If you are pregnant and considering a home birth, this post is for you. Many people in the mainstream may have a terrible opinion of home birth, thinking that it’s unsafe, but the reality is that your great-grandmother and all her sisters more than likely gave birth at home. And yes, in America women and babies can still die from child birth, but what many women don’t realize is that with low-risk pregnancies, where there is a healthy mother and a qualified midwife, beautiful home births, like mine, can be possible.
On to the blood and guts and gritty details! On June 19th, I was visiting with my doula and friend when I needed to use the restroom and realized I had lost some of my mucus plug. I raced home and started getting the most of what I could together while having steady contractions. This was my second baby and I was overly confident that she was going to be born closer to her due date than her 3 week late brother…boy was I wrong! Many moms experience what I went through on second and third births and I’m confident that this is why I refuse to have a third baby. If you haven’t heard of prodromal labor, you can read up on it here.
After an exhaustively draining 2 weeks of prodromal labor, I finally went into active labor. I spent an hour walking up and down our hallway, before I had him calling everyone on our list (he was determined to finish mowing the lawn).
Once my midwife got to our house I was contracting every two minutes in our bathtub while my husband and doula filled the birth tub in our living room. We kept the house dark with a few candles lit. Our Pandora radio was playing my relaxation mix and I wasn’t stressed. I went back and fourth from the pool to the toilet for around 4 hours. At that time we decided that our toddler son was just too distracting so we called my good friend and had her come and pick him up and take him to her house. I was 5cm dilated and trying my best to relax. Once he left things really got moving and I was having constant contractions for another hour. I threw up twice, got back in the pool and then it was time to push.
This part in particular is hard to describe to someone who hasn’t had a baby before. Pushing can be painful when you push too hard or when you don’t let your body do what it wants. But when you are listening to what your body wants to do, it’s a giant ball of pressure that you have to push through, and once the baby starts coming there’s a giant relief of that pressure. I pushed for about 5 minutes. My husband guided our daughter under the water and into my hands. Her labor was just under 6 hours, start to finish. She was 9 lbs. 6 oz. After I birthed the placenta, I was put in an herb bath and she was taken to be weighed and measured while doing skin to skin with daddy.
I preferred to birth at home both times, along with not being forced to leave my baby with strangers or being constantly monitored. If you enjoyed your hospital experience, that’s wonderful and I’m glad for you, but I thoroughly enjoyed both of my home births and I highly recommend it, especially if you are low-risk and feel you can manage the pain.