I had four hospital births, all with an epidural. That’s what I thought you were supposed to do when you had a baby – get an epidural and escape from the pain. No one likes pain, so why not skip that part? My first birth was at 41 weeks and three days after my water broke. The second birth was at 40 weeks and one day, and labor started on its own. My third birth, at 41 weeks, also started on its own. Then my fourth birth was induced at 39 weeks and one day.
It went against everything I believed in, but I felt pressured into it and I caved. It was by far my worst experience. The doctor broke my water and the pain was worse that the actual labor. They gave me an epidural and once it wore off I knew it was pushing time. As they were prepping me to push he was giving me more of the epidural. I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to push my son out. After that birth experience, I knew I didn’t want that again.
When we found out we were having baby number five, I knew I needed to find a midwife (not long after baby number four I found out they still existed). I thank God every day for the only midwife in my area. She was definitely a Godsend. I heard from so many different moms who used her, that she was the best and I would not regret it. She was the best and is the best!
My due date was September 10th. Nothing happened. A week went by and still nothing, not even real waves. We were getting close to 42 weeks and in Louisiana it’s illegal to have a homebirth midwife after 42 weeks. She stripped my membranes at 41 weeks and three days. My husband and I spent the whole day together without the kids. Still nothing was happening. I had a few waves, but nothing strong enough. I wanted my homebirth. I deserved it. I was going to have it.
As a last resort, I did the unthinkable. The nastiest thing ever: Castor oil. It was the worse. Still nothing happened. This was at 41 weeks and six days. My midwife and her student came to my house, my husband and doula were already with me, and we had to make a plan. She wanted to check me to make sure he had dropped. Well guess what? He hadn’t. She did some pressure points on my uterus and all of a sudden he wiggled down into position. YAY! She suggested we break my water. My husband and I prayed about it and discussed it for a few minutes. We decided to go forward with it and break my water.
My water was broken at 10pm. My doula had me walking up and down my hallway and doing lounges and squats. It took a little bit, but the waves started coming. I was tested GBS+ and decided to do the IV. As they were trying to give me the IV my waves were getting stronger, but still manageable. I overheard my midwife say, “We don’t have time for this, she is in transition.”
I got up and had to push. He was coming right then. I squatted between my bed and dresser and just pushed hard and let out a scream. I told my midwife I couldn’t get in the birthing pool. She knew how much I wanted a water birth. Her words I will never forget, ”You are going to get in the pool, Jon’s going to catch your baby, and you are going to have your water birth.” She helped me in the pool along with my husband’s help. Sitting down in that nice warm water was like my own personal drug. That water felt so good. I pushed my son out and my husband caught him. After his placenta was born, we figured out why I didn’t go into labor naturally. My water bag was like leather. When I did have a wave I couldn’t feel it. My son was born at 11:20pm.Photography by The Potter’s Hand Photography