Erika's Homebirth Story
I had my first baby, Tara Anne, at home on
Wednesday, April 19th. Before I went to sleep on
Monday night I felt some very mild contractions.
I thought it might be my imagination. I had a
midwife appt. the next morning, but I overslept.
When I got up I went to the bathroom and then I
lost the mucous plug. I started jumping up and
down and shouting "Things are starting to
happen!" I called the midwife, my mother and my
best friend - I tried to call my boyfriend,
Philip, at work but couldn't get ahold of him.
The midwife came over at 1 PM to check me and I
was partly effaced, but not dilated at all yet.
She thought it would be a while and said to call
her if the contractions got stronger. At this
point they only felt like menstrual cramps and
lasted about 10 seconds, and I had them every
10-15 minutes. Philip got home at 3:30 and I
said, "How would you like to take the day off
work tomorrow?" I felt pretty good and really
exited. I walked to the store for some peanut
butter and jelly (I was craving it) and then we
watched the Simpsons together.
By the time
Frasier came on the contractions were painful
enough that I didn't want Philip to talk to me
during them, and waved my hand to signal when I
was having one. Soon I started standing up and
pacing during contractions and called the midwife
again. She came back to check me and said I was
doing good. By now I was in a lot of pain and
said, "not if I'm only one centimeter dilated!"
That's exactly how dilated I turned out to be.
The midwife left so I could progress more without
interference. Then the contractions got much
worse. I got scared whenever I felt one coming -
I went in the bathroom and leaned on the sink
during them, staring at myself in the mirror.
Between them I'd kneel by the bed, lay my head on
some pillows and doze off. Philip was trying to
get some sleep and I'd turned the clock face to
the floor so I'd stop watching it.
midnight, I decided it had been long enough and I
wanted the midwife to come. It seemed like she
took forever and I got kind of panicky. By the
time she showed up I was screaming during
contractions and crying into Philip's shoulder as
they went away. The neighbors heard me and called
the police - when they showed up at the door, I
was standing naked in the bathroom, afraid they
would make me go to the hospital, but the midwife
assured them everything was OK and they left.
Then she checked me again and I was at 8 cm. I
threw up in a bowl and started asking "when can I
push? How much longer will this take?" I started
trying to bear down a little during contractions
and that eased the pain a bit. I HAD to stand up
during contractions. I tried laying down during
one but I felt trapped. I discovered the best
position was hanging on to the top of a door and
sort of dangling there. So I stood from then on,
except when the midwife tried to push back the
'lip' of cervix that was left. Soon afterward,
the water broke in a gush. Around that time the
midwife's assistant showed up and said it was a
beautiful day outside - I guess it was around 10
am on Wednesday.
When I started to push it felt involuntary. My
body was doing all the work and I couldn't stop
it, which was kind of frightening. I felt the
baby's head when it started to show - it felt
soft and pointed. It seemed like forever that
they could see her head when I pushed, and then
it would slide back. I was sweating buckets and
my legs were shaking - Philip was standing behind
me holding me up when the baby's head came out
with one big push - I felt a lot of pressure at
the front and I stinging sensation. I thought I
was going to tear, Then the midwives told me to
rest until the next contraction, but I couldn't
wait any longer and pushed again with all my
might, and the baby fell out all at once. I
caught a glimpse of a little purple body as the
assistant caught her. I lay down on the floor and
she put the baby on my chest. I was completely
awestruck - I couldn't believe I actually had a
baby. I told her "You're mine, forever and ever."
Then I nursed her for the first time.
the cord and held her while I took a shower. The
midwife checked her over and weighed her - 8
lbs., 14 oz - and then they left and Philip, Tara
and I took a nap together.
It turned out I didn't tear at all, and I felt
perfectly fine within an hour of the birth. My
grandmother came to visit that evening and
couldn't believe that I answered the door myself!
After all, she was 'knocked out' when she had
Though it certainly wasn't easy, I am very happy
with the way things went and would have a
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