Jaden's Home Birth
At 36 weeks I had a bout of false labor so I assumed that I would probably deliver before my due date of March 4. How wrong I was. The due date came and went and I was devastated. I had been having contractions off and on for weeks and still no baby. Finally, at 41 weeks, on Monday March 12th around 2 am I woke up with contractions. They were only about 30 seconds long but they were every 6 min or so. Too much to sleep through but not active labor. I had a prenatal appointment with the midwife that morning so I decided to get ready for that and go if things stayed the same. They did not. The contractions moved to 1 min long and every 5 min. But they were still mild. My husband wanted me to call our midwife and see what she thought. She said it sounded like labor and said she would be over soon. She arrived around 8 or so and checked my cervix. No change from the last time she checked it, only 2cm. dilated, so she said that she would leave her stuff and told us to go for a walk and see if things picked up. Before she left she taught my husband how to check dilation and the baby’s position so that we would be able to get our own progress report. The contractions stayed the same all day. We went out to lunch at Chilies. The lady sitting across from us had her 3-week-old baby girl with her. I was so jealous that she had her baby and mine was still cooking. The contractions did not go away but they did not get stronger either. I was beginning to think it was false labor again. We decided to go to Super Wal-Mart and buy some groceries. While we were shopping the contractions got quite a bit stronger. When we got home we put away all the food and my husband checked my cervix. He said that the cervix was very thin but dilation was the same. However the baby’s head was REALLY low. So he wanted to call Bonnie-our midwife-. We called her around 1 am and she came and checked me. She agreed but the cervix was now at a 3. She was actually amazed at how low the baby was and how little I was dilated. She decided to stay. Adolfo-my husband- went to get some rest and I tried to rest on the recliner. Just as I would doze a contraction would come and wake me up. They were a lot more painful sitting than they had been standing. Bonnie curled up on the sofa for a little bit of rest and I tried to deal with contractions in the recliner. Finally around 5 am I got up. I was hungry so I cooked breakfast stopping for each contraction. I almost burnt the eggs. :-) Bonnie said it was the first time a laboring woman cooked her breakfast. I was working really hard at keeping protein in my system because I could tell this was going to take awhile and I wanted to have the energy to finish it at HOME. Around 7 am Bonnie decided I needed some sleep. So she suggested that I drink a beer or some wine to see if we could slow contractions down a bit so that I could rest. It did not work. :-( I was exhausted but not ready to give up. We decided if we could not stop it maybe we could speed it up. So she checked my cervix and found it to be at a 4. One cm for a whole nights worth of laboring...arggg! At this rate I was going to be in labor until Sunday! We went for another really brisk walk and that got them to become stronger but still dilation was slow in coming. Bonnie thought that perhaps it was the position of the baby slowing things down so she had me get onto my hands and knees to see if we could help him move to a more favorable position. It seemed to work because contractions became more intense but the little stinker moved right back after 3 or 4 ctx. Bonnie had an open house for her new office planned for that evening from 5pm to 9pm: she needed to be there if possible. My labor was not really going anywhere so she called another midwife-Ginger- and she came to be with us until Bonnie could come back. Before she left she gave me some herbs to help labor and rubbed some epo into my cervix. I kept eating and laboring trying to keep a positive outlook. We had decided not to call any of our family or friends until 6 or seven cm. But my husband was emotionally worn out and needed some help so we called my mom and asked her to come she brought my sisters as well. They are 13 and 17. He called his mom and told her what was up and that we would call her when things got moving. My mom was great. She went and got some chicken so we could eat and straitened up the house. I think Bonnie returned around 9:30, that’s about when labor began picking up. My friends Rachel and Erin came over about the time I hit hard labor. I was overwhelmed by all of the people in my living room so I dragged my husband into the bedroom. From there on time is really blurred. I was standing and rocking through the contractions. My hind waters broke and so we decided to break the for-waters to help put more pressure on the cervix. I started to get really hot and decided to get into the bathtub for a little water therapy, but the tub was not deep enough and sitting was unbearable. I got back out. But I did not get dressed. I was wiped so I asked for an energy drink that my mil had next door. I drank it and then threw it up. So much for that. At some point his mom arrived and so we had a full bdrm. Me, my husband, mom, his mom, 2 midwives, and Erin and Rachel. Rachel was in and out. I think she felt helpless but just knowing she was there made me feel better. All throughout my back was what hurt he most. After the bath I went into transition- maybe it was sooner-. I began to get very frustrated that I was still in labor and sooooo very tired. I was not sure I could go on. I started to cry. That’s when Erin and Adolfo reassured me that I could do it. I prayed for strength and stamina. A few min later Erin told me that Bonnie said I had amazing stamina. At some point I began to sing my birth song. Erin later told me it was the most primal thing she has ever heard. It came from somewhere deep within. I will probably never be able to duplicate it. I withdrew into myself and found my laboring place. I would get very confused and annoyed when something would pull me out of it. For my next birth there will be fewer people in the birthing room. I remember beginning to push little pushes and Adolfo asked me if I was pushing. All I could say was "I don’t know...maybe." I felt a tremendous amount of pressure in my rectum and I remember saying the baby was trying to come out of my bottom. Bonnie checked me and I was progressing nicely. I don’t remember at what point I was fully dilated but it did happen. I remember standing beside the bed leaning on my ball; it was on the bed, and Adolfo putting counter pressure on my back and my mom holding my hands on the other side of the ball while I pushed. Bonnie was putting compress on my perineum and massaging with olive oil and monitoring the baby. I pushed lying on my side for a while and then I stood some more. I asked for some honey at some point to help with energy because I could feel it draining away. I also talked to God and told him how tired I was and how much I needed his help. I am certain he gave me the strength I needed to finish giving birth to my baby. At 5:30 the baby’s heart rate was a little low and it stayed low. Soon it was really low and Bonnie told me we had to get him out now and she was sorry but she had to do an episiotomy. I told her to do what ever she had to do just take care of my baby! She had me lay on my back and my mom supported my shoulders and Erin and Adolfo held my legs back to help open my pelvis. I had been pulled out of my labor place and was confused and scared. I just knew that I had to push with all of my might. She had to cut twice to get it big enough to deliver quickly. I screamed with the cuts but actually delivery was thrilling not painful. I could feel his little body slid out of me, he even kicked as his legs were coming down the birth canal. He came out screaming. Nothing was wrong with him. His 1 min apgar should have been a 10 but Bonnie said that she refused to give him a 10 when he gave us such a scare. :-) So it is a 9. When his warm wet little body was put on my tummy all I could say was "Is he ok” All I could think was "Thank you God he is ok". He was born at 5:48am March 14,2001. He weighed 6lb 4oz. and was 20 and 1/2 inches long. My bleeding was minimal and the placenta delivered easily. I cannot express how happy I am to have had him at home with my closest friends and family members present. Adolfo's dad lives next door and heard me scream with the episiotomy so he came over. We wrapped him up and put a shirt on me and covered my legs so his Grandpa, and aunts and uncles could come in to meet him. My brother and one of my husband’s brothers had arrived at some point. I breastfed him shortly after and his father and I sat and looked at him in amazement for a while. The midwife came back into the room and weighed and measured and checked him out. We then got into an herbal bath. He loved the water. I got out and Bonnie stitched me up and filled out the papers. We named him Jaden, which means Jehovah has given ear or heard. Everyone had left except Rachel. Ginger showed us the placenta and explained it to us. Then Bonnie and Ginger left and Adolfo and I took a nap while Rachel looked after the baby. I woke up around 12 and took over the baby and Rachel went home for some much deserved sleep as well. My mom came over in the afternoon and cleaned up the house. Our siblings had made quite a mess. She also made chicken and dressing for us.
Bonnie said that the baby was asenclitic-sp- and that is why my cervix did not want to dilate. Not the right amount of pressure.
This was the most amazing experience of my life. I know that had I planned a hospital birth I would have been induced and probably had a c-section for failure to progress. Given time my body did just fine with minimal interference and I am thankful to Bonnie for her knowledge and experience that helped make this birth so wonderful and successful. God and food are the two things that enabled me to physically deal with such a long and exhausting labor. I ate a little every 2 hours or so.
There is so much more that I cannot express in words. The emotion seems lacking in black and white. Immediately following his birth I expected to cry for happiness, but I simply could not cry. The emotion was so overwhelming all I could do was marvel at the miracle I had just had the privilege of being a part of. A few hours latter, when it was just our tiny new family the tears began. I spent the next few weeks crying when I thought of that day and the love I have for this baby.
The pain of labor and childbirth was different from what I expected. Once hard labor hit the contractions had a force that is indescribable. The pain of them is not the same pain that we think of when we say something was painful. Only another woman who has experienced a totally natural labor in an environment she fells comfortable in can understand what I mean. Suffice to say it was the most difficult, painful, exhilarating, fulfilling experience of my life.