I'm happy to share my birth story to be encouraging, to spread positive birthing energy out to all women (and everyone else needing some positive ju ju) in the world and if anything else just to entertain.
Sadly there's plenty of scare around the subject birth and it makes me mad to think many women get discouraged or think they don't have the strength to give birth on their own.
I ask you to please respect the intimacy of the photos in this post and to not use or copy them.
At 39 weeks 5 days I lost my mucus plug. It was a Friday, my husbands birthday and he was out celebrating with the guys. I called him and he came home 2 hours later. Thought for sure I would get to hold my baby by the end of that weekend considering I've had a good amount of surges that week. That weekend nothing happened. It was hard because as much as I wanted to stay mellow I got really excited thinking things had started. Then on Monday evening right around midnight my water broke. Brian went to pick up his brother from the airport while I went to bed early. 45 Minutes in I woke up feeling this urge of having to pee really bad. I shot out of bed and noticed my panties getting wet halfway to the toilet. I remember thinking did I just really pee my pants?! I called our midwife after Brian got home and she suggested I'd go back to bed and get some sleep in case things started progressing. Although I learned the previous Friday to not get too excited I couldn't help but getting giddy about getting to actually meet my baby now very soon.
The night passed by... Tuesday morning I texted our midwife to tell her nothing happened yet and she suggested I'd go for a (another!) long walk. So, sweet hubby walked for an hour around the neighborhood with me.
We had a checkup appointment with our midwife later that afternoon and talked about natural ways to induce. My midwife mentioned acupuncture and I decided to give that a try since I've never experienced acupunture.
I made an appointment for that same evening 5.30 pm. The acupuncture itself wasn't relaxing at all. The therapist said inducing labor with acupuncture was the least pleasurable one out of all acupuncture experiences. It didn't matter to me. I was willing to try anything natural to get this party going.
The session took an hour, and by the time I walked out of the therapists' home my belly had dropped. I came home and Brian noticed immediately. I told him I felt the baby drop during a surge while laying there with about 25 pins in my body. It was the coolest weirdest feeling and not subtle at all.
The Therapist predicted I was going to have a boy, She was one of those people that is spiritually connected and in tune with her senses and energy. Intuitive and very direct about it. As I was gathering my stuff to leave she said let me know if you need me again tomorrow. Somehow I felt like she knew nothing was going to happen that same evening.
I went home and went for another long 1,5 hour walk with Brian. That night I went to bed without any expectations or hope, just tiredness.
Wednesday June 8.
I woke up at 6.30 am. I decided to go for a short walk, on my own. I needed time by myself to think and process. I had now passed 24 hours after my water had broken and I was starting to wonder how this story would end. I told myself everything was going to be just fine. No need to start worrying. No matter what I was closer to meeting my baby with every minute passing by.
Checked in with our midwife at 9 am. She suggested I could try 2 things to help things move along.. A couple of herbs and a sequence of things including nipple stimulation, or castor oil. I wanted to try a combination of nipple stimulation and castor oil. So we got dressed and left the house to pick up a breast pump from our midwife as well as a quick stop at Target for some castor oil. Target didn't have castor oil. But while in there my little false labor surges I'd been having had turned in to stronger ones.
I could not help but think what the heck am I doing in a store, I don't feel well at all! We drove to wheatsville and while I stayed in the car dealing with the oncoming surges Brian ran in for some castor oil. Once home I started timing my surges and noticed they were 5 mins apart. I texted Christy, our midwife and she told me one of the other midwives would stop by soon to come check on things.
An hour later Chandra arrived. It was 3.00 pm. I was sitting on my birthing ball and feeling pretty uncomfortable to be cheery and to entertain. Brian had speedy cleaned and prepped the whole house with candles, pillows, essential oils and indian instrumental music (my favorite soothing kind).
He had said earlier he thought the baby was going to come today and right he was. I went to the bathroom and noticed blood for the first time. Things started picking up. Thank god I had not taken the castor oil yet as my body was now cleaning itself out on it's own. I couldn't stop going to the bathroom so I labored there for a while. Chandra had called Jenni, our other midwife to let her know things were progressing. The surges started to get more and more intense. I loved being in the bathroom where I was close to the toilet. My favorite position during each surge was either sitting on the toilet, on my knees or leaning over the edge of the bath tub.
I had no idea how far I was dilated. I didn't need to know. My body was doing it's thing and I knew I was going to meet my baby very soon. I vomited and murmured 'Is this transition?' I don't remember talking much after that as my body started pushing pretty soon thereafter. Wow what an incredible feeling. My body collected this immense strength towards my belly with which it contracted and pushed the baby down. First with longer breaks in between. Then faster with barely any or sometimes no break. It was the best feeling ever. Even tho at this point I felt totally out of my own body in trance mode. Nothing mattered anymore, I lost concept of time, space, everything. Just me and these incredible pushes.
His head started appearing. I pushed for a total of about 45 minutes apparently. His head took a while to be all out, but after that his body followed immediately. And all of a sudden there he was. 9.18 pm. Crying right away. I had delivered an 6 pound 13 ounce boy, our son on all fours on our bathroom floor and it was the coolest most magical thing I've ever done!
The following 5 days I drunk my frozen placenta which was cut into little pieces, stored as ice cubes in smoothies. It contains oxytocin, a hormone that reduces pain and increases bonding with baby, it also contains thyroid stimulating hormones, interferon and prolactin, which is believed to boost the immune system, energy, recovery and milk supply. As much as it may sound gross to some, I didn't taste it at all in my smoothies. Im not sure if it did anything special for me since I haven't experienced recovery without consuming my placenta but I will tell you I felt great days after giving birth. Happy! Also my milk supply was very rich once it came in on day 3.
And all of a sudden there were 3 of us. I feel so lucky for being able to give birth peacefully at home. It's true there's no place better than home or your own bed. I'm very excited for the new times ahead of us!
Things that helped me gain perspective and prepare for birth.
- Watched 'Orgasmic Birth' as well as 'The Business of being born'.
- I loved listening to birth stories on Bryn Huntpalmer's podcast; The Birth hour
- Watched (positive, non screaming) birthing videos on youtube.
- Ina Mays guide to breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
- Ina Mays guide to childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
- Your baby your way by Jennifer Marguilis
- The natural pregnancy book by Aviva Jill Romm