A real mom shares her beautiful home birth story of her first baby. Experience the unparalleled miracle of childbirth, in words and pictures, through this natural home water birth story.
Please welcome my friend Mrs. L who is kindly sharing her birth story here today. We met Mrs. L and her husband at our Bradley birth class and we also happened to share the same midwife. It has been such a pleasure getting to know this family over the past year and a half. I hope you will find this natural home birth story as beautiful and inspiring as I do! Welcome Mrs. L!
A Real Mom Shares Her Home Birth Story
Y ou understand the thrill and delight it was to hold my baby in my arms for the first time; however, my birth story starts a couple years before BabyL was born. Mr. L and I tried for over a year with no success of pregnancy, so I went to see a naturopath. About six months after seeing the naturopath, we found out we were pregnant in June 2010. Unfortunately, at the end of August, I miscarried at 11 weeks. After trying for over a year and to lose my little one, was overwhelmingly saddening. It took a couple of months to overcome this sadness before we started trying again. God is so good! In January 2011 we found out we were pregnant again, and boy was I praying my socks off!
Nine months later, we were ready for our little man to arrive. I was due September 19, 2011. My last day working before maternity leave was September 9th, and I had plans like no other to get so much done that week. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… I cleaned, did laundry, and cooked meals to freeze like crazy. I was definitely in nesting mode. I was determined to get everything perfect. On Wednesday I was still working but starting to slow down and lose my momentum that I had a couple of days before. Thursday I knew we were getting close. I just wanted to sleep and lay low; my nesting mode had left the building.
Thursday night before we went to bed, Mr. L and I prayed that this baby would come soon and safely. We were ready, and I had a feeling it was really close. I went to bed that night knowing this little guy would come soon. Sure enough at 3 am, I was woken up by small contractions. I had been having contractions for over a month regularly, but these were different. They didn’t hurt; they were just more uncomfortable and were about 15 minutes apart. I tried to go back to sleep because in my birthing class they drilled us on trying to sleep as much as you can in stage one. For the next two hours, I went in and out of sleep with the contractions.
Mr. L’s alarm went off at 5 am and by that time my contractions were around 5 minutes apart. As he was getting ready to get up, I let him know that I didn’t think he should go into work because I was having consistent contractions every 5 minutes. We started timing the contractions from 5-6:30 am, and they would range from 4 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart. We decided to call our midwife, S, around 7 am to fill her in and get her thoughts.
I know some of you are thinking right now “mid-wife, WHAT?” When Mr. L and I started trying two years before BabyL was born, we started doing a lot of research on how we wanted our baby to be born into this world. We knew we wanted to use a midwife. It was just trying to figure out where… hospital, birthing center, at home? After all our research and what we felt most comfortable with, we decided on a home birth. I wanted to have this baby naturally with no drugs and no pressure. With a home birth, we could do things how we wanted to do them, and I would have the comfort of my own home. I would have no one poking and prodding me every hour or more, and no one pressuring me into induction or epidurals. I could progress and let my birth and labor progress as my body needed it to. For me, a home birth with a midwife is what I felt most comfortable with and where I felt most comfortable. I believe that you need to give birth where you feel the most comfortable. Your body is in labor, and you need your mind focused on that, not on what is going on around you.
We then called our midwife. Since my contractions were not being consistent, she said to keep doing what we were doing, and she would keep calling every hour to see how we were progressing. She told us that at any point where we felt she was needed, she could come over. I didn’t think she was needed quite yet, so we told her to just keep checking in on us. We started timing again around 8 am and they were pretty consistent at about a minute and a half to two minutes long and between 2-3 minutes apart. Because they were getting so close together, I decided to lie down and try to rest. One of my sisters was driving up from Vancouver, and I didn’t want this baby to be born before she could get here. While I was trying to rest, Mr. L started getting the birthing tub set up in the living room.
Once my mom and both my sisters arrived, I was ready to get the contractions going. My resting actually slowed the contractions down, and they were becoming less consistent. I was doing a lot of sitting on the birthing ball and sitting backward on our dining room chair. The contractions were still bearable, definitely very uncomfortable, but not overly painful. By late afternoon I still wasn’t progressing, so we decided to take a walk up a couple hills in my neighborhood. My older sister, Stacy, was also pregnant and about a month behind me. Wouldn’t you know it; the hills were giving Stacy contractions, but not me. I told her she could not have her baby before me! It was so funny to me that it was working for her but not me.
I also want to stop and give my husband major props for being the best birthing coach. He was always making sure I stayed hydrated and kept food in me. As much as I didn’t want to eat anything, knowing I needed to eat, and with him feeding me, I was keeping my energy up. He was doing great rubbing my back during the contractions and keeping me going. What an amazing support he was!
Around 4:30 pm we timed the contractions again; they were staying around a minute and a half long and around 4 minutes apart. By this time it had been 12 hours of contractions. I was so ready for this baby to come. 7:30 pm we timed them again and they were around 2 minutes long and still around 4 minutes apart. Throughout this whole day, my midwife kept calling to check in on us and seeing if we were ready for her to come over. I knew we weren’t close, and I didn’t want S to have to be sitting around waiting when I wasn’t progressing. Plus, I already had the greatest support in my husband, mother, and sisters.
Around 9:30 pm, after talking with S, we decided to have her come over and see if she could help with me progressing. When S arrived, I remember her walking in the door and saying, “Oh Jen you look way too happy, you’re not close.” We decided to have S check me. What it ended up being is BabyL had his fists up by his ears with his elbows out into my pelvis, which was stopping him from coming down the birth canal. She showed me some figure-eight exercises to do on the birthing ball that would help move BabyL down and put his fists and elbows down.
Around 11 pm, S suggested that I climb into the birthing tub to try to relax. Since Mr. L had been up with me since 5 am, he laid down on the couch to rest while my sister, T, assisted me in the tub. I don’t know if it was the water or if it was just that I relaxed completely, but out of nowhere the contractions started to get really intense and really close together. I was going into the “late first stage (hard labor).” At midnight (now September 17th), T woke Mr. L up as it was getting intense, and I was moving into the “transition stage.” I remember that the contractions were now right on top of each other and oh boy, were these ones painful.
The contractions would start, and as one would be ending, another one was right behind it. They were coming so fast, I couldn’t breathe. I remember I kept saying, “I can’t breathe.” S and everyone kept telling me I was doing great and to try to take deep breaths. To me that sounded crazy! I wondered how I could take deep breaths when these contractions wouldn’t let me. I told S that I couldn’t. S leaned in and told me “Jennifer, this baby needs you to take deep breaths.” I don’t know what it was about hearing that the baby needed me to, but it changed me! Even though I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I kept taking deep breaths.
Then I started getting this urge to push, but S hadn’t told me to push. I started pushing without her telling me to. S actually had to tell me to stop pushing. I was trying to stop myself from pushing, but I couldn’t. A contraction would come, and I had to push.
On one of the pushes, I felt my bag of waters break and felt this whoosh of water come out. During this whole time, S and her assistant were constantly monitoring BabyL’s heartbeat. Each time I remember them saying, that his heartbeat is strong and great. It wasn’t long after that, that S was telling me that if I put my hand down I could feel BabyL’s head. Soon S had me pushing and pushing hard. It really was burning as BabyL’s head came out. S had Mr. L get into the catching position, and as I took those last couple pushes, out came BabyL into Mr. L’s hands at 2:03 am.
After 23 hours of labor, the last two hours being the “hard labor”, they lifted BabyL into my arms and there was my sweet baby boy! He was perfect! I remember the pure joy it was to hold him in my arms. Here was the baby we had been praying for, for 3 years now. Once he was breathing on his own, and the cord stopped pumping, Mr. L cut the cord.
I actually nursed BabyL for the first time right there in the birthing tub. I handed BabyL off to his very proud daddy as I now had to push out the placenta. I actually had a hard time getting the placenta out. I started to get light headed. S said I had been in the tub for too long and needed to get out. I started to get pretty pale, so I got out of the tub. S put an IV bag of fluids in me to help with my lightheadedness. S assisted me in getting the placenta out.
A couple minutes later, when my color started to come back, they helped me move back to my bed. Let me tell you, it was wonderful to go back to my own bed. They brought BabyL back to me, and I nursed him again, holding my perfect little boy. Right there in my bedroom on my bed, they took all of BabyL’s measurements. It was wonderful to know that BabyL never had to leave my sight, he was always right there. The perk of having your baby in your own home– I was never worried about him or where he was. S stuck around to fix me up, ensure BabyL was nursing, and we had everything we needed before she went home.
What an amazing woman my midwife was. She was encouraging, calm, and always knew what to do in every situation. I truly trust her with my life, my baby’s, and all my future babies. I know a home birth is not for everyone, but in my eyes, why wouldn’t you have a midwife? This is her profession! This is all she does day in and day out. It was the most amazing experience, and I know we made the right decision to have BabyL with a midwife. Childbirth is amazing and a true miracle!
Love reading natural birth stories? Check out my book Natural Birth Stories: The Real Mom’s Guide to an Empowering Natural Birth.