Being that I'm not on your fb I think I need a birth story here!! Or you can add me on fb.
Here's the story:
Zintis Piet's birth story!
On Wednesday, June 6, I woke up just around 9am, and came to full awareness that I was having contractions. Contractions that felt like REAL contractions, not just the Braxton Hicks I’d been having for months. I decided to try to get up and take a nice, long, hot shower before Joel or Beni woke up. My contractions continued in the shower and as I got dressed. They seemed to be coming fairly close together, so I went downstairs and decided to time a few.
I found out that they were indeed coming every 2-3 minutes. I got pretty excited. For some reason I had been ridiculously obsessed with this baby’s birth date, and 6/6/12 was one of the days I wanted Kong to be born. But I was also hesitant to get too excited just yet, as I’d had one day the previous week when I really thought something might be going on as well, and obviously, it hadn’t. At this point I was easily walking and talking through contractions as well, even though they were still coming fairly close together.
Throughout the morning I puttered around the house- making food, cleaning, doing laundry. I was certainly becoming more sure that this was it- so I was intent on cleaning up the birthing space, tidying up common spaces that would be occupied by my support team, etc.
At some point mid-morning I called my midwife and my doula to let them know that I was having regular, easy contractions. I remember at that point I was still able to talk through contractions, but they required me to move with them too- I would doing a solo labor dance, swaying my hips, etc. Things still felt quite easy though.
Around noon I called my mom to tell her that today was the day, and she should plan on coming out to be with Beni. She said she would try to be there by around 2.
Joel and Beni were busy… they went to the store to buy bike helmets, so I went upstairs to lie down for a while. I read my book a little, and eventually had a nap as well. Contractions slowed down a bit while I was napping, and I got nervous that maybe it had all been a fluke. I decided to get up and stay on my feet and see if things picked up again.
I continued to putter around downstairs, while Joel and Beni went for a bike ride wearing their new helmets. Contractions picked back up in intensity, but they were still spaced slightly longer apart- anywhere from 3-6 minutes.
My mom showed up around 2:30, I think. We chatted and she didn’t notice my contractions- I had to tell her I was having them. But they were coming! I know I hadn’t eaten lunch, but I really wasn’t hungry. I ate a protein bar just to get something in. Then Joel and I decided to go for a walk. At some point before we left the house, contractions got intense enough that when they came, I had to stop and focus and breathe. I was leaning and swaying through them as well.
As we left the house to go for a walk, we got as far as the mail box, and another contraction came. I leaned over and put my hands on my knees, and leaned my forehead into Joel’s belly. It just so happened that right at that moment a guy was driving by- the side of his truck said “Animal Removal”. He was on his phone, but slowed down and put the phone down to ask if we were ok. Joel said yes, but the guy responded, “Cause I can just throw her in the back if you need me to!” It was pretty funny. Once the contraction passed we set out for our walk, leaving Beni playing with my mom. Walking definitely did its thing, because our walk turned out to be very short in distance. We were having to stop every 15-20 feet or so for contractions, and I was fully leaning on/hanging on Joel when they came.
By the time we got back to the house it was around 4pm, and we awaited our friend Mary’s arrival. I knew that Linda, the midwife, was at Jessica’s, the doula’s house just a few minutes away. I had been in touch with them, and let them know about the intensity of my contractions. They also knew that for now I was comfortable laboring the way I was- just taking it easy, hanging out with my family, etc, so they were just waiting for a call from me that I was ready for them to come. I think I might have gone upstairs to lie down again for a while- maybe an hour? I was doing really well at not watching the clock, so I don’t really know.
Once Mary arrived, we all hung out in the kitchen for a while. She had brought loads of fabulous food along with her, and set about prepping it all and setting it out. The kitchen counter was covered in fruits and cheeses, breads and salads. It all looked delicious, but I think I only managed to eat one strawberry at that point. As during my last labor, I was not hungry at all. I did make a point to try to keep myself hydrated. As Mary continued to prep things, and Beni ate dinner, I just hung out and leaned on the counter having contractions. Contractions had grown in intensity again, and I was even getting close to wanting to moan through them. I know I was doing loud, focused breathing through them, because I heard my mom explaining to Beni why I was breathing like that. Beni seemed fine, and unphased, but interested.
Just before 6pm, I had another contraction that was quite intense, after which I let Joel know that I was ready for Linda and Jessica to be present. I told him to call them and tell them to come over, and that I was going to go upstairs and get in the shower.
I had not been in the shower long when I heard Linda and Jessica arrive. Not more than a minute later, I also felt my water break right at the end of a contraction. I had been kneeling on a white towel in the shower and looked down to see that my water was not completely clear. I suspected meconium, and Linda and Jessica confirmed that when they saw it. As in my labor with Beni, as soon as my water broke, my body naturally started pushing during contractions.
I stayed in the shower for a few more minutes because it really did feel good, but, I wasn’t that comfortable, and the water started to get cold, so I decided to get out. When I got back to the bedroom, I labored standing up while Linda listened to the baby’s hear beat. The baby had one very significant deceleration in heart rate which really worried Linda. She asked me to lie down to see if the baby’s heart rate would pick back up, and stay up during the next contraction. At this point she also insisted on checking my dilation and baby’s position, as she really felt baby was going to need to get out SOON. I was nearly complete in dilation, and when I changed position Kong did better. Linda brought up transferring to the hospital, but, my instinct told me that we were ok, and I said I wanted to stay home unless it was an emergency. It was not, so we stayed.
I continued to labor on my side, holding Joel’s hand. I definitely had a bit of that “rest and be thankful” stage, where contractions spaced out a bit again, and I was able to nearly sleep between them. It felt a little silly, because I didn’t feel like I’d worked THAT hard up until that point, but, I needed the rest for what was still coming!
Around 8pm, Jessica said I’d been in this position for about an hour, and asked if I would like to try something different. My pushing had grown a bit more intense, and I can remember thinking that the more effort I put in, the sooner this baby would be out, so I decided to move. I’m sure I labored in the bathroom for a while, and when I reached down to see if I could feel the baby, I could still only feel myself. I was bummed, hoping that I would have felt the baby’s head.
I went back into the bedroom and continued to labor in upright positions. I stood, I squatted, I kneeled. Some positions were easier than others, and at the suggestion of Linda and Jessica, I attempted the harder ones (like squatting), telling myself again, that the more work I put in, the sooner the baby would be out.
During all this laboring, one of the lovely parts of being home was that Beni was able to come and go as she pleased. I often heard hers, my mom’s and Mary’s laughter drifting up from downstairs. And then I also heard when Beni and mom would come upstairs and stand in the doorway. My mom did an awesome job explaining to Beni that soon she would have a baby brother or sister, and that I was working hard to get the baby to come out. At this point in labor I was definitely very vocal, moaning and grunting through contractions/pushing, and I heard Beni imitating my sounds. It was very cute.
Being home also intensified my need for Joel’s support. He barely left my side during labor. I clung to him, hung on him, leaned on him, squeezed the crap out of his hands…. And he just kept telling me I was doing great. It was a very different experience than when we were in the hospital for Beni’s birth.
At nearly 8:40, according to Jessica’s notes, I spoke out, wondering aloud, “Why isn’t this baby just sliding out!?!” I remember at that point feeling a bit frustrated- I knew it was getting dark, I felt like I’d been laboring a long time, and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Of course, as it happens in labor, just when I thought I couldn’t go much longer, I was actually way closer to then end than I could imagine.
I knew at this point that the baby was getting low as I was starting to feel that dreaded ring of fire again. I also felt a need to pee, which may have been real, and may have just been a perceived need due to all the pressure baby was putting on all my parts as he descended. But I insisted that I wanted to go to the bathroom. So I waddled in there, and sat on the toilet for a few more minutes. Joel came with me, and I continued to push hard while in there. Linda knew the baby was very close, and she asked that I come back into the bedroom to push Kong out.
According to Jessica’s notes, I went into the bathroom at 8:52. By 8:57, I was back in the bedroom, and mom and Beni were in the doorway watching. Beni was grunting along with me, and I was pushing with all my heart. I asked for counter pressure from my midwife. This pregnancy had brought so many issues (hemorrhoids, swelling and the such) for me in the nether region, I had no interest in adding massive tears to the list. The ring of fire was INTENSE, and I hated it. I could feel the baby’s head coming down, down, down, and then the burn, burn, burn of my body stretching to its limits. After one or two of those contractions I could also feel the baby’s head slip right back up- and although the relief was immediate from the burning, I also knew that there was only one real way to end the hurt all together. So I pushed with renewed force, and tried to keep the baby’s head from slipping back up between contractions.
At this point I was standing next to the bed, leaning over into Joel who was kneeling on the bed, but sort of curled forward over his knees. I rested my head on his shoulder and grasping both of his hands, pulled against him, as I pushed. This put him in a great position- his head just in the right place- for a pretty direct view of his son being born.
At 9:06pm, one contraction after his head was born, the rest of Kong entered the world. He was handed through my legs into my arms, and I sat down on the bed to look at him. I was very excited to see if Kong was a boy or a girl, but, Linda wanted to hear his heartbeat and suction him a little given the few tough spots we’d faced in labor. So it took a few extra-long seconds of rubbing him and checking him over, before I finally lifted the blanket and got hold of those squirmy legs, and saw what was between them! Kong was a boy! An overwhelmed (in a good way) Joel told Beni and everyone else, that Kong’s name was Zintis Piet.
We later found out that Zintis weighed 9lbs 5oz, and was 22 inches long. And the reason why he wasn’t ever going to slide right out- his head measured a massive 15 inches! He had the biggest head my midwife had seen in nearly two years- she hardly believed it! Beni joined us on the bed almost immediately after he was born, and was in awe of her little brother.
We snuggled up in bed and mom and Mary brought me a couple of plates of berries and bread and cheese, which tasted like the best thing I’d ever eaten at that point. Zintis settled in to nurse and promptly peed and pooped on me. Eventually, we all got cleaned up and dressed and finally at some point past midnight Beni went to bed, and near 1am everyone went home.
It ended up being all I could have hoped for in our first home birth.
You can certainly look for me on FB though too... I'm in the group that was just created.
Mara you are amazing. Homebirths will never be for me, so I give major credit to those of you who set your minds to it and don't chicken out at the last minute. And they definitely always make the best birth stories! Congrats! Zintis is absolutely adorable, and the photos of him and Beni together are to die for!
Congrats! Thats quite a story! I've never done home birth, but did a natural birth. if there were to be a third I might consider home birth, but i think DH would flip.
Anyway, I must have missed out on the group that was formed?