When I decided to have a homebirth, I knew people thought I was absolutely crazy. And sometimes, I thought I was too! But to my surprise, having my baby at home and birth itself was much easier than I conjured up in my head. I have heard my fair share of horror birth stories and I am so grateful that I have a positive and empowering birth experience to share!
In the last month of my pregnancy I was so impatient for my son to arrive. I was constantly waiting every day to see if I had any symptoms of labor and every week I went into my midwife appointment saying hopefully this is the last one before he arrives! But my midwife reminded me every time that most first time moms go past their due date and not to anticipate him coming early. So after hearing that over and over I finally just accepted it and started to believe he would come late.
On Tuesday July 20th, I took my 38 week bumpdate picture after a workout in our new garage gym and said in the caption that Slade was very comfortable and not coming anytime soon. Chandler and I were sitting on the couch watching TV at around 10:30 pm when I bent over to kiss my cat and I suddenly felt this pop and leaped off the couch with my legs spread out and said, “I think my water just broke”.
It’s funny how instincts kick in like that because I had never read about that in all my research but it just felt like that was what happened. I stood there expecting all of this water to come out but it just felt like I peed my pants a little bit. It slowly continued to trickle and after Chandler googled it we knew that’s exactly what happened.
I texted my midwife and let her know and she told me to go get some sleep and we would try to get labor going tomorrow. I wasn’t having any contractions but all I was thinking was how on earth am I going to just go to sleep and not be anticipating contractions?! But sure enough, after 30 minutes I started having mild contractions.
Meanwhile, Chandler was prepping our room for the birth – blowing up the birth pool, laying down plastic on the floor, wrapping our mattress in plastic, and doubling up sheets. We changed the lightbulb in our lamp to have a purple light so it wouldn’t be such harsh lighting. By the time all of that was done, I was having pretty intense contractions. I had gone to the bathroom multiple times and flushed my system out.
I just laid in bed with my eyes closed and focused on breathing through each contraction. I was balled up under the covers because if I took them off I got cold and would uncontrollably shake which made my contractions feel worse. I think what helped me get through each contraction was constantly thinking, “this will be over in a minute and then I can rest”. I just took each one as they came and put all of my focus into breathing through them. Chandler was great at putting pressure on my hips during each contraction to help with the pain as well.
At around 2:30 am I threw up and my contractions were around 5 minutes apart so I texted my midwife and she said her partner would be right over since she was at another birth. Once Raichal got to the house she checked me and was shocked to see that I was 8 cm dilated. Her and Chandler worked to get the birth pool filled and my backup midwife arrived. I had only met her once before but at the moment, I really didn’t care who was there. I just needed to focus on getting my baby out. She turned out to be really supportive, calming, and hands off which is exactly what I needed.
Once the birth pool was filled I got in and it definitely eased the pain of my contractions. I only stayed in for a little while because I felt so hot in the water. Chandler still jokes about how as soon as the pool was ready I immediately stripped and got right in. I have a midwife I barely know and another one that has never seen me naked and I just lost all my clothes like they were family. I swear after having a baby, I have grown comfortable in my body and if people see some skin, then oh well!
Around 6 am I was given the OK to start pushing. I started out on my back but tried being on all fours, standing, and squatting. I’m shocked that I ultimately ended up laying on the bed for his birth, I totally thought I would be in the birth pool or walking around but it’s what worked best for me. I pushed for 2 hours and I swear it felt like forever. I listened to a ton of birth stories and a few talked about only pushing a handful of times so I totally believed I could make it happen to only push a couple times and be done. Around an hour and a half I started getting annoyed and my midwife kept telling me i’m almost there and that she didn’t want me to tear. Well, I owe her big time because I didn’t tear at all and I had such a speedy recovery.
After 10 hours, Slade was born at 7:49 am weighing 7lbs 8 oz and a full head of hair! He had very healthy lungs and came out perfect! Once he was out it felt like the biggest accomplishment and I couldn’t believe I created this little adorable human being. We decided to delay cord clamping and had him breastfeed pretty quickly after he was born.
Amidst all the bliss of having him, my midwife let me know I was bleeding more than normal because my bladder was full and pushing on my uterus. I immediately started to panic but she had a really calm demeanor and let me know everything was fine. She quickly helped to birth my placenta, put in a catheter to drain my bladder, and gave me a shot of pitocin which resolved it.
Once they took Slade to be measured and checked out I took a quick shower, got back into bed with fresh sheets, and Chandler brought me some yogurt to eat. It was such a calm and relaxing experience to just get back into bed and love on my beautiful new baby. The midwives cleaned everything up for us, threw our sheets in the wash, and left us to be with Slade.
Having a home birth experience for my first child was as amazing as I could have expected. I felt in control of my birth and had the best team of people around me to support the birth of my son. I can’t wait to have another home birth with my daughter in September! What was your birth like? Let me know in the comments!