Sunday, March 3, 2019

Home Birth Story of Lilith Faye

My first, also born at home, had decided to bless us with her presence a bit early, at 38+6. Since I had expected to be pregnant until at least 41 weeks, I was so glad to know that I have my babies early!

...well, apparently not. 

This time around I was fully prepped and prepared to birth at home at 37 weeks. At 38 weeks I knew I'd have a baby ... and when 39 weeks crept by, I was a very unhappy camper. Then I reached my estimated delivery date. Each day felt like a week until I finally went into labor with my second at 40+5. This is not "late" at all, mind you, I was just so certain my babies come early. 

How I felt somewhere around my EDD.

Crawling into bed at 9pm on a Monday night, I did an inversion (to stretch my tight round ligaments) before settling into my pillow-nest. While attempting to get comfortable, I was rocked by an intense sensation of cramping and tightening throughout my entire stomach and back - its suddenness took my breath away. I made the Herculean effort to "quickly" move my body out of the bed and into the bathroom (my first-born was sleeping peacefully in the room).

Weeks of prodromal labor, with contractions strong enough to wake me at night, had conditioned me to tell myself I'd be heading back to bed in no time. But, only about 5 minutes later, I had another intense wave of tightening. 

I texted my husband (I had kicked him out of our bed months ago when my nightly whale-turns were getting too disruptive), telling him to come join me in the bathroom. I had begun timing the sensations and they were about 5-7 minutes apart, lasting about 40-45 seconds, and they were strong!

Of course labor would start at bed time...

After 3 of the same sensations in a row, I started to tell myself I might be in labor. Each contraction was much stronger than I remember them being with my first. 

I had taken a Hypnobabies class during this pregnancy and started playing the 'Easy First Stage' Track. I remember feeling annoyed each time she said 'the pressure waves may feel like a tight hug' - these ones sure-as-shit didn't feel like a tight hug ... time to change the track :-) 
My cue word "Peace" was very helpful!

Feeling cold...
I was fully immersed in labor-land and only came back into the room when I needed to communicate. Some of the surges would wrap around into my back and I'd feel nauseatingly hot... then the next one would only be in the front of my belly and I'd be cold again - blanket on, blanket off, over and over.

Back to hot!

After a couple hours, my pressure waves were about 1 minute long and 4-5 minutes apart. We decided to call my mom, who would be there to help with my daughter. She arrived a little after midnight (I think she may have broke some speeding records that night...) and we had her move my daughter to the basement so that I could labor in my bedroom.
Yeah, she didn't stay asleep...

Her "all-nighter" capabilities will pay off ... some day ... 

Right around this time, we called our amazing midwife, Jessica Nipp of Holistic Home Birth. Labor had felt really intense the whole time, and I was ready for some more support. Contractions were somewhere around 3-4 minutes apart and lasting at least 1 minute. They were a bit erratic, though, sometimes taking a minute or two longer to start.

After the midwife moved in (kidding, but they do bring suitcases full of equipment!), I mentioned thinking I wasn't really far along because I was having back labor too and so maybe the baby was malpositioned a bit. Jessica disagreed with me and offered to check how dilated I was. After some consideration - for fear that I'd only be 3 or 4cm - I crawled onto my back and relaxed using my Hypnobabies "Peace" Cue.


Jessica recommended a hot bath and I will never forget how much relief the water gave me. I could feel the tension slip away into the hot water and I felt a renewed sense of strength and optimism that I could keep going. 

Ice-cold rags on my face and neck were AMAZING too! I remember feeling surprised by how much relief I felt, that cold sensation really helped me let go of each contraction and relax in between them.

I started pushing in the tub, but was struggling to feel any progress. The amniotic sac hadn't broken yet, and actually started to bulge, which felt very distracting and I asked for it to be broken. After some attempts to push in the tub, my midwife suggested I try pushing somewhere else and I decided I wanted to lie in bed.

Pushing triggers some deep fears in me and I knew I'd struggle like I did with my first. My midwife was prepared to support me in any way I needed, and in the end, I felt most successful and controlled when she did some directed pushing. It isn't very common (or recommended) that pushing is directed, but I'm here to tell you that you can use whatever you need to when you are giving birth - but be sure it's what YOU need. 

Pushing took F.O.R.E.V.E.R, but I could feel the slow progress and knew I'd get there. During crowning, I felt completely in control of her movement and I was able to breathe her out - no tearing!

Love how radiant my mom and daughter are :-) 

Such relief to have her laid on my stomach! I was done!! 

I began losing a rather concerning amount of blood. We did a shot of pitocin and I had to endure some very painful abdominal "massage" and removal of some clots. A quite unpleasant experience.

First latch <3 nbsp="" td="">
My mom, being amazing as she is, made breakfast for the whole birth team and I guzzled ice cold grape juice. I've never tasted anything more amazing. 

Lilith Faye, 6lbs 12oz, 20.5in - 5:49am
After an incredible shower, my team helped me into my postpartum diaper, and as the sun came up, our whole house settled in for a nice long nap. 

I am beyond grateful that my husband, mom, and daughter were all present to support me and witness my incredible strength as I brought our second little girl earth-side. My daughter now believes birth is the most normal act in the world, and that she is fully capable of doing it - without fear. 
What an incredible gift to bestow upon her. 

I had two safe and peaceful births, both at home, and I hope sharing my stories will empower more mothers to speak out for their needs during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. 

Be sure your care providers support YOU! You have the most important job in the world, be sure those you choose to support you, treat you like it. 

My first was also born at home, you can read her story here.

Blessed Be,

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