Yesterday, we shared the third part of Rose Homme’s HBA2C story. In this five-part series, she shares her journey to home birth: the emotional ups and downs, the pain of her first births, and how believing in herself and her body guided her through. Here, you can read the goals and intentions she set for herself for her third labour. Check back tomorrow to read the birth story!
“I know that our bodies are not flawed. All of us were built to birth regardless of our size, weight or height. I’m 4’11, I look huge when I’m pregnant, and I had to get to a point where I embraced my body and size for the work it was doing. That my size is normal for me and my babies. I think this played a part in my first birth experience as well, where I was as surprised by my size as everyone around me. I think that was the seed of doubt that started me questioning my ability to grow and birth a baby.
It is important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or their wouldn’t be so many humans on the planet.
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
I also had to get to a place where I accepted my previous births and could acknowledge the strength and lessons they taught me. One of the last things Amy (my therapist) and I worked on was being “ok” with a hospital transfer, and epidural; it was like accepting those possibilities let them go into the universe, and I was no longer attracting them or inviting them to our birth.
I knew one of my goals for this birth was to be completely conscious, responsive and active in the process. I acknowledged that it was as much our baby’s birth as it was mine and we were going to work together. Through the pregnancy I had to remind myself that I could listen to my instincts throughout the labor and my body, mind and baby would tell me how to move and cope.
Our bodies know how to birth. Our babies know how to be born.
Sue had embedded in me that we were going to ignore my labor, and treat it like any other day. On one level this sounded completely crazy to me, but I believed it to be the best way to handle labor. Since I was induced with my first and in la-la land with my second, I was very unsure of what to expect. Even with doubts popping up here and there, I knew that if I trusted my body it would lead the way.
I let go of any expectations or ideals of perfection, the IF – THENS I had during Oliver’s pregnancy. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to yoga class, so I just did yoga daily at home, totally ok with kids jumping all over me, interrupting me. I would stretch on the floor or crawl around the backyard, some days that would be all the exercise I could get. I did one yoga DVD from about 20 weeks on and memorized it. I modified it so that it felt right for me, staying in some positions longer and skipping others altogether. I walked as often as I could. I knew that our daily lives didn’t accommodate daily strolls, so I went for distance. As a family we would take walks on Sunday to the Orange Circle about three miles away.
I tried to keep my activity level the same in late pregnancy as it was early on. I made sure to do the stretches and squats Sue recommended. I always had my car seat set in an upright position with my bottom slightly higher than my knees (good for babies’ positioning, see spinning babies). I sat on my yoga ball, and saw my chiropractor, Britney Cicon, on the same schedule as my prenatal appointments. I was probably the most active during this pregnancy. Because of my previous ectopic I had been treated like I was sick or slightly handicapped during my first pregnancy – no one wanted me to lift anything or do too much. Which is sweet, but really pregnancy is the time to keep up your endurance.
Two young children are awesome endurance trainers! They didn’t let me sit and put my feet up – half the time I couldn’t even acknowledge I was pregnant. I continued to chase after them and carry them throughout the pregnancy, which made me feel strong. I took a holistic approach and listened to Sue. Sue wanted me to watch my sugar intake – so even with a major sweet tooth, I listened. I took my supplements and really appreciated the care and knowledge Sue provided me as a whole person, not just a uterus.
Gardeners know that you must nourish the soil if you want healthy plants. You must water the plants adequately, especially when seeds are germinating and sprouting, and they should be planted in a nutrient-rich soil. Why should nutrition matter less in the creation of young humans than it does in young plants? I’m sure that it doesn’t.
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
I knew that I believed in this and wanted it more than anything! Here I am at 39 weeks.
These are some of the things I believed without a doubt and wanted for this birth:
-Home birth was the best option for me and my baby
-I wanted a peaceful birth for both of us
-We didn’t need intervention
-Home birth was safer than a third C-section
-I needed to surround myself with positive supportive people
-I was going to ignore labor for as long as possible
-We would have immediate skin-to-skin contact after the birth
-We would do delayed cord clamping
-I needed to move around during labor
-I would eat and drink during labor
-I would have a conscious, vibrant birth experience
-It was as much my baby’s birth as it was mine
-My baby played a role in this and I needed to communicate with her.