Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC
Home waterbirth story (positive!)
Our baby girl, Aerith, was born during a home waterbirth at 4:56pm on December 22nd after a 56 hour labour. She weighs 6 lbs 2 oz, and here's the story of her arrival!
I had been having prodromal labour since early December and wasn't going into active labour (despite trying every natural induction method in the book multiple times). Finally, after waking up on December 20th, the contractions really intensified and were coming every 3 minutes apart. I took a warm bath and that didn't stop them, so I called my midwife in the early evening, who told me to take a gravol and some tylenol and try to sleep through the night.
I woke up on the 21st at 4am and 6am, and then went walking to the library with my husband to check out some books. I had strong contractions the entire time and breathed through them as he looked through some Victorian ghost stories. The midwife called at noon right after we got back and said she was coming over. She examined me and said I was almost fully effaced, but only about 2cm dilated. I was a bit disappointed after having these contractions for weeks on end! She said the baby was occiput posterior and that we should walk around the apartment up and down stairs for a few hours to encourage her to change positions.
We did this, and she got back at 6pm to examine me. Contractions were very strong at this point but I had only dilated to 3cm. On top of that, she found out that the baby was in an occiput posterior brow presentation, which is apparently super rare (1 in 3,000 or something) and occurs when the baby comes down face first and puts down pressure on the neck. It's really difficult to deliver vaginally, and if she didn't change positions by the time I was further in active labour, I was going to have to transfer to the hospital... There were talks about what the OBs at the hospital would do; she called the hospital and the OB on call was a huge ***** and told her to bring me in right away since it was an emergency -- then she hung up on the midwife. I really didn't want to go to the hospital, and I especially didn't want a c-section, so I was willing to try any alternative. The midwife suggested we call in an acupuncturist to help the baby change positions since I had plenty of room in my pelvis and the baby's head was small. I had never had acupuncture before and was honestly quite skeptical, but I was willing to give it a try if it could help me avoid a c section!
The acupuncturist arrived at 9pm and did some pressure points in my back and feet, and also my ears and forehead to help me relax between contractions. My midwife checked me at around 10pm and the baby had turned out of a brow presentation! Yay! She suggested that I try to sleep through most of the night, which I was able to do decently enough between contractions, and my other midwife arrived in the morning on the 22nd. She stayed with me all day as I laboured around the apartment. My husband was a tremendous amount of support for me during contractions -- he pushed in my hips during each one and said some really encouraging things to me. Breathing through the contractions made them not so bad, just a lot of pressure, and going in and out of the birth tub was amazing! (And a kiddie pool at that -- it worked sooo well!)
The tub slowed my contractions a bit, but they never got closer together than 4 minutes; at one point I just decided to stay in the tub because it felt great and I had a sense that I'd want to push soon. At about 3:30pm I felt down and pushed a little and felt my water break in the pool. (My hand being there probably prompted it a bit.) The water was clear, so I was good to stay in the tub! About an hour and 10 minutes later I felt like pushing, which was less of an urge than I thought it would be. To me, it was more like "I'm sick of just contracting and want this baby out now" if that makes any sense! The pushing felt fine, but when I felt her head come down I really didn't think it would fit out. After a few attempts, I said "I can't, I don't think she'll fit," but my midwife explained that it's a gradual wearing of the perineum, which takes time. I guess I just expected to push the baby out all at once, ha.
I only pushed for 21 minutes before I got her head out! I looked down and saw her tiny ear and her little eyes looking all around, which encouraged me to get the rest of her out during the next contraction at 4:56pm. I reached down and brought her up to my chest -- it was amazing catching my own baby! We waited till her cord stopped pulsing and then my husband cut it and announced her name to everyone for the first time.
The baby was handed over to him I got out of the tub to deliver the placenta, which I was able to do in one push while the midwives held me up. I then nursed her for a good 30 minutes! However, I then lost a huge amount of blood since my uterus was just so awesome at contracting for 56 hours. I lost over a litre of blood and they brought me into the bedroom and put me in bed attached to an iv on a clothes hanger. They also injected me with something, I don't know what, but it hurt.I started shaking like crazy and felt SOOO cold. My skin was white and the midwives couldn't get a blood pressure reading because it was so low. They kept pushing clots out of my uterus, which honestly hurt more than any part of childbirth... I didn't scream the entire time I was in labour, but I definitely made some noise for this! They were finally able to pull out some huge clots from my uterus, and after the iv drip went through I started feeling better. Later that night I felt quite ravenous and sat on the floor of the kitchen eating pretzels and peanut butter like a madwoman!
We then went to bed with the baby between us. We had a bassinet planned, but that quickly fell by the wayside since it's soooo comfortable just having her in bed with us. She's a champ at breastfeeding as well, which is great!
I recovered very quickly! I didn't tear at all, not even a scrape, and my stomach is already flat again. (Which is very nice and not what I was expecting!) Aside from the blood loss, everything went amazingly well and I loved having a home waterbirth!