I had an amazing home birth experience back in 2007 and when I told my friends and family they always seemed to say the same thing, "you were lucky".
I'm sorry, it wasn't luck. It was because firstly I'm a women and I'm designed to give birth and I trusted that my body knew what to do and secondly I prepared for the birth as if it was an Olympic Event. I was ready Mind, Body and Spirit.
I researched and read extensively, I watched every relevant TV programme, I did Antenatal Yoga every day, NCT Birth Preparation Classes, Hypnobirthing Classes with my husband (thank goodness he hates hospitals anyway), took Raspberry Leaf Tea capsules and burnt Clary Sage Oil, ate tonnes of Pineapple at the end and had 3 curries in the last week. Only sat on my birth ball for the last month and didn't slouch on the Sofa. Bought the birthing pool, stocked up the cupboards, filled the freezer with food and scrubbed the house from top to bottom. Practised the hypnobirthing techniques over and over again.
HOORAY, it ALL paid off. At 42 weeks, stood my ground and refused a membrane sweep and went it to labour naturally at 2pm in the morning. 3 hours 40 minutes and 5 poos later baby George was born (breathed out, no pushing), barely handled by the midwife and placed straight onto my bare chest skin to skin, baby crawled to the breast (wow!!!!), suckled no problem, delayed cord clamping, delivered the placenta naturally (no injections), stopped bleeding naturally (gotta love that Ocytocin), had a shower and then got into bed with husband and baby and had a lovely cup of tea.
It was better than I could have ever imagined. (so quick I didn't even manage to get a toe in the birth pool).
Was high on life for months. Was it good for you too?
Lovely birth story :) It sounds like you really did your homework and well done. My 1st birth (2009) was an amazing experience but even now the professionals refer to it as "complicated" because i had 2 3rd degree tears and had to go into theatre soon after she was born. But the birth itself was very short and not as painful as i was lead to believe it would be. Sadly because of the "complications" last time they advised me against a homebirth this time :( and my husband is worried about it as well. I really hope there's no complications this time as maybe on the 3rd baby i can have my homebirth. I didn't see my first birth as "traumatic" like everyone describes it, i didn't even realise i had tears until they called the surgeon in. I'm so looking forward to giving birth again.
It was really nice to read about your experience and it sounds wonderful.
I have had three amazing birth experiences and each time was different and each time I was better prepared. My first child was born in 1993, I was young and educated but thought I knew more than I really did. I did everything my doctor told me to do and when I went 10 days past my due date, he offered to induce me and without thinking, I agreed. Every step of my first birthing experience had some sort of medical intervention. I showed up at the hospital, got strapped with monitors, insertion of Cervadil to ripen the cervix, pitocin early the next morning, my doctor broke my water, I asked for the epidural not knowing how far I had progressed, pushed when I was told (because I couldn't really feel anything) and thankfully I delivered a healthy baby girl. I required one stitch for a small tear that was more aggravating than painful and my baby girl seemed lethargic and certainly didn't take to my breast until the next day.
Fast forward 11 years to 2005. I had divorced and remarried, certainly older, but much, MUCH wiser regarding how I wanted to deliver my child. I found a birthing center so I could avoid a hospital delivery entirely and put myself into the care of a wonderful team of midwives. I knew I wanted to avoid induction at all cost and when the days passed after that obligatory "due date" given, I wondered how long I would have to wait before labor started on its own. One of my biggest regrets with my daughter was that there was virtually no excitement or surprise in her arrival. Everything was scheduled. I vowed this time would be different so I waited...Six days after the estimated due date my water broke. I was unable to contain my excitement and because of a forecast that announced a heavy snow was coming, we hurried to the birthing center to continue labor. I realize now there was no need to rush as I labored and labored for the next 14 hours with progress that got me to 8 cms, but my midwife was starting to get concerned about my exhaustion. I tried everything I was told at the birthing center, walking up and down stairs, I was on a nursing pump for hours to stimulate my nipples and promote more productive contractions, and still couldn't seem to get my cervix to open up those last 2 cms. My midwife suggested we go to the hospital to get some pitocin. I was familiar with pitocin (I'd had it 11 years prior) and it scared me a bit but I take medical advice seriously, and we went to the hospital. I cried telling my husband that this wasn't the way I wanted it, exhausted physically, emotionally and disappointed. I really didn't want any drugs or extra "stuff" in order to bring my child into the world. Nevertheless, the pitocin did its job and with the continued help of the midwife I delivered a very healthy baby boy who started nursing right away and was very alert. There was no tearing, no stitches required and despite my disappointment with a hospital birth it all ended very well.
Two years later in 2007, I was blessed one more time with a pregnancy and I was ready to again try an all natural birth outside of a hospital setting. Unfortunately, the birthing center I had labored at two years prior had closed and I was in search of an alternate site. I found a birthing center within reasonable distance from my home and looked forward to the day of my delivery. I now knew that I should not get in a hurry even when my water broke, and when it did around midnight I simply told my husband he might want to get some sleep because we were going to have a baby the next day. This time I walked around, showered, wrote some emails, and tried to distract myself when the contractions started to come. I needed some company to help cope around 5:00am and my husband was at the ready. My 13 year old daughter was a fantastic doula-in- training and having her experience labor and delivery with me was an amazing gift. A lot was going on during the summer of 2007 not the least of which was having a major construction/expansion done to our house. By 7:00am I had a strong regular patten of contractions going and I was ready to go to the birthing center. My 2 year old son was getting on my nerves and I was begging my husband to get him to day care so we could leave. My husband then breaks the news to me that the crew was coming that day to pour concrete and he also had to get to the bank to get some cash and the bank wouldn't open until 9:00am! He obviously took the whole "there is no need to get excited and rush around" concept to heart. By the time we did make it to the birthing center I was in the "labor zone" where all I knew was that I needed to deliver a baby, and I didn't really care who was there or where I was. There was no intervention, only a doppler to monitor the heart beat every now and then and I remember having to use every bit of my concentration, determination, and physical strength to push my 8lb. son into the world. After he was out I felt so good! A little tired, but perfectly normal like nothing major had happened. He was alert, clung to my breast and started nursing and we were back at home only 3 1/2 hours after we had left. Now THAT was the way I had fantasized about giving birth!
I learned that women are designed to give birth. For some reason that isn't obvious to everyone. We doubt ourselves and certainly the medical community tells us over and over again that we simply cannot do this birthing thing on our own. I wonder when this self doubt began. Having babies is nothing new, but it certainly is a miracle every single time. I understand that every situation is different and there are times when intervention is necessary but I beleive intervention should be the exception and not the norm. My friends and even some of my family think I'm antiquated or just plain ignorant in rejecting medication designed to make birth an anesthetized or calculated experience. I try to be respectful of others who choose differently than I did but I can't help but be extremely proud of myself for sticking with a birth experience that I knew was the best choice for me.
Yes! It was and it's nice, once in a while, to be invited to share it. I don't tell my story all that often because it clearly bothers some people. It's hard not to compare, I guess.
But anyway - I completely relate to you saying that you were high on life for months afterwards! I felt the same way. For months, I walked around feeling great about my self and my body. Every once in a while I'd remind my husband "you know, I am a badass" or "remember that time I caught our baby?" I hope I get to do it again some day.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and photos!