Like a Dragon: A Quick Home Birth

by Svea Boyda-Vikander on May 13, 2014

Mallory C. writes about the quick home birth of her daughter Alice Jessica.

“I definitely complained a lot during my pregnancy. Let me tell ya, though, the birth of our daughter, the actual labor and delivery – I have no complaints. My water broke at 2am. Contractions didn’t start until 3:30. I finally woke up John at 5am because they were getting very strong and steady. Heidi arrived around 6am. Our midwife, Anna, arrived around 6:45.

When the contractions were about a minute apart, Anna (German) checked my dilation and said, “You have only a few centimeters.” I thought she meant that I was only a few centimeters dilated, and almost freaked out about having to go to a hospital! “No, no,” she said. “You are about 8 or 9.”

I was SO happy!!!

It took me five minutes to walk from our bed to the bathroom to climb into the pool due to the length and frequency of the contractions. I got into the pool and found that being on my knees, with my feet behind me, leaning over the edge of the pool (which was up against our tub) was most comfortable.

Anna had me say “pa pa pa pa” (like a Midwesterner would pronounce ‘pop’, minus the second ‘p’) instead of moaning or groaning. She told me to not push, because she didn’t want me to tear. I let her know in a very guttural tone, “It’s not meeeeee. I can’t stoooooooop iiiiiit.” Heidi could hear me from downstairs saying ‘pa pa’, and then they suddenly got very low-pitched, throaty, and, she says, like a dragon.

I did not actively push. I did not scream. When I felt our baby’s head move through the cervix and into the vaginal canal, my body was the one that pushed.

My body pushed on the next contraction, and I felt our baby crown. My body pushed on the next contraction (I had no breaks in contractions), and out shot Alice Jessica in one push. She was purple and white and covered in vernix. She did not cry, was very alert, and was flexing her little hands.

newborn vernix

We experienced immediate skin-to-skin while waiting for her umbilical cord to stop pulsing, which was about 8-9 minutes. After John cut her cord, he got to have his skin-to-skin time to keep her warm (I always keep our house cold), and to keep me free for Anna to take care of. I don’t know if it’s because I was weak from the birthing, hunger, exhaustion, or if it was pure adrenaline, but I was shaking so badly everywhere.

holding baby

Anna got me into bed, where she could check me out while Ali and I resumed our cuddling. After the placenta was delivered, Anna went downstairs to give Heidi, John, Ali, and me some time together before she examined the baby.

I did not tear. It doesn’t hurt me to pee.

This was our birth plan, and it all worked out perfectly:
Water birth
Home birth
Delayed cord clamping
Whatever labor position I felt most comfortable
Immediate skin-to-skin
Daddy cuts the cord
No medical intervention
No drugs
No doctor telling me that my labor isn’t progressing fast enough (not like that would have been a problem for this birth!)
Relaxing
Fun
Beautiful

Perfect.

mother and father holding baby

Alice Jessica
Born April 6, 2014 at 8:10am (German time)
6 pounds, 11 ounces
20.8 inches.”

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Naomi May 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Ramstein? Oh how I miss Germany!!

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S.G. May 14, 2014 at 4:33 am

Beautiful story! My husband and I also live in Germany (he’s German) and I’m planning on having our kids here because they are much more supportive of natural home birth experiences. If you have any tips please let me know! Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

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JoHa June 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm

@S.G.: You should contact a birthmidwife as soon as possible. There is a chance, that a lot of midwifes will stop working (at least as a birth midwife) due to huge insurance issues in September 2014. You´ll have to see if you can find one and if so, time is really valuable – as soon as you are testing positive you should call a midwife.

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