If you know me in real life or just follow the blog, you probably know that I was pregnant with my fourth child for the past 9 months. On April 24th, I finally gave birth to my little guy, in the water, in my own home. It was another amazing birth experience that I am incredibly grateful for. I might be a crabby, irritable, helpless little pregnant lady, but when it comes time to give birth, I’m a bit of a beast. I know what I want, I know what my body needs to do and I get it done. Honestly, though, I feel so blessed to have such an amazing, supportive husband as my birth partner. He is my rock in life and in labor and I couldn’t do it without him. He has always been so supportive of my desire to have natural, drug-free births and he makes it possible.
Since this isn’t my first rodeo, and I have 3 amazing birth experiences under my belt, I was a little unsure how things would go this time!! My last homebirth just went so perfectly, I couldn’t imagine things going any better, which honestly made me a little uneasy this time around!
Because I went at least 5 days past my estimated due date with my last three children, I knew I’d probably need a little push to get things going this time, too. With my last 3 pregnancies, I asked my midwife to strip my membranes once I got to 40+ weeks and was safely past my estimated due date. Obviously, my midwife would not oblige if my body didn’t seem ready. I’ve always trusted their judgment on that and have given birth within 12 hours all three times I’ve had my membranes stripped. I do realize some people don’t agree with that form of “induction”, however, I understand the risks, I know it works for me and I’m comfortable with the procedure.
That said, I decided I’d go ahead and do the same thing this time around. Conveniently, my 40 week appointment was scheduled for my due date of April 24th.
I had been sharing my entire pregnancy with my very good friend and “due date buddy”, Jenni, who was actually due with her 4th child on April 22nd. With our due dates only 2 days apart, we enjoyed sharing our misery, joy, trials and anxieties with each other throughout the 9 month stretch. It was absolutely amazing being able to share the same experience with someone at the same time and we both surprised each other by how similar we both felt and how closely we were experiencing things. I think that made it easier for both of us to have each other’s support and understanding.
Needless to say, we both had this fun fantasy that maybe we’d have our babies on the same day too, as unlikely as that seemed!
Even though we live many states apart, we kept in touch every day about how we were feeling, how we slept the night before, what we ate, and how many contractions we had that day. She was a little bummed when her due date of April 22nd came and went with barely any contractions to speak of. We both felt ready to go but knew from experience that it was just a waiting game.
On the morning of April 24th, at 8 am, I messaged Jenni and told her “Let’s have a baby today!”
And so begins my birth story…
8:00 am – I woke up feeling pretty good. I messaged my friend Jenni and told her, “Let’s have a baby today!”
9:00 am – I went to see my red-headed chiropractor, Dr. Carolin, that I had been seeing weekly for most of the third trimester of my pregnancy. I begged her to give me some kind of an adjustment to make me go into labor but she assured me that I was ready. I don’t know how she can tell, but I trusted her!
Immediately following my chiropractic adjustment, I headed to The Birth Cottage for my appointment with my midwife. Both offices are within a mile of each other which makes things really convenient!
9:30 am – When I arrived at The Birth Cottage, there was another mom there walking around the parking lot already in labor so my midwife was hesitant to strip my membranes because she knew from experience that it would most likely make me go into labor (like it did the last 3 times) and she said that nobody else was on call except for her! If I went into labor and ended up having the baby around the same time as the other woman, I would have to go to the Birth Cottage to give birth because she wouldn’t be able to leave and come to my house for a home birth. I was so tired of being pregnant, I willing to take that risk.
After getting on the scale and realizing I had gained 10 more pounds than I did with my last three pregnancies, that really made me feel “ALL DONE”!
“Get this baby out of me. He’s all done cooking and I can’t stay pregnant another day!” I declared only half jokingly.
After taking my blood pressure, listening to baby’s heartbeat, checking his position, and other obligations, they accommodated my request and stripped my membranes. They said my cervix was 40% effaced, soft, and I was already 5-6cm dilated. That was exactly what I was hoping to hear.
11:30 am – When we got home, I prepared lunch for my family, cleaned the kitchen, and did some other household chores, hoping today would be the day!
12:30 pm – Went upstairs for some special time with hubby (what gets them in there, gets them out too!), then I brewed a pot of Labor Day Tea (strongly brewed red raspberry leaf tea) and slathered my belly with Labor Balm.
1:30 pm – My husband and I went for a walk down the street hoping to get some contractions started. My bestie, Michelle, watched my two older kids and we took our youngest in the stroller with us. As we walked, I sipped on a big jug of my red raspberry leaf tea on ice. We walked about a half a mile before I got a mild contraction that felt like braxton hicks. A while later, I had another. They really didn’t seem promising at first so I wasn’t sure what to think. I took a few pictures of the beautiful scenery on our walk, thinking I’d have time to post them all on Instagram when we got home. Little did I know that the next pictures I took with my phone would be of my new baby!
2:00 pm – On our way back home from our walk I started having some actual contractions and after a few of them, my husband realized they were about six minutes apart.
2:30 pm – Near the end of our walk when we were about 10 minutes from home, my contractions suddenly went from six minutes apart to only three minutes apart and were actually starting to be uncomfortable. My husband told me not to stop for the contractions anymore and to keep walking so we could get home faster.
2:45 pm – When I arrived home, I called my midwife to inform her that I was pretty sure I was in labor. She said the other mama at the birth center was still in labor but hadn’t progressed so she was going to locate the other midwife to come tend to her so that she could come to my house. When I got off the phone from her, my husband went upstairs to start filling the Birth Pool In A Box Eco Mini Plus courtesy of www.waterbirthsolutions.com.
3:00 pm – My contractions were becoming uncomfortable enough so that I didn’t want to be around my rambunctious kids anymore and decided to join my husband who was upstairs monitoring the birth pool as it was filling.
3:10 pm – Much to my surprise, my water broke during a contraction. This was a sensation I was not familiar with and caught me off guard because, with my first three births, my water broke when I was pushing! I immediately called my midwife back to tell her. She informed me that she still hadn’t gotten a hold of the other midwife and that I would have to come into the Birth Cottage to have my baby. I looked at my birth tub just a few feet from me that was now filled with nice, warm water, looked out the window and thought about having to get in the car and promptly decided I couldn’t move, let alone leave the house. She said, “Why are you hesitating?” I replied, “My birth tub is already full and I’m right here and I don’t want to gooooo!!!” She said she would make some calls and call me right back.
3:19 pm – I grabbed my phone to text my friend Jenni and tell her I was in labor. I didn’t get a reply and I wondered what she was up to…
3:22 pm – Thankfully my midwife called me back and said she had located the other midwife who was on her way to the Birth Cottage to attend the other mother who was still in labor so she could come to my birth. Praise the Lord! I was so relieved.
3:45 pm – My midwives arrived at my home and immediately took my blood pressure, temperature, listened to the baby’s heartbeat and set up their supplies at the end of my bed. I had a cold washcloth on my head at this point and was getting really uncomfortable.
3:50 pm – I had a really strong contraction that hurt in my hip socket and took my breath away. When it was over, I pathetically cried to my husband, “I don’t want to do this anymore!” My darling husband who doesn’t know how to sugar coat anything replied with, “You don’t really have a choice! You’re in it till the end but don’t worry, it will be over very soon.” I wanted to smack him, but I knew he was right.
3:55 pm – Another really strong contraction came and I felt the urge to push. My husband said he heard the change of my moan and told me it was time to get into the birthing pool. It was hard to move but I got into the tub and immediately fell to my knees for another contraction.
4:12 pm – My contractions were long, strong and I was no longer able to communicate, nor did I want to.
4:13 pm – I felt the urge to push and hesitated for a moment, knowing what was coming. I immediately told myself that I was finally going to see my baby and that thought gave me the strength to force myself to relax and let my body do it’s thing. I knew I had to trust my body.
4:14 pm – With the next contraction, I pushed and the baby crowned. I reached down and felt his soft head of hair. One more push and I felt him slip right out. My husband caught him and I immediately turned over and sat down so I could hold my new boy!
4:15 pm – “He came out!” I exclaimed! Everyone laughed at me, but honestly, pregnancy feels sooooo long, you really do wonder if it will ever end. In that moment, I was just so thankful that he was OUT!
Within seconds, my other 3 kids all came piling into the room to meet their newest sibling!
After a few minutes of introductions and “oohs” and “aaaahs” by the kids, I delivered the placenta quickly and easily. The midwives then clamped the cord and my husband cut it.
Then it was time to get out of the pool. Daddy held his new little nugget while I climbed out and headed to the bathroom to rinse off in the shower.
I’ll tell ya, a shower never felt so good and I remember telling the student midwife that was assisting me that I was just so happy to not be pregnant anymore, which made her laugh!
After I had washed up, dried off and put on a clean bra and a pair of those super awesome Depend undies (best invention EVER!), I climbed into my bed with the whole family.
My darling little muffin weighed 7lbs 6oz and was 20 inches long. My tiniest baby yet!
I’m not going to lie, the afterpains were horrendous. When they say that the afterpains get worse with each pregnancy, they are not joking. And if no one has warned you about that, then they are evil.
7:00 pm – Things had finally settled down. The midwives had left, my kids were downstairs eating dinner, my mom had gone home and I finally had a moment to grab my phone. I immediately messaged Jenni to tell her, “He came out!”
I was absolutely OVER THE MOON excited to find out that Jenni had her baby too! We did it! We actually had our babies on the same day and only 20 minutes apart! I had my baby at 4:15 and my friend Jenni had her baby girl at 4:34! That was truly the icing on the cake to a perfect day.
You can read Jenni’s beautiful birth story here. (Her birth photographer did an amazing job!) I can’t wait till our babies can meet each other!
Thank you for reading my happy home birth story and allowing me share such a personal experience with you. If you made it this far, congratulations, you’re a trooper!
I am a strong supporter of women being able to give birth how they want, where they want. I hope that by sharing my birth story with everyone, it might inspire and empower other women to have the confidence in themselves and in their own bodies to aim for the birth they desire! You can do it!
- My first birth was at an independent birthing center, The Birth Cottage, and was a drug-free water birth that was around 5 hours from start to finish. My girl was 8lbs, 0oz and 19 inches long. I was 40 weeks and 5 days.
- My second birth was an at home, drug-free water birth in a rental birth pool and was around 4 hours from start to finish. My boy was 8lbs, 6oz and 20 inches long. I was 41 weeks and 1 day.
- My third birth was an at home, drug-free water birth in a birth pool courtesy of Water Birth Solutions and was around 3 hours from start to finish. My boy was 9lbs, 4oz and 21 inches long. I was 40 weeks and 5 days.
- My fourth birth was another at home, drug-free water birth in the birth pool courtesy of Water Birth Solutions and was about 21/2 hours from start to finish. My boy was 7lbs, 6oz and 20 inches long. I was exactly 40 weeks and he was born on his due date!
We have chosen to keep all of our sons intact (non-circumcised) because we believe that routine infant circumcision is an unnecessary cosmetic surgery that is unethical, dangerous and an outdated procedure. Every individual has the right to be free from unwanted genital surgeries. Please research circumcision before making an irreversible alteration to your new baby.