Renee's Birth Story | Homebirth | Birthing without fear | Postpartum health
I've had some people ask me to write out my birth story and share more about my homebirth so here it is!
I need to preface by saying that my first two children were born in the hospital. I did not have bad births with either child but I felt that the hospital just wasn't helping my postpartum healing.
I wanted a homebirth because I wanted to heal
My postpartum recovery with my two other children was rough, it was painful and it was stressful. I had a low milk supply with my first child, and again with my second, it was difficult for me to relax right after the birth and in the hospital, and I had conflicting advice given to me from each nurse that came in to check on the baby and me.
I didn't rest like they say you should either with my other babies, so it also took me longer to heal, essentially I was being stupid and not intentional with my healing and seriousness of the matter.
The reason I looked for a homebirth was for a few reasons
- I had to fight for my options in the hospital, like delayed cord clamping, skin to skin right away.
- I had to be very specific about my plan during labour to avoid a c-section.
- Financial cost, when I looked into it a homebirth was cheaper than our deductible (here in the US)
- I wanted to be surrounded by people who genuinely cared about me and my baby vs a number that's getting in and out.
- I wanted to be RELAXED.
Never had an overdue baby before
I went to 41 weeks and 3 days with Renee, it was tough, and I was given many options and even purchased castor oil, though thankfully I didn't have to use it.
I had a lot of braxton hicks on the evening of Thursday February 22, which lasted all night, but I was worried it was going to wear me out psychologically and I wouldnt have the mental stamina for when the real contractions started.
Opted for a cervical sweep the morning of February 23, it took 30 minutes to get to the midwife's office and back home, and while on the way home the braxton hicks weren't so bad or so frequent but the second I came home and laid down in bed, they felt much more intense and more frequent. I couldn't move.
The bed was where I stayed
I had talked with my midwife prior to birth and she had explained to me that physically a side lying position was the one of the best positions for giving birth in to relieve pressure on the perineum and also take pressure off the baby's head during contractions. It made perfect sense, so I decided that's how I would labour.
I had contractions every 5 minutes lasting 1 minute apart for 4 hours, and the hip pain was so intense, that had I been in a hospital there's a good chance I would have opted for an Epidural. (I should mention here that my other two births were all natural.) I can handle pain pretty well and my last baby honestly wasn't that hard or painful as my first, so I thought for sure this one wouldn't be so bad.
JUST KIDDING, it was really hard. I was crying to my husband and my midwife that I couldn't do it, the pain was so bad but my midwife was an angel, she said I could do it, my body was meant to do it and I was fully capable I just had to let go, let it all go and I could change positions if I wanted to. Well, dying felt like a better option than changing positions but I did. I went onto hands and knees. The only problem with that is that it brought the baby slightly farther away from the cervix but would relieve the hip pain. It helped, minimally.
I switched back to side lying for a bit, then changed to the other side. There was a period where I was able to focus instead of crying and I was able to relax, not think about contractions - the contractions subsided a bit during this time, I was able to mentally drift away from my physical body and breathe through them. Then, they came back with such intensity that my whole body shook, it took every strength and then some to not scream and to try and breathe the baby down, except THE BABY WASN'T MOVING DOWN!!!
I felt like no progress was happening
It was mentally so challenging, I couldn't feel the baby moving down, and the midwife suggested I get up because gravity would help. Well those were my options
- Get up and experience more hip pain from just moving but baby would come down faster
- Suck up the pain for a longer period of time during contractions and not move.
Didn't seem like either was good so I stayed side lying. Finally after quite a few contractions of my whole body shaking through the hip pain I felt like pushing. Which was weird because the baby didn't even feel low enough for me to push, yet I felt like that was my only option, I had to push hoping to God that she would come out.
One push and the baby came out, the midwife wasn't expecting it too move so quick she didn't even have time to put her gloves on and out came the baby crying.
The hardest birth I have had, yet.
While it was the hardest birth I have had, the recovery has been AMAZING. I did have a minor tear but my midwife said that if I laid in bed and sat properly I wouldn't need stitches. Because I didn't have stitches my healing accelerated 500%. I could sit in a normal chair just a few days after giving birth and it didn't kill me. I could also walk a few days after birth without feeling like my perineum was going to fall out.
Having this birth at home really healed me, I was surrounded by my family, and my boys got to see the baby right away and see how birth really is. They will remember it and I want them to grow up thinking that childbirth is nothing to be scared or afraid of.
Also, to be able to sleep in my own bed in the same night beside my husband, and not have nurses barging in every couple hours to check on nursing, or latch or whatever it may be = Heaven. Or as close to heaven as it gets. I also got to eat the food I wanted and drink what I wanted vs the limited food that the hospital has.
I am beyond grateful that I was able to have this baby at home. I understand some women don't have that option due to high risks or other reasons and I am grateful we have a medical system that allows us those option as well so that we can bring our babies home. But I also think that women, if they have the option should be able to birth at home the way most of humanity has done it since we've come into existance. It's beyond beautiful and I couldn't be more grateful for this amazing experience.
I'll share more on my postpartum experience in another post, as it's just too much to share for one!