~ Elijah Serafin Barron ~ March 21, 2013
Upon finding out that I was pregnant with our third child, I immediately envisioned another natural birth. I had such a wonderful homebirth with my second child, and I very much wanted to experience that again. However, we were staying in a very old family home, one that I didn’t feel comfortable birthing in, so we looked for an alternative. I found a free-standing birth center in my tiny town and I was so happy! Sadly though, for liability reasons with a minor health issue, I “risked out” and would be forced to birth in a hospital. I tried very hard to be ok with that fact. Hospitals aren’t terrible places and the midwives assured me that they were natural birth friendly. Yet I just could not accept it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that by simply stepping into the place, I’d be in the same mindset as I was with my first child (scared and anxious) and that I’d have to “fight” for everything that I wanted done outside of the standard procedures.
We lived over two hours from the midwife that attended Lili’s birth, but realized that she was quite close to my parents’ house. My mother was thrilled at the thought of having her grandchild born in her home. Our midwife was available and it was all systems go! I continued to see the local birth center midwives for back up care and they were so supportive of me choosing to homebirth again.
At 38 weeks 5 days, I packed up my girls and moved in with my parents. I had actually planned to drive up on the 22nd after a class I needed to take. Good thing I had a little divine intervention that made think it better to skip the class and come on the 16th. DH came as well and went back to work a couple of days later. I felt great. A little sciatica to deal with and a serious waddle were really all that were plaguing me at the end of pregnancy. I hit 39 weeks and was completely sure I’d make it another week. I was measuring two weeks behind and I just felt that he was smaller and would need more time. Not to mention, both of my girls were born one day before my due date. I did some shopping with the girls and had a minor freakout that I didn’t have enough newborn clothes. My mom and I placed an emergency Carter’s order and that eased my mind. She kept looking at me, saying that I looked like I was done. I laughed it off, I felt no such thing and knew there was no labor in sight...
At 1:15 AM, I awoke from a deep sleep (induced by Hypnobabies..love that stuff lol) and felt a cold wetness down below. Sure enough, my pants were wet. Odd..I’m not one to wet myself but there’s always a first time I imagined. I sat up and felt a little gush. My water broke? I thought to myself. Surely not, so I went to the bathroom to investigate. Definitely not urine, so maybe it was amniotic fluid after all. I cleaned myself and hopped online to Dr. Google. It didn’t really help so I laid back down and felt yet another small gush. This is it. 39 weeks 1 day and birthing time is about to begin!
I woke my mom to let her know. She was shocked of course and graciously went out to get me pads at 2am. I had left a vital bag at home with all of my postpartum cloth pads! I called my midwife and she told me to sit tight and get some rest. I was to call her back when contractions started. I called Angel, who was working night shift two hours away, and he called his supervisor to relieve him so he could get on the road. I texted my birth photographer that things would start soon. So I thought....
Five hours pass, then 10, then 15, and I was beginning to think labor was not going to happen soon at all. DH had got to me around 10:30 am and we proceeded to just go about the day as usual, having lunch out and walking around browsing in stores to hopefully get things moving. All the while, more water gushed out in little bursts. Our midwife stopped by at 1pm and just chatted and check my urine, temp, blood pressure and baby’s position. She did not want to check me as that started “the clock” much to my disappointment but I understood. Also given the risk of infection for what amounts to not much information in the grand scheme of things, it made sense not to do it. Since I had some bits of mucous plug and blood mixed in with the water, that was a good sign I was dilating even without contracting. She left us with instructions to again call if and when contractions started. She made the comment that my body was probably going to wait until I put the girls to bed. They went down around 8:30 and I felt my first genuine contraction around 11pm, about 22 hours after my water broke! After an hour they became fairly regular and longer in duration so I rallied the troops. By 12:30am the whole gang (midwife, photographer & apprentice) were there as I bounced on a birth ball and finished knitting a hat I decided to make last minute. I listened to my birthing day affirmations on my phone and just tried to be really calm as the birth pool began to fill with water.
About an hour went by and they started to get a little stronger but not much. My midwife suggested I go get some rest since I’d been up all day begging labor to start. Angel and I went up lie down since he too, was running on just 2 hours sleep. As soon as I laid down the most intense contraction hit me like a ton of bricks. Totally blowing my focus and it took a few more for me to finally get myself back in center. Being flat on my back was awful and even an incline was only slightly better. By now the tub was ready and I could not get downstairs fast enough. Lying down made them come on top of each other or perhaps it was just time anyway. I had no less than 5 just going from the bed to the tub. As soon as I stepped in, the pain decreased ten fold. It was incredible. For each contraction thereafter I had to remain on all fours. If I sat up, it would hurt ten times worse. At this point I have to admit that I wasn’t a very good Hypnobabies mama. I sort of went into my own I think, and while I processed the sensations as pain, I still knew within myself I could do it. I wasn’t very vocal, and chatted between waves with ease.
I believe it was about 45 mins in the pool before I heard my midwife say “Are you pushing?” After a thought I replied “Yes I think I am! Should I be pushing already?” “Does it feel good?” she asked. “Yea I think it does.” I replied. “Then do it!” she said. Shocked that I could be at this point already, I let my body do it’s work. I had still not been checked at all. It amazes me still that the body knows exactly when it’s the right time. I didn’t push with every contraction and sometimes not the entire length of one. With me still on hands and knees my midwife said “If you stay that way you’ll have to catch him you know.” Wow! That literally put a fire in me to birth my baby. Two more good pushes and I could feel his head. Out it came and I told everyone “There’s the head!” and another two pushes and out he came into my hands. Exhilarating. Mind blowing. The most amazing experience in life. “You did it babe” DH said tearily as we gazed upon little Eli. He had been right behind me from the minute I got in the tub supporting me.
I moved over to the built in seat in the pool to relax a minute as I heard Gabi come down the stairs. “Mama I heard you and it woke me up” she said. “Come look it’s your brother!” I told her and she smiled so big. “Congratulations Mommy!” she said in the sweetest voice on earth. It was all I could do to keep it together. I had wanted her to see the birth but she was apprehensive. This worked out so perfectly that she could be there at the right time when she wouldn’t be afraid. We made our way upstairs and once the cord stopped pulsating big sister did the honors of cutting. Elijah weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz and 21.5 inches. So much for being small! From the first contraction to baby in arms, my labor was about 5 hours. I’m so thankful that everything went so well and we have another member to love in our family.
Caught a smile
Thanks for reading