Guest post: Gavin’s Birth

After my own delightful experiences, I’ve decided to collect and feature stories of others’ home birth experiences on my blog from time to time. This is the first of such.

Hailey, 22:

My first birth was when I was 19 in a hospital. The experience overall was fine, it just didn’t feel like the right way to do birth. What truly pushed us to do a home birth was to avoid the unneeded interventions that we received with my now 3 year old.

On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 (Leary’s and my 4th anniversary), I was 36 weeks and 2 days along.  At 7:26 AM, I woke up in a small puddle of water; I was so excited I rushed to the bathroom. When I wiped I found clear fluid with a bloody tinge!  I ran into the bedroom to wake Leary. I called Lynda (my midwife) and let her know about the bloody show. At 8, my contractions began.  I once again had the wonderful back labor.  Leary and I were so happy; I told him to call into work and use his very last vacation day. I called my mom, dad, and brother to let them know that this might be the day.

The rest of the morning went on normally.  We got Addy up, fed, and dressed. My cousin Ari was staying with us, so I alerted her of the news.  At 12 PM, Leary and I left Addy at home with Ari to go visit my midwife for her to check my PH (to figure out if my water had broken).  My water hadn’t broken. Lynda told us we might not be having a baby as we had thought… She said I was 4-5cm dilated and 90% effaced. I walked out of Lynda’s almost in tears.  I was so bummed my water hadn’t broken. I alerted my doula and photographer. After a fairly quick pity party for ourselves, Leary and I decided to celebrate our anniversary over McDonalds in the car. I know it wasn’t the best fuel for labor but crap is all this little man wanted me to eat. 🙂

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We arrived home and broke the news to Ari. Leary, Addy, and I decided to try and keep my contractions coming so we walked to our neighborhood park to play on the playground. Addy had an absolute blast and Leary took tons of pictures. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us to do, but this particular park trip is the most special to us. When I realized how emotional I was about the experience, it gave me another boost and I was once again convinced that we would be welcoming our little guy very soon. We headed home from the park about 4 PM.

Once home I bounced on my birth ball and rested on the couch while Leary made dinner and Addy watched some “Elmo” (AKA Sesame Street). We did our normal evening routine except I texted my mom and asked her to come pick Addy up on her way home.  My dear friend and volunteer Doula told me she would be over around 7 PM. I packed up an absolutely thrilled daughter and sent her on her way with “Gigi”.

Addy left and we all relaxed; the early evening was calm and peaceful.  It hadn’t been what we planned for our anniversary, but what plan in life ever is? Once Carmen, my doula, arrived she pushed my lazy butt into active mode we walked around my neighborhood a few times to get things progressing. By this time my contractions still had no pattern and weren’t very painful. We got back from walking and I hopped in my birth tub.  Boy, did I LOVE this thing!!! I wish it was still in my living room! About 7:30 PM my photographer told me she was headed over, I let her know that we still had a ways to go and that she should head home until I was transitioning. At this point I once again started to doubt my instincts and body… this baby wasn’t coming. We sat in the tub and watched Under Cover Boss until 12am. Finally we all called it a night; it wasn’t going to happen.

I went to bed disappointed and lied down. Between 12-2 AM, I woke up a few times from a contraction here or there, but at 2:30 I woke up in full transition! I couldn’t even make it to the birth pool so I got in the bath tub instead. After a half hour of soaking I went back to bed exhausted and hoping to sleep a bit, (silly me), and I woke up a half hour later and my voice must have revealed the pain I was feeling because Leary, who is impossible to wake up, jumped right up with me and actually beat me to the birth tub. It was 3:30 AM and Carmen was on her way. We tried our midwife and it went to voice mail which I didn’t think anything of, after all it was 3am! Right after that a contraction came and I fell silent.

After the contraction, I decided to check on my progress… and there was his head!!! This guys, is where I began to FREAK out… I looked at Leary with tears forming in my eyes and said “CALL LYNDA!!!” We tried again— no answer (we lost the number she had just given us earlier that afternoon since her cell was not available). I remembered that we happened to have her husband’s cell and said “CALL HIM!!!” We got ahold of him (who was surprisingly calm about all of this) and he got ahold of Lynda. She called Leary back and he put her on speaker; she let us know she just left another birth was on her way and that if I felt the urge to push I should have Leary call back and she would walk him through the process… Panic continued until the next contraction.  Carmen walked in a contraction later.  I explained the situation to Carmen, appearing stronger than I felt.

Another contraction came and my body took over and I began to hum.  This was simply AMAZING, my body really did know what to do!  About fifteen or twenty minutes, but exactly 6 contractions later, Lynda arrived and Leary and I filled with relief.  She and her assistant efficiently carried in their luggage and prepared the room.  This took 4 contractions.  On the next contraction, I guess my body felt the urge to push, because that is exactly what it started to do.  Without the pressure of the hospital and midwifes telling me what to do this was both confusing yet refreshing at the same time. There was no instruction, no bare down and count to 10; my midwife simply told me your body knows, follow its lead. The humming continued, getting louder and louder.  At some point, I requested someone to get Ari.  Leary later told me that she sleepily stumbled on the scene during a particularly loud bout of humming and her eyes quickly became like saucers.  A contraction later the cursing began. Once again there was no thought about this, it just flowed out. My wonderful birth team just continued to support me and I just heard whisperers of encouraging words and true love all around me. When a contraction would end and I could consciously make eye contact I would get the most sincere and loving smiles. I could not have asked to be surrounded by more supportive people, I am glad I chose these people so carefully.

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As I began crowning the pressure and burning began; this is the push I forced a bit too much and my water then broke. I remember shouting out “My water just broke!”  At this point I only had a few seconds before contractions began; it was rough.  I just tried to remember I was almost there! This is the point Lynda came to me and began touching and checking with Leary’s help.  Leary prepared to “catch” Gavin.  Lynda was having him help position the baby correctly to help me not tear (This was uncomfortable to say the least). I just remember saying “STOP, OW, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?” Next thing I knew his head came out and I heard, “I feel his lips!” Lynda again reminded me to let my body make the decisions. In two more pushes my not so little guy arrived. At 5:17AM on November 20th 2013 Gavin Eugene Williamson was born, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 in tall. He was PERFECT.

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A HUGE thank you to my FABULOUS birth team! You will never know what you all mean to me!

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