After having two un-medicated and uncomplicated hospital births, I knew I could and would have a homebirth my third time around. My husband and I were most fortunate in meeting the lovely ladies at Seven Cities Midwifery around my 31st week of pregnancy. They were extremely welcoming and showed genuine excitement for my growing baby and impending birth. I remember the first time they laid hands on my stomach they oohed and aahed over all the baby parts they could feel. It was so sweet and gave me the jolt of excitement I needed to get through the last weeks of pregnancy.
I started to have daily Braxton-Hicks contractions during month eight. So, by the time my due date arrived it felt to me like any day would be the day. A week after my due date I had what I thought was more false labor begin at 4pm. Around 8pm I emailed the ladies to let them know that I had been having contractions all afternoon and if it was in fact the real deal I wanted them to have a heads up. They promptly emailed me back with a “hope to see you soon!” My mom came over around 10pm to pick up the kids- at this time my contractions were about 9 minutes apart and I felt totally normal between them. I almost didn’t believe it was true labor. That was until the house was quiet and empty. My husband and I went upstairs, got the bed ready just in case and lay down. My contractions promptly became stronger and closer together.
We kept count of each contraction with a handy little app on our phone. It helped me get a better sense of how my labor was progressing. Although, the loud moans I started to make should have sufficed! I lay on my side with my top knee up to my stomach. Around 11pm, my contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart and quite strong. While using the bathroom I heard a slight click and lost my mucous plug. Back in bed, I was getting more and more vocal so at 12am my husband called the midwife to let her know I was truly in labor. I wasn’t ready for her to come… I felt like I had a few more hours under my belt. For the next three hours my contractions came every 3 minutes and my app kept saying I was in transition. I had to keep hitting ignore! Eliza was moving during the contractions and it was so uncomfortable. I remember speaking to her in my mind, asking her to calm down and she did! I, however, still felt too loud so my husband called the midwife and ran a bath. I instantly quieted down.
Terri arrived around 4am at which time I got out of the tub and back to the bed to let her check the heart beat. My contractions promptly began to pick back up, as did my moans. Terri told me to take 3 deep breaths at the start of my contraction and then continue the deep breathing. Brilliant! One of only two directions I was given during my entire birth and I felt so much more in control. Now 2 minutes apart, Terri called Jenny and told her my contractions were coming on like a freight train and it was time for her and Jenn to come on over. When they showed up (around 5am) it really felt like a little party and I was the main event. Everyone was in such good spirits, photos were being taken and I remember actually laughing between contractions. It all felt so comfortable. I spent a lot of my labor in the hands and knees position or leaning on the bed. It felt good to let the weight of my stomach hang, but my arms got quite tired. The apprentice, Jenn, asked if I’d like to try sitting on the ball. That felt quite good as well. She got behind me and pushed on my pelvis during contractions. I actually felt my pelvic bones opening which I knew was awesome and helpful, but I could only handle that two or three times! Around 7am Jenny asked to check my dilation and I said sure… I was 8cm. The ladies said they would give us some alone time and Jenn told us to snuggle and kiss because it helps the last two centimeters go quickly. Sure enough, after a few loving gazes, sweet kisses and what felt like only 5 minutes, I let out a huge moan and the ladies were back in the room saying they heard their cue! I was in fact 10 cm.
I chose to give birth in the hands and knees position. My husband was in front of me holding my hands- actually it was more like me squeezing the life out of his! I had the ball underneath me for support. With my first few pushes I became frustrated because after each one I could feel myself squeeze her back up. Jenny assured me I was doing the right thing, that I was helping my body to gradually open up and lessen the chance of tearing. I feel like I may have screamed her head out, and then the only other direction I got was from Jenny who told me to grunt with the next push-not scream. And with that, Eliza was born. No tears!
When I was pushing, I remember hearing something about the cord and when she came out. She wasn’t pink or crying. She was more purple and quiet- eyes open and breathing- but quiet. I freaked out in my mind for a quick second. The midwives didn’t seem to bat an eyelash! And for that I thank them so much!!!! They just put her on my breast and gave her a good rubbing. Within a minute she was crying her little heart out and turned a lovely shade of pink. I know that if I were in the hospital it would have been a big ordeal that would have delayed that precious bonding time. Instead, my husband, baby and I just lay in bed connecting with one another while the ladies cleaned up.
I have not one negative memory of my birth. The midwives made it all so simple like I knew it should be and they made it feel so safe and natural. I tell people that my labor was hard and uncomfortable, but I actually had fun and enjoyed that little blip in time immensely. I am forever grateful to my husband and the ladies at Seven Cities who helped me have the best birth ever!