SOCIAL MEDIA

10.02.2018

My Accidental Home Birth


Sorry if this is totally all over the place. I am writing it on my phone with talk to type whenever I manage to get time (aka, sprinkled throughout the day while I’m nursing). Also, just a warning, it's a little long ;) And I had to share some maternity and newborn photos as well :)


When I first got pregnant my husband and I looked into having a homebirth. It has always been something that I would like to do, especially after having my son. However, things did not work out with our midwife and I felt the best choice for us was to go with my OB/GYN and deliver at the hospital that was right down the road so I would not have to be too far from my first born. I have never spent a night away from him and knew I would be anxious during the delivery and postpartum stay if I was too far away from him. And delivering in the closer hospital meant my husband could go home and be with our son overnight.

So I switched over to my OB/GYN who I had only seen once before then when we were having trouble conceiving. (My doctor for my son had retired shortly after I had my son and I had never looked for another). I soon realized I did not like her as a doctor. It also bothered me that I would not be able to meet the doctor who would actually deliver until I was in my third trimester. I asked to meet him sooner but they always said his schedule was full.

I later found out there was another midwife in the area but by the time that I found this out and our insurance okayed me going with her with a possible reimbursement, it was too far along for us to make the payments that had to be done before the delivery. So if you know you want to homebirth and you’re trying to conceive, start saving now because they usually require you to pay cash and hope your insurance will reimburse. =/

OK moving on, so during this pregnancy I did not go to a birthing class because I went to two with my son and I just reviewed the notes from my doulas birthing class that I took with him. I did however spend time researching natural pain coping methods and one of my favorite books that I read was called Holy Labor by Aubry G Smith. If anyone is looking for a Faith based book on natural labor I highly recommend this one. My goal for labor was to focus on Christ and remember that He will never leave me and that He is with me during labor. I had some verses written out and I played my favorite worship station when I started labor.
 

OK so during this pregnancy I had noticed that I had a ton of Braxton Hicks contractions starting during my third trimester, which was totally different than my first pregnancy because I had zero contractions or false contractions until I actually went into labor. But once I hit 37 weeks they completely stopped. I had a ton of pressure so I knew baby girl had dropped but other than that I had no signs of labor up until the Saturday before my due date. I woke up feeling when I was calling “tightenings “. They were not painful or really uncomfortable but I would notice them because I would have to stop and focus more on my breathing because of them.
I texted my Doula to let her know, and then I went about my day as normal. Which of course included 3 to 4 errands. The tightening continued as I was running errands but when I got home I laid down to take a nap and they stopped and I did not feel anymore for the rest of the day.

That night as I was laying my son down I knew it would be another rough night because he was recovering from a cold and when he is sick he likes me to lay down with him in bed whenever he wakes up in the middle of the night. I would do that and then sneak out when he fell asleep. That night he woke up about five times as I was crawling onto the bed (which is sitting on the floor so I was getting up-and-down from the floor basically) at 39 weeks pregnant; two days away from my due date.
I remember at one point I got frustrated with him and told him that I would not be able to lay down with him because it was difficult to get up and down and I could not sleep comfortably in his bed. At that point it seems like he just wanted my company. He seemed a little upset but was fine when I got up to go lay in my own bed. This was about midnight.
I remember waking up again around 1 o’clock in the morning noticing a slight pain in my back. I did not think much of it went to the bathroom and laid back down. From about 1:00 to 3:30 I tossed and turned in and out of sleep due to this pain in my back. Around 3:30 I finally came to the conclusion that I was having contractions... back labor again. =/ I tried to lay in bed for a little longer and attempted to sleep but they were much more uncomfortable at that point and laying down was no fun. If you have had back labor you know what I’m talking about.

So about 10 till 4:00 I decided to get up and finish packing the last minute things I needed for my hospital bag. At that point the contractions were much more noticeable but I was totally able to breathe through them comfortably and was checking my phone and on Instagram in between contractions. I did start timing them and had noticed that they were very close together. They went between five and two minutes the whole time I was monitoring them. But they were also very short (screen shot I sent my doula below) I decided to text my Doula and let her know that I was having contractions but because I had such a long labor with my son I assumed I would have plenty of time to be able to call her at a more decent hour.

After finishing packing my stuff upstairs, I went downstairs to have a snack and I attempted to wash dishes in between contractions, but they were coming so close together that it was difficult for me to get many done in the breaks between contractions. It’s funny because I always tried to have a clean sink before going to bed but that night we did not have a chance to and I wanted to go to bed early because I knew my son will be up and I would need to be with him a lot. Since they were so close together I went upstairs to go tell my husband.

I woke my husband at about 5:00 and told him that our baby girl is on her way. I remember having a very strong contraction right after waking him. I remember thinking it almost seems like I can feel myself dilating… and then as I was standing next to the bed leaning over my husband and I remember having a long pause without contractions as we talked about how excited we were to meet her. I thought it was strange that I didn’t have any contractions for at least seven minutes since they were coming every 2 to 3 minutes before. But they still were not very strong and I was still breathing through them very comfortably.

We finished packing upstairs and I headed downstairs. I have been leaning over my birthing ball during the contractions and wanted to head down there again because they were picking up in intensity. My husband started doing the dishes because he remembered me saying that I did not want to come home to a sink full of dishes. Haha he’s the best! 
I finally told him that we should probably call my Doula since I had not heard from her. At this point I told my husband to call because I did not feel like I could talk because the contractions were still very close together. I remember they picked up in intensity once I came downstairs and I was becoming louder during the contractions to get through them. 

The entire time I was in labor I remember telling myself to stay relaxed to not fight the contractions and to make a low “O” sound during a contraction and to think of opening. These were all part of the tips that I had read on techniques for natural labor. I remember a few more times, during a contraction, thinking that I could feel myself dilating. I almost thought that I just had an over active imagination, but now talking to my Doula and realizing how quickly my labor went I’m pretty sure that I was able to feel that. Plus since having my son I have just become much more aware of what’s going on with my body.

My husband was on the phone with my Doula and he also noticed that I was getting louder during the contractions and he told her that. She told us she would get up and get ready and be on her way soon. She had about an hour commute. I mention something to my husband about texting his parents because they were supposed to watch our son when we left for the hospital. He said we should wait since they only had a 30-minute drive and it was pretty early in the morning. I think maybe two or three contractions went by and I told him to text them now. I knew my Doula could meet us at the hospital if we had to go sooner, but I was not going to leave my toddler at home so I wanted him to text them so they were here in time for us to leave. 

This whole time I’m still thinking in my mind that I have HOURS of labor to go. With my son I was in labor for almost 25 hours. I’ve heard with your second you can expect half that time so I was thinking about 12, that would put me around 1:00 in the afternoon and it was currently almost 6:00 am. (This whole labor was only 6 hours!)

My Doula texted at 6:00 saying she left and will be there in an hour. And my in-laws were on their way as well. My husband finished up a few last minute things and made his way over to put some counter pressure on my hips and back during the contractions. I remember telling him at one point that I kind of felt like I had to push but it wasn’t strong enough for me to act on it so I ignored it. We both kind of shrugged it off and assumed there was NO WAY that it could be time yet.

I knew when I went through transition with my son that I was blacking out almost in between contractions and was throwing up in between contractions so I assumed I would do that this time as well and we would use transition as a sign that it was time to go to the hospital. I was very adamant that I did not want to spend very much time in labor at the hospital since I was there for over 12 hours with my son and I would much rather labor at home. I noticed the urge to push continued to get stronger and I continued to ignore it as I felt like I was not far enough along. I did notice the contractions were much more intense and I was less and less focused on my worship music during the contractions as I had been before. I only focused on making the low O sound to get through them. 

However a part of me knew that we had to leave for the hospital very soon and I was hoping that my in-laws would show up quickly. I remember they finally arrived and I had a contraction probably the second they walk through the door and my father-in-law quickly made his way upstairs to my son’s room haha. My son was awake but he stayed in his room because he did not have the OK from his “OK to wake” light.

Soon after they walked in the door my husband ran to get the car ready to go. He had to pull out of our garage and he backed into a parking spot right by our door. I remember hearing the car back up and right then I had a very strong contraction, heard a popping sound, and felt a gush of water rush out of me. Part of me freaked out because I never experienced that with my son but I quickly put together what happened and my first thought was that I needed to change my underwear before I got in the car, haha.

So I got up and ran to the bathroom before another contraction and got my underwear halfway down before having another contraction. 
I was standing in the bathroom leaning over the counter and I could not move. I could not even bend down to finish taking off my underwear. I asked my husband to run upstairs and get me another pair and told him I had to go pee before we could leave. I also told him that he had to finish taking off my underwear because I could NOT move. He ran upstairs and came back with three or four pairs (I’m not sure why, but I remember thinking it was so funny, haha). I had one other contraction when he was upstairs and I knew baby girl was on her way. 

I told him that I could not move and that she was coming now!!

At this point you could tell that I was pushing during the contractions. He yelled to his mom to call 911 and I had another contraction. I remember telling him that I could feel the “ring of fire” and I knew that meant she was crowning. The next thing I know the 911 operator was on speaker in the bathroom and she was telling me to lay down. I remember telling her there was no way I was able to lay down because I still feel like I could not move. I was still standing leaning over the countertop in the bathroom pushing during contractions. However I remembered that I had read delivering on your hands and knees was one of the best ways to prevent tearing so I told her that I would get onto my hands and knees and I somehow was able to do that in between contractions because they were coming so fast at that point. 
Someone thought to get towels thankfully I’m not sure if it was the 911 operator, my husband, or my mother-in-law, but I remember pushing and I remember the 911 operator asking my husband if he could see baby girl’s head. My husband said no at first and one push later I remember him very excitedly saying that he was holding her head and that her head was almost delivered. Once her whole head was out the ambulance arrived and the EMT came and delivered the rest of our baby girl in the bathroom of our apartment. I remember when her head was delivered taking a pause asking the EMT if it was OK to wait to push until I felt the urge to. It felt like a long pause but he said that is totally fine and to just “do what you gotta do”. Seconds later, our baby girl was born right there in our bathroom.

Because I was on my hands and knees, I could not see her when she was born. At one point (time seemed to go slowly after her birth) I glanced over my shoulder and saw that he was cleaning off her skin and I noticed that she was bluish in color and she had not yet made any sounds. I asked him if everything was ok and he quickly reassured me that she was totally fine and that she was breathing. (My doula later told me that it is pretty common for babies to not be crying at birth if they are not born under a stressful situation).
I remember asking him, “Can I please have her?” and he informed me that he was unwrapping the cord from around her stomach and one of her legs. I think I asked him about 3 more times if I could have her yet.
Around this time, one of the firemen came holding the things needed to clamp and cut her umbilical cord and we told them that we really would like to delay clamping her cord and they all were very quick to say something along the lines of “sure, no problem!” which I was super appreciative of them being so “go with the flow” on.

Once that was over, I remember asking again if I could hold my baby now and the paramedic finally told me that I really needed to stand up if he was going to pass her under me. (haha, I guess I had not thought about that before). So I stood up and we passed her between my legs and I finally got to hold and get a good look at my baby girl! I could not believe how tiny she was and how much hair she had!


I was only wearing a bra at this point so someone came and put a sheet over me and they informed me that they could not get the gurney into our apartment so I was going to have to walk over to it. So there I am, only wearing a sheet, holding my new baby, with her attached umbilical cord as I walked through my house out to get onto the gurney, ha!
I remember walking past our neighbors as they frantically asked if everything was ok and asked if I had the baby there, haha. They later informed me that they were all really freaked out when they saw the ambulance arrive.



I asked my husband to get me some water (I am always SUPER thirsty during and right after labor!) and I got a quick sip before they lowered me off the sidewalk (I only mention that because I remember freaking out about them lowering me down and mentioning that I totally trusted them but that I was nervous to have them lower me for some reason, haha).

As they wheeled me over to the ambulance, I asked them if my husband would be able to ride with us and they agreed and then my husband saw that our son was up and was coming down the stairs with his grandpa. He asked them if they could hold off for a minute so our toddler could meet his baby sister. They were more than happy to let him meet her before leaving. However, I guess that our son had accidentally hit his head on the way down the stairs so he was crying. I did not know this at the time, so all I see is my 3 year old crying as he sees me sitting in the back of an ambulance, so then I started freaking out that he was upset because he thought something was wrong with me. Thankfully, my husband got the story from grandpa and was able to quickly reassure me that was not the case and that he had just bumped his head and was upset from that.


My husband hopped into the ambulance and we left for the 3-minute drive to the hospital. I remember commenting that it was really warm inside the ambulance (for the baby) and I said something about how it was both my and baby girl’s first ride in the back of an ambulance (obviously something I hope to never have to do again…and it was not the first time my husband had been in one…). One of the paramedics commented that he really likes these calls when no one is hurt and its more of a happier emergency haha.

We arrived at the hospital and my doula greeted us right when the doors were opened to the back of the truck. (She missed my birth by about 10 minutes!)
We were wheeled to an L&D room where I was then asked about a million questions (many were the same asked multiple times) and stabbed multiple times (is it obvious that I hate needles…ha! But seriously, I’ve never seen so much blood from someone putting in an IV…insert eye roll here, haha…)

During this time, I was just holding our daughter and saying “I can’t believe that just happened” to my husband. I remember asking them for water probably 300 times and they refused to give me anything (not even ice) until I delivered the placenta. Remember how I said I get super thirsty after labor? I was not happy. I seriously felt like I had been running for miles on a hot summer day…that’s how thirsty I was, haha. They finally decided to cut her umbilical cord and my husband got to do his hour of skin to skin.
I remember asking the nurses if it was normal for my placenta delivery to take so long and they continued to assure me that it was totally normal for it to take a while sometimes. We were still waiting for the on-call doctor to arrive (it was the Sunday before Labor Day). I tried pushing a few times but was totally uncomfortable lying on my back. Finally the doctor arrived and I’m pretty sure he pulled the placenta out at that point (aka…it was extremely painful!) He then checked to see if I had torn at all (I was super curious to find out!) and he concluded, (after painfully checking and me yelling, “Dude! Stop!” at him, haha not sure where that came from) that I only had a first degree tear and that it was not even going to need any stitches (hurray!!!!!! I was a little excited about that!).



After that, they FINALLY got me a huge cup of water (which I downed almost instantly) and they let my doula come into the room with us. I then finally got to nurse my baby girl for the first time and our doula heard the story and she took the time to take some photos of us all.

Once they got me all cleaned up, we walked over to our postpartum room. My husband and I spent most of the day saying to each other, “I seriously can not believe that happened” haha.
Both of our parents came to meet our baby girl (and they brought me coffee and bacon, haha, that is what I wanted once I was done delivering the placenta ;) )

And of course, one of my other favorite parts of the day was seeing our 3 year old. My husband held our daughter when our son first got there so he could run up to see me and make sure I was ok. He was very excited to see me and asked if baby sister was out of my tummy now, haha. He then got to meet his baby sister for the first time, after asking when she would be there for the past few months, and he has been obsessed with her ever since!
He seriously is the BEST big brother ever! He is so incredibly helpful with bringing me diapers or burp cloths. He’s always checking on her (even sometimes at 3 in the morning, haha) and he always wants to hold her and give her hugs and kisses.

We are all completely in love with her (she totally already has daddy wrapped around her finger…pretty much from the day she was born) and are so happy that she is finally here! We are so glad that God was watching over all of us on that morning that she was born and have decided that if we do have any more children, we will probably go with a planned home birth. ;) 

Welcome home baby girl!




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