I'm not sure if this is elsewhere on this site, but I know there are several of us who have wonderful homebirth experiences and I think it'd be awesome to share those so that women who are considering a homebirth can hear from real life normal people like us! So if you've had a successful homebirth and would like to share your birth story post it here! I'll post mine (from this past Sunday, the 23rd!!!) soon, too!

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To tell her story, I really need to start at the beginning, so here goes. When I found that I was pregnant, I was a bit surprised or shocked to say the least. I knew I wanted another baby, just not here, not now. Along with the feeling of being overwhelmed with the thought of 5 children, I would have two under two in diapers, I wondered how would I cope? I immediately knew I was going to have a long hard road ahead of me to have the birth I wanted. After Hannah we had joked about Katia (my midwife last time) coming to Japan if we had a baby here, but I didn’t know if that was really possible. I looked on line at a lot of places, and actually found a sight with an address and phone number for a Japanese midwife at a birthing center in Sagamihara, which is where we live. I wanted to call and see if that was even an option, but being too afraid that if I called no one would be able to speak English and so it wouldn’t be a choice at all, I never called, and lost the info about. it.

I began going to my regular ob visits at the clinic, on Post. I was trying to be the responsible mom, taking vitamins, making sure there were no health issues to get in the way. This was my healthiest pregnancy ever. I ordered a book on Unassisted home birth. I know, I have done it before, but when that one was almost forced on me at the last minute, I didn’t have as much time to worry and stress about it, so we just did it. This time, if I was going to have it that way, I was going to have a long time for all the “what if’s” to creep into my mind and make me doubt my ability. I discussed my desire to home birth with one of the Dr’s from our Church, at the clinic. He informed me that one of the other Dr’s on staff had delivered two of his own babies at home on post, and no one said anything to him, so I assumed it was no big deal.

As I went through the pregnancy, I knew I was having the baby at home, I tried not to advertise that fact to every human being on the planet, but it wasn’t exactly a secret either. I didn’t feel the need to argue my point of view with those who would be unsupportive, so I was selective who I felt comfortable speaking with. Though, pleasantly, I got mostly support from all. I guess when I started out by saying I’d had the last two at home, there wasn’t much room for debate abt. if I knew what I was getting myself into. I was a bit uncomfortable with unassisted, and eventually was able to write to Katia and asked if she was willing and available to come for our birth. She said she would love to come watch us birth our baby. She would be here in the role of friend who was also trained and knowledgeable “just in case” there was a need. I went on with my pregnancy no longer worrying about things. We finally purchased the plane tickets, and Katia got her passport, and all was in readiness. I continued going to prenatal appointments, and had further spoken with two other Dr’s abt. my plans to home birth. I was making sure what I would need to do for back up, etc.

Then one Friday afternoon the middle of August (2 days before I reached the 38 week mark), The hospital Commander called my husband at work, and informed him we would not be having a homebirth. He had already gone to JAG, etc. and it’s not legal, etc. They basically banned the midwife from post (since she isn’t certified to practice in Japan), o.k so I can accept that, but can’t she come as a friend? They insisted that if I did anything other than call the Ambulance to transport me in labor to the Hospital in Yokota (an hour away with no traffic), that my husband could face military charges, they could throw us out of housing and kick us out of country (while my husband would have to continue in his job for the next year or 2). "If we went in our own van, and I delivered in the van, they would assume we’d had it at home, and then gone in", so they were accusing us of being deceitful, dishonest people. I was out of my mind that they could try and take away all of my rights. I can see if they want to say that I couldn’t have the midwife here, but how could they tell me I couldn’t birth my own baby. (Of course in the newspaper the month before there was a story of a dad who delivered his wife at home, because the hospital had sent her home. They got a glowing article written about them, and I was being punished before the fact!). Our family spent the entire weekend struggling with our feelings, trying to come to some solution. I was ready to go out into the woods somewhere and deliver the child alone so that my husband wouldn’t have any knowledge and couldn’t possibly get into trouble. A neighbor of a friend helped us find a Japanese midwife at a birthing center, and made an appointment for Monday morning for me. (There was so much more emotion than I can put here without rewriting some of the things I wrote at the time. I felt trapped and imprisoned by them trying to force me into something I didn’t want and being given no choices in the matter!)

The solution was found. It was still not the home birth that I had planned and wanted, but the midwife was skilled and her birth center was 5 minutes from the front gate of post. My family could be with me, all 4 kids for the birth, which was important to me since bringing another child into our home is a family event, and they wanted to be a part of that. We went for the appointment, and the midwife was so kind and willing to accept us at such a late date. I was so grateful! I made my plans, packed my bag to take in the back of the van, and got things ready for the birth, when ever that would happen.

I had two more appointments with the midwife. At the first one, she did an ultrasound and made us think that it was a boy. We didn’t get our hopes too set on it, but I did start to sew the boy things I had ready, like blankets, and burp rags. There was some stress as to the communication problems. Hideko Suzuki speaks English, but with a very thick heavy accent, and I didn’t entirely understand things she would try to tell me. Well, the 3rd of Sept. came and went, and I was officially overdue. I went to my appointment the next day, and she thought it was still a few days off when she checked me. That night I was up in the middle of the night for almost 2 hours timing what turned out to be Braxton Hicks contractions at 7 minutes apart. Oh well no baby yet. We had joked on Monday at a Labor Day Bar-B-Q at our house with 4 families from work, that Thursday would be the bad day to have the baby, since Bill had meetings and the Change of Command for his new Commander was also that day. Wednesday night at 9 pm we were watching a movie, and I started to notice more braxton hicks ctx’s. I watched the timer on the movie and they were 7 minutes apart again. Bill noticed I was watching the clock abt. an hour after I had started, and asked what I was doing. I told him this could be something, but wasn’t anything yet, other than they had moved from 7 to 6 minutes apart. I watched the rest of the movie, and then the late night shows on t.v. Finally, I couldn’t just lay there any longer, and went downstairs to check my email and message boards. I posted around midnight to the Home Birth board that this might be it, I was starting to feel crampy with the ctx’s. I was now worried about how soon I should call the midwife (she was going to set up the birth pool, and needed time, although she told me at my last appointment that they’d been setting it up every night in case I came in. How sweet that they were that concerned about me!). Also, I worried about how soon to wake up the kids. It was midnight, and I didn’t need cranky tired children who were overly excited on my hands any sooner than was necessary! I went back upstairs at abt. 1 am 7 Sept. to tell Bill I thought that this was really it. I was feeling some pain, but they were still only 6 minutes apart, and when should we alert everyone?

About 1:15 am my water broke and we set into action. Bill went to wake up Rebekah first, and before he could even wake her up, Hannah (21 months old) was up and knocking on her door wide awake and ready to go. We think she knew it was time! We got all the kids up and were at the birth center by abt. 1:30 am. They were filling the birth pool with warm water. I went into my usual half squat position supporting myself with my hands on my thighs. The midwife commented that Japanese women take more of an upright ‘Sumo’ style position. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. After awhile she encouraged me to get into the water, I realized that not only was it good for birth, but that, “Oh yeah, I could labor in water as well, and it may help with the pain of labor!” I got into the birth pool and the water was quite hot, but felt good. I started another contraction, and what worked for me was to kneel and lean forward onto the table at the edge of the pool.

The midwife was very skilled, and good, however this is where some lack of communication things occurred. In my last labors, what worked for me was slow mellow massages, breathing, etc. She would rub my back, and though it felt good over all, she would rub really fast, which tended to distract me rather than help me relax. I couldn’t quite tell her/ explain that I would rather have slow movements, etc rather than the rapid motions she was doing. Once in the water, it was relaxing to a point, but I felt a bit confined to that space now. If I had a birth pool at home, with my friend/midwife Katia, if I’d wanted out of the water to walk around it would have been easier. I was also confined by space. The birth pool took up pretty much the entire small room at her clinic. Once I was in, I didn’t feel I could get out. Every once in a while I would try to sit in between contractions, but as soon as I sat down to relax, I would get hit with another contraction and I’d be grabbing for Bill or Hideko to get me up and turned around to be kneeling leaning on the table on my arms again. That seemed to be the only thing that really worked for me. Another downside though, was the birth pool was set up on a hardwood floor, so my knees would start to hurt, and my feet would go a little numb. I would try to move them and stretch them out a bit in between contractions, but it was still a bit uncomfortable. Hideko would try to rub my knees and legs to make it better. At one point she scooted up underneath me to have me sit back on her lap a bit to rest my legs, but the position was also uncomfortable so back on my knees I went.

The pain was strong for this labor, and in retrospect, I think some of it had to do with the surroundings. Not that I wasn’t happy with the birth center option (much more than I ever would have been with the hospital in Yokota), but because it wasn’t my home and my kids were running around (although the kids were so well behaved I can hardly believe it!!!! I am so proud of them!!!), there was more stress this time. Also, another lack of communication thing, I don’t know if she does this with all births, or just water births, or what, but Hideko did much more by way of internal exam’s than I am comfortable with or used to. It was more as though she was trying to get the cervix to move out of the way, (not that I needed any help to hurry along, but it seemed she was hurrying things in this way). So, during every contraction she would be checking me, working on the cervix, perineal massage, maybe? I really don’t know, other than the fact that it annoyed and bothered me. At times it was helpful, as she was guarding the perineum, so there was no tearing, etc. but over all the fact that she did this every contraction for over an hour bothered me. Once again, I didn’t know how to really get that point across to her in my English, and her limited English, and without also seeming rude or pushy, since it was her birth center, etc. I was so grateful for her taking me on as a client, and the Japanese culture so rigid with politeness, I didn’t want to offend her, so I just dealt with it, but I’m sure that also added to my pain/stress level. She did however know exactly how far the head was descending, and exactly when I was having a contraction and almost the intensity of it. No need for any actual electronic monitors or anything like that!

The kids were playing with toys across the hall at first, but eventually came in to see me. They pretty much stayed for over an hour mostly just watching, although they did talk a bit much sometimes, they were really wonderful. At one point Hannah was singing three blind mice, and later (I saw on the video), Sariah sang Popcorn Popping quietly. Amanda helped me get drinks of water from a glass, and also helped a lot with Hannah. Rebekah turned out to be a life saver!!!!! While I was in this position leaning forward, when I had a contraction I needed something to hold on to, to ground me, and keep me together. Sometimes it was Bill, but when he had to deal with Hannah or something, Rebekah gave me her sweet little hand, and let me hold on. She even told me it was o.k. to squeeze hard if I wanted/needed to. She really was there for me, and helped me to birth this baby. Both Amanda and Rebekah rubbed my back and or shoulders at times as well. They were such good support, and this was definitely a ‘family’ birth!

The last half-hour was really intense for me. I don’t know if the added stress made it seem that way, but I felt physically like I did when I delivered Rebekah, my first (when I was much less in control, than my other births ). The intensity level, The head moving down, and the contractions pushing the baby. Not that I pushed hard, but the pushing phase was my longest, abt. 30-45 minutes. Hideko would have me push a little and then tell me not to push, and she was really breathing/humming trying to get me to imitate her breathing patterns, so that I would not push too hard, or too fast, and cause damage. I let my body push, and only pushed a little along with what my body was doing naturally. The head started to crown, and would come down, and then go back up a bit, the pain was really great, and I didn’t want to push, so I really didn’t. I had the thought that it could all be over with if I just pushed, but knew that would just hurt me, so I held off, and let my body continue to move the baby further down.

At this point Hannah had a really messy leaky diaper, and Bill left the room, I didn’t really know what was going on, but noticed his presence was gone, and knew he needed to come back in! He grabbed the diaper bag, and returned thank goodness, partly I wonder to the added volume I made while breathing/humming/ moaning during these crowning contractions. I had the thought that the head should slip out easier than it seemed to be doing, and wondered if the water made a difference as the natural fluids of birth were washed away as they came out so the head wasn’t just sliding out. Of course it could just be that her head needed to take it’s time. Finally I reached down to feel what progress was being made, and touched this head. It was pretty incredible, to feel the head almost half out sitting waiting for the next contraction to help finish the job. It was quite painful, but for as much pain as it was then, the pain afterward is so minimal, I have never felt as good postpartum, and I’ve had some easy postpartum healing in the past. The next contraction came, and the head was delivered, fully, and then Hideko helped a little with the shoulders and out the body came, to my great relief! I sat back and turned around at this point to see my baby starting to float, scooped her up into my arms as I sat back, and this little face bright eyed in wonder looked right up at me! She cried momentarily, then was just the most serene little thing. As the baby was born, Hannah was leaning over the edge of the birth pool looking and started saying “baby, baby, baby!” (Which continues to be her main vocabulary during each day!).

As the baby was born everyone including the midwife said it’s a boy! Now, the body was under water, then passed up between my legs and I only lifted the head out, so it’s not like anyone got a close look, I then wanted to reaffirm the announcement, and lifted a leg to find another daughter for our family! IT”S A GIRL!!!!! Marissa!!!!! She was born at 3:34 a.m. on Thursday 7 Sept. 2000. She weighed 3,620 grams (which calculated out is almost 8 lbs even) and measured 18 ¾ inches long. We weren’t sure of the middle name at first. We decided we kind of wanted a Japanese middle name, but didn’t really know many Japanese people to pick names from. One of the midwives, as well as a girl that Bill works with who came with us to our first appointment at the Birth Center to help translate and we also invited to the birth, are named Naomi. We both liked the name. I still pronounce it more like I’m in the south rather than the Japanese way, so I’ll have to keep working on that, but we are naming her Marissa Naomi Robertson. Na is a soft a sound as in ‘ah’ (or ‘not’). Nao means ‘Above all’ and mi means ‘Beauty’. I think that accurately describes our newest little beauty!

Marissa looks basically just like her sisters all did, except being as short as the shortest, but weighing more than the biggest, she has cute pudgy little cheeks!!!!! I get a kick out of her cute little face. She is nursing great, and actually is sleeping well at night (after the first night). Everyone is in love with her, and can’t quite contain themselves around her!!!!!!! Hannah hasn’t figured out how to say Marissa, but comes up and gives her lots of loves and says, “baby, baby, baby, baby, baby!!!!!!” All day long. That is what Bill woke up to the first morning.

The midwife kept us for abt 6 hours to sleep/rest after she was born. Rebekah stayed with us, and Bill took the other kids home to bed. Hideko brought us in breakfast for me to eat. I didn’t eat much, since I am not so good at Japanese food. She really wanted me to drink the Miso soup, so I did that, and I ate some rice and a half a grapefruit. I didn’t eat the fish, or the vegetables. They eat more of a meal at breakfast than I am used to. Even if I liked fish, etc, it would be more of a lunch or dinner type meal to me than at 8 in the morning. One of the Midwives comes to our house to check on us each day for 6 days. They check to make sure I’m doing fine and healing well, and they weigh and check on Marissa. They also bathe and dress her, and are so cute as they giggle over her or the antics of my other children. I am glad to have had this experience, it is one uniquely mine and Marissa’s. Something to remember our living in Japan by, forever
Wow! I can't imagine having to go through all that. It will be a great story to tell Marissa when she is older! What an experience! Congrats!
The Birth of

Hannah Maree

I woke up on Saturday, December 5th and tried a little natural induction. I started to feel what I thought were more of those annoying Braxton Hicks contractions! (8:30 a.m.) I was planning to go shopping for the day with my friend, so I got up and decided to get in the shower. I had several more contractions and my dear husband asked if he should call for the midwife. I just wasn't sure, and didn't want them coming clear out here (about a 40-minute drive) for nothing. He made the call to the answering service just to let them know, and as it turned out, it was a good thing he did. They couldn't contact my midwife, Katia, at first, and finally after he called back they were able to contact the apprentice midwife, Heather, and she got on her way. As I put on my make up and did my hair, I was having more and more contractions and it was more and more difficult to ignore them. I have started with my water breaking with the other three kids, so this was new and different for me. We started getting things ready, changing the bedding, calling for another friend to come over to help with the older girls, and sending my 2 1/2 yr. old daughter away to play with friends. Heather showed up and checked me and all was going well. I was moving around a lot during the contractions. I kind of played musical birthing positions, as I moved around a lot, in-between, and I tried different things. I sat on my birth ball and leaned on the edge of the bed for a few, I knelt on the bed (hands and knees) for one. What felt best was to lean over and put my hands on my knees (thighs) in a kind of a squat position during the contractions. I had a lot of cramping in my lower back and so a friend would apply counter pressure on my lower back during the contractions as well. Even my daughters would help rub mommy's back and put counter pressure during part of the labor. As I continued on, my arms would get tired from holding myself up, so my one friend (Tandy) helped to hold my weight up so I could continue with the contraction. My other friend (Marci) would massage my arms, legs, and feet in-between contractions. That was WONDERFUL! It really helped to relieve the stress and tension in my body as I labored. My water broke and I continued on. The contractions were very intense and fast! My midwife arrived and was SOOOO glad to have made it in time from over an hour away! We continued to labor, and as I felt the urge to push I began to push along with the contractions. My midwives were mostly in the background, while my friends and family and I managed the labor in whatever ways were the most helpful to me. As we got closer Katia instructed Bill how and what to do exactly. Finally I decided to get back up on the bed, and I leaned back on Tandy while I pushed. When the head was delivered Bill 'caught' her, and Rebekah (almost 8 yrs.) helped to deliver the body. Amanda (almost 6) got to announce what our new baby was. Another girl! Hannah Maree! It was a very exciting and wonderful experience. We called and had Sariah brought back home to meet her new baby very soon after the birth. The girls absolutely LOVE their new baby sister. After the birth, Hannah was placed on my belly, and then I got to hold her. Rebekah got to cut the cord. (Dad did the final cut later to shorten it). The midwives tended to me and made sure all was well, then they left us alone as a family for awhile to bond as a family. It was really nice. They came in later and asked when they could do her newborn exam. I told them now was fine, and they did the exam right there on my bed with her laying next to me. We had some snacks, and drank a toast (non alcoholic bubbly stuff) to celebrate the occasion. Hannah was born at 11:39 a.m. on 5 December 1998. She weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 18 7/8 inches long. That evening we had a "Birth" day cake and the girls sang Happy Birthday to Hannah. It was cute. Sariah (2 1/2 yrs.) still sings Happy Birthday to 'Pannah' daily. It's her favorite song to sing to her new little sister. We are a very happy family, and other than being a tired new mom (of 4 kids), I feel great! I am so grateful to have had a beautiful birth with supportive friends and family, and to have a healthy beautiful Jingle Baby for Christmas.
What a perfect home birth! So great that you were able to have your family and friends there to help you!
May 9, 1996 Sariah Elisabeth - My 3rd birth, first Home Birth

When I found out I was pregnant with you, daddy was out of town. When he returned I had made a poster that said 'WELCOME HOME DADDY3!'. I wrote the 3 (to the third power) really small. When he got home he saw the poster, but didn't notice the '3'. I had him go back downstairs and look at it again. When he realized, he came upstairs and said, "is that what I think it means?" He was very happy! We all were. We'd known you were supposed to come to our family - we just had to wait for your time to come.
I was not very happy with my last birth experience, and so the more I read and planned I knew I wanted something different this time. I was very unhappy with the Hospital and most of the hosp. staff (in the O.B. department) at Ft. I at that time! I read a lot of books and I knew that I wanted to have the most Natural childbirth possible. I would have loved to have a Midwife to help deliver at a birthing center or at home. That was not allowed at that post, (the Head OB Dr. said, "It would set a bad precedent to allow someone to go off post to deliver with a midwife." so it just was not possible. I really wanted to have a special experience with this childbirth, but I didn't feel like that was possible at that hospital.
The entire pregnancy was a highly stressful time. I worried about the delivery. I knew what I wanted. Bill was very nervous and I added a lot of stress to his life. He was in Company Command and it was very stressful. He had a work-a-holic boss. By the last few months of pregnancy, after many discussions... he was pretty much resigned to the fact that I would probably do what I wanted to do. I'd had 'fights' with several Dr's, and the patient representative at the hospital. I had been called at home and 'harassed' by them. I talked with several friends, and some had offered to help me out.
I continued to read books on Home Birth and Midwifery. I truly felt that our Heavenly Father had a plan and it didn't require a Dr and a Hospital to bring this sweet young spirit into the world. I had my sweet wonderful husband give me a priesthood blessing that we would know the choice to make and IF we needed to go to the hospital. I was prepared as best I could.
About a week before Sariah was born, I started doing a lot of walking - and yard work and housework. On May 8th we took a long walk to our friends house and spent the afternoon there. I was tired and so Bill came and picked us up on his way home from work. Just after we got home, around 7 p.m. I thought m water broke. We started to call people, since with both previous pregnancies, the contractions started within abt. 30 minutes of my water breaking. However both of those times it was pretty much a big gush of fluids, and this time it was more of a trickle if it really was rupture of membranes. Charli, Kelly, Cami and Sandi all came over.
Charli, Cami and I went on a couple of walks around the neighborhood to see if we could get any contractions to get started. We pulled the wagon with the girls in it - Charli or Cami pulled it along... No luck. We went back home, made oatmeal cookies, and sat around and talked. Also, during this time Dad was busy packing his duffle bag to go to the Field. His battalion was going to the field for a training exercise. Meanwhile I just wanted to get labor going IF it was going to happen that night! At about midnight we sent everyone home since nothing was happening!
We'd been in contact with a Dr. from the hospital who was also a friend from church. He was on call that night and was at the hosp. at another delivery. He called and asked if anything was happening, before heading home. We said no, so he went home to get some sleep. He called from home and asked if anything had started, we said no, so he said he was going to bed. At about 1:15 am, I FELT and Bill and I both HEARD a loud popping noise! By 1:20 I was having contractions. We called everyone again, and woke them all up after just a few minutes of sleep. Cami arrived first, I was definitely in labor. Then I got nauseous (Yuck)! Charli arrived, then Sandi. The contractions were hard, fast and more intense than either of my first two labors. Kelly came back over.
It was interesting - I directed: "There's warm towels in the dryer for the baby", "there's ice in a bag in the freezer for me to chew on (I hadn't figured out I could actually drink for thirst when I was at home...), "guard the perineum!", "Hold the head back so it delivers slowly". My friends Kelly and Charli helped with the delivery. Miss Charli 'caught' you. We were a little surprised to find out that you were a girl, but very pleased! Just as I was about to deliver the head, the phone rang - it was Dr. Ben calling to see how it was going. Cami answered the phone and told him, the head is out, then, "It's a Girl!" - "Sariah"
It was a little scary (now, looking back on it), but it was an amazing experience being with supportive friends and family to help me! Your sisters had been asleep - it was around 2:30 a.m, but they woke them up and your sisters got to hold you almost 'right' after you were born. Miss Charli and Sandi cleaned you up and dressed you then your sisters got to hold you. Daddy was a big support, emotionally as well as physically - he sat behind me and held me up during the delivery, so I could lean against him.
After Sariah was born, we did go in to the hospital to have us both checked out to make sure we were both healthy and fine. They wanted us to stay at the hospital, but I didn't want to! I felt great and wanted to go back to my own bed and my kids! Dr. Ben had come to the hosp. to check on us and make sure we had done fine. he actually fought with the staff (head OB Nurse) to help us get out of the hospital and go back home! He was really great!
We were able to go back home and relax in our own home and my own bed, together as a family. and with no irritating policies and procedures to deal with at odd hours, day and night (other than a new nursing infant!!!) :-)
We became the topic of discussion on post at the clinic/hospital for a while. The head of the hospital said, "they needed to lighten up a little" and that "it was probably a good experience for them" (refering to - the hosp. staff). I just knew what I wanted, and since they didn't particularly seem to want to let me do that, I just didn't go in! (until after you were born). I was hoping for a midwife for the next one...
I'm so glad that you, Sariah, came into our lives the way you did! It was certainly a special experience for us all. Your dad became a Home Birth Supporter and Advocate, (often saying things about HB before I would say it to people in public situations). I grew so much through this challenge, during this experience and have become a childbirth advocate and want all mom's to have wonderful, respectful, birth experiences.
You are definitely a sweet special spirit and we all love and adore you! At the time your big sisters loved you to pieces and could hardly keep their hands off of you!!! They wanted to kiss you and hold you all the time! It was fun to have three little girls to love! And you have an awesome daddy!

I love you my sweet beautiful daughter.
Ok, here's my birth story! It's not as peaceful as some of the others and wasn't exactly what I had "planned" haha... :)

With my first son I had a birthing center birth. I'd wanted a homebirth but my insurance wouldn't cover it. So I compromised and had him at a birthing center. 3 days before my due date I started a slow long early labor. I had contractions for 3 days and then went into active labor at exactly 40 weeks. I went in for my 40 week appt and was in labor. I labored all day with a back labor and had him the next day at 4am. A loong labor and pretty normal for my family.

This time around I decided to do the homebirth despite of the cost.

So, I had my 41 week appt with my midwife. I was getting anxious as my midwife would only deliver me at home up to 42 weeks and I only had a week till I hit that. She checked me and very roughly stripped my membranes. She also gave me a couple homeopathics to take once my contractions started. I then left and went and saw my friend and her new baby. No contractions. I got home a little before 2 and started having a contraction here and there. These were just like all the contractions I'd gotten after each appt where I was checked, not super horrible but a bit crampy. We finally left around 4 to go walk and by then I'd taken the first homeopathic my mw gave me. We went walking and my contractions were super sporadic in terms of time, length, intensity, etc. everything about them was sporadic. I took the 2nd homeopathic around 4:30. We went out to eat and then went home. I got home around 7:30 and could tell what little contractions I was having were dying out. I decided to go to bed around 8:30 as I was exhausted and the contractions were pretty much gone. I slept till about 1am, when my toddler woke up. I got up and dealt with him and was frustrated to find that my contractions had in fact completely stopped. After dealing with Liam I went to pee and had a weird isolated contraction on the toilet. I couldn't tell if it was a BH contraction that hurt a little because I has gas or what. I tried going back to sleep but Liam woke up again so I dealt with him and repeated the whole bathroom trip. This time I had a small BM and lost more of my mucus plug.. I had a couple more of those weird contractions while sitting there.. I finally went back to bed and tried to sleep. At 2am I got my first contraction. It was crampy and painful. I just laid there. I got several more and at 2:40 they were starting to get intense and I needed to seriously focus and breath through them. I figured I still had eons to go but I knew this was definitely the real thing. I decided to wake Chris up and let him know that he was now on Liam duty. He asked if we should call anyone or page the midwife and I said I didn't know, I hadn't been timing the contractions or anything but they were quite painful. We started timing them and every contraction was coming harder and more excruciating. We finally decided to call Chris' mom (to come help with Liam) and paged the midwife. At this point the contractions were a min long and 3 mins apart. I spoke to the midwife at 3:11 and I don't think she was happy to hear how close together the contractions were (she wanted to know when they were 10 mins apart and one min long). She said she was coming right away. After that it all went nuts. The contractions were coming closer and closer till they were back to back and I was crying through them telling Chris there was no way I could do this. I decided to try the shower since the tub wasn't set up but simply getting the 3 yards to the shower was practically impossible. I got in and continued my insanely close together and excruciating contractions while Chris went to set up the tub. After not too long I was squatting in the shower during contractions. My water broke and there was blood. I kept asking where the midwife was because I just couldn't do this, it was too much. My little sister had spent the night and she was trying to talk to me but I couldn't hear her and I screamed at her when she tried to open the shower door. Then I was suddenly pushing. I couldn't not push but I was sort of attempting not too because I was afraid I wasn't dilated enough. I tried reaching up there but I couldn't tell what was going on. Then my older sister arrived (who was supposed to be my doula) and she was yelling at my not to push and made me get out of the shower by telling me the midwife was here and she wanted to check me. So I attempted to get out all while full on pushing with my sister yelling at me not to. It got hectic at this point and I yelled at my sister to shut up. I kept yelling back at her that I couldn't not push. She was trying to get me to the bed but I couldn't walk. I could tell the baby was coming and I felt down and he was crowned I was just standing in the bathroom pushing and his head was almost out and I was screaming for my midwife. She came running right as the babies head was coming out, or it was already out, I don't know. 3 seconds later I was squatting on the floor holding my baby who I had almost caught myself (I think my poor sister was just freaking out the whole time, she wasn't even positioned to catch the baby). Chris had run in right behind the midwife, he almost missed the whole thing because even though he could hear me making incredible hulk noises in the shower, he kept on trying to fill up the tub (dork). So I labored for 1:50 and almost caught my own baby. Turns out my midwife wasn't even here when my sister started making me get out of the shower (my sister thought she was, but it was my MIL and my sister had just made up the part about her wanting to check me so I would get out of the shower).

I ended up tearing in two spots, one down to my muscle. 8 stitches.

It was super intense and really way too fast. I'm was still in shock for a couple days it took me a while to process it all fully. It's weird because it was so fast and painful that I was kind of traumatized afterwards instead of euphoric like I was with Liam's long long back labor. I think I just needed a little time!

I had envisioned a peaceful, long, slow labor that my sister would video and I'd get tons of pictures of. I was hoping that I could labor in the tub and maybe have a water birth if that's how it turned out. Instead I had a speedy gonzolas labor and the little bugger just shot out of me!

He's one week and 2 days today. I'm so madly in love with him! Thank goodness I had a homebirth planned since he would have come at home no matter what! I NEVER imagined I'd have such a fast labor!
Wow Monique! What a story! Sometimes you hear people talk about long labors that wish they had fast labors, but those fast labors, can throw you for a loop! 9 months of pregnancy, just doesn't prepare a person to labor in an hour and a half and be a new mommy! It can be a bit traumatizing, scary, and nuts... in the end you have a wonderful baby to cuddle up with and love! How fun! I do miss a new baby as mine is 3 1/2 now. Enjoy your babymoon!
Yeah, having had one of each, I really can't say which I'd prefer. I tore a lot worse this time but my overall recovery has been far easier and faster. I'm just glad I had a homebirth! And honestly it's good to know that I could deal with laboring by myself if I had to. My only regret is that my older sister arrived when she did. If she'd just come a few mins later I would have had the baby by myself in the shower and I think it would have been incredible instead of the hectic mess the last couple mins ended up being. I guess we'll see how it goes if we decide to have a 3rd! :)
My successful home birth was back in 1994. It was on August 9th at around 12am that awoke in labor. I had been having mild contractions for a while, but when I woke up at midnight I was in active labor and I had to really breathe to get through the contractions.
This was my second pregnancy. My first son was delivered in the hospital. The active labor with that child was about 6 hours long and he was delivered about 15 minutes after we got to the hospital. (I knew I did not want to do most of my labor in the hospital with their restrictions and interventions. So we waited a little too long to go in.) This fast delivery is part of what prompted the desire to do a home birth. If most of the labor was done at home on the first and everything went very well, then why not have the baby delivered at home too? I was looking forward to just giving birth and not having to rush somewhere to do it. We also had a birthing tub that my then husband used for his therapeutic breathing practice. I was looking forward to a water birth.
At around 5:30 that morning we finally called our midwife June. She arrived by 6:30 and it was clear to her that I was in very active labor. She asked why we didn’t call her sooner. I was handling the contractions ok and I really did not want someone just watching me for several hours. But I was glad she was there at that point. The timing of everything was really perfect.
I kept rolling with the contractions. I found that being on my hands and knees on the bed helped the most. Then I started to feel something that I never felt with my first son. I could feel my pelvis separating and making room for this baby to descend. It was much more intense. This labor was also taking longer than the first baby. I wasn’t sure why, but June and I were not worried.
At around 6:30 or 7 am my son woke up. He was 3 years and 3 mo old. We had arranged for our house mate to watch him for a while in another area of the house. He also had a play date scheduled for later that day. This was a total coincidence. We decided to play it by ear to see if he would still go. It depended on how long the labor took, etc.
At around 8:30 to 9 am I started to feel like getting in the tub. I really didn’t want to get in too soon and possibly slow down the labor and I really wanted the actual birth to take place in the tub. June checked me and said it was up to me if I wanted to go in the tub and start pushing. I wanted to.
At about this time our friend Keiko arrived with her son to pick up our son Justin for his play date. They were aware I was in labor but not how far along it was. They went inside.
I got in the tub with my husband behind kind of acting as a chair/support. The tub was set up outside our back door under a fig tree. It was warm enough to be outside and the temperature of the water was about 95-100 degrees. June got in the tub with me and squatted in front of me. She was checking the baby’s heartbeat by touching the top of his head. I pushed for about twenty minutes. It was definitely harder with this child than with my first birth. June kept on saying to let the baby do it and to pause and breathe betweens contractions.
I have to admit that I was beginning to get impatient and overwhelmed at this time. At one point I think I said, “Can’t you just get it out?” (Knowing full well that I had to do it and I had to let the baby descend and emerge on his time.)
After about twenty minutes he was definitely coming. At that time Keiko came out of the house with Justin and she was going to take him off for the play date.
Between contractions and pushes I yelled for them not to leave and to come over to the tub. Keiko still didn’t realize the baby was just about to be born. She came over to the tub with Justin.
I gave another push and the head was crowning. Then the head was out and Keiko was cheering and crying. She did not expect to be present for the birth. She had tears of awe streaming down her face. Justin was standing by the tub looking in. Then I pushed again and out came Taylor into the water. I pulled him up and held him on my chest. I had seen water births where the baby kicked and swam around in the water, but I just instinctually brought him up out of the water. I looked to see if he was a boy or a girl. He was a boy of course.
I just kept looking at him and my husband was looking at him over my shoulder. Margaret, the midwife assistant, gave us a receiving blanket to put around the baby. We all stayed in the water and waited for the placenta to come out. June looked over the cord and showed me that there was a true knot in the cord. She also told me he had the best “return of color” she had ever seen and she had been present for nearly 2000 births.
After the placenta was delivered, Margaret took Taylor and the placenta (which was still attached) into the house to our bedroom. My husband walked around with the baby and the placenta for a while. The cord was clamped shortly after birth but it was not cut for about an hour and a half. I got to cut it since my husband got to cut the first one.
Later June weighed and measured Taylor. It was then that I knew why he had taken longer to be born than his brother had. Justin was only 5 lbs 9 oz at birth and Taylor was 8 lbs 4 oz! He was almost 50% bigger!
Now Taylor is 15. He is fearless (which scares me sometimes), confident, loving and independent. Perhaps not all of these attributes can be attributed to his birth, but what a gift to all of us that everything was so peaceful and smooth and without fear or needless intervention.
I am glad to share my story and I hope every woman has the option to do a home birth.
It is sad to say that my midwife, June, was being persecuted by the legal system around the time of my son’s birth. She passed away from breast cancer a year and a half later. June and women like her should be canonized not ostracized. Every child should have the best birth possible, whatever the circumstances or the setting. Having someone like June in attendance can only make it better.
What a beautiful birth story, Amy. I can't even imagine what it will be like when my sons are that old! My sister's kids both just graduated high school...it's very weird to see them grown up and adults! I just wonder what my second son will be like when he's a toddler! I can't even think far enough in advance to imagine him as a teenager. :)
Wonderful idea, here is mine.

It all started early the morning of July 9th, 2009. I was sleeping soundly when what I thought was a strong Braxton hicks woke me up. I tried to go back to sleep, but the darn things kept coming. When I realized they were about every ten minutes apart, I decided to get up and time them a little better, even though I had serious doubts that it would turn into anything since we were still ten days out from our due date. And I really thought this baby was going to take its time and be late. So, I settled myself in our big comfy chair, turned on some music videos, and timed contractions. For the next hr or so they came every six to ten min apart, but never got any closer or harder. Then they stopped being as regular and I only had about three an hour. I decided that it really had been nothing, and that we would still have plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of our little one.
Through out the day I continued to have sporadic contractions. I was starting to get a bit frustrated, and wished they would decided to do something or go away completely!!! I tried to get things done around the house, but couldn’t seem to muster up enough energy for it. At that point a nap sounded pretty good. So at just after 4:00pm I laid down on the couch to snuggle Kailyn, my two year old. We had just gotten comfortable when another one of those pesky Braxton hicks hit. This one had some power behind it, and as it ended I felt a deep pop. For a split second I thought “What the heck!” Then I realized my water had broke. I immediately called my mom, who would be making a three hour drive from KS. Then called my midwife Margarett, to give her the heads up and told her I would call back when things started moving a bit faster. I tried to call my husband Burney a few times, but after no answer sent him a text. He then called and said he was on his way.
Suddenly, I had tons of energy, and started straightening the house. When my husband came in he thought I was crazy and asked if I should really be up moving around. I said of course, and continued getting stuff done, stopping along the way to breath through contractions. When they were about 3-5 minutes apart I called Margarett and she said she would send Anne, my other midwife, right then and soon follow. By this time the contractions were coming faster and harder. So I left Kailyn with her daddy(who, we found out with Kailyn, does not handle the delivery room well so would leave this birthing stuff to the women) and went to our room to lay down.
After a particularly hard contraction I called Anne to let her know they were getting closer together with lots of pressure. She said she was coming as fast as she could but was stuck in rush hour traffic, and suggested I get in the tub. The water helped me relax, and at 6:00 Anne arrived. She checked me and I was at 8cm. By then my contractions really got down to business. They immediately started strong with barely any time to recover from one before the next one hit. Anne told me to listen to my body and push if I wanted to. Sometime during this my friend and photographer, Amber arrived. I think I managed a smile at her, but was in the zone, concentrating on breathing through each contraction. Soon Margarett arrived and she , Anne and Amber patiently waited while each contraction brought us closer to meeting my new baby!!!
Suddenly a contraction hit and my body knew it was time to push. Margarett immediately checked to see the progress, and there was my baby’s head!!! From there they encouraged and cheered me on, but still let my body do the deciding on when to push and for how long. It was really amazing to see just how well our bodies are made for this and know naturally what to do. After pushing for a handful of contractions, I started to feel a burning sensation, but not where I expected it. This kind of freaked me out, for lack of a better term, and I decided right then and there that I didn’t want to do this anymore. I told Margarett and Anne just that, but they laughed and said it was a little late to stop now!! Which of course was the truth! Then Margarett prayed that God would help give me strength and courage to get the job done. It helped, but I was still struggling with pushing since it made everything hurt so much worse. Anne told me that if I didn’t get the baby out with the next contraction I would have to get out of the tub and on the birth stool. I had absolutely no desire to do that, so with the next contraction I pushed for all I was worth, and was rewarded with the baby’s head coming out. Margarett told me to hold on while she unwrapped the cord from around the neck. Then with another small push at 7:28pm the rest of the body followed. Margarett immediately lifted the little miracle to my chest. “What is it? What is it?” I asked, and lifted a tiny little leg to see that I had another precious little girl!!! I held her tightly to my chest, and looked up to see Burney and Kailyn coming to meet our newest little family member Jocelyn Renee. I will never forget the look of wonder and amazement in Kailyn’s eyes as she saw her baby sister for the first time. As she came up to the tub she gently reached out to “pet” the baby’s head, then turned and touched my cheek. What a beautiful moment that I will forever cherish. As I lay back in the tub clutching our fresh from God baby in my arms; I looked up at my husband and little girl and felt more blessed then I could ever deserve!!
After the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, I had the honor of cutting the line that had connected my beautiful new daughter and me for the past nine months. I was then helped out of the tub and into my nice comfy bed with Kailyn snuggled on one side, Jocelyn on the other, and Daddy proudly standing beside us. While the ladies began cleaning up, I called family with the happy news. Margarett insisted that I eat something, so Kailyn and I shared a peanut butter sandwich right there in bed. Anne checked over and weighed Jocelyn. She was a perfect 7 lbs 12oz and 20 and 3/4 inches.
Margarett and Anne finished cleaning up, made sure we were comfortable and said their goodbyes. My mom and dad arrived to meet their newest grandchild and Kailyn took great pride in showing her off!! Not much later my newly enlarged family snuggled up together in bed where I said a big thank you to Jesus for the incredible gifts he had given me and the wonderful birth experience I had!!
Beautiful!!! I just love a good birth story! I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes!

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