Disclaimer: I am a huge advocate for Natural/Unmedicated Births, Home Births and anything related to a natural way of living. That said, it doesn't mean I am against momma's that decide to do a Hospital Birth, or Medicated Birth, etc. I support women on their decisions as long as these are educated and empowered decisions. This here is the Story of the Birth of my second child who turned 1 year today. You might wonder why I chose to have a Home Birth, but this would be a separate Blog Post by itself. Just know that after having my first child at a Hospital, I decided I would never birth in a hospital unless there was an emergency.
Hope you enjoy and please be aware there are a lot of details in this post so it might be long.
Water broke while going up the stairs arriving at Midwife’s office. I felt my underwear and pants get wet and for a second I thought I had peed myself. I told the Midwife and her assistant and she immediately sent me to the bathroom to get the pad tested. It came out positive for amniotic fluid. I was sent home to see if the labor would start on its own. Midwife advised to call her if contractions started to be regular with 5 minutes in between. She advised she would visit us the following day at around 12:00pm to see how everything was going. Contractions were very irregular the whole time. We decided to go to Walmart and do some grocery shopping, yup, grocery shopping, I didn’t feel any pain so it was totally ok.
Labor never kicked in, although I did feel some strong contractions during the night, but nothing regular. Contractions were minimal unless I used the breast pump as suggested by the midwife.
12pm: Midwife arrived and since the labor had not kicked in on its own we decided to start the process of a holistic induction in order to avoid a chemical induction.
4pm: Contractions were still irregular and the midwife educated us on using acupressure on the cervix to stimulate contractions, after discussing the pro's and con's we decided to try it. At that time she checked my cervix and I was still at 3cm and 75% effaced. Not much had changed from the last cervix check about 2 weeks before that. She mentioned that as she had suspected she could feel a bulge of the sack which would mean that the amniotic fluid that escaped was only from the fore sack and the area were baby was, was still intact.
6pm: Carlos, myself and our midwife spoke about our options since the labor was not progessing and decided to wait until 8pm to decide what we would do. During this time the induction process continued with different methods including tincture, breast pump, prenatal bouncing ball, castor oil, among others.
8pm: We sat down in the kitchen and the midwife talked to us about our options if we still wanted a home birth. Our main concern was that my water had broken and it could be a possible cause for infections which we wanted to avoid. The midwife educated us in the options available and the consequences of all options. She also mentioned the possibility of calling On-Call Midwife at the closest hospital and have them check by amniotic fluid and do a non-stress test on baby and then let labor happen when it wants to happen if everything was ok. We agreed with the idea of going to the Hospital and get everything checked as it would keep us at ease.
9:30pm to 11:00pm: Carlos and I left the house with a maternity bag in case we would need to stay and headed to the hospital. The midwife followed us in her car. As soon as I got in the car the contractions started stronger. I could feel them every 5 minutes. I was talking on the phone with my mother in law and would have to stop talking while I had a contraction. I was worried, but still happy and laughing at the whole situation and how baby Cookie did not want to arrive. On the way to the Hospital I had about 4 strong contractions but I was comfortable. We arrived at the hospital and they asked me if I was in labor, I said I wasn't. Olivia was with us at all times. We had to register and while at the office I was having heavier contractions but I was able to manage them, I was laughing between them as some of them didn’t let me talk. I was taken to labor and delivery on a wheelchair, which I found odd as I was able to walk. They didn’t allow me to walk as it was their policy’s (smh).
From the labor and delivery area they sent me to get an ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid. When I arrived to the ultrasound area I was asked to sit on the table, which I complied. The technician was also expecting a child and very calmed. She asked me to lay flat in my back in order to do the ultrasound. At this point my contractions were much stronger and I was losing “my cool”. I told held that I wasn’t able to lay on my back (most of my contractions were on the back and regardless I WAS ALMOST 40 WEEKS PREGNANT!). To add to the stronger contractions, since I had used castor oil to help with the contractions, I had a major case of “liquefied stools” lol, which had me running to the bathroom every 10 minutes. I told the technician that I needed to go to the bathroom or I would have an accident on her table. She allowed me to go. When I got out of the bathroom the midwife discussed with me that they wanted to do a full ultrasound and it would take about 40 minutes. I was already having steady contractions and my first reaction was "hell no". The midwife recommended checking amniotic fluid and that would be enough. I agreed. The ultrasound tech complied and informed that levels of amniotic fluid were 8, which meant baby was secured in amniotic fluid and what the midwife was correct in thinking that my amniotic sac was intact.
Contractions were getting strong, I was in a lot of back pain. I was taken to the labor room and was monitored for blood pressure and newborn stress. Blood pressure was a bit high but seemed like it was not concerning for staff or the midwife. The nurses were nice to me and Carlos. I wasn’t able to stay sitting down as the pain was worse when sitting down and I was running to the bathroom a lot. Olivia asked me at one point how would you rate your pain FROM 1-10, and I was like TEEEENNNNNN! The midwife said: “really” and my face told her that “YES REALLY!” haha. A while later the midwife advised that the best thing was to return home if I still wanted to have a home birth. Between contractions and with monitors on I said: “yes, I want a home birth”. Olivia spoke with the nurse on staff, who contacted the on call hospital midwife and I was discharged from hospital at around 10:45pm.
11:00pm: We arrived home at 11:25pm and I immediately stripped down to a bra. Contractions were coming on strong. I had a yoga ball on top of the bed which I used as support on each contraction. One of the doulas showed my husband a few techniques to alleviate the back pain. While I was working through the contractions the other doula arrived and both started to work on the birthing pool. I’m not sure of the exact time of all of this but it all happened very quickly. I remember at one point my midwife said I was at 9cm. My husband was not concentrating as he had noticed the doulas were having a difficult time with setting up the birthing pool (or that’s how I saw it haha). I told him (between contractions… so basically in a very rude tone), to focus on me and let them do the pool.
After a few contractions, me in pain, me thinking I would not be able to do this, me with EXCRUCIATING back pain, I remember saying, I want to push. The midwife and both doulas said, not yet. I told them about 2 times… I can’t hold it. The midwife got close to me and told me we had to wait a little for baby to come down and showed me a breathing technique so I wouldn’t push. It helped so much.
My brother was in the room, my son and mom were sleeping. My brother went to get my mom (this I learned after giving birth because I didn’t even notice him), who said she did not want to be in the birth. She came a few minutes after the baby was born.
I had my husband in my back, my midwife on his side, and the two doulas on the left of me. One of the doulas noting everything that was happening and the other one checking the baby’s vitals. At some point I squatted down as this was the way my body felt more comfortable. I was given the OK by the midwife to push. The midwife was on my left side to the back with hands underneath me. I still do not know how she was able to do this with so little space. She was awesome! She had oils in her hands to help mommy stretch nicely for baby to come out. One push, head was out, second push, body was out. Baby was born at 1:00am (can’t recall exact time) on 12/23/2016 next to my bed in the comfort of my own home, with no unnecessary interventions or medications. I did not tear and there was no need of stitching.
Midwife grabbed the baby and told me, “grab your baby” while I was still kneeling. Everything happened so quickly. My legs started to tremble, I lost all control over them and couldn’t stand up. First thing I did was check if Cookie was a boy or a girl and I shouted: “It’s a BOY!!!”. My husband and midwife helped me stand up. I was placed in our bed and automatically started skin to skin. Midwife placed a heating blanket on top of baby to keep baby warm. A few minutes later we started to breastfeed and he latched like a champ with the help of the midwife. The placenta was delivered about 15 minutes after or so I recall lol.
Our room was filled with people we wanted there, my husband, my mom, my brother, my midwife and her two assistants/doulas.
This was the best decision I made and I thank my husband for agreeing with me. During the whole pregnancy lots of people criticized me, judged me, and questioned me, oh so many would look at me like I was some kind of crazy. I would either ignore them, educate them or simply tell them “this is my decision”. My husband can testify that this experience was amazing and empowering. I hear so many people saying, what if there is an emergency, what if something happens. Emergencies and complications are due to happen at home or at the hospital, and most of the time these are just scare tactics used against us as women/mothers.
I only say and ask of you, educate yourself, research, look for a provider that is aligned with your needs, expectations and desires, and if you can, hire a DOULA.
This was my birth experience at home and I wouldn’t change any minute of it.
Happy Birthday Kai!
**Birth Images taken by my brother.**