“Home Birth?! Are you crazy?!”
That was typically the reaction I got when I told people I was having my second baby at home.
Though I was super nervous and had NO IDEA what to expect at first, looking back, I can say that giving birth at home was one of the best decisions and most empowering things I have ever done as a woman.
So here’s all about my beautiful experience.
Early Labor-THE ENDLESS WAIT
It all started on Saturday morning February 29th when I realized that my mucus plug had come out. I started getting light contractions and I was convinced that the time for baby Noah’s arrival was quickly approaching.
Well, it was approaching, but not as quickly as I had hoped for!
Actual early labor began on Wednesday, March 4th at 7 am. My contractions were mild and ranged between 10-15 minutes apart all day!
I was excited because I was SO mentally prepared to have this baby!
Everything was set at home and I was just ready to go! I called my midwives to let them know how I was feeling that morning and they reminded me to stay nourished, hydrated and to go about my day as normal. They told me to call when my contractions were 5-8 minutes apart.
So since the contractions would come and go throughout the day and I still had energy to move around, my husband and I decided to run some errands and stop at the supermarket before settling in at home. We even played with Lucas outside for about an hour and a half before going inside.
In the afternoon my mom, who was apart of my birth team, arrived. I was relieved that she made it being that she lives almost 2 hours away.
My contractions were still 10-15 minutes apart into the evening and I was honestly frustrated by then because I just wanted to give birth! After eating dinner, putting Lucas to sleep and showering, I sat down in the living room to watch some TV and realized that I was super tired. Feeling a bit defeated, thinking that it probably wasn’t going to happen that day, I went to my bed to rest. An hour and a half later I woke up to stronger contractions. I started monitoring them and realized that they were coming 8 minutes apart. By that time it was already midnight. I called my midwives and updated them on my status and they let me know that they were on their way!
I thought to myself, this is it! The time has come!.. Yeah, right.
When the first midwife arrived, she set up the equipment and checked my cervix to see how dilated I was. To my dreadful surprise, I was only 3 centimeters! Mamas who have had children before know that hearing that you are fewer centimeters than what you had expected, when you are already in pain and uncomfortable can be super heart breaking! I wanted to cry!
But my midwives assured me that it would be okay and that they weren’t planning on leaving me. They suggested that I move around to get my blood flowing and hopefully get the contractions to come more frequently. So, I walked up and down the stairs a bunch of times, had a snack, and walked around the inside of my house in circles, more than 50 times, for sure!
The walking definitely worked because my contractions began to come more frequently.
Active Labor-THE REAL DEAL
I was getting a bit tired of walking so at one point I knelt down to rest while still swaying my hips to help with the contractions and all of a sudden I got a really strong contraction. One of the midwives came to help me through it and put pressure on my back and as she did that, I heard and felt a POP! My water broke! I didn’t experience my water breaking during my labor with Lucas so I was happy about experiencing that. After that, we relocated to my bedroom where I had planned on delivering.
At this point, I was in active labor and things began to progress pretty fast. I was in active labor for about 45 minutes to an hour before hitting the transition stage and delivering.
I know many people are curious to know how I dealt with the labor pains, and I think you’ll be surprised to find out that it’s not with medication, nor water from a pool or even massages from my significant other.
The way I cope with pain is through my mind. Our minds are so powerful! I literally have learned to just block out the physical pain I feel and do a lot of positive self-talk. If I can get myself to overcome the pain in my mind, then I can get through it physically. I would also try to relax myself by breathing slowly and I would say things like ‘ I got this’ ‘I was made for this’ and ‘It’s almost done’ to get myself through the contractions.
Everyone copes with pain differently and the good thing is that there are so many techniques out there that can help. Mamas can take Lamaze breathing classes or yoga to learn different ways to cope through the pain. The midwives are great at offering different ways to help ease or get through the contractions.
I will never be able to express how grateful I am for my birth team. My mother and my husband were by my side the whole time and they were beyond AMAZING. From holding my hand, to reminding me that “I got this,” to just being present to support me through the process helped me immensely throughout my experience. My midwives were also amazing throughout the process! They were so genuine with their care and in ensuring a successful delivery of my little bundle. I truly believe that having such a great support system made this experience even more beautiful.
Active labor was emotionally draining.
I felt like I was in pain for so long and that the baby was taking so long to come out-though that wasn’t the case–I began to feel desperate. I would ask the midwives, “Why doesn’t he want to come out?!” I was frustrated and tired! I felt like I was over the whole experience and I just wanted him out. I felt as though I wasn’t going to make it through to push him out. Despite my positive self-talk, at that point I felt like giving up and started thinking of Plan B on getting the baby out.
Just when those thoughts were lingering in my mind, one of my midwives asked to do another cervical check to see if the baby’s head was low enough for me to start pushing.
So it was originally in my plan to deliver on all fours since I had read that was one of the best positions to deliver in. However, my contractions were so strong that I could not get myself to that position. Instead, my midwife suggested other positions that I was able to try while laying in bed. Ultimately, I gave birth laying down on my back with my legs spread wide, which is a bit different from my hospital experience since they made sure my legs were held upright as I delivered.
It was around 4:45 am when they let me know that the baby’s head was right where it needed to be for me to start pushing! They suggested that with the next contraction I start pushing. I wasted no time and with the next contraction I pushed him out in three pushes.
Noah Elias arrived earthside at 5 am, the beautiful morning of March 5th, 2020.
I cried when he came out.
I could not believe that I had actually gotten through it and that I actually gave birth to my baby at home!
It was emotional, it was beautiful, it was empowering.
It’s amazing how perfectly God uses our bodies to carry life, birth life, and nurture life. What an honor it is to be a woman!