When I found out i was pregnant last October, our first thought was not that we would have a home birth. Not because i was against it at all but i have had 3 amazing, natural hospital births and had great experiences. so that was our plan this time around too. until November when i called to make an appointment with our family practice dr and they said that they will not be taking any ob patients as of the first of the year... great..... so that lead us to think more about our options. we could choose and ob which i have never had.. i have always used family practice doctors and loved them. or we could explore the midwife route.
after doing some research i decided to check out a birthing center a little over an hour away. i loved it! the two midwifes that were there we so warm and friendly and i loved the idea of birthing in a 'home away from home' environment. so we choose to go this route and met with them once a month for the first half of my pregnancy. i loved each and every one of my visits and i felt like i was sitting down to talk to a friend. each appt was about 45 min to an hour and we talked about everything... so so different then the 5-10 min drs appt i was used to. i felt like the midwifes were more all encompassing as far as my care and really took time to make sure every area of my everyday life was nourishing my baby and body during this time.
at around 26 weeks my midwife asked if i had decided on a birth plan.. as in birth at the birth center or at home. i loved the idea of the birth center but didn't know how the hour drive would pan out if i had a quick labor or really what would happen this time around. so we were really thinking about that. i knew that there was a chance they wouldn't come and do a home birth as far away as i lived from them. but they recommenced that i meet with the midwifes closer to me that do just home births. i was hesitant since i didn't want to switch care at this point and i really loved the midwifes that i had gotten a chance to know already. But i went ahead and met with the ladies at In the Beginning. Ultimately i thought about it and prayed about it and knew deep down that if this is our last baby i would regret not doing a home/ water birth. so i transferred my care at that point. One of my biggest concerns about birthing at home was a mental thing. i knew that it would be a struggle for me to truly relax and separate my everyday mommy/wife/household duties and put them aside to concentrate on my labor. i know it might sound crazy but labor is really a mind over matter thing for me. if i can get over that mental hurtle its so much easier for me. and when you leave everything behind and go to the hospital its easy to do that. but if you are in your own environment with all those things around it can be distracting for me and i didn't know how that would pan out.
I was very happy getting to know Jane and Christie along the second have of my pregnancy. they practice the same mindset as the other midwifes and i just really trusted them and my body and knew that i was in good hands. my pregnancy progressed pretty uneventfully through the second have.i had been having contractions for the last month or so which i never had with the other kids so i was so certain i would have this baby early... he had other plans..
my due date came and went ( Sunday June 8th) and i was getting very anxious about how things would pan out this time around. will it be shorter than Coopers birth? longer? can i handle the pain again? will there be any complications? i did a lot of praying and just asking for peace about this birth and strength.
On Thursday June 12, 4 days after my due date i woke up at 3:20 to use the bathroom and my water broke. not a huge gush but enough to know what it was. my water has broken with all 4 births and that is usually the start of my labors.
i called my midwife at 330 and told her my water had broken but i wasn't have any contractions yet. she said to go back to sleep if i could or take a shower and call her when something changed. i thought that was crazy and could never go back to sleep but i woke aaron up and told him my water had broken but no contractions. i texted my mom and told here what was going on since she was going to come and help with the kids. i told her i would keep her posted.
i jumped in the shower and had a few contractions but nothing stronger than i had been having the last month.
i layed back down and tried to rest for a few hours with no contractions at all. every time i would use the bathroom i would leak a little more fluid. i got up around 630 ( still no contractions) my mom had come and was making breakfast and doing all the things she does ( my mom is amazing!) i bounced on the yoga ball for awhile thinking about when things would pick up.... and thinking about how similar this was to Coopers birth already. i was really hoping it would be just as quick once things got started!
At around 800 am i decided that i would go into town with Aaron and take the kids to swim lessons. might have sounded crazy but i wasn't having any contractions and i thought it would take my mind off of trying to get my labor started and distract me a bit. we dropped the kids off and my midwife called to see what my status was. i told her no new news. she said to give it time but to call her if anything changes.
we got back home around 1030 am and sat around for a bit, bounced on the ball more.... and just talked.. my sister was here at that point. my mom made lunch and i really didn't want to eat anything but knew that i probably should since i don't know how long it will be and i wanted to give my body the energy it needed. i ate something light and helped put the kids down for a nap.
my midwife stopped out at the house around 300 to check up on me. she tested to see if my water had broke ( it had) and checked me to see if i was dilated ( i was at a 3). we listened to the baby and he sounded great. at that point i was like ... now what??! she said that she really just thought i should lay down and rest.. see if my mom can take the kids to the park so they are out of the house and she thought that it would give me a break mentally enough to really relax and let my body do what it needed to. even though Aaron and my mom were keeping the kids busy i was still in 'mommy mode'. She mentioned that the Amish women who give birth almost always have their babies in middle of the night when they don't have chores and kids to tend to. it makes total sense to me.
so after she left i laid down around 4 to see if i could sleep. around 430 i had a contraction.. nothing big but it was the first real one i had had since my water broke that morning. i just laid there on my bed for a couple hours and let my body do its thing. my contractions came every 15- 18 min for about an hour. then every 10-15 min. then every 8-10 min, 7-9 min... until i knew they were sticking around this time... yay it was baby time!!
one of my midwifes came out to the house around 7 pm and brought all her stuff.. Aaron started filling the birth pool with hot water. I was concerned that if i got in the pool too early it would set me back... with cooper it sped my labor up so quick and he was born within 20 min. but i knew it could go either way. she checked be around 8 pm and i was a 4.... really .. i was pretty discouraged by that. i think i had this mindset that my last labor was only around 3 hours so this one couldn't be longer.... bad mindset to have!! she told my i could get into the tub whenever i was ready.. at this point i was just rocking in chair by my bed with a heating pad on my back though all the contractions. i was once again ( like the last 3 times) have all back labor and the heat felt really good. i decided to wait a bit and labor some more out of the pool before getting in.
it was probably around 8 pm that i got into the pool and it felt sooo good.. the warm water felt so good on my lower back and just being in the water took a lot of pressure off my body. i was timing my contractions on an app on my phone and after i was in the water a bit realized i hadn't had a contraction in over 10 min.. when they had been about 5-6 min apart before then. but i guess it was just giving me a mini break before things picked up. the contractions started back up at about 3-4 min apart and then 2-3 min.... and then about every 2 min for about an hour... time is not something i remember at this point but i knew things were happening pretty fast. at this point i needed to have Aaron put crazy hard pressure on my lower back to relieve the pain during a contraction. i was resting on the side of the pool with my face by the open window with the cool wind blowing on my face.. it was the perfect balance of the hot water on my body and the cool air blowing on my face.
i remember feeling the baby move down and down with each contraction and could recognize my body responding to the contractions differently each time. i told my midwife that i was feeling some pressure and she wanted to check me and see what was happening. i really felt my body wanting to push but i had a bit of cervix left and she said she could help push it away if i wanted.. yes please!! anything to make things progress! it was probably 2 contractions after that and the little bit of cervix left was gone and she said to let my body do what it wanted.. which was push! and the burning.....oh the burning!! it was crazy intense.. way more than i remember any of my other kids.. but after a few pushes Oliver William was born at 1015 pm on June 12th. we brought him right onto my chest and he was wide eyed and so alert right away. and with a head of hair! ( all that heartburn paid off i guess) we were helped out of the tub where Aaron cut the cord since it had stopped pulsing after a minute or two. they helped us into bed while they checked him out and he was just perfect. the midwifes stayed awhile after that cleaning up and doing laundry and then they did his newborn exam and such.
**all crappy phone pics but its captured none the less!!**
**all crappy phone pics but its captured none the less!!**
the whole thing was just so laid back and perfect. i am so happy with our decision to do a home birth. it really just felt natural and calm. i cant say enough amazing things about my midwives.... after his birth they stopped by a few times and each time it was like i was sitting and chatting with a friend. i felt like they really cared about me as a person and not just a 'patient' and really wanted to make sure i had everything i needed to succeed. in fact i was sad when they said he had reached his birth weight and didn't need to do anymore home visits. i was going to miss them! i am just really happy that they were apart of mine and oliver's story and hope that our paths cross in more ways then one from now on someway and somehow.
so that's that! so glad i got that down before i forgot things:) onto the next thing now!