The Story of Birth at Home 

  When I tell someone that we’ve planned for a home birth, I often hear the response, “Wow, you’re brave.” 

The truth was I really was terrified.  

I was terrified of giving birth in a hospital. A hospital where several interventions loom in the hallways just waiting to come in and take advantage at my most vulnerable moment in my life, labor. So we chose home birth, where we were confident that our plans for birth would be respected. 

It was Monday, February 2nd, which should have been just like any other day except for this February 2nd was one day past my due date. My due date which I thought was a joke. I thought for sure I would go at least a week early… Roland III had different plans. We were crossing off all of the natural induction methods as the days passed. Spicy foods. Walking. Sprinting up stairs and running back down. We did it all. On my due date of 2/1, we went to the mall so 1) I could walk around 2) I could climb the three story staircase and most importantly 3) I could take my mind off of the tick tock in my belly.  

 

Ready to GO!
 I woke up that day with a strange cramping. I thought, ‘Hm, this is new.’ I remember telling Roland that he might not have to work a full day. But the day passed uneventful. I had a great day with my two older children. We played, we took a bath, and we enjoyed life. It was a nasty day out; an ice storm. I remember telling Roland not to stop at the store because of how bad the roads were. He promised he would drive safe and we needed eggs anyway… we were having Spaghetti Carbanara for dinner.  

  
A little before 7, my sister texted me and asked how I was feeling. My response was “Extremely uncomfortable.” We sat down for dinner and I believe my first contraction was around 7:15 pm. It was one that stopped me mid-sentence and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that was intense.’ When the next one came five minutes later, I put down my fork, looked at Roland and said, “Time that. This is it.”

  
7:25 PM: Text to midwife ‘I think I might be in labor… so much pain… hasn’t been consistent but about 4-5 minutes apart… leaking fluid…’

7:32 PM: Text to doula ‘I think I might be in labor. I’m monitoring and calling Janet back in ½ hour…’ 

7:35 PM: Text to mom and sister ‘I think I might be in labor…Standby…Yes…We need help with girls…’

7:46 PM: Follow up to doula: ‘Yes. In labor… ‘

The next 15 minutes or so were a blur. I was in such a state moving from room to room barking out orders to people that weren’t there. “FILL THE POOL!” Roland was doing his best to accommodate my requests but with a 3 year old that had decided to melt down and a 1 year old that needed much attention, I was on my own. I passed by the birth room and NO WATER! Again, I barked out, “FILL THE POOL!” I had so much to do to be able to labor and meanwhile, I was in so much pain as it seemed the contractions were on top of one another. I put on my headphones and struggled to find the right hypnobabies track to listen to… easy first stage? Hm… this wasn’t very easy. Surely I’m not in the first stage…I passed by my oldest daughter’s room and saw her cocooned on the floor crying. This broke my heart but I wasn’t able to comfort her. I had the urge to push right around now. I don’t know what time it was at this point but I know my parents weren’t there yet. I was starting to worry that I would need to deliver this baby on my own! I struggled to get into the pretty labor gown Roland bought for me. There must have been 1000 strings on that gown and none of them matched up with the other. Another order, “HELP ME!” When Roland came in the room, another order, “STAY WITH ME… I NEED HELP.” I had to keep moving between contractions. I went into the living room and remember yelling out to anyone that could hear me, “I’M GOING IN THE POOL!” I had my headphones on so I couldn’t hear Roland’s response. “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”    

  

 I don’t know how I was able to get my socks off or why I cared that I was wearing socks. I flopped into the pool like a limp fish. Another barking statement, “THE WATER IS COLD!” Ah, but it felt so good because I was sweating. My parents arrived so that Roland was able to be in the birth room with me. Thank God. I was pushing. I felt the baby would come with the next contraction. At 8:12 PM, while I was pushing through a contraction, my water broke. It was furious! It was not how I remember my water breaking with my 2nd. It came out so fast. I remember verbalizing (again, very loud because I couldn’t hear anything but my hypnobabies soundtrack), ‘MY WATER JUST BROKE!’ At 8:29 PM, I told Roland that he needed to get in the pool with me. He didn’t seem to take my request seriously so I clarified, ‘You need to take off your pants and get in here with me. This baby is coming out on the next contraction.’ Roland told me that he started to unzip his pants to get in the pool with me when he heard my mom yell, ‘JANET’S HERE!’. Later, my mom said she caught Roland zipping up his pants and thought that was strange. I didn’t know she was there until after she had already been there a few minutes. She took off my labor gown and the headphones. I remember her telling me she needed to get a heartbeat. She checked me and the baby was an inch away from the world. I asked if I should be pushing and she told me, ‘Yes… if you want to.’ 

  And that was it. I yelled out, ‘IT HURTS!’ and I remember Janet telling me, ‘Yes, it does, doesn’t it? That’s your body stretching open for your baby’s head.’ I looked up to my right and saw one of my birth flags. It read: {SURRENDER. HE IS ON HIS WAY.} I looked up to my left and saw a word hanging on the wall. It read: {Strength}. That’s all I needed. With no sound, I went inside myself and conjured up all I could. I heard, ‘The baby’s head is out.’ Janet coached me to continue doing what I was doing… and then, he was here.

In my birth video, you can see my husband tap me on my shoulder and tell me to look. I don’t know if I realized my baby was born.  

  8:42 PM. He was placed on my chest and reached up to my face. He was so beautiful. I said that out loud several times. And then, I said, ‘That was really hard.’ I did it… I had my baby in his room in our home. Everyone in the room was crying. In the dining room, my ice water still sat with ice in it from dinner…

We went from the birth pool to the bed where I delivered the placenta. My daughters both came in to meet their new brother. We all toasted with some special champagne saved for the occasion. It was as it was meant to be; cozy and beautiful. 

Births at home are magical. They are on your terms with your chosen loved ones and your germs. There’s no monitoring or vaginal exams. There are no bright lights or loud invasive noises throughout the night. It’s just… Home. 

Watch my birth video here

  

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