A Journey of 4 Births: A Preemie, A Hospital Birth, A Breech Cesarean and a Water Home Birth (HBAC)

by Birth Without Fear on October 26, 2011

What an honor to be mentioned and part of a birth story. ~Mrs. BWF

home water birth

I guess to better understand my choices for this birth it’s good to know my other birth experiences. My first was born at 30 weeks. I was 18 at the time and I was out of town. I was sent to a teaching hospital and I didn’t know much about labour or giving birth.

The OB on call wasn’t very polite and had an army of students repeating every check and doing most of the work. Getting an IV in and being checked for dilation 4 times over was pretty violating for not knowing what was going on.  I had back labour and was forced onto my back instead of my hands and knees where I was comfortable. When my son was born I wasn’t even able to look at him before they took him out of the room. He was 2 days old when I first got to hold him.  The nurses in the hospital didn’t give me a choice when being hooked up to pictocin or anything else.  This experience terrified me and it still rubs me the wrong way how they gave me no respect during the labour or after.

With my 2nd son, I went into labour at 35 weeks. Thankfully I had my midwives with me! Six hours later, my 2nd son was born. It wasn’t a traumatic experience, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted a home birth, but least I was able to cuddle my son right after he was born and for the first feed before they took him to check him over.

My 3rd was also supposed to be a home birth, but I learned about water births and wanted that as well.  I finally reached 37 weeks, but she was breech. One midwife on my team was experienced in natural breech birth, but she was not on call the day I went into labour, so it ended up being a c-section.  The OB was amazingly nice and talked through every step so I knew what was going on. The whole team was amazing, the second my daughter was out they cut her cord, wrapped her up and placed her on me. She hadn’t been cleaned yet as they wanted to her and I to bond as soon as possible. The doctors were going to tie my tubes at that point, but I had a feeling it wasn’t the time. After talking about it to my husband, I decided not to. A year later I was pregnant again! :)

I knew the second I saw the + sign I was going to have a VBAC no matter what. I hated the recovery from the c-section.  My midwives knew my body could deliver naturally and that helped a lot during the birth planning.  We thought I would not make it to the 37 week mark to be eligible for a home birth, because I was hospitalized for 3 days at 33 weeks for contractions and dilating.  Slowly and surely with a lot of visits to the hospital, I made it to 37 weeks!

Around 34 weeks I found BWF’s blog. Reading the stories about women trusting in their bodies and gaining as much knowledge as they possibly could really helped me to know I was going to have a home water birth.  The day I turned 37 weeks I picked up the birth pool from the midwives.  Then until 40 weeks it was all early labour which managed to get me to 5 cm dilated. By this time I asked/begged my midwives for anything they could to speed things up, because of the amount of pain I was constantly in.  After 4 hours of no progress, my midwife did a membrane sweep and I went home.

Pretty much right away the contractions started picking up, so we went and got my husbands hair cut, fed the kids and put them to bed and I climbed into the bath.  About an hour after that I decided I should call the midwives over to make sure I was progressing and not just feeling irritation from the sweep.  She checked and I still had not progressed. While she was checking I had a a contraction and there was a “popping’ feeling and the contractions started like waves one after the other.

With perfect timing the pool just finished being filled. I spent the rest of my labour hung over the side squeezing my husbands hand through the contractions. I counted from 1 to 10 and visualized in my head the progress my body and son were making. An hour later I felt a huge ‘pop’ and a huge feeling of relief of pressure.

Apparently I never said a thing during my whole labour until I quietly said he was coming and it took me saying it 3 times for them to hear me.  My midwife thought at first it was just my water breaking until she checked and his head was right there! She helped me into a better position for pushing. I thought my pushes weren’t getting him out as they kept asking me to push just a little bit harder and I couldn’t feel him moving out that much, but gradually after 1 hour of active labour and 5 minutes of pushing (it felt a lot longer than that) my son was out. It was amazing!  I will never forget looking down and seeing my son swim up to me. It was the most amazing thing I could ever dream of. The second he was out of the water he started crying, and what a set of lungs he has on him!

VBAC

After 20 minutes trying to push the placenta out in the tub, my midwife and my mom helped me onto the bed to try. It was almost like it was stuck and I had no energy left to push it out. After another 20 minutes the placenta was finally delivered.

I have never felt more fulfilled in a birth, and part of that is a huge thanks to Mrs. BWF and the community sharing their stories, taking away my fears and empowering me to do what I felt deep down was the best thing to do for the great delivery of my son. :) ~Autumn

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