This is the birth story of my first child, a son, born to me at home in water. We had 2 midwives attending his birth so it was just the 4 of us in the house for the event.
We chose not to find out our baby’s gender prior to birth. We chose to have no ultrasounds. We chose to only have our baby’s heartbeat monitored throughout my pregnancy by a stethoscope as opposed to Doppler. We chose to only use Doppler to monitor our baby’s heartbeat during my labor to ensure the safe arrival of our baby.
I had a completely natural physiological labor and vaginal birth. There was nothing done to block any pain. There were zero interventions.
I had regular chiropractor appointments throughout the 3rd trimester right up until going into labor. I drank raspberry leaf tea daily starting in the 3rd trimester. I ate 4-6 dates a day from 37 weeks onward.
I found myself awakened at 4:30 AM on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. I was soaking wet and my first thought was that I had peed the bed. My waters had broken. I was exactly 39 weeks along to the day. I was nervous and excited and about a million other emotions. Trent’s leave from work didn’t start until Monday, May 2. We decided Trent would call into work to get the extra 3 days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) off since labor had officially begun and we would soon meet our little babe. I spent the day unsure of exactly what to expect and what was coming. I heavily leaked fluid the entire day right up until active labor and pushing. By Wednesday evening I started having contractions that were uncomfortable but not well established yet. These lasted the entire night and early morning resulting in us getting no sleep. I called my midwife Judy Wednesday night to fill her in. We decided she would come over in the morning at 8 to check on me. In the early hours Thursday I had Trent start filling the birth pool. It took a lot longer than we had anticipated as we weren’t able to get a tap connector to use the hose we had. We ended up having to use pots by filling them up and dumping them in. After Trent was working on doing this for quite some time we decided to do the rest later on in the day. It wasn’t even a quarter full when we stopped filling. Judy came over a few hours later at 8. My contractions were still fairly mild. After she left they started picking up and by 10 AM they were a lot stronger. I showered and by the time I got out the contractions were incredibly painful and were really close together. Trent showered after me and as soon as he got out we called Judy to tell her it was time for her to come. Trent got straight to work trying to fill the rest of the pool. With every contraction I found myself grabbing at the walls and leaning over the kitchen counters. I even clung to the stove trivets and when each contraction was at its peak I found myself banging the trivets on the stove top which in the moments I was doing that I thought to myself what an absurd thing to be doing. Doing that made lots of loud noise so maybe it was my body’s way of trying to find a distraction to the pain. The pain was something I cannot exactly describe or find the words for. It was a new and different kind of pain than I have ever felt or experienced before. It was so intense, so all encompassing, so exhausting, yet at the same time so exhilarating. When Judy first arrived I was feeling incredibly desperate for her support. I was so happy to see her and felt that she got there just in the nick of time. She found me leaning over the kitchen counter and leaking fluid all over the tiles and Trent slaving away pot by pot trying to get the pool filled before the baby started coming. I knew I was getting really close to seeing and holding my baby. Judy had me kneel on the floor on a towel while leaning over my birth ball while she checked for my baby’s heartbeat. This was proving to be quite difficult and she kept trying and trying. She had me lay on my back and it still wasn’t being picked up by the Doppler. I kept telling myself that my baby was just in a position where it was hard to pick up the heartbeat. There was no way I could have started thinking thoughts of worry. Especially because I was still feeling baby’s kicks and movements. According to my husband (this part was very much a blur for me and I cannot remember specifics) but Judy eventually did pick up a soft regular heartbeat while I was on the floor so her concern was reduced enough that I could get into the pool. Note that Trent was still feverishly filling the pool pot by pot and it was well below the fill line but apparently there was enough water in there to do the job! I remember thinking there was no way in the world I would be able to lift my legs to climb into the pool as the contractions were oh so very intense. However they helped me in somehow and Judy quickly tried to get a clearer heartbeat in which she finally did and I could see the relief in her eyes. Once settled in the pool I just wanted it to be over and done with already and holding my baby! My second midwife Lynne arrived shortly after my getting into the pool. I thought to myself multiple times throughout the whole process that I didn’t think I could go on. In the pool I was so uncomfortable and no matter what position I could get myself in it wasn’t the right one so I kept moving around. Judy was suggesting different positions but nothing was working for me. By this point I was very ready for the whole thing to end and it was dragging on a long time in my opinion. It was beyond tiring and I had to use every fiber of my worn out being to start and work though the pushing stage. I had a hard time knowing exactly when it was time to start pushing. Pushing seemed strange to me and I didn’t feel like my body was ever telling me when to push. I had to learn that you push with each contraction. As hard as the contractions leading up to pushing were to get past the pushing stage was the most difficult for me. I had to keep constant eye contact with Judy as she coached me through. It seemed like I would push and push with each contraction but nothing was happening. Naturally I was left wondering how much longer this was going to take. I kept asking everyone how many pushes they thought I had left. They just laughed. I remember it taking a lot of pushes for them to actually see the head and then many many more pushes for the entire head to emerge. Once I had birthed the head I was like okay I’ve got to finish. I thought to myself I have no more energy left, I am hotter than hot in which they were opening all of the windows they could and the inner strength that it is taking with each push is quickly losing steam. I told myself on the next push I would really give it the best I possibly could and in what seemed to me and my husband I was able to birth the rest of my baby in one LONG AND HARD continuous push.
All of a sudden there was a baby there and Judy was handing him up to me and I was in this zone where I was in a bit of a shock that I had actually gotten my baby out of me! So many emotions flooded me when I first laid eyes on my son but oh my goodness was I ever in complete love.
As soon as my baby was placed onto me Judy commented on how his cord was a short one so he was unable to be put up very high onto my chest for skin to skin. I distinctly remember wanting or more like having to know my baby’s gender RIGHT THEN and nobody was shouting it out! I asked a couple of times, what is my baby?! Boy or girl?!?!?! I was more and more impatient as the minutes passed (I thought it was minutes but it was probably more like seconds). Trent says that because he had in his mind that we were having a girl he was stunned that it was a boy. So after what seemed like an unbearably long time I was finally told I had a little boy.
After birthing my baby I felt relieved but I was still having painful cramps and was feeling quite uncomfortable. Judy told me this was because I still needed to get the placenta out of me and that I would feel complete relief after that. We spent a good amount of quality skin to skin time in the birth pool and then I was helped up and out of the pool. Judy and Lynne were helping me stand next to the pool where they told me gravity would help the placenta come out. Sure enough after standing there a while and I think there were some small pushes needed as well my placenta dropped out of me and was caught in a container. I was then helped over to the couch. Trent cut the cord once we were certain it was no longer needing to be attached. We practiced breastfeeding for the first time which is not as straightforward and easy as I had always imagined. At least not for me. Our little one was weighed, measured, and assessed. He showed all signs of being a healthy and vibrant baby boy which is all we could have ever wanted.
Between filling the birth pool and helping with everything Trent had a hard time getting much video recorded (as you will be able to see if you watch our birth story video) but was able to at least get a decent amount of photos. Lynne helped out as well with capturing some moments.
Spontaneous labor commenced at 8 AM on 28th of April, 2016 at 39 weeks gestation. Total length of labor was 5 hours 42 minutes. First stage was 3 hours 20 minutes. Second stage was 1 hour 53 minutes. Third stage was 29 minutes.
Weight – 6 lbs 15 oz
Length – 20.5 inches
Welcome to the world baby boy. It has always been waiting for you. I was always meant to be your mother.