Home Birth Stories - My Second Home Birth Story
Updated: Sep 18, 2020
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It has officially been a year since my daughter was born so I thought it was fitting that I write down her home birth story this week to celebrate her first birthday!
My two home births were both very much alike and very much different. My first home birth was six hours from start to baby and I would describe it as well paced, having some much needed breaks between contractions. My second home birth, can be summed up as intense and nonstop. (You can read all about why I love home births here).
Having a home birth the first time felt really special to me and I am really proud of both my home births so I created these baby bodysuits the second time around to remember it by. I was very prepared and couldn't wait for her to come. 💗
From 38 weeks pregnant, I was incredibly uncomfortable, miserable, and waiting for her grand entrance into the world. I was beyond the state of "get this baby out of me" but stubbornly unwilling to allow any kind of interventions like having my membranes stripped thanks to this article. I declined membrane sweeps twice even after complaining that I couldn't wait for the baby to come. Mostly, because the evidence showed that it would be extremely painful and may not even work. I had tried acupuncture and asked my chiropractor to work magic on me. I poured through these evidence based natural induction articles, but this baby was coming on her own time.
I discussed updating my due date with my midwife because I knew the date I ovulated, conceived, and I felt a lot of pressure from mostly family to hurry up and have his baby. I had gone to my scheduled stress tests and even had an ultrasound to make sure all was well that Tuesday before. I was told, "good luck, your baby is great." My midwife used my LMP (Last Menstrual Period) to calculate my original due date but did update it after I showed her my exact ovulation date which gave me an additional four days to 42 weeks when they would induce me with castor oil. 🤮 (They hadn't asked me at my first appointment if I had known my ovulation date, because most women don't.) I was caught in a place of discomfort and worry that my baby wouldn't come out on her own. It was especially annoying because my son had come on his exact due date.
The article I read and everything the midwife and my doula had told me that second babies usually come earlier than their siblings. But my mom warned me that both me and my little brother had come late. (Yes, your mother's birth experiences/ history relate to yours!) I wanted my baby to come between 39-40 weeks. Every day after that was the longest wait of my life. This second time around, I figured I didn't need to eat the medjool dates to speed anything up. I was kicking myself like:
In addition to telling me that subsequent babies come early, they told me these babies like to come quickly. Usually half the time or less than the first birth. I thought, "well hot dog, this baby will only take 3 hours or less yayayayYaya!" I was not prepared for what that actually meant.
That day I took my son to his Montessori preschool as usual, my belly so big I hated driving. I had become so uncomfortable, I couldn't even work from home and had started my maternity leave at 38 weeks pregnant. At 41+ weeks I was so ready. That night we put our son to bed as usual and I went to bed exhausted.
I woke up to the sound of my son on the monitor calling out for me, which never happens (in the middle of the night). He was almost three at this time and has been a great sleeper. I went to the bathroom and came back to bed. I hoped my son would fall back asleep. He hadn't been loud enough to wake my husband up and I thought I felt something. It was 11:00pm. While I waited to see if it was something, I gchatted with my friend Kristin. She had been asking when baby was coming and we are on an endless chat where we ask each other "what are you doing?" all day long every day, not caring that the answers are always the same and a flow of our thoughts.
Eight minutes later, that something came back. Eh, it wasn't so bad, maybe it's nothing, I thought. I waited...watched the monitor as my son called for mama. Another eight minutes and that something had a beginning and and end...it most certainly was a contraction. Twenty four minutes had passed. I decided to wake my husband calmly and told him he needed to go put our son back to sleep and by the way, "It's time. The baby is coming." He wasn't really sure what to do, but went into my son's room to comfort him.
I thought to myself, well when my contractions started with my son the first time, they were five minutes apart. So if these are eight minutes apart, I have plenty of time. This was so wrong.
I stayed a few more minutes in bed. Thinking maybe I should be the one in there comforting my son. Then I thought no, I just can't. BABY IS COMING.
My instincts told me to get to the bathtub ASAP. I went to the bath and started the water. I had started timing my contractions and they were getting closer and closer together, to the point I could no longer keep track. I tried to put Hynobabies on my bathroom Sonos and got in the tub. I told my friend Kristin, "I have to go now, it's getting too intense" and got in the tub.
I can't remember why, but I only filled the tub half way and was trying to lay with just my belly in the water. I think I was trying to stay off my wrists which were inflicted with pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. It was not enough water to provide me comfort so I filled the tub the rest of the way. The water felt amazing but the contractions were not stopping the way they had with my son. There was no rest.
My husband made an appearance, taking a small scoop of water with his hand and pouring it on my back. Worriedly asking me where the number to the midwife and doula was and if they needed to come now. Through clenched teeth, "TELL THEM TO COME. ALL OF THEM. NOW." I said. He disappeared into our bedroom, using his phone as a flashlight.
At this point, I felt a sudden urge to get to the bathroom. I didn't want to ruin my water birth so, I waited until I thought the contraction was lessening. "On the count of three you're going to get up and onto the toilet", I told myself. As I sat there, my husband came back asking me if there was anything he could do to help. My response was, "no, get out!" He told me the midwife and doula were on the way.
As the contractions rolled through me, I let out loud yoga like AHHHHHHHHs. I always think of my doula describing it like a tea kettle letting off steam. Contractions on land are not my friend and are not for me. Contractions on land are what epidurals are made for. Again I mentally prepared to move back to the tub and the only comfort I could find in the water. "On the count of three, you'll get up and get back in that tub."
Once back in the tub, I felt so "pushy." This baby was coming SOON. Where is the midwife? Where is my doula? 🤷🏽♀️ Don't know. No time to care.
Next thing I know, there she is. That familiar face from the majority of my prenatal visits, Hilary. Thank goodness. I tell her I am already pushing when she arrives at 1:00am.
I am on my hands and knees in the tub ahhhhing. There is no rest. No end or beginning to these contractions. Only my body involuntary pushing.
She asks me if I'm sure that's the position I want to be in. I don't respond or move, because it is. My husband is preparing to catch the baby.
Fourteen minutes rush by and my beautiful daughter is passed to me under water through my legs. I shakily pull her up onto my chest, with her face out of the water. She looks right at me, eyes wide open, alert, makes a small noise then immediately starts trying to nurse me.
A few minutes later, my doula came in, sadly, missing the whole thing. Hilary told her how she barely made it in herself and we all laugh. I am tired but so incredibly happy that the hard part is over, I got my baby girl so quickly, and of course that she is a healthy 8 pounds 13 ounces. From start of contractions to baby, it was 2 hours and 14 minutes! It was such a quick experience the second time around but I was so happy that I got to labor the way I wanted, where I wanted, and got to snuggle my baby and husband in our own bed that night. It was definitely the second home birth experience I was dreaming of.
I love home birth! If you have any questions or would like to just chat about mama experiences I would love to hear from you!
What was your birth experience like? What kind of birth do you dream of?