Leyla Jane’s Birth
by Jeannie, Turkey
My birth plan was simple; a home birth with my best friend and husband by my side.
I moved to Turkey 3 years ago and married the love of my life and we were expecting our first child on November 30 of 2009. I wanted a completely natural birth and raw delivery without any medication or medical help.
For several months I looked for a midwife but was unsuccessful. Living in a foreign country made this nearly impossible as there were language barriers, lack of educated midwifes and so forth. So, in the end I decided that my best friend Rhonda that together we could do this. I wouldn't say that she was completely happy about this but I kept reassuring her that I just knew this was the right thing for me and that the back up plan was to go to the hospital should any complications arise.
My doctor was aware of my plan but discouraged me during my medical visits. My husband was not overly happy about a home birth but could not argue the fact that his mom delivered 10 children at home. The community was in an up-rise and was completely apposed to what I was doing and tried to change my mind on a daily basis which seemed ludacris to me as many babies are born at home in this country. Honestly I thought I would receive lots of support here and was shocked to learn that most babies born in the Cities are born by cesarian.
When I was nearing 9 months pregnant another good friend of mine come from Canada for a visit and a few days after her arrival I could tell that I was going to go into labor shortly. At this point I was hoping to deliver on December 3rd which is the same day my first son was born.
So on Dec 1st I stayed in bed knowing that if I even started to move I would go into labor. At 4am on December 2nd I woke with labor pains 2 minutes apart. They didn't seem very strong so I went to the kitchen, got something to drink and checked my email. A friend of mine was online and asking if I had my baby yet. I replied that I was having some mild labor pains and that I thought my water may have broken.
Shortly after that I then had urges to make bowel movements and clean the system out and after 2 bowel movements and just before 5am I decided that I had better get back to bed. My husband had just come down stairs at that time and I told him that I thought it may be starting. He helped me upstairs woke everyone up. Rhonda went to get the supplies we gathered for the birth and my other friend grabbed the camera.
I then laid in bed on my side and proceeded to have maybe 3 more harder contractions and with each contraction I tried to breath into them and relax my body while calming my mind. My husband on the other hand was slightly bent over watching me with an obvious look of shock so I told him to go get me some water. I should have specified that I wanted water to drink because he brought a bowl of water and set it on the floor! We all had a good chuckle and then things got under way again.
I thought I had to make another bowel movement so I went back to the bathroom. I was barely squatting and suddenly I started to push. I then reached down and felt something very sinuey where I thought I would feel the baby. Rhonda immediately come to the bathroom and helped me back to bed.
I then kneeled on the bed and gave one more push. On the third push I put my hands on my thighs and grunted a sound that haunted me for more than a month…. and baby Leyla Jane come shooting out. From start to finish was a little less than 1 hour and 20 minutes.
We cleaned out her mouth and nose and with a small cry she come straight to my breast.
15 minutes later I delivered the placenta which we kept attached.
After we all had a cup of coffee and shared our experience, I had a shower, got dressed and headed to the hospital with baby in one hand and the placenta in a bowl in the other hand. When we arrived at the emergency the nurses were in a bit of a panic until my doctor showed up. Apparently the nurses told him that I brought a set of twins and we had another good laugh and explained that the twin was the placenta and that it needed to be detached!
Although I would never recommend going through something like this without a midwife I can tell you that my home birth was the most wonderful experience of my life and would I do it again? Absolutely! Some things you just know… some things you just feel… and sometimes you just have to go with your instincts.
Today my healthy little girl has a bond with me that is so strong that I don't have words for and I have a bond with her that I don't believe would be as strong had I had her in a hospital. My love for her is as raw as the birth was.