Monday, December 19, 2011

Birth Story for L3: 2nd Homebirth after Cesarean

Today is L3's 2 week birthday. It is also her "due date". So, it is about time I get the story down. There are some pictures, but nothing graphic (no genitals or nipples, but bare belly and breastfeeding baby). From beginning to baby took about 25 hours, 13 hours less than L2's birth.

Ever have that dream where you are going to the bathroom, only to wake to hoping you were just dreaming and can make it to the bathroom in time? December 4th, 2011, Sunday morning, I woke to that, only instead of an urge to pee it was a pop and a gush. I wouldn't be making it to the bathroom, my water had just broke.

So I waddled to the bedroom door, seeing that it was about 3:30am, and wondered where my husband was. He should have been home from work about an hour earlier. I loudly whispered his name (he had been reading on the couch) and told him the news. He was surprised, to say the least.

I got to the bathroom, while Mike called our midwife, Dr Brandy, and doula (also our midwife's assistant), Megan. At this point, what is happening hits me, and I completely break down in a panic attack. My birth of L1 started with my water breaking, and it did not go well from there. It took my husband, and phone conversations with my birth team to calm me down, and put us back on track for our plans of a homebirth. Since we weren't having any contractions, everyone stayed home to wait and see how things played out.

Since my boys were still asleep in our bed (and the wet spot I created in my spot at the foot of the bed), and Mike hadn't even been to bed yet, we set up in the living room to get some sleep. Only, my contractions started about an hour later. And got stronger.

We had intended to send the boys and roommates to my brother's to wait. But when they decided to wake up at 5:30am I called my mom to come get them. I knew there was no way I could keep myself calm and focused with kiddos who had woken up too early. So, we kicked everyone out by 8 or 9am.

Mike and I spent the day resting in our "nest", watching the second season of the original series of Star Trek, taking walks, and just being together. My contractions were very uneven, though were pretty strong. All day we played that game. Sleep, snack, Star Trek.

At 5ish, I was getting uncomfortable and decided to get into the tub. Everyone (myself included) thought that my baby would wait for nighttime to arrive. But instead of resting, my contractions became stronger. I breathed and moaned though them, in the glow of our Christmas lights, with Christmas music playing. I remember at one point thinking it was taking forever, and a non-Christmas song came on. The lyrics to the song were EXACTLY what I needed to hear (really, listen to it).

I bawled my eyes out. We were in gear and really progressing. We called Megan to come over. I got out of the tub needing to use the bathroom. And the contractions stopped.


So again, we rested, we snacked, we walked (not pleasant at all: 20 degrees and throwing up on the stairs), we listened to Christmas music and basked in the glow of our lights.  Déjà vu all over again. Megan told my husband to sleep, me to relax in the birth tub, and she made herself scarce (My doula is rad like that. She knows when to kick my ass into gear, when I need encouraging, and when to just leave me alone. Check her out if you want an awesome doula). With everyone otherwise occupied I started having good, steady contractions again. The birth tub got cold, so I moved to our shower. 

I decided to check myself at that point. I was beginning to loose some of my hope, and was hoping to find myself decently dilated, which I was. I still felt a bit of a lip though. So, as Mike dozed while sitting on the toilet (just as a seat), I labored in the shower. There came a point where I started feeling like pushing, but was worried it wasn't really time. So, I pushed a little. Then a little more. I didn't tell anyone I was pushing, I had a fear they would tell me to stop. When I realized I couldn't stop pushing, I woke up Mike and told him to get Megan. When she saw there was no access to my bathroom, she encouraged me to try to get to the bed.

I made it out of the tub and to the toilet. Then I realized if I stayed much longer, I was going to have a baby in the toilet. So, I moved again. About 3 steps. Then I announced I couldn't go further and needed to push, even though I wasn't sure I was complete enough. Must have been though, because I squat down (right at the edge of the bathroom linoleum) and pushed. Good thing Megan keeps medical gloves in her pocket, and the chux pads were in arms reach of Mike. Out came baby in just a couple of pushes! I reached down, lifted the baby to my chest, and fell back into Mike's arms. After a few moments of rubbing baby down to get some response, we took a look and saw we had a GIRL! Really. I checked repeatedly over the next few days, that is how surprised I am. 

After delivering the placenta, exploring the system that nourished my little girl (cord that went FOREVER, twice around her neck, and around her body, between her legs), attempting to initiate breastfeeding (she wasn't interested yet), and the arrival of my midwife (because I didn't mention how far along I thought I was, no one knew to call her sooner. Sorry Dr. B!), we shifted to the bed to snuggle for a bit before cutting the cord, checking for tears, and doing her newborn check. She was 7lbs 6oz, 19in. All healthy, no stitches needed, and we were bundled up for the best part: the first nap, snuggled in my bed, with my husband and beautiful new baby girl.

Itty Bitty baby butt, huge  boob. 


  1. So, so beautiful. I started laughing when I got to the part where you didn't tell anyone you were pushing for fear they'd tell you to stop — I did the same thing, which is why my midwife wasn't there in time, either. :)

    I am so happy for you and in awe of your strength. And yea for your radiant little girl!

  2. I envy your beautiful home birth, even with what would seem like a very long labor to me. What a beautiful tale! Thank you for getting it written and posted, I've been anxious to read it.

  3. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  4. Beautiful story, beautiful baby.

    I especially like that you had fairy lights to enjoy while you labored!

  5. beautiful!! I love, love this birth story!! happy babymoon <3

  6. I love the Star Trek part! I love the song and the crying! And the secret pushing!