Welcome Rosalie – Home birth with Midwives
Rosalie’s home birth on January 18, 2016
The days before I went into labour I spent sewing baby items and reading Ina May Gaskin’s guide to childbirth, a book I highly recommend! On the day I went into labour I had a feeling of constant cramping that felt like a mild period, I finished my sewing at midnight, ate a full bag of chocolate and tried to sleep. At 2:30 in the morning I got my first contraction, which felt slightly more intense than the practice Braxton hicks I was getting, except this time I had one every two minutes. The timing confused my partner and I, as we thought they would start more spread apart. We waited a couple hours until I finally asked to call our midwives. They showed up and checked my dilation, 2cm! I had a lot of work ahead of me, so they decided to leave and come back when I was in hard labour.
My partner went back to sleep (thank goodness he did, he had a lot of work ahead) while my mom laboured with me in the early stages. We sat on her bed together with some music playing and dim lighting, while I meditated and breathed deeply through each contraction. By 9:30am my contractions got much more intense and painful, by this point I was making very loud moans and my partner Kyle woke up. I threw up (only once during my labour) as soon as he came in, and actually felt better doing so. He and my mom worked as a team from here on, encouraging me to drink water and smoothies, which I kept refusing but they forced them on me (thank goodness they did, labouring women NEED that hydration). After each contraction Kyle had me drink. The pain became increasingly more intense and I had some major back labour. Each contraction I vigorously rubbed my tailbone and became increasingly vocal, I swore a lot! The contractions became so intense I felt I was in an altered state, almost like a dream, and I was completely unaware of what was going on around me. My contractions were pretty much two minutes apart for the entire labour until I went into transition.
It was extremely difficult to move but my team encouraged me to use the bathroom regularly, and change positions if I was not coping well with the pain. I found moving extremely difficult so it was important to listen to my birth coach. At the time the pain felt unbearable, and had I been in the hospital I would have certainly accepted drugs, which makes me feel very grateful I was at home and this was not offered to me. My acupuncturist showed up around 12:30 and did a pain treatment. Around 2:00 our midwives came back and showed Kyle how to do counter pressure exactly where I had bad back labour. My partner Kyle did this for me every two minutes for the next three hours. The midwives moved me to the toilet for transition which helped move things along faster. Transition was incredibly intense, however it was not necessarily painful, and it wasn’t until then my bag of water broke while on the toilet. Also I did not lose a mucous plug or have bloody show previous to this.
I was moved from the bathroom to the guest bedroom where I would be pushing. This stage was definitely not painful, however it was absolutely exhausting. I had incredible coaching from Kyle while I pushed, and he guided me through each breath. He sat behind me on the bed while I leaned on him and he held me up for each push (series of three pushes). Oil and hot compress was applied to my perineum during this stage. When baby finally crowned after an hour of pushing, the midwives instructed me to stop pushing and gently breathe baby out. Crowning was also not nearly as painful as I thought it would be, and I could distinctly feel the head pop out and her body came out so easy! The feeling of having the baby placed on me was the most incredible reward for all those painful contractions and pushing. 5:52 pm our daughter was born! I couldn’t believe how beautiful our daughter was! I didn’t have any tearing but I did have mild abrasions they had to stitch, which they froze and stitched very easily.
Our birth classes literally transformed my partner into what I now refer to as a middle husband! I joke and say he should be a male doula! His support during my labour brought our relationship to an entirely new love, and I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude for him. What we learned from healthy birth choices not only made me feel empowered and safe having a home birth, but it also gave Kyle the tools he needed to have our birth go off without a hitch. I progressed without any problems and altogether laboured for about 16 hours. Going to the bathroom regularly and drinking water is essential, despite whether you want to do it. Rhonda is one of the most passionate and caring people I’ve ever met and I’m beyond grateful my midwife practically forced us to take the classes. Sshe knew what a huge impact they would have, especially on Kyle. I am so incredibly proud of our natural home birth, and it was extremely empowering as a woman to trust my body and my birth team. I strongly believe our birth went so well because of how we prepared for it and empowered ourselves with knowledge of natural childbirth. I have a whole new respect for all women who birth children, regardless of how it unfolds, natural or not, birth is incredible!
Love to Rhonda Gordon and Briar Hill Midwives, I am forever grateful to you!!