Last June, Rose Homme brought her daughter into the world through a planned HBA2C. In this five-part series, she shares her journey to get there: the emotional ups and downs, the pain of her earlier cesareans, and how believing in herself and her body guided her through. Check back tomorrow to read about the birth of her second child, Oliver.
“I can’t express the joy of having a baby and not feeling sick after, holding her the moment she is born and not having to let go, nursing with relative ease and relief in knowing that her transition earthside was smooth and natural for both mother and baby. This is the story of my home birth, a successful HBA2C, and the two beautiful babies born by cesarean before. I never wanted a C-section and did not tolerate them well, but I’m thankful for my journey! I have learned and grown so much as a woman, wife, mother and friend due to these experiences.
When I became pregnant with my first, I was young (25) and didn’t have a community of birthing mothers around me, let alone women knowledgeable about natural birthing. I had health insurance through Kaiser and had a relatively “good” relationship with my OB. I actually respected her a lot due to the care she provided about two years prior, during an ectopic pregnancy. So it never entered my mind that I might be in better hands with a midwife during this pregnancy.
I started to become unhappy at around 30 weeks, when she began to tell me I would most likely need a C-section. I knew I didn’t want one, and asked as many questions as I knew to ask, but still felt very out of control. This pregnancy had been plagued with fear on my part. First, due to the ectopic in my history, early pregnancy was met with early ultrasounds and concern. Then, during our 20 week ultrasound, there was a mis-measurement, though I didn’t find out that was the case for about four weeks. Four weeks of fear-mongering, genetic counseling, Level 2 ultrasounds – the whole bit. All to relieve any liability from the doctors.
It’s funny because I instinctively researched so many aspects of how to make our first child’s life as natural as possible in every way, but after all of these experiences I was too scared to question the medical establishment very deeply. At 40 weeks, my OB ordered NST testing twice a week. I followed orders, and twice a week everything was fine. But it never failed at every appointment, nurses would gasp at my size and comment on how THEY HAD TO GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME! Hearing your OB and nurses stress the urgency of how large your baby is really wears on your mind. I felt broken.
At 40 weeks, 10 days, baby still hadn’t come and I feared she never would. I was scheduled for an induction and thought that was my only choice. We labored for about 14 hours and then received the epidural. After resting for about an hour, nurses and doctors came rushing in saying baby wasn’t tolerating the epidural/Pitocin and we had to be rushed to have a C-section. I was crushed, scared, and confused. I shook and cried through the procedure. I saw my baby for a second, then she was rushed out to the nursery and I was alone in recovery for a few hours. When I finally got into my room, I cried for my baby!
It was horrible and I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy. When I finally got to hold my daughter, hours had gone by. We experienced difficulty nursing and had to supplement with formula for her first five days. Sylvia was born a perfectly healthy 7lbs., 15 oz. Not too large at all for “10 days late.” My daughter is a happy, healthy, funny, brilliant four year-old and we have a great relationship, but it still breaks my heart that she entered the world so harshly. I know the pain and fear it caused me and could only imagine what that must have felt like to a newborn.”