Birth Story: Planned Home Birth, First Baby

I have a new birth story to share with you! This couple wanted to remain anonymous, so I’ve left out all of the names. Enjoy!

My “due date” was Thursday, May 10th.  I went to my pregnancy exercise class in the morning from 8:30 to 9:30, and when I got home I mowed the front lawn.  [Hubby] worked half a day today, so in the afternoon I went with him to take a load of stuff to the green waste and pick up some garden mulch for my grandma.  I was feeling really good and was getting over the cold that I had last week.

Friday morning I woke up a little before 5:00 am with a contraction that felt much different than the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d been feeling for weeks now.  Those contractions just felt like a tightening sensation.  This one felt like things were being pushed down.  A few minutes later I felt another one and decided I’d better keep track of when they came, just in case.  So at 5:04, 5:10, 5:17, and 5:22 I felt more of these contractions.  I knew [hubby’s] alarm was going to go off at 5:30, so I waited until then to tell him what was going on.  When he woke up we just laid in bed for a little while together and kept track of a few more contractions.   They were coming very regularly about 5 – 7 minutes apart. 

At 6:30 we decided we’d better call our midwives.   I told [the midwife] what was going on, and she said since this was my first it would probably be a while before things really got going.  She said she would drop her kids off at school and head over to our house around 9:00 am. 

By 7:30 the contractions were about 2 minutes apart, and [hubby] and I both figured we better not wait for our midwife to show up at 9 am.  So [hubby] called back, but there was no answer.  He called our other midwife and she said she would head right over.  We had a birthing tub set up in our bedroom in case I wanted to use it.  I asked [hubby] to fill it up and I was ready to get in.  I was a little worried I was getting in too early, but I didn’t care.  In the tub I went, and it was very soothing to have that warm water around me. 

[The midwife] arrived around 8:00 am and checked me to see how far along I was.  I was expecting her to say somewhere around 6 or 7 centimeters, but instead she said, “Well, do you want to have the baby 20 minutes from now or right now?”  I was already fully dilated!  She said I could go ahead and push whenever I felt the urge.  Sure enough, with the very next contraction I was ready to bear down.

[The midwife] then began rushing to get all her equipment set up, and I tried to relax through the contractions, which were completely overpowering.  I was so thankful for the short rests between each contraction.  And SO thankful for [hubby] and my mom for taking such good care of me and supporting me.  At some point [the midwife] asked if I would like her to rupture my fluids, which could speed up the process a little.  She broke my water during the next contraction.

I don’t remember too many specifics of what happened for the next little while.  I tried focusing on relaxing my throat and mouth during each contraction and tried to recover as much as possible whenever I got a break.  At some point the other midwife arrived.  So did one of the midwife assistants. Typically at each home birth they like to have two midwives and two assistants, but the other assistant was down in Spanish Fork and I heard [the midwife] telling her over the phone, “You won’t make it in time, don’t worry about coming up.”

I changed positions a couple of different times in the birth tub.  The water was really warm, and I was feeling overheated.  I had already taken my shorts off so [the midwife] could check me when she first arrived, and now I took my shirt off to cool down.  I NEVER thought I would be one of those women who give birth completely nude, but modesty is thrown right out the window when you’re going through something like this I guess! 

After several more contractions in the tub, [the midwife] suggested I move to the birth stool since I wasn’t making progress.  [Hubby] sat down in back of me for support, and with the first contraction on the birth stool the head was crowning.  We had planned on [hubby] being able to receive the baby, so the midwife was telling him, “Hurry up and get over here if you want to catch your baby.”  But there was no way I was letting him leave me as my back support.  On the next contraction, the head came right out, and the body followed before the contraction ended.  He was born!  They immediately put him up to my stomach and I just held him while [hubby] held me.  There was a lot of blood, but I felt so calm and relaxed and happy! 

Suddenly the midwives were rushing around, not panicked but definitely alert.  I was hemorrhaging.  I remember someone squirting some gross tasting liquid in my mouth from a dropper while someone else began vigorously massaging my uterus, and another person gave me two shots of Pitocin in my leg.  Then a chalky pill that I needed to suck on but not chew.  And [the midwife] was saying to push out the placenta.  The placenta came right out, probably less than two minutes after the baby.The bleeding slowed down, and I was able to move to the bed.  [Hubby] held me in bed while I held our little baby boy.  He was so cute, so healthy looking!  Because of all the blood loss, they gave me an oxygen mask to wear. 

From here on out, I don’t really know exactly the timeline for how things happened.  The midwives were busy cleaning up and checking me.  I was worried I had torn my perineum, but I did not!  That was good news for me because I had done a lot of research and preparation to avoid a perineal tear.  Unfortunately, My labia DID tear.  The midwife said that was better than the perineum tearing, because it was just a skin tear versus muscle.  They were impressed that my perineum hadn’t torn and I was grateful, but they still needed to stitch me up.  This was not a fun part of the process.  It took what seemed like FOREVER.  They gave me three different numbing shots, but I could still feel a lot of what was happening.  They ended up giving me 8 or 9 stitches.  Luckily, I got to just lie there with [hubby] and our baby so I had something to take my mind off the pain.  After the room was all cleaned up and I was stitched back together, they checked the baby, and weighed and measured him.  He was so healthy and perfect.  His initial APGAR score was between 9 and 10, so he came into the world just as ready as could be.

There were moments during labor where I felt overwhelmed and was wishing for an easy, medicated hospital birth.  I remember at one point telling [hubby] that now that we had been given this blessing of having our very own baby, we could just go back to our adoption plans for any other children we wanted to have.  But now that I have had a couple of days to recover, I am so glad everything happened the way that it did.  It was SUCH a challenge, so humbling and intense.  At the same time it was empowering and beautiful and a miracle.  I couldn’t have asked for a better birth.  Well…, maybe I could have gone without needing stitches.

Congratulations to this couple on their beautiful home birth!

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