Thursday, April 2, 2015
Bea's Planned Home Birth Story
Monday, November 25, 2013-Due Date
9:20 pm I go to the bathroom to pee and feel an extra spurt of liquid that I know is not pee...my water had just broken. I start crying because I do NOT feel ready for this baby to come; I was sure I had several more days (Madeline was 13 days late); I still had so much to do to get "ready" (what does "ready" for a baby look like??); I had NOT practiced my Hypnobabies like I was supposed to, and I didn't want the money and time spent to be a waste (it wasn't!).
Bless Walt, he comes in from the garage and can hear me crying, and though we are not the couple who normally hangs out together in the bathroom, he comes in to find out what is wrong. He gives me a hug and says, "You are ready for this."
10:45ish pm I am in bed listening to a couple Hypnonbabies tracks and trying to get to sleep. Walt is asleep in no time, and I am trying really hard to turn off the nervous energy I am feeling so I can go to sleep. A little while later I feel a gush of liquid; thankfully we had put the water proof mattress cover on our bed a few weeks prior, and I was laying on a chux pad. I think, "Ok, no need to wake up Walt, I'll just get up and get cleaned up myself." But I wait too long and soon there is another gush of liquid and then another and I am soaked and the pad is soaked and I'm pretty sure the sheets are getting wet.
12:15 am I wake Walt up to help get me and the bed cleaned up. I get in the shower while he changes the sheets and gets a new chux pad.
12:45 am Back to bed and listening to another Hypnobabies track.
12:52 am I feel the first pressure wave (Hypnobabies term for contraction) deep in my pelvis. I wasn't even sure it was a pressure wave because it was so deep in my pelvis which is not where they started with Madeline's birth. After the third or fourth one I tell Walt and he starts timing them.
1:12 am I feel like I might need to go to the bathroom, so I go sit on the toilet for a few pressure waves.
1:23 am I am so tired and would really like to sleep, but the waves increase in intensity pretty quickly, and I can't just breathe through them while lying down. So I try being on all fours in bed, squatting, standing and swaying, and I start humming (really low in my throat) through the waves.
1:38 am I feel nauseous and ask Walt for a bag just in case. He puts a few drops of peppermint essential oil in the bag for me to inhale and that keeps me from getting sick.
1:45 am Back to the toilet. I keep feeling like I need to go to the bathroom, but when I get to the toilet nothing happens. I sit down and it hurts and I get up and feel like I have to go, so I sit down and it hurts. This seems to cycle around for a bit.
1:52 am Back to bed to try to rest. I alternate between being on all fours during pressure waves and laying down between waves.
2:16 am I am back in the bathroom to pee. At some point I cross the bathroom to the tub and get down on my knees and hang over the edge of the tub swaying my hips and making very low sounds as needed. Eventually I am hanging on to Walt (arms around his neck, face buried in his neck or shoulder) while either sitting on the toilet or standing in front of it.
In the months leading up to Bea's birth I had been mostly confident I could manage my fear and stay calm, but it was tough as the pressure waves were so intense and we were an hour or so into a process I was sure would last at least another 8-10 hours (Madeline's labor was about 45 hours). I was really battling fear, but knew that I had to stay calm and loose as tension would makes things feel even worse. I was quoting II Timothy 1:7 (God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind) over and over and forcing myself to breathe deeply and evenly and make low noises (to keep my throat open and loose) if needed. At one point I definitely thought, "Maybe we should just go to the hospital and get a c-section," and if I had been at the hospital I probably would have been asking for the pain medicine.
All this time Walt has been talking and texting with our midwife and doula. Both were at other births.
2:34 am Midwife texts that her assistant should arrive any minute. She had already told her back up midwife to head our way.
2:42 am Midwife assistant is here and checks Bea's heart tones; she sounds good.
2:53 am Walt lets doula know we are ready for her to come. The client she is with is still in labor so she sends her back up.
2:54 am I am dancing/swaying with Walt through the pressure waves. Using horse lips to help keep me from pushing; I really wanted my body to spontaneously push, so I held off as long as I could with any pushing on purpose. And also I just knew we had a while to go, so pushing so early would just exhaust and frustrate me.
3:20 am Somewhere around in here the backup midwife arrives. She offers to check to see how dilated I am, but I have no desire to know, so I decline. She and the midwife assistant ask if I think they have time to set up the birth pool and would I like them to do that. I am pretty sure we have quite a ways to go, so I say I think there is time, and I would like them to set up the pool. Later I find out that they were pretty sure there was not enough time; the backup midwife described me as catching my breath with some of the waves like I was starting to get a pushing urge. But, bless them, they started setting the pool up! What a great team we had!
3:29 am Suddenly there is a head! And I am saying, "There's a head! Somebody catch it! Catch it!". I have a death grip on Walt as we are still standing and swaying next to the toilet, so the backup midwife rushes in from the bedroom where they were just uncurling the hose for the birth pool and holds Bea's head and shoulder.
3:31 am The rest of Bea is born and the backup midwife hands her to the midwife assistant who is standing by with a towel. The cord is shorter, so they can't bring her to my chest, but they get me sitting down and put her on my belly. I have a gush of blood shortly after she is born when the placenta releases. The cord pulses for a few more minutes and when it stops they clamp and Walt cuts her free.
We decide to see if we can get the placenta out (Madeline's placenta took another 13 hours to come out after she was born...my body took a break to sleep for the night and then it came out first thing the next morning). I feel like standing and it comes out easily with a couple pushes.
About this time my midwife and her other assistant arrive along with the backup doula. I have quite a team around me! Bea and I get in the bath tub to hang out and rinse off. We go get in bed for a bit for a bottom check (no tears!) and Bea nurses for the first time. They do the newborn exam: 9 pounds 2 ounces!
The team really wants me to pee to make sure all is working well. I am feeling a bit lightheaded so we use a rolling office chair to get me from the bed to the toilet; once on the toilet nothing happens so I get in the tub to see if the water will help me relax. Finally after 30-45 minutes of trying I pee and have no trouble walking back to bed.
Walt and I could not believe we had a baby after only 2.5 hours of labor! My doula pointed out that my Hypnobabies training probably helped me make it through the first stage of labor without even really noticing it. The gushes of fluid around midnight were probably from contractions...and I couldn't even feel them! Woohoo!
I have to say that even though the last 2.5 hours of labor quickly became very intense, I don't think I could actually call it pain. It was uncomfortable (and did I mention intense?), but not painful. I credit the things I learned from Bradley training with my first baby and Hypnobabies and Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth among many other resources that emphasized relaxation and working with the body for giving me tools to manage a very intense time without losing my cool to fear. And Walt; sure glad I had my man to literally cling to.
So there is Bea's birth story!