Saturday, November 19, 2011

Home Waterbirth of Benjamin Carl

We have anticipated this day for some time now. When I was pregnant with Jeremy, I really wanted to find a Midwife, but at that time, Indiana did not license Midwives to practice home birth legally, so I had the traditional hospital birth. The experience was not what I wanted or had hoped for.
When I became pregnant with Benjamin, I decided if I couldn't use a Midwife, at least maybe I could hire a Doula to attend the hospital birth. That is when I found Believe Midwifery Services. At 20 weeks, we transferred care to CNM's Penny Lane and Holly Hopkins, and that was the best decision we ever could have made. The prenatal care was phenomenal, they cared for my whole well being, coached me through Gestational Diabetes and continue to support me in my breastfeeding woes. I can not say enough good things about them and their assistants.

Around 4 AM on Saturday, November 12, 2011, the contractions began. They were not anything alarming, or strong enough to convince me that today would be the day. They were however, annoying enough that I couldn't fall back asleep. About 5 AM I decided to wake Matt and let him know I think labor may be starting. I had him time the contractions, not that it was useful, but just so we would have some idea of what to tell the Midwife. I believe it was around 6 AM that we called Penny and gave her the update. Things were still quite mild, and irregular, so she said to call back if anything changes. So...I decided to make Banana Bread. I did have 3 ripe bananas, and if I didn't make it now, it was not going to get made at all.
Sometime later, maybe 8:30 ish, the first of the Birth Assistants (Ashley) arrived. By this time, I had been sitting on the birth ball, and the contractions REALLY slowed down. The second Assistant arrived (Gretchen), and not much exciting was happening. If I got up and moved about, the contractions would start up again. So, I tried walking around for awhile. Around 10:30 it was decided they would leave for a bit and get something to eat, then come back in about an hour. While they were gone, I was able to get a little rest in. Contractions were like clockwork 7 minutes apart, and I was able to breathe through them laying down.

They both returned, and found me in the above position. And, we decided I should get up and move around again. But I was so comfortable:) I complied, and moving about got the contractions started once again. I found that I did quite a big of standing and swaying, listening to a little Gungor (maybe one of my new favorite artists) on Matt's computer. The Assistants stayed at the house for about an hour, and then we thought it would be okay for them to go out for awhile and we will call them back when things change. So...they left. And no sooner did they leave, did I vomit, and the real contractions kicked in.

I leaned on the sink.....

I squatted and bounced on the birth ball...

I buried my head in the pillows...

But, none of that really helped. I told Matt he better call Ashley to come back...I want to get in the TUB! When Ashley and Gretchen arrived, they let me get in the tub and told me Penny was on her way. At first the warm water felt delightful. But, it wasn't long until the contractions just forced my body to start pushing.

It is truly amazing, in this setting, I never had to wear a monitor, never had an internal exam, no IV’s or meds. My body was allowed to do what it was created to do…birth a baby. Once it was ready, my body just started pushing with each contraction. There was no way that I could make myself NOT push. No one held my legs….no one instructed me when or how to push…no one counted to 10 for me. My body took over, and did its job. I was able to feel Benjamin’s head emerge and INSTANTLY I had relief and the contraction stopped. It felt like FOREVER until the next contraction came and I was able to pull my beautiful baby boy up onto my chest. There was no suctioning of his nose and lungs. We just rubbed him gently until he took his first breath. Then he let out some cries. He is perfect. Benjamin came so quickly, Penny, the Midwife didn't make it in time. All still turned out well, and I am grateful for the presence of Ashley and Gretchen.

This experience was so empowering. To be able to be in the comforts of my own home and for all intents and purposes, birth and catch my own child. Hold him in the water for some time, then we moved to my bed, where we cut the cord and birthed the placenta. I don’t believe Benjamin left my arms for a good 2 or 3 hours. He was able to nurse before they took him to do his assessment. Should we be blessed to have another child, although right now I am content with 2 perfect little boys, I would chose to do a home birth again in a heartbeat.

Benjamin Carl
8 lb 5 oz 21 1/4 in
2:32 PM

No comments: