A First Time At Home Birth

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Filed in Mommy To Be , Mommy To Be Health 1 comments

By Melissa Allen-Gleason

“Well if you go into labor or have bleeding go to your nearest hospital.” This advice changed the course of my second pregnancy and my perception of birth as I know it today.

I was just into my third trimester and finally off bed rest from a condition called placenta previa. I had been having trouble with my insurance provider from the get go and paying cash for office visits. It was a great shock when the O.B.s’ office manager phoned me to say those very words. As most would imagine, I was extremely distort and felt abandon.  It turns out that this would be a blessing in disguise.

After a good cry, only one thought remained in my head, “Who is going to birth this baby?” I then remembered a girlfriend who had five of her six children in her home with a midwife present. It sounded crazy to me at the time. “I can’t do that!” I told myself. I tried to collect my thoughts. “What are my alternatives?” Go into a county hospital get lackluster attention, share a room with a stranger in my most vulnerable moments, and have to do whatever they tell me because I don’t have insurance.  It wasn’t appealing. 

 I broke out the phone book and looked for a midwife. I wasn’t sold on the idea yet but needed to get more information. I made a call to the first midwife listed. As I explained to her the situation, I broke into tears. She reassured me and we made an appointment to meet with my husband present. When the hubby returned home from work I told him I was planning on meeting with a midwife to get information about a home birth. He was shocked!

We spent two hours with the midwife in our home asking every question under the sun. I must have written down two hundred questions from pain relief to after care. She politely answered every question. After our appointment I felt relieved and optimistic, but the thought of no pain medication present at the birth did slightly scare me. My husband was more worried about the possibility of something going wrong.

I was visiting my midwife regularly and soon the time came. I was two weeks overdue and very uncomfortable. My baby was healthy, as was I. About 10 p.m. February 1st I began feeling regular contractions. I asked my husband to wake up and get a pen and paper to write down as they came and went. Sure enough I was in labor and there was no turning back. This baby was coming tonight.

We made a call to our midwife and informed her of the contraction times and my state. We also called a select few we had chosen to be present for the birth. Both our midwives arrived and there was a quiet whirlwind of activity in my home. Our close friends arrived and everyone settled into our bedroom with us.

 I was feeling great. I would snap at anyone who dared to make a peep during a contraction but once passed I would pick up the conversation where it was left off. My husband on the other hand had suddenly become extremely ill and vomiting! I got a chuckle from it and we all chalked it up to nerves.

I felt comfort in the thought that my body knows what to do. I had been told this during a visit to my midwife and it was a bit suspect at the time. I hoped it to be true but all of modern medicine seems to me to feel differently. After all with my first child I was confined to a bed and had to many interventions to count. I let that thought be my guiding light of some sort.

I was in full control of this show! We had a birth tub ready if I chose to use it. I was free to eat, drink and move as I pleased. I found a happy place standing at the foot of my bed. One of my midwives, a mousse gave back rubs as needed for any back labor pain I had.  My midwife broke my water shortly after 11 p.m. and the full scope of labor was upon me.

When the time came to give birth I used a “Birth Stool” it’s a funny looking thing that I can only describe as an open front toilet. Sounds funny too but it is open to allow access to mom and baby.  I did not tear and there was no need for an episiotomy I might have pushed a total of four times before baby was born. I was handed my baby by my midwife but I was given the choice the “catch” my baby and just asked her to do it. He was perfect and healthy in every way.

The cord was not cut immediately but left attached until all the blood could transfer to baby. I began breastfeeding for a few minutes and then our close friends cut the cord. My husband was not going to do it. It was funny to me he had a harder time during this birth than I did. There was a point when I looked to time and said to myself “He better not barf on me!” ha-ha. As soon as the cord was cut he made a miraculous recovery! Men!

My baby was weighted, measured, bathed (at my request). I took a shower and my girlfriend made me a snack. I fed baby and put him down to sleep. All guests left and we went to bed ourselves.

It was the best experience I could have hoped for. My three-year-old daughter slept through the entire birth. She awoke to a new baby brother. I was in no pain the next morning and felt like a million bucks. In fact we were enjoying our local park when baby was two days old.

I just recently gave birth to our third child at home. Although this experience was another wonderful one, it was not without its own set of challenges. I was once again up and running a busy household the next day. I was walking my daughter to school that same week of the birth.

Posted by hahmom   @   13 January 2011 1 comments
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Jan 31, 2011
5:06 pm
#1 Elena :

Wow. You are very courageous. Congrats for the newborn.

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