Our birth story begins with our first child. She was born in April 2007 at 38 weeks by cesarean. She was a double footling breech. When I was pregnant with her we had several additional stresses in our lives. We were relocating, a new job, long commute, two mortgages and my grandmother diagnosed with lung cancer. Even though I consider myself to be very conscious with all my choices I had several distractions and went along with traditional care. We had selected and OBGYN that I had seen in the past and just agreed with what I was told.
Over the past two years I have learned a great deal about the “Birthing Industry” the options I had missed out on, along with misconceptions and the conditioning that has been placed on our society. Granted there is a need for some interventions when there are special circumstances, but for most people the medical model of care has become the norm. An educational documentary Business of Being Born was a true eye opener for me. It brought me back to making a conscious decision about my second pregnancy.
“Birth happens like a song” – Unknown
Birthing is a natural process. Women’s bodies are made to birth. A fear factor has been placed in minds of many concerning birthing without medication. Because of our lifestyle and philosophy I knew this time around I wanted something different. I still ate an organic whole food diet and practiced yoga. I also decided to learn and practice hypnobirthing, see a chiropractor and acupuncturist as part of my prenatal care. We also decided to go with a midwife instead of an OB (trained surgeon). The birth center we went to had a great team of midwives, but the only downfall is that I would have to birth at the hospital because I was VBAC. The other thing that I was not happy about is the protocol to have a scheduled c-section on the books in the chance my baby was not born by 41 weeks. That did not sit well with me.
As we took another tour of the hospital I had an overwhelming aversion and I knew that I could not birth my second child here. It was not natural to me. On the delivery board 90% of the births were c-section. I was astonished. I could not sleep for days. After doing some additional homework and talking to several people, at 36 weeks I decided to birth my son at home. Everyone was very supportive.
We needed to find a new midwife as soon as possible. After some research and investigation we found the perfect fit for us. Our final prenatal visits were great, collected and bought all of our supplies and our birth pool. I was able to sleep again.
“Quality of Life comes from the Quality of Birth”
– Birth As We Know It
June 2, 2009
10:30pm surges started and continued through the night about every hour.
June 3, 2009
I called my Doula at 12:30am to let her know what was going on. I then called to cancel my appointment in the morning because I was not in the mood to travel to Baltimore with my surges. By lunch time my surges were 15 minutes apart.
June 4, 2009
Surges became more intense and about 5-8 minutes apart. I called my Doula at 1:30am and I soon as I called her they slowed down. Go figure! My husband read some relaxation scripts and I was able to sleep for a bit. I had an appointment in the morning and I was 85% effaced and only 1cm – after all that! I could not believe it. My baby was also semi-posterior and that can make labor a bit longer. Surges slowed down and we decided to stop timing them because it was causing added stress. 10:30pm the games took full speed at 4-8 minutes apart and stronger than the night before. At 2am my daughter woke up and wanted to come to bed with us. Every time I had a surge, she would rub my arm and say, “ You okay Mommy?” She was so in tune and prepared for everything. I was in an out of sleep and the only comfortable position was on my hands and knees.
June 5, 2009
Surges continued into the morning and afternoon. I finally had my husband call our Doula, Midwife and our neighbor, a Labor and Deliver nurse. Our neighbor came over to check my progress because I thought I had to be close. Thankfully I was 100% effaced and almost 5cm. Everyone was on the way to the house. Once our Midwife arrived she checked me again and I was almost 7cm and told my husband to get the water filled up in the pool. I was so happy! Downstairs I went for a change of scenery although I had my eyes closed most of the time. I made it to our large chair on my knees leaning over the arm. As my husband was filling up the pool he was making food and smoothies for me and the birth team. My mom was keeping our daughter occupied and vice versa.
We could open our own birth center the way the house was set up. The living room had the birth pool, candles and calm music. The dining room was set up with all the supplies and towels that we would need including the pack and play with heated towels and blankets for the babe. The kitchen was set almost like a craft service table on a film set. Upstairs was prepped and ready for recovery. The bed was ready, music, aromatherapy and other essentials.
Everything went as planned and after two days of surges I was tired and uncomfortable, but not in pain. Once I got into the pool it was such a relief. As my baby started to move down further my body just went into automatic pilot. I made sounds I had never heard before. If I was not in my ‘zone’ I would have been laughing hysterically. My husband was upstairs getting his suit on and said it sounded like a 1956 corvette starting up. My mom was playing and listening to music with our daughter. When she heard it she at first thought I was sad. My mom started singing tonal patterns with her to imitate me.
They all made their way downstairs. I was so focused, relaxed as I could be. I was only paying attention to my baby and my body signals. I leaned on my husband in the pool and that helped tremendously. The midwife assistant said it was only 22 minutes when I started pushing until our earth angel made a splash! June 5, 2009, 4:58pm
Once he arrived they handed him to us and the three of us just holding each other while the birth team did what they had to do. Once the cord stopped pulsing my husband was able to cut it and then we were out of the tub and headed upstairs.
I felt tired but Great! Our Baby nursed right away, then I took a shower and got back in to bed with my new little man. A successful HWBAC (Home Water Birth After Cesarean)
Home Birth may not be for everyone, although I highly suggest those expecting to look into all options for the birth that you want. We wanted a calm, conscious, peaceful, natural childbirth with no unnecessary interventions or medical model protocols. We wanted nature to unfold and present itself to us, and it did. Beautifully.
“We are empowering a new generation of women”
– Laura, MW Assistant
Special Thanks to our Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Midwife, MW Assistant, Doula and Family Naturopathic Physician and to my Holistic Moms around the globe and at home. To my caring and intuitive daughter, loving and ever supporting husband, mother and family. It takes a village from the very start. My love and deepest gratitude to you all.