My Birth Story: Homebirth And Hospital Part I - At Home
I like to grab life by the uterus…. since I don’t have balls. Afterall the uterus is possibly the most dynamic muscle in the body, but only women have one (sorry Caitlyn Jenner). Men would brag about it if they had one. And so that’s what I did. Taking great pride in my first pregnancy I accepted all of the crazy changes my body was going through. I worked to fight the fear, as expressed in my last blog. My husband and I decided together that we were going to attempt a home birth and let my amazing uterus and some trusted midwives and a doula handle the job of birthing our baby. I told everyone what we were doing… friends who had had hospital births, friends without kids, doubting family members, yoga teachers, blog readers and listeners of my online show. I was determined to bring a home birth to reality with the laws of attraction and homeopathic aids. And everything seemed to be going perfectly.
My due date was January 9, but we told everyone it was January 11.
I liked the idea of my daughters birthday being 1-11. I asked my mother to be there. She lost her first baby at childbirth, and had 4 c-sections following. My nieces were all c-sections as well. I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to give my Mum a new view on the birth experience. She was booked to come to Miami on January 9th but caught a bug and couldn’t travel until the next day. I had been feeling contractions that whole week, but on January 10th they seemed to be coming more frequent and stronger. As my husband picked up my mother from the airport at 8pm my mucus plug came out. This was it! And it looked like our baby was going to make her first appearance on 1-11! Call the doula! Call the midwife! Get out the box with all the supplies. We were ready.
When the doula arrived my contractions were about 5 or 6 minutes apart and getting stronger. She asked to midwife to come because it looked like I was going to do this thing quickly. My husband set up the pool and I started playing the music I had chosen months before. I even changed into a long skirt and bra top I picked out to wear. My dogs followed me with their eyes as I walked around breathing deeply in our home. It was comfortable.
The midwife came and told me both I and the baby were in good condition. I had a smoothie, and just tried to calmly work through each contraction as the pain increased. Midnight came and passed. I got in the pool, ready to work, singing to my baby to come to me! We ran out of hot water so my mother and husband were bringing pans of hot water over and over and over. At this point I took my top off, another comfort I probably wouldn’t have had in the hospital. At least an hour or so in the pool and unfortunately everything slowed down and the contractions slowed down.
We decided to rest and start to work again in the morning.
This was ok because I needed some rest. The work was not easy but I was handling it all without any medication. I basically had been up since the morning before. So I took what seemed like consecutive naps. I could rest but woke occasionally from contraction pain. I was still determined that I could handle the whole thing. Bring it on! A new day came and I was first out of bed, walking in the backyard, willing my contractions to come back full force.
The day was up and down, but I was still in labor. Things were getting intense towards the late afternoon. The midwife felt that my baby was descending, but she wasn’t exactly facing the ideal way. I had a lot of back pain and they suspected her position was why. She was head down but needed to rotate, so they did what was called a pancake flip in hopes that it would hurry her descent along. Oh lordy was that bizarre and uncomfortable! But baby moved to where she needed to be.
I can’t remember all the details after that but I know that by 5pm the midwife declared that my water had broken! And once it did I felt like one of those water shows, with big splashes. Out came the Depends (yes ladies, I wore Depends Undergarments during my birth). I got in and out of the pool. I could feel baby was getting lower and lower… it was 10pm… and it was time to push.
Details get very hazy here. I just know I became a pregnant contortionist. Getting into positions that were meant to help my baby girl come out. On my side, in a squat, on my hands and knees, on my back, etc. At some point I could actually feel her head with my fingers, so I knew this was the home stretch.
Midwife: “I can see her hair!”
Me: “She has hair!?”
My husband stayed by my side, stronger than I have ever seen him. Everyone was tired by this point, and emotionally I think my mother was the worst but kept quiet because she knew how much this meant to me. The midwife noticed that my pelvic bone was in the way of baby’s path. So my husband and the doula each grabbed a leg while I was on my back. The midwife and midwives assistant tried to carefully make room with their fingers to give my girl space. They did everything they could think of, and tried to give me as much support as possible. Push! Push! Push! Breath… again! I was pushing as hard as I could, but I was losing strength, and I could feel my baby’s head banging against my pelvic bone. We would push and then rest… and then debate “are we going to keep going?” until the most painful contractions started again… PUSH!!!! I was determined.
Now it was almost 4am, baby still in the same place. Her heartrate was fine, but I wasn’t. I just felt her hitting me but not coming out. And the back pain was nothing anyone told me about in my birthing class. I wanted to be superhuman… I wanted more than anything to have a natural birth in the comfort of my home…. to prove to everyone that it was possible… to give my baby the most natural entrance into this world… I had made it 30 hours when my mother begged me to go to the hospital, where I knew they would most likely make me have a c-section. My husband was looking to me for answers, desperate to take away my pain but willing to support my choice. The hired team wanted me to keep pushing. I had to go deep down and pray for an answer...