After a disappointing hospital birth with my first child, Lily, I decided that there must be a better way for me to have a baby.
I talked to other home birth mamas and did hours and hours of research. I started researching home birth when Lily wasn't even a year old. When I got pregnant with Ehren I decided to see a midwife and have a home birth.
My second pregnancy went much better than the first one. I ate healthier, exercised and didn't gain as much weight. I got plenty of rest and relaxation and didn't have any problems. No diabetes, no toxemia, no swelling. I looked and felt so much better this time. We took a Bradley class which was great. We met nice people and learned a lot of good information about staying healthy and gained confidence through knowledge.
Ehren gave us a practice run the day before his due date. I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't and they kept getting closer. From 6:00 to 8:00 they were 10 minutes apart. When I got up to make breakfast they went away. Didn't have any more contractions until the day after his due date. I woke up at 6:30 with contractions 2-4 minutes apart, but they were still rather mild. When they didn't go away after we ate, I called the midwife and let her know what was going on and that I probably wouldn't make it to my appointment we had at 11.
I labored pretty calmly without much fuss. Brandon would support me and remind me to relax and he made them so much better when I could lean on him. At 10:45 he called my midwife and asked her to come over because the contractions were getting much more intense. She came over and checked me at 11:30. To our surprise, I was already 9 cm dilated. Wow. I thought to myself. This is going to be a piece of cake! I hopped in the bathtub and Toni called her assistant Liz (whom I had by chance met at the grocery store the week before) and they set up the room with plastic and equipment while I labored in the tub. The bathtub made the contractions feel better and I laughed and joked around between them.
When I started to feel shaky and queezy I decided that it was time to get out of the bathtub. The contractions were much more intense after I was out of the tub. Toni checked me and said I still had a lip of cervix that needed to get out of the way. She gave me some options, wait, stand up during contractions, break water. I said I wanted all three because it was getting quite painful and I was having a hard time relaxing. When the cervix lip was finally gone, they told me that I could start pushing, but I did not like that at all! I didn't feel stable on the birth stool, the bed was much too painful, pushing hurt more than not pushing so I breathed through some of the contractions. I was getting very panicky by this time and Toni, Liz and Brandon were all working together to help calm me down.
Toni suggested I go to the shower again and have a couple of contractions so we tried that and then I sat on the toilet. I finally got the real urge to push when I was on the toilet and he dropped down almost immediately. They hauled me off the toilet and back to the birth stool. Brandon figured out the best way to support me, with his arms supporting me under my arms and I pushed!
As I was pushing I closed my eyes it seemed like I was no longer in my own body, I could vaguely hear what was going on and it didn't feel like it was me there. Toni told Liz to get me some oxygen and that gave me strength (perhaps only in my head like Dumbo's magic feather). I felt a ring of fire which was worse during the break between contractions and then after two contractions they told me his head was out. I figured the rest of him would slide out like the other babies I had seen, but no such luck. I had to keep pushing and felt a ring of fire again (what? Nobody told me about that!) and finally I felt the little legs slither out and a giant blue baby was put on my chest. Liz gave him some oxygen and he turned pink and cried immediately. Toni immediately thanked God for the safe delivery of Ehren.
He was born at 2:17 in the afternoon after a labor that lasted less than 8 hours.
He was cleaned with a towel and wrapped in a blanket while I moved to the bed to deliver the placenta. One little push and it was out (much easier!) I got to hold Ehren and look at him and nobody took him away.
After a while, Toni checked me and found a superficial but long tear along my (unnecessary) episiotomy scar that I got with my first baby. She gave me two stitches which didn't hurt much at all. She had been supporting me with warm washcloths while I pushed (which felt much better).
I felt like quite a wuss about the whole transition and pushing and all the whining and complaining I put everyone through, but when they weighted and measured Ehren he was 10 pounds 1/2 oz and had a 13 3/4 inch head (moulded) and a 15 inch chest. OH. Ok, well I didn't feel quite as wussy when I found that out. Toni also said that the giant baby head might have been dragging my cervix down instead of the cervix moving out of the way for it so that would have contributed to the difficult transition and me not wanting to push.
Recovery has been great! I feel good emotionally and physically. Didn't have very much soreness like with Lily with the exception of my back and arm muscles. Lifting 10 lbs around is pretty taxing haha.
I am very grateful to my midwife Toni and assistant Liz for all their skills and the faith they had in me when I didn't think I could do it. They made Ehren's entrance into the world as safe, gentle, natural and wonderful as it could have been.
Ehren is a peaceful and calm baby who loves to eat and sleeps great. I couldn't ask for a better baby.