I am a mother of 3 beautiful children. My first 2 I had delivered in a hospital and my third was delivered [as a homebirth] in my living room.
by Nichole from Wisconsin
My first labor was pretty quick. 6 hours to be exact. My water broke in the middle of the night and we rushed to the hospital while my contractions picked up fast. They were 2 minutes apart when we arrived. I was immediately hooked up to IVs and placed in a bed. Unfortunately, my veins were not cooperative, and were repeatedly blown up time and time again. I think that was honestly more painful than the contractions themselves. By the time an IV was put in properly, I looked like I had been ran over by a truck. I was bruised everywhere. Big black bruises. It was awful and made it hard to enjoy holding my little girl when both arms were sore as can be. But it was all worth it because I got a beautiful little girl out of the deal. She did not want to take the breast at first. So I had to pump and bottle feed her. We kept up with that pumping every 3 hours for 5 months before I dried up and I sobbed for days feeling like a failure because of it.
If only I knew donor milk was a thing. If only I knew a lot of things…
My second baby was also a hospital birth. She came even faster. 4 hours of labor and 2 pushes and she entered the work wide eyed and rather happy. I did have an epidural with this one as well as the last. But this epidural failed. It was put in wrong and caused an unbearable amount of pain. My spine still has a small lump that hurts if pushed on. I wish I knew how easy it was to mess that up. I would have said no. But no matter what it was worth it because I have now 2 beautiful girls to show for it and I love them with all my heart. Oh and to add, this baby was a terrific breastfeeder. I didn’t stop breastfeeding her until she was 2. I was 36 weeks pregnant with my third at the time.
Now for my third birth…
This one was so much different. This time I did my research. I knew what I wanted and I was a new woman.
I was going to do a home birth. My husband was very skeptical at first. He was more for doing another hospital birth. But I told him what I had learned. How much risk there was in a hospital vs home. My birth plan this time was much much longer and things were so different from my first 2. I finally, after months, convinced him it was the best idea for our family. So we found a group of incredibly kind and natural midwives who were on board with delivering my little guy. They were an hour from my home but didn’t have any concern about that nor that the hospital was 30 minutes away. It was all planned.
I had rented a birth pool and had my birth kit delivered for my homebirth.
I painted almost every room in the house (because our home was a foreclosure and was in bad shape). I read every home birth boom and article I could find. I recommend Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for anyone thinking of doing a home birth. I was so ready. Then on June 12th at 6 pm. I started to feel the very light jolts in my abdomen. I sent my hubby, who was working at the time, a text and said I felt weird but not sure if it was labor or not. It was different from my first 2 who were water breaks right away, so I didn’t know what was going on. At about 11 pm I realized I was in labor. The contractions were strengthening and were coming every 6 minutes. So I called one of my midwives and she came out right away because my first 2 labors were so fast. But the night drew on and the contractions slowed a bit. Still every ten minutes but it was not progressing fast.
The midwife stayed the night but left the next morning and told me to call if the contractions got more extreme.
So we waited. And I took about 4 showers. The contractions were strengthening big time. My husband set up the pool in the living room and I had my parents come and pick up my 2 girls. I called my midwife back and she was there within the hour. My contractions were 2 minutes apart and I was dilating more so we filled up the pool.
I got into the pool and was really exhausted. I kind of just rested my head on the side and tried to breath through every contraction.
Then I was starving. I got to eat whatever I wanted. I will never forget the joy I felt when I got to eat. Something they would never allow in the hospital [but did at my homebirth].
It kept me from throwing up. ( I had buckets of vomit and stomach acid in the hospital by my bed because of low blood sugar and they never allowed me to eat even then). This is something I will always be thankful for. Eating during labor is heaven! Lol. Anyway back to it. I was heating up in that pool. They had to keep the water at just the right degree so the baby didn’t get cold when born. It was too much to handle for me. So I got out. We had a pull out couch in the living room that I had put plastic on with a sheet over previously, just in case I needed it. Glad I did. I moved to the bed and started out on my back. I knew I had to push. My body was making me and it was not orgasmic like I had hoped. I was a screamer, not proud of it but it is what it is. The baby was not coming out and I was growing more and more exhausted. So one of my midwives suggested rolling over onto my hands and knees and putting my head down. It worked better that way. I pushed only a few times and out he came. Along with a lot of fluid. I guess my hubby was super quick to grab a bucket and caught most of the fluid before a huge mess was made. My midwives commented multiple times about how helpful he was and how quick to act he was. I must add he was my biggest support. He kept telling me between my screams how I could do it.
I am a strong woman and I could do it.
Also him and my midwives kept telling me to just breath. I know I was not the easiest woman to deal with and I am grateful I had their support. Anyway after 23 hours of pretty strong labor. I finally had my baby boy out. He was absolutely perfect. 7 lbs and 11 ounces of perfection. He breastfed like a champ right from the start and still does. I couldn’t have been happier. The joy I felt will never be forgotten.
If I ever have another baby. I will birth then at home as well.