Quick Home Water Birth

by Birth Without Fear on January 15, 2013

We had my 37 week appointment on Thursday, November 3rd. I asked my midwife (Misti) to check me and I was at 3 cm. I wasn’t really quite tired of being pregnant yet like I was with Alyss (my 3 year old), I was tired of peeing ALL THE TIME, but that was about it. I had been taking Evening Primrose Oil for only a week. I didn’t want to start until I had all the supplies and laundry ready. Misti was pretty confident that it would happen soon, I wasn’t so sure since I went late with Alyss. My doula, Bree, called and let me know that she had to work that weekend and that my back-up doula, January, would be on-call. Of course, I assured her that I had zero plans of going into labor that weekend. Famous last words.

Saturday night rolled around and I had been feeling funky all day. Had some back pain but didn’t really think much of it. I had been having Braxton Hicks for a few weeks and so I just chalked it up to that. I sat down at the computer and less than 5 minutes later Alyss runs into the bedroom and says, “I’m sorry.” I didn’t know why she was saying sorry but her head looked funny. I get up and she had decided it would be a good time for her first hair cut. She lopped off a good 4-5 curls on the right side of her head. I gathered them all up and put them in a bowl on the counter. She went to bed and Josh came home from work. We watched a movie and I went to bed.

Sunday morning I woke up at 3am to pee and went back to sleep. I woke up again at around 5:30am and my back was really hurting. I hopped in the shower to see if that helped and it didn’t. Got out of the shower and timed a few; they were about 5-10 minutes apart and 30 seconds-1 minute long. I called up my midwife. She answered and was super chipper, I really thought that I hadn’t woken her up. She told me to time them for another hour and give her a call back. I woke up Josh and let him know what was going on and he is IMPOSSIBLE to get up so I just let it go and decided to wake him up either when Alyss got up or when I called Misti again. I called my mom and some drama had happened back home the night before and so she barely had any sleep. I told her I’d call her in an hour too.

I hung out in the living room trying to watch some horrible movie on HBO (I seriously don’t remember what it was but I so wish I didn’t, it was awful), timing contractions, alternating positions, etc. I couldn’t get a handle on them. I was worrying too much about everything else instead of just focusing on them and them alone. I ended up shutting the movie off and putting in my hypnobirthing cd. After an hour and them being about 3-8 minutes apart and 1-1.5 minutes long, I called Misti again and she said she was getting up and would start to head over soon. She lives about an hour from me but I was pretty sure I was still in early labor so I wasn’t worried about that. I debated on whether or not I should call Bree or January, I couldn’t remember if Bree said Sunday morning or Monday morning. I knew she worked nights so I didn’t want to wake her up so I called January. She also sounded like I hadn’t just woken her up, said she was going to shower and then start heading over. I also called my mom again and she was still pretty tired, she had a 5 hour drive ahead of her and didn’t want her to miss it so I tried to stress the importance of her getting up soon.

I was still trying to get a handle on things so I got in the shower again, that didn’t work so I plugged it up and ran a bath. Before I got in the shower the 2nd time I decided I was done taking my sports bra off because I had planned to stay in it for the birth and didn’t really care if it got wet. I was in the tub on my side facing the door when little miss Alyss walks in and says in the sweetest voice possible, “hey mama whatcha doin?” I told her I was taking a bath because the baby was coming and she was hurting a bit. She stood by the tub while I had a contraction and since Josh wasn’t up yet so I got out of the tub and started to wake him up. I ended up having to yell, “Joshua I’m in labor, wake the (bad word) up.” He got out of bed and decided I would be okay enough  for him to go to the store to get coffee. So, it was just me and the Bobo for a bit.

He came home and started doing some cleaning, Alyss was watching some cartoons in her room and I was laboring away in the living room. I got frustrated with my phone freezing up on me so I stopped timing and gave it to Josh in case anyone called. I went to pee before I got in the tub again and my mom called, she wanted to know if I was sure I was in labor and Josh came to ask me. I had just wiped and saw that I had lost a pretty huge chunk of my mucus plug so I laughed and said, “yes, I’m positive” then got in the tub. He relayed the message to her and she hit the road.

I was still struggling getting on top of my contractions. They weren’t really hurting that bad, I just couldn’t get in a good mindset for them still. It was between 8:30 and 9 at this point. I’d been laboring on my own for about 4 hours, Josh was vacuuming and put some pressure on my back a few times. He was feeling overwhelmed with cleaning up and entertaining Alyss, so I was trying really hard not to need him. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details on the order of things, I was in labor what can I say? I flattened out the shower curtains that we were going to use for the bed and under the birth pool while Josh put dishes in the dishwasher. I would stop to have a contraction, then continue what I was doing. I talked to Alyss and was really happy that I explained everything to her, took her to (almost) all the appointments, she only missed one, and that she helped me put away the birth supplies (that’s useful for later on in the story).

After Josh prepped the bed; clean sheet on, shower curtain, another clean sheet, I put a chux pad down and laid down on the bed in just my bra in this weird half side, half stomach lean. I put on my hypnobirthing cd in the bedroom and just tried to chill through them. I wasn’t really vocal at all, was trying to spar Alyss’ poor nerves. I called my friend Ian at some point, I think it was when Josh was at the store and I think I was in bed, meaning Josh may not have gone to the store right after he got up, I really don’t remember, this is the worst story ever. I mostly just called to tell him I was in labor and to have a bit of a rant session really quick before I lost my mind worrying about whether my mom would make it, if Alyss would be okay, and if Josh would be okay with all the stress.

I was laying in bed going through a contraction at 9am when Josh shouts, “Your savior has arrived.” Misti had showed up so he pointed her to the bedroom and she asked what was going on. I told her I’d given up on timing them and she asked if I wanted her to check me to which I wholeheartedly agreed to. She checked and I was at an 8-9. Well, that was news. I looked over at Josh who was holding Alyss (she was VERY excited to see “Office”… that is what she calls her…) and I said, “Please call my mother and tell her she isn’t going to make it.” Right after she checked me, January showed up and I had a contraction. I told her I was having a hard time getting on top of them and so she told me to do a deep, low moan (almost a growl) and it helped A LOT. January got me some water to sip on and put some pressure on my back. Her hands were so cold and I loved it. I hadn’t realized until then that I felt ridiculously hot. When she took over helping me, Misti started booking it from her car to the apartment because I was so close. She and Josh got the pool up and started filling it, I labored away in the bedroom.

Once the realization that my mom wasn’t going to make it and that Alyss didn’t have a support person finally dawned on me, I tried calling Veronica and her phone kept going to voicemail so I called her sister and I asked her if she could call their parents since I didn’t have their number and was really not wanting to talk on the phone. I told her I was in labor and needed her to come get/hang out with Alyss. She said she would and texted me a couple minutes later saying they didn’t answer but she’d keep trying. Veronica ended up calling my phone eventually and Josh talked to her.

At some point, I moved to the toilet, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom really bad. I was also feeling a bit pushy at this point. Misti checked me again and I was complete but had a cervical lip and the pool wasn’t quite ready yet so I labored on the toilet for a bit. Someone got me some super cold wash cloths for my shoulders and face. I buried my face in the towel hanging above me so January turned the light out. After a bit, I was told the pool was ready so in I got.

It. Was. Heaven. Absolute heaven. My back labor was completely washed away and the cold washcloths felt glorious. Misti lit some votive candles (I HAD/HAVE A GIANT BAG OF THEM AND NO CLUE WHY) and January put some soothing music on via the xbox. Misti gave me the go ahead to push if I felt like it, I really didn’t feel like I could stop it to be completely honest. I was sitting up in the pool and I couldn’t get a good hold on the other end of the tub with my feet to push so she asked me to shift a bit so that I could. I think I looked at her like she had 12 eyes and was from some crazy planet because I really didn’t think I could move at all at that point. After my next contraction we all shifted and it helped a lot. I had Josh on my right and January on my left. I was holding their poor, crushed hands and squeezing so hard. Before I switched though, during a lucid moment I looked at Josh and cried a little happy tears and said, “this is really happening, he’s coming.” He said, “I know, I know.” And gave me a kiss. It was literally like no one was there for that brief moment and that it was just us… then a contraction came.

Shea, the birth assistant and wonderful student midwife, showed up after I was in the pool, right in the nick of time to be honest. Alyss was very excited to have all “her ladies” there. This was the Alyss show after all didn’t you know? I seriously (sorry) felt like I was about to poop right there in the tub and because the lovely Alyss helped me with the supplies she decided to go get the fish net and that she would “catch it mommy”. I don’t remember that happening at all, Josh informed me of it later, but it is such an Alyss thing that I have to believe that it actually happened.

I was pushing and felt that ring of fire and screamed incredibly loudly. Alyss freaked out and wanted Josh to take her to her room but the wonderful Misti handed her a baby blanket to hold and told her that it was her job to hold that blanket. She was completely fine after that. I don’t really know how many pushes it was. He crowned and the contraction stopped, she told me to feel his head and I did. It was amazing. Another contraction came and there he was, I pulled him up from the water and put him on my chest. He looked up at me with those beautiful eyes and forehead wrinkles just like his daddy and I immediately said, “He has your Twizzler wrinkles.” He got a blanket and some rubbing. A little bit of suction and then I checked his business just to be sure that he was in fact my little man. We hadn’t officially decided on a name yet so I looked at Josh and said, “He’s totally a Joseph.” I believe I called him “little dude” pre-official clarification on the name.

Misti asked Josh to take his shirt off and he did so without any hesitation. Keep in mind that this is the dude that rarely goes swimming, is terribly shy, and when I asked him if he would take his shirt off if he needed to never gave me an answer. I think he was on a birth high though, so it’s allowed. Misti gave Joseph to Josh and he introduced Alyss to her brand new baby brother. I got a shot of Pitocin to help with bleeding, which wasn’t much and just a precaution, which I was fine with. There was no eye goop or vaccines. No need for Vitamin K since he wasn’t getting circumcised and would produce it on his own and get it from me in a few days.

There was much debate on what time he was born since Daylights Savings Time ended that day. But he was born at 10:23 a.m. I had a 5 hour labor. I got out of the tub to check for any tearing and there was some but no need for stitches, I just couldn’t sit Indian style for a week or two, I never realized how often I sit Indian style until then. Veronica showed up literally minutes after he was born since Josh answered the door with him still on his chest. She came in the bedroom while I was getting checked over. We tried to nurse a bit but because of my own inverted issues, we struggled. He latched on for a bit on the left side but the right side was just not happening. He got his newborn exam and I honestly have no clue what his Apgars were nor do I even care, lol. Alyss stood next to the bed eating some pretzels from Halloween and asking a million questions. We all migrated to the living room after his exam and tried more nursing on the couch. Veronica made breakfast because Alyss still hadn’t eaten in all the excitement of our morning and was still in her pajama’s.

Josh’s mom showed up after she got off of work at 11:30 to meet her first grandson and all Alyss’ ladies headed out. Shea pretty much finished cleaning the kitchen which confused me and my apartment was cleaner when they left which is amusing since a baby was just born in the dining room! I went outside while Josh’s mom held the baby and talked to Josh. He had actually gone outside with his shirt still off to make the phone calls to my mom, his mom, and Ian. While I was outside, my mom pulled up. She gave me a quick hug then asked to see her new grandson. Good to see you too lady. =P She sped pretty much the whole way and made it in 3 hours.

I felt fine, we struggled with nursing that night but Josh went and got a shield the next day and we are still (5 months later) using it. He’s nursed without it a few times but I’m not that worried about it since he’s healthy and happy and growing. I’m not going to break what isn’t broken. I will be honest though, whenever I see pictures of moms nursing, I get a little sad that we still use a shield so I try and get him to nurse without it. But, he just screams and rubs his face on my boob like he’s going to starve and it breaks my heart.

Alyss still remembers most of the details, she likes talking about it in awkward places like the grocery store. She also tries to nurse her babies. I’m really glad she was there and could experience it with us. We weren’t 100% sure that was what we wanted but it worked out and she will (hopefully) have that experience with her for a lifetime.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Helly January 16, 2013 at 1:48 am

You go mama! What an awesome birth! Ps, nipple shields saved my butt here, and ended up using them for three years till my biggest guy weaned. I hear ya, but I also know, you ARE doing it, and you are doing fine! Hugs :)

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Rebekah January 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Beautiful story and baby :) And I concur on the nipple shields! With my first he used it until he self weaned at 11 months. He absolutely refused to nurse without it so I just kept right on since he was healthy and growing, just like you said :)

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Miranda Gallegos January 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Aww I love your birth story :) Your baby girl sounds so sweet!! I love the pictures, you did great!

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Amy February 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I used a nipple shield with my first for the entire 10 months that we were able to nurse. It made me a little sad too but I figured nursing with a nipple shield was better than not nursing at all, right? I was able to nurse the second for 11 months without the shield. Congratulations on your home birth! Good job mama!

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Laura May 21, 2013 at 8:43 pm

That is truly amazing!!! Plus I love that your son sucks the same two fingers my daughter does, you always see thumb suckers…

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Scarlet L. May 23, 2013 at 3:09 am

He didn’t suck his fingers for long, he is a pacifier man through and through, which is a blessing in disguise since he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth and this prevents a majority of it. He’s almost 19 months now and still puts everything in his mouth, it drives me batty.

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Scarlet L. May 23, 2013 at 3:15 am

For an update! We’re expecting #3 due in September and hoping for another homebirth, I have marginal previa at the moment and (hopefully) find out next week if it’s moved in the correct direction. Big sister is very excited and has asked to help cut the cord this time, she’s 4 now and with Joe she was very shy still at the midwife’s office but she is no longer, she even helps with the doppler gel at appointments. She sadly no longer calls our midwife “office” but still loves her very much and cannot wait to have her own babies. She very much wanted to have a little sister and tried very hard to hide her disappointment when we found out it was a boy, in a very monotone voice she said, “It’s okay, I’m still excited.”

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Ali November 20, 2013 at 12:57 am

Beautiful story!! Loved it. :)

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Melissa December 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Great story, and awesome update! Hope #3 went well!

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Mary Kate September 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm

That’s awesome! Congrats to you (: I hope to have home/water births as well. I’m also training to be a doula with MaternityWise.com so I will probably be assisting other women with similar experiences. I can’t wait!

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