A bunch of you have asked for the gory details of the home birth, and I have to say that ever since my midwife, Laurie, handed me the notes from the labor and delivery, I’ve been fighting the urge to write a tell-all anyway. Here’s a picture of her:
First of all, if you’d asked me before the birth why I’d chosen this avenue, I would have had a lot of reasons; among them would be cost, and a desire to be at home instead of stuck in the hospital after having my baby. But I’ll share those in a later post because now that I have perspective of having done the home birth, I can say without shame that the main reason I chose a home birth was because I forgot how much it hurt. I was lucky; it was short.
My water broke when I sneezed on my way home from a prenatal appointment the morning of my due date. That was at 9:45am. Contractions started soon after, but were bearable for a while. I had called the midwife when my water broke, but I made another call at 10:40 to tell her it was time to head over; good thing I didn’t wait any longer. When 10:45 came, I was cursing my stupidity, and wondering out loud if I still had time to get to the hospital for an epidural; it didn’t take long to realize that it was probably too late. I climbed into the tub and tried not to panic, but things were getting harder by the minute; I got pretty nervous when I started feeling pressure, and we called Laurie to tell her to hurry. Matt would wander in every once in a while, and I would order him out every time another contraction came, which went on ‘til Laurie arrived at 11:36, parking askew in the driveway and running up the stairs.
Though I’ve never been opposed to the idea of a water birth, both this time and with Sam, when I knew we were close, I wanted out of the tub. I climbed out at 11:45, and started begging to push because I have this idea that pushing makes it hurt less. I might have only been in labor for 2 hrs, but I was really losing focus. I knew from experience that I wasn’t going to die, but I wasn’t sure if this went on much longer that I really wanted to live. Laurie kept saying it wasn’t quite time; I wanted to know just how much longer I had to wait, then. She just shook her head and said, “You’re body will tell you when it’s time.” I remember thinking- Not only have I missed out on the epidural, now I have to detect some secret signal from the same body making me suffer like this. Turns out, she was right.
Though I tried pushing, I could tell I wasn’t doing much good until finally, at 11:56 there was a not so subtle sign that I needed to push- NOW. I did, and there she came. In two pushes, she was here, I was alive, and Matt was allowed to talk again. When all was said and done, the labor was just over 2 hrs long; now 4 weeks out, I’ve forgotten the pain enough that I almost think the reasons I did it at home will win out for a home birth next time, too.