Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Homebirth

I still can't believe that I had a baby at my my clawfoot tub...with no medication! I was so excited about the experience and didn't really know what to expect even though it was my third birth. I had tried to go natural with my first son, but was convinced by the nurses to have pitocin and an epidural after a few hours at the hospital. With the second, I was induced and got an epidural first thing in the morning without ever questioning it. This time, I wanted things to go differently!

I went to see my midwife the day before my due date (Oct. 27) and knew the baby would be coming soon. By the next week, the baby had still not arrived, but I was okay with waiting. I saw my midwife twice that week and at the second appointment, she gave me some herbs to take to start the process. She said it could start up with a few dosages or it might take the whole bottle. A few days later, I finished the bottle.
I started having contractions on Saturday and began timing them around 3:30 in the afternoon. They were manageable, but they were noticeable. They didn't really increase in strength very much and didn't get closer together. My dad decided to take our boys over to my brother's house in case the baby came that night. Around 10 that evening, my midwife contacted me to see how things were going and to tell me to go to bed. I decided that walking sounded like a better idea, so my husband and I headed out for a tour of the neighborhood. While walking, the contractions were really close, but not really strong. We headed home.

On the way back to the house, we saw a falling star, so that was really cool. We walked in the door and my mom met us asking if we had felt the earthquake. Earthquake? In Dallas!? We had missed it, but she said the dog was going crazy and the light fixtures were all swaying. Then my husband turned on the light to walk down the hall and we saw a possum laying in the hallway!! Our dog had gotten out the back door, killed a possum and brought it in for us! I was afraid it was "playing possum" and would jump up when my husband went to scoop it up with a shovel. That, however, was not the case! After all the excitement, we decided to head to bed.

My contractions lasted all night long and I kept waking up to time them on my phone. I got up around 6 because I was starving and my mom met me in the kitchen. She hadn't slept at all! This was on a Sunday morning and I knew the baby was going to be coming that day!

We started getting things ready. We put the shower curtain liner under the bed sheet in case I delivered in the bed. We got all of the necessary towels and other items out and ready. My midwife called in the morning to check on me, but there was really no reason for her to head out yet.

I took a shower and got dressed. When I would have a contraction, I would bend over and hold on to the couch, sink or whatever it was and sway back and forth. I tried to control my breathing and remembered that saying "ah" or "oh" helped. I did this for pretty much every contraction. Laying in the bed hurt really bad, so resting was out of the question.

My contractions took a turn around noon. They were really strong and about 3-5 minutes apart. My midwife said she would come over around 1:00 to check on me, so I knew I could make it that long. She called a little after 1:00 to see how I was doing and let us know that she was going to see another client on her way over to our house. She heard me having a contraction in the background and decided that she had better come see me first! She arrived at our house around 1:20.
When she got there, she said I could get in the bath and to run the water really warm. It felt really good after I got it cooled down a little bit! I relaxed pretty much immediately and my contractions were a little more manageable and I had a little bit of a break. She checked and I was dilated to 7 cm!! This was wonderful news!!
Ben had decorated the bathroom with candles and even a tree in the corner. The tree actually became something I focused on between contractions instead of looking around and seeing everyone watching me! It really did look nice! My mom, Ben, my midwife and her assistant were there.
My midwife suggested a few positions, but most of the time I felt best just laying back and holding on to the side. Sometimes I sat up straight when I had contractions and sometimes I just laid back. I tried to breathe through them. Sometimes they were so hard that I was yelling somewhat and breathing fast. She always would remind me how to breathe deep from my belly and I would regain my control.
She said I could push whenever I wanted and see if it felt better. Honestly, I wasn't sure if it felt better or not, so I would try every once in awhile. This was definitely different than being told to push and counting to 10 in the hospital. I could push as much and as long as I wanted during each contraction.
I remember saying at one point that I thought my belly button was going to explode. It was poking up a good inch from my belly! I also yelled that it hurt so bad. At one point, they said they could see the baby's head and that was really motivating. I was ready to have this baby out.
My back started hurting really badly and this was the end because I kept saying I couldn't do any more. I knew I had no other choice, but I wanted them to know that I was done and I wasn't playing!!
A few more pushes and suddenly the pain was gone at 4:07 pm. There was a baby laying on my chest. Ben told me I had a girl! Then he told me to tell everyone her name which is Elizabeth Dawn. My mom was so excited and started crying (the baby was named after her and my dad). I remember noticing that she was so clean but a little blue. After just a few seconds, she started crying a little bit. They wrapped us in towels and got us to the bed. A little while later we had an herbal bath. I was blessed. She was perfect and the birth had gone perfectly!
The birth happened 2 1/2 weeks ago. My recovery has gone really quickly. I did receive a few stitches, but even those seem to have healed quickly this time. My arms were sore from holding the tub. I pretty much was feeling great within a few days of the birth and back to normal within a week.
Elizabeth has also done really well. She was very alert after the birth and we enjoyed hanging out on our bed and spending some time with her. She has taken up breastfeeding very well and has gained weight. She is precious and the perfect addition to our family.
I love that I had her at home and had such a supportive group around me. This was a great experience, although it was a lot of work and quite painful (but only really painful for about 4 hours).
 I have been asked if I would do it again and I think I would. I read a lot of books, blogs and websites about birthing before going through this experience. They each had different information that I took from them to use during the birth. I am so thankful for the birth in the comfort of my home surrounded by people who understand and support my decision. 

November 6, 2011
7 pounds, 9 ounces

 To see why I chose home birth, please read THIS post.  To answer some of the FAQs I hear, check out this LINK


Alicia said...

She's beautiful, Kama! Thanks for sharing your story. We will be praying for you and Ben as you adjust to being a family of 5.

A Diamond in the Rough said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It helps bring homebirths out of the shadows. As a doula I love when women have an experience of birth that makes them feel empowered to mother! One of my favorite quotes is "Women who birth naturally, parent fiercely". I don't know who said that, but I have found it to be incredibly true. Congrats on such a beautiful birth!

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