Birth Affirmation: “The birth of my baby will be natural, calm and comfortable.” Indeed it was so.
This is the story of my second homebirth. You can read my homebirth of my first born here. I prepared for my second homebirth the same way I did with my first born. You can find out how I prepared for natural childbirth as a first time mom here. Three days before 40 weeks, my daughter was posterior and I was doing “the miles circuit” and little exercises from “spinning babies” to turn her to the optimal birthing position. I had surges that started at night but resulted in nothing. The next two nights were the same. On the third night, my surges were more consistent while I was in the middle of making my favorite dark chocolate banana bread. They were coming every hour to half hour. Moving into the middle of the night to every twenty to twenty-five minutes apart. By 3am, the surges were intense and I had three consecutive surges that were three minutes apart. I texted the midwife with the screenshot of my surges from the Freya App. As soon as I sent the message, my surges completely stopped.
My midwife called ten minutes later while I was on the toilet and said that she would come to check up on me. Luckily, she happened to see my message since she had woken up to use the bathroom. I was supposed to call her pager as she doesn’t check her mobile phone. Oops! While I waited for her arrival, I did more inversions to get my daughter to turn. I enjoyed listening to the “presence is perfection” audio on the Freya app. The words resonated with me.
My surges started to return at twenty minutes apart. My husband was still asleep in the other room as I labored away. When the midwife arrived, we discovered that I was four cm dilated. I was still in early labor. She had a feeling she would need to return so she started setting up in the other room where my husband had setup the birthing pool a week ago.
My surges were strong and my back was buzzing. My back labor was quite intense. I knew if I lost my breathe and did not focus, things could get messy. I was focused on the counting of up breathing and down breathing on the Freya app. I was also playing “musical therapy” playlist on spotify to relax me. The strong surges continued now between eighteen and sixteen minutes apart after the midwife left. She requested I get my husband to page her once my surges got to three minutes apart as she left.
Sleep deprived yet excited and determined to birth my baby naturally, I labored for the next two hours at ten to eight minutes apart. At this point I had switched to the ‘three second, six second’ mode on the Freya app. It was harder to breathe out for a count of eight. My husband came to check up on me around 7am and immediately started to setup the birthing environment when he saw me on the floor, floating over the yoga ball and breathing heavily. He was so amazing by making sure he did the “soft touch massage” on my back each surge all the while preparing the birth space, snacks, coconut water and a breakfast smoothie. It was all I could stomach.
By 10am my midwife called to check up on me since she had not heard from me all morning. She sounded surprised that I had answered the phone. I should have been in active labor by now, in her experience, in too much pain to talk. My surges were still irregular at only six minutes apart. I had no signs of being in active labor. To my midwifes surprise when she arrived and checked, I was 8cm dialated. The exam triggered a very strong surge. I told her I felt like pushing. She quickly instructed my husband to fill the pool and called a second midwife for backup. Her original backup told her she could not make it. So she called for another one and that midwife also was unable to come help. Finally getting through at the third attempt, the owner of the midwife clinic would come to her aid. My midwife was a little anxious I would birth the baby before the pool was filled.
I was GBS positive, so she needed to insert the IV before I entered the pool. I initially refused it, but had agreed after much debate over the last 3 weeks. In between two surges, she was unsuccessful at finding a vein in my hand to insert the IV. Maybe it was the universe making my desire for an unmedicated birth come true. She gave up after inserting the IV needle 3 times in various parts of both my hands.
The pool was ready and the midwifes backup arrived as well. My husband unclothed me and I got into the pool. My midwife exclaimed it was not deep enough. My surges had stopped too. It turns out the hot water tank was empty and my husband only had the pool 80% of the way filled. My husband attempted to fill the pool up again and was relieved that there was hot water coming out of the hose. I also noticed the second midwife had successfully inserted an IV in my arm.
When I was able to focus on my breathe and music again, my first downward surge arrived. I was on all fours in the pool. Intuition guided me to stay in that position and breathe as my husband massaged my lower back. A second wave of the surge came and my midwife excitedly announced she could see the head and instructed me to feel it. I reached down and felt my daughters head was resting just at the exit point. The third surge arrived, and her head crowned out. A burning sensation down-under startled me and I lost focus on my breathe. My midwife told me to hold it and allow time for my perineum to stretch. I wanted to push and stop the burn so badly but agreed to hold on to prevent any tearing. I again returned to focus on my breathe. On the fourth down surge, my body powerfully pushed my daughter out. I felt an incredible amount of relief. I heard in the middle of my breathing the midwife’s distant voice calling me to lift my daughter out of the pool. I immediately snapped out of my haziness, opened my eyes, searched for my daughter in the pool and lifted her up into my arms. I felt such bliss and amazement that it was over so quickly and she was in my arms so tiny and precious. I was thanking myself for trusting in my breathe and body. As soon as my daughter latched on to my breast, I birthed the placenta. My midwife told me that everything was completely intact down there. Hurray! She also mentioned, since my daughter was incased in the membrane until the very end, my daughter would not have needed the IV to protect her anyway. I smiled as it validated my belief of attracting your desires. (Keeping it natural). We all congratulated ourselves and indulged on a slice of the dark chocolate banana bread that started this birth story.
Welcome to the other side Vera Adelaide Smith. This is the beginning of a wonderful adventure.