Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Story of our homebirth.

Friday night I went to bed with an achey back and very inconsistent contractions. 9 days past my estimated due date, I hoped my new symptom of an achey back was a good omen of impending labor....

At 2am I woke up with contractions that were very regular but not very painful. I got out of bed, sat on my excercise ball and watched a movie while I timed my contractions. I was excited to realize they were 30 seconds long and every 2.5 minutes even though they were still very weak.
I called my midwife, Norma, around 2:45 and she said she was leaving her house immediately. This stressed me out for a moment because I worried she would get here too early but she knew exactly what she was doing! She called back about 20 minutes later to check on me and I reported I was losing my mucus plug and having a lot of bloody show. The bloody show actually scared me at first because it was so bright red but I put on a pad and tried not to worry.
At that point, I woke up Taylor to tell him I was in early labor but I wanted him to get more sleep and I would wake him up when it was time for to get things ready. As I walked out of the room, he called out "congratulations and good luck!" HA!!!!
He got up about 5 minutes later because he was worried Norma would get there and he would still be in bed and "that would look bad". He was all about pleasing our mw and following her directions to a T.
Contractions were getting stronger and I found myself drawn to dark corners of our house. I would sway my hips and breathe through each contraction and then walk around our house waiting and welcoming the next contraction that would bring our girl closer to my arms.
I loved this stage of labor. I felt in total control of my body and even though the contractions were stronger, I instinctively knew exactly what my body needed at that moment. It was a wonderful feeling to understand my body and to genuinely welcome each contraction.
Soon, I found myself moaning through the contractions. After a few of these moaning contractions, I realized that transition was getting closer if my body was making these low tones.
Within moments of that thought, I threw up and immediately was thrown into transition. I stripped and got into the pool in our living room. The water level wasn't high enough and I asked Taylor to put more hot water in the tub and fill it up as high as it could go. He hooked the hose to the sink and started pouring in boiling water in the tub. He took his duty of the tub caretaker very seriously and followed my command for more hot water.
I immediately felt my body overheating and I started to panic. I wanted the tub to be filled with cold water but I couldn't communicate anymore. I couldn't breathe through the contractions, my body was tense and I began fighting the contractions.
The logical side of my mind was saying, "Laura, this is transition, your baby is almost here. You CAN do this. You ARE doing this."
The emotional side of my brain was saying, "Laura, you can't do this. This is awful. You don't even need this baby to be born. Just stay pregnant."
My mouth was saying, "I caaaaannnnn'tttt. This huuuuuuurts."
My husband said that my eyes started rolling back in head and he thought I was going to faint. I had totally and utterly given into the pain and desperately needed a doula to get my mind in the proper place!!!! I began feeling pushy and knew Liza was coming soon. I said this and my mw checked me for the first time of my entire pregnancy. She said the head was right there and I could push whenever I was ready. With my first push, I began panicking and my midwife said I had to get out of the water NOW.
I stood up and immediately felt better with the cool air on my body. The logical side of my brain told me that the water was too hot and it would all be better now. My emotional side was telling me that labor would be even more painful on the bed.
I was quite conflicted!
We moved to the bed and Henry woke up at his normal time of 6:45. Taylor left the room to tend to him and Norma told me if I couldn't relax and focus on the contractions she would have to call 911 and transfer me to the hospital. ** Turns out I don't remember about 10 minutes at this period.  My blood pressure dropped very low and according to Taylor, I gave up and surrendered to the pain ** She asked if that was what I wanted and I said no. I looked her in the eyes and asked her to help me focus. We stared at each other and she quizzed me about the events of the morning and asked me questions about my son's labor and delivery. At that point, I decided I would get it together and push this baby out.
Taylor was in the kitchen frantically calling friends to come and pick up our son so he wouldn't miss the birth. Originally, we wanted our son in the room for the birth but my mom hadn't made it to our house yet and Taylor knew I needed all of his energy and focus to get the baby delivered. About 3 minutes later, friends from down the street came on the golf cart and our son had the best morning ever riding their golf cart and playing with their kids.
When Taylor came back to our room, I was a different person -- focused on the contractions and ready to deliver our baby. No more hysterics. Thank God.
I tried a few different pushing positions on the bed: C position which was absolutely awful, leaning over the back of our high headboard was better but I found myself distracted noticing how dusty it was, hands and knees was better but not still perfect. I really wanted to stand up but I couldn't get the words out and our bed is extremely tall and I worried I couldn't get off the bed safely.
The chosen position was kneeling on the bed with my arms around Taylor's neck. He maintained eye contact and said encouraging things. As soon as her head was out, I started saying "get her out, get her out, get her out". It hurt SO FREAKING BAD that I couldn't control myself and I began pushing when my body was saying "no no, don't push". I didn't care. I just wanted it over.
I watched in a mirror on our wall as her body plopped out on the bed. My water didn't break until her body was delivered. I really wanted her to be born en caul and it *almost* happened!
I immediately gushed a massive amount of blood and Norma asked Taylor to get my mom, an RN, to come and assist her to stop my bleeding. Apparently my mom arrived just moments after her new granddaughter was born. She was sad she missed it. My mom gave me a shot of pitocin in the arm, my mw checked my vitals and looked over the baby. She told me it was important that I deliver the placenta quickly. Apparently, a big bleed before the placenta is out is a bigger deal than a bleed post placenta. Not sure w hy but it became very important that I deliver the placenta quickly.
As soon as Baby Girl latched on and I felt the first cramp, I delivered the placenta and I stopped bleeding in a matter of minutes.
Due to my impatience in pushing, I had two 2nd degree tears. My midwife only repairs 1st degree tears so we called the Labor and Delivery ward a few hours later and I was thrilled to find out that my ob/gyn was on call that day. We left Liza with my mom and went to L&D a few hours later for the repair.
Our homebirth was absolutely amazing and everything I hoped it would be -- a relaxed, peaceful environment for our little girl to be born into. Henry joined us on the bed a few hours after the birth and life was marched on with our new little person in my arms. Taylor remarked how natural it felt for her to be born in our house after having been in my belly for the past 40 weeks.
I honestly can't imagine giving birth anywhere else but at home.

** 5 hour labor, start to finish!
** 7lbs 8in and 21 inches long


Kate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shan said...

This is a beautiful story. I never had the nerve to try homebirth, but I honor and respect women who have.

Dropping in from Mama blog.

angie said...

what a great birth story! I love how honest you were even in the throws of transition. It always blows my mind how we can freak out and logically know exactly what is going on. I am a labor nurse at a small community hospital but completely support and encourage homebirth (amazing what we learn). Bummer you had to go in for repair, but sounds like all in all it was amazing! congrats to you! Glad I found your blog.

JoyFilled said...

So cool that she was almost born in the caul! I've always wondered what that would be like!

Kitchens Sydney said...

Wow! I have never been so well informed about this subject, your article has opened my eyes about this topic and I hope to see more of this! Thank you.

Angie said...

Love love love your birth story!  I can so relate to the logical side and emotional side fighting.  As I was squatting and my son crowning (10 years ago) I announced to the mw and my husband that I was done and leaving, no more I said.  Gotta love labor!

Lesley said...

how is this the first time i have read liza's birth story? well, i loved it! i'm so glad you shared!