Mreneau14: Lana's Homebirth Story
Monday, August 23, 2010 3:37 PM
"I can't possibly describe the rush, the burn, and adrenaline that took over knowing that I was gonna hold my baby soon..."
How it all started
I've always heard, at least for first-time moms, that labor is a hindsight diagnosis. Mainly because you don't always know what to feel or expect. I'm certainly no exception. Back pain had been onset for about 2 weeks now, but on Thursday, April 15th there was a new intensity to it and it grew on Friday and Saturday. It felt like a really really bad PMS day, one of those where its painful to get out of bed, let alone move.
In hindsight, I felt my first contraction of early labor first thing on Saturday morning. Everyone says, oh you will know, it's painful. Well it was uncomfortable but nothing to cry over. Then a second one a few hours later. So we started keeping track but knew we were a long way off. As the day progressed, they got closer and closer together. Before bedtime, the contractions were about 35-40 mins apart. I knew it would be a while before active labor set in, at least that is what I have learned through my copious reading about pregnancy and labor. At 11pm, I called Michelle, our midwife, to give her the heads up. She asked me if I slept the night before which I hadn't very well. She warned me to rest up as the next day would probably be a long one when the "real" labor kicked in. So with that, I tried to remain calm and not get excited and turned in for the night.
The next day, we decided to stay home from church and I stayed in bed and dozed in and out until about 11am. I finally felt rested and got up to cook, take a walk and hang out. We had planned a homebirth so we went through to make sure we had everything the midwife had asked us to have. Chris got busy cleaning the house all over again. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, our house is too dirty to bring our baby girl into.
At about 1pm on Sunday. Contractions were about 12-15 mins apart. Our midwife was on the way over to the house for our weekly prenatal appt and Dr. Yoon was coming as well to give me some acupuncture to help things and relieve pain.
After 36 hours of early labor and the nesting done, we laid down for another nap around 4 pm on Sunday. I woke up earlier than Chris and then finally woke him up around 6:30 pm because Dr. Yoon was coming back by to check on me. She did some more acupuncture and as she was leaving, my water broke around 7-7:30pm. It was just a small trickle. We called the midwife back and she was on her way over. Making it through each contraction took a lot of energy as the intensity rose significantly after the water broke. Lana had engaged down and it was so painful to lay down so I paced the house and as each contraction came, we tried lots of different things. I sat on the exercise ball, I leaned on the ball on top of the bed, I got in the shower many times and let the hot water fall on my lower back, and I leaned on Chris. My friend, Andy arrived around 8 p.m. to bring me an Oreo milkshake which I was not in the mood for any longer (although it did come in handy the next day). Michelle, our midwife arrived around 9pm due to a traffic accident on I-75. Things were pretty serious as far as my mood, and Michelle got her gear ready and what seemed like a million other things, including the birthing pool, which I never ended up using. The other midwives, Debi and Melissa, coming from a late conference in Knoxville arrived just in time around midnight.
Getting a move-on
By this time, the only position that was bearable to me was standing up. Hot compresses on my lower back and cold compresses on my neck were constant by this point. Somewhere in here, I puked up my dinner which thankfully made it into the trash can. I didn't falter from the standing position and would either lean on Chris who was an excellent coach, or I would lean on the exercise ball on top of end the bed. As the intensity of each contraction came, I breathed deep through it and tried to keep my body relaxed. Chris did a good job of reminding me and as I would cooperate, the contraction wave passed over me much more easily when I relaxed and breathed deeply. At the very end (which I didn't know at the time) some of the contractions were so unbearable that I remember calling out, "Please God help me." And He did. At some point, it got so hot, I lost the last thing I was wearing.
Then suddenly, a huge gush of amniotic fluid passed onto my feet, legs and pillows that were below me and I could feel Lana immediate drop even lower. Suddenly, I had to push. Never once did anyone tell me to push, but my body just seemed to take over and as I had each new contraction, I just obeyed the urge to push. My hips tucked under and I remember grunting through each push. I can't help but marvel at how womens' bodies are wonderfully and fearfully made for pregnancy, labor and delivery. I wondered how will I know what to do, will I know when to do it...but my body just took over and did it without any extra instruction. I never screamed or yelled, just a low grunt with each push and I'm happy that I never snapped at my husband.
I vividly remember the burning sear of the stretching--it was all I could focus on at the time. Chris thinks I pushed for about 1.5 hours but it didn't feel like that long. Time seemed to fly by. I can't possibly describe the rush, the burn, and adrenaline that took over knowing that I was gonna hold my baby soon. I stood through each contraction and my legs and arms were starting to get weary. Michelle told me to reach inside to feel her head. Feeling her gave me another bout of energy. The head emerged and they suggested I get on all fours on top of the bed and as I did, Lana seemed to flopped out. Her cord was wrapped around her neck but Debi quickly removed it. I immediately flopped down myself and just marveled at this amazing miracle laying next to me as we stared at each other. After about 30 mins of laying on my chest, she naturally made her way down and latched on to nurse and demonstrated strong jaws. I held Lana on my chest skin to skin for about 2 hours as they rubbed her down and inspected the both of us and prepared the sitz bath. I did have a tear that needed to be sutured but I didn't poop. Lol! It was such an amazing feeling to have her so close to me. She only left my sight to get her first bath but then quickly returned.
After 6-7 hours of active labor, Lana was born at our home on 4-19-10 at 1:30pm on her due date. She was 7lbs 12 oz and 20.5 inches. She's an absolute angel and the most beautiful thing I've ever laid my eyes on. It was the most amazing, intense and raw experience of my life and I loved every minute of it. I definitely couldn't have done it without my birth team. They were absolutely amazing and I'm grateful Chris and those ladies were there with me.
Filed under: birth stories