We had a planned home water birth. We had no ultrasounds. I was GBS+ but successfully used natural methods to become GBS-! It was nearly perfect! We had the baby 2 days after her “due” (guess) date…
(Please use your BOP…)
We were lazy on Sunday and watched a lot of TV. Paul (hubby) said he felt bad about being so lazy. I told him we were resting up for the baby. Little did I know it would be today. I wasn’t at all nervous about the birth itself (though I had been early on, before HB!) but was anxious to meet her and get the pregnancy part over with. I thought today may be the day but I really wasn’t sure. When we finally decided to go out to finish the horses’ fence (I was just keeping my husband, Paul, company), I went to the bathroom and there was a tiny bit of mucus plug. I also had some fluid leaking on the way to the bathroom on a previous trip, just a very little bit. I told Paul that today may be the day, but I don’t think he believed me. He went on with the fence project plans as usual. I called my mom, then Marlene, our midwife, and I told them I had slight cramps w/ pressure waves and that today may be the day. I went down to the barn around 2:45 with my stopwatch and pad of paper. Paul thought I was making a “to-do” list. I told him I was timing PW’s.
When I started timing them, they were consistently 5 min. apart and 45 sec. long! I timed maybe 2-3 of them in a row. They felt like mild menstrual cramps. Then suddenly, they were 3 min apart and 60 sec. long and getting stronger, though still pretty comfortable. I could still continue on with what I was doing easily. I told Paul that I was going to go start setting up the birthing supplies. We had everything ready, just not set out and we still had to blow up and fill the pool, which meant connecting the pool hose to the faucet in the shower, etc. I wanted to start my Hypnobabies relaxation so I would be nice and relaxed for the birth. Within a few minutes, Paul was up from the barn and was starting to help get things ready. He wanted to take a shower! I told him there was no time for that but he didn’t think I was serious. I guess, because I didn’t look like a typical woman in labor, as portrayed on TV and he thought it would still be several hours. He took a quick shower then started getting the birth pool ready. I decided to start listening to my HB CD’s. I went upstairs to sit on my birthing ball and listen to my relaxation tracks while he got the pool ready. I started on the Fear Clearing Session, but after remembering all I had to get ready, I quit, knowing it was progressing very quickly and that there wasn’t much time. I couldn’t concentrate because of all that still had to be done. I decided to listen after we got things ready. So, I came back downstairs and he had the pool almost full! I did put my HB on in the background, Easy First Stage. Waves were getting very intense! Paul was hanging the Christmas lights for nighttime birthing and joking around. I was in no mood for joking and I was thinking, “we’re not going to need those lights” but I didn’t say anything. He was so relaxed and helpful, I didn’t want to ruin the mood. I was lying on the bed trying to relax through the waves but they were getting so strong and close together that I had to quit helping get the supplies set up. He disappeared upstairs and I had a few more pressure waves and decided after this last one, that’s it! I have to get in the pool! When Paul came back downstairs a few minutes later, he was surprised to find me in the pool, not thinking it was time yet. I asked him to call my mom and tell her I was definitely in labor and that she should come soon. I don’t think I made it clear how close I thought it would be! (Of course, I wasn’t SURE how long it would take, so I was second-guessing myself). I must have been much more calm on the outside than I felt on the inside because I had to yell a few times for him to come back down again when I felt definite pushing during a pressure wave! He had been straightening up for our birth team and my mom so they would have a place to sleep that night while waiting for the birth and/or afterward. (I thought that was cute!) I got a little scared when the pushing started b/ I didn’t know if it was time yet. Was I dilated? My birth team wasn’t there yet! We thought we may have to catch this baby ourselves. Paul called the midwife and she was about 15-20 minutes away.
I know people have different experiences and sensations during birthing but pushing to me was very intense! To me, I don’t know how anyone could NOT push when a pressure wave came on! I couldn’t NOT do it. So, when the pushing happened, it happened! It felt like dry heaves. My body just took over and I was surprised how powerful my body was! Of course, I had been having practice pressure waves since at least week 20 pretty regularly. I had said that as many as I had, the baby ought to just shoot out! I don’t remember it being that painful, it just scared me a little how my body took over. When the pushing started, I was lying back in the pool. I just stayed in this position b/ it never occurred to me to move. Early on in the pushing, my water broke which, to me sounded like an explosion! Paul was still running around getting things ready or calling the midwife or something because he didn’t know it had broken and I didn’t ask him if he noticed until afterward. He hadn’t. At some point, Holly, the midwife’s apprentice, arrived. She looked shocked when she came in, not expecting us to be so far along. The look on her face was priceless. Marlene arrived soon after and they were busy setting up supplies they might need. I think she suggested I try a different position because I had been pushing for a little while and there was no head coming. (We think I probably pushed for about an hour??). Once I got on my hands and knees, it progressed much more quickly. A few more pushes and the head was crowning. A few pushes later, her head was out. Once her head was out, I was preparing for the same with the shoulders but I think one push and the shoulders were out. Then the rest of her slid out on its own. I thought someone was pulling her out but I found out later that that wasn’t the case. Marlene said “sit back” and when I did, the baby came floating up into my arms. She cried once or twice then opened her eyes and looked around! She latched on and nursed very quickly and was alert and calm. She has been a very quiet baby and many people comment on how quiet and alert she is. I think it has a lot to do with her gentle entry into the world! We estimated her arrival to be 5:45, about 3 hours after the PWs were apparent to me.
I had a brief second of the “ring of fire” when her head was emerging but it quickly faded as her head came out and exerted more pressure. The only sharp what-I-considered “pain” was I could feel myself tearing in the front, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get the baby out! I didn’t think of changing positions. (I hadn’t done any perineal stretching on the front. All of the literature I had read on it said to stretch toward the back. Where I had stretched, I didn’t tear. However, I didn’t need stitches, fortunately.) Delivering the placenta was a piece of cake.
She is now 9 weeks old and worth it all a million times over! I don’t feel I really got to fully use my HB because of the speed at which the birth progressed. It was hard to get “into the zone” because it happened in such a rush, but obviously, it helped keep me calm, which allowed for a quick, relatively painless (though intense) birth. I recommend it to everyone!
If I could do anything over, (you may want to consider this for your birth) I’d have had a deeper birthing pool (ours was 22″, of course, water was probably about 16″ high). I’d have it at least 6″ higher next time. Would have been able to get into a better position(s), been more boyant, etc. I would have also been doing HB THAT DAY when I first suspected that it would be the day of birthing so I could get into my off switch and center switch better and could practice with them when PWs weren’t intense. I would have also tried the exercise my natural healer gave me for menstrual cramps that works like magic to see if that helped lessen the pressure sensations of the PWs. And, I would have had everything set out weeks in advance, just in case.
More good news: I had symphysis pubis discomfort throughout much of pregnancy but it didn’t bother me at all in labor or delivery!…
I wish all of you the best! It’s been great having you on our “team”. You can do it! Your baby will thank you one day for giving them the best start and being proacitve in their care! Remember to get your baby to a good chiro who is experienced in children. It keeps the nervous system functioning well which makes your baby healthier.