Start at the beginning with My Birth Story, Part 1: Water, Water Everywhere & Part 2: Labor & Delivery.
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They put our baby up on my chest as they were wiping him off. He was perfect. Round little head (even after an hour of pushing), pink skin, and all his parts were exactly where they were supposed to be. Except for one major surprise. That head of black hair that I had expected? It was strawberry blonde.
Start at the beginning with My Birth Story, Part 1: Water, Water Everywhere.
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Shortly after I got back into bed I started feeling contractions. They were mild, but definitely more than Braxton Hicks. I was able to sleep through them pretty well until about 5am, when I woke and decided to time a few. They felt solid at this point and were coming regularly, but weren’t anything that I felt worth waking Chris up for yet. I got out of bed, grabbed a coconut water and a protein bar and went into the nursery. I bounced on the yoga ball for a bit, but spent most of the time bent over the heating unit, looking out the window at the city. As the contractions came, I began making low moaning noises to get through them.
At about 7, I went in and woke Chris up and let him know that I was in labor. We timed a few contractions together before I went ahead and called Stacey. She was happy to hear that things had started, told me to have a good breakfast while I still felt like eating, and to let her and Ali know when things got more intense and when I called our doula to come. I told her that I was managing things pretty well and actually wasn’t sure that I was going to need or want the doula there but that we’d see. As I was getting off the phone with her, I could feel another large gush of fluid, after which the contractions began to feel stronger.
Chris made us tofu scramble and brown rice English muffins for breakfast. I texted our doula as I was eating to let her know that things had finally started and that I’d keep her posted as they progressed.
Shortly after breakfast, I was standing near the kitchen and a particularly strong contraction came on that brought me to my knees. When I got up, I was shaking and felt suddenly cold. Knowing that these can be symptoms of transition, I asked Chris to call the midwives while I got into the shower. I needed to warm up and I also wanted to get one last shower in while I could.
This is the story of my homebirth, told in three parts (to give your eyes a rest). I couldn't cut it down or it would have been incomplete. And let's be honest, a couple days of water breakage plus 16 hours of labor isn't exactly going to be a quick tell. A word of reminder to my male and/or squeamish readers: the following is a birth story. I'm going to talk about my underwear and use words like "discharge" and "placenta". You've been advised.
And to give a little more background, we had two midwives at our birth. Normally it would have just been one midwife and an assistant, but our midwife Stacey added another midwife to her practice halfway through our pregnancy. Ali started out working in hospitals (where Stacey also started out and where most midwives practice) and was attending Stacey's births alongside her while she made the transition to being a homebirth midwife. So we kind of lucked out and got two midwives for the price of one. We also had a doula, Jax, present for our labor. We feel so lucky to have had each of these women as part of our "team". They were all wonderful and each contributed to making the experience truly special.