I woke up earlier and perkier than normal on Wednesday February 10, 2009. I was having contractions much lower than normal, and it seemed that they were coming regularly. So, I lay in bed for the next hour waiting to see if they would subside. They didn’t, so I got out of bed to watch the news, check my e-mail, and clean up the kitchen. Still, the contractions were regular! I was so excited. I assumed that I would be way overdue as I was with my first baby. This time I was early! I also never had the chance to experience normal natural labor with my first. I was induced with Pitocin. Yuck. Anyway, I took a shower, ate some breakfast, and called my husband. The contractions were strong enough that I really didn’t want to stay at home alone with my 3 year old all day. I was afraid I wouldn’t be as available to get him what he needed, so John agreed to come home. I also wanted John to be with me during the whole thing.
John came home and we decided to go out to eat and to the park. The weather was abnormally warm for February. And also there had been a full moon. Anyway, we went to Route 66 and I ordered a Double Steak with Cheese and fried potatoes. Yum. After this, we went to Happy Hollow Park. I had to stop every 6 minutes or so for a contraction. We met a couple friends there, and had a nice time. I was tired, so we went home so I could try to get a nap in. After getting home I took another shower to try to calm down for a nap. After trying to nap for an hour, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. So, I gathered John and Jackson to go on a walk with me. By this time the contractions were pretty painful. We only made it for about 15 minutes on the walk and then came home.
After being home for only an hour, I decided that my 3 year old needed to go. I was having a hard time getting through a contraction with him running around yelling. So, Grandpa came to pick him up. After he was gone, John went around the house lighting candles and turning down the lights. At this point I called our Midwife. When I got on the phone with her I started crying because I wasn’t sure how far I was into the labor, and I wasn’t sure if maybe it would be possible to stall out the labor with a bath so I could get some rest. Our plan prior to my going into labor was to stop the labor (if possible) if I labored all day. We wanted to avoid exhaustion. When the Midwife arrived we started filling the birth pool. It was taking much longer than I preferred to get that thing filled! Our hot water heater is miniscule, so we had to boil tons of water to get warm water in the pool. The warm water was supposed to either stall out the labor, or speed it up. After getting in, my labor slowed down.
When my contractions stayed at the slower pace for a while, my Midwife and the attendants decided to go out for some dinner. They thought that maybe I would get some rest while they were gone, or speed labor up due to not being the center of 5 people’s attention. When they left things definitely got going. I was yelling for HELP and telling John that I needed to go to the hospital so I could get an epidural and go to sleep. He stayed strong and told me no. He knew that wasn’t really what I wanted. I would have been very disappointed if we would have gone to the hospital. After yelling so loud that the neighbors were probably wondering, ‘who the hell is being tortured next door?’, I told John to call our Midwife. I was definitely in hard labor. I got back in the birth pool and stayed there until Archer arrived. John laid behind me to support me while I moaned and yelled some more. I was very attached to one of the attendants. Later I found out she has been a doula and has been attending home births since I was born. She just gave me a lot of comfort and encouragement. Every time she would leave the room I would yell HELP!
By this point there was no conversation and the only thing you heard was me moaning. This lasted for only an hour and a half and all of the sudden I felt a snap, and I assumed it was just my water breaking. Then came the urge to push. So, I yelled, ‘I gotta push’! And I did. I pushed maybe 2 times through that one contraction and Archer was out! He came out in the water sac with it perfectly intact. He surprised everyone with how quickly he came. We all were in a bit of shock. He went right on my chest and it was all over! He was beautiful! He cried shortly after laying with me and stayed with me for the next few hours. He was born at 1:09 am on February 11, 2009, also my birthday! He is by far the best gift I have ever gotten on my birthday!
Our experience with having a home birth was wonderful. It was better than we expected, and even though it was rough for a little while, I am so glad we did it. This was much more of a natural way to welcome our new baby to our family. It seems that at the hospital the doctors and nurses take control of the labor and birth. For us, we were in charge, and we made the experience what it was—absolutely wonderful.