William’s Home Birth
By Jennifer, USA
On October 17, 2007, I gave birth to my second child at home attended by a midwife (who happened to have delivered my kid sister 20 years prior). This was my first homebirth, following an awful, lengthy, hospital birth with interventions.
I was due on October 16, and my belly was huge! I was measuring 47 cm at 39 weeks, and I generally stay right on target. We knew he would be big! I had gone into labor in late September, but it had stalled, and I began to get depressed as my due date passed. Making matters even worse, my midwife was leaving for a Las Vegas vacation at noon on 10-18-07. Just two days past my due date. While I liked the alternate, I *wanted* my midwife, the one who had cared for me. At 7:25 pm on Oct 17, we were eating a late dinner. Sitting at the table in my pj's, I looked at my husband and said, “If I don't have him by midnight tonight, I WON'T let myself go into labor until she returns next week. I want Linda!” Almost like a cliche, half a minute later, my water broke. Now we knew it would be any minute, since 7 days earlier a vaginal exam showed I was dilated to 4 cm with a bulging bag. But only God knows exactly why He chose to break my waters at that moment!
So I jumped up with a spring and started doing a happy dance! I ran to the stove and stood there on the linoleum as my fluids drained and drained and drained. We cleaned up, called the midwife, and started waiting.
About 15 min later, I had my first good contraction. Another 5-6 minutes later, I had another one. After a few contractions, they were every 3-4 min, then every 3 min. By a quarter past eight, they were every two minutes, like clock work. They were getting intense, so I climbed into the birth pool and waited for the midwife and her assistant to arrive (the assistant lives 1 hour away, while the midwife is 2 hours). I started to panic. Then I started to feel the urge to have a BM. I ran to the bathroom and began pacing. It was about 9 pm. I tried sitting on the toilet, I tried standing, I tried everything. It was an unbearable, miserable, suffocating feeling. I remember punching the wall in the bathroom and begging for crackers, only to spit them out. I was sick to my stomach. After some bloody show, I reached in and felt his head emerging from my cervix. With a light push, he was progressing through the canal. I panicked, thinking it was my cervix. No one was there and yet, and I was terrified. My husband helped me climb into the pool, and my mom (a nurse) arrived. By now the baby's head was poking out of my vagina, and I was freaked out it was my cervix. I made her feel, and she just said to trust my body. There was NO denying the need to push! It came out of nowhere and demanded my body! After about 45 minutes of pushing in the pool, the assistant arrived. She eased my fears and assured me it was the baby, and we were okay. The midwife arrive a half hour or so later, just in time for the crowning. They tried to get fetal heart tones, but I think they were afraid of me punching them and they couldn't get a clear reading.
William's head emerged at 10:42 pm, but then I was exhausted and he was stuck. All my pushing kept leading nowhere, and I demanded my midwife to pull him out. She looked me in the eyes and said, “You KNOW I can't. You have to push him out. You're the only one who can. Now come on and push him out!” I rolled onto my back and pushed with all my might. She helped tug him out gently, and his body emerged at 10:45 pm. Still attached, he was placed on my breasts and I was exhausted. I wish I could say I was ecstatic, but I was cold, shaking, and numb. We had to wait another 20-30 minutes for his cord to stop pulsing, then I delivered the placenta. Finally I could hand him off and begin to warm up in the shower.
After my shower, we were examined in my bed. I received a large tear that ran from my vagina to my anus. There were small lacerations up to my clitoris, and my bottom was quite bruised. William, perfect except for one small bruise, was a whopping 11 pounds, 2 ounces, and 23.25 inches! His head was 14.75 inches, while his chest was 17 inches. No wonder why I couldn't get his body out! We're rather small people, so this was a shock. My oldest was only 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and I'm only 5'3″ and 145 pounds. He was huge!
He adjusted to nursing beautifully, and is a lovely baby. He's now 6 mos old, and I'm so blessed! People have asked me if I would ever give birth at home again. I just laugh and say, I would NEVER give birth in a hospital voluntarily again!