Adventures in Home Birth (How Mama Owl Birthed Son #2 Unassisted )
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
My birth stories are not your average stories.
Originally, they would have been. I wanted the hospital, the drugs, the little bracelet they put on the little one. But I knew I also wanted a midwife. The experience just seemed more personal, rather than seeing X amount of different doctors.
My first meeting with my midwife, she asked what kind of birth I wanted. I told her I wanted the “traditional” hospital with epidural, the works. She suggested I read a book called Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and then let her know.
This book revolutionized the way I saw birth. That it’s empowering and life changing, and it doesn’t need to be hospitalized. So that book and my midwife changed my point of view.
I told her at my next appointment I wanted to use a birth centre. No drugs, no gowns, no bracelet.
Fast forward 36 weeks and 5 days.
My husband and our friends had a big day planned of cleaning the yard and then going to see a movie that evening. I got ready for the day then went to wake my still sleeping husband when my water broke.
I stated yelling at my husband while waddling back to my bathroom and I see this clear water all over the place. Slightly alarmed, because I wasn’t even 37 weeks yet, I sent a text to my midwife and explained what had happened. She tells me that because I wasn’t at the 37-week mark, the birth centre wouldn’t take us.
“Well, I guess we’ll just do it at home then!” I said.
After she makes sure my tests are all good to have a baby at home, we’re in the clear to have a home birth.
For the next 5 hours my contractions were slowly easing in. The midwife comes by midafternoon and checks to see how dilated I am. Only 3cm. So, she does a sweep to see if that progresses things and says she’ll check on us and come back in a bit when the contractions are closer together.
When she left, I wanted to have a nap. I didn’t know how long my labour was going to be and wanted to be as rested as I could in preparation for a potential long night ahead.
This is where my memories get fuzzy and the hormones kicked in. I remember my body started to take over with each tightening grip and I went with it. It felt right. My baby and my body were working together to achieve this miraculous thing.
I told my husband to let the midwife know things were coming along quick and I went to have a shower. I remember how fantastic that hot water felt on my body. That shower then turned into a bath. My midwife showed up, checked my dilation, said “alright then” and started rushing around the bathroom to get everything prepped. My husband was by my side at the tub, held my hand and said words of comfort as my body continued to squeeze.
Finally, my midwife said we could start to push, though I’m sure my body had been pushing this entire time. A few pushes, gripping the side of the tub, and then I hear the midwife yell “Catch your baby!” and my husband pulls our son from the water and lays him on my chest.
I remember my husband crying (and he’s NOT a crier). I remember thinking “Holy shit” over and over. Just pure shockand surprise. The one thing I thought I couldn’t do without drugs,
I just freaking did it! In my own damn bathtub!! And now this little beautiful baby was on my chest. Pure and utter shock.
Our second child was a lot more terrifying and comical all at the same time.
When we found out we were having another child, we said Fuck it to the birth centre and planned from the start a home birth.
On his due date, I had my midwife appt. She gave me a sweep to see if it would get things going, she even said it might not work.
Oh, how she was wrong.
It was practically instant. I started to feel the little contractions in disguise within an hour. Few hours later, I tell her that this all feels the same as it did with my first child and that she should come over and check. 2cm dilated and another sweep later, she goes about her day and again says to let her know when they get close together. Because this was my second child, it was going to go faster so I had to let her know right away. I guess my body responds to sweeps well because I don’t even think she made it home before we said to come back.
It went really freaking fast after that second sweep. Again, my body took over and because it knew what to do, it was working double time. Every contraction I felt that baby coming down. I told my husband we need to call our friend that was taking our oldest for the day ASAP.
While he is loading up the kid, I’m in the living room, squatting and screaming from the contractions. Not from the pain, the pain I could handle. It was the fact that I was all alone for them. And that this baby was coming like, right now. My midwife still hadn’t shown up, and my husband was outside. It was at this point when my water broke.
Finally, my husband comes in and calls the midwife saying this baby is coming now, she said she was on her way back at that moment.
My husband told me we needed to get in the tub.
I tell him that the baby is coming, and he keeps telling me it isn’t while he is half-dragging me up the stairs to the bathroom, pulls my clothes off and gets me in the tub. By the time the water is full enough, I tell my husband that the baby is right there.
And then there’s this second of calm all over me.
I remember a second of very centering breath and physically I felt my baby go back up the birth canal for a moment.
Then I exhaled and his head popped out.
I yelled at my husband “HIS HEAD! HIS HEAD!” My husband looks and starts saying
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” I yell again saying
“GET HIM!” and for the second time in his life, my husband catches our baby and lays him on my chest.
I feel shocked again. I just had a baby.
Holy shit we just did that alone!
Holy shit he’s not breathing.
My husband books it down to get my phone from the living room and calls the midwife. I’m holding our baby boy coaxing him to take a breath. My husband comes back on the phone. He says to the midwife that the baby is born but he’s not breathing, what do we do. She says get a wet cloth and start rubbing his face till he does. We’re rubbing and talking and finally, he starts to make sounds and little tiny cries. Mine and my husbands’ shoulders fell with relief.
The next few minutes, it’s just us three, alone in the house. It was so quiet and so calm after all the craziness. There were no tears from my husband that day, just an immense look of pride.
I am incredibly happy with the births of my boys. I’ve never felt stronger, more capable, and less self doubting of myself. They are the sweetest boys. Always happy and they can go with the flow. I think that is impart of how my husband and I brought them into this crazy world. We went with the flow.
Every time I give them a bath, they’re playing in the tub that they came into this world in. And that always makes me smile.
-Mama Owl 🦉