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The Home Birth Journey of Baby V

     The Journey of Baby V      Protected: The Beginning…The Birth

MAY 14, 2013      Through this nine months of pregnancy I’ve been asked more times that I can remember, “Where are you going to have your baby?” Close friends suggested I say nothing or change the subject, but I had to be honest, “At home.”

The midwife experience…with Seannie and Shelly and their assistant Hayes. The story of how I chose these midwives is quite serendipitous, but that story is for another time. I’m just glad I found them!
I saw these midwives in lieu of  normal obstetrics regularly if not more than most see their doctors. They were thorough in their care and spent an hour each time with me and my husband, not just getting to know me physically and checking the baby, but really analyzing my psychological and family upbringing and how that could affect how I look at and experience birth. This was the best because they reminded me that just because my ancestors had a certain type of birth, does not mean I would. They reminded me that the strength was inside of me. I grew to trust them so much and I did almost anything she suggested…
They said do not use your abs through the whole pregnancy, I listened.
The best workout for pregnant women is just walking, I listened.
Stop dancing/pilates and doing other exercises that work against having an easy birth and labor, i listened.
They analyzed my food intake, not just my weight gain. Advised on a diet high in greens, nuts and protein, I listened.
They told me to read Ina May’s book on birth and for my husband to read the birth partner, we listened.
They suggested Supported Birth as a birth class for me and my husband, I listened.
I can’t even tell you the enormous amount of knowledge these ladies have bestowed upon my husband and I during this time. They inspire me as a women who can really take anything into my own hands and accomplish it successfully as they helped me with this birth… now that you know how I prepared for this, you can appreciate how it went down.

The journey began when my water broke at Target in Burbank. Whilst in the middle of a transaction, I felt my black leggings just fill with water. I finished talking to the lady helping me and did everything I could not to make a scene as I walk swiftly to the restrooms around the way. I realized this water wasn’t going to stop, so I tied my sweater around my waist, tourist style, and quickly got to my car to make the 40 minute drive home to the westside, side streets only.

In the car I made three phone calls…
One to the midwives…Seannie answered the phone
One to my husband who was filming Gracie University at the academy in Torrance…
One to my best friend, Goose, who happened to be in Florida…

Seannie kept me on the phone trying to calm me, because I was a bit of an emotional wreck at first, and she was asking me questions to verify that it was indeed my water breaking. I guess 9th month pregnant women often lose bladder control and they water to ensure this wasn’t that, ha!

Ryron finally picked up and I told him not to tell anyone, but my water just broke! He casually said, “Cool, be home in a bit.” Finished filming a few more segments and then made his way home…

Goose also picked up and as freaked out as me said, “I’m booking a flight!”

Then I was alone… in a car… driving as my water continued to come. I have to admit, I was nervous, but only because I was driving and I knew my mind was hardly focused on the road…All I could think was that this was the day I’ve been waiting for these past nine months. This was the moment where I would finally meet the little one who made herself known regularly in my tummy. Red light. Stop. Whew… focus. Just get home… Wait, I don’t have anything for the birth!

You see, when you have a home birth, the midwives give you a list of things you need to pre-order and have ready at the home when they arrive (in addition to the huge bags of things they bring!) Well as you know, I was at target… and my plan after exchanging things was to pick up so much of what was on the list! Plan interrupted.

So from the car I called Ryron again as he was on his way home and started getting apprehensive about the things we didn’t have for the home birth. He reminded me not to worry and that he’ll stop by target on the way home to get anything we are missing. (the list was not short!)

Finally, I arrived home, safely and soaking wet. Apparently when your water breaks, it’s like an endless faucet that doesn’t stop trickling out. Fantastic. I still didn’t know what to do, just pacing back and forth about the house moving little things and wondering how and where this was all going to happen. I admit, I was really excited now that I was home!

The midwives instructed me to call them every 2 hours, just to check in and they would ask me questions that would determine where in my labor I was. The phone call they got when I got home was simple, no contractions had begun yet. She instructed me to relax, take a long hour walk, eat, nap, whatever made me happy.

I did just that once Ryron got home around 1pm. We prepared all the receiving blankets and other items on the list, ate good and took an hour long walk. When we were done, around 3 or 4, the contractions started but nothing too crazy and were pretty far apart. We decided to lay down and possibly nap. Our heads finally hit the pillows around 5pm… but I only got about 15-20 minutes of my eyes being shut when the contractions seemingly hit like a ton of bricks! I breathed through them, asking my husband if I should call the midwives and we decided to make the call. Sure enough, after asking me how far apart my contractions were and how long they were going for, then told me they were on their way over. Thank goodness!! I was so glad they  said that because that meant it was game time! (I was told if my contractions didn’t start within 24 hours of my water breaking that we would have to force them to! agh!) … Luckily, they were coming full force!

The following details are a bit more vague, or are summations of what I was told from those around me, since for much of it I was in a bit of a trance from the birth… (I also had no concept of time or how it broke down like this until after)

Seannie and her assistant Hayes showed up around 7pm ish…
I was curled up in the fetal position on our King size bed that had been prepped with plastic and comfy sheets for the birth. I laid there on my left side hugging a large pillow through each contraction. Seannie could see that the contractions were pretty strong and reminded to me sink into them and into the bed, to really try to relax through each of them… HA! That’s the last thing I was thinking of… but sure enough, when I did that, they were much easier to tolerate.

By 8pm ish, they were doing my vitals check again, heart rate, blood pressure, babys heart rate, etc… she then checked to find that I was 5cm dilated. — I was surprised when they told me this, because it all seemed to be happening so fast! But alas, the contractions continued and got closer… woof! Luckily, I was able to take naps between the contractions. Those naps felt like deep sleeps, it was incredible.

An hour or more later, Seannie suggested a shower. She said the warm water would make me feel better. I listened and boy was she right. Little did I know I went through transition while in there and shortly after they checked me again. 10cm. I was now ready to push…. stop, what?! Already?? Isn’t this supposed to take a few days?? Even though I really didn’t know the time, it honestly felt like it was happening so fast!

I made my way back to my bed. This was it. This was what I’ve been reading, eating, sleeping, thinking and joyfully preparing for…

I gave two shallow pushes, each time stopping at the sting… I looked at Seannie and said calmly to her, “That hurts.”    Her even more calm demeanor replied, “I know…”
I looked at my husband, who gave me a look that made me feel supported, and then back at her, who reminded me that this is what I was made for… this is so natural and that I was so strong and have come so far. She made me feel so empowered as a woman. She reminded me that I could continue to take on these contractions of pain, or push through them now and end this all beautifully with my baby in my arms…
I asked Ryron and Hayes to hold my legs up at the next contractions (i probably yelled at them to do it lol) as I gave six of the deepest pushes I have ever felt…
My husband says it was six… but I really only remember three long ones. I was in a trance, somewhere else, at least mentally. Each felt like an eternity, but like my midwife said, quickly I saw the light, and it was all over…

But it had just begun. I was overwhelmed with love.

A warm mass was laid on my stomach… the warmest, most magical feeling of contact I’ve ever felt. This life, this mini human was laying on me. Our family of two then became three. And with the deepest gray eyes I’ve ever seen, this little one moved and squirmed and cried the most beautiful cry I ever heard. We were in awe of what had just happened. This was the most transforming day of my life.

Thanks to my midwives: http://www.socalbirth.com/
Thanks our birth class: http://www.supportedbirth.com/
Thanks to my daughter Valyn, who worked with me to make this easier than I expected…
Thanks to my husband, Ryron, who was the best support I could have asked for through this process…

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