On Sunday, February 19th, 2023 at 6pm, I gave birth to a sweet baby girl at home. This is her birth story.
Before you read any further, our decision to home birth is one we made as a family. We had an unmedicated hospital birth with our son and felt like it would be unnecessary for us to birth in the hospital if I wasn’t planning to use any of the interventions. We worked with midwives from our area and they were absolutely wonderful. Since my first birthing experience was in the hospital, I knew that I could birth at home with more freedom to move around And it was a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Early in the morning, around 4AM, I got up to use the bathroom and had trouble falling back asleep which was normal for me at the end of pregnancy. I dozed on and off and started to have some light cramping. I couldn’t tell if it was real or if I was making them up in my dream.
I got up around 7AM, got my son from his room, and made us some breakfast. I used the bathroom and realized I was starting to lose my mucous plug. The light cramping had returned and I texted my midwife. To let her know, I was in early stages of labor. She said to let her know when the contractions actually start.
My toddler was picked up by my in laws and it was just my husband and I. We decided to bring our dog on a walk because it was an absolutely gorgeous morning. The sun was shining, the snow was melting, and it was starting to feel like spring.
Our walk was the perfect length of distance and time. Once we were home the contractions picked up. Felt like period cramps that came out of no where. They would make me gasp at times. We grilled some burgers for lunch and after that I laid down to rest but was quite uncomfortable. I couldn’t find a comfortable position.
Around 2PM, I texted my midwife that the contractions were picking up. she said to let her know when they started to get intense, are five minutes apart, or my water breaks. Out of my own curiosity I started to time them and they were about 6 minutes apart lasting 40 to 60 seconds varying in severity. I was able to manage them with a few breathing techniques.
Just before 3 o’clock my husband asked if he could begin filling the pool so we called our midwife. At this point all, I wanted was to get in the tub. Something about the warm water sounded so good. It was decided that we take the next half hour and monitor the contractions. During that time, they were between 3 to 4 minutes lasting 30- 50 seconds. We could begin filling the pool and my midwife was on her way.
Close to 4 o ‘clock pm my midwife arrived and I was in the tub. I had my comb to help distract my brain during a contraction which were pretty intense at this point. I felt pretty nauseous and my midwife said I would probably feel better if I threw up. She was right. About halfway through filling the tub, our hot water heater ran out of hot water. It is a 50 gallon electric water heater so we figured that would happen. My husband began heating water on the stove. I was focusing on my breath and getting in the headspace of floating on a wave during a contraction. Trying to stay as relaxed as possible and remembering to breath.
Somewhere in that time as my husband was adding the water from the stove, some of it touched my leg and actually gave me a small burn. Forcing me to get out of the tub. Looking back, it was probably a good thing to get out of the tub and change positions. My midwife let me know that I would probably feel the next couple of contractions more than I had been because of the change in position.
I was now laying on my right side in bed, propped up with pillows, and my midwife was right, the next couple contractions were more intense than they had been. And as I was settling into my new position, my sweet husband wanted to make sure I had everything needed. Which I appreciate, but really needed to put all my focus on keeping my body relaxed, breath through my contraction and rest in between. I lovingly told him to stop talking because he was not helping in that moment. lol
This is where the timing gets a little fuzzy for me. I don’t know how long I was laboring on my side but I also had an urge to pee. I attempted to go a few times with no relief. During that time, I was sitting on the edge of the bed. Once I was able to relieve my bladder, my husband suggested I get back in the tub – which sounded like a lot of work. I was moaning through contractions and honestly was really tired at this point. I remember telling him I’m so done with this. I just want to meet our baby. I was in full on transition at this point. Feeling tired and completely done with this process.
Knowing that getting back into the tub was the right call, he helped me slowly make my way there. I told him “I don’t even want to lift my leg over the side of the tub.” I think he said something like one leg at a time you are doing such a great job. Once I was in the tub again, I had one contraction then had the urge to push. I got on my knees and was holding both of my husbands hands. I yelled I feel the urge to push and heard my midwives on the stairs. They said its okay to push and I did. My baby was out in one contraction, It happened so fast that no one caught her.
Baby is Born
I was in pure shock as my midwife walked over and said “Oh there’s a baby!” scooped her out of the water and put her on my chest. That shocked expression did not leave my face for a good hour after she was born. I couldn’t and still can’t believe I was able to birth my baby at home.
The placenta came out very easily with no complication. We cozied up on the bed and my daughter only wanted to nurse, that was the only way she would calm down. About an hour or two after the birth we moved upstairs where we would be settled into our own beds. My midwives made sure I could use the bathroom and then left between 9:30 and 10pm. The most glorious thing of all was sleeping in my own bed. My daughter slept 5 hours straight and so did I. Our biggest frustration when at the hospital with our son was the constant wake ups and check ins and not to mention the uncomfortable bed and sleeping arrangements.
I could not have done this without my husband. His care and support allowed us the have a beautiful home birth, and I truly cannot thank him enough,
And that is our story.
With birth you never know what could happen so being prepared is the best thing you can do to ease your fears and anxieties. Our midwives knew what to look out for and had contingency plans in place just in case. They also told me many times that they trust me and trust my body which was extremely comforting to know. You have your whole pregnancy to prepare for birth, physically and mentally. I kept reminding myself throughout my pregnancy that my body knows how to birth. Releasing tension and learning breathing techniques were my main focuses. Maintaining flexibility in my hips and legs by stretching to reduce tearing also helped.
Feel free to reach out with any questions!