It’s time that I share my home birth story of Solace. I love sharing my birth stories. Even the unenjoyable parts. They’re a natural part of the birthing process and candid reality. Each one is different and its own, just like the babies that I birthed. I realize I am fortunate that each one of my births were considerably “easy”. Meaning we didn’t face any trauma, complications, nor did we require any interventions.
Solace’s birth took place at home. Yes, on purpose. I chose to give birth in a nontraditional (depending on how you look at it) way, because of my past delivery experiences and the knowledge I equipped myself with since having my first. My second and third daughters were home births, with my first daughter being born in a hospital. By sharing the home birth story of my third daughter I hope that I can inspire other families to advocate for themselves.
The week that I was due, my mother-in-law came to stay with us. This gave us a sense of relief that just in case I went into labor she would be there to help out with our two daughters. As much as I would have liked my daughters to be present for our home birth, I feared that it would place undue stress on me.
On Thursday morning we took the girls for a walk. Our casual walk turned out to be an extra long walk around the neighborhood. A walk that was thoroughly uncomfortable, as I felt pressure and an occasional contraction. When we finally returned home, I was nothing short of exhausted and irritated due to my discomfort. I was ready for this baby to make its arrival into the world.
Later that afternoon, my husband, mother-in-law, my daughters and I went out to lunch. As we drove to the restaurant I felt a contraction that was more intense than a Braxton Hicks contraction. During lunch I felt an occasional contraction, but again nothing too intense and they eventually tapered off.
That evening, my husband, AO, and I were hanging out in the living room while my mother-in-law put the girls to bed. While sitting on the birthing ball I joked if bouncing our baby out was an option. It was close to 9 pm when my contractions continued. Around 9:15 pm I text my midwife (Misty from Ohana Midwifery), per her instructions, to keep her in the loop. I think she had a feeling I would progress faster since this was my third labor.
“Hello, I wanted to give you a heads up that I’ve had some sporadic contractions throughout the day, and some pressure in my back. My last contractions were around 8:55 then again at 9:05.”
9:30 pm contractions were 10-15 minutes apart, but again not entirely consistent. AO and I went into our room where I would be more comfortable, and I planned to rest/sleep. My contractions grew stronger and more intense, to the point where I was leaning over our bed trying to find relief. AO did what he could to help me relieve the pain. I continued to track my contractions, then decided to get in the shower. Misty suggested it, and I was willing to try anything to ease the discomfort. The shower felt amazing. I didn’t want to get out, but eventually I did so that I could continue timing my contractions.
During this labor my mentality was different. I focused more on my breathing and being in control. Internally I reminded myself that women have been birthing babies for ages. I had done this before, and I can do it again. Let me digress.
The reason I chose to have a blessingway is partially because of my past deliveries, but also to balance my mindset as much as possible. I knew I needed [wanted] support and positive vibes from those close to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am very fortunate as my first two labor and deliveries went smoothly.
Prior to my blessingway, I had a conversation with Sarah, owner and doula of Bright Heart Services. I told her that in my previous labors I thought I was going to die. We discussed how each time I talked about my past births in this manner it was as if my body was reliving the pain. So if I had told my story 500 times thinking that I was going to die, then my mind and body was experiencing it each of those times. It made complete sense, so from that moment on, I began to shift my way of thinking.
After we had an established pattern I had AO text Misty. She let Sarah know that I was in labor and to head over to our house. I felt a lot of pressure in my back. Oddly enough when sitting on the toilet leaning back I felt relief. How glamorous childbirth is!
Sarah arrived just after midnight, which was a great relief to AO. As much of a supportive partner he is, Sarah took the reigns by offering me alternatives to bring me as much comfort as possible. Let me tell you, my friends have raved about the TENS unit, but until Sarah applied it on my back I didn’t know what I was missing out on. It was amazing!
I tried to sit backwards and forward on a chair with pillows, but neither position relieved the back pressure, so I returned to the good ol’ toilet where I could lean back. After Sarah arrived my nausea kicked into overdrive and I vomited. I swear I pulled something in my neck too. Ugh. The pregnancy hormones were fierce. The nausea and chills, oh my!
While I was continuing to work through some strenuous contractions Sarah and AO filled up our bathtub. Imagine a person going from never taking a bath in this tub to having a baby in it! Oops, did I just spoil the ending?!
The Home Birth
Once in the tub, I continued to work through my contractions. Sarah reminded me to focus on releasing my breaths and not holding on to them. Sitting in the tub I held AO’s hands. Thankfully I didn’t break any fingers.
Around this point something came over me. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I relaxed. To be honest, I felt like I was going to fall asleep, even AO noticed. He thought I was passing out from the heat of the water, so he reached in and squeezed my leg. This snapped me out of whatever I was feeling. There’s an affirmation that my sister in law gave me. I still can’t quote it in person without crying, but I think it is what happened here.
“It is said that women in labor leave their bodies… they travel to the stars to collect the souls of their babies, and return to this world together.” – unknown.
After the state of relaxation passed over me, I felt the urge to push. I pushed through a contraction and felt my water break in the tub. It was after this first urge and push that I told Sarah and AO, “I think I need to push.” Sarah said if I wanted, I could reach inside to see if I felt the baby. I did!
Sarah guided AO and I, letting me know that it was ok to push. At this point Misty was about 6 minutes away. Through the next contraction I pushed. Baby’s head started to come out. Sarah told AO that he could reach in the tub to see if he could feel the baby. As he did, he felt the baby’s eyes and cheeks! After only two more pushes baby was completely out. AO helped catch the baby and handed her to me. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck once, which I was able to unwrap.
Baby Number 3
I set this beautiful baby on my chest, then realized I didn’t know whether baby was a boy or girl. I lifted her up to find out, and saw that baby was a girl! Our third baby girl! Through the excitement and the shock, I asked Sarah if she was ok. Our baby girl laid on my chest, and cried briefly. Sarah assured us that she looked good. At that point Misty was pulling into the driveway. I was in complete shock, and dare I say elated that our baby girl entered the world so quickly.
Prior to Misty walking in, Sarah listened to our baby girl with a stethoscope, probably to ease my worries because I kept asking, “is she ok?” She wasn’t showing any signs of concern. Again, I was just overwhelmed that I had delivered her so quickly. Sarah eased my worries. Less than five minutes after she was born, Misty walked in. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl, weighing in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. She was given to AO for skin on skin while I pushed out the placenta… oh the joys!
While I labored and gave birth to our third daughter, my older two slept soundly in their room. As I mentioned above, AO’s mom was staying with us, so when labor progressed he let her know. Shortly thereafter he entered the room and asked her, “Do you want to go meet your granddaughter?” Later she told me that after AO had told her that I was in labor, she prayed. I believe the prayers, my positive mentality and affirmations are what contributed to my quick, and fairly easy (relatively speaking) labor.
I hope you enjoyed learning Solace’s home birth story. If you’re looking for some tips on how to stay healthy during pregnancy, please check out my regimen here. And of course if you have any questions regarding nutrition throughout pregnancy or postpartum while breastfeeding, shoot me a message. I’d love to help!