The Perfect, All Natural Homebirth of Phoebe Jean Print
Birth Stories - Homebirth Birth Stories
Tuesday, 24 March 2009 16:49

I went into labor the same day as my last day of work. So here I was, thinking that I was going to have two weeks or so to rest and finish preparing. That was not the case.

I was feeling pretty crampy all that morning, but by the time I came home from work at 11:00 am, they disappeared and so I thought nothing of it.

That evening at about 7:30, I went to my crochet group. While I was sitting in my friend's living room, I started feeling cramps again. They weren't particularly strong, but they seemed to be coming at pretty regular intervals, which hadn't happened before. I figured I would wait and see if they went away.

I left my friends house at about 9:30, and continued to feel the regular cramping. I started timing them and at that time they were still very mild and coming about every 6 to 10 minutes.

I still wasn't sure if it was actually labor or if it was just my body doing some sort of preparation.

By the time Kevin got home from work at about midnight, they still hadn't gone away but they also hadn't gotten any stronger.

We took a shower together and laid down in bed and he took up the task of timing the contractions. At this time, they began getting stronger, and were happening exactly every 6 minutes. I was getting up to pee frequently, and at around 1:00 AM I noticed pinkish discharge on the bed sheet when I got up, and on the toilet paper when I wiped, so then I knew I had lost my mucus plug and was for sure in labor.

We laid in bed and rested and I tried to sleep in between the contractions. I was able to doze, but they continued to get stronger over the next couple of hours, and sometimes came every 3 minutes. I peed as often as possible because I knew having a full bladder could hinder the process.

Kevin asked me if we should call our midwife, and I was very adamant about waiting to call her until things were really happening.

By about 3:30 in the morning, the pain was intense enough that I had to very consciously breath every time I had a contraction or I would begin to cry out. I was still trying to sleep, but my body began to involuntarily shake very badly all over in between them. It seemed I couldn't help but yell when I had a contraction.

At 4:30 AM we called our midwife, Yolanda. I told her exactly what was going on, and stayed on the phone through a contraction, while she instructed me how to breath through it. She told me to rest for as long as I could, and when I felt like I couldn't anymore, to go take a hot shower or bath. She said she would be over at around 8:00 AM to check on us.

I tried to breath through the contractions after I got off the phone with her and had some success, but as they got stronger I found myself unable to not moan and groan. My body's involuntary shaking continued between contractions, and finally after about an hour, I told Kevin to go get the bathtub ready. I wanted to lay in it and see if I couldn't relax my muscles and stop the shaking.

As soon as I laid in the hot water I felt relief. My whole body relaxed, including my abdominal muscles. We put a towel behind my head and I leaned back on the lip of the tub.

The contractions seemed a little easier to handle in the water and I laid there for many hours while Kevin brought me water and juice-cubes. I felt like I was in a state of delirium, everytime a contraction hit we watched the skin of my belly adhere to every curve of the baby's body , tightening right up around her,(kevin called these my heart-shaped contractions,because the shape of her body in my belly resembled a heart) and all I could do was stare up at the ceiling and moan, and try to count the seconds until it would pass. Kevin held my hand through all of this, telling me when I was halfway through and when it was almost gone.

Our midwife came at a little after 8 in the morning. She was very reassuring, told us everything we had done so far was good. She checked me out and informed me I was 3 centimeters dilated, 100 % effaced and my contractions were of medium intensity. This bit of information worried me a little because I tell you, I was in anguish. I remember, after a particularly intense contraction, asking her if there was any way she could determine how much longer it would be. At that point, I'd been lying in delirious pain in the bathtub for almost four hours. She told me it was hard to tell. Being a first time mom, she said the baby could be there by noon. It also could be as late as seven that evening.

At that time, we still had a ways to go and there was nothing much more she could do. She told Kevin to keep doing exactly what he was doing, keeping me hydrated and such. She said to lay hot washcloths over my belly, and that she would be back by 10 unless my water broke or something changed. She also said to sit on the toilet for awhile as it was important to keep my bladder empty and that the gravity of the sitting position helped move things along faster.

After she left things continued to get more intense and trippy. The feeling of being kind of delirious kept on, and in between the pain I would seem to doze in the hot water and have strange dreams before another contraction would start, and they were only acouple of minutes apart and sometimes, I would have two or more right on top of eachother before they would release.

Kevin was a constant presence throughout the whole process. He was always there by the side of the tub, holding my hand and encouraging me to squeeze it as hard as I wanted, telling me how well I was doing. He continued to bring me the juice cubes and ice cubes and would wipe my face and neck with a cold cloth.

He was very calm, and sometimes this would make me angry, because I would think ' how can he be so calm when I am in agony!', like I knew that nobody else could experience this for me. I was the only one who knew how It felt. The more rational part of me knew that he was doing exactly what he was suppose to be doing, and I was very thankful and tried to tell him I loved him as often as I could.

One thing I remember during this time is that I was aware of sounding very religious and sexual. I always thought in labor I would cuss like a sailor, but it was the opposite. I was moaning “Oh god” and “Oh jesus”. And I found that if I said things like “Oh yes “, as I was having contractions, it was transformed from something that just felt awful to something that was helping to bring me closer to finally holding our baby. I also knew that this wouldn't last forever, and I thought of how proud I was going to be when it was over.

At about 10:00 am, I decided to get up and sit on the toilet for a little while so Kevin could change the water in the bathtub and I could try to pee.

I sat on the toilet and promptly had a really strong contraction. I desperately wanted to get back in the bathtub, because the change in position seemed to have intensified everything., which part of me knew was good. The other part of me only knew that it hurt very badly.

The second contraction hit me and with it there came a pop and a rush of warm fluid rushed out of me.

It surprised me and I yelled out that my water had broke, and then, almost instantly there came a rush of excruciating pain and pressure, and the urge to push was the most overwhelming thing I'd ever felt. I screamed and then started groaning deeply as every muscle in my body seemed to start working to push. I couldn't help it.
Kevin saw that and quickly ushered me back into the bathtub, where I stayed on all fours with my chin on the edge of the tub, groaning and feeling the most intense pressure on my bottom.

He called our midwife during this but I dont remember it. I vaguely remember him telling me she would be here soon. He had some sort of pad that he was pressing on my perineum., and I saw he had gotten out the paper “ what to do if the baby comes before the midwife”.

I wasn't in the all-fours position for very long. Once the tub started to get full again I was on my back in a laying/ sitting position. I don't remember how long it was before Yolanda showed up, things get very fuzzy here. It couldn't have been very long.

She told me I was now 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push. She told me, during these contractions, instead of yelling out I should keep my mouth shut tight, put my chin down and grunt , and really push as hard as I could with my whole body. Then she said to take a deep breath to get behind it, and then push again as hard as I could. I did this and found it hard not to hyperventilate between the pushing because the pressure and pain was so out of this world.

Yolanda told me to put my finger inside myself and feel. I did, and right inside I could feel something blocking the opening.

Yolanda said “ That's her head, see how close she is “

This was the exact thing I needed for some extra motivation. So with the next contraction, I took a deep breath and pushed as hard as I could, took another breath and pushed again. Now I really felt myself splitting open from the inside out.

Kevin was telling me he could now see the top of her head. Yolanda got out a mirror so I could see all her dark hair poking out. This whole time Kevin kept pouring ice cold water on my face and Yolanda kept putting more hot water in the tub, both of these things offering some small relief and I tried to say 'thankyou'.

With the next contraction, Yolanda and Kevin held back my legs for me and I pushed again as hard as I could. I felt myself blacking out. When the contraction let go, everyones voices sounded echoey and I saw spots and felt all twitchy.

Her head was out a little bit more and I could feel her whole body stretching me.

I remember asking if she was okay and Yolanda said she was fine. She kept checking her heartbeat.

Somewhere around this time my mom showed up and was instantly crying because firstly she could see the baby's head and secondly, because I was in so much pain.

Yolanda told me to breath thru the next contraction without pushing so I could collect myself a little, which I did, but the feeling of the baby's head and body stretching me was so excruciating that all I wanted was to push.

With the next push, I felt more of her head come out and Kevin beside me was very excited, saying “I can see her face!”, and my mom was also very excited telling me how well I was doing with this look on her face that was equal parts happy and heartbroken.

With the next push, there was a beautiful rush, and suddenly , there was a warm, wet body on my chest. It seemed she was out of me no more than a second before I was holding her, and I watched her quickly turn from purple to pink, and then, the beautiful sound of her loud, lusty cry. I was in awe of this little person and felt so much love.

Kevin and my mom were both beside the tub crying, saying “She's so beautiful!”.

I felt some very minor cramping then, and out came the placenta.

After that, I was dried off and quickly ushered into the bedroom. There, all of us watched as Yolanda did the newborn exam.

She was a perfect 10 on the apgar score, a healthy 8 pounds 3 oz. We'd been calling her Phoebe Jean for months, and it really fit. I was in really good shape, everything considered. I had no tearing, and because I wasn't on any kind of drugs, I felt very alert and naturally high. I was able to really enjoy every one of her first minutes in the world.

My homebirth experience was so awesome because it was so intimate and I was in a place where I felt comfortable and secure. I was able to get in a groove and keep myself there. If I would have had to get myself dressed and move to a hospital room, it would have destroyed that groove and completely broken my concentration. I firmly believe my labor would have been longer and harder had I not been at home. If I have more kids, I plan on doing it the same way.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2009 17:23