My wife, Jenny, and I tried for two years getting pregnant, so when we found out on our 2 year anniversary trip that I was pregnant we were more than excited! I had known since we started trying that I wanted a home birth. I educated myself as best I could. I started taking a Hypnobabies class, hired a midwife and a doula, and soaked in any and all information my fellow home birth moms had to offer.
Since the day we had come back home after finding out, spiritual things started happening in our home. We chalked it up to being my wife’s father, who passed away. Our midwife, Susan, and doula, April, were so very kind to hear us out and not make us sound crazy. Actually they helped us come to terms with it. After that things settled down until around November. We were all sitting there talking about the new things that were occurring in the house and new feelings surfacing when I started telling them that I had always had a feeling the baby was going to come early. Jenny kept saying the date December 5th kept sticking out in a big way. This so happened to be the same day her father died. We talked to the spirits (assuming it was her father) letting him know Dec. 5th was too early and we wouldn’t be able to have a home birth.
December 5th came around and sure enough I went into early labor. The only thing that kept me from going into full labor was that I put myself on bed rest for the next couple weeks. All was well.
Friday, January 4th at 3:00PM labor starts again (Due date was Janurary 3rd). Our 10 year old son, Quenton, came home from school and saw me practicing my Hypnobabies and getting super excited. It had been planed for him to be leaving that day for the weekend but he didn’t want to go. We told him it was OK, he had to go, but he was going to be a big brother when he got back. He went on his way. I tried keeping myself occupied by working on the baby book and a calendar project with friends and families guesses when they thought I’d have the baby. I was getting restless by the evening and we went and rented movies.
That night my sister came over to help out. I was stressing out with getting the room and bathroom ready since pressure waves (contractions) were getting closer and stronger. I was also obsessing about who was going to take pictures that I couldn’t focus on Hypnobabies. When she came things started progressing even more. We focused hard with Hypnobabies and used the yoga ball a lot. Later that night April and Susan came over after waves started getting closer. Jenny and I did very well through each wave. We were all very excited to meet our baby boy. We talked and laughed through each of my waves. I felt good. I felt on top of each one, progressing nicely. Since it seemed like it was going to be soon we all thought it’d be a good idea to get some rest. Even though I knew I needed the rest, once I laid down my waves slowed down. Around 8:00am (Jan. 5th) I asked Jenny to go make everyone some breakfast. I was upset and wanted to be alone for a little while. I was so sure this was going to happen and I felt bad for calling April and Susan over (since they lived 30 mins away and both had kids). They assured me it was OK but that they were both going to go home and to call them when things picked up again. I liked that idea because I was ready to do this on my own again and concentrate on what I was doing.
(Saturday, January 5th)
Jenny and I decided to go rent a couple more movies around 11:00am to help me relax again. I remember breaking down while in the aisle at the rental place because the waves were getting so strong. We took the day to work through the waves that were quickly intensifying again. I could tell they were getting stronger than the ones I had the day before but I did not want to call April and Susan until I felt like we were really ready (in my mind I wanted to call when I felt like I wanted to go to the hospital). I did not want to take the chance of calling them and labor slowing down again. My brother came over to borrow some stuff and I remember working through the waves with breathing techniques. He was surprised to see I was that calm while in labor (although I personally felt like I was going outta my mind). We used different techniques of Hypnobabies. I tried walking up and down the road which didn’t work too well for me because it was just hurting too much. I got in the bath a lot. I rolled around on the yoga ball, also. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I was falling out of rhythm with Hypnobabies and I could feel EVERYTHING. I would cry and the hospital kept crossing my mind. We were so sleep deprived at this point. Even though we would rest, we would get woke up every 5-10 minutes by a strong wave.
Around 10:00pm we felt we were ready for April and Susan to come. It was like deja vu, yet waves were definitely longer and stronger than Friday nights. My mom was now there since we just “knew” this was it. I got in the tub with candles and my wife. She’d rub me down with oils and we had finally gotten back into a fabulous Hypnobabies rhythm. Jenny would chant the cue words in such calming and comforting ways that she ended up putting my mom to sleep. When my mom would wake up, the vibe around the room was so different. Like a warm blanket being put on you coming in from the cold. I’m still cold, but the comfort was there. She was so brave and strong for me. Always telling me how proud she was of me. That was a big moment in my life as we had not had a close relationship growing up.
Early morning came (Sunday) and when I laid down again waves slowed down. Again, April and Susan went home. I was so upset. I cried and cried and kept saying I just can’t keep doing this. I had been working so hard at this point to stay in the zone of Hypnobabies. I didn’t know how much more of this I could take.
(Sunday, January 6th)
First and foremost- I’m not above admitting that by this point I had gone through enough and was ready to go to the hospital. The thing that stopped me was the simple fact that I had went on and on about how much I wanted this home birth and I did not want to disappoint everyone who rooted me on.
Jenny and I were left alone again, and although the waves slowed down in length they, by no means, slowed down in intensity. To be perfectly blunt- I was pissed. I was annoyed. What the heck was I doing wrong? Why wasn’t this baby out? I was doing everything I learned, everything I was taught. I never read this in the books. I had never listened to anyone tell their story of being in labor for three days, dilating back and forth. What was going on? I was ashamed in thinking I was not giving birth the right way. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m so bad at this. April and Susan are so annoyed with me. Jenny probably thinks I’m not trying my best.” But no way would I voice these things out loud. I had to be strong. I had to put my game face on and not let anyone know how different this was becoming to me, how increasingly hard it was to keep it together.
It seemed like as soon as I started thinking all this April had arrived, and Susan soon followed after picking up our son. I put a brave smile on for my son, my sister Justice (who was the same age as my son), and my mom. Soon after, my father came downstairs to give me a huge hug. I remember this moment like it was yesterday. I didn’t want him to see how much pain I was in and I knew since the waves were really close together it’d have to be a quick hug and he would need to go. Once he got down there and I fell into his arms, I didn’t have a single wave. I felt so much peace. I wanted him to stay. He told me he loved me and off her went out of town for a job.
My family stayed upstairs as I continued to moan, sway, and breathe through each wave. “I can’t give up now! I can’t give up now!” Susan and April insisted me sit on the toilet to help keep me dilating. I hated it. No- I LOATHED IT! They sure were right though. It wasn’t long after going to and from the toilet to the bed that my water broke. I remember I was on the bed with the yoga ball asking for the bed pads because with this next contraction I’m pretty sure I’m going to pee. There it went. “DeAnna- it’s not pee. Your water broke!” Another contraction. “I’m sorry guys I’m peeing again!” “DeAnna- I promise it would be OK if you were even peeing, but you’re not. It’s your water.” I was not convinced it was not my pee until it was prob the 10th time I had a contraction and was still feeling gushes come out. Once my water broke I could not stop the urges to push. Now it all seemed so surreal. It’s official. I’m about to have my baby! My mom, sister, and son came down and sat on our bed waiting for the cue to come in and watch little baby boy Sebastian come out. An hour of uncontrollable pushes came and went. Two hours. Three hours. They fell asleep on my bed. Four. Five. ‘OMG, WHY ISN’T THIS BABY COMING OUT! Stay strong, DeAnna. They’re all here for you. Ahhhhh! Please Lord help me!’
I couldn’t stand the water anymore. I sent my family away as I was to the point that I didn’t want them to hear me cuss, I didn’t want to scare my son any more than he had already been, I didn’t want to scare my sister into never wanting children. By this time though, laying in bed, I hated everyone. I felt like every birth story, birth movie, birth show I ever watched were all lies. Every time anyone would tell me I was close I didn’t believe them anymore. Everyone was a liar. I’m NOT close. I’m NOT doing a good job (otherwise the baby would be here by now). I’m NOT about to have my baby.
I kept being checked and told that I was close. I would cry and losing all faith in Hypnobabies. Although I felt like I wasn’t doing Hypnobabies anymore, I was told they would catch me not saying much and chanting through some tough waves without even giving it a second thought. I just wished I could get a break- just for an hour. I need sleep. But nope- those urges to push just wouldn’t let up.
(Monday, January 7th)
I pushed all night. Begging and pleading for someone to do something. Everyone was so encouraging. April tried so hard to keep me calm. I remember crying as she rubbed my head looking into her tear filled eyes. Jenny was so sick as this time- really feeling the effects of everything I was going through, still sticking by my side like the amazing wife she truly is. Susan was the perfect midwife, encouraging me that I was the toughest person she’d ever met.
April needed to get home to her little girl. Everyone thought a new person in the picture to help with the support would be a good idea. So they called up Megan- a close friend and our Hypnobabies instructor. She arrived around 9am. I cried in her arms allowing every fear and angry feeling come out. “I’m trying so hard Megan. I’m doing everything you told me to do. I’m doing everything everyone is telling me to do. I can’t do this anymore. They’re lying to me or something.” She smiled this beautiful, angelic smile and told me I was amazing. She helped me get back into the groove of Hypnobabies. She helped me back into the tub with Jenny. We began to breathe, chant, laugh, and chit chat. Susan insured us that this was great and would allow that last bit of cervix to move out of the way. I felt confident at this point.
About an hour later, after the water was cold and I was ready to try pushing him out, I got out and laid on the bed. Everything intensified again. I made it clear at this point that I was way too tired to do this anymore. I wasn’t going to push him out. I got hysterical all over again as these uncontrollable waves took over my body over and over. Susan said she was going to check me. Megan held my hand on one side as Jenny stroked my head and held my other hand. That’s when I let them know that if there is no change we have to go to the hospital. I saw the look on Susan’s face. No… no change. Still a 9. “NOOOOOOOOOOO,” I cried, “Ok. Let’s go. NOW! I want the epidural and I want it now! If you don’t take me right now I’m going to go out there half naked and make someone driving by take me.”
At that point my mother came down to try and calm me down because even though I had it set in my mind that I was going, I was even more hysterical because of how disappointed I was in myself. I couldn’t stop telling her that everyone who doubted me and was negative about my birth plan is going to say “I told you so.” Everyone was so comforting at that point telling me how great I had done and that they understand and think it’s a wise choice to go ahead and go in.
We pulled up to the ER entrance and I told my wife to please go in there and tell them to have me a room ready before I get in there because there was no way I was going to scream through my waves and pushes in the middle of a waiting room. I can laugh about it now, but it was so funny getting into the hospital. The look on their faces! Those people rushed around so fast. I felt like I was in one of those really dramatic movies. I mean, no joke, the guy pushing me in the wheelchair was swerving around corners so fast I thought I was going to tip over. The woman in front of him was running yelling for people to get out of the way. I couldn’t tell them to chill out because I was busy “hoooo-hooo-haaaa-haaa-ing” but inside I really felt like I was in a movie.
I was checked once I got situated in the room. I slipped back to a 6 from a 9 since we left home. (This is what was happened at home. I would go back and forth in dilation). Another mind boggling thing? My water broke… AGAIN! Right there in the bed. I had no idea this was possible… having your bag break multiple times? Yep- it’s a real thing.
It was a couple hours later that I finally got the epidural. Oh sweet loving Lord above. Thank you! At least now I can still have a vaginal birth. I’m not gonna lie- I see why women are so quick to get those things. My wife, son, mother, sister, and Hypnobabies instructor and friend, Megan, were all there. At 8:30p.m. it was time to push. I got scared because I could feel my legs. I THOUGHT I WASN’T SUPPOSE TO FEEL ANYTHING! It was too late. I was pushing. OMG I FEEL IT! WOW! I began feeling sick and started vomiting. This is was the BEST pushing tactic haha. As I was puking the force of it was really shooting him out.
“Look down DeAnna! Look down!! Baby born at 8:57p.m.”
“OMG! Look at my baby. Is he not the most beautiful baby in the world,” I said with tears just rolling down my cheeks. My wife went with the baby and my son instantly came from my feet (watching his baby brother come out) to my head. As he rubbed my head, grabbed my hand, bawling his eyes out he managed to give me a kiss on my forehead and said, “Oh mom I am so proud of you. I can’t believe you did it. You did such a good job. I can’t believe this baby isn’t dead and we finally get to take one home.” I had never known that the loss of one baby made him think that every failed attempt of trying to conceive meant it died too. I had never known he was crushed every time (for two years) we’d have to tell him, “Nope, bud. It didn’t work this time.” My big brave son finally let it out and he was proud. Proud of ME. What an emotion. An emotion I don’t think I will ever experience again. An emotion nothing else can replace. The bond that happened in that moment made me want to be the best mother in the world not only to him, but new baby Sebastian.
I look back at how hard this labor was. I had never had a kid before so I did not know that what I was going through was rare and not a typical birth. When everyone would tell me all that happened I started to realize how strong I was. I just went FOUR DAYS in labor! There was nothing in my life that made me feel so amazing. Nothing that made me feel so powerful. I wanted to yell, “I AM WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!” Even though this was a very hard birth, there is no doubt in my mind I would do it all over again. In fact, I can’t wait to get pregnant again because I will try the home birth without a second thought. It’s funny because I actually hear myself thinking, “You can do even better next time!”
What a beautiful family. You are a true warrior woman!
Your story is the only one so far (and I’ve read every post on BWF) that has made me cry… I don’t even know you but I am so proud of your perseverance and honesty! I have always been afraid of the situation you experienced (home birth turned to hospital) but after reading your story, your perspective on things, watching the evolution of your inner narrative, I am not scared anymore. Thank you! You are amazing
Your story is beautiful! You did it and baby Sebastian is adorable!!
Oh Deanna!! It made me cry reading this! I am SO proud of you both!!!!
I had a similar labor– 3 days of labor at home and then going to the hospital. That was such a grind! For the longest time I was disappointed in myself for “giving in” and going to the hospital… but now I’m just proud of myself!
I’m glad you’re proud, too. You are a birth warrior!
You are so, so strong! Thank you so much for sharing. I love the candor with which you wrote your story. It makes it so powerful.