sarah’s home birth story

My birth story starts a few days after my due date. During my first trimester my in-laws planned a trip to come out and meet their newest grandchild. We planned it for a week after our little one’s due date, and I thought it would be plenty enough time to bond with our new baby and figure out some parenting basics before having company. It was the Saturday after my due date and my in-laws were due to arrive on Wednesday. I was still very pregnant with labor nowhere in sight.  So I did what any normal pregnant woman would do: I started freaking out. I asked my husband, CJ, to have them delay their trip another week to give us time. Wednesday comes and I go to my appointment with the midwife and CJ goes to the airport to pick up his father, step-mother, and grandfather. At my appointment they offer to do a membrane sweep, but I declined.

CJ and I continue to do everything we can for the next few days to get the baby to come. We walk. I eat pineapple and spicy foods and take herbs and essential oils. We went back and got the sweep (I cried because I wanted my body to go into labor on it’s own) and nothing worked. On Friday his grandfather headed back home without ever laying eyes on our sweet babe.

It’s now Saturday night. I’m getting multiple texts and phone calls daily from people wanting to know if our little one arrived yet.  At yet another midwife appointment we decide to do another membrane sweep, and to avoid taking castor oil or ending up in the hospital in the next couple of days, we opt for a Foley too and stop on the way home to rent an electric breast pump. By the time we get home I’m pretty cranky. I go straight to my room and tell CJ I’m skipping the neighborhood BBQ to wallow in self-pity by myself. I try to watch some tv but everything on is stupid and the Foley is making me so uncomfortable I cry.

CJ called the midwife and we decide to take the Foley out. If was supposed to be in for 24 hours and I had barely made it two. The cramping made it unbearable though. While CJ took his parents to the BBQ I started timing the cramps with my contraction timer for practice.

Thankfully CJ stashed his parents at the neighbors’ and came home quickly because the cramps from the Foley weren’t cramps, they were actual contractions. Within three contractions they were coming on every three minutes or less. I couldn’t focus on anything except how bad they hurt and how much I didn’t want another one to come. I crawled into the bathtub for some relief and it didn’t do much. CJ started calling people, the doula, the midwife, our crunchy mama bear neighbor, and setting up for a home birth in between contractions (blowing up the tub, covering the bed in plastic, etc).  After not too long I crawl out of the bathtub and ask for CJ to have our doula come.

Everything gets fuzzy here. I remember a few quick images, and I’ve heard CJ tell the story a few times, but mostly everything from my actual memory is gone. I remember being completely naked in child’s pose in front of my bed when the doula arrived. She asked if I wanted some “Emergen-C” and it took me a few contractions to answer her that we had Gatorade in the cupboard. I was on the bed when the first instinct to push came. Every bit of my body from the hair on top of my head to the skin on the tips of my toes started pushing downward. “Oh no, oh no,” I told them what was happening. CJ had my midwife on the phone. Only a few hours had passed and she wasn’t with us yet. She told me to tell my body and to baby to wait for her.

I don’t remember her getting there. CJ said I was in the bathroom, which is crazy to me. I don’t remember ever moving back that way. Kayti, my midwife, had me move back to the bed and I birthed our son, on all fours, on our bed. CJ received him and they placed our tiny baby boy on my chest.

CJ held him while I delivered the placenta and was stitched up. His parents went to our other neighbors house to spend the night, but they sent home plates of food for us. My mother-in-law’s casserole was so good she made me another the next day. I ended up being so grateful that my in-laws were visiting. We had plenty of privacy for the birth thanks to my amazing neighbors and they (my in-laws and my neighbors) (and Kristin of course) took care of us in the days directly following our birth. Nothing could replace the photo I have if my husband, our son, and my father-in-law just hours after our babe was born.

If you have any questions about my birth please be sure to leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your birth experience too!