It was by accident that my husband and I discovered natural child birth. We had tried for a couple of years to get pregnant and were at the point where we thought it was just not going to happen for us. Just as we were coming to terms with the idea that it was just going to be the two of us we found out we were having a baby! We were overjoyed! I quickly called my insurance provider to inquire about what would be covered during my pregnancy and was informed that I did not have any maternity coverage. After calling a local hospital as well as an OB doctor and finding out that we were looking at a minimum of $8,000.00 out of our pockets it seemed we needed to look into other options for having this baby. It was suggested to us that we look into having a homebirth with a midwife. After doing some research we found our absolutely wonderful midwife, April Kermani and Doula/Hypnobirthing coach, Marcie Webb and became very excited about having a homebirth.
My first pregnancy went very smooth from the moment I found out until the moment little Jack arrived. I was lucky enough not to have had any morning sickness and felt amazing throughout the entire pregnancy. Jack Robert Barton was born two weeks before his due date at our home on September 11, 2008. My labor lasted for 12 hours from the time I had my very first contraction to the moment he was born. It was truly an amazing experience. There were no complications; it was a “perfect” birth.
My second pregnancy however, was not an easy one. In fact it was the polar opposite of my first pregnancy. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was tired, had low energy, felt nauseated, was irritable, and had intense muscle pain. Most of the symptoms lasted throughout my pregnancy. I got through it with the help of a supportive birth team and the relaxation techniques I had learned from my Hypnobirthing classes.
Baby number two was due around the fifth of October but I had begun having intense Braxton Hicks contractions in the first week of September. My belly had dropped considerably and all at once it seemed things were progressing quite quickly. I was thinking we might have this baby early as well! There would be long periods of consistent intense contractions, but then all at once they would stop. At my 37 week appointment my midwife and I were sure things were a go. I called my mother and my sister-in-law and said you need to get on a plane and get here now. The family arrived and everything halted once again. It was very frustrating. I was trying everything under the sun from herbs, to sex, to walking. I tried everything short of castor oil! Nothing was working.
By the time week 40 came around I was so uncomfortable and very anxious to meet this little one growing inside of me, it seemed as if I were going to be pregnant forever! My midwife April suggested we try sweeping my membranes. We went to her office at 1:30pm on October 5th and had the procedure done. My midwife said that it would take at least a few hours before any contractions would begin and to just go about my day as planned. I had an appointment with my chiropractor at 3:00pm and then a massage appointment with my doula Marcie after that. At 2:45pm I kissed my two year old on the forehead, put him in for a nap, said goodbye to my mom and headed out the door to my appointments. While driving to my appointments I had one or two sharp pains but I was able to breathe through them. I thought that was a good sign that we would be having this baby within 24 hours. Yay! I called my husband and told him the good news and that I would see him when he got home from work.
I had my chiropractic adjustment and then headed in for my massage. During the massage my doula hit a few trigger points to intensify the contractions. She confirmed that I was in early labor and that we could expect to have a baby by the early morning. Marcie instructed me to go home and take a nap. She was teaching a Hypnobirthing class that evening and said she would plan to come over afterwards.
By the time I left her office a little after 4:00pm the pain had intensified considerably and contractions were about one minute apart and thirty seconds long. It was a difficult 15 minute drive but I made it home and walked in the door in tears from the pain. By the time I got into the bathtub it was almost 5:00 pm and the contractions were coming fast and hard. I wasn’t getting much of a break. As soon as one contraction ended another was just a moment behind. It was quite intense. I held my mother’s hand, focused on two little birds sitting on the wall outside the bathroom window, set my mind on one affirmation, “I can do this, I will do this” and began to breathe the baby down.
My husband came home just a few moments after I got into the tub and took over the hand holding as he offered amazing support. At this point there was virtually no break between contractions, maybe 30 seconds. At about 5:45 pm I told my husband to call my doula and tell her to come now, I was pretty sure the baby was not going to wait until the morning to arrive.
Within minutes of him hanging up the phone I felt a drastic change in the position of the baby, it felt like the baby dropped down into my pelvis. The contractions were almost continuous and I was feeling intense pressure and the urge to push. My husband said it was probably just my water breaking and helped me to focus on my breathing. I again tried to focus on the two little birds dancing on the ledge outside my window but before I could I felt the most intense surge and said to my husband, “the baby is coming!” He said, “No, it can’t be coming already!” Another intense surge came and I felt the urge to push. My husband realized there was no time to call midwives or doulas and jumped into the tub. At that moment my mother came in to see how we were doing and was amazed to find my husband was about to deliver our baby! I pushed through the contraction and felt the baby’s head come through the birth canal. My body and my baby were now in control and both knew exactly what to do. The contractions stopped as the baby slowly turned. I waited for the next surge and with one last push Benjamin Louis was born into his daddy’s arms at 6:08 pm on October 5, 2010 so unbelievably fast yet so peacefully and with ease. My husband had just delivered our beautiful baby boy! He placed the baby on my chest and it took him a moment to take his first breath and let out a little cry, then lay happily in my arms. His big brother Jack came in to see what all the commotion was about, took a peak and went back to playing, all was right in the world.
Moments later my wonderfully supportive and diligent birth team arrived, amazed at the speed and ease of Benjamin’s birth. Ben was a healthy baby boy, I was healthy, intact, and felt amazing! I felt such a sense of accomplishment and pride for trusting nature to bring my baby into this world.