Ty Johnson Robert- A Homebirth Story

* 8.14.14 * Ty Johnson Robert Ghali * 10#12oz * 21.5 “

That very first contraction began around 1:30am. We had a hunch tonight would be the night. Kaia and I had set up the birth tub just a few days ago with candles from friends, beads from my Mother Blessing, and birth affirmations all around the perimeter. For days now I gazed at these charms of good energy during my nightly bath, my water-pregnancy, my one place of comfort in a nearly unbearably uncomfortable long 10 months. I was beyond eager to meet him. We decided to take the castor oil Wednesday night after we got home from a trip to the hospital, showing signs of pre-eclampsia. This was never meant to be a hospital birth baby. This is a homebirth baby. This baby-my last baby I’ll ever bring into this world, my last birth, my last homebirth- was letting me know he needed to make his arrival sooner rather than later. And so, we take action. It’s 10:00pm.

I can hear my own words as a doula ringing in my head. “Sleep when it’s sleep-time. You’re going to need your rest for later.” And I can hear my own doubts. Will this work? Is it a bad idea to try to start labor at this time of night? I knew I needed some rest, so after watching a last pregnant episode of Impractical Jokers, I fall asleep, my last night of pregnancy ever. *Ever!!!* Bliss.

When that contraction woke me up at 1:30, I remembered that tonight was the night. I quietly got out of bed, still doubting and wondering if these light contractions would strengthen. I had weeks of pre-labor, contracting daily and always fizzling out. Would tonight really be the night? I sat on the birth ball with the breastpump to help create some oxytocin in my birthing body, watching Property Brothers alone, kids and husband sleeping, myself full of wonder. 5 minutes on one side, 5 minutes on the other, stopping in between when a contraction started. Pump, pump, contraction. Pump, pump, contraction. Contractions coming every 3-4 minutes, lightly. I lay down for a 15 minute rest and I feel a faint “POP.” Was that my water breaking? A light fear sweeps over me. Is this as it was meant to be? I get up and feel a trickle and decide to wake Mike. I send a message to my friends and fellow birth workers telling them my labor has started and ask to draw upon their birthing energy. It’s 3:00am.

While Mike tinkers with our air conditioner that happened to go out that evening, mid-August in Florida in the peak of the heat of the season, and I got back on the birth ball and back on the pump for just a few minutes. At some point I stand. A gush of water flows from me, and it’s strong. I clean up in the bathroom and get straight into the shower. Oh the sweet relief of the water! That hot, blissful water beating right on my back. Things started to get real from here on out. Contractions are coming with more intensity. I hear myself vocalizing through each contraction, moving my hips and body just as I need to. I ask Mike to let Sam, our midwife, know that things are just starting to get active, there’s no real hurry. It’s 4:12am.

The next few contractions are intense. Sam texts that she is with 3 laboring moms at her birth c