Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Birth Story of Simone! My wonderful home birth!

On January 18th of this year, just after midnight I started feeling my first rushes. Initially, I didn't think much of them. Even though I was "overdue" I really thought I feel a few rushes, go to sleep and wake up the next day still pregnant, ready to go about my day. Part of that was true.

After about 35 minutes I started to feel like something was happening. I wanted to get really excited, but I also wanted to rest too. It's a strange feeling, being up that late with those surge of emotions running through you. It's a surreal feeling. After an hour I decided that I would tell my boyfriend and mother (she was in town, waiting on the baby to arrive) that I may actually be going into labor soon. The birthing tub was in my 2½yr old's room and I needed that placed in the front room, as well as few other arrangements. Once those things were done, I told myself I would tell the midwives what was up, let them know I might be calling them back and then catch some shut eye!

Three hours later my rushes were still coming, but not progressing and I finally began to feel sleepy again. By 4:30am I started to drift off to sleep, being awaken every 20minutes by rushes. By 6am, after six hours, they'd stopped altogether. That morning I made some breakfast, saw my 5yr old off to school, watched television with my mother and felt a mix of emotions. I was slightly disappointed that I wasn't in labor yet, but still amazingly calm and patient. For the last part of my pregnancy I was blessed with a calm knowing that things will unfold as they were meant too. My baby would come when it was time and the fact that I wasn't in labor yet just meant it wasn't time. I wasn't going to rush anything!

By 11:30am I started feeling some twinges. Nothing big, just what I like to call a hint of labor. I had things to do so I decided if labor was coming, it would make itself known soon enough. I went on with my to-do list. By 1 pm my rushes got my attention. I called my midwife again and let her know what I was feeling. No big deal, just letting you know, yada, yada, yada. She told me to keep updating her and enjoy my day. My son got out of school at 3:35pm and by the time it was getting close to get him, my rushes were getting stronger and closer together. It felt, quite frankly, wonderful! I was excited and filled with adrenalin. My mother was with me. My boyfriend had been getting things ready. I was at home and we didn't know what sex our baby was. It was like Christmas. Everyone who was anyone was hoping for a girl, just because I already had 3 boys and so was I. Either way, I was having my beautiful baby...be it a Miles Christopher or Simone Renee!

I called my midwife and said I think maybe you should come over. She was already on her way to another birth and told me I had great timing considering where she was on the road! So she arranged for the other head midwife and student midwife to be at that birth and she would bring the other student midwife to mine. I decided to really test my labor by going to pick up my son. I thought with all the walking, if my rushes still felt strong, I would know for sure if this was it. Needless to say, it was :-). I called my doula and told her to come over and a dear friend who would update a cheering squad online as well.

By the time I got back home my rushes were strong and steady, maybe about 6-7minutes apart. I didn't bother with timing them too much after a while. I got out the birthing ball, stripped down to a tank top and underwear and rotated from straddling the ball to kneeling with chest across the ball. Both positions felt wonderful. My mother spent most of this time siting close by and we chatted. I can not classify what I was feeling as pain, just intense feelings in my abdomen. My boys played in the room together and from time to time got loud enough to where my mom would go in a remind them that I was working to get the baby out. They were fine though. They weren't a distraction at all. I thrive on the normalcy of it all. Chatting with my mom, Rick (my boyfriend) working on his computer in the office, poking his head in from time to time, the kids playing in the room, fussing, laughing, being silly. It all felt so right, so perfect. And me, straddling the birthing ball or kneeling, feeling these wonderful sensations! It made me feel so powerful and so alive. I kept thinking about how my mother once birthed me, and I birthed the two little boys playing in the other room and life goes on. It's surreal and humbling and wonderful.

Around 5:00pm or so, I started feeling pressure in my bottom with the rushes. I started to get a warm sensation as well and for a minute or two thought this might be an unassisted birth if my midwives didn't show up soon. However, at just a little after 5:30pm there was a knock at the door and it was them. They weren't even completely inside yet before I had another rush came and pressure, then pop! My water broke. I heard myself saying: My water just broke! And then they were quickly there, helping me get something under me to save my carpet and getting my underwear off. Good thing I had them on, because very little fluid got on my carpet :-).

After that, I sat rocking on the ball as they filled up my tub and we all chatted. The rushes were stronger, but still not painful. I briefly considered being checked (up until now I'd not been, not during my prenatals or anything), but realized that was remnants of the medical procedures creeping in my mind. There was really no need and I certainly didn't want to ever be put in the supine position. As soon as that tub was filled I got in and didn't get out again until after the baby was born.





The water felt so calming. It was where I belonged. Shortly after getting in my doula arrived and from that point I felt completely taken care of. I felt like the birthing part was my job and the job of everyone else was making sure I didn't want for anything during the birth. My mother made sure the boys didn't get too loud. My doula got me whatever I needed, my midwives were really just there. They rubbed my back a few times, listened in on the baby a few times, but mostly we all chatted when I wanted to chat and everyone was extremely quiet when they sensed I needed it and they had great senses. As it got darker, candles were light to keep the lighting dim and my rushes got stronger and closer together still, but again, I can never say it was painful. I did feel like my whole body was electrified. My senses were heightened. Everything felt hyper-real!

As my rushes got stronger, so did my focus. I let my body float in the water at times, other times getting into the hands and knees positions. Again, both positions felt right and I loved having the freedom of movement to decide which was most comfortable and efficient at the time!
With each rush I would let the tension go, again using water, but also allowing my mind and heart to embrace what I perceive as the true nature of the sensations. I was opening up, letting go, and allowing my body to do what it needed to do. In one very crystallized moment I realized that if I stay out of my bodies way, opening up my heart and mind to the process, it would be okay. I did just that and each time I let go, the sensations became at times almost pleasurable. Intense, always, but I never felt the need cry out in pain. I oohed, I aahed, at one point I even cooed and the sensations of that vocalization coupled with my rushes further electrified my body.

I could feel pressure building in me and eventually I knew the time to push was coming soon. This in between moment was to me the most unpleasant part of my birth only because I began to get nauseous. As soon as that passed and my doula got me something to drink and gum to chew, I felt fine again. Then the strong undeniable urge to push came. I didn't fight the urge at all, but instead relaxed my bottom to give into it. In my mind, I told myself I would lie back, let my body take over and gently allow my baby to be born. My body had other ideas. A strong wave came over me, all but forcing me to grunt and go primal, I think I called out it was time to push, and with that I quickly got back to the hands/knees positions.

I grunted loudly and it felt divine. It was fast and furious, but I had time to hear in the distance my 2½year son slightly freaking out and saying, "tell mom to stop making that noise". Even in the middle of that, hearing that grown-up tone in his voice made me crack up on the inside. I know I cracked a smile, but it didn't last long as the baby quickly crowned, then out popped the head. I didn't feel that burning sensation, but I did feel the stretching. She was completely out shortly there after and Rick was handing her to me, under water, through my legs.

The initial feeling of relief took over me, and then almost immediately I felt like I was drugged. I felt so high. The world melted away and it was only me and Simone. Oxytocin is a wonderful and powerful thing! It felt like forever before I got out of the tub. I just held my little girl, thinking of how maybe one day I will be able to share in her moment of birth like this. It made my heart swell up. Thoughts of her and her three brothers ran through my head as well. I could not have imagined a more perfect birth. It was 8:03pm.

My boys came in to meet their sister at that time, but this part is a blur because like I said, the world had melted away. Afterwards, Simone and I hung out on the couch, waiting for her cord to stop pulsating and the placenta to be born. I breastfed her for the first time and felt even higher. I love breastfeeding and had been secretly missing it as my 2yr old self weaned very shortly after his 2nd birthday! My mother and midwife surprised me with cake, fruit, and cheese. A wonderful after birth snack and I ate while Simone breastfed and we chatted a bit. No one touched my baby but me for what seemed like hours and hours, but in reality was probably 40-45minutes. I'm not sure. I just know it was shortly after the placenta was born.

We marveled at her true knot in the cord, took pictures, her weight, 8lbs 5oz, and the midwives gave her a thorough, yet quick evaluation and then she was back in my arms. I don't even think my mother held her for hours and hours after her birth. It was perfection, even the postpartum.

After the midwives left and the boys were put to bed, I spent time just staring at my baby. I hung out with her, just two of us. Eventually mom came in and hung out with us too and for the first time I felt a strong female connection to my mother I'd not experienced before, not even with the birth of my sons. It was three generations of women laying in my bed and I'd just birthed one of them. It was a very powerful and defining moment for me. I felt overwhelmed and calmed by that moment at the same time. I was so incredibly happy to be sharing it in my own home, surrounded by the people I love. Sleeping in my bed that night was a cherry on the top of a wonderful cake!

Here is a link to all the wonderful pictures my doula took at the birth!

60 comments:

  1. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  2. Kristen DeBellisJune 26, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Really enjoyed reading this. Very interesting and inspiring :) Jonah's cord had a knot like that too!

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  3. WOW! This is a beautiful love story. I'm so glad you shared it, and I'm so glad you had such a great birth with your daughter. Congratulations!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your birth story with me and all your readers. I've been reading your blog for a while now, sorry I haven't posted before! I am 33 weeks pregnant right now, and even though at one point I loved reading all types of birth stories, I am only allowing myself to read positive stories right now, in order to help me visualize a positive story for myself and my baby in the coming weeks. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  5. Loved reading your birth story. I am due sometime in September with baby number 2 and I am so excited to do a home birth after such a miserable, terrible hospital birth wih my first! Thanks for the info, beautiful pictures, and just the encouraging words through your story. I can't wait this time to meet number 2! (hoping for a girl this time, but will love whoever comes out! =)

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  6. What a beautiful story! This is great. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. @Keva - Thank you! It was such a long post so thank you for reading it and taking the time to comment :-) If you have pregnant women in your circle, please feel free to share it with them!

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  8. @ Kristen & Margaret - thank you ladies!

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  9. @Cat13 - Here is to a wonderful and peaceful upcoming birth for you! I hope you are inspired by my story as I was by so many other women's stories. I will be sending to you, only positive, healing, energy for the weeks leading up to your birth and the birth itself! If you can remember too, please stop in and let us know how your own birth unfolded (if that is something you want to share of course!)

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  10. @ Mary - I wish for you too a positive, healing, and peaceful upcoming birth! If you want to share with us the story of your birth..please come back and do so!!!

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  11. wonderful story! So glad you decided to finally share it.

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  12. Wow, what a beautiful story. Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing it with the world.

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  13. Oh, so beautiful! I wish my homebirth had been more like yours! Nothing bad happened with mine, it was just crazy fast and the emotions got all mixed up! Had I expected the craziness of such a speedy delivery (less than 2 hours from first contraction to him being born) I think I would have felt differently. I almost want another one just to birth them again and be better prepared! :) Your birth story was amazing and absolutely beautiful, brought tears to my eyes.

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  14. Awesome job, mama! Reminds me so much of birthing my son, Cedar at home in the water. Any day now I'll be doing it again with baby number 3. Birth is amazing.

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. This is so beautifully written and your experience is so inspiring.

    It helps me to remember why I became a doula. There's no miracle like birth. :]

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  16. I am so happy you decided to share. This was such a beautiful story!!

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  17. Totally glorious and absolutely beautifully told. Thank you a million times for sharing!

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  18. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. Beautiful pictures too, I was so excited to see that we had the same midwives :) Maybe we'll meet at a potluck sometime.

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  19. Amazing story! What an inspiration.

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  20. Thank you for sharing - what an inspiring story! I, too, am sometimes reluctant to share my homebirth story, whether people will think it's bragging, or that I'm judging them. But the more positive stories that are out there, the better path for other women to follow!

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  21. So wonderful! I am pregnant for the first time and want a water birth. This made me cry with joy. I know that our bodies are amazing creations completely capable of bringing children into this world in a natural and beautiful way!

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  22. What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations (rather belatedly)! :D

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  23. you are an amazing woman - may God bless your womb with many more!

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  24. This was a beautiful birth story that gave me chills and made me wish I could be pregnant and give birth one more time. The part about you, Simone, and your mother laying in bed together was an especially wonderful moment. It makes my heart so happy to read stories like this. Thank you for sharing it.

    I too had a wonderful homebirth with my second son (wonderful hospital birth with the first one too, for that matter), and have also struggled with feelings that I am bragging or somehow making other women's experiences look 'bad' compared to mine if I tell people about my birth. In my work as a doula though, I have seen that every birth, no matter how long or short, 'easy' or 'difficult' the course of labor, is worthy to be retold as a testament to the strength and power of the woman who trod that path to bring her child into the world.

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  25. this makes me want to have another home birth! CONGRATS AND AMAZING STORY!

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  26. Patrice, I saved this for the weekend when I could really site down and read it. I'm in tears right now as I read this with you. My body responded with my own birth memories. Thank you. This is so beautiful. The power. The intensity. The certainty. I just love it. Congratulations all over again for your beautiful birth, gorgeous Simone, sons and partner. I'm happy to "know" you, wonderful mama.

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  27. Loved your story! Truly Inspirational!

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  28. You should not be worried a bit by posting your birth story. It was beautiful, and gives others something to aspire to as well. I had a quick, intimate, unassisted, perfect homebirth in December.....you just brought back the tingles I get when thinking of my son's birth.....Thank you for sharing! Here's the link..... http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=490628803849

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    Replies
    1. I know I am like a year late. But do you mind reposting the link? I couldn't click this time. Thank you for sharing!!!

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  29. I too love your birth story and thank you for sharing it. I thought the idea of feeling guilty somehow or embarrassed for sharing your birth story was an interesting one. I have never put into words quite that way, but I have felt that too! For me it is the ease in which I birthed my 6 babies. I have had miserable pregnancies, so somewhat feel that my precipitous births have been the reward, although I know of other women, who have miserable experiences during both phases… As a doula, CBE, and aspiring MW, I try not to tell mom's 'MY' story, other than brief moments, rather than divulging that I have only experienced a total of just over 12 hours of labor.
    I loved my home births, and I have loved the experiences I have had with my midwives…
    Thank you for sharing such wonderful encouraging birth info and stories with other women! I look forward one day to sharing wonderful birth experiences with my daughters and the idea of sitting the three of us - three generations of women - in the bed after the birth just sounds heavenly!!! Thank you!!!

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  30. I just came across your story (a link from a link from a link) and am marveling over how similar my second birth was to this birth--especially the part where you knew it was time to push when your body took over with the primal grunts and moans. I had spent my labor relatively pain-free, laughing and chatting with friends, family and midwives. But at pushing time, my body just "went primal" as you say. My baby would have been born in the water if it had been warm enough. It was too cool and the faucet wasn't heating up quickly enough, so my midwife made me get out and I delivered laying on my side on the bed. I am expecting my third boy in January and cannot wait to experience his birthing day. Thank you for sharing and reminding me just how wonderful birth can be.

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    1. Isn't amazing how our bodies just take over!?! For me it's a wonderful feeling to be able to give up control in birth, the one place where I feel empowered by giving up control to the "force" if you will. :-)

      I hope all went well with your birth in January (heres to hoping it was a January 18th bday so Simone and your new baby share a birth date ). If you read this reply, stop by and let us know how things went. Or give me a link to your birth story if you wrote one.

      ~Patrice Nichole

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  31. Wow, your story made me cry for joy. What a beautiful birth your little girl had. And I'm so glad you worked up the courage to share it. I had 2 wonderful births, also. 1 a water birth in a birth centre, the other unplanned at home with my mother and daughter being the only other people there. I can't shut up about my birth and I feel women need to hear how wonderful births can be. They get to hear plenty of horror stories but not nearly enough amazing ones like yours!

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  32. Once again, thank you to all of you who took the time to read my story, who have shared my story with others and who took the time to comment! I really appreciate it!

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  33. Umm - I really like how you just 'breeze over' the fact that she had a 'true not' in the cord. That is a very dangerous situation and this story could have easily ended on a MUCH sadder note. Being in a hospital, where they could constantly monitor the baby's heart rate would have been the safest decision for your child. This story just gives credence to the fact that home births are dangerous and that babies should be born in a hospital where trained professionals and accompanying medical equipment is available should an emergency, such as a true knot in a cord, arise. Bottom line - Home birthing mothers are such selfish people.

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  34. I loved reading your birth story, it brought tears to my eyes and brought back all the wonderful feelings I had from my own home birth!! Thank you for sharing!

    For the anonymous poster saying home birthing mothers are selfish and home birth is dangerous! What a horrible, uneducated, unfounded and unnecessary comment!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Trimommy! I completely know what you mean about how other peoples stories can bring up memories of your own. I sometimes feel this way when I witness birth as a doula for clients.

      Also, thank you for the back up regarding that unfortunate comment just before yours. I was going to reply long ago, but changed my mind.

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  35. GO Girl!!! The thing that surprised me MOST in my second birth was how GOOD it felt to push. It was a relief of sorts. Thank you for being brave and sharing an intimate part of your life like this. =)

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  36. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment! And yes!!! Pushing can be a total relief. :-)

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