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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This is so good for the pregnant mums that would love to hear your stories... I live in South Africa and my birth stories are what my new mums love reading!
here is the link to Lucy's birth story. 4th baby, first homebirth.

http://wayfarer-megan.blogspot.com/2010/01/lucy-jaine.html
Monday; January 11, 2010
This Monday started off like most Mondays for me. I got off work at 7am after working a 12hr night shift on L&D. The night wasn’t particularly busy. I had one delivery that I probably wont forget for awhile. The family was very supportive and helpful and one of the CNMs came in special for her. We talked off and on about my plans for a homebirth. The family was very amused by plans, but weren’t rude like so many others.
Well, when I got home Leonard had already taken the older kids (Hannah & Amari) to the bus stop. I noticed that I was feeling some contractions off/on, but nothing remarkable. They were noticeably “different” from previous Braxton Hicks (stronger & lower), but weren’t lasting long & very irregular. I ate breakfast (waffle & eggs) with Sarah in bed and we both layed down for a nap around 10a. She’s usually bursting at the seams with energy when I get home, but this morning she wanted to nap with me. And we did nap…until 2p!
On the drive to the bus stop to meet the kids, I noticed the “different” contractions again. I thought nothing of them because I was able to nap through them and they weren’t bothering me too much now. I scooped up the kids at 3p and headed back home. When we got home the kids went to play with a friend before doing homework. I took this opportunity to take a stroll around the neighborhood. It had been freezing cold for days & it was actually pretty nice out. Again, those “different” contractions were there. Yet, I could keep strolling right through them. When I got back home, the kids were still out. So, I layed down for awhile (until 430p). I then rallied the kids for homework.
We worked on homework until Leonard got home (a little after 6p). These “different” contractions were becoming a little more regular (maybe every 10min), but still weren’t lasting long (<60sec). I decided to take a warm shower. I was thinking, “either these have to pick up & show me a sign that it is labor OR chill out!” During my 30min shower these “different” contractions were becoming more regular, but I still wasn’t convinced. “Maybe it’s just the nipple stim from the shower.” Leonard kept checking in and asking to call the midwife. I kept attempting to reassure him that I was NOT in labor, but did ask him to get the kids ready for bed (before 7p?). I guess that was all he needed to hear. He went into full labor mode….tidying up the house, situating the kids, looking for his “what to do if the baby comes before the midwife” checklist. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t convinced. I was waiting for some big blob of mucous or bloody show…just something!
I got out the shower and decided to call Adrienne (a very dear friend and L&D nurse too). I told her I wasn’t sure and told her how I was feeling. She told me not to wait until the last minute because I was already dilated 3-4cm and this was my third baby. Yet, I still wasn’t sure. I told her I was going to lay down and give it another couple hours. I then remembered another dear friend, Alicia. I had asked her to be present for the birth too. If this was the real deal, she would need time to prepare and get her baby girl all situated as well. So, I called her too. I will NEVER forget this phone call! Me – “Licia” (with my heavy breathing). Licia – “Hey, what’s going on?” (in her soft sweet voice). Me – “I’m sitting on the toilet.” Licia – “Ok. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to you while you were on the toilet before.” It was quite amusing looking back on it. I shared with her my same thoughts that I had with Adrienne.
So, I attempted to rest. These “different” contractions were regular and not letting off with a shower & rest. OK. I decided to call Adrienne back and ask her to come examine me. My biggest concern was calling the midwife too soon. I’m a L&D nurse….I should recognize labor….maybe?!?!? Adrienne was already up and getting dressed when I called back, BUT she lives 45min away! Leonard continued to ask about calling the midwife. I reassured him that Adrienne was on her way & I would call the midwife after she got there….if I was indeed in labor. I watched the clock while alternating positions between the birth ball and hands/knees. I was eagerly waiting to hop into that warm birthing pool, but didn’t want to get in too soon & stall labor. The girls, Hannah & Sarah, were great doulas! They took turns holding my hands and rubbing my back. All those homebirth books prepared them well. There was no fear between the two of them.
Adrienne finally arrived about 9pm and examined me. She said I was 6cm with a bulging bag and that the head was low. I had Adrienne call Alicia & Leonard page the midwife while I promptly undressed and jumped into that pool. The water was initially too hot & Leonard began running around trying to hook up the hose to cool it off. It was a little entertaining! The water was all that I had dreamed it to be. The contractions felt less intense. I was able to talk with the girls & Adrienne in between. It was ideal! I lost track of time after Adrienne arrived. I know that Alicia arrived shortly after and Alice, the midwife, arrived about 10p.
Alice carried in all of her bags and made a place for them in the bedroom. She then dopplered the baby’s heart beat. She commented that the water was too warm & my temp was mildly elevated. So, I had to get out! Oh, no! Leonard was in full affect again trying to cool the water off. While he was doing that, I sat on the toilet. The contractions were soo much stronger and came a lot more often outside the pool. Sitting there, I felt something had changed…something was different. So, I asked Alice to examine me. I layed down in bed praying that I was more than 6cm! I was! I was 9.5 cm with a bulging bag! My mind went into a tail spin. I could not believe it! (Around 11p)
Leonard crawled into bed with me. I lay on my side and wrapped my arms around his neck. I turned on my favorite CD of Praise & Worship and tried to stay focus. It was like my pain went from “0 to 10” when she told me I was 9.5 cm (note…my pain was not a 0). Christy, the student midwife, and Alicia were great with encouraging me to remain relaxed. “Open jaw…open bottom.” Laying in bed eventually became unbearable and I slipped back into the pool. “Awwwwww.”
I waited for this unbearable “urge to push.” It never came. I started to feel some rectal pressure with the peak of the contractions and would bear down slightly. I did this for what seemed like hours, but Adrienne told me it was only 10-15 min. I could feel this bulging bag of waters at my entroitus and had even tried to rupture it myself with no luck. I asked Alice if rupturing the bag would speed things along. “It might,” she said. So not what I wanted to hear. Just as she was going to do it, my bag of waters broke on its own. I could feel the baby’s head come down and even feel it wiggling around (a very strange feeling). Again, something had changed…something was different. My body relaxed and I gave into what my body was doing. I stopped trying to be in control. I began to breathe my baby down like I had learned with hypnobirthing. She slowly descended over a few contractions. I could feel her head & all her hair in my hand. I got onto my knees as she crowned. I cried out for help after her head was delivered because I felt her cord wrapped around her neck. Alice & Christy quickly stepped in. She was delivered with ease and I lifted her from the water (at 1143p). She was beautiful & perfect. My mind & body was overflowing with emotions (hormones) as she lay on my chest.
My prayer had been heard & answered….my girls witnessed the birth of their sister in our home and they will ALWAYS know that they have a choice!
Tanashia, that is absolutely beautiful! Love that it is so detailed...I felt like I was right there! I can totally relate to not feeling that urge to push. The same thing happened with my daughter's birth (natural hospital birth). Would you consider submitting your story (and your gorgeous birth pic) for MBB member Kaitlin Rose's website?

www.bringbirthhome.com
Sure, I would love to share it!
It’s a good thing it took nine months because it took me that long to accept it.

My life was changing. I was going to have a baby.

The most influential person in my life had changed from my mother to a man I had only known for about a year. I was exactly what I preached against for at least the previous 6 or 7 years of my life. I was a girl who got pregnant. It wasn’t until about month 8 that I accepted my reality and acknowledged that I didn’t have to be labeled as a stereotype. Not as a tramp, not as a dumb young girl, not as a mother, not as a housewife. Only 20 years old, I still had my whole life to decide what I wanted to be. Becoming a wife and a mother didn’t have to mean that’s all I’d ever be. Some people make those the main labels of their lives. I plan for them to mean no more than tall, short, skinny, or fat. Housewife and motherhood are definitely big enough to stand alone but for me they are simply a strong base to be built upon.

It took 41 weeks and one day for me to come to that conclusion. Wednesday, September 16, 2009, turned my life around for the better. A day I regained my confidence after 9 months of doubt and self-pity. As of January 5th of the same year I thought death would be the easiest, and somehow I almost convinced myself, the best option. Like the ribbon in the middle of the tug-a-war rope, I let myself be pulled in opposite directions by myself and everyone around me. Finally, my body knew I was ready to bring Sophia Irene Marie into the world. Wednesday morning began around 11am for Daniel and me. I casually walked to the kitchen with my mind racing trying to decide whether or not the ache in my lower back was really there or just wishful thinking being as I was over a week past my due date. I expressed my discomfort nonchalantly to my husband and nonchalantly recommended I get some Vitamin D by the pool.

After a couple hours of sunbathing and debating whether or not this ache was coming and going at any consistent rate, I headed up the curvy stairs to our simple little condo. It was time to travel to Mississippi to have dinner with my parents and my mother-in-law at the Singing River Yacht Club. While laying by the pool accompanied by a good friend Alicia Reeves, I had concluded that the ache was intensifying for about a 45 seconds every 20 minutes. So for the 45 minutes car ride to the club Daniel was adamantly timing my “contractions”, although I was still hesitant to claim that I was actually in labor. From that point until we arrived back in Mobile around 9pm, this back ache had been consistent every 5 minutes. Walk. Walk. Walk. All we heard in Bradley class. So what did we do albeit tired and hot? We walked. Around campus with Marley and Dylan, our pups or oldest children. Stopping every 3 minutes to deal with contractions as they started to get stronger by this point. We made it to the top of the steps just as the rain began to fall.

The next several hours consisted of warm baths, lavender oil, very interrupted sleep, and finally left me sitting on my exercise ball in the middle of our living room around 4 a.m. Thursday morning. I was in a different place as if all by myself. I didn’t think of anything else in the world. I was focused on a different level, an out of body experience as if I was floating above the Earth. For the next hour, I went from covered in blankets to naked with a cold rag on my forehead. It was a quiet affair until I was suddenly puking in the garbage can. That’s about the time I recommended we call our midwife. It was about 5 a.m. In the silence of the morning I could hear everything she was asking my husband on the phone. It wasn’t until I heard him respond with “they are about 1 minute apart” that I had a negative thought. And that was simply, “This car ride is going to suck”. It was time. I slipped on a dress and we headed out the door. I closed my eyes and focused on NPR. My husband admitted later that he was sure my labor had slowed down because I didn’t make a peep the entire ride.

After arriving at the cottage in Long Beach, Mississippi, the midwife checked my progression and to my relief announced that I was already 8 centimeters dilated. Only 2 more to go before I would possibly be ready to push. After about 5 contractions standing in the middle of the room swaying with my eyes half closed as my husband and midwife scrambled to unload the car and set things up, I decided to try a different position to deal with the strongest contraction I had felt thus far. As soon as I knelt on the bed, I realized it was not comfortable for me and as I leaned back to stand my water broke. Strangest sensation I have ever felt. Just like a water balloon fell from between my legs. Luckily, I was standing right over the lap pads, which soaked it all up.

I was standing in the bathroom as my husband helped me take off my wet dress, when I first felt the urge to push. It was uncontrollable. I couldn’t resist. So as I sat on the toilet to rest I shouted for the midwife. Once the contraction passed we moved to the bedroom just a few feet away. I sat on the bed with my husband, my support, my love right next to me, and as he talked me through it I began to push with each contraction. The pressure was drastically increasing with each contraction as the baby made her way down. Wanting to show me that I really was making progress, our midwife grabbed my hand, and I felt just the crown of the baby’s head peeking out of my body. Between each contraction, I fell back on Daniel while he shoveled Sonic ice chips into my mouth, and I chomped like a cow. Finally, I was almost there so I decided I was just going to push until the baby came out. And then at 7:30 a.m. in a quiet, simple, little bedroom there was a wet, floppy, Big baby on my stomach. As we all anticipated that first cry, I anxiously flipped the little human being around to announce that it was a girl.

A big girl (10lbs. 3oz.) who after a brief second of hesitation relieved us all with her first cry. To watch her skin go from blue to pink was like seeing God’s hand reach down and touch her. We all cried and gasped for the breath the moment had stolen from our bodies. I would have told you labor was over at that point if I hadn’t caught a glimpse of my knees shaking. It was about 20 minutes before the placenta delivered and my job was finally over. Or really just beginning.
It was about 5 p.m. when I found myself back at Spanish Villa resting in my own bed with the baby that had just been inside of my body less than 11 hours before lying next to me. Her father restlessly peering over us snapping pictures.
For me there was no specific moment when I really felt like a mother. The transition happened smoothly. I don’t feel much different. Life is sure a whole lot more fun now, though.
Sweet!
Wonderful birth story, Alison! I love hearing of big babies born safely at home. Thanks for sharing!
What a beautiful birth story. I'll tell my husband that he can thank you for my sudden desire for a third child!! :)
My water broke on Monday Dec. 14th. I was getting up to go to Target to finish shopping for the baby's room and as I was walking to the bathroom, my water broke! I called my midwife and was told it could take up to 24 hours for labor to start. I was also told to stay home and wait, no more trips to Target. Little did I know what I was in for.
It would take 60 hrs for my daughter to be born.

I had many stops and starts to my labor. It wasn't until Dec 17th at like 1am that active labor really started. Boy did it start. I had horrible back labor! I could feel the pain in my back and it seemed that nothing would make it feel better. Because I had so many stops and starts, I had Ray wait until about 3am to call the midwife. She came to our house around 4am and had Ray get the birth pool to the right temperature. Once I had approval, I ran to the pool! It was instant relief! I had been contracting about every 2 minutes and was quickly losing my resolve to do this drug and hospital free.

As I relaxed in the pool, I felt my contractions speed up again. I was no longer having long relaxing breaks, it felt like all I was doing was contracting. I was told to breath deeply and to make cow sounds. Ray got in my ear and helped me 'moo.' It's funny. I do remember at one point telling Ray that I could not do this. I just kept saying it again and again. I think that must have been my transitioning. At one point Ray just whispered in my ear, "You can do this. This baby will come out."

I remember the whole room was nice and dark and warm. I really felt loved and supported. It was a little surreal. It was just me in the pool surrendering to the pain and the process. I don't remember the exact moment I started to push. I do remember that I had to push. No one had to say anything, I just knew. That's when Debbie, our midwife, and Ray both came to the poolside. They were both there ready to catch the baby. After 20 minutes of pushing, my baby Audrey was born. Ray caught her and after what seemed like forever, she was placed in my arms. I was so in love and wanting to hold the baby tight that it was 10 minutes before I would pull the baby back off my chest to see the sex. I held Audrey! I also had to, of course, birth the placenta. That actually took 25 minutes. I wasn't sure what to do and kept missing the contractions. I had a hard time focusing because all I wanted to focus on was Audrey.

Birth Audrey was an amazing experience. No drugs, no doctors, no one checking my progress. It was me in a room of love giving birth to my baby. I think the number one lesson that I can take from giving birth is surrender. I had to give up control to my own body and let it do the work. Once I did, the baby just seem to come into world.
Lydia Rose's Birth Story Born at home May 3rd 5:46am

It all started on May 1st 2010. Goldie had come by in the morning for a prenatal. I was one day away from being 41 weeks along. Everything seemed great. Baby in good position and was healthy. Goldie didn’t seem to think baby was in a hurry anytime soon or at least she didn’t say it. Goldie was going out of town that night to Bowling Green for her daughter’s soccer tournament so I assured her I’d tell baby to wait until she came back from out of town. I figured in my head we had another week of pregnancy.

I was wrong. That evening at 9:50pm I was on the couch with the laptop on my lap fooling around on the computer when I felt a thud! And then felt a gush! I flatly stated, “I think my water just broke.” Then poor George our mutt who was beneath my feet felt the computer crash upon him because I just stood up letting the computer drop while I went to the restroom to check things out. Justin came in there with me. There was quite a bit of fluid (less than I expected) and some bloody show.

I looked up at Justin and I said, “I think this is it.” I remember in my mind having a sudden a rush of emotions and feeling a tinge nervous for what was about to unfold. So we called Goldie to let her know of our new development. She said it sounded like the mucous plug and that it will feel like I wet my pants. She said labor could be within the next two days. She said to relax and get some rest.

So I went back to the living room to try and pretend like everything was normal. But it wasn’t and I felt it wasn’t. I went to the bedroom to try and sleep. But sleeping could not be had. I kept getting up with these gushes and what felt like menstrual cramps. I called Justin into the bedroom and let him know I think labor may be soon. By 12:30am I began to feel pains that didn’t feel like menstrual cramps anymore. So Justin got his phone out with the contraction timer app on it and we decided to try timing the pains to see if there was any rhythm.

The first few were about 17mins apart. But they were coming. So we gave Goldie a call to let her know we were starting to feel contractions. She said to call back when they were about 5-7 minutes apart. After that Justin and I settled in into the living room where I was on the recliner. It seemed the most comfortable place. Every time I felt a surge I would let Justin know they were starting… then I would saying “tapering” and finally “it’s ended.” We continued on and Justin was a huge support to me. He helped me breath through them. Things started moving fast. I couldn’t even believe how fast things were developing. By 3:30am they were a steady 5 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. So we gave Goldie a call. She said to call her again when they were under 5 minutes and lasting a minute. (Little did we know she was already packing her things and getting ready to drive over.) We notified our moms to let them know they could come by now if they would like. Things were starting to move.

Times may get a bit fuzzy but by 5:30am (which felt like it came in just 20 minutes) the surges were 4 minutes apart and a minute long. Goldie said she would be on her way as well as Toni her birth assistant. She said we might have a baby that morning! She told us later she was thinking maybe by noon and that she’d be home by 2pm. (This would not be the case.) By this point my parents and Justin’s mom arrived. We sent my parents out to get some juice and groceries. We had planned on grocery shopping the next morning… so we had a bare pantry and fridge.

Things really started progressing and every surge I needed Justin. At one point he decided to start filling the birthing pool so he handed off his phone/contraction timer to my dad to start/stop. I swear I couldn’t even surge when my dad was in control. I think I had one. And for the next one I just went to Justin while he was filling the pool to hold onto. He was my beacon of strength.

I remember being in our bedroom at one point and thinking wow I can’t believe how fast this is all going! I even had the naïve thought of “if Goldie doesn’t get here soon we may have this baby without her.” I think my surges were about 2 minutes or so apart when Goldie arrived. There was a sense of relief that Goldie was here. Almost like a safety net.

She had me lay back to check me. I was trying to relax for her but I was very tense. What an uncomfortable sensation. I don’t know how some women get checked every half hour. My cervix was completely effaced and I was dilated to about a 5 or 6. I think we settled on five. There was a small thought of mine of “only 5? Really?” But Goldie said I was moving fast and doing really well. Which made me not worry about the number and just focus back on the labor.

Then it was just time to continue to labor. Goldie checked my cupboards and headed off to the grocery store. I think my family was a little surprised that the midwife came and left but also in awe at the fact she planned to cook for us! None of us really knew then how perfect and well needed that food would be. I think all of us had no doubt this baby would be born Sunday morning or afternoon. I was just moving along so fast and labor was progressing beautifully.

While Goldie was away Toni arrived. Toni is heaven sent truly. I had no idea how much I would really take to this woman to use as support especially farther down the road. The time frame here becomes a blur but what felt like shortly after Goldie came back from the grocery store I asked if I could get in the pool. Goldie said to go for it. I honestly understood the second I stepped one foot into that pool why laboring women love it. It just felt so good-indescribably good. Not that pain was taken away it just allowed for a bit of ease I guess you could say.

For what I guess was hours, I was in the pool moving all around as the surges kept coming and got stronger. Every time one came I had to hold on to Justin’s hands or I had him hold my wrists while I tried to relax my whole body and melt through the surge. Toni and Goldie also gave me cold compresses for my forehead and back of the neck. It’s amazing how those little things all help. At some point while in the pool my friend Debbie arrived who was driving in from Chicago. As I got some stronger surges Justin’s hands got a rest and I began to turn to Goldie, Toni, and Debbie during some of the surges. I had a very strong urge though to hold onto to someone during each and every surge. Time passed and although for me if felt like a lot of time had passed I had no idea about times. It was a strange sense of “that felt like a half hour” even thought it was several hours. But I knew it was getting later. I had only gotten out to use the restroom at this point but around 4pm we got out to do another check.

I was 9 and ¾ dilated! Wow! My next thought was “shouldn’t I be pushing soon?” I couldn’t believe I was nearing the end of this journey! And I was handling it! All natural! Now let me pause and say up to this point I was handling it relatively well but soon I would hit that wall where I would become very whiny. Although I had warned Goldie I am whiny she didn’t quite expect how whiny I would get. A polite whiner who sometimes cracks jokes but a whiner nonetheless. That just happened to become my niche for part of my most intense labor.

I want to say we went back to the pool after that. I may be remembering incorrectly now. After a while I was really pruny and while things didn’t come to a halt they weren’t moving forward. So we decided to try to get out of the pool.

Off to my bedroom we went. I sat on the floor for most of the next part of my labor. Every now and again I’d vomit or dry heave. It actually felt good to vomit sometimes. Goldie later told me I vomited more than any of her other clients. I guess I’m memorable. The night pressed on and Justin deserved some rest. So he nodded off. This is where I turned to Toni a lot. I had to hold onto her through a surge. I started whining as they increased in intensity. I was saying things like “I don’t know if I can handle another one,” “I’m losing control,” “I’m having a hard time coping.” But Goldie and Toni kept reminding me I was doing it and I was getting through.

After some mild whining I reached a place where I was just handling the surges. Breathing through them better, getting the low moans out. I thought this point was like a half hour. After the birth I said to Goldie, “there was like a half hour there where I was really handling them.” And Goldie replied, “Honey, that was like 4 or 5 hours.”

Goldie suggested a Slurpee to hydrate me-and that idea sounded fantastic. So Debbie went to 7-11 to get my sweet nectar Mountain Dew Slurpee. That drink was very refreshing and gave me something to throw up when I needed to. The night pressed on and everyone was getting tired. Everyone had been up for a day. My mom came in to help me through some of the surges. I thought it would help the others get a minute or two of shuteye. It was hard for my mom to help me, though I thought she put on a brave face.

Goldie encouraged me to reach up and feel my baby to see where she was. At first I was like, “I’m good.” But soon I didn’t care and I wanted to see where the heck this baby was. So I reached up and felt something. Toni said it would feel like fleshy fruit and guess what it did! I thought it would feel like hair but no. Baby was chilling at about 2 knuckles up.

At one point I did start to drift off between the contractions. I did not like waking up from my couple minute naps. When I’d wake up I’d be in the midst of a surge and I’d have a hard time regaining control. I started stating that I was afraid to go to sleep.

Finally around sometime before 4:00am on Monday May 3rd, I got about a ten-minute nap. I was lying on the bed in our bedroom. When I woke up from this little nap I had a bit of amnesia. I was very disoriented. I didn’t know where I was or what was going on and I was in intense pain! Toni must have been on the bed with me. All I knew was I needed to grab this woman’s hand. I then proceeded to yank her off the bed down to the floor (where Justin was sleeping). Finally I realized what was going on and we got through that surge. Everyone in the house remembers those screams when I woke up. From that point on I decided I’m not sleeping and I’m pushing this baby down. I did not want to end up exhausted and at a hospital.

I think everyone tried to drift back off; meanwhile I tried to handle these very intense surges. I don’t know how long or how many I went through but I asked Goldie how would I know when it is time to push and without blinking an eye she said, “you’ll just know.” I thought, “Well that’s frustrating.” So I decided no matter how painful I was going to bear down some with the next contractions. This baby was going to be born!

During one of the surges I felt something shift. I hollered, “Can someone please look and see if there is a head down there?!” It felt like everyone was moving in slow motion and no one was looking. Debbie said after that she saw the head but she just couldn’t say anything. Toni smiled and showed me with her finger and thumb how much head she saw. Goldie was gathering her things since it was obvious I was entering the next stage. Goldie said after that she didn’t need to look, she believed me. If I said there was a head down there…. there was a head down there.

The next part was a whirlwind. We decided the bedroom was where we’d birth. The bed didn’t feel right so it was back to the floor where I spent a good part of my labor. Hands and knees sounded good and at first we started out in that position, but my knees were raw and my wrists weak from laboring in that position for so long. So I laid down on my side. Justin put on my favorite band Rilo Kiley in the background, which I think helped in between the surges. I was finally pushing. Although it was a relief to be at the end of this journey and knowing I would soon meet my baby it was not the relief I read about or had been told about. It did not feel “good” to push. Luckily Toni was honest with me earlier and told me it was definitely not a pain free part of labor so I was prepared. Goldie also used hot compresses, which seriously made the pushing feel a little easier. It eased some of the pain.

My contractions slowed down so I got to snooze a little bit in between pushes. For me I felt like I pushed for 20 minutes or a half hour but I am told it was like an hour and 45 minutes of pushing. Debbie came into the room with this glass of pink lemonade. I said, “Is that raspberry lemonade?” “Yes.” “Is it ‘Simply Raspberry Lemonade’?” “Yes.” I wanted it SO bad. Goldie insisted I drink it after I was done that I way if I threw it up it wouldn’t burn on its return trip. So, my support team placed it in my view as my motivational lemonade while I got to sip on luke-warm water. Goldie even started to tease me by telling me how refreshing it looked. I said, “ I see what’s going on here, you’re getting me back for all my whining now with this lemonade!”

Goldie told me that when I crowned I would pause there and then continue to push. So my goal was to get this baby to crown. I kept getting closer and closer to crowning but no cigar. So I remember thinking I am going to crown! I am pushing this baby out. So the next surge I pushed and pushed and I guess she crowned, but I kept going and pushed her whole head right out! So much for the pause! That was definitely a painful but amazing part of labor. Once her head was out I could not believe it. I was moments away from being finished! I don’t even remember waiting but out came the first shoulder then the second shoulder and I felt her body flop out of me! What a strange and glorious feeling!

Goldie plopped her on my belly. Her cord seemed short so I all I could see was the top of her head and I could feel her body on mine. I could not believe it! I did it! We did it! I asked if it was a boy or a girl and there was lots of what felt like hesitation. I heard my mom say, “ I think it’s a girl.” But she didn’t repeat it because she didn’t want to be the one to announce it. Justin said “it’s a girl” and I exclaimed “it’s Lydia!” We got her turned where I could see her face while the cord continued to pump. What a beauty!

My mouth was soooo dry I finally stated, “I’m really parched.” And Toni gave me my sweet reward of that raspberry lemonade! Once the cord stopped pumping I actually began to feel cramps again to push out the placenta. I didn’t realize I’d feel the cramps but they were nothing compared to what I had just been through and I knew those wouldn’t last long. So I pushed the placenta out and honestly it was a weird sensation but I liked it. And knowing that that was it-everything was out- was crazy. Goldie clamped the cord and Justin cut it. We had our baby! Lydia latched on almost right away. She was already a great eater!

Justin grabbed a receiving blanket I had made for her and we wrapped her up and put on a cap. Debbie I think was still bawling. She was nicknamed “waterworks” because out of all us she was the one who sobbed the most. She was also the camera lady and we were all very surprised at how steady her hand was even through the tears.

The euphoria is true. I think one of the first things I said was, “I could do another homebirth.” I was so elated! You have these overwhelming feelings of love, pride, and amazement.

Goldie fixed up our first herbal bath for us. When I was holding Lydia I was just looking at her with awe and I thought “I hope I don’t drop her head underwater!” I was a nervous first time mom after all. The bath felt wonderful. It was its own reward for completing labor.

Before I knew it bath time was over. Goldie dressed Lydia then headed out the door. That was it we were a family now! After 30 hours of labor (12 of which I was stuck at a 10 pretty much) we were a family. It appears Lydia flipped to posterior at some point. That is probably what took her so long to come down. But before I pushed her out she flipped back. She had two red marks on her forehead, which Goldie says she sees with posterior babies.

We had several visitors that day and I was beaming (even with no sleep since Saturday). I think I told the birth story a hundred times that day with pride and with a huge smile. Justin even showed our birth video to some family and friends and I laughed from the other room when I heard some of my “pushing” screams.

Having Lydia just added so much to Justin’s and my relationship. You know you love each other but that love truly blooms during labor when you rely on each other to get through it. Going through her birth and now becoming new parents has just stepped up our already awesome relationship to a whole new level. We hope we can be amazing parents to our little girl.

Keara’s Birth Story

Baby's Name: Keara Lyn
Baby's Gender: Girl
Date of Birth: July 1, 2010
EDD: June 28, 2010
Weight/ Height: 7lbs 9oz / 19.5”

I’d been having contractions from 38 weeks off and on, so it surprised a lot of people when my due date came and went with no baby. I, on the other hand, was not expecting to have her before since I went to 41 + 5 with my older son before having to be induced (artificial rupture, pitocin, epidural – the whole gamut).

I went for my 40 week appointment at my midwife the next day and she offered to check me to see how my cervix was progressing. She found me to be ‘soft and favourable’ and approximately 2cm dilated. I knew from hearing other people’s stories that you could be as much as 3cm dilated for weeks before giving birth, so I didn’t hold out too much hope for imminent delivery. I may have mentioned offhand that I wouldn’t be opposed to a sweep, and although standard practice at my midwife’s office is to not do sweeps until after 41 weeks, my midwife may have obliged my request ;) Again, I had previously had about 4 sweeps when pregnant with my son, with absolutely no success, so I was not holding out hope.

That night we went for dinner and I experienced some cramping (typical after a sweep), but no spotting or show. The next day I lost part of my plug – just a bit of brown-tinged mucus.

On Thursday July 1st  I woke up around 6 am with some minor cramping and went to the bathroom – where I noticed that I’d lost a bit more of my plug – this time redder and a bit larger. I went back to bed not thinking much of it. Around 7 I woke back up with some stronger cramping and realized that the cramping had a regular 15 – 20 minute pattern. I texted my hubby (who had decided to go into work on the holiday) that “Today may be the day”. Of course with two weeks of prior contractions, neither of us was sure. We agreed that if the cramping got more intense or closer together that I would text him to come home.

By 11am the contractions were about 10 minutes apart and starting to get more painful. Merrick had just woken up, so I texted my mom and she agreed to come over around noon. Around the same time I decided it was time for Billy to come home, so I texted him as well.

After Billy and my mom arrived things continued right along. We timed contractions and they were consistently between 8 and 10 minutes, but only lasting about 30 seconds (which just didn’t seem long enough to me to be ‘real labour’). I called our doula Tracy and she arrived at the house around 4 o’clock.

My mom had called my dad in the mean time, since contractions had picked up and the intensity seemed to be worrying Merrick. Dad was my back up plan for him if he wasn’t reacting well to me in labour – so off to grandpa’s house he went.

At that time, I had spoken to our midwife on the phone and she decided she would head over as well.

Tracy had brought a veggie lasagna and some muffins and bagels with her – and she put the lasagna in the oven while I laboured through a few more intense contractions with my mom. I seemed to be having a bit of back labour - feeling searing pain all through my lower back and hips, and my mom knew exactly where to put the pressure to ease the discomfort. She suggested I get into the shower and have the water run over my lower back to ease the pain. By the time I got into the shower, I knew immediately I did NOT want to be in there – contracting in such a restricting and uncomfortable space. My mom helped me back out of the shower and back into my nightgown.

Tracy suggested it would take at least an hour to fill the birth pool and we should get on that! So Billy and mom started to prepare it while I tried to get our box of birth supplies from the nursery. I got as far as our hallway before dropping everything on the floor and labouring through a rough contraction on my hands and knees.  I decided to go lay on my bed for a bit. Tracy got a cold pack for my forehead and used a hand fan to cool me down through the next few contractions.

At about quarter to five our midwife Janice showed up and asked if we could do a quick exam to see where I was at. She took my blood pressure (90 over 60) and then asked me to go pee before she did the internal check. I got to the bathroom with some help from my mom and as I was wiping I pulled out a huge handful of bloody mucus. I remember grabbing onto my mom and proclaiming “Mommy, I’m scared.” (I think I called her “mommy” several times over the course of the day).  Looking into her face as she told me not to worry – that it was all normal – calmed my fears.

All of a sudden I felt an extreme sense of panic and had an incredibly overwhelming urge to push! I yelled “I’m pushing!” and everyone started  crying out, telling me not to push – while Janice quickly did an internal while I was on the toilet and proclaimed me to be “Fully dilated with the bag bulging!” and asked me to get back to bed and onto my side.

I have no idea how I got back to the bed – but I know my mom helped me and got me into a side-laying position. I don’t even think I had a second to lift my upper leg and seriously – with little to no effort on my part – out popped a baby! I didn’t even have to push on my own!  In a gush of waters (which finally broke as she was emerging) Keara’s head came out, followed by one shoulder and then her arm and – POP  – my fantastic husband caught his daughter before the midwife even had a chance to put on her gloves! He placed her on my chest immediately. My mom cut the umbilical cord after a planned delay and Billy later shortened it to the clamp length.

Our home birth experience was not quite what I had imagined. I imagined a leisurely evening labouring in the pool with candles (I bought special tea light holders and candles just for this day!)… I even bought special massage oil and labour mist to use while I was in labour! It turned out to be such a whirlwind I didn’t even have time to miss the things we didn’t do. My midwife even used the term “precipitous labour” when they called in the birth to the hospital – something I didn’t think I would ever experience after the 24 hour induced labour with my older son.  

I could not imagine anything more beautiful than having my child born in the very bed where she was conceived – and then to lay there afterwards in between her parents in a completely calm and loving environment. All of the exams, weighing and checks afterwards were done in our bedroom as well.

An hour and a half after the birth, I was up having a shower (with my mom as spotter) with no tearing that required stitches. I got dressed in a fresh nightgown and climbed back into bed (fresh sheets and blankets!) with our new daughter.  Tracy put in a load of laundry and brought me a muffin while I breastfed Keara.

She latched immediately and with more vigour than I have ever seen from a newborn (brought my milk in after only a day and a half) and is a crazy little feeding machine – eating every hour and a half.  At this rate she should be ten pounds by next weekend!

Having my mom as part of our labour was, again, amazing. After having her attend Merrick’s birth two years ago, I could not imagine going through another labour and delivery without her. She clearly has been there before and knew all of the things to say and do to make me feel like I was doing everything right.  She and Billy are the perfect labour team and I know they made all of the difference in making our birth experience even more special.

Although not what we anticipated, Keara’s labour and delivery was an amazing experience - and the complete euphoria I experienced after giving birth drug free in our own bedroom will undoubtedly remain unmatched by future experiences.

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