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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My third child (Paige) birth story…..homebirth with a CPM.

The month of May 2009 was a very…very long month for me. I was due May 30th, but starting the first week of May I was having contraction bouts (aka False Labor) off and on. It seemed like every 5 or 6 days I was having intense contractions and thinking….here we go! Only to have it taper off and stop each time. Very frustrating and emotionally draining!

So when May 26th came around…I was just mentally drained. But up started the contractions in the middle of the night AGAIN!....3-4 minutes apart for 2 hours and we call our midwife (April Kermani, CPM), who starts to get ready to come over….and about 15 minutes after we call her....they STOP AGAIN! I lost it….bawled my eyes out for 30 minutes to my husband, Steven as he's talking to April on the phone telling her not to come…again. It was at that moment I realized why so many women choose to be induced....I was so done!

On May 28th, 2009 I had a scheduled check-up appointment with the midwife. I came dragging myself in there with my mom. Must have looked a fright I'm sure, but April was so sweet. She encouraged me and told me it was all ok, that my body is just getting ready. She then checked to see how much progress all the false labor had done for me. I have to be honest...in the back of my head I remember thinking…if I’m only 2 cm dialated I’m going to be so angry. Luckily that was FAR from the case…I was already 4 cm and about 90% effaced, so we decided that she’d do a cervical massage to see if that would get things going for real. She told me to expect some mild cramping and maybe some irregular contractions, mild spotting, etc after this, but that it could start real labor within 24 hours if my body was ready for labor. So mom and I headed home for some lunch with the family….

At 1:36pm we’d just finished lunch and were getting our older two girls down for their naps when I feel a contraction. Oh sure, I think to myself...here's that false labor junk again, and just brush it off. Then I have another about 13 minutes later….interesting! At 2pm, my husband and my dad were getting ready to go play a round of golf, and the contractions were around about 7 minutes apart then, so I told them “keep your phone on and the ringer LOUD.” My mom then came upstairs and sat with me on the bed while I introduced her to the wonderful world of Facebook! But I noticed the contractions were getting closer together. At 2:20 my midwife called to check in, and I remember telling her "yeah there’s contractions, but nothing real serious as of yet"...and it was the truth...they just felt like tightening but not "real" labor contractions yet.

By 3pm the two big girls woke up from naps really early and wanted a movie and I was thinking well…let’s all just get down stairs and see if these contractions taper off or if they pick up with some walking around the house. They were about 4 minutes apart by 3:15pm, but only 45-60 secs long. Once we were down to the kitchen and I started doing laps around the center island. I picked up the phone to call Steven and Dad….told them the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and steady, but not lasting long. So they said they’d continue with their game….isn’t that nice of them. :o) Meanwhile, my mom is starting to panic on me because she "doesn’t want to deliver the baby herself", to which I tell her….”all you really need to do is catch…I’ll do all the work mom.” LOL

By 3:30pm, I looked at the clock and told my mom, "I think we might be having a baby today"...just an overwhelming feeling of this is real came over me....but I thought we'd wait until 4 to call people because it just wasn’t that bad yet. By 3:45pm….I’m grabbing the phone and calling Steven and Dad to get their butts home NOW! The contractions were all of a sudden 1-2 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds each. We called the midwife shortly their after and all were on their way. By 4pm I got this overwhelming urge to get my tush upstairs and in the bathroom. I wanted to be by myself and "get ready" is really what it felt like.

So, my mom helped me upstairs, I got changed, got the video camera all set up….all the while having contractions about a minute and a half apart. I then got the soft music started to relax, and got my birthing ball out to open my hips....by 4:30pm, I looked at the clock and started to get nervous. My husband was not here and neither was my midwife and these contractions were on top of each other! The ball was helping my low back and hips, but the contractions were getting really intense. At 4:40pm our midwife, April, arrived! YAY!!!!!!

April asked me a question and as we were talking....WAM…..I feel the baby shift down quickly and then two very powerful contractions on top of each other to the point that I can barely breathe. April switched from….oh gosh I think this might be false labor again...to DUDE you’re having a baby any minute now mode. It was kinda funny! She started the tub and got the bed ready, and at 4:55pm my husband FINALLY showed up! He walked in and said to me “So are you actually having a baby this time?” He was joking of course, but needless to say he got the evil eye. He quickly changed his clothes and got ready to help me into the bathtub. April came over and told me to push if I feel like I need to it would be ok, but I didn't feel the urge just yet.

At 5:05pm I got in the tub and Steven turned on the video camera. April was getting stuff laid out and ready….but our second midwife still wasn't there! Kim Trower, midwife, had been training with April during our pregnancy and had been the one to show up for all my false alarms...it would have been so ironic for her to miss the actual birth. Luckily Kim arrived at 5:15pm just as I’m starting to really feel the urges to push. At about 5:20pm I remember saying "I just want her out of me!" and April decided to check me. I was crying because I could feel the baby head right there (and it felt HUGE). She checked and I was 9 ½ cm with just a little lip caught on the baby’s forehead. She said on the next contraction she’ll just move that lip out of the way….and she did and my water broke all at the same time….2 big pushes later….at 5:30pm on the dot ...Paige Rylee was born.

It was just amazing! There was no head and then body delivery…just the whole baby came barreling out all coated in vernix. April lifted her up on top my chest and Kim got a towel on her. Paige was just perfectt! She let out a little wimper of a cry and I started kinda crying and laughing all at once. 9 lbs. 6 oz. & 20 ¼ in long. It was truly an empowering and life changing experience and I wish now my first two had been born at home as well.
Hey, hey everyone! I just stumbled upon this discussion and boy oh boy am I ever glad!

I'm currently putting together a home birth advocacy website/blog called BringBirthHome. There are so many beautiful home birth stories here...I was wondering if any of you would like to "contribute" your story to my site??

I will link back to your blog or website of choice with your story (pictures and video are welcome too!).

Please contact me: kaitlinrose@bringbirthhome.com


My first, and so far only, daughter Ella Rose was born at home at 9:28 am on February 4, 2009. She was 7 lbs. 2 ounces, 19 3/4 inches. I had no tearing and no other real complications (aside from her positioning half way through, but we got her straightened out).

Labor began late Monday afternoon on the 2nd. At 7:00 the morning of her birth I was only dilated to 5 cm. It was in that moment that I really made it over the hump...I didn't know I had a decision to make until that very moment. I was frustrated and exhausted that I hadn't progressed further and had some crazy notion that once my water broke, she would come soon after. It had been hours.

I was kneeling in the living room, hard wood floors, sun streaming through the front windows, and I asked myself: 'what would you do right now if you were in a hospital? Would you let them cut you open? Would you let them fill your vein with pitocin? Would you accept an epidural?' The answers were no.

Two hours later, I spontaneously pushed, and she was born soon after. It was miraculous.

I LOVED my home birth, as challenging and "painful" as it was...it was also the most rewarding, fulfilling, exhilarating thing I've EVER done.


Here's another perspective, my birth story as told by my doula!

Kaitlin and Eric welcomed their sweet girl, Ella Rose, into the world this morning! (February 4th at 9:28 a.m.)

Kaitlin had been crampy since Friday, January 31st, and she lost her mucus plug throughout the weekend, with some significant bloody show on Monday morning, February 2nd.

The cramps intensified and lengthened throughout the day Monday, and into the night. At times they were as close as three minutes apart, many birthing mothers may have headed for the hospital at this time, but Kaitlin was watching for intensity (of contractions).

By Monday night/Tuesday morning, the contractions were getting intense at their peak, and Kaitlin wasn't able to sleep throughout the night.

They went about a normal day, and at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Eric called to say the contractions were about 2 minutes long, intense, and 4-5 minutes apart. I joined them around 10:30 p.m., when Kaitlin was just out of the bath and contractions had spread out a bit to give her some nice rest time.

Eric, Kaitlin's mom and grandma, the midwife and I spread out throughout the house, and alternated between intense laboring with Kaitlin and catching a few zzzs. Kaitlin didn't get much of a rest, but she used the space between contractions to conserve energy (even when it was only a minute or two).

By 12:44 a.m. Eric jokingly wondered how he could get any sleep with all that moanin'. :)

At 4 a.m., Kaitlin had her first exam, and she was 5cm dilated. The midwife thought the baby's head might be tilted to one side, so we tried some applicable positions, including open knee chest for 45 minutes (which is NOT easy to stay in with intense contractions!).

She was having intense back labor throughout this time.

Around 6:50 a.m., with some convincing, Kaitlin tried one contraction on her side (which was most uncomfortable), and her water broke!

Labor intensified significantly after that, and Kaitlin spent some time alone laboring in the bathroom, kneeling into Eric on the bed, and then squatting or an asymmetric position in the living room.

At 8:10 a.m. she had her second exam -- 6-7 cm and very tight in the front of her cervix. The midwife recommended side-lying again, which was really tough to do, but Kaitlin was willing to embrace the intensity.

To everyone's happy surprise, she was feeling grunty/pushy by 9:05 a.m.

After moving into second stage very slowly and naturally, some tense heart decels, and the loooongest, most patient crowning and stretching, Ella Rose was born at home at 9:28 a.m.

Katie and Eric were by coincidence in the exact same position that Eric had drawn them in his birth art from class, which by coincidence was hanging right above their heads!

It was a lovely, patient, respectful birth, with some unexpected twists. Eric was a terrific patner, and Kaitlin was a birth warrior goddess! Ella Rose was happily nursing soon after birth. The new family reports that everything is going very well days following the birth.


I look forward to connecting with any of you! Happy Thanksgiving!
Gorgeous birth story! Congrats! You may feel free to use my birth story if you like.
Well, I'll tell the story of my second homebirth of baby #4. It's the most exciting. I was 1 week past my due date and my Dr. wanted me to come in to the hospital and do a nonstress test. Everyone, including my midwife advised against it. I on the other hand was at peace with going. When I got to the hospital, my Dr. came in my room and wanted to start the test. As soon as the nurse walked out of the room she said " Don't you worry sweetheart. I'm gonna get you out of here as fast as possible." What I failed to mention earlier was that my backup Dr. is amazing. She was totally for my homebirth and didn't want to see me have my baby in the hospital. So we did the test and the strip showed some decels. That's when I got really nervous. She said she couldn't let me leave the hospital until I had regular contractions and the baby did fine. She said that we could start the contractions one of two ways. A: Pitocin..... B: stip your membranes and do nipple stimulation. Without even taking a breath she said, " So nipple stimulation it is!!" Fifteen minutes later I was having regular contractions. The strip came out fine and she sent me home!! The nurse was very confused LOL. So on our way home, I tried to convince myself that I wasn't in "true" labor. Again I failed to mention that 2 weeks prior to this day I had gone into labor twice. Both times labor stopped at 6 cm and then I regressed back to 2 cm. So, now you know why I didn't think this was the one either. We get home and decide to take my second child to a birthday party. I was having contractions the whole way there. Again thinking nothing of them. The moment we got to the house, My contractions began to change. WAY more intense than before. It was so funny because I would be talking to these people and in the middle of our conversation have this intense contraction. My lip would start to quiver and they would just keep on talking like nothing was up. Too funny. We were no longer than 15-20 min when I had this contraction that I really had to consentrate through. I walked right up to my hubby and said " We should have left 10 minutes ago." As he was rounding up the kids I decided to go to the bathroom. That's when I saw the bloody show. I only have blooy show when I'm in transition. That's when I started to freak out a little. See, we're 20 min away from home. It could be all over with by then. When I got in the van, my body took over. I could now relax and no longer had to be nice to people. I started to moan. My poor kids in the back were telling me to be quiet because they couldn't hear the movie that we had playing for them :) My hubby then called our midwife to let her no what was going on. She said she would meet us at home and everything would be fine. My poor husband was driving down the freeway, going 90 mph, talking to our midwife, and holding my hand all at the same time. Craziness!! As we got off the freeway, we hit every red light imaginable. Finally at the last light to turn down our road I yelled at him to run it!! We pulled up infront of the house. My mother-in-law came from nowhere and wisked our kids to her house. I seriously did not want to get out of the car. I was very happy there. But, my husband said I could have one more contraction then into the house we go. As I'm walking through the house. I was holding my crotch thinking this baby was going to fall right out. Luckily I made it to our bedroom. By now, I convinced myself that I'm not as far into labor as I think I am and I asked my hubby to start the bath for me. While he was getting the bath ready I took of my shorts and had this HUGE contraction that threw me on the bed. My hubby walked in and had this look on his face. I asked him if he could see a head. And he said "No. I don't know what that is." As soon as he said that another wave come over me and felt the urge to grunt. POP!!! My water broke. It didn't just break.....it blew up. All over the wall, my floor, and Chris (hubby)! He laughed and said, "There's the head go ahead a push!!" One push and the head was out. The cord was around the baby's neck. So he gently slid it over the face and asked me if he was supposed to pull up or push down on the head. I told him to gently push down to help the shoulders. One more push and out came my beautiful baby!!! Then my hubby shouted, " IT"S A BOY!!!" We were in total shock and amazment at what had just took place. Instantly we wrapped him up in towels and grabbed the video camera. Five minutes later my midwife showed up. My hubby walk out of the house and said, " Your too late, it's a boy!!" She was soooo happy for us that we had the courage and wisdom to this on our own. I love my birth story and I hope you had just as much fun reading it :)
Oh wow! How amazing! I teared up just reading your story. Very impressive! I doubt my hubby (also Chris) would've been that calm. :)
I experienced a painless, blissful birth recently to Maya Juniper Rose. A pretty awesome slideshow of my birth & the birth story are both online here: http://gaiamama.wordpress.com/mayas-birth/
Our beautiful baby girl was born at home on November 20th. We had a photographer with us to document the occasion, and I posted photos and our birthstory on our blog:


Unless medically necessary, we're never going back to the hospital!
What a beautiful birth story! Your baby is gorgeous!
The Birth of Liam

By the time I received the surprising news that I was pregnant with my fifth baby, I had given birth to two of my babies in the hospital completely medicated and to the other two in the hospital without any medication. I had learned a lot about my body, mind, and spirit, and what they are capable of. I had worked with a doula to achieve the natural birth I had always wanted, and I had even started the process of training to become a birth doula myself. At the time I was reading everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and birth. I felt like a sponge. I had discovered a deep passion and I was soaking up every bit of information I could.

In my studies I had learned about the option of home birth. It was something I had never considered before in my life because I didn't know until then how safe and wonderful it could be until. I knew then that I had some options I had never even thought about with my previous pregnancies. I had always been interested in water birth (giving birth in a tub of warm water), but it was not an option in the hospital because of the policies in place. Even after the birth of my fourth child I had felt a sense that something was still missing from my birth experiences. I felt that home birth would fill that void. As I thought about my options, the idea of a water birth at home gave me great peace. The peace I felt surprised me, but I welcomed it. I prayed about planning to birth my baby at home, and that resounding peace filled my soul. That peace stayed with me throughout my entire pregnancy. I never felt fear about my choice to birth at home.

Along my journey I had been blessed to meet people with wonderful skills. Through his work in massage therapy, my husband had gotten to know a midwife who specialized in home birth, and had been working in that field for 15 years. I called her and we started meeting regularly for prenatal visits and monthly forum meetings at her home. She did all of the clinical work that my obstetrician had done at the prenatal visits, but she also offered emotional support that I had never experienced with a birth care provider before. Over the months my midwife and I developed a close bond and friendship that I had never expected. I was able to meet all of her birth attendants (all trained birth doulas who were either midwifery apprentices or midwives themselves), and to familiarize myself with the people who would be at my baby's birth.

I went to my obstetrician's office three times in my pregnancy for various medical tests that my midwife didn't offer (such as an ultrasound). I knew which medical screenings and tests I wanted and didn't want, and I knew my reasons for choosing them or declining them, and I felt informed and comfortable in my decisions. I felt that I got the best of both worlds on my own terms.

My children had already started to become familiar with birth terms and concepts from the many times I read about and talked about pregnancy and birth with my friends. My older children had started asking me questions about what the terms meant and I answered their questions in simple ways that they could understand. They were interested and I decided to use that curiosity to teach them. I didn't know whether I wanted my children to witness the birth, but I knew I wanted them to be prepared for it. I didn't want them to be scared and I hoped they would understand what was happening whether they were present in the room for the birth or not. I wanted them to understand what we were planning and why, especially because it was so different from what most people in our society do.

As the baby's due date came close, my husband and I worked to organize our home to avoid unnecessary clutter and chaos. We tried to foster an environment of peace and love. It was difficult at times with four rambunctious children, but we worked together, prayed often as a family and worked hard to turn the moments of chaos and confusion into bonding times in changing those moods into positive moments.

I had several days of early labor, spread out over more than a week. The contractions were mild and I could walk and talk through them and go about my day. I started to feel very anxious about having my baby, and at times I got frustrated when the contractions would stop for a day or so. My mood was all over the place. I had never experienced such violent mood swings before, and my husband was a life saver in helping me calm down. My midwife assured me that the mood swings were a symptom of the hormonal changes my body was experiencing while preparing for the birth. What was good for labor was hard on my family. I tried to used this time to make peace with myself and resolve any emotional issues that came up.

While driving to my midwife's home for a prenatal visit the day before the due date, I was thinking about having my children witness the birth. I had been hoping to birth in the middle of the night while everyone slept. For the first time I felt a strong desire to have them there. I felt it would be a special bonding experience for our family, and I decided I would like to have my two oldest children at the birth. I decided to see how labor played out and go with the flow, with the hope that they would be able to be there.

At the visit my midwife checked my cervix and found I was dilated to a 1 and my cervix was soft. She did some things to try and help stimulate labor naturally, and she was able to help stretch my cervix to a tight 3. We discovered that the baby's head seemed to be in front of the cervix, rather than on top of it. It was not lined up properly. She recommended some positioning (such as knee-chest) to try to move the baby out of his position and encourage him to move into a favorable position by alternating the downward and upright positions. I used these positions over the next few days, hoping the baby would move where he needed to be for labor to progress well.

About three days after the due date, my midwife brought the birth tub to our house and we set it up in our bedroom. My midwife checked the baby's heartbeat and the kids all got to hear it, with grins and wide eyes. She also checked my cervix and found it was dilated to a 4, almost a 5, and 80% effaced. After she left, my contractions gradually started to build in intensity and frequency. It was evening and I was cautiously hopeful that we would have a baby sometime that night or the next morning. I stayed busy doing things around the house, doing whatever I could think of to prepare and keep my mind off of the growing pressure. I called my midwife to let her know what was happening, and she suggested I go for a walk and call her back if things changed. I walked through the neighborhood around midnight and the contractions started coming every two minutes. I could still walk through them, but it was becoming less comfortable to do so. I called my midwife and she started on her way to our home.

My midwife arrived and my husband helped her set up her things as I moved about the house doing what I could to help and get comfortable. She checked me and found my cervix was at a 5. I was completely calm, able to move about freely as I wanted to. I had my birth ball in our front room, and would lean my torso against it in a kneeling position during each contraction. I was using focused breathing through them at this point, but was managing well without needing additional support. Our 18 month-old fell out of bed and woke up, and I held her as I labored for a while. We all decided to lie down and try to rest while my contractions were so manageable, and get her back to sleep. By the time the contractions were strong enough to wake me I was focusing intently on breathing through them, and my little one was asleep. She was placed back in her bed and I got into the birth tub. At some point my midwife checked me again and I was dilated to a 7. She called her attendant to come assist.

As I stepped into the warm water, the pressure seemed to completely melt away and I felt instant relief. My husband sat behind the tub as I leaned against the back of it. He held my hands to support my arms, and pressed some acupressure points to alleviate the pain. It worked wonders. It seemed to me that my contractions were slowing down and much less intense, and my midwife assured me that I was still having them, but feeling them much less because of the water. Between contractions we chatted and enjoyed each others company, and during contractions I closed my eyes and focused while my husband held me and pressed the points on my hands. The next time my midwife checked, I was dilated to a 9. We were elated, and anxious to have a baby! She stepped out to talk with her attendant and my husband and I talked about how this was the easiest birth by far, and how wonderful it was to be at home and for everything to be so calm and comfortable.

When my midwife came back in to see if it was time to push yet, she found that my cervix had started to close back up! I was back to a 7, and my cervix was swollen and hard. We were perplexed and disappointed. We had no idea why my body had gone backwards. We talked about our options. If I had energy we could try some things (like walking and going up and down the stairs) to get things going. I was tired, and we all decided to lie down and try to rest. My husband laid down behind me to press on my sacrum during contractions to help relieve the pressure in my back. It felt good to breathe deeply in and moan as I exhaled, and I slept between the contractions. My water broke a little bit when I was in bed, and my midwife broke it the rest of the way for me.

The kids started waking up and the midwife's attendant helped them get cereal and keep them busy for a little while. I sat on the birth stool to encourage progress and allow gravity to help. My husband pressed on my sacrum and my midwife applied counter pressure on my hips. My children helped by placing their hands on me or stroking my feet. We soon realized that our littlest one was upset and confused about why mommy couldn't give her attention. We called grandma and asked her to take the kids, but the oldest two wanted to stay and help. We promised to call them back home when the baby was ready to come out. I got back into the birth tub in an upright position and my husband pressed on my back.

It was only about 20 minutes after the kids left that my midwife checked me and found I was at a 9. We called the kids and the older two came home. I was finally able to push, and my kids stood at the side of the tub while my husband sat behind my head and supported my back. It felt good to stretch my body out as long as I could and arch my back. The urge to push wasn't as strong as I remembered it being with my other births, and I had to will myself to push harder than the urge.

With the first really good push it felt to me that the baby's head was about to come out, but it went back in. My midwife asked me to stop while she cleaned some stool out of the water. She soon realized it was meconium from the baby and wondered why there was so much of it. When she checked, she found that it wasn't the baby's head that was about to come out, but his bottom! I sensed worry in her face and her voice as she announced that the baby was breech, but I wasn't worried. I knew my baby would be fine and I waited to be instructed on the next step. My midwife told me to stop pushing and was about to have me get out of the tub. She later told me that she thought she should have me on the bed so she could help manipulate the baby to come out. Her attendant quickly stepped in and said “No, it's alright, let's just keep her here and keep going”.

They instructed me to push and don't stop; just keep on pushing! I forced myself to push harder than my body wanted to as the baby's bottom came out, then one leg, then the other leg. As my midwife reached to help the baby I heard the attendant say “No. See how he's kicking? He's doing just fine!” I closed my eyes, focused and kept on pushing, and they told me his torso came out, then one arm and then the other arm. I felt every movement as the pressure eased with each body part that came out. Then, as my 6 year-old describes it, the baby “put the feet and the hands on the bum cheeks and pushed his head out!”

My baby was out! They immediately lifted him out of the water and placed him in my arms. He was beautiful and perfect, and I just held him against my body in the warm water. The midwife had me hold him above the water with his face down and he immediately spit out the fluid from his lungs and took in a big breath. He let out two little cries and instantly started to pink up.

My husband and midwife described to me how the baby had kicked his legs in the water while I was pushing, and moved his body to help wiggle his way out. I didn't realize until I talked with my kids later that he had actually used his arms and legs to leverage himself against my body and help get his own head out. My kids had the best vantage point, and had seen the process better than my husband, who had been sitting at my head. My midwife herself had been amazed. She didn't have a lot of experience with breech babies, but her attendant who was there had experience birthing more than 20 breech babies, including 3 of her own grandchildren. The attendant had known exactly what to do. It was good for me to be in the water and allow the baby to feel the weightlessness similar to the womb and be able to manipulate his own body in ways I never would have imagined possible. I was immediately grateful I was at home in the tub.

A second attendant had arrived sometime around the time the baby was born. I held my baby as I was helped out of the tub and onto the birth stool to deliver the placenta, which came out in one push. The placenta was then wrapped in a chux pad and placed at his feet while I held him. We were helped into bed and snuggled for a while and enjoyed each others company with my husband and other children while the midwives cleaned up. I had no concept of time, but it was a while later that the midwives came back in and clamped the cord. The kids put on latex gloves and our oldest son got to cut the cord. The midwives inspected the placenta and explained it to the kids. They then weighed the baby at 7 pounds, 15 ounces. I was given a cayenne drink to minimize bleeding and told to drink as much as possible.

I had a small tear, and my midwife stitched me while her attendants examined the baby near me on the bed and went through the long checklist, making sure everything was good. The baby was completely calm as they checked him, and my husband held him. The baby's legs were straight up with his feet by his face because of the way he had come out of the womb, and it took some time for him to let his legs down. One of his hips had been dislocated during his birth, and the midwife suggested that my husband do some craniosacral therapy on him to help his hip. He was given an APGAR score of 9/10 and measured at 21 inches long (once his legs were down).

I don't know what would have happened had I been in the hospital, whether or not they would have wanted to do a cesarean section due to the strange pattern of labor or the fact that the baby was breech. My labor with this baby was different than with my other children. There was no clear pattern to me. The contractions did get more intense as things progressed, but they stayed fairly far apart, and I never felt I experienced a clear transition stage. Even the urge to push was not very strong compared to what I had felt with previous births. I wonder how much the baby's position contributed to these differences. Despite the strange labor, the whole process was very peaceful and beautiful for us. My husband and I both felt calm through the whole thing, even with the surprises that came up, and we are both very happy we made the decision to have this baby at home.

We're not sure why we didn't know the baby was breech beforehand. The midwife is still wondering if she could have detected it earlier. When she had checked me earlier in labor she had noticed that the “head” didn't feel normal, but thought what she felt was the molding of the crown in the cervix. I don't fault anyone for not knowing he was breech. We didn't know, but God knew, and provided us with what we needed to handle it. My husband and I feel that everything happened as it should, and we are thrilled to have our beautiful, healthy baby.

I have this story posted with some photos on my blog here: Loving and Supporting Mamas and Babies
"How wonderful life is, now you’re in the world”

Melanie Moore
6th baby

I was dreaming of a family friend fighting a lion. I awoke in a puddle of water. I rushed to turn on the light and woke my husband, Chris. But I could smell it was just pee, so I tossed a towel over it and went back to sleep.

I awoke again a few hours later to the sound of my teenage daughter, Tabitha, rushing around getting ready for work. I jumped up and drove to Muscatine with the dawn. I hung out at the coffee shop for a few minutes while Tabitha made me an Americano. I told her my hips felt “wonky” and maybe today would be the day. She said not to wait too long to get her if I was.

At home Chris and I read the newspaper and had fun sex.

Being Sunday it was “clean the house day”. As I worked I noticed cramping- of course I had been cramping everyday, but these seemed more regular.

I was sweeping at 10 am when Chris said, “everything okay?” I confessed to contracting every 15 minutes but tried not to get too excited.

Chris cooked me two fried eggs with salt and maple syrup. Yummy!

At 12:30 I thought I’d see if a walk “in the wild wind” would be helpful. I went alone. My contractions were 6 minutes apart. I would stop and focus on butterflies. Sometimes I would pee myself. Guess the baby’s head was moving down! On my walk I saw a flock of geese and a beautiful heron. I took it as a sign of good luck. I walked one mile.

Back home I sat on the porch swing with Chris. We talked about setting up a birth tub in the dining room in case of heavy rain- it was very overcast. I told Chris I really wanted Tabitha to come home, even if this was a false alarm. But I had no cramps while we swung and he said we could wait until she got done at 3:30.

Chris cleaned and set up the birth tub. I folded the laundry. I got a few bigger contractions. On my walk I imagined wings unfurling from my hips, but now it was more like knives twisting. Chris finished the tub and left to pick up Tab.
My 13 year old son Rowan played with the other children while I lay down for a nap. I missed Chris. I remember enjoying a nap with him at our last birth. Contractions came every 7 minutes, but I did sleep between them.

Chris and Tab return around 4. I tried doing a few chores. Chris told me later he saw me pause to squat while hanging sheets to dry. I then sat in the outdoor hot tub for a few minutes but it seemed to slow things down. I decided to watch “Moulin Rouge” with the kids while Chris started making sushi.

Pearl (midwife 1) called on a hunch to see what was going on at my house. I told her I was contracting, but not regular enough, so we’d call later.

Chris checked my cervix. 8? 9? No head though.

I called K. (midwife 2) to check in. We spoke for 9 minutes during which I had 3 short contractions. Maybe she’d stop out after supper…
By now I was singing pretty loud with Ewan and Nicole.
One more trip to the toilet (bloody show!) and I was off to the hot tub again.

The contractions were really strong now. I felt nauseous and asked for a bucket. I checked myself. Lip of cervix, bag, head. I told Chris he should give up on the sushi and call the midwives.

I floated sideways in the tub. It helped me to remember I didn’t need to hold onto the contraction. I could ‘let it go’.

Then a calm. The contractions slowed. The pain lessened. Chris’ face was there. “The midwives won’t make it in time”. I closed my eyes.

I remember my friend Jenni saying “you don’t have to push”. I said this to myself for many urges.

Then it felt better to give a little push. My water broke. My whole beautiful family was watching. Rowan had the video camera. The kids were all taking pictures.

I would change positions often. Hand and knees. Squatting. Kneeling. This baby sure was taking a long time to come out!

I could feel the head inside my labia. Chris leaned in and felt. Tabitha leaned in and felt. The water wet her white t-shirt and her pink bra showed through (like in Duece Bigelow the teens said.) It made me smile.

The baby kept kicking and wiggling inside me. “Let me do it, baby”, I said. The head would crown and go all the way back in. “Come on, monkey”. I always call my children monkeys. Crown again. In again.

The head finally came. So intense! What a big head! Wait for the next contraction. I leaned back and put some traction on the head. No rotation. The baby squeezed its own arms out. Stuck at the armpits?! Chris is in the tub now. I unwrap the cord from the baby’s neck. Push again. Finally born!!! 8:08 pm. Beautiful! “What is it?” I ask Morgan Finn (5). “A boy!” my children move in close to touch their brother. This is one of the most perfect moments of my life.

After a while it is dark. Rhiannon (10) cuts the cord. I get out while Archer (8) wraps the baby. I move into bed.

The midwives arrive. Archer, Morgan Finn and K. deliver my placenta. Pearl and the children make placenta prints. Tabitha cooks the placenta for me – delicious! We eat enchiladas and drink wine. We sing happy birthday and eat birthday cake with a zero candle.

The first scale says 11 pounds, 11 ounces. We try two more scales and settle on 11 – 8.

The midwives go home. The children spread sleeping bags in my room and I am tucked in with Aeddon Wolf. Bliss.



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