I chose to have a home birth because my previous experiences in a hospital setting left me feeling like I had failed. Like there had to be a better way. A better option than to feel bullied into major surgery based on the size of my baby via ultra-sound.
My estimated due date was 3/21 and I was getting antsy. My water started leaking on 3/28, late in the evening. I called Jennifer Holshoe to discuss what was happening, because I wasn’t completely sure that I was leaking amniotic fluid. We determined that’s what was happening and decided that the midwives would check on me and baby every 24 hours until he was born unless any other symptoms or concerns arose.
Nothing really happened until Wednesday morning (3/30) around 6am. My contractions started off slowly, but I could tell that they were different than the prodromal / Braxton Hicks – type contractions I had experienced for the past few weeks. I had a lovely morning snuggling with Fischer (2.5 years old) and making breakfast with my husband. Wednesdays are our day to get milk at the farm, so I sent my husband and Fischer to get it and secretly hoped that things wouldn’t progress quickly! While they were gone, Fischer napped on the road. I showered and tried to rest.
Around noon, my contractions became closer together and more intense. I think I called Jennifer at 12:45pm to get everyone started our way!
Rachel arrived first around 1:30pm. I was sitting on the couch as my mom arrived at the same time to take Fischer. I remember being teary when I kissed Fischer’s head and told him I loved him. I knew the next time I’d see him, he would be the BIG BROTHER!
During this time, Pete was busy setting up the birth pool. I labored in bed for a while. It felt good to lay over the top of the birthing ball with it on top of the bed and me standing next to the bed.
When the pool was ready, I eagerly got in and it felt SO GOOD! My contractions were still intense, but I definitely felt great relief with the warm water.
Around 4:40pm, I was on my knees in the tub and felt the urge to use the bathroom. I’m not positive, but I think it was Jennifer that said, “That’s your baby getting ready to be born!” I think I groaned and continued on towards the bathroom. Ha. By the time I got down the hallway, I was having another strong contraction. I knew I didn’t want to sit on the toilet because I had several contractions on the toilet before and did NOT like that feeling at all. So, I laid in bed on my left side. By 5:15, I was back in the tub and within 10 minutes, I had spontaneous rupture of membranes. I remember feeling the ‘pop” and saying, “something just happened!” I really had NO IDEA what happened, and felt very reassured when they told me my water broke. In the moments following, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and reassurance – this was happening and I was going to be successful!
At 5:25, I was feeling the urge to push! I stayed on my knees with my arms over the edge of the pool. My husband had just returned from getting fresh towels out of the laundry and he joined me at the side of the pool. I feel like I went into “primal woman” mode – as my uterus contracted, I felt it urging my baby to come out! I squeezed Pete’s hands, but I don’t recall that I was feeling much in the way of “pain”. These contractions came quickly – one after another! It was intense! But within 3 minutes, Dorothy asked me if I wanted to feel my baby’s head. I quickly said, “NO!”;, but soon after, reached down and felt the peak of his head emerging from me. I felt his head again when he was fully crowned – at 5:43pm and just ONE MINUTE later, baby boy was born. He remained under water and was passed back through my legs and I brought him to my chest as I moved to a seated position in the tub.
I remember saying, “I did it!” and feeling immense joy and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment!
I moved to the couch to birth the placenta, which took ten minutes LONGER than the birth of Theron. For some reason, that humors me!
My sweet Theron David – my VBAC baby – was 11 lbs and 4 oz, 22″ long.
The love, care and support that I received from my husband and the midwives is my favorite part of Theron’s birth. All of the joy that I felt- they felt, too. It was genuine and real and altogether beautiful.
As I reflect on the day – I’m not sure I would change a thing!