Monday, August 12, 2013

My First Homebirth

Charis is six months old! Can you believe it?! We love our sweet girl and are so glad we reversed our decision to not have any more children. Look what we would have missed out on!

After six months of reflection I thought it would be good to post about my home birth experience. Let me open by saying: I NEVER...EVER THOUGHT I WOULD DO A HOME BIRTH :) With Rhea (my first) I had every intention in the world to have a natural childbirth in the hospital... um, yeah right. I went on and on the months before going into labor about how women have done it for thousands of years, I can do it to! I remember my sister said something like: "Um, sister, you might want to wait until you have a baby before you go talking about how easy it is..." Yeah, wish I would have listened to her. After about 12 hours of labor with Rhea and being dilated to only a three I called it quits and got that lovely thing called an: epidural :) WOWZA. that thing made me feel like I wasn't even having a baby. It did wear off at the pushing point though... I pushed for over an excruciating hour and then my beautiful baby girl was FINALLY there!

My second birth was my son Ricky. I told Scott: "well, I'll go as long as 'possible' without the epidural." (I think we both knew that wouldn't be very long). Once I started puking over and over I decided to "hook it up". Ricky was a much easier labor over all. But he came out with a 104 temp and was immediately taken from me and put on antibiotics... still not sure what happened there.

18 months later Johnny came. This time I was a week overdue and my blood pressure was through the roof. My mother had died suddenly a couple days before I was due and I think I was internalizing a lot of things (obviously) and they broke my water to start labor... and I got the epidural..... again. It was a very UN-eventful labor...if there is such a thing :)

Fast forward two years. I am pregnant with Charis and seriously considering a home birth. The only reason for that is because of where I now live: Washington. The state with the highest rate of home births. Almost every single one of my closest friends here does home births (a lot of them with the same Christian mid-wife).

I thought: "well, I would like to do a natural child-birth and I KNOW I won't do that at a hospital with that epidural so readily available. I also hate them waking me up all night and not really feeling like my baby is mine until I leave the hospital." So, Scott and I talked and decided yep, we're gonna do it! I had no idea what I said yep to.

On February 6th around 7 a.m. Johnny came in the room with me and cuddled. I had some pretty strong contractions about 10 min. apart.... I thought: "I bet this isn't it." The morning proceeded. Scott was at his office in an important meeting so I didn't bother him. The kids started making fun of the silly/crazy sounds/breathing noises I was making every five minutes or so. They were impersonating me and laughing pretty hard. not. funny. I called my dad and his lovely wife and asked if they could come over and help me out with the kiddos (they were staying at my in-laws waiting for me to have the baby).

They came over around 10 a.m. Kathleen offered to make me a omelet and I gladly accepted the offer (I puked it up a couple hours later). At this point I was laying on my bed breathing through sporadic contractions. Scott came home around 10:30. I called my midwife around 11. She said: "Hmmm, we might be having a baby today." I still didn't believe it. I called my friend Bonnie and she said: "I think this is it!" I still didn't believe it. Around noon though, I told my dad: "I think this is it."

Scott got the birthing tub out and... POPPED IT! I was like: "What is that sound?!" It was a hilarious sight (now I think it's hilarious). Our dear friend/contractor, my father in law, step mom and dad were frantically running around looking for duct tape! :) They found the duct tape and I asked my dad to take the kiddos back to my in-laws. IT WAS HAPPENING... and I was puking... and in so much pain....

Scott started to fill the tub and we called our midwife and told her this was the real deal. She got there around 1. The tub was full and I was in there....dying.... or at least that's what it felt like. I just kept telling myself: "Next time I can get the epidural..." That was the only thing making me feel better :)

She checked me and said I was at a five. I was depressed. A five?!!! This is going to take FOREVER! The contractions were strong but the water helped SO much. I didn't realize how much the water was helping until I got out to try and go to the bathroom... I had three contractions right on top of each other that were INTENSE. I couldn't even stand. My husband was holding me up and I said: "I want to go back into that tub... NOW."

Well, it didn't take forever... in fact after only 2 more hours of labor and 7 minutes of pushing, she was in my arms at 3 p.m.!!! All I kept saying was: "Isn't she beautiful?! Isn't she beautiful?!!" Scott was crying lots of tears of joy. We called my family (my parents, his parents and our kiddos) immediately and skyped with them via i-phone (sometimes I love technology :)

I got to hold her as long as I wanted. Then I passed her off to one proud and happy daddy.

After that I got into my OWN shower. And walked down the hall to my OWN bed. My whole family got to come in and share in the excitement. It was wonderful. The pain stunk. I hated it. Suffering is never fun. BUT the joy of having my baby in my own home made it all worth it.

It was amazing... My husband was such a champ! He did a great job doing whatever I asked promptly! :) I about broke his hand from squeezing it so hard. My midwives were awesome! They have delivered well over a thousand babies in homes! There are so many other details I could share. But I figure that's enough for now. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts!

Will I do it again? Yes.