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.

At around 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.

Philip cut 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 her babies.

Though it certainly wasn't easy, I am very happy with the way things went and would have a
homebirth again


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