It seemed the more I educated myself about the birthing process, the more I was led away from what I thought birth would be like. In the end I did what was best for my baby and best for me. I ended up having an all natural home water birth. Here is my story….
I was woken at three in the morning by unusual tensions in my pregnant belly. This is it, I told myself. A wave of excitement rushed over me. I get to meet my baby! I had been preparing in anticipation for this day for months. I had the tiny clothes folded in the drawer, the diapers placed neatly in their carrier. I had even managed to organize every closet in the house. I felt ready.
I had researched everything I could about a homebirth due to the fact I had not even heard of such a thing prior to my pregnancy. I had visits with a very educated midwife. I watched every natural birth (for me this means no pitocin, no IVs, no pain meds, no laying down and no starving) video I could get my hands on and knew it was going to be okay. This was the right choice for me. I never doubted it and I never feared the pain.
It’s three in the morning and I am ready and excited, but I know from reading all those darn books that I need more than anything to get my rest. Who could sleep! I got up to make sure it was really labor and started timing things. Timing was not consistent so I knew I still had a long way to go. I wanted everything perfect, I started cleaning the dishes and setting up my things. I tried to lie back down, but contractions are really not the most comfortable things to sleep though. I managed to at least lie there until 8am then I got up.
I spent most of that morning moving around to get things going. I took a walk, played on my yoga ball and cleaned. I called my midwife around 9am and told her what was going on. She told me not to call back unless the contractions were consistent and five minutes apart. I was a bit worried since she mentioned she was at a meeting two hours away, but I knew from my research there was still plenty of time.
Contractions are no joke. When they were ten minutes apart I thought, this isn’t so bad, but five minutes apart. Three minutes apart….wow. I felt most comfortable if I bent over the sink or hung out on my hands and knees. For many many hours it was just my contractions and me. It didn’t matter that my midwife, her student, her assistant, my mother and my husband were in the room. I was on planet labor.
At about hour 18 I really had wished I had slept. I was exhausted. As the contractions got closer together my pelvic bone felt as if it were on fire. I had to have constant counter pressure on my back. Ten hours later I would fall asleep for a minute and wake up the next. I don’t even think my eyes ever opened after that. I was within myself.
I will tell you the pain isnt like you would expect. Its nothing like the movies, there is no screaming no freaking out. To me it felt so normal, like a heavy pressure that my body knew what to do with. I didnt make sounds other than weird breathing until pushing.
However, I could not wait to get into the tub. The exhaustion was getting to me and the constant contractions were getting hard to deal with. I knew that tub would be a lifesaver….It sure was. I didn’t have to hold myself up anymore, the water held me.
My water finally broke in the tub and that’s when things got even more intense. I had to spend five hours in transition, the most painful part of labor(supposedly), when it was suppose to last 45 minutes because the baby’s face up. The midwives were starting to fill out the papers to transfer me to the hospital, but they decided to see what some positioning could do.
I had to get out of the tub then lay on my side. Honestly those five hours were the most painful, but to me it didn’t seem that long. Without having to use any type of intervention the baby did turn and getting out of the tub probably helped to get things going. I got back in the tub but my midwife wanted my to try a different position to help her along. I sat on the toilet and then came the urge to push.
I have never felt anything so POWERFUL in my life. You have absolutely no control over it. It’s like trying to stop from vomiting in the middle of it…impossible. The pushing feeling was actually a great relief to the contractions. It took the pain away from the pelvis and brought it downward. I got back in the tub. An hour more of pushing and I could start to feel the head come through. It is quite amazing really. It pops out a bit then goes back a bit, but honestly I was exhausted and was so excited the end was near I gave it all my might and pushed the head out in a few pushes. The rest is easy.
I felt her flow out of me and I reached down to picked her up. It was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced. My husband and Mother fell so hard in love immediately they started to cry. I just looked at her. Her huge eyes open as wide as can be, staring into me. She looked like an alien. Her head askew from the journey and those eyes. Those big dark eyes. I hold her like I was afraid to touch her. Then she clears her own throat and cries.
It’s all okay and I am overwhelmed. We move to the bed as a birth the placenta while she is still attached. I wait until the cord stops pulsing and papa cuts it. She doesn’t leave our arms for hours. We lay there as a family and I feel recovered already. I just stare at her in disbelief.
It is truly amazing what our bodies can do. The are created so perfectly that we could labor in our sleep. I will never forget any moment from that day. I was so incredibly empowered and humbled simultaneously, I rose above myself and stood fearless.