The instant of birth is exquisite. Pain and joy are one at this moment. Ever after, the dim recollection is so sweet that we speak to our children with a gratitude they never understand.
Well, it has been an eventful week! I am currently typing this while holding my sleeping newborn and I really should be sleeping as well because I know he will be up shortly for his nightly cluster-feeding sesh.
I had long been anticipating sharing this story. I was looking forward to knowing what my experience would be like this time around, admittedly a little nervous as well.
I love birth – the whole process and preparation fascinates me. It is nothing short of miraculous. As I have mentioned in previous posts and also in the birth story of my first son, I did what I could to prepare my body ahead of time.
Many people were surprised when I said I was planning a home birth. I however, know many women who have had beautiful and successful home births and the research shows it is safe! Midwives catch babies – that’s what they do and they do it well and I had full faith in my wonderful team of midwives.
If you’re curious, these are two great articles outlining home birth and home birth safety:
I’ve been lucky, my two labours have been very straightforward. My first one was full of prolonged pushing but, still a pretty good labour and I remember feeling so empowered after. It was about 6 hours from water breaking to delivery. This time around, I was prepared to be at home to deliver and wanted to use the birth pool. My midwives were warning me at each appointment that second babies generally come faster than first babies and my first labour was fairly fast so, this one would likely be faster.
Well, it was faster.
There really isn’t a whole lot to share about this birth story as it happened so quickly. It was a precipitous labour and quite intense. The day before, I felt a really weird shift in my pelvis – I think it was the baby engaging, but I can’t say for sure, other than the fact that it was just a really odd feeling. I had been losing the plug for weeks so I knew it was going to happen soon but, it’s so weird waiting on pins and needles thinking every little ache or pain could be it.
It all started at about 6:20 in the morning, just like last time. I felt like my water had broken and I jolted out of bed and rushed into the washroom to confirm this was the case. It was. I knew that since my water had broken, contractions were likely going to start fairly quickly. I woke my husband up and said “this is going to happen fast, I know it.” I told him to call my mom to come get our son and then to call the midwife. I hopped in the shower quickly as the contractions were now starting and the warm water really helps me through them.
The whole thing was a blur.
While I was in the shower, the contractions picked up in intensity. I recall repeatedly telling my hubby that we were going to have a baby really soon. I didn’t really time the contractions but I knew they were much closer than 6-7 min and felt more like one after the other with not much of a break.
I never felt worried.
I knew the midwives were on their way and I was excited to meet our son. With all of my preparations for labour and the home birth, I felt ready.
My husband got to work trying to get the birth pool set up. I was really hoping for a water birth because it just seems like such a gentle transition for baby but, for some reason I always had a nagging thought about it – it gave me some anxiety. How do you manage set-up and keeping the water warm? What if your birth is really fast? Anyway, long story short, it just wasn’t meant to be. The midwives arrived while he was trying to set it up. They checked me and I was at 7cm. My mom also arrived to pick up our son who was a little confused as to what was happening but he just assumed I was going to work which was kind of comical.
Everything started to happen even more quickly and more intensely at this point. My husband was still trying to get the pool blown up when it was nearly time to push as I started feeling immense pressure down there. I got on our bed and just basically listened to my body and the midwife.
My midwife thinks not being in the water and listening to her directions helped the labour along and also helped me to only come away with a very minor tear that didn’t require any stitches. I started feeling the urge to push and the midwife was starting to see the baby’s head. My husband had gone downstairs to help my mom with my son into the car and I called for him to come back quickly. Keep in mind this all probably happened within half an hour.
It was go-time.
I went with the flow. Sipped water, screamed, sniffed peppermint oil when I felt nauseated, pushed harder when I needed to and went with the contractions. When the baby’s head was close to coming out my midwife told me to lie on my left side and to gently cough and listen to her directions on how to gently push the head out. It helped with the intensity too and I was so amazed with how little pushing I had to do. So with a few pushes and a couple coughs and grunts, and my husband catching him, which was so special, he was in my arms, all 8lbs 15oz of him, at 7:39 am… 1hr and 19 minutes after my water had broken.
There were so many emotions running through my mind. So grateful he looked so healthy, amazed at what had just transpired so quickly and so grateful to have done it all at home. It all felt very surreal. He was so chill when he came out and barely cried which startled me at first but then he did and it was all wonderful! He was just super relaxed.
The midwife allowed the cord to stop pulsating to ensure baby got all of that beautifully nutritious cord blood. Once the cord had stopped pulsating it had to be cut as bits of my placenta had broken away a bit and she needed to ensure those were out of me. I delivered the placenta no problem but was given some oxytocin to help with the bleeding.
I held the baby for a while while they got everything cleaned up and then I hopped in the shower and peed and got more skin to skin. He started breastfeeding almost immediately just like his older brother.
What was quite funny was that my mom had come back to drop off some bread and eggs that I had requested – when she reached there my husband told her the baby was here! She barely made it around the block. This was quite special because my son was able to meet his younger brother almost immediately and be involved in the process right after baby was born.
It was such a special day and I am so grateful for the whole experience.