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Old 06-30-2013, 01:08 AM   #1
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Sonya Mae's Unplanned, Unassisted Home Water Birth

During the month of May, I had endured several episodes of false labor and started showing signs of preeclampsia. My doctor and I had been communicating and working together to make sure if I delivered early, certain things were done so that I could have the natural and calm labor I was seeking but also to ensure I could safely stay pregnant as long as possible. With a big inspection coming at work, it was hard to cut my hours as soon as was desired, but after the inspection, I drastically cut my hours in order to limit the amount of time I spent on my feet each day. My test results bounced around from week to week, but they continued to stay at safe levels. On Friday June 21st, we celebrated having made it to 39 weeks, but the test results that day indicated that it would not be safe to continue on much longer. She decided to give me one more weekend of bed rest, allowing 72 more hours for Sonya to come out on her own but warned me to plan for an induction on Monday if Sonya didn’t take her eviction notice seriously.

I woke up at 9am on Sunday to start my 24 hour urine test for the preeclampsia. I started noticing some mild contractions every 15 minutes or so, nothing painful or obvious, but something was better than nothing. At 10:53, I texted my friend/doula ,Jaci and my sister, Autumn, informing them of the mild contractions and we all agreed it was a convenient day to welcome a baby. We made light conversation back and forth for several minutes before everyone moved on to their late morning plans.

Autumn agreed to go grab my swimsuit from my parents’ house in case I wanted to labor in the bath tub. (I wanted a swim suit for labor so that the children were comfortable coming in and out of the bathroom as they needed and so that when it was time to go to the hospital, I could just put something on over it instead of trying to deal with getting dressed while still wet.) This act alerted my mother to the possibility of labor since we had recently discussed my desire to have my swimsuit handy during labor and I promised her I wasn’t going to deliver the baby at home in my bathtub.

I decided to take a shower and take my oldest to get a hair cut in order to see if movement would increase contractions. We left at noon and while I was out the contractions grew a little closer together, every 10 to 12 minutes, but were not getting stronger.

Upon returning home, I made a joke to my husband that he should take a nap since it might be a long night. He took me seriously and enjoyed an afternoon nap while I did some baby positioning moves since Sonya had still been posterior that morning. I then decided to do a few chores, still trying to determine if we could get the pot boiling.

At 2:40pm I texted Jaci and let her know that they were still 7-10 minutes apart, they had grown a little stronger, but there had been no bloody show or mucus plug. I decided to lay down and rest for a while since I was supposed to be on bed rest. While laying down, contractions started to slow down, going back to 12 minutes apart. I decided it was probably more false labor but the fact that my body was preparing made me feel positive the induction would go well.

Around 4pm, feeling a little deflated that contractions had slowed and that I probably wasn’t in labor, I hopped on the computer and posted a status update: “Sofiya and Kenny are "singing" Gangnam Style. Of course, they don't really know all the words, especially since their main exposure to the song is a Minecraft version. I must admit that Sofiya provided me with a natural dose of pain relief when she shouted, "Hey... Sucky Lady!" at the top of her lungs during a rather intense contraction. That is right... The pot is simmering, but don't get too excited, I said simmering, not boiling. On a side note, Happy 2nd Birthday to my amazing nephews! May they continue to defy the odds!”

I decided to hop in the bathtub and relax. I put on my suit and Miss Sofiya asked if she could join me. We played in the tub for about an hour. Contractions picked up a little, but were still inconsistent, nothing painful or unmanageable. While Sofiya and I were enjoying each other’s company, Kevin came in the bathroom and asked how I was doing. I told him I thought it was false labor but I was still having minor contractions. He made a joke regarding my desire to be a nurse’s midwife and that I could gain experience by delivering the baby at home in the bathtub. I rolled my eyes and told him that was probably not a good idea. He asked if I needed anything and then headed downstairs to play a video game.

Around 5pm, I sent Jaci a photo of Sofiya scrubbing my feet with peppermint pumice soap. After that I decided to get out of the tub and prepare dinner for the children. Contractions were still about 10 minutes apart, in retrospect, they were technically five minutes apart, but every other contraction would be about 15 seconds long and not painful, and then five minutes later I would experience a slightly painful contraction that was about 45 seconds long. I ended up deciding I didn’t feel like eating myself and decided that we would deal with dinner a little later, so I asked Little Kevin to make himself and the other Wild Things a snack.

At 5:30, Jaci and I started texting back and forth a bit about eating, drinking, and possibly resting again. Still no indication that I was truly in labor, the contractions were still manageable, but slightly annoying. I was silently thinking about drugs, but not for the contractions I was experiencing at the moment, more fearing what they would feel like when labor truly started. I decided to try taking a nap. I texted my sister at 5:45 and let her know that contractions were still about 10 minutes apart still. No bloody show, mucus plug, or broken water so it was probably going to be a while. My parents had texted, asking if there was a baby yet, I let them know there wasn’t and probably not anytime soon.

At 6:02pm, I texted Jaci and let her know I lost my plug, generally a good labor sign for me. I climbed back in the tub, feeling more optimistic that an induction would not be necessary. Sofiya wanted to come back in with me, but I told her no this time. She refused to leave my side though. She hung out by the edge of the tub, talking to me and splashing the water. She was being a wonderful little helper, offering me my water and other refreshments. She asked if it was time for her baby sister to pop me and talked excitedly about meeting Spaghetti and Meatballs. I smiled thinking how lucky I was to have such a beautiful, loving daughter. If it gives any indication of how easy things were at the moment, not once had Sofiya expressed concern over any pain I might have been feeling or worry about what was happening. I was not grimacing through contractions or grasping for things to hold on to. They remained the same as they had been before losing the mucus plug, including the length of time in-between them. While we were sitting there, she suddenly reached down and shook my belly. I smiled at her and she said that she liked my belly and she was just checking on Sonya and she wanted her to wake up. Then she looked at my breasts and said, “I like your boobs too, Mom! But I’m not going to touch those.” I laughed and took a picture of her touching my belly.

At 6:39, I sent the picture of “my midwife” to Jaci. She responded back at 6:41, asking if I was staying hydrated. I did not respond because at that moment I was experiencing the first contraction that indicated I was actually in labor. I had gotten up and was squatting in the tub trying to open things up so Sonya could hopefully adjust her position. Sofiya looked concerned for the first time and asked me if the baby was hurting me. So while trying to breathe through the contraction, I was calmly explaining to her what contractions do. I heard a pop, but upon looking in the water, it was still clear, so I couldn’t tell if my water had broken. I climbed out of the tub and observed some blood and liquid running down my leg, so I texted Jaci at 6:46pm and told her it might be time for her to come over. As soon as I hit send, another contraction started. At the end of the contraction, I felt pushy despite the fact that the baby still did not seem to be low enough. She had responded during the contraction, asking if I was sure and so I texted her back at 6:49 telling her that I thought my water broke and I felt like pushing. I texted Autumn at 6:50 that it might be time for her to come over. Sofiya was still in the bathroom so I tried to remain calm so I wouldn’t scare her, but I could feel the next contraction coming, so I asked her to go get her dad. She asked me what was on my leg, I calmly told her it was blood and asked her to go downstairs and get her dad. She asked me again about the blood, so I told her again and asked her to please go get her dad. She left the bathroom and said, “Hey, Kenny! You gotta come see Mom!” I shouted out the door that I didn’t want Kenny to come in and for her to please go get her dad.

I breathed through that contraction and resisted the urge to push, but I knew at that moment I would not be able to resist the next one and was trying to figure out what to do. Should I lay on the floor, squat over the toilet (ew!) or attempt to climb back in the bath tub? I decided to attempt to get back in the tub. I was barely back in the tub when the next contraction started and my body was pushing the entire time. I was trying to feel for the head but couldn’t feel anything, so as the contraction started to end, I was relieved that someone might get there before the baby was born, however at the end of the contraction, I felt a sudden drop and the head was touching my hand and about five seconds later my body pushed my daughter out in one swift motion. I was still squatting in the tub, holding Sonya with one hand and the tub with the other, trying to comprehend what just happened. She was bluish purple and covered in the most vernix I had ever seen on a baby, which was surprising since she was born so close to her due date. She took a breath, started to cry and I took a breath myself. I sat there for a moment before checking the time on my phone, looking at my crying baby and trying to decide how I should feel at that moment. Part of me was excited and thrilled to be meeting my daughter and another part of me was on the verge of panicking because there was still no on there to help me. (Kevin could not understand anything Sofiya was saying and had told her to go get Little Kevin so he could decipher what she was saying.) I continued to sit there, squatting in the tub, too afraid to move since I wasn’t sure how long the cord was and didn’t want to lose my balance and risk tugging the placenta.

I had been trying so hard to keep myself collected as not to scare my children and now that the baby was there, I wasn’t sure how to react. Little Kevin had heard me calling for Kevin and thinking I was calling for him, he started into the bathroom. He looked at me, looked at the baby and tried to figure out who the baby belonged to and why I was taking a bath with someone else’s baby. He quickly realized it was his sister and ran downstairs to get Kevin. Meanwhile, Jaci had arrived and was pounding on the door, she could hear the baby crying, but she was locked out. The dogs started going crazy and I started crying.

After Little Kevin let Jaci in, she joined me in the bathroom and asked if she should call 911 or if I wanted to attempt to go to the hospital on my own. I wasn’t really sure what to do, but she mentioned the water was really dark and was concerned about meconium. I told her the water had been clear when it broke, but I remembered that I was sure my platelets were low and we decided to call 911 since neither one of us are medical professionals prepared to deal with any emergency situations if they were to arise. She called at 7:04pm and Kevin came into the bathroom and mentioned that he was kidding about having the baby at home in the bathtub. I had sat down and was attempting to put Sonya to breast when my sister and the paramedics arrived. Jaci cut the cord while Kevin wrangled kids and dogs. I recall Sofiya squeezing in between the paramedics, looking at her baby sister with great pride and excitement and asking if Sonya had popped me. As I climbed out of the tub, I realized I was ready to deliver the placenta, so I grabbed the “hat” I had been using for my urine test and delivered the placenta before getting dressed to head to the hospital. My sister had let my mother know and she texted me reminding me of my promise not to have the baby at home in the bathtub.

After arriving at the hospital, we went about all the normal procedures. I have mentioned several times how happy I was with my prenatal care and I can say that Dr. Walker did not disappoint me in regards to my care afterwards. She respected my birth plan and made sure I didn’t get unnecessary treatments I hadn’t wanted.

Jaci posted an announcement on her wall, “Didn't watch the pot. Damn thing boiled over before I got there!” and then tagged me in a photo sharing the good news of Sonya’s arrival. Autumn tagged me in a post, congratulating me and posted a picture of her holding Sonya in the kitchen of our home, one of the ambulance, and one of Sonya at the hospital. From there our friends and family started to gather that Miss Spaghetti and Meatballs had been born at home.

My sister holding Sonya in my home

Me holding her at hospital

The Wild Things

Sonya and Sofiya

(Spaghetti and Meatballs is the nickname we gave her while trying to agree on a first name that starts with s and a middle name that starts with m)


I am moving on in life, if you need to get in touch with me, please email me at
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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Congratulations! :-)
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
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Re: Sonya Mae's Unplanned, Unassisted Home Water Birth

Congrats, what a great birth story! Love the pics!
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:10 AM   #4
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Congratulations! Love your birth story! She is beautiful
heather.... mom to wren 5.28.08... and z 11.13.10
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:39 AM   #5
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Re: Sonya Mae's Unplanned, Unassisted Home Water Birth

Amazing! You are blessed
Mary, SAHM and DW to DH, Jay Proud parents of Emma Bean! :: 08/19/11. We had a med-free VB and are CDing , BFing, NVaxing, BFMing (baby food making~made that one up), part time ECing, sometimes BWing and ex-CSing ! Pleased to meet you!
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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Awesome story!!
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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Summer! Congrats, what a truly amazing story! She's a little doll
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:52 PM   #8
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Re: Sonya Mae's Unplanned, Unassisted Home Water Birth

Awesome story!! Congratulations!
Mama to 4 kids (17, 14, 9, 7)
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Congrats! What a sweetie!

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Old 07-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #10
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Re: Sonya Mae's Unplanned, Unassisted Home Water Birth

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