Our home birth was so amazing, I keep going over the events in my mind, hoping to remember every little detail. It was three months ago now, and I still get goosebumps.
My water broke around 2 am, and I didn’t want to wake my birth team too early so I waited until 3 to call everyone. My midwife asked me how I was and then asked, “How is Maria Elena (the baby)?” The fact that she counted my intuition as an important question was very meaningful and powerful to me. I said she was fine. She was moving a lot (like a TOn) before my water broke and now she’s kind of quiet.” “So she was doing her part in breaking the sack,” my midwife said. And I immediately felt proud of my baby, and connected with her, and so thankful to have a midwife who really knows how capable mothers and babies are.
My husband said, “Maybe we should fill the birth pool now.” “Okay,” I said. As he filled the pool I had a couple of contractions. It was around 4 am and I knew that my midwives, doula, and photographer were on their way but not rushing because I told them to take their time, we were just getting started.
Around 4:30 I had two back-to-back contractions. My husband said, “well that was fast.” Then, you know how contractions are like waves? Like they start slow, get big, then slow down again? Well, I had a couple of contractions that seemed to slow down and end, and then – MORE INTENSITY- then slowed down. Like a double hump, if you will. Crazy!
I got into the birthing pool “even though they say if you get in too soon it could slow labor” I said to my husband. “But I don’t care that it’s early, I just can’t wait to get in the warm water!”
That water. Mmm so relaxing. I was weightless. I could change positions so easily. “I’m going to take a nap,” my husband said. “Wake me when you need me.”
I needed him after like 10 minutes. I think it was around 5 am. I needed swigs of water. I needed him to pay the sweat from my brow. I was cursing all those gentle birth videos I watched with women calmly helping their babies out of the birth canal with their calm steady hands. I was shaking. Couldn’t focus my eyesight. But I was totally in charge. I was letting the surges do their thing. I knew that I could have slowed them but I just let them come.
Then I thought. Ok, I’m ready. I know if I put each handout, hold onto the handles, and let my legs spread wide, I am going to get the biggest hugest contraction of all. I’m going to do it for the next one. It’s going to hurt, but I’m going to do it.
I did it. Wooooo hooooo so intense! And I felt Maria Elena move down. I didn’t tell my husband. But I knew she was coming. I didn’t want him to worry because the team wasn’t there yet. I heard him call everyone. “You guys need to come now,” he said.
Then I felt her head. I swear that is the weirdest most awkward sensation, to have a head down there. Just hanging out. “Anne there’s the head,” he said. “I know, it’s gonna be fine. We can do this.” “Well I know we can do this but… where are they?” He called again. They were almost there. It was 5:45 am.
I pushed. Once. Twice. “The head is out there she is!” My husband said. “Now push again!” “I will I just have to wait for the next contraction!” I said. Then I heard our doorbell.
My husband ran to press the button that opens the condominium door on the bottom floor (we’re on the third). He ran back to me, I pushed out our baby, and he put her on my chest. The whole birth team rushed in together. “We’re here!!! OMG you did it!! We’re here! You did amazing!!” I heard the click-click of the camera. I had done it. Maria Elena was so sweet looking up at me. She stretched and seemed to like having extra space. We stared at each other. It was pure magic.
Maria Elena was born at 5:53 am on May 30, 2020, she weighed about 8 pounds. I pushed out the placenta, I had to have two stitches, we practiced breastfeeding, and I got dressed. And then we celebrated. Family members arrived, neighbors and friends. We had coffee and croissants. We laughed and cried and told my husband he should become a midwife. My oldest daughter burned the umbilical cord with a candle. My son stared and smiled.
I wish everyone could experience this power. It was the best day of my life.
As a birth and postpartum doula in Genoa, Italy, she’s passionate about helping others have the birth of their dreams.
Whether you are looking for support in preparation for childbirth, an encouraging presence during labor, or support in adjusting to life with your new baby, she would be honored to be there for you.
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