Monday, August 27, 2012

My Homebirth After Two Hospital Births

I have never told my story about the birth of our third son, Aaron.  I am the only one in our family to have ever had a homebirth (though a sister-n-law delivered in her car).  Our first two sons births were not at all what I hoped for.  The first was an induction, in which four hours into it I was screaming for an epidural because the contractions were so relentless and yet the nurse kept up-ing the petocin.  The epidural didn't even take and they redid it.  Thirty mins. later it was time to push and I began to tear the wrong way, leading my Dr. to do an episiotomy.  Given that I had an epidural he didn't numb me, but he quickly discovered that epidurals do not numb me properly as I gave out a gut wrenching scream!  My son was delivered in 15 mins.

With my second son I went into labor spontaneously (24 hours after having my membranes scraped).  Our entire local family was out of town and I was left leaving our 18 month old with practical strangers.  Once arriving at the hospital they confirmed my contractions were 4 mins. apart but my cervix hadn't changed from the 5-6 cm it was the day before at the office.  So they were planning to send me home until I asked when I come back.  They then realized I met the criteria for labor (contractions every 5 mins or less) so they admitted me reluctantly.  The nurse then told me that if I wanted to wait for the epidural and see if I could handle it then the Anesthesiologist may not make it here in time when I really wanted it.  So I agreed to go ahead and get it.  Thankfully it took the first time, no repeats.  Four hours later I got the overwhelming urge to push.  They checked me and I was 8 cm.  She left and said she would come back in an hour.  Ten minutes later I ordered my husband to get her in there NOW!  She came right away and asked me to give a push.  Midway through a good push she urgently told me to stop so she could page the Dr. on call.  I begged and pleaded with her to let me push and she would not let me (though I just couldn't help but push).  The Dr. walked in casually in no hurry and asked to see me push.  I quickly delivered my baby's head and he rushed to get his blue outfit on.  Thomas' total time pushing was 6 minutes!  The Dr. accidentally cut right through the cord with one of the clamps and my baby was bleeding everywhere!  Spatter ended up on the walls!  He also struggled with blood in his lungs for several days.

So that brings us to our homebirth.  Before ever getting pregnant I researched and was pretty confident about natural birth.  So when I go pregnant I went to a natural birthing center.  I was off put by the hippy vibe of condoms in a jar on the counter and all the flowery pictures.  The midwife who did my initial exam took a long time and was so rough that I began to bleed heavily.  She was grabbing paper towels to try and stop it.  She then instructed me on how to know if I am having a miscarriage!  That was that!  I called up a midwife of several of my friends, that does homebirths only.  I loved the family feel of her coming into my home to do my prenatals and talk with me.  It was wonderful.  I had the most healthy pregnancy I have ever had, only gaining 6 lbs!  I just felt great!  We only told some family as others just didn't need to know our plans.  They wouldn't agree and we didn't care to hear that.  I planned to have my best friend, Brandi there and my Mom.  I wanted my Dad to be in the house watching our boys, but NOT in the room.

So the time came, for weeks I thought I was having contractions.  I had been up all night Friday, with them and they subsided around 7 am on Saturday.  So it wasn't to be.  I was 11 days from my due date anyway ( I did go early with my other two).  So that Saturday we went on with our day, Ryan cleaning like he was a nesting mother.  My friend Brandi was out of town and was going to be very upset if she didn't make it back in time.  I called her to let her know what was happening.  They were planning on being back that evening.  Around 3pm I started feeling contractions again and called my midwife, Teresa who quickly came over along with her colleague, Ouida. They did a prenatal and checked me.  I was still a 2 and baby Aaron was high!  That's it.  My first two I was 5-6cm before evening going into active labor!  So she wanted to see what my cervix did through a contraction.  They waited on my bed.....and waited and waited.  Until they fell asleep...waiting.  I never had one while they were there so they left.  Discouraged I went to take a shower and relax.  As soon as the water hit me I had a contraction...and another and another!  They were 2 minutes apart.  I called Teresa after I got out and told her what was going on.  She RUSHED back!  I was indeed in labor!

I called Brandi (it was now around 6pm) and she had just walked into the door of her home.  She was glad to make it in time.  Ryan called my parents.  Teresa and Ouida called their assistants, Teri and Paige.  Our house grew busy!  I laid in bed for awhile and Teresa checked me every now and then with not big change and mostly he was still high.  So they had me walk for an hour.  With all the people there I was not as relaxed as I would have liked to be.  I then went and laid back down.  Around midnight I was still contracting every 2 mins. and was at 6cm.  Teresa thought it would help to break my water.  When she went to do it, it broke before the hook ever came in contact with the sack.  I immediately went from contractions I could handle to immense pain in my back.  This went on for nearly three hours!  By this point my dad had already put my boys to bed and went home.  My mom had taken him home (everyone was glad to get a break from her constant talking which was taking focus off of helping me) and when she returned they let her know nicely to keep the talking to a minimum.  Everyone massaged and rubbed me.  Nothing really helped.  I mostly laid on my side but Teresa really didn't like that he wasn't coming down straight so she had me get on my back.  I was in agony!

Finally, having all I could handle I asked if I could get up on all 4s.  They said sure!  It didn't help much, maybe a little.  I then asked if I could push, not because I felt the urge, but because I wanted it over.  They said no.  I then had to pee bad and there was nothing they could do because I was so close to delivering.  I peed over the towels and pads.  That must have done something because they then told me I could push.  I gave a good long push and asked if he was coming out.  Teresa told me, "NO, Megan!  Your gonna have to push harder!"  I then gave it all I had (even biting my husband's shoulder) and quickly they discovered his little hand presenting beside his face.  I pushed again and heard, "STOP! The cord!"  And a bunch of commotion.  Remember I am on all 4's so my perspective is no good.  They clamped and cut his cord which was tight over his shoulder (much like a bag strapped over someones shoulder).  And they yelled at me to push.  I gave out all I had again and he was born.  He lay there gray and still.  His eyes open.  Ouida gave him oxygen and tugged at his little scrawny legs.  He finally half cried.  They laid his cold little body on me and wrapped us up.  He then began to come alert and cry.  While we laid there they midwives gave me IV fluids to help perk me back up.

I was spent.  I felt so relieved it was over and just thought I could never do that again.  My mom was crying in the corner of the room and just too emotional to be supportive.  What impressed me was my husband.  Through my other two births he was little help to me as he didn't know what to do and the nurses did not show him.  My with the homebirth he was there, supportive and when I was at my worst he stayed there firmly holding me and let me rest on his shoulders.  He cried along with me, which oddly strengthened me.  His strength and compassion were the fuel I needed to get through it.  I was the single most thing that has helped our marriage grow into what it is today.

As for Aaron, he is a true joy.  After getting our baths, we nestled into my own bed (the midwives cleaned everything up for us) and I nursed my little boy with my husband and best friend at my side.  After everyone left we laid down for a short rest.  When our older two awoke we called them in our room.  They were shocked to find their new baby brother laying between us in bed.  They climbed into bed with us and held him and loved on him.  We know now, 18 months later, that we will most likely do a homebirth again.  I will however NOT have my parents involved.  Though they acted as though they would be supportive, it has been anything but.  Even going behind my back since the birth and talking bad about us.  Other than that I would not change a thing!

And for those who wonder about our older two hearing anything.   We asked them what they heard that night to which they replied, "No we didn't hear anything!", in shock we would ask them that.

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