology. However H’s gentle, yet logical instance that I was a healthy woman with a healthy baby and thus had no reason why I could not give birth at home, eventually convinced me. She also made it pretty plain that a normal birth would be much harder to achieve in a hospital. I already knew deep in my heart that I would not have a normal birth in a hospital, I knew I did not have it in me to fight the system and the only way to achieve my goal was to do it at home.
My antenatal meetings with H were so vastly different to previous experiences in the hospital system. H treated me with respect, listened to my fears and always patiently assured me. My check-ups were in my own home and my children and partner were always involved, which they really enjoyed. H gave me as much time as I needed to discuss anything I wanted to. She never treated me as a risk and was always 100% confident that I would have normal birth. Finally someone believed in me, finally I had the support I needed to achieve my dream. She really became part of our life in those months leading up to the birth and I miss her now!
M and I attended ante-natal classes organised by a team of private midwives; I felt like I had stepped into another world and wished I had have discovered it all in my previous pregnancies. Here, birth was not treated as a medical and possibly risky event, the way it is in hospital antenatal classes where you are constantly reminded of what could go wrong and what interventions you will most likely receive. Instead we were prepared for normal birth, learnt of ways to cope with labour that did not involve drugs and learnt to trust our bodies and the birth process. During these months I really felt as though I was on a journey of enlightenment, why, why, why did I not know all this stuff before? Why aren’t we told that very few women give birth at 40 weeks and that many pregnancies go for longer if not forced into a medical schedule? Why are we never told about natural induction methods such as acupuncture? Why are we not told about optimal foetal positioning to ensure an anterior birth position?
My due date passed, as we knew it would and I admit I started to get despondent and worried. That old feeling that my body would fail me kept creeping back, but H and my wonderful student midwife kept my spirits up. My partner M was also very good letting me know how silly I was being and kept telling me that it would happen when it happens, and to stop being a control freak and just relax! I had really strong Braxton-hicks contractions for about week before my due date, the baby’s head was well and truly lodged in the pelvis and I had a slight ‘show’. I had never got this far with either A or S, it was all new to me and although I was surprised that my body was actually working, I continued to worry that I would not go in to labour.
I didn’t have to worry for long; four days after my due date (14 days according to the EDD estimated by ultrasound), I had regular and strong contractions that kept me up all night. That night, I camped out in the lounge room trying to sleep between contractions and watching really bad late night TV. By morning the contractions were gone. This went on for three more nights, so by the time labour really started on Saturday morning, I had virtually no sleep.
On Saturday morning the contractions kept going and got closer together. Early that morning I was in the bath, trying to relax, still disbelieving that this was the real thing. A, my four and half year old son was with me, looking after me. I will never forget the beautiful moment of telling A that the baby would probably come today. I made breakfast for the two of us while my partner and daughter slept in, all the while my contractions were getting stronger and closer together. Every time I had a contraction I would get up off the chair and lean against the kitchen bench, breathing slowly through it.
When M and S woke up, I told M that it was really happening and I thought we should call H, my midwife and my sister T, who would be looking after the kids. Harrived around 10am and did a vaginal examination, she said I was making great progress at 3cm and she would come back when labour was well and truly established, she said she wanted to hear some noise as I was still getting though contractions by breathing and I had a long way to go! She also told me to get out of the birth pool (which I had been lolling around in for about half an hour!) until my contractions were stronger, as the water was slowing down the labour.
Although we had planned for T to look after the children, it soon became apparent that I needed both her and M to support me. Also, I felt like I couldn’t labour properly with the kids around, I was holding back. Luckily they were more than happy to go and play with their friends across the road, where they stayed until the next day.
Well, Saturday afternoon came and went, time made no sense to me at all as I laboured through 1 and 2 minute contractions all afternoon. T and M were such attentive, hands-on, fantastic birth attendants. They were running form the microwave and kettle back to me with a constant stream of hotpacks and hot nappies, which were wonderful. I was screaming at them to get them in the right spot- THERE, NOT THERE!! I don’t know how they made sense of me. They worked out a system: hotpack in the undies and hot nappies across my back and abdomen. I seemed to feel the most pain in bottom, hence the hotpack in my undies! M and T made sure I was getting enough fluids and food- I nibbled at fruit, nuts and icy-poles in between contractions. The afternoon was a blur, I know I was in a lot more pain than I ever imagined, I hopped in the pool a couple of times for a break, as the warm water both eased the pain and spaced the contractions out.
After one long break in the pool, M had to coax me out. I knew I was stalling the process, I knew I had to be brave, get out and get to full dilation, but I was being a coward and trying to resist what my body was doing. Finally I found the determination inside me to get out and face the labour. I had a couple of sprays of ‘rescue remedy’ and I was off. I was determined to get to transition and I told M and T, I would be having this baby within the next couple of hours! I think this was the moment when I finally gave in to my body, let go of my ‘thinking self’ and surrendered to the primal and unstoppable force of my body.
Quite soon after this, I started having longer contractions that were on top of each other. I walked up and down the hallway, I leaned over the bean bag and fit-ball, I got in and out of the shower, all the while hardly letting go of M. For some reason I just did not want to let him out of my sight! I’d given up on the hotpacks, nothing was going to ease the pain of these contractions. And then I vomited, I vomited a lot. I was convinced that this must mean I was in transition so I was actually quite happy about it and buoyed by the thought that I must be at fully dilated and could therefore get back in the pool, which I desperately wanted!
M called our midwife and she arrived soon after, which was when I started going down hill. H did a vaginal examination and told me I was 5cm- I couldn’t believe it. Although I had no sense of time, it was now dark outside so I knew a long time had passed and I had only dilated a couple of centimetres. I was disappointed to say the least. I just kind of fell into a spiralling hole of negativity after this, I was ready to give up but knew I couldn’t. In retrospect, I should not have had that vaginal examination- ignorance is bliss as they say. M, T and H the midwife were fantastic through this period. They encouraged me and continued to tell me what a great job I was doing. In the back of my mind I acknowledged what they were saying but I wasn’t thinking, I was completely primal, grunting, swearing, hurling abuse at my poor helpers!
The next few hours were more intense, painful and demanding than I had ever imagined. My god, I just never imagined my body could withstand so much pain and not die! I yelled to be taken to hospital and given drugs; I was demanding that SOMEBODY listen to me! I kept insisting that I could not go on any longer. It was so unbelievably painful; all romantic notions I had about natural birth were gone. Of course I was not actually thinking this at the time, I wasn’t thinking anything, I was just using everything I had in me to ride each contraction.
H had prepared us all for this, she told me I would probably ask to be taken to hospital, so M and T were well ready for this and they knew that I didn’t want to be taken to hospital unless it was an emergency. They also knew that instead of offering me sympathy, they should keep encouraging me. H, T and M countered my negativity with positive affirmations of my strength, ability and determination. Every time I said I couldn’t do it they said “but you are doing it”!
The value of good birth attendants cannot be overstated; I just could not have gone through such a long and difficult labour without such wonderful, strong people supporting me. They all put on a united front- not one of them wavered in their strength, support and belief in me, no matter what I dished out to them!
I don’t know how much time lapsed, as I said, I had no concept of real time, only the rhythm of the contractions, the rhythm of my body. I vomited a lot and was constantly nauseated. I had a lot of gastrolyte icy-poles shoved down my throat to keep my energy levels up. I kept getting really annoyed with everyone; one minute I’d be pushing M away, the next I’d be pulling him toward me. I was so unbelievably tired, all I wanted to do was go to sleep, and in fact I think I did doze in between contractions as best I could in the birth pool. I went through an excruciating stage of the labour with the baby’s head pressing down on my bladder so it felt like I constantly needed to wee, but every time I tried I couldn’t. Each contraction was even more excruciating because of the pressure on my bladder. Around this time C, my second midwife arrived and inserted a catheter so I could wee, but still nothing came out! The birth pool was my only relief and that’s where I stayed. All of a sudden with one contraction I felt the urge to push!! It was amazing, all this energy coming from my body! I actually preferred the pushing contractions because at least I could do something with the contractions, rather than just enduring them.
I pushed in the pool for about an hour I think, however it was apparent that I wasn’t making much progress in there and H and C eventually convinced me to get out. Once I got out for the last time, I looked back into the pool and realised I could not birth my baby in there- it was a disgusting mixture of poo, vomit, blood and membranes!
Getting out of the pool was just what I needed, all of a sudden I had a burst of energy, I got my groove and determination back, I knew it would all be over soon and that thought kept me going. However, I still pushed for long time after this. I don’t know where that strength came from; I was so tired, so exhausted, I never knew the meaning of exhausted until now. But a woman’s body is amazing and I kept going and going. In ‘real’ life, I am not a very physically strong person, but the power emanating from my body that night was a force that could not be stopped; I am still in awe of that power.
I tried pushing in a few positions, but it was a supported squat, with M holding me, that finally worked. I pushed my baby boy out at 4:16 am , almost 24 hours after labour had started, four days later if you count pre-labour! I don’t have the words to describe that moment as words do it an injustice. Once his head was out, his body slid out easily. I fell back on to the mattress on the floor and Sunny was lifted on to my chest. He was slippery and long and covered in blood from the tear on my perineum. All the pain was gone in an instant and all I felt was sheer joy, exhilaration, relief, jubilance and amazement. I DID IT!
My body completely collapsed after this, I actually couldn’t move I was so exhausted- no exhausted is too weak a word for how my body felt! But my mind, wow I was buzzing. My baby boy needed a bit of oxygen and I needed stiches, so while I was being “fixed”, T and M looked after him. Unlike the caesarean births, my baby was right next to me for most of the time and I wasn’t afraid or detached, I was chatting away happily to the midwives while they stitched me up. It was so lovely to have hot shower and hop in to my own bed with my beautiful baby. My sister’s partner, who had slept through all my screaming and shouting and swearing but came in for the good bit at the end, made me some vegemite toast and a boiled egg which I devoured. Finally the nausea that I had been experiencing for the last 24 hours was gone and I was starving! I tried to sleep but I was just too hyped up and I just couldn’t take my eyes off my beautiful baby. I eventually did sleep for a couple of hours while poor M cleaned up the aftermath of the birth. When I awoke, my other children, A and S arrived home very excited with lots of cuddles and kisses for their new baby brother.
I admit that I was not as mobile and pain-free as I had hoped after the birth because I had quite a nasty tear. I had to put Icy-poles in pads in my undies for a few days after the birth which really helped. I had a fantastic roster of nurses- my sister, my mum and partner. It took exactly two weeks to be pain-free which is not bad compared to a caesarean and the pain was no where near as severe as the pain after surgery; Panadol was all I needed.
Baby S was not as big as my other children, but still a big baby at 4.5kgs and there was never any concern that he would get stuck.
For weeks after his birth I was on a high, I had the song “I am woman” by Helen Reddy running through my head for days- this song must have been written about childbirth- “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman, hear me roar”! I did do a lot of roaring through the birth and I now feel so strong, invincible and empowered! Giving birth to S at home without drugs or doctors or being cut up, after being told I could not, should not have a normal birth, was the best thing I ever done in my life and far outweighs any other achievements in my life. I feel triumphant, jubilant, like I could take on anything. This is just incomparable to how I felt after a caesarean birth.
It took me three times to get it right and this is simply because I did not have access to the care, knowledge and information needed to achieve a normal birth. Although I have disappointments, I have no regrets as this was the journey I was meant to make.
Posted 09 May 2007 - 09:11 AM
What a journey! You truly did it your way Thank you for sharing your beautiful home birth story!
Posted 10 May 2007 - 09:48 PM
Wow! What an amazing journey.
Did I read your story in the last issue of Birth Matters?
Cesca - Thank you for sharing your lovely births. I never realised you'd homebirthed.
Edited by ~kylie~, 10 May 2007 - 09:49 PM.
Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:33 PM
OK here's mine Great idea for a thread. I loved reading HB stories when I was planning mine and I still do love reading them
Where do I start this story? DS’s birth was the culmination of so many things that it is impossible to draw a line that clearly marks the beginning of his birth, but that is another story for another day. So I guess I’ll start at lunchtime on Monday the 9th of August 2004. At 12.10pm DD (26 months) asked me for a breastfeed and while feeding her I had 3 nice strong Braxton-Hicks. She fed for about 30 minutes as she fell asleep while feeding. These Braxton-Hicks did not seem any different to the ones I had been having for the past week or so. However throughout the afternoon I started to have an aching back, mainly like I do when my period is approaching. It didn’t worry me greatly as it wasn’t consistent. I did mention it to DH when I spoke to him after 3 pm and also to Mum when I spoke to her about 3.30pm. By the time DH came home from work at about 4pm I noticed that the ache was coming and going and it was also starting to ache across my lower abdomen. When I mentioned to DH that I wondered if this could be prelabour, he reminded me that if it wasn’t real labour a warm shower would probably stop the aches. So about 4.30pm I went for a shower, I used all the hot water to stay in as long as I could, as it felt so good. However the aches continued; I had 3 while in the shower.
I then went back to the kitchen where my MIL was making empanadas for dinner. I thought I would start timing these aches and to my surprise they were consistently 7 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. I spent the next hour between 5 & 6pm leaning over the kitchen bench when the contractions came. They were still mild enough for me to talk through. During this time DH and my MIL continued to prepare dinner and attend to DD. My MIL called my FIL to let him know that something might be happening but not to panic as it may not last. This was what I kept wondering also, the contractions felt good but I was unsure if they would continue.
About 6pm we sat down to have dinner. I ate 2 empanadas, normally I would have eaten 3 or 4 but decided not to over do it, and felt full enough after just 2 anyway. During dinner I spoke to a friend. I noticed that now it was getting harder to speak through the contractions. I also found that it was good to focus on something during the contractions. When we finished dinner I decided to call my midwife to let her know that something may be happening. She was enthusiastic and advised me to have an early night and she would do the same. She reminded us to fill the birth pool now as I could just get in to relax even if it wasn’t labour. That sounded like a really good idea. I also felt like I needed space and quiet so I asked DH to put DD into bed. By now it was about 7pm which is her bedtime anyway, but when we said goodnight she took over 10 minutes to get to sleep. She kept calling for me, which is unusual for her. I guess she knew bubba was coming, but we thought we were in for a long night.
The next 20 minutes we spent getting organised. That is, DH and my MIL were getting organised and I was concentrating through contractions and giving reminders to DH in between. Then at 7.30 I was leaning over the back of our lounge chair having a contraction when I felt like I had been kicked in the cervix but this was immediately followed by a small gush of fluid. I dashed from the lounge to our ensuite and into the shower. I called out to DH, who was surprised when I told him I was sure my waters had broken. I waited to see if there would be more to come so I sat on the toilet.
DH asked if we should call the midwives and I said to wait a little to see what the contractions did now. Well they picked up in intensity and came closer together. DH said there was now enough water in the pool to hop in so that’s exactly what I did. DH turned down the lights and put some quiet music on in the background. We had a beanbag under one corner of the pool so mainly I was kneeling leaning forward on the beanbag. However our hot water tank had run empty so my MIL was bringing pots of boiling water from the stove to finish filling the pool. As soon as I got in the pool I knew the labour wasn’t going to slow down and I wanted the midwives. It took 3 reminders for me to convince DH to call the midwives. He called them at 7.50pm (according to the phone bill). I was having a contraction but remember him saying, “Things are starting to happen here” I felt like saying “No! Things are REALLY happening here”.
The phone rang; it was DH’s grandmother. Assuming that my FIL had called her DH abruptly told her that there was no news yet and he would call when there was. Only she didn’t know I was in labour and was calling out of interest, but she soon realised things must have been underway by DH’s voice. I remember needing to go to the bathroom. I told DH to help me out of the pool. As soon as I stood up out of the water I groaned, as the pain was immediately worse. DH reminded me that I didn’t need to leave the pool as he had his ‘pooper scooper’ ready. This sounded like a much more comfortable solution, so in the pool I stayed. I guess it was at this stage that I subconsciously decided to stay in the pool for the birth.
Our hot water tank had now recovered so the hose was turned back on. DH was trying to keep the water warm so he only turned on the hot tap. This caused the hose to turn and it nearly burnt me, I yelled at him to turn on the cold while trying to hold the hose away from me and deal with a contraction. I was not happy! Now DH got in the pool with me. This was wonderful, as he started rubbing my back. I told him to stop a couple of times, as the hard pressure was too much during the contractions. I like it better when he rubbed my back lightly. It didn’t really help with the pain but it reminded me DH was there with me and gave me something to think about other than the pain.
By now the contractions were intense and I started moaning through them. The sound was just an outlet for my pain but I think it helped me to keep my breathing under control as I could hear the change in sound as my breathing changed. I remember DH saying that my midwife had called to say she was on the Freeway which meant she was only about 20 minutes away. All of a sudden I realised the water coming out of the hose was now cold. I was really annoyed by this as it distracted me from my focus. I think it was about now that I felt a wave of nausea at the peak of the contraction. All I could say was ‘bucket’; DH said ‘what for?’ I said ‘sick’ as if it should have been obvious. I now realise this was the start of my transition. However I never actually did vomit.
The contractions that followed, probably only 3 or 4 were the strongest of all. The kind that feel like they go on forever and that I was being ripped in half from the inside out. At the end of this contraction I felt the urge to push. The overwhelming, unmistakable, ‘I’m going to get this baby out now’ feeling. By now it must have been at least 8.30pm. I remember thinking ‘this baby is going to come before the midwives get here’. DH must have had the same thought as he sprung into action. He got the torch and mirror to check for the baby and encouraged me to slow down the pushing and to breathe.
At this point I must have done a poo with the pushing as DH said “it’s ok it’s just a poo”. “If I could have I would have laughed because I was thinking “Oh no, it’s much more than a poo”, I could feel the baby starting to move down. I was finding it really hard to breathe though the pushing, as the push urge was so strong. Just then my backup midwife arrived together with my student midwife. They were both really great offering softly spoken words of encouragement. My secondary midwife listened to bub’s heartbeat with the waterproof Doppler and it sounded fine. My secondary midwife could see I was struggling to control the pushing so she started suggesting when to push and when to breathe. After a couple of attempts at this I found a good rhythm. My secondary midwife asked DH if he could see the baby. He said no but after just one more contraction he said yes. Now I could really feel the baby moving down onto my perineum. I was worried this part of labour would really hurt but with the controlled pushing I could let the skin stretch between pushes. At this point my main midwife arrived. She also listened to the baby’s heartbeat, although it took a few seconds to get a reading as bub was so far down now. Again it sounded fine. She suggested I feel the baby’s head. At first I didn’t think I could as I was using both my arms to balance during contractions, but I tried and managed to feel a soft head of hair. I called out for DD, I wanted her with me. So My MIL went and woke her up. I could hear her crying from being woken but as soon as she was undressed and in the pool with DH and I she was quiet.
After the next contraction my midwife asked me to turn around. I was still kneeling on my knees and she wanted me to roll over so I was reclining against the beanbag. I think she suggested this because I had been trying to open my hips up wider. It took a lot of concentration to roll over and when I did I found the water seemed too deep for comfort so my midwife supported me under the arms. I mainly had my eyes closed but now when I opened them I could see everyone around me which was really nice. At this point my MIL started videoing the birth. She was also on the phone to my mother, describing what was happening. I knew the baby was moving down but I thought I still had a few more pushed to go. However on the next push the head came out, which surprised me as it didn’t hurt much at all. My midwife checked to see if the cord was around his neck and then I reached down and felt his head. I could feel his hair floating in the water and that felt amazing. I was thinking “OK now I get a rest and then on the next contraction the rest will come” but just as I was thinking that I got another urge to push and sure enough out came the rest of the body. When I looked down he was facing me; he came out face up instead of down. His body was still coming out but I reached down and lifted him up to me. It was 8.50pm. Then DD said “Bubba”.
I was completely consumed by the little person in my arms. He gave a squawk and I remember my midwife saying what a good colour he was. Later she told me she gave him Apgars of 10 and 10. He was covered in quite a bit of the vernix, about 3mls thick in most places. My midwives were saying that it is nature’s best skin moisturiser and they put some on their lips as balm. The vernix was almost all absorbed within a couple of hours without us rubbing him down or bathing him. Then my MIL said my Mum was asking if it was a boy or girl. We hadn’t looked yet, so when I did we saw it was a boy.
My MIL put the phone to my ear and I told Mum it was a boy but I can’t remember anything she said – my brain wasn’t in gear yet! Then my MIL called my FIL and my SIL’s back to let them know that the earlier contractions had done their job. My FIL said he and my SIL would leave first thing in the morning to come to Melbourne. My midwife put a hat on DS to keep his head warm and I kept his body in the water for warmth. I offered DS my nipple but apart from sniff at it he wasn’t very interested.
So my midwife suggested I hand DS over to DH and stand up so I could deliver the placenta. I just had to cough a couple of times and give a small push and out slipped the placenta. However some of the membranes were caught still. My midwife said she couldn’t pull them as they just tear so I had to keep coughing a few more times to ‘shake them loose’. Thankfully it didn’t take too long, as I was feeling quite tired and a little weak by now. Then the midwives helped us to the bedroom. I got settled into our bed – the best feeling in the world and DH cut DS’s cord (the placenta was in a bowl). We had bought scissors for the cord cutting so we can keep them as a 21st gift for DS.
So now we settled into bed. DS fed on and off until 2am. The midwives gave DS his Vitamin K injection at our request. They did their paperwork and checked on me. My midwife said I had a small tear but that if I could keep my knees together for a couple of days it would heal by itself. She said the tear didn’t surprise her, as she thinks I was stitched too tightly after DD’s birth and given that DS came out with his face up she said, “Don’t let anyone tell you haven’t got a decent sized pelvis”. This made me feel really proud, especially because I’m only small, about 155cms and DS weighed in at 3.8kg. I wasn’t surprised by his weight as I always felt this baby was bigger than DD.
The midwives left at about 11.30pm and DD went back to bed at about 12.30am. DS fell asleep at about 2am and slept until 9am, and so did we. Overall I have recovered really well. I feel so much better after this birth and I feel proud of myself and my faith in my body has been restored. I would really like to have another homebirth if we have another baby. I believe the ease of my labour and recovery was directly related to the fact I was more relaxed and well supported by people who really cared for my family.
P.S. we kept the placenta in the fridge for a few days and then planted it under a Mandarin tree.
Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:02 AM
So OK this was not a 'planned' homebirth but it was an amazing experience & I'd love to do it at home again (preferably inside though )
Warning – very long!!
Sunday 27th May, I was 10 days overdue & had to go to the hospital for a routine CTG to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, & make sure it wasn’t in any distress. We got there around lunch time, & had to stay for a couple of hours as baby’s heartrate was elevated & showed no signs of calming down. The OB was called in & gave me a quick internal exam, along with a sweep & stretch, saying that my cervix was only about 1.5-2cm dilated but they would be able to break my waters & induce me that night if baby’s heartrate didn’t settle down.
This was quite upsetting for me as I had been induced with the first two girls and was desperate to go into labour spontaneously – I’d already had some promising signs with a bloody show for the last couple of days & was hoping not to make it to the induction scheduled for that Tuesday. The OB let me leave the hospital for a couple of hours, so DH & I took the girls for a walk around the local lake & playground before coming back for another CTG later. Luckily for me, baby’s heartrate was now very calm, & I actually had to drink some ice water to wake it up so they could get a good trace, but then they let me go home.
By this stage, it was early evening & MIL invited us over to have dinner at her place, which was great as I was feeling pretty emotionally & physically drained – despite spending most of the time lying down as stated by DD1! We went home & put the girls to bed & then DH gave me a wonderful massage with clary sage & lavender oil, which was totally relaxing. We also tried to DTD to get things moving naturally but it ended up being just too difficult so we had a nice cuddle instead.
I was woken up around 1:45 am with a contraction, which had been happening for the last couple of nights so I didn’t think too much about it, just got up & went to the toilet as normal & then back to bed. However another contraction happened while I was trying to get back to sleep that felt different to the previous nights & when the third one happened, I thought it might be time to get up & see how far apart they were. Logged onto EB to let the girls know it might be happening & started timing the contractions with Contraction Master, they were roughly 6 minutes apart & lasting about a minute, but not *too* painful so I just timed them for a while, thinking it would all fizzle out again... however after about an hour of them continuing on quite regularly, I decided to wake DH & let him know what was going on, & rang the hospital too, as it was a 30 minute drive to get there.
Hospital said I'd probably be ok to stay at home for another hour, so DH went back to bed for a while too & I finally burnt a CD with some labour music to take with me LOL (had a line from "Good Excuse" by John Butler Trio running through my head). I found listening to the music was a good distraction at the time & even though I needed to get up & move during the contractions, the pain felt ‘good’ – I had read a bit about hypnobirthing & was really trying to focus on the baby coming & ‘welcoming’ the contractions (also because I was so keen not to be induced again!).
About 3:30 I told DH they were starting to get closer & more intense, so probably a good idea to get his sister over to stay with the girls & get ready to go. We fiddled around getting ready, DH had a shower then I did – the warm water felt great but a couple of contractions hit hard when I got out – I remember saying ‘hang on baby, not yet’. DH’s sister arrived about 4am & DH wanted to eat his porridge but I said we need to go cos I don't know how I'll cope with these ctx in the car, as I was rocking through them at the time & starting to moan, although they still weren’t as intense as I remembered them with the first two. No idea of how far apart they were at that stage but definitely close!
When we got out to the car, DH said wait a sec, I'll get some towels to put on the seat & while I was waiting by the door, my waters broke - absolutely gushed everywhere & felt so good, I didn’t realise how much pressure I was feeling until it was relieved... so we went back inside to change my clothes, luckily I put on a nightie with no undies! Went back to the car, sat down on the seat & immediately had to get out again - DH tried to convince me to sit still, but I said "no I can't, I can’t do this, I have to stand up", (think that might have been transition!) so he let me out & then I felt the urge to push - DH was trying to get me to breathe through the urges & I'm saying "I can't stop, call the ambulance, I gotta push" – think I was slightly hysterical at that stage, just because he didn’t seem to realise I was serious. Anyway he was helping me back inside, while his sister called the ambulance & we got about 2 steps around the car when I really had to push & Abbey's head came out - DH is saying "Ok, what can I do" & I tell him "just catch the baby!" Another push & her shoulders came out & DH caught her & I could hear his sister saying "we need an ambulance, there's a baby being born, oh no, it's here now" - so we know what her time of birth is! I also remember wondering if our neighbours had heard all the commotion & noticing that there were no lights on at their house.
Abbey made one cry as she came out & then was very calm & quiet – I would have been worried if not for the first cry. We finally got back inside, with DH carrying Abbey tucked in his jumper, still connected to me, & we could finally see our new baby girl – I think I was a little in shock at how quickly it had all happened & it felt quite surreal standing in our hallway with blood pouring down my legs, holding my new baby but I also felt very calm, & DH seemed very calm too – in fact his sister said that she felt like she was the only one panicking… DD1 had woken up with the noise & got to see Abbey straight away, which was pretty special & we all moved into the kitchen, which was warmer, while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, & DH’s sister went to get their mother – it was also her birthday that day! DD2 also finally came out to join the party, though she seemed a bit overwhelmed by the mess & commotion & spent most of the time reading books with her nanna in the corner.
The ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later but let us take our time – I was hoping to deliver the placenta naturally too & definitely wanted to wait longer before cutting the cord, which DH ended up doing after about an hour. Abigail also found the breast & attached beautifully by herself, despite the cord being a little short. After about an hour, the ambos started getting a bit concerned about waiting any longer so they loaded me (& Abigail) onto a trolley & then into the ambulance & took me off to hospital – the drive in was the worst part of the whole experience, as the road was quite bumpy & I was getting quite painful afterbirth contractions but couldn’t really do anything about it but moan as I was lying on the trolley with Abigail on my breast.
We finally got to the hospital around 6am, & DH arrived at almost the same time – the ambos said they had taken it slowly on the way in so I wouldn’t get bumped as much! I got checked out by the midwife & was thrilled to learn that I had no tears (was my big fear after such a quick delivery) but I did feel very swollen down there & DH said I looked like I had ‘Bubba’ lips (from Forrest Gump). The placenta still hadn’t come yet & the midwife said it felt very firm still so I said I was happy to have the syntocin injection now as I had given it plenty of time to come naturally. It still didn’t seem to want to come away, even with controlled cord traction & she mentioned that I may need to go to theatre under anaesthetic to have it removed – well that was enough to put the fear into me & seconds later the placenta was finally delivered.
After that, they finally weighed Abigail – she was 4200g, which the midwife told us was 9lb but actually is 9lb 4oz, then left us to get to know our newest daughter – DH was quite emotional about it all as not only was she born on MIL's birthday, she was born 2 houses away from where DH’s dad was born - we had also chosen her name so she'd have the same initials as DH's dad (who passed away last year). DH was over the moon at being the one to catch Abbey & so intimately involved in her birth – DD1 told me he said we could have another home birth but have a midwife there next time LOL.
I feel very blessed at how smoothly it all went & continues to be – Abigail is just so placid & content & a joy to have, & I felt great right away after the birth – certainly makes me want to repeat the experience & even DH seems more interested in the idea than he used to be!
Posted 15 July 2007 - 08:52 PM
The Birth of Kaleb Samuel
Our first thoughts of Kaleb began immediately after the birth of his big sister. Her birth was so empowering for us both, that we both said immediately “let’s do that again!”. We also knew straight away that was someone missing, one boy and one girl just didn’t sit right with us – and we knew that there was more to come. I remember the night this baby was conceived and strongly felt one little answered pray was the beginning of this life. The first weeks that Kaleb began to form inside of me went by ever so quietly. I was still breast feeding Josie and noticed that she had been going off her milk, I think she was the first to know that a little brother or sister was on their way. As I didn’t have a LMP date to go by, we had no idea of a due date, or how far along I was, until our first scan revealed I was already 16 weeks pregnant. We weren’t expecting to see much on the scan, and were shocked to see a little hand waving back at us, as if to say “here I am!” We were all so excited and felt extremely blessed to be growing another child to add to our beautiful family so soon after Josie’s birth.
The pregnancy progressed ever so quickly, and I was feeling strong and healthy. I felt the life inside of me growing and thought fairly early on that this was a quiet, gentle spirited, little boy. I enjoyed every moment of the pregnancy, and tried hard to never complain about the little niggly problems – they are a small price to pay for the joy of knowing you are creating another person inside of you. Before I knew it we were approaching the birth of our baby, I had a lot of thoughts and feelings to sort through before it were time to birth.
I was at the end of the pregnancy, and I still didn’t really feel ready to birth – which was a little unusual for me. I had my first son Isaac at 37 weeks and Josie was 5 days early, but I just knew I was still a little way off birthing. By 39 weeks I was desperately trying to feel ready, just in case things should happen, I didn’t want to be caught off guard. My midwife, Carla, arrived very close to home the week before my due date, and then mum arrived to stay 2 days before my due date. I had waited until all the right people were in the right places, and now I was really ready to birth – so we told our baby, we’re all here waiting for you now! I’m so glad that God has a perfect time for everything, I knew that I needed to put my faith in his timing and all would be as it should. My due date came and went, and now I had to play the waiting game, which was a whole new experience for me. I am so thankful now for that precious time waiting for the arrival of our baby, and really enjoyed the whole family just spending quality time together (although it certainly tested my faith at the time). My hubby was off work and we were able to slow down the pace of life, and anticipate with such excitement the imminent birth.
I was very much looking forward to attending a good friends wedding, which I thought I’d be able to make it to, with a beautiful new baby in my arms. But as the date approached for her wedding I started to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to make it (as we would have to travel, and I wasn’t prepared to have our baby by the side of the road). The days went by and my Mum was planning on leaving the next morning, and coming back when the birth was happening (mum was going to look after Isaac and Josie and be an extra pair of hands during the birth), but I knew that if she went home she would miss the whole thing, as she is at least 2 hours away. Brian was looking after the kids and I decided to take a nice long walk by myself, in the hope that it would trigger something. While I was walking I realized that I had to let go of the plans that I was making and learn to trust and have faith that everything was going to be timed in a perfect way. There was no point in me making plans, I had to let go and surrender, things were out of my control.
Hubby was being so fantastic, he continued to look after the kids all afternoon, and get them fed, bathed and off to bed. I had a beautiful, long, soaking warm spa bath, kissed my children good night and decided to go to bed early as I was fairly tired from the walk. Brian decided to stay up and watch the footy.
After about one-and-a-half hours sleep, I woke up and noticed Brian had not come to bed yet. I was feeling hungry so Brian got me some yummy frozen yoghurt which I ate in bed. It was about 11pm that I insisted that he come to bed so we could have a bit of a snuggle. Once again we talked about the birth, but more about this new little baby that was soon to become known to us. We didn’t know for sure if it was a boy or a girl, and we hadn’t decided on names, as we first wanted to meet this little person before naming them. As we cuddled and talked I started to feel those familiar contractions, like a lower period sort of cramping – very different to all those Braxtons Hicks which had been keeping me up for nights. I let Brian know but we didn’t want to get too excited just yet.
Isaac woke up, came into our room and climbed into bed with daddy. I thought it would be a sweet memory to have of him in our bed, but by this time I knew things were happening, and I was quite adamant that he needed to go back to his bed, so I could get serious about having this baby. Brian and I cuddled and talked a little more once Isaac was back to bed, we decided that yes things are happening, but tried to contain our excitement, as we know too much adrenalin could slow things down. It was a strange start to labour, as both my other labours had began with my waters breaking.
We got out of bed and started to create our birthing space. I found that Brian had already pre-empted that tonight could be the night and he had put the camera on charge, and put my bunch of flowers in the bathroom for me (what a darling!). We got Carla’s potions (homeopathic bottles) out on the bedroom dresser, as well as the oxygen out of the cupboard. We had electric oil burners with lavender and clary sage in the bedroom and bathroom, and moved a lamp into the bathroom for lighting.
Mum heard the commotion going on and decided to come out and see if there was any action. I was delighted to tell her that tonight (or tomorrow morning) should be the day for us to meet our baby – and that she was not going to miss out on anything. We realised the date would be 07/07/07 – what a special date to be born (and also our wedding anniversary).
Brian and I shared a moment in the kitchen, it was just past midnight, and we wished each other a happy anniversary. Brain said “I’m sorry but I didn’t get you anything”, I said, “I’m getting you a baby!”
We decided to make cups of tea and Mum and Brian turned on the telly to watch a bit of tennis. I found that I couldn’t sit still to watch the tennis, and I was very aware of Mum watching me in labour so I retreated to the bedroom. I rocked and swayed through the rushes which were now taking all of my concentration. At around 12.10a.m Brian and I discussed when was the right time to ring Carla, we decided to give it until 12.30, just to make sure that things were in full swing – I was still a little unsure as I always expected my waters to break again.
Brian then rang Carla and was a little shocked as to how calm and relaxed she sounded. They decided that he would go pick her up (she was only about 5 mins down the road) in around half-an-hour to an hour time, depending on how things were going. At the time I thought that was a good plan. I could tell the intensity of this labour was increasing fairly quickly, and I knew that I would become quite anxious with Brian leaving me, even for 10 minutes, so I sent him on his way to pick up Carla. I stayed and walked around the house a little, rocking and swaying with the rushes, while Mum sat and watched the tennis. I had the most intense contraction yet while standing in the kitchen, and to my delight I saw the head lights of the car pulling back into the drive way, it was around 1am. I quickly took off to the toilet (as I needed to do many times throughout the labour, for both number ones and two’s!) before they walked in the door.
I was back in my warm, dark, safe bedroom, rocking and swaying, when Carla and Brian arrived. Carla has such a beautiful, warm, calming presence, I was very glad to see them. I was quite insistent to Brian that he go and fill the bath. I felt like I should make a little polite conversation, although it’s the last thing I wanted to do. The further and further I delved into my labour, the less and less my thinking brain was able to function – and my language skills went out the window. We decided to do a quick check of the heart beat with the Doppler, and I lay down on our bed. All was well as I knew it would be, because I could feel him squirming his way around.
I rocked and swayed through a couple more rushes in the bedroom while waiting for the bath. Things were intensifying quickly, and I was getting anxious for the bath. I moved into the bathroom with Brian and thought I’ll give it one more rush before I jump in, and just see how it feels. Swaying was great, but I could feel myself holding tension in my butt, thighs and inner muscles. I knew I needed to relax more to handle the intensity of each contraction. Things were happening quickly, and I wanted it to slow down a little. I was definitely ready for that water!
Ahhhhh! Immediate relief! I just about dived into the water and made the comment “now what was I doing before?” It was around 1.15am. The water was deep enough for me to lie on my stomach and I put my head on the bath pillow. Things slowed down, but only momentarily before intensifying once again. I started to melt down into the rushes, completely relaxed from my abdomen down. I could feel each one opening me more, and I wanted each one to be as effective as possible. I think I had made the mental decision that this didn’t have to take long. It was difficult to enjoy or welcome each rush – but I knew if I just took one at a time and made it as effective as possible I would soon have my baby in my arms.
I felt like my head was so clear, and I had a strong dialogue going on inside my head. I wanted to share what I was thinking with Brian – but just couldn’t seem to make the words come out. It was wasted energy to talk, so I decided just to enjoy each rest period as much as possible. I took one contraction at a time, and was really using my breath to help me focus.
Carla was very tuned in to the energy of the birthing. I could hear her taking a deep breathe and letting out a long sigh, and I found this extremely calming and reassuring. Brian sat beside the bath and poured cups of water on my back. I was never sure of exactly who was in the room at any given time, but I always felt well loved and supported.
I remember Carla asking Brian a couple of times if he was going to get into the bath, she must have thought that he needed a little encouragement. I remember thinking that I wanted him right there with me, but not in the bath, as I had no time or energy between rushes to welcome him into the bath, and to try and find a different position. Brian was totally in tune with all of my needs. He ended up sitting on the side of the bath with his legs in the water, and I was kneeling in between his legs, nuzzling my head into his crouch. Sounds a little strange, and must have looked a little funny, but I was extremely comfortable and feeling very open.
I remember feeling quite cold, I think mum was standing in the doorway to the bathroom, so a small draught was coming in. I asked for a towel to be wet and put on my shoulders, and then Brian or Carla would pour warm water onto it. Brian was going to get a cold washer to put on my face (because I had told him how great that had felt when I had Josie) and it was so difficult to verbalise, no I’m cold. Carla asked if we had a heater, and I had to say “in Josie’s room”, and Mum went to fetch it.
I started to make those familiar low primal groaning noises to get me through that last bit of opening up. Carla would model the kind of noise to make, which was really fantastic and would keep me on the right track. I found each rush that I moaned through so much easier to manage. I started to throw my head from side to side in between Brian’s crouch (again, this must have looked pretty funny, but I really didn’t care at the time, anything that helped!). As long as I stayed relaxed and open down below, I could release the energy through throwing my head from side to side.
I wasn’t thinking too much about my breath at the time, but I was aware that I needed to keep my mouth and jaw relaxed and not force the breath out. I remember breathing the warm air coming off the bath water and swaying my head with each rush. I would then rest my head on Brian’s leg and feel the cool air on my face.
I started to feel the urge to bear down, and thought “could this be it?” I was very aware that at the labour I had attended the week before, an anterior lip was developed by pushing too early, which then delayed the birth. So I wanted to be sure of what I was feeling. I gave everyone the warning, “feels like I’ve got to poo”. I think I held onto it for the next contraction, but I knew that this wasn’t going to work, so I just let it happen with the next rush. I felt like it was huge, but Brian assured me afterwards that it was the tiniest nugget that was scooped away without too much fuss!
My body then kicked into spontaneous bearing down. I remember saying “I can feel him squirming”, Carla asked if he was moving down, and I said “I hope so”. I had a moment where there was a slightly longer rest period and thought please God let this be transition. I asked Brian “tell me it’s not much longer” and he said “not much longer honey”. Afterwards he told me he had no idea how much longer, he thought it could have been hours, but thought it best he just tell me what I wanted to hear! What a great man!
I leaned back and tried to feel for head or the water bag, but couldn’t feel a thing – which was a bit discouraging. I noticed a bit of blood in the water, but wasn’t concerned at all at the time – I actually thought it was good, something is going on down there. (I talked about this with Carla afterwards and we think this was the separation bleed from my placenta).
I was definitely into the second stage of labour, and I remember thinking, “hey I really enjoyed this bit last time”, but this time it felt much more intense. I felt a hand on my sacrum during a contraction, at the time I didn’t know whose hand it was, but it felt so great and there was a definite downward movement from the baby. Afterwards I found out that it was Brian’s hand, and felt that this was a real moment during the labour where all 3 of us really connected, and each one knew exactly what they needed to do.
I new this baby was coming very soon, and I was very aware that I needed to change position. I didn’t want to birth on all fours, as I felt like I would miss out on seeing so much, and it was not how I had visualized the birth. I knew there was no room in the position I was in, and Carla was asking me to make room.
I tried to move to the back of the bath in a semi-reclined position (the same way I had birthed my other babies), but I only got half way there when the next contraction struck me. I think I said “will this do?” I was kind of kneeling with one leg out to the side. I asked if they could see anything, and they said “no”, but I was so sure it was just there. I knew the birth was imminent, and we asked Mum to wake Isaac, because I was worried he’d be upset if he missed all the action. We had been preparing him for the birth for weeks, and he was quite excited about seeing a baby born. He kept saying “I’ve never seen a baby born before”.
I really wanted to feel my baby coming out, so I put my hand down and felt what I think was the water bag. With the very next contraction I felt the all familiar crowning and burning. There was this huge burst of energy then instant relief, an absolutely indescribable, amazing feeling. I wasn’t exactly sure what had happened, it was such a bursting, and popping feeling. I thought for a moment that it was just my waters breaking, and that was it, but then I remember Brian telling me with such excitement in his voice “it’s out, the head’s out”. (He later told me that he actually felt the waters break, and that it was the most amazing sensation). He was so ecstatic, he was now in the bath with me, with his hand on our babies head, absolutely amazed by it’s softness. I reached down and felt our baby’s amazingly silky soft head. This moment lasted but an instant as his little body began to wiggle his way out. I moaned with the contraction, and felt each arm pop out and then the rest of his body, ahhhh, what an amazing feeling. His daddy’s safe, loving hands where ready to bring him up to the surface of the water for his first breaths.
I could see straight away that he had good muscle tone and I heard his first little noises and I knew he was alright. Welcome to the world beautiful little one. Brian and I were fumbling a little with his soft slippery body. It felt like Brian had lifted him high into the middle of the bath like a trophy that he was so extremely proud of. One of my first thoughts was look how tiny he is and then, oh yes, it is definitely a boy as it was right there in front of my face. His cord was wrapped around the back of his neck, and I was anxious to untangle him. That was when I noticed a big jellyfish in the water with us, and realized it was the placenta!
We both sat in the bath, welcomed our little baby boy into the world, and told him how very much we love him. I climbed out and sat beside the bath and gave him his first feed. Eventually we realised that we should check the time, mum said that it was 2.30a.m., but we weren’t sure how long we had been sitting there for, just living the moment. When we checked the video we saw that he was born at around 2.20am – just over 3 hours from the first contraction. Mum then had her first hold while I got comfortable back in bed. We were still too high to go back to sleep, so we sat and talked excitedly about every last detail of the last few hours. Carla left, and then Brian and I were left to gaze in awe at this beautiful new little creation.
Isaac and Josie woke the next morning to find their baby brother asleep in bed with mummy and daddy. We were not sure if Isaac would remember the whole event or just think it was a dream. It had not really been a big deal to him at the time, and it was a bit of a shock for him to be woken up so abruptly, so he was keen to go back to bed. He made the comment, “I’ve seen it before”, perhaps I showed him too many birth dvd’s?! But the next morning he was thrilled to jump in bed as a whole family and discover his new brother.
We enjoyed a champagne breakfast, and made a few phone calls. We decided not to name our baby straight away, as we wanted time to discover who this little person was. Later on in the morning Carla returned to weigh and measure him. He was a tiny 3000g (6pd 6onz, I was expecting him to be a fair bit bigger), but he was perfect in every way, and giving everyone beautiful little smiles. He looked so happy to be welcomed to the world. We named him Kaleb Samuel: (Kaleb, meaning “the devoted one”, and Samuel, meaning “asked of God”). Going with the unrushed, unhurried theme of his birth, we decided to leave his placenta attached for the following 19 hours, which he seemed to be very thankful for.
If had to sum up the whole pregnancy and birth in two words, I would have to say: “Life & Love”.
First hold - barely a minute old.
Proud mum - first feed.
Welcome to the world, Kaleb. First Morning (placenta still attached).
Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:37 AM
Cain's home waterbirth
Although my first son's birth was on the surface everything I'd wanted it to be - drug-free, problem-free, stitches-free and I felt fantastic afterwards - I felt bitterly disappointed because I knew that it really could have been the amazing experience I'd hoped for if I'd surrendered to the contractions rather than going into 'fight or flight' mode. I was incredibly lucky at the ages of 11 & 13 to witness the births of two of my brothers and I guess that was what had me thinking birth was this amazing wonderful experience.
During my first labour I felt vunerable, sorry for myself, unable to cope & in agony, but even so I had this sense that it could actually be the wonderful, even orgasmic experience some women described.
With hindsight I decided that part of the problem was I did not have any strategies to deal with the intensity of labour - things like focussing on my breath, using relaxation techniques, just simple stuff like reminding myself to relax, let go, that each contraction was bringing my baby closer, smiling! I'd done plenty of other preparation - active birth classes & reading & lots of prenatal yoga & squatting & keeping fit but I hadn't thought about how I would cope with the pain I just hoped it would all fall together.
During my second DS' pregnancy I was busy finishing my degree, doing an internship and looking after my toddler (without much help as my husband got a new job working 11-12hr days) so I didn't have the time to prepare for the birth the way I had hoped. I wanted to do hypnobirthing classes but they were much more expensive than your usual birth classes so I just bought the book instead. I also read a book by Ina May Gaskin. From 39 weeks I started doing a relaxation technique and one visualisation technique from the hypnobirthing book nearly every day.
The night before my due date I started getting mild contractions. Not painful but they kept me awake until 3am when they either stopped or I got so tired I could sleep through them. That morning we went to kindy gym then playgroup and I went home and made two chocolate cakes. After that I felt like I could have the baby because his birthday cake was the last thing I needed to do (I'd been rushing around the past week getting supplies ready as I'd only had confirmation that the hospital could start the home birth trial at the last minute).
At 4pm the 'prelabour' contractions started up again so after a few hours I called my mum (who was to be a birth support person/looking after DS) and she decided to come and stay the night. DH came home late and exhausted that night as he knew he might not be going to work for a week so he had been rushing around trying to sort everything out before he left. He looked so tired I thought to myself "I really can't have this baby until he has had at least a few hours sleep".
At midnight I took some panadeine forte that DH had left over from when he had his wisdom teeth out. They were stronger than I expected and I started freaking out thinking "what if the labour happens really fast from now and the midwife says I can't birth at home because the baby might be drugged????". I still couldn't sleep but they did make me feel very relaxed and made the contractions much more comfortable for a few hours.
At 5:30am DH's alarm went off and I told him he wasn't to go to work (so he stayed in bed the lazy bugger, leaving my mum to change & dress DS & make us all tea). At 7am the contractions were consistently 15minutes apart and getting strong. I started to feel frustrated (transition - in hindsight) and told my mum I was going to call the midwife to ask her advice about hurrying things along, e.g. a walk or something, most of the night I'd been moving peacefully from the bed to the lounge room floor to the toilet and trying to rest. Then all of a sudden the contractions started coming every two minutes and quite intense, though still not painful as such. I called the midwife and she said that sometimes that happens when the baby is in the wrong position and trying to get in the right one. Personally I thought the baby was coming but I figured she is the expert, and if it was coming it did seem a bit too good to be true. We were on the phone ten minutes and I had 3 contractions and she said they would be there within an hour and to call if I thought it might happen quicker than that.
I asked my mum to take DS out to breakfast as a toddler was a bit hard to cope with during contractions. Apparently she thought I was in the second stage at that point but she didn't say anything for some reason (she had seven kids I would have listened to her more than the as-yet-childless midwife!). I got in the bath and my waters broke immediately, that felt fantastic!! DH tried to talk me out of filling up the bath because he said we wouldn't have enough hot water for the birthing pool. I told him there wasn't going to be time for the birthing pool and asked him to ring the midwife and tell her I thought there might be some meconium in the waters (actually I didn't think there was, it seemed slightly tinged perhaps, I just wanted to hurry them up).
So he did that and then he came back in. By this stage I was making long half singing/half yelling 'Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' sounds with each exhalation. With my first labour I screamed blue murder through the second stage so DH was quite amused and surprised by this 'happy sounding' (as he described later) noise (it had been our running argument through the pregnancy that I wasn't going to scream this time, he hadn't believed me that i could do it without screaming). In between contractions I joked that DS was going to love the noise I was making when he got home as it was the sort of noise kids love to make.
DH went to make a cup of tea. I remember looking out the window at the sky during a powerful contraction and feeling ecstatic. I'll never forget that moment. I started to feel stinging and I thought wow it really is happening. I put my hand down to see if I could feel the baby crowning (DS had taken over half an hour from when he started crowning so I still didn't think birth was imminent) and instead I felt something round and soft and squidgy (must have been the baby's face) and my first thought was "that can't be the head!!!". When my first son's head (with body) came out I jumped off the birthing stool with the shock and pain of it and the midwife was lucky to catch him, so it seemed impossible that the head could emerge with only mild stinging!!.
I yelled for DH and he came running in and said "oh sh*t!!! the head is out". I know, I said. He helped the body out and I pulled the baby up to my chest whispering reasurringly. He was very purple and didn't cry but I figured he must be breathing as he moved a little. I told DH to call the midwife and ask what we do.
The midwives and my planned birth companion (best friend) showed up about twenty minutes later to find me breastfeeding in the bath. The placenta fell out as soon as I moved my bottom. I called my mum to tell her to hurry back. They weighed Cain, he was 3.7kg and measured 52cm. We all had champagne (except for the midwife that had to go to work) and birthday cake.
We worked out from the messages on one of the midwives' phone that he was born around 8am, just 30 minutes after I first called my primary midwife.
Giving birth this time was great, I felt like I could have done it all again the next day. Instead of being agony like my first it actually went from being a bit uncomfortable during prelabour/first stage to feeling fantastic during the second stage.
I would strongly recommend homebirths to those women considering them. Being at home made giving birth feel so normal and natural, like it was no big deal. I feel so incredibly grateful to have had such an experience.
Edited by goneanon, 17 February 2008 - 08:11 PM.
Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:53 AM
Cain's home waterbirth
Although my first son’s birth was on the surface everything I’d wanted it to be – drug-free, problem-free, stitches-free and I felt fantastic afterwards – I felt bitterly disappointed by because I knew that it really could have been the amazing experience I’d hoped for if I’d surrendered to the contractions rather than going into ‘fight or flight’ mode. I was incredibly lucky at the ages of 11 & 13 to witness the births of two of my brothers and I guess that was what had me thinking birth was this amazing wonderful experience.
During my first labour I felt vunerable, sorry for myself, unable to cope, but even so I had this sense that it could actually be the wonderful, even orgasmic experience some women described, I wished I could dismiss these stories as freakish like most of my friends would but somehow I couldn’t .
With hindsight I decided that part of the problem was I did not have any strategies to deal with the intensity of labour – things like focussing on my breath, using relaxation techniques, just simple stuff like reminding myself to relax, let go, that each contraction was bringing my baby closer, smiling! I’d done plenty of other preparation – active birth classes & reading & lots of prenatal yoga & squatting & keeping fit but I hadn’t thought about how I would cope with the pain I just hoped it would all fall together.
During my second DS’ pregnancy I was busy finishing my degree, doing an internship and looking after my toddler (without much help as my husband got a new job working 11-12hr days) so I didn’t have the time to prepare for the birth the way I had hoped. I wanted to do hypnobirthing classes but they were much more expensive than your usual birth classes so I just bought the book instead. I also read a book by Ina May Gaskin. From 39 weeks I started doing a relaxation technique and one visualisation technique from the hypnobirthing book nearly every day.
The night before my due date I started getting mild contractions. Not painful but they kept me awake until 3am when they either stopped or I got so tired I could sleep through them. That morning we went to kindy gym then playgroup and I went home and made two chocolate cakes. After that I felt like I could have the baby because his birthday cake was the last thing I needed to do (I’d been rushing around the past week getting supplies ready as I’d only had confirmation that the hospital could start the home birth trial at the last minute).
At 4pm the ‘prelabour’ contractions started up again so after a few hours I called my mum and she decided to come and stay the night. DH came home late and exhausted that night as he knew he might not be going to work for a week so he had been rushing around trying to sort everything out before he left. He looked so tired I thought to myself “I really can’t have this baby until he has had at least a few hours sleep”.
At midnight I took some panadeine forte that DH had left over from when he had his wisdom teeth out. They were stronger than I expected and I started freaking out thinking “what if the labour happens really fast from now and the midwife says I can’t birth at home because the baby might be drugged????”. I still couldn’t sleep but they did make me feel very relaxed and made the contractions much more comfortable for a few hours.
At 5:30am DH’s alarm went off and I told him he wasn’t to go to work (so he stayed in bed the lazy bugger, leaving my mum to change & dress DS & make us all tea). At 7am the contractions were consistently 15minutes apart and getting strong. I started to feel frustrated and told my mum I was going to call the midwife to ask her advice about hurrying things along, e.g. a walk or something, most of the night I’d been trying to rest. Then all of a sudden the contractions started coming every two minutes and quite intense, though still not painful as such. I called the midwife and she said that sometimes that happens when the baby is in the wrong position and trying to get in the right one. Personally I thought the baby was coming but I figured she is the expert, and if it was coming it did seem a bit too good to be true. We were on the phone ten minutes and I had 3 contractions and she said they would be there within an hour and to call if I thought it might happen quicker than that.
I asked my mum to take DS out to breakfast as a toddler was a bit hard to cope with during contractions. Apparently she thought I was in the second stage at that point but she didn’t say anything for some reason (she had seven kids I would have listened to her more than the as-yet-childless midwife!). I got in the bath and my waters broke immediately, that felt fantastic!! DH tried to talk me out of filling up the bath because he said we wouldn’t have enough hot water for the birthing pool. I told him there wasn’t going to be time for the birthing pool and asked him to ring the midwife and tell her I thought there might be some meconium in the waters (actually I didn’t think there was, it seemed slightly tinged perhaps, I just wanted to hurry them up).
So he did that and then he came back in. By this stage I was making long half singing/half yelling “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” sounds with each exhalation. With my first labour I screamed blue murder through the second stage so DH was quite amused and surprised by this “happy sounding” (as he described later) noise (it had been our running argument through the pregnancy that I wasn’t going to scream this time, he hadn’t believed me). In between contractions I joked that DS was going to love the noise I was making when he got home as it was the sort of noise he loved to make.
DH went to make a cup of tea. I remember looking out the window at the sky during a powerful contraction and feeling ecstatic. I’ll never forget that moment. I started to feel stinging and I thought wow it really is happening. I put my hand down to see if I could feel the baby crowning (DS had taken over half an hour from when he started crowning so I still didn’t think birth was imminent) and instead I felt something round and soft and squidgy (must have been the baby’s face) and my first thought was “that can’t be the head!!!”. When my first son’s head (with body) came out I jumped off the birthing stool with the shock and pain of it and the midwife was lucky to catch him, so it seemed impossible that the head could emerge with only mild stinging!!.
I yelled for DH and he came running in and said “oh sh*t!!! the head is out”. I know, I said. He helped the body out and I pulled the baby up to my chest whispering reasurringly. He was very purple and didn’t cry but I figured he must be breathing as he moved a little. I told DH to call the midwife and ask what we do.
The midwives and my planned birth companion (best friend) showed up about twenty minutes later to find me breastfeeding in the bath. The placenta fell out as soon as I moved my bottom. I called my mum to tell her to hurry back. They weighed Cain, he was 3.7kg and measured 52cm. We all had champagne (except for the midwife that had to go to work) and birthday cake.
We worked out from the messages on one of the midwives phone that he was born around 8am, just 30 minutes after I first called the midwife.
Giving birth this time was great, I felt like I could have done it all again the next day. Instead of being agony like my first it actually went from being a bit uncomfortable during prelabour/first stage to feeling fantastic during the second stage.
I would strongly recommend homebirths to those women considering them. Being at home made giving birth feel so normal and natural, like it was no big deal. I feel so incredibly grateful to have had such an experience.
Edited by goneanon, 16 October 2007 - 09:36 PM.
Posted 17 August 2007 - 08:05 AM
The speedy homebirth of baby Louie
After the not entirely successful attempt at a homebirth with my son Tyler, I was very keen for this birth to turn out the way I wanted, at home.
As with Tyler, I had a lovely uneventful pregnancy, cared for by my wonderful midwife.
I went to bed on the Wednesday night, and was almost asleep, when I felt a 'pop' and a small gush of water emerged.
I continued to leak for the rest of the night, and had very mild period like pains, which I mostly slept right through.
Upon waking on Thursday morning, I had a couple of mild pains, nothing much at all, and the leaking, and bloody show stopped altogether.
I thought it was all a bit of a false alarm, so dh went to work, but he rang me within the hour, and told me he had decided to come home after all.
I was pretty relieved, as I had started to get a few more mild pains, and my waters had begun leaking again. This pattern continued until around 3:30pm, when quite suddenly my contractions began to have real 'bite' to them, they were about 10 minutes apart, so I was not really concerned about my mw getting here too quickly, and told her I would ring when they got closer.
In the meantime I had rung my doula, and she was on the way, in really heavy traffic.
I probaby had about a dozen of these pretty excruciating contractions all up, and remember thinking to myself, "Why the heck am I here at home, what an idiot, I want DRUGS!"
During the latest contraction, I found myself making these really guttural grunting noises, and thought, wow, that almost felt as though I wanted to push! but thought how silly is that, I couldn't possibly be needing to push yet.
The next contraction was a doozy, and I yelled out to Ian "Omg! I'm pushing!" Well, he completely freaked out, as an unassisted birth is his worst nightmare.
He immediately rang our mw, all he said was, "You've gotta come now! She's pushing!" - didn't even say who he was, he was in such a panic.
At this stage I was still in the living room, pacing around and leaning on the furniture, when quite suddenly I felt an intense need to take my skirt and knickers off, and I was on my hands and knees, as I couldn't stand up anymore, and proceeded to crawl up the hallway to my bedroom, which was the designated birthing room, calling instructions to dh to get a plastic sheet down, and a bedsheet for me to kneel on.
So this is how our doula found us, with Ian applying hot towels, bliss! and she started giving me firm massage on my lower back.
Ian's relief at no longer being alone with me was palpable, he visibly relaxed.
Our mw arrived about 20 minutes later, and I had been having great pushing contractions, so she could see about a 10 cent sized piece of head on view with each push.
That urge to push is just so lovely, so completely uncontrollable. I never had an urge with my last birth, so it was all new territory for me.
Although I was well on my way, pushing still continued for a good hour, until I could feel baby was almost crowning, and his head actually came out about half way, so I was at full stretch OWWWW!!!! and stayed there, OWWWWW!!!! until the next contraction 4 minutes later.
I pushed much too hard, and tore a bit, and my mw was telling me to slow down as the cord was around the neck, but I couldn't, and my mw managed to get the cord off anyway, and out my little baby shot, like a wee missile! He was born at 7:22pm, and was 8lb 2oz.
I have been reading Sarah Buckley's book, 'Gentle birth, gentle mothering' and she talks about the 'feotal ejection reflex' where you have a few really massive pushes at the very end to get baby out, and I can clearly remember thinking to myself just before baby was born, and the head kept feeling like it was sliding back in, "Where the HECK is my feotal ejection reflex!!!!!" I'm such a geek sometimes!
As baby was around a week 'early' he had an amazing amount of vernix on him still, was very white.
He was a little wheezy, had swallowed a bit of mucous, or amnio fluid, so our mw sucked some gunk out of his nose and mouth, and we gave him a little O2.
The placenta came out very easily (compared to last time) and at last I could relax!
Baby latched on nicely to the (left, of course!) breast and fed well, he almost hasn't stopped since!
My older son Tyler (2) was just amazing throughout the whole thing, he was either bouncing up and down on the bed in the birthing room, or reading a book, or playing with toys etc, he was quite interested, but never distressed, gave me a few funny looks when I was at my most vocal, but was pretty much cool as a cucumber.
Our doula was just great with him, I don't know what we would have done without her.
I did end up having to be stitched, which was a little traumatic, I'm not the best with needles, especially ones being injected into my vagina!
As the sewing up was being done, my partner ran into the room, really excited, as there was a seven foot multicoloured snake curled up on the doorstep, looking all the world like a guardian. So that was a special addition to the atmosphere, an uninvited, but most welcome guest at the proceedings!
I'm absolutely over the moon, despite feeling pretty shattered, I DID IT! I had my homebirth!
Posted 17 August 2007 - 11:26 AM
I just love reading of births at home
Thanks for sharing and congratulations daughterofaphrodite!
Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:38 AM
These birth stories really helped me when planning my home birth, so I thought I'd better add mine!
Romily Sara was born on the 26th of September. She's my first baby, and we were planning a homebirth with my Mother, who is a midwife at the birth centre here, as our midwife.
I woke up at 12:15 with contractions every 3 mins - 45 secs long. I got up and read for an hour or two, stopping for the contraction to breathe. I called mum at 130 and she said to call again once the pain was bad enough to need Matt(DH) with me. I woke him at 2:30am and called mum again. We went for a walk, and contractions got to 1 min apart and 1min long. I was so excited thinking that this was all happening so fast. Mum arrived and we filled the pool. The contractions slowed down to 2 minutes apart, but were getting stronger. Mum thought I was getting fairly close so said to call Cathy (my sister) to come and join, as we wanted her there for the birth. I got into the pool at about 4am, was still going with contractions every 2mins and was starting to feel pretty horrid. By about 6am I was in tears and thinking I couldn't go on. Hoping it was transition, I asked mum to do an internal (my first).
Much to my dismay I was only 3-4cms dilated! After the shock wore off and I got my head around this being a long labour, not the short one I was expecting, I knuckled down and tried to focus more. The pain got worse, but somehow I got much better at coping. My endorphins really kicked in, and I got into some other state of consciousness! Cathy was putting hot towels on my back with every contraction, as I was moving so much, that my back was out of the water, and hurting. I got out of the pool a few times for fresh air or the toilet, but never stayed out for long, the water made the pain half as bad!
I wanted to start pushing at about 11am and Mum said that it should be ok. After nearly an hour, and no progress, she did another internal and realised that I still had a 1cm lip so I had to stop pushing! OMG that was hard! I had to fight it for an hour before I could start again- that was by far the hardest part. I felt like I'd have to do that forever, and that my baby would never arrive!!
Finally I was fully dilated and could push. What power! Being able to do something felt great. At 230pm I felt her head begining to crown, and held it as she came out. I felt so in control. being in the water meant that i could squat easily and had my hands free to hold her head all the way out. Mum gave a little tug, and the rest of her body shot out and up to the surface where I caught her and we had our first cuddle!
I stood up and birthed the placenta about 30 mins later, then hopped out to feed her in bed. I had a 2nd degree tear (she had such a huge head - 37cms!) so our other midwife came over to do the stitches, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - thank goodness!
Overall it was such an amazing experience. SO DAMN HARD, and I really wanted to give up, but we got there in the end. I really can't imagine having to do that in the hospital without the water, and with strangers coming and going. I feel so lucky that I was able to have her at home with people that I loved. I haven't felt any 'day three emotions' - it has just been such a gentle easy transition into parenthood. Our house is full of such good vibes it's amazing!
She's now 5 days old and is so peacefull. I can't believe how lucky we are. She feeds and sleeps so well She did get a pretty bad eye infection, but some antibiotic drops cleared that up. I'm GBS positive, so we had to keep taking her temp as I didn't have the antibiotics, but nothing came of it, and she's in the clear now, so that's reassuring.
We didn't have any scans at all throughout the pregnancy, so we didn't know anything about her except what our intuition told us. She was 9pound6 which I'm glad I didn't know!! I really enjoyed trying to tune in to her while I was pregnant. I felt so strongly that she would be a peacefull, quiet baby and that's exactly what she is. Nothing phases her - she didn't even cry for her heel prick test!
I so strongly encourage anyone who can, to have a homebirth. Even though I realise I was lucky to have a mum for a midwife -I still would reccommend it to others. If I had been in the hospital I could well have asked for an epidural, as I really struggled with the pain, but if I had, then that amazing feeling of pushing her out, and the accomplishment at the end would've been taken from me! I feel so proud of myself, and nothing will ever take away the amazing feeling of getting through it. She is well worth that pain!
Good luck to all of you - what a miracle birth is!!!!
edited to add this link to some pics of the birth and of our little girl!
Edited by sophiedoph, 06 October 2007 - 02:04 PM.
Posted 01 October 2007 - 04:38 PM
Wow! Fantastic story Sophie! I always especially love hearing stories of first time births at home.
Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:07 PM
Am posting Lovelymum’s birth story on her behalf as she is no longer a member here. Her first 2 babe is were breech, this one was head first. Also copied in the birth stories forum.
Throughout the pregnancy Fred was bum down, just like my first two. I
was fully prepared for my third breech birth and had no issues with this at all. It wasn't until my 39 week check up that I was informed Fred was now head down and ready to go.... This was not expected and it took me a while to get used to the idea of having a head first birth - I didn't know how to do them.
Fred while ready to come was obviously still not fully cooked, so the 40 week visit crept by, as did the 41 week one. At the 41 week visit I was given a massage with some herbs to start contractions along, as I had had a handful over the last two days but nothing eventuated. I was told to have an early dinner and to go to bed early, because my 'baby was coming tonight'. My eldest came at 41 weeks and three days and my middle child came at 42 weeks, so I wasn't willing to risk getting my hopes up.
I didn't get to bed until around 10:30-11 o'clock and was woken up at 1:30am with contractions. These were definitely 'real' contractions but I still wasn't willing to get excited, plus I didn't want to have to ring people in the middle of the night and annoy them. I let the contractions go on for a while and once I realised that they were regular, I called the midwife; that was at 3am.
About 4am the midwife showed up, closely followed by the assistant midwife. Then, we pretty much just sat around for a few hours watching my tummy tighten and me breath through them. They started to get moanable.
I lay down on the couch and drifted in and out of sleep between contractions, they were starting to get what I considered serious and at around 10am I was given an internal. I was told I was only 3cms dilated and that labour was slowing. I was told to go to bed and concentrate on my cervix opening and bringing my baby into this world.
I went to bed and did some visualisation as well as self talk. Head down was a lot more intense than breech and I could tell I was stopping my labour from progressing, so I convinced myself that I could do it and that once I let go it wouldn't be too much longer.
At around 11:30am I found I could no longer stay lying down through contractions. When I felt one coming on I would hop on all fours and rock my pelvis. This made the contraction a lot more intense and pretty much an 8 on the pain scale, however they didn't last as long as if I stay lying down. I came out of the room and joined everyone else in the lounge room. I let the midwife know that they had become pushy and that they really really hurt. After a few toilet breaks I could tell my waters had broken (found out later it was the hind waters leaking). The next hour and a bit are very hazy. All I can remember is the pain. I am not normally one to hang on the pain, but for me this labour was nothing but. It was hard, it was intense, and the head made it very difficult for me to concentrate on dilating, I seemed to focus on the pain instead of what the pain meant.
Since leaving the bedroom contractions came closer together and I could feel bub come down into my pelvis with every second or so contractions.
By the time I was fully dilated and the head was on the perineum I was literally screaming. Both my girls were very supportive, coming in and out patting me on the back and wanting to offer me their hands to hold. I found the only comfort was when I was in contact with my partner.
Whether it be holding his hand or wrapping my arms around his waist.
Standing was no longer an option for me as my body wouldn't let me stand through the contractions any more. I moved to the couch and was on all fours crouched over pillows. Through each contraction I would push the pain down through my body and out through my pelvis. With some contractions I could keep it to a controlled moan, with others I ended up screaming at the pain. It was around here that I got emotional and cried through most of the contractions. I had let myself sob a few times to let it all out, but now it seemed to be just at the end of the contraction as the reality of it all sunk in.
I squeezed my partners hand with each contraction, until it got closer and he moved down to catch the baby. My eldest came over and offered her hand but I let her know that it would hurt her too much but that she was a gem.
With a few more contractions I could feel the head crowning and I let the uterus do it's job. I attempted to push at once stage but it felt like I was going to tear, so I backed off and just let my body warm it up for me first. After a few strong contractions I asked if it was okay to push, which I was told it was. The next one I tried, but I stopped myself due to the pain. This continued for a few, I would push, but not far enough to let the head out.
It was here where I basically told myself to toughen up and that the quicker I worked with my body the quicker my baby would be here and the quicker it would all be over. I am not sure if I was more excited by meeting my baby, or the pain being over but either way the talk worked and I told myself to get to it.
With the next contraction I pushed, and pushed, and pushed and could feel the head come out but the contraction didn't last long enough for it to birth. So with the next one I screamed into the pillows, and pushed my baby out. There was a slight pop as the head came out, almost as if it came out in two stages - but still with the one contractions.
Once I knew the head was out I told myself that the end was so close and there was to be no mucking around. So with one almighty push and a few bumps and slides I felt my baby leave me. I removed my face from the pillows and looked down between my knees and saw my baby lying there, and one massive set of testicles, and cried out 'Its a boy'.
I sat back onto the chair and breathed my new baby in. I offered him the breast but while it was clear he knew what they were for it was far too close to being born for him to want to even contemplate doing anything but recovering. His sisters came over and peered over the top of my arms. The placenta took about 30minutes to birth and once that was done I moved to the bath. During the bath my new born son had his first feed and needed no coaching at all. We then moved to the bedroom and we were both given the once over by the midwife. Even though he is my little man, he was 9lbs 1oz and 56 cm long. His head was 36cm round with the smallest bum you have ever seen.
My eldest came up to me and told me "mum, I wished so hard for a little brother and my wish came true". This would be my last baby and I feel so blessed I was given a son. He is going to be well loved in this family, I can tell you what!
Posted 22 October 2007 - 03:04 PM
The homebirth of Maurice Melrose
Spurious labour is what they call it but it feels real enough. At least it’s not called false labor any more, as there is nothing false about it. I am reassured that my body is working now, although the contractions aren’t becoming regular, or aren’t lasting longer than a few hours, my body is working. This lasts on and off for about ten days around the 39 week mark. I try to be patient and wait for you. I spend a lot of time looking out the back window at our big leafless tree, wondering when you are coming. I wonder if you are not happy in your position, and are trying to find a new one, and I wonder if you are strong enough to make your way out, and I wonder how I am going to go with labor this time.
I try to prepare mentally as much as I can. When I do have contractions, I try to open my mouth and breathe….. ‘ooooooopen’ I practice. When I feed Ivy at night they get strong, and I have some idea of how it is going to feel, but I know it will be much stronger. I do fear at times, how strong it will get.
There are nights when I am woken by tightenings and lie awake, wondering if this is it, and it isn’t. I am disappointed, but I try to stay patient for you, and stay focused, because I know you are coming soon. I don’t want to interfere in any way, as I want you to come in your own time. I keep going with life…. Walking, cooking, looking after the girls.
3:14am, Wednesday morning, I am awoken by a tightening. It’s a good one. Strong and deep and I feel we might be in business this time. Are you coming? They stay strong and regular… 5 minutes, 10, 5 again. I am breathing through them. OPEN…. I say to myself. I get up and go to the toilet about 4am. Back to bed and breathing with each tightening. Yep, this is really it.
At 5am I need to get up. I don’t want to lie down any more. I wake Chris, and tell him it’s happening, and that I’m going to the lounge room. “I’m fine, but come down if you hear me” I say. I light all my candles that my women’s circle have given me. They flicker in the 5am darkness. I pace around, trying to find my rhythm, but just can’t. I lean on the couch, no. I lean on a 100 year old wooden chair; better, it’s strong, but not where I want to be. I try all fours on a mattress. Nope. They are getting stronger and I am feeling frustrated, annoyed. I want my Madeleine Peyroux CD and can’t find it so I put on some classical. After another trip to the toilet, I come back and say ‘I don’t like this music’ so Chris finds Madeleine for me and I like her sound quietly in the background.
I wonder if I should call our midwife yet.
As we near 6 am I am fearing the pain of each contraction and I begin to vocalize with it now. I am quietly aware that my 2 cherubs are still sleeping. I try to tell myself that this is normal, my body is doing perfectly. “It’s OK” I say as the rush comes on. It’s partly a statement and partly a question. I know it’s OK but it hurts so much now. I tell Chris to ring Lynne at about 5:50 am. He tells me she is with another woman who lives about 15 minutes away. She says she will come soon, or to ring if I start pushing. ‘Pushing?’ I say… I think that’s a bit optimistic. WE are both having our babies at the same time, and were due about two weeks apart. I find out later that the other woman had much further to go than me, so Lynne was happy to leave her with her support people. I tell Chris to ring Merivale, our second midwife and cousin, just in case Lynne can’t come. She is about 35 minutes away. We also ring Melissa, our support person for the girls, who is just around the corner.
More strong, heavy contractions. I feel I am not coping that well and swear as the next one comes as I just can’t find where I want to be. I have a cry as I hold onto Chris thinking how the hell am I going to do this… I don’t want to do this. “A baby’s coming’ I say to motivate myself. Another one hits….I lean over the couch arm and yell ‘stuff is coming out’.. I truly feel myself open with this one. I head for the toilet.
The girls arise at this time. I hear them but I don’t talk to them. Melissa arrives and I know the girls will be happy with her.
The toilet is better but the intensity is growing. “Just be here” I say to Chris, ‘tell me it’s ok’ I plead. I know that this is transition. He rings Lyn to tell her that “things seem to be escalating somewhat here”, cool as a cucumber. She is on her way.
I am not afraid that there is no midwife. I am struggling with feeling so out of control. It is so strong now and I feel the baby is close… either that or I have along way to go at this level of intensity. I hold onto Chris as the tightenings come. No more ‘oooooooooooooopen now’, I realize I am breathing quickly with each one, kind of panting. He is solid as a rock and tells me it’s ok.
Here’s Lyn. She stands back and watches while I hold onto Chris. She talks to me gently…. ‘your baby is coming quickly Rach. Where would you like to have this baby?’ ‘Not here!’ I say with a laugh, in our unrenovated 40 year old toilet with broken tiles on the floor and a distinct smell of old man wee that I can’t get rid of. “Bedroom” I say quickly as another one hits. We walk the long walk of a Victorian hall. I laugh as I see myself walking like John Wayne. A baby’s head is almost there. I am thrilled that I make the whole length of the hall without a contraction. Lyn gets a couple of bean bags, puts two pillows on top, all on our bed. I am finally comfortable. Ahhhhh…. This is the spot. I have finally found where I want to be. Next contraction… I feel that head coming down but am surprised that it is not hurting that much. I can’t believe that this is almost over, and smile as I know it is still dark, and I will be holding my baby any minute. I am in a very different place mentally to where I was only an hour ago. I feel happy, elated and very ready to let my baby out.
Ivy comes over and gives me a kiss. April and Melissa are sitting in the hall outside our room as I look back over my shoulder. Merivale is in the hall too. I think they have a great view (my bum!).
I feel a stretch…. Then back in. ‘Oh, It’s gone back in’ I say with a sigh. I have Chris up near my face talking to me, and Lyn sitting next to me, and talking to me. “OK Rach, we have a head or a membrane here, do you want to feel?”. I feel and am not sure. “oh, looks like it’s both!” she says excitedly. HERE IT COMES! A tiny sting and a big S-T-R-E-T-C-H… we have a head. I reach down and hold my baby’s head in my hand. “Oh wow it’s in the membrane!” says Lyn excitedly, “what a lucky baby!’. I hold my baby’s head, relaxed now, happy, knowing that it will be only moments before I see this wee one for the first time. I hold the cushioned head in my hand, waiting, silent. “Oh look at that, it’s waving”, says Lyn “your baby is reaching a hand up Rach.”
Then…. GUSH, there is a big pinky, purply baby underneath me. “where’s my baby, where’s my baby” I say as I lean back to lay eyes on him for the first time. And the very first thing I notice is that little penis. “A boy!” I say, as I pick him up.
There are sounds of great joy, tears and laughter from everyone as I pick him up. The air is heavy with the smell of birth. Maurice Melrose has arrived and we all begin to adore him from this moment. I am amazed that less than four hours after the first tightening, I am holding my baby. “Ah, that was so easy!” I say as I recline back to snuggle my slippery, wet boy and I secretly decide that this will not be the last time I bring a baby into the world.
Posted 22 October 2007 - 04:42 PM
Oh my goodness Rachel, what a fatastic story! You told it so well, I felt like I was there, it made me remember my own births.
Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations again!
Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:45 PM
Fantastic story Rachel! Made me want to do it all over again.
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