Laura (in English): Sqeezing hips, please

Laura tells us how the father’s baby had a perfect idea for a beautiful home birth.

 

About us… my husband and I consider ourselves pretty green, spiritual, vegan, earthy, karma believers and live our “law of attraction” lifestyle the best we can.

A pregnancy without problems

First baby, first pregnancy. A little bit about my pregnancy. I had an amazing pregnancy. I did feel the fatigue and crumminess between week 6-12. No appetite and just super blah, but not actually throwing up, just once! From month 3 onward I had no real signs of pregnancy, I felt 100% myself. It was amazing!

Right until our little guy was born, I didn’t have an ache, Braxton-hick or a hint of fatigue. I gained 20lbs total. I started my pregnancy in the dark about the choice of freebirth, or even midwives at that point.

It’s not something our province offers so I just did what I thought was normal: The blood work, the 20 week ultrasound, etc.  We kept the gender a secret. At around 28-30 weeks while reading “what to expect when your expecting” I read about midwifery and a lot of the information was saying your midwife or your doctor. I started searching into midwifery. None to be found on Prince-Edward-Island, where we live.

It lead me to finding out what a Doula is, and luckily finding a Doula in our area! When we met her the first time she gave us a handful of books. One being “unassisted childbirth”. I couldn’t put it down! We both read it entirely in like a day and decided this is what we want!!

Why would we go to a hospital and doctor for this, we don’t go to them for anything anyway, so why pregnancy! I fully trusted my body, and my husband — and together we can do this. I found these amazing Facebook-groups which motivated me so much.

After that I started cancelling my appointments with my Obstetrics physician (OB). I had two or three over a 4 month period, incase I ever ended up going to the hospital I would still have a doctor. The checkups were all hands off, just blood pressure and weight. When presenting our “in case” birth plan, our OB joked and said you should have the baby at home!

I cancelled my last appointment at 39 weeks. I didn’t call back and ended up going to 41+2. I didn’t want to let them put negative energy or ideas of the “risks” of “going over”. I would go to 44 weeks if the baby wanted and I wasn’t gonna let them change my mind.

Getting closer

April 9th – I woke up feeling lazy today. Usually I have an abundance of energy and had been walking 6km a day every day prior to this but decided I just wanted to stay in my pajamas today. My husband sensed that I was frustrated. He asked if I was getting impatient. I was impatient. In my mind I thought for sure we would have a March baby, and each day further into April I was so surprised, I actually thought the whole time I would have a Pisces baby.

I didn’t want the baby to feel rushed but I was so sick of people asking me daily if the baby was here, or when they would induce me and so on. I stayed home all day and bounced around. My mom came for a visit later in the day and while she was here I noticed some tightening in my belly. All this time I thought it was just the baby’s position and it was sticking its bum out making my belly super tight. Apparently these are Braxton Hicks! Now I knew!!

These tightenings were happening more and more as the evening went on. No pain at all just aware that my belly was rock hard! I took out my breast pump and decided I would see how it worked, I knew that could increase contractions and I was so curious! I tried it for 10 minutes on each side. Nothing happened.

At 11 that night when I laid down in bed I instantly felt these tightenings getting more painful. Laying down was not what I wanted. I got up and decided to bath at midnight.

Labouring

April 10 – The tightenings got so much stronger, and faster and a whole lot of new feelings were happening. This is it!! I called Kevin in at 2am because while trying to time them, I was guessing and there were some 30 seconds apart. I had no idea what a contraction even was so I thought I better get him incase this is it.

We decided we didn’t want to call our Doula. I didn’t know If I would be able to surrender completely having someone I didn’t know that well with us. Kevin set up the living room with some yoga mats and towels and got me anything I wanted as the hours passed. Things were definitely progressing through the night. He sat by the tub with me and eventually I started needing him to hold on to through the waves.

When I noticed it was getting bright out again I felt a little sense of discouragement that things weren’t changing. Even though now looking back they definitely were. At some point during the night I did try to move to the living room but it seemed like the moving just brought more pain and I was so comfortable in the bath.

Between 6-9ish I was full on in active serious labour. I would get some contractions less then a minute apart and lasting over a minute, and some would give me a rest for 4-5 mins and I could even shut my eyes. It felt so good to rest, but I just wanted it to be over with at the same time!

Transition point

At 9am I hit the point where I wasn’t sure I could do it anymore. I was aware this would come so I didn’t cave, but I truly felt like there must not even be a baby and it’s never gonna come out! Kevin was amazing and coached me through any doubts. I was crying and mourning and screaming and all the things I didn’t think I would ever do, I was doing!

I finally started losing some mucous and slime and stuff (poop, sooo much poop) but it was all too slow for me! I got Kevin to look in a book we had for a position he could maybe help speed things up. He came back in and during my next contraction he squeezed my hips together.

My water instantly shot out breaking like an explosion behind me. I could feel som relief and movement — like the baby just needed that push into place. From here it was another 2 hours or so but each contraction I felt things moving and coming closer.

These contractions were insane. I can’t believe I thought it was painful at 2am, haha! I started checking myself to see if I could feel a head or anything and felt discouraged every time I couldn’t. I changed from standing, squatting, laying, kneeling, all fours, everything.

When I finally felt in and felt a head I instantly cried in relief. I leaned back and squatted in the tub and the next few contractions brought our little boy in. I can’t tell if I actually pushed or just was baring down for the contractions. It all felt the same.

I don’t think the pain of contractions can top the pain of crowning. When you think you can’t push anymore, your body can’t open any more, and it does! I’ll never look at a mother the same after feeling that! Our baby’s head came out with one contraction and about a minute later his body came out without a push or contraction. Just before noon.

A healthy and calm baby

He immediately looked at us and we could hear him breathing a muffled breath. I held him close and we rubbed him a bit until we got a good strong cry. I did suction his mouth and nose with my mouth just incase but he was already so alive. He cried for us a minute later and cleared his canals with that beautiful cry!

I laid back with him and he latched on immediately, which brought on my contractions for placenta within 20-30 minutes. I just squatted and pushed a little and it fell out, the most beautiful organ! He pooped 10 minutes after birth.

We all moved into the living room and got cozy. We left his placenta attached for 12 hours and the next day brought it to the beach and buried it. (Did a cord burning). We Named him Kai, which means the sea, so it felt right to us to leave it in the sea! He weighed 7.7oz. & 20.5inches long.

He’s so perfect. So alert. Like everything about him and his birth were so perfect. I never once felt that we weren’t making the right decision. I didn’t tear. Other than some stinging I feel 90% myself! He’s back to his birth weight. He’s the calmest baby, and I know it’s the way we brought him into the world.

I’m so glad we chose this for our first birth. I don’t want to ever have to compare to a hospital birth and I hope we can shed some light on others to know that birth isn’t a medical event. People have been supportive of our decision for the most part. We had no trouble registering him through non-hospital birth government forms and no check ups required! I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when my OB got the message we had our baby at home alone!!

A 12hr labour would have scared me before if I heard it, and now I realize how fast that goes, and how lucky I was to have such a short labour, especially for my first. We are doing so amazing and it’s still a dream.