Planned homebirth story; first time parents welcome baby Ethan Grey at 38 weeks!
"I was 38 weeks and 4 days when I lost my mucus plug at work. I was leaving for the day and making my routine stop at the bathroom and immediately text my husband, heart racing, and ridiculously excited for what was to come….although we still didn’t know when it was coming. I went to work the next day and then did some shopping with my husband for last minute items for baby and the nursery. We were out much later than planned and around 8pm I desperately needed to use the bathroom and all of a sudden felt liquid coming out and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was absolutely horrified and told my husband I was peeing my pants in his fancy truck.
It wouldn’t stop and eventually we got home and I got in the shower feeling pretty positive that my water just broke and contractions were starting, although they didn’t feel much stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been experiencing. We notified our doula and midwife and I decided to try and get some sleep….only to discover I was unable to sleep through them. It felt good to move around so I put in my ear buds with hypnobirthing playing, let my husband handle the phone/notifying our birth team, and eventually climbed into the birthing pool.
Contractions picked up in intensity, frequency, and duration and my birth team arrived around 4:30am. I was now 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I was handling the contractions just fine and felt things were moving along very quickly and smoothly, but alas the birth fairy visited me and back labor came on so strong and lasted for the next 13 hours.
I had very little relief from the back pain in between contractions and someone (sometimes more than one person) had to be with me at all times to apply pressure or heat on my back. Staying in one position for long periods of time made it worse, yet I was always reluctant to move, afraid a contraction would happen in between positions with the back pain intensifying with each contraction. My midwife had my chiropractor come to the house to adjust me and she stayed for the remainder of my labor, greatly assisting in relieving the pain in my back although it was still a solid 10. I was afraid my midwife would tell me we needed to go to the hospital. I wanted a home birth so bad, yet at the same time I kept thinking about the relief I knew would come with a transfer to the hospital and had reached a point where I wouldn’t have resisted if she had offered it to me.
I’m now so incredibly thankful for the birthing team I carefully surrounded myself with because my doula and midwife did nothing but support and empower me when I felt I was breaking down and losing my drive and determination. Tara never left my side and always anticipated what I needed. She was quick to act, strong, confident, and remained peaceful the entire time. I’m sure I would have had a c-section had I labored at the hospital. Had that have happened, I would have been greatly disappointed in my birth story.
Being at home I was able to move constantly if I wanted and we tried every position everyone could think of. I eventually transitioned to pushing, vomited several times, and was sensitive to temperatures. Pushing in the birthing pool wasn’t progressing even though my midwife said she could feel the head, so she recommended we move to my bed on my left side with my right leg up. Tara assisted in holding my leg through each contraction, allowing me the focus and energy I needed to simply work with each contraction to bring my baby down. My husband and Tara were on the bed with me and surrounding us were my mom, my best friend, birth photographer, midwife, her two birth assistants, and my chiropractor. All acted like cheerleaders with each push and, based on their excitement, I knew progress was being made with baby's head moving out more and more.
Back labor was more intense than ever and I eventually decided I couldn’t take another moment of it and decided to push with everything in me, with or without a contraction, until this baby was out. My midwife had been guiding me to avoid tearing and I quit listening to her and simply beared down with everything I had repeatedly until the baby was out (resulting in a small tear).
The feeling was absolutely incredible…not only did the pain in my back go away but this feeling of seeing and holding the human that my body created was simply unexplainable. I was immediately able to hold him and love on him and it was several minutes before we even checked the gender and revealed his name.
I will never forget the entire day and although back labor was never what I envisioned for my birth, I hold each memory close to me as a reminder of what our bodies are capable of and what we can overcome when we have the support we need. My son is now my entire world and I already know I will do another home birth for our next baby….I’m just going to start praying now that the birth fairy doesn’t gift me with back labor two births in a row."