In the last month of my third pregnancy I made the decision to birth at home. Many factors played into this decision, which I will discuss in another blog post, and I was confident in my choice.
I had been experiencing what I would describe as early labor for over a week. I would wake up at night with significant surges but they always went away after an hour or two. So when I woke to surges on Friday, September 17th at 2045 I was not convinced this was the real deal.
I breathed through the surges and went back to sleep. This continued on and off every 30-45 minutes until 0145 on Saturday, September 18th when I just couldn't remain in bed any longer.
The 18th happens to be my second sons birthday, so in typical Mom fashion I got out of bed and went downstairs to make a cake as I swayed my hips, while leaning over the kitchen counter and focused on my breath and letting my body do what it needed. When the cake was almost done my body began to clear out for the upcoming birth and I was in and out of the bathroom every 10 minutes.
When the cake was done I knew I could not handle standing up anymore and went to get the water running in our big garden tub to get some relief. I turned all the lights on in the bedroom, had the water running full blast, and hummed through my surges - all while my husband continued to sleep as if nothing was happening. (I joke that I don't know if he would wake up if our house was on fire!)
I lowered myself into the tub at around 0245 and began yelling to my husband to wake up because I was in labor. The water felt amazing and helped me dive even deeper into my hypnobirthing zone as I continued to allow my body to open naturally.
My husband sprung into action and asked if I had called our homebirth midwife yet, which I had not. He handed me the phone as it was ringing and began timing my surges. The midwife could tell things were happening fast and she likely would not make it for the birth. My husband informed me my surges were only 20 seconds apart and he knew at this point we would be birthing just the two of us.
It's Baby Time
At 0310, I abruptly came out of my hynobirthing zone and said I needed to get out of the tub NOW! My husband tried to help me as I was telling him not to touch me - I have learned I really like to birth privately. Once out of the tub I had one final bowel movement to completely clear out and then crawled on all fours from the bathroom to our bed which my husband had prepared with plastic shower curtain liners and old sheets.
I stayed in an all fours position up on the bed and continued swaying my hips and moving back to to childs pose and then back up. I did this for a few minutes and then began to feel my body begin to push. The fetal ejection reflex was kicking in and there was nothing I could do to control it.
I told my husband the baby was coming and he took his position behind me on the bed. I felt my sons head drop into the birth canal as my hips were shifting further apart. I told my husband it was time and I began to consciously push my baby out.
I only gave two pushes after I felt his head engaging before his head was born. I barely felt the dreaded ring out fire and actually found the actual birthing experience to be quite pleasurable. After birthing his head I took a few breaths as I waited for the final surge to birth his body. When the surge came I gave one big push to get his shoulders out and the rest of his body slid out easily right into my husbands hands.
It was the most beautiful experience of my life! No other people. No other sounds. The comfort and safety of my bedroom. It was perfect and so was my baby, Arthur Leonard.