This is my positive home birth story for our rainbow baby. I found positive birth stories so encouraging leading up to both my births. I thought I would share mine in hopes of encouraging someone else.
Since before I had any babies I wanted to have a home birth. However, we decided to have our first baby at the hospital as Ben felt more comfortable with that since it was all uncharted territory for us. Although I did have a really good hospital experience, it still felt too medical to me. After having Lottie both Ben and I felt really comfortable proceeding with a home birth for our second baby.
Leading up to the end of my pregnancy, I had some minor health related things that came up. I’m not going to go into all of them here but one was I tested GBS+ at 36 weeks. About 20-30% of women will test positive at the end of their pregnancy so it’s quite common. It’s not a big deal if you don’t mind getting antibiotics during labor. I’d done so much to improve my health over the past few years I just felt like taking antibiotics would really set me back. Plus, then the baby wouldn’t get the beneficial probiotics in the birth canal either. So I was determined to do whatever I could to try and test negative before the birth. I’m not going to go into everything I did here (as much of it is TMI) but at 38 weeks I tested GBS+ again. I was super disappointed and cried all… day… long… But I decided to keep doing what I was doing in hopes of having the chance to test again before the baby came. I found it very hard, but I resolved in my mind that I would trust God to protect me and my baby no matter that outcome.
The day before my due date, I had an appointment with my midwife and decide to test again. Even if I didn’t get the result before the baby came I just wanted to know if all the natural remedies I tried had any affect on my GBS.
Friday, September 8th, was my due date but nothing much seemed different. I was starting to get antsy as I had gone into labor with Lottie 5 days before her estimated due date, so reaching 40 weeks felt like I was overdue even though I wasn’t. All 40 weeks pregnant of me weeded the garden for several hours in hopes all that bending and squatting would get things moving along.
Around noon on Saturday, I began to feel crampy here and there. I guess the weeding helped! I didn’t say anything to Ben because he, my brother and dad were all in the middle of building Lottie’s birthday present (a jungle gym) in the backyard. I knew this could be the real deal but there was that little bit of doubt in the back of my mind still.
Once Ben was finished building the jungle gym and came inside to have a late lunch, I told him I was crampy. As the day went on I kept having irregular contractions, all of which were at least 10 minutes apart and not painful. Around 6pm that evening I texted my midwife, Christy, to let her know what was going on. Shortly after talking with her, my contractions started to space out even more. I was pretty bummed as I was starting to hope that something was going to happen after having contractions for the last 8 hours at this point. Christy told me this is pretty normal and things would probably get going in the morning and to go to sleep as soon as possible.
We decided to take Lottie to my parents that night just incase something happened in the middle of the night. It was hard for me to let her go because the next day was her birthday! I really wanted to wake up and be able to kiss her sweet little 3 year old face. But we decided it was best not to make things more complicated than they needed to be. Ben took her over to my parents around 9pm and I took a bath and cried… There was lots of crying during my pregnancy, especially at the end.
Throughout the night I had a few contractions here and there that I noticed when I got up to use the bathroom several times. I didn’t sleep super great, you know anticipation and just plain being huge and uncomfortable.
Around 6:30 in the morning, I just couldn’t sleep anymore. I got up and looked over some of my birth affirmation cards (actually they were borrowed cards from a friend as I never got around to making my own with Lottie’s pregnancy or this one). I was feeling super discouraged about the lack of progress and sad that Lottie wasn’t home.
Around 7:30 I decided to make some of my favorite paleo banana bread because I needed something productive to do. Around 8am my contractions finally started to settle into a 5 minute rhythm and were about a minute long. They were definitely getting more noticeable but I still didn’t need to stop what I was doing during them. After about 40 minutes of consistent contractions, I texted Christ to let her know and she said to keep her posted. Ben gave me a nice back rub and during that time my contractions started becoming really long, over a minute and a half and definitely more intense. I kept saying, “these contractions are so long…” When I’m in labor I tend to get stuck and say the same thing over and over.
At 10am my midwife texted me to tell me she got my GBS culture back and it was finally negative!!! I literally couldn’t believe it! I was so happy that everything I had done was rewarded by testing negative. It was such an answer to prayer! I cried again but this time they were happy thankful tears that God would be so kind to me. I texted Christy my contractions were about 5 minutes apart still but they were really long, a minute and a half or longer. She texted back “Oh my! On my way!” At first I thought “oh no, she’s coming too soon…” All I could picture was her sitting around for hours waiting and waiting… But about 10 minutes later I realized things were definitely progressing quickly.
She got here around 10:45am and I was able to chat with her between contractions but shortly after that I was in labor mode (most of which was on my hands and knees or leaning against the birthing ball) and had to just concentrate and rest.
Christy thought things were getting close around 11:30 and called Asasiya, the second midwife, to come. All the birthing supplies where set up in our downstairs bedroom but as I seemed comfortable in the living room Christy suggested we just stay put and so she, Ben and Asasiya moved everything to the living room. A little while later, I started feeling nauseous and complained that it felt like my body was ripping apart. Christy reminded me to think of it as opening rather than ripping. I spent the next hour with some very intense contractions, lots of rocking and moaning… Christy had me try the birthing stool for a bit, which I hated… my contractions slowed down a bit during this time as well.
Around 1pm when it didn’t seem like the baby was coming Christy decided to checked me. I was only 6-7 cm dialited but Christy spared me that depressing piece of information… I was also dialating unevenly and she said it was probably because the baby was so low. They decided to switch things up a bit had me lay down on the bed to take some of the pressure off and they did this hip rock where they shook my hip back and forth during my contractions. It was super intense! Definitely the worst part for me. Because my contractions had slowed during this time, I had some longer periods of rest which was really nice as well as discouraging. At this point I told everyone they should probably just go home because the baby wasn’t going to come now. I was tired, grumpy and done… Thankfully everyone knew I was a bit delusional and ignored me. They continued to do the hip rock when I had a contraction for 3 contraction on both side and again while I was on my hands and knees. They also gave me several doses of arnica.
Christy checked me again and said I was 9 1/2 cm! And oh boy, that’s when transition happened for me! I had several super intense contractions one right on top of the other. It was about 1:40 pm at this point. I was not moving back to the living room where all the birth supplies were so there was quite a rush to get the bed made again and move everything else back into the bedroom. All I could do was crawl back into the bed on my hands and knees. I said “please come out baby!” Christy said she could see my bags of water and if I pushed a little it might break. I didn’t feel the urge to push at this point but did and starting praying that the next contraction would be the last one. It was! Thank the Lord!!!
My waters broke at 2:07 pm with a nice gush and they were beautifully clear just as they should be. I had the urge to push immediately! Christy said I could go easy on the pushing. I tried to go slow… maybe not very hard though. I pushed for 7 minutes and then my baby was born! What a relief and joy!!! She came out with a nice lusty cry! That is such a wonderful sound! I was so exhausted but pulling that sweet little baby to my chest was the best feeling ever! After a couple of minutes to catch my breath, I peaked only to find out we had another daughter! There is nothing like the intensity of labor and pushing followed by the relief of birth! It’s incredible!
All in all I was really only in true labor for about 6 hours. I have been truly blessed to have uncomplicated and easy deliveries with both my births. Being able to labor and deliver my baby at home this time was beautiful but the true beauty is after the delivery. A true golden hour or longer. The afternoon sunlight was streaming in the window all golden. I just laid there holding my sweet baby girl. The midwives cleaned up and started laundry while Ben and I got acquainted with our new little girl. After our golden hour, I cut the cord and our sweet new babe got her newborn screens all done. She was perfectly healthy! Such a wonderful blessing!
Shorty after, my parents brought Lottie over to meet her best birthday present ever, her baby sister! Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have 2 babies born on the same day! Seeing my little girl meet her sister was so wonderful and perfect! Lottie was so enamored! God has truly blessed us more than we deserve.
Clara was born at 2:14pm. She weighted 7.3lbs and was 20in long. Not only was it Lottie’s birthday but it was also the birthday of our wonderful midwife Christy! So it was a triple birthday at our house that wonderful Sunday afternoon!
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