53 Main Street, Topsham, ME 04086 / (207)798-3993

What is a Home Birth Like?

Jaidyn’s Birth Story

2-13-08

6:00 PM: High winds. Ice storm. Slight cramping.

8:00 PM: Heavier cramping. Started keeping track of contractions on palm pilot. No electricity!

2-14-08

12:30 AM: Water released. Called midwives.

5:30 AM: Began “slow dancing” with Jeremy during contractions to jiggle the babe down and get things moving. Still no power…so no birthing pool as planned yet.

8:00 AM: Continued to rest on our bed between contractions and “slow dance” during surges. I rested with the sound of the four women chatting in the other room, and even giggling at times. It seemed such a joyful atmosphere.

9:30 AM: Power came on, yeah! But the electric pump hadn’t been plugged in so the birthing team earned their keep by hand pumping the pool with a whistling foot pump. Even I was entertained.

kika in pool10:15 AM In the pool, ahhh! So nice to get off my feet and rest my legs. Jeremy silently sitting behind me and holding me; only later did I learn that he was quite uncomfortable when I put all my weight on him during contractions.

10:30 AM: Heavy contractions began. Dr. Sarah gave me the okay to push and another lesson in breathing deep down. We sort of forgot about all the hypnobirthing scripts and strategies for relaxation somehow. But the deep vocal “ohm” from yoga was a saving grace. At one point I asked Sarah how much longer it would be, and she would not answer conclusively. “Do I have another several hours of this?” I asked. “She’s very close,” she replied. And she guided me to feel not even an inch inside of me where I felt hard, wrinkly skin and Sarah said, “That’s her!”

kaika_poolI knew it wouldn’t be too long, so I propped up on my knees and elbows on the edge of the pool and settled in for the last few pushes. In this position it was only a few more contractions and deep ohms, with the whole team ohm-ing with me, when her head pushed out. With Sarah and Jeremy poised behind me, I felt her slide out in the last push.

 

11:00 AM: Jaidyn is born! I was so glad to see all her fingers and toes and she looked intact and was breathing well. Very wrinkly, a little pasty. She had fuzzy shoulders and dark curly hair like her father. She immediately babystretched, arching her back and sticking out her bottom. I remembered that stretch very well from in the womb when her bottom would push against my belly. It was such a relief to see her healthy and well and so beautiful!

 

mamababyShe was interested in nursing. It took a few minutes to get her latched on but then she was suckling away. The umbilical cord was short so she just stayed right at my breast while we relaxed for a few minutes.

 

The remainder of the day blurs together. I recall little else other than the birth team puttering around for a while cleaning up and keeping an eye on us. When they felt all was stable, they left and it was just the three of us in our bed. Our new family. I was so exhausted but I slept very little that day or night, just watching my wonderful husband and our beautiful girl breathe and stir and sleep.

Imagine Your Birth

Imagine lying in bed in the middle of the night, awakened by the sensations swirling around your baby, aware that the surges are starting. You lay there as long as possible, hoping to get as much rest as you can before things get going, then slip out of bed and draw a bath, and sink into the warmth and comfort of the predawn darkness and water embracing you.

As the sun is coming up, you wake your partner and he brings you toast and tea before you head out for a walk by the ocean, connecting with the power of the waves and feeling the same energy moving your baby down.

The contractions are stronger when you get back home, so you call your midwife and let her know things are happening and she comes over to check on you and the baby. It is early, so she encourages you to go about your day, keep eating and resting and wait for the baby.

You continue the labor dance with the support and love from your partner or mother or friends in a familiar and peaceful surrounding. There is no hurry, there is no rushing off to bright lights and strangers, to be measured or attached to an IV, just in case. There is just you birthing your baby as you go deeper and deeper within yourself.

lauren and babySoon your midwives arrive and get set up, looking as if they are moving in with all their equipment, turning your home into a place of birth. As the surges increase, you feel the sensations pulling you downward and are ready to become submerged in the depths of the pool of warm water in your living room. Your partner climbs in too, completing the sacred circle to welcome your baby.