From being 41 weeks pregnant and awaiting his long over due arrival, to having all the contractions during labor completely stop, I must say this was one of the most unexpected birthsin every way I could have thought of. With my first two children, I saw an OBGYN and had hospital births. But with the third I wanted it completely different and chose to do a home birth. When I had my first two children I didn’t even know about midwifery and home births. But for mythird child and birth I had done research and wanted something completely different. I wanted apeaceful, low-intervention birth at home. It was such a great experience, and so different than a hospital birth that I decided to do a home birth again with my fourth pregnancy.
Being that it was my fourth child I expected to go into delivery early, I was counting downthe days to make it to 37 weeks pregnant. I was anxiously awaiting his arrival at 37 weeks sincethat is considered ok to have a home birth. 37 weeks passed by, then 38, 39, and 40 weeks. I knew this baby was going to be big. I could just feel him getting heavier and heavier in my belly. I was so ready for him to be out by 40 weeks but those were not his plans. This baby wanted to cook in my belly a little longer.
Another week went by and I just felt heavier and more tired than ever. Not to mention, taking care of my other 3 kids, one being a very active, curious, toddler, was not an easy task. I decided to go to my 41 week appointment and ask my midwife to scratch my membrane, by thistime, I really just wanted this baby out! My midwife agreed, she checked me and said my cervixwas really soft but I was only about 1 cm dilated.
I left the midwives and called up one of my best friends who has also had two previous home births. She immediately told me that she made an appointment for me with her chiropractor, Dr. Cynthia Gabaldon, and we rushed over to get me adjusted. Dr. Gabaldon took me right in and applied the webster technique. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. But after we left her office I started feeling minor contractions that felt almost like menstrual cramps.
Later that evening, we went out for dinner with the family, and while eating my dinner I began feeling the contractions coming closer and more consistent. I immediately felt nauseous, nervous, and excited all at the same time. I knew this precious little bundle of joy was coming soon. On the ride home I began timing my contractions. They were exactly 1 minute long, 7 minutes apart for an entire hour. I was so excited I began texting everyone, my sister, my mom, and the midwives. I knew it was time!!!!
I hopped into the shower to calm and relax a bit before everyone arrived. My sister was the first to arrive. I was so excited!!! But that’s when I realized all my contractions had completely gone away. My sister thought I was joking and could not believe that it was time for me to have this baby, I was just to happy and excited no longer showing any signs of pain or contractions. I told her to stick around and not to leave. Shortly, my midwives arrived and took me out for a walk. We walked almost the entire neighborhood. Now keep in mind that I had been up all day since early with no rest, and also had walked close to a mile while at the chiropractor visit. So by this time, it was now close to midnight and here we all were walking around my neighborhood trying to get my contractions to start again.
Once we arrived back at my house, my midwife checked me and said I was already 6 cm dilated and 40% effaced. But once again, all contractions were gone. I was not feeling any contractions at all !!!! At this point my grandma, aunt, mom, dad, husband and sister were all at my house. It was a full house!!! Everyone I love was there but because the house was so full the midwives wanted me to focus just on the labor ahead and asked that everyone go back home so that I could focus on the birth. Before they all left we all got together to pray and asked God for a safe birth, a safe delivery and for the baby to come out safe and healthy. But because I was not having any contractions I had to send everyone back home, so I could concentrate fully on my birth. My sister and husband were the only ones that stayed with me along with the midwifes.
It was now about 3 am and the other 3 kids had been sleeping for several hours now. I was still not getting any contractions so my husband and I decided to go out for another walk around the neighborhood. We walked and talked. We shared a special moment together before the arrival of our fourth child and even finalized on his name. Once we went back in the house I shared with my midwifes that while walking I felt almost like menstrual cramps again but not anyconsistent or strong contractions yet. My midwife decided to check me again and found that I was now 7 cm dialated and about 60% effaced.
At that point my husband and I just wanted this baby out!!!! It was now close to 4am and I was so afraid of what was to come. I knew the pain that was before me and the thought of it was just making me more and more anxious. This wasn’t my 1st home birth so I knew that what was up ahead was going to be painful. Now looking back in retrospect, I think that, that was what was stalling my birth and not allowing me to move forward with any contractions.
My husband and I stayed in the bedroom and talked once again, I began shaking from all the fear and anxiety that was coming over me. At that moment my husband began to pray forme asking God to take all the fear of pain away. He prayed for peace and His protection over us. Once we were done praying we were ready and made a decision to have the midwives break my water. I placed all fear of pain in God’s hands and had my water broken. My midwife did it so subtly that I felt no pain and no water gushed out. But immediately, I mean almost instantly, I felt what I could say was my first real contraction. I knew It was time!!!! The team quickly went into action. I was now having really strong contractions, one after another. They were intense!!!! I could feel myself pushing and they rushed me to the toilet. As I sat in the toilet they were filling up the birthing pool. I was in so much pain at that point!!! My husband was rubbing me with hot towels and one of my midwives was helping me with the breathing and concentration. Soon after, they rushed me to the birthing pool. I quickly got in and started tryingto relax and concentrate on breathing through my contractions. I became really nauseous from the rocking back and forth of the water and began to throw up. Additionally, since I had gone earlier that day to the chiropractor, and done so much walking exercises, one of my legs started cramping up and I had to get out of the birthing pool immediately. I was not comfortable, and needed to stretch out my legs. The midwifes quickly lifted me out of the pool and rushed me to my bed, where I suddenly had the urges to start pushing. With their help, and the help of my husband I was able to start focusing on my breathing and I was able to breath through the next few contractions. I began to push, and with just three more contractions and about three more pushes Baby Jon Samson came into this world. A big o’l 9 pounder 21.5 inches long.
I did it!!!!!! He was out!!! we thanked God for a safe birth!!! He was a healthy, big baby boy!!! I began shivering from being so wet from the birthing pool, so the midwives and my familystarted warming up blankets and putting them over me. I was glad that my sister was there because she was able to call my mom and aunt to come back once I was ready for labor. I am so appreciative of my family being there for me at one of the most intimate and one of the most incredible times of my life. They helped watch my other 3 children during the entire process. They helped make soup, and kept a close watch to make sure that I was okay every step of the way. Most of all I was happy that my 7 year old daughter was there. She was my number 1 cheerleader and supporter. I love my husband so much, he never left my side, I thank God for giving me such an amazing husband who has been there for me and our family every step of the way. I cannot end this birthing story without thanking my team of midwifes. Diane, Shannon and Kaitlin I want to thank you ladies!!! I could truly say I love you all!!!! you all are so special to me. Midwifes are not only highly trained & certified and are great at what they do, but they are there for you in such a special way.
They were there for me for my first home birth with baby Jonah and were there for me again with baby Jon Samson. I can truly say that this experience isby far one of life’s best experiences ever. From the very moment that you step into the office, you are treated as a person, not just another number. You create a friendship, what I would describe as a sisterhood. Each visit to the midwives was un-rushed, and filled with lots of information and helpful advice on every topic from nutrition, medical choices, lifestyle and even emotional counseling at times. Never did I experience any pressure to make a decision without being completely knowledgeable about the subject. My midwives were there for me at all hours, any time I needed them they were always available by phone or text. Anyone who is interested in home births should definitely watch the documentary “The Business of Being Born.” It is a big eye opener and filled with lots of great information.