Home Births

3 Sibling's Birth Story
My first child was born at home. I went into labor around 11pm as soon as my water broke and he was born just before 5pm the next day. Once he was born, my husband jokingly said...."So, are you ready for another one!" I was totally exhausted, but responded "Sure, let me catch my breath first!" Our second child was also born at home, but this time at grandma's house....in her bed. Labor was definitely quicker the second time around. It started around noon and she was born before 5pm. We hadn't been able to get a hold of my husband but he rushed home when he was finally given the message. I heard him screeching up the drive way and slamming the front door open asking if he was too late. Perfect timing. Our last baby was born in a hospital due to finances. Our insurance would cover a midwife if the birth took place in a hospital. I thought that was a decent compromise except that the midwife that was covered only seemed to be concerned with getting paid. When I was in the hospital I barely saw her for 30 minutes from start to finish. I was so stressed out being in a hospital (they work for some but give me the creeps) and ended up having a c-section. What does count is that I had a healthy baby!


Evelyn’s Birth Story
Christmas Eve, 2003. I was finally recovering from a nasty bout of winter sick, had finished my final papers for school, and was ready for our second baby to be born. My parents and sister were visiting for the holidays and the imminent birth. Our firstborn daughter was just past 20 months old and still nursing a few times a day.

The day started like any other with a house full of guests…breakfast, showers, etc. I felt a little “off,” and my mother kept telling me I was in labor. Having just birthed our daughter 20 months prior (naturally, in a birth center), I was quite angry at her suggestion, and incessantly denied her claims.

My husband had left for work at 6:45 a.m., per usual. His company was working a half-day for Christmas Eve. My midwife Y was to come from an hour away for my 40-week check-up…I called her around 9:00 in the morning to tell her I was feeling just a little funny, and maybe she wanted to wait, just in case something else developed? She responded that she had no problem driving, so if she had to return later, that was fine. She arrived around 11:00.

My parents took our daughter out for some last-minute shopping while Y and I began talking. I explained the strange tightening I was experiencing – more than the Braxton-Hicks I’d been having, but less than real contractions. I talked to her and pointed out when I would have another round, and we decided it was really nothing. However, just in case, she performed a quick cervical check (my first of the pregnancy) to see if anything was happening. I was dilated to four centimeters. Y decided to start making some calls for back-up, as the other MW from the group was unavailable until much later in the evening. We discussed the possibility of having to drive to the birth center so she would have a partner for the birth, but I never got the feeling she really expected me to do so. She also tried calling another midwife who was much closer, but had no luck contacting her either. I never doubted my own or Y’s capabilities and was fine with a single midwife. I think her calls were more to cover the “official” part of working with a birth center.

Y did decide to hang around for another hour to see if my strange sensations were making any cervical changes. She performed another VE, and there was no change. She decided to drive back home, I called my husband and told him to “come home sooner rather than later…just in case.” Y left our house at 1:00; DH walked in the door at 1:30 – at the exact moment I felt a real contraction.

We began to set up the AquaDoula tub in our bedroom, and I would occasionally pause to concentrate on a contraction. At some point, my parents returned with our daughter – who was sound asleep, and transferred effortlessly into her bed.

Despite my nonchalant attitude about the progression of my labor (you’d think I’d know better, after a seven-hour first labor!), at some point my husband was smart enough to call the midwife to come right back. I think this happened around 2:30 – Y was about one hour away again. I kept track of my contractions on a sheet of paper in between helping my husband get the tub filled. Occasionally I had a contraction that required his assistance; other times I would actually ask him, “is this a real contraction?” At some point, while laboring on the toilet, I suddenly felt a very different sensation. I reached down, and said with more than a little shock, “the baby is coming! It’s right here!” (or something to that effect). Kudos to my parents, sister and husband, who all stayed outwardly calm and encouraging – I never felt any sense of urgency or desperation, despite the fact there was no midwife and we had not considered or prepared for an unassisted birth.

Upon my shocking discovery that a head was crowning, I waddled my way to our bed across the hall and laid myself down on my left side. The only thought I had at the time was that I had to wait for the midwife to arrive so that I wouldn’t tear as I had with my first baby. I breathed through some intense contractions, while barking orders for more cold washcloths to be applied to my head. My poor husband was trying to apply oil to my perineum, knowing my only fear for this birth was tearing again. At some point I snapped at him to “stop touching me down there!” Somehow in the midst of my delusional “labor-land” mind, I remembered my midwife’s instructions that if she were to miss the birth to check the heart tones at some point during the labor. I managed to direct my husband to the Doppler, then grabbed it from him, found the heartbeat and simply asked, “it’s fast, right?” That was the extent of the monitoring of this baby!

I don’t quite remember Y’s arrival, though shortly thereafter I changed positions, as I was quite miserable lying on my side. I took up a hands-and-knees position and finally gave in to the pushing urges I had been denying until her arrival. At 1:30 in the afternoon, two hours after the first contraction, I birthed our second baby. I remember looking down between my legs and gleefully announcing, “It’s another girl!” Somehow she was passed to me and we rearranged on the bed so I could lay with her.

I did have some bleeding, but my midwife calmly told me simply to “put that baby to your breast now.” This was a notable departure from the solution of my first midwife in the birth center, who gave me a shot of pitocin immediately.

Baby E weighed 6lb 11.5 oz and was 19.5 inches long. I had no tearing, and felt brand new merely minutes after the birth. I later noted my contraction log, and was amazed to see a total of eight contractions between 1:30 and 3:00, when I finally stopped my notations. I am sure I could have birthed her 20 minutes earlier than I did, had I not been so paranoid about repeat tears…then again, that paranoia and extra-slow pushing stage most likely guaranteed my tear-free birth this round.

Big sister woke from her record-length nap about five minutes after her baby sister was born. She was thoroughly confused, and perhaps momentarily frightened by the newness and strange situation, but she settled right in nursing and gazing at her new baby sister.


Gavin's Birth Story
Our son, Gavin Richard Patterson, was born at home on Sunday, July 29th, 2007 at 3:38am.  The following is the story of his Home Sweet, Home Birth.

I was due on either July15 or July 18 (depending on whose calculator you use) and had asked our son-to-be, very nicely, repeatedly, to be born on July 13, so that he and his older sister by 4 years, would have birthdays exactly one month apart. For some reason, even though my family has a very strong history of being overdue, I managed to convince myself that he would listen to my wishes and arrive a little early. How silly of me! The 13th came and went, as did the 15th and the 18th… The dates just kept rolling by! I kept making my chiropractor appointments on time and our midwives kept coming to our house for our weekly appointments. It felt like our little boy was never going to come out! I think it really started to get hard when I passed 8 days late (I had been 8 days late with our daughter & just couldn’t believe that I was pregnant beyond that with our second! Usually seconds aren’t as late as the first!) And of course, EVERYONE I ran into kept looking at me in shock saying, “You’re STILL pregnant?! Oh my goodness! I can’t believe your doctor is letting you go so overdue! They must be ready to induce or c/sec you in a day or two, huh?” Well, thank goodness I was seeing a knowledgeable midwife who knew that baby doesn't always get the memo about the due date! --Only baby knows when he or she is ready to be born.

Finally though, I went into labor on Friday morning, the 27th around 7:45.  I was going to get our daughter, Melia up for summer camp & was already in my swimsuit to go to water aerobics, in the hopes of jumping that kid out of me!  Around 8:30 or so, I was still contracting/rushing, so I called my husband, Chuck & he timed some rushes while we were talking & they were just about 3 min apart, lasting 45 sec each, just about every time!  We decided that I should call our midwife, Liz & get her opinion.  She suggested that Melia not go to school & I not go to class & that instead, we just go for some nice walks around the neighborhood to keep things going.  I then called my sister-in-law, Susan, who was going to come over because she was in charge of Melia during our labor & birth (not only to keep her occupied & to make sure that all of her needs were being met so that Chuck & I could focus on the labor, but to make sure that if any time she got scared, that there was some one right there who Melia loves & trusts to comfort her, and if need be, remove her from the area). Susan lives about 2 hours away & we told her that we would just keep her posted on things & not to head out just yet.  Melia & I went for our nice, brisk walk & came home & I called Chuck, who at this point, since things were still looking so promising, decided that he'd just work a half day & be home by noon to be with us.  Susan also decided to go home early.  We called our doula, Misty, to give her a heads up too.

At one point, things did start to slow down a little bit, so I stuck myself on the "milking machine" (a.k.a. breast pump) to get things going again, which worked nicely.  Susan came over & for the rest of the day I labored on & off.  When things were on, they stuck to a nice, 3 min, 45 sec pattern of good-intensity contractions.  They did, however, fizzle out several times & unfortunately, by that night had pretty much come to a complete stop.  I was, of course, very frustrated. My labor with Melia lasted 55 hours, and I thought for sure that I was going to be having yet another prodromal labor!

We all decided to go to bed, hoping that I'd be rudely awoken by some strong contractions or by a big gush of water breaking, but no such luck.  We got up the next morning, STILL pregnant & decided to take a good, long walk to get some breakfast.  Still, only a few contractions & no good pattern at all. Once we returned home, feeling, once again that I would be the woman who was forever pregnant (at this point, I was between 10-13 days late!), I called our midwives again.  They suggested that I do a castor oil milkshake to get things going again. Since our other midwife, Maia, usually got babies within 12 hours with this method, and since I was more than ready to meet our baby, I decided that it would be worth the unpleasantness! I started getting regular contractions again around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon (about an hour or so after drinking my oily little concoction) & the midwives came over a few hours later.  (When they arrived, our Birth Team was greeted with shirts which we had made up for everyone.  On the back of them, they said "Let's Root, Root Root for the Home(birth) Team". On the front, they had everyone’s name: Chuck's said "I'm the one who did this", mine said "It's all about me", Melia's said, "Kidwife Melia, Shortstop", Liz & Maia’s said "Midwife ___, Catcher", Misty's said "Misty the Doula, 1st Base Coach" & Susan's said "3rd Base Coach".  Then on the sleeve, they said, "Home Delivery...It Ain't Just for Pizza!").

The contractions got EXTREMELY intense VERY quickly & by mid or late evening, our doula came over too.  The rest of my labor was extremely difficult--much more intense than what I experienced with Melia.  (Just a side note, I fractured part of my tailbone when I gave birth to her and I’m pretty positive that as a result of that, every contraction that I had with this labor was ALL in my lower back & sacrum/tailbone area!  VERY intense!) To make a VERY long, loud story short(er), we all went for a walk late that night trying to get me to dilate the rest of the way & I guess around 1 or 2 am, I got into our birth tub.  What a nice relief to be weightless & in warm water!  Ahhhh!!!!!

Much to my surprise, even though Gavin was already descending quite nicely, I really didn't have any urge to push at all.  It was really just all very intense back/tailbone pain!  Our doula actually ended up jumping in the tub with me so that she could apply some counter-pressure more effectively!  She was absolutely beyond words!!!  God bless her!  Chuck was so unbelievably supportive and encouraging too that if I think about it, I'll start crying!  And Susan did such a great job taking care of Melia & helping me through several very hard contractions, which wasn't even in her little job description!  And of course, we loved our midwives! What an amazing, supportive environment to give birth in! Anyway, so I finally started to push, just to try to move this kid off of my tailbone & finally, after what seemed like he was NEVER going to come out, and that instead of being the perpetually pregnant woman, I'd be the perpetually laboring woman, he started to come down.  Melia was awake at this point and in her bathing suit, ready & very anxious to hop into the birth tub with me to help catch her baby brother.  She did such a great job!  She touched his head as he was crowning & helped to catch him some as he was finally born!  She was ecstatic to see him & to get to be a part of it!  I, of course, was very relieved that he was finally there, in my arms.

I did end up having a slight hemorrhage afterwards, but it was quickly taken care of with some herbs and a shot of Pitocin, right there in the birth room (which is actually Gavin's nursery).  My 2nd degree tear was able to be repaired in the comfort of our bedroom. Maia’s stitching would probably have rivaled a plastic surgeons! Our beautiful son has blonde hair & at least so far, blue eyes, just like his very proud, big sister, and weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds, 7 oz (a whole pound bigger than Melia).  He measured 19.5 inches long & is healthy, alert, happy & nursing well.  He didn't get a birth team shirt, but he did have a little blue hat which I embroidered a house & “All-star...Sliding into Home!" on!  We are all totally in love with him!

So that’s, believe it or not, the short version of our beautiful, wonderful homebirth story! I really can’t say enough about what a wonderful experience it was to be able to labor and birth amongst invited guests only, who were all there to support us & who all were specifically and individually invited to be there. I absolutely loved it and having nothing but wonderful things to say about it! Home-waterbirth rocks!!!

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8901 SW 157th Ave, #16-117
Miami Florida, 33196, USA

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