If you read about my first home birth with my second child, you may find that the most recent birth was quite similar. Although, during the last birth I have finally hired a birth photographer, for whom I'm so grateful, and now can share these memories with you too.
Carmen, thank you so much for being a huge part of my birth team too!
Start of Labor
My third baby was born on his due date…what a surprise, considering that only about 4% of babies are born on their due date.
The contractions started at night while I was sleeping at about 3 am. I knew that those were THE contractions, that the labor had started. I called my midwife and the photographer to let them know it could be the day. I did not need them right away as it was probably just the beginning or a mild active labor.
My midwife suggested if I wanted I could do some spinning babies while resting. So I went to the living room floor, grabbed huge pillows from the couch, and did a variation of side-lying release. It helped me rest while switching sides from time to time. I can't say that I slept much, I stayed there almost till 6 am and that is when I started timing my contractions. This is not something I had to do, however, I wanted to understand when to have my midwife and photographer come to me.
We got our oldest ready for school, but my middle child was at home with us. It's a good thing my parents were here too and cared for her while I was laboring.
Active Labor and Transition
Right before 8 am, I called Kristy and Carmen to let them know that it was probably time to arrive. Usually, when my contractions get intense, that is when I start to be curious about how dilated I am and want to be checked. I texted Kristy at 8:13 am telling her that some blood started to show and I got so excited. Mind you, my water was still intact (for the first time - my first two births started with bag of water breaking). She arrived shortly after that, checked me and I was already 9cm! Yay!
Around 9 am Carmen arrived. I labored between my living room: bouncing on a ball, and our bedroom - I was also super impatient. I wanted the baby to be there already. Kristy checked me again and said that whenever I was ready, I could push, or wait until my body started pushing.
I got on the bed, on all fours and tried pushing, but for some reason, it hurt so much in the abdomen area when I did that, so I didn't feel comfortable. I pushed a couple more times and my water finally broke, so I thought to myself: "We're right there!" Again, changed position a little, and tried pushing again…didn't love it either. So I realized it was time to get on the "throne" - toilet, of course. It has never let me down before. (My middle child was born in the bathroom, I pushed her head out right on the toilet.)
The Baby is Here!
The contractions felt so intense, I was ready to give up. I knew that my body was ready, but not sure if the baby was. I reached down as I wanted to feel the baby's head (I did that with my middle one too and that helped me a lot during the birth), but I could not really feel it. It was disappointing…I gathered all my strength that was left in me and pushed so hard with my next contraction that I finally felt the head moving down the birth canal. Finally! Oh how loud I screamed. The head was not out yet, but it was such a relief.
I'm usually pretty quiet during birth, because, you know - the more relaxed you are the more you help your cervix open up. The only time you can hear me scream is definitely during pushing stage. So now, I can finally feel the baby's head and it was time to push again. I honestly thought about my parents at that time…they had never seen or heard anyone give birth, and now with me screaming in the next room, I knew they were super worried. They just did not know that it's normal. Those are the primal birth sounds that may or may not happen during birth.
With the next surge, I started pushing again, it felt so long…I felt how both my body and baby worked to move him down. I screamed: "The head is coming out!" and Kristy came to the bathroom. The head was out, but not completely. I got on the bathroom floor and Kristy asked me to push again, now the head was finally out. I pushed again, but the body did not come out yet. Kristy told me to move to the bed and get on my back. Honestly, walking with a head sticking between your legs - is not the easiest task lol. When I got on my back, Alex, my husband and Cori (she was the second midwife - ) held my legs. With another push…he was born.
If you don't know, this time around I also did not find out the sex of the baby, I wanted it to be a surprise again. So I ordered everyone not to tell me when the baby would come out, even if they noticed. I was the one who would announce the sex - that was my plan. Well, it worked, thankfully. It's just funny when I got my photos from Carmen, there was one where I could tell by Alex's reaction that he had definitely found out before I did.
I needed to take a pause and get in a comfortable position before I could check. The most important thing was done, the baby was here and we both felt really good. I sat more comfortably, got back support, and took a peak…it's a boy! Now we finally have our boy…
I did hemorrhage a bit but was in a safe spot to stay home. I did not feel any different, no weakness and my blood pressure was good too. I honestly feel that I had the best team ever who always listened to me, allowed me to trust my body, and supported me when I thought I could not do it any longer.
Home is my favorite place to give birth; bed is my favorite place to stay after. My…own…bed.
Sophia. Birth. Photography is a Dallas Fort Worth birth photographer. She focuses on documenting raw birth and motherhood stories. Sophia serves families located in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex (Dallas, Fort Worth, Allen, Plano, McKinney, Melissa, Anna, Van Alstyne, Arlington, Richardson, Little Elm).