This is a guest post by Rachel from Mommy2Mummy.com. Find more info about her below.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be one. The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.
Why We Chose Homebirth
To tell you the story of my home birth I need to give you a little backstory first. My mom had all 4 of us kids at home. She was attended by a doctor (because they still did home births back then), and they all were wonderful experiences. My mom has said that she wouldn’t change a thing about her births.
I grew up with the expectation of an easy, happy, birth experience. My naivety was clear when I went to have my first baby.
My first was a hospital emergency c-section birth. I was induced, and my body did not respond well.
I went into this birth with such sunny expectations to only have them obliterated. I couldn’t believe this had happened to me.
I had a lot of grief surrounding my birth and about all the things that were robbed from me. Things like being the first person to hold him, immediate and uninterrupted skin to skin contact, or being able to change his first diaper (I couldn’t due to all the drugs in my system and the pain of my surgery). This first experience set me on a mission to have the birth I felt I deserved to have.
Redemption through Birth
I got pregnant when our Little Man was 10 months old and was determined to find a doctor who would support my vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC). I was lucky to find a doctor who would let me go into labor naturally and supported my efforts at a medication free, vaginal birth.
I hired a doula (best decision ever!!), and at 41 weeks and a day I went into labor. I gave birth 18 hours later to a beautiful baby girl at 6lbs 8oz.
Right before pushing began I remember my doulas staring straight into my eyes. Her strength became my strength and she told me, “you are almost there.” I held on tightly to my husbands hand and together we pushed.
When I heard Miss M’s first little cry I sobbed out, “I did it.” The relief, the beauty, the strength of that moment is one we will never forget.
Our First Homebirth
Fast forward to baby #3! I again got pregnant when our Miss M was 9 months old. This time I wanted my dream. My husband and I decided this time we should hire a midwife and so we began preparing for my water birth at home.
At 39 weeks, on Thanksgiving Day, I began having contractions that were pretty manageable. I called my midwife to let her know, and I went about my day. These contractions lasted all day. Yup. ALL DAY.
We went to thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s house and I would periodically stand up and sway into my contractions.
By the time evening rolled around and we went home the contractions had subsided significantly so I went to bed. Luckily my husband and I were both able to go to sleep.
At 2:30 in the morning an intense contraction shot me out of bed. I immediately started moaning, and had to lean against the wall as I swayed. I let my husband continue to sleep and made my way to the shower.
The hot water was an incredible help in managing the intense power of the contractions. As one would begin to build I repeated my birth mantra from Isaiah 41 “I will uphold you.”
I’m not sure how much time passed but I finally called out to my husband and we called the midwife. My husband held the phone out on speaker so my midwife could hear me as I was contracting, and she said “I might not make it on time. Baby is coming.”
At this point I put on my birth shirt, and went into the living room while my husband began filling up the birth pool.
I labored on the floor leaning on our couch as the birth assistant arrived. She checked and I was 8cm. Relief. I felt sweet relief. The contractions were so powerful I hoped baby was going to be here soon. I threw up and entered transition. I knew it, I was going to meet baby very soon.
I entered the birth pool my husband sat right in front of me and held onto my forearms. As I continued to labor he was with me through it all.
I knew we were getting closer and asked my husband to call my mom. She arrived a little after 4:30 AM and I began to feel the urge to push.
My husband and my mom by my side, and leaning against the soft birth pool I pushed once, twice, three times, and out she glided. My husband reached down and pulled her out and onto my chest. It was a girl.
I couldn’t believe she was here. The joy, the peace, and the sweet sweet overwhelming contentment of that moment is something I will always hold onto in my mind. We waited until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing and then my husband cut the cord. Oh, and then my midwife showed up!
My home birth was joyous. It was insanely fast, and peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, I am a loud birther (I can’t believe I didn’t wake up my other two kiddos), but during this birth I felt an immense amount of control and strength. I knew that I could do it, I knew that I could birth my baby girl.
Baby F came into this world fast and peaceful— that is exactly who she is. She is calm, she is contemplative, and she is FAST. She is a force to be reckoned with and loves to do everything her older siblings do.
Even though Baby F is our last baby, if I did have another baby I would 100% have another home birth. I took so much comfort and peace being in my home. I was in a safe space and Baby F and I could feel it—it made all the difference.
You and your baby deserve the birth that you want. Don’t give up, fight for what you want. Of course all of us want a healthy baby, but a healthy baby is not the only thing that matters. How we birth matters.
As Ina May Gaskin says, “Whenever and however you give birth your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life.”
Hello! My name is Rachel and I am a stay at home mom to three littles! We are currently preparing for a big move abroad to my husband’s home country, Ireland. We are so excited for this new chapter as we explore all that Ireland has to offer! To follow along on our journey as an expat family you can check out my blog www.mommy2mummy.com and find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!