Yes, we’ve chosen “Babykins” as the blog name for our newest addition. If you’re new around here, “Pumpkin” is the blog name for our three-year-old.
Our second little girl was born here at home on November 27th. It was such an amazing experience– everything we had hoped for! The due date was November 17th, but since my hubby and dad were down with pneumonia, I was quite content to let this little one take as long as she wanted. People were constantly telling me that I must be miserable and sick of being pregnant, but even if I wasn’t wanting the guys to have more time to get well, I would have waited patiently for our baby to take as much time as she needed to develop. Yes, I was uncomfortable, but I honestly think that a “due date” creates such silly expectations for women that it magnifies their discomfort. Anyways, I was happy to wait and my hubby got better.
On the 26th, I told my hubby that I couldn’t have the baby until the house was vacuumed. He vacuumed. On the morning of the 27th, contractions started. I actually didn’t realize I was in labor for hours! With my first, I had intense back labor from the start. It was unmistakable and the contractions came like clockwork. This time, I spent all morning and part of the early afternoon thinking, “Wow, I sure am having a lot of Braxton-Hicks!” They were not painful in the least. By early afternoon, it dawned on me that there might be a bit of a pattern going on, so I got on-line and started timing them. (By the way, this site has a really cool timer and it’s free!) After an hour of timing them, they were averaging about 10 minutes apart. The intensity was extremely variable (um… was that a contraction??) and they weren’t getting closer together, so I hesitated to call my midwife who lives nearly three hours away. It just didn’t seem like “real” labor. I sat and rested, I got up and moved around… nothing made any difference, so mid-afternoon I timed them some more. About 8 minutes apart. Okay, guess this might be labor… maybe. Some of the contractions were getting a little more noticeable. So, I texted my midwife, Patty.
“You were supposed to call as soon as you thought you were in labor! I hope I get there in time!” Oops. Patty decided to send an apprentice midwife who lives only an hour away, just so I’d have somebody with me until she could get here. The apprentice arrived in the early evening, but I was still doing just fine. We chatted and ate and just waited for something to happen. About 2 hours later, Patty arrived and gave me the “Hmm… you don’t really look like you’re in labor” look. I didn’t say “I told you so”, which is a good thing.
At nine, the apprentice midwife had to head home and my contractions decided to get quite a bit more serious. My hubby had the labor pool filled with warm water, so I put on my swimsuit top and hopped in! The warm water felt heavenly, but soon the back labor started. I had hoped to skip that this time around. I got on my knees and rested my arms and head on the side of the pool (check out this pool! Inflatable bottom to keep your knees from getting sore and strong inflatable sides so you can hang all of your weight on it!). My hubby applied counter-pressure on my lower back with a hot water bottle, my mom kept cold wash cloths coming for my neck, and Patty fanned my face. With all of those things going, I was able to relax and just let the contractions do their work. When any of those things were missing, I had a very difficult time relaxing.
I never had a point that I thought, “Oh, I’m in transition” like I did with my first. In fact, when Patty suggested at 10:45 I might want to get on the bed right away if that’s where I wanted to have my baby, I thought, “Yeah right! It\’s still going to be hours!”. I was wrong. I got on the bed and the next contraction, my body started pushing. As a side note, I decided that this time around I was not going to spend hours pushing like I did with my first. I was going to relax and let my “birthing muscles” do their thing. So, I was doing everything I could to completely relax. I asked (okay, “ordered”) everybody to talk me through the relaxation. “Relax your jaw, relax your neck, relax your arms” gave me something to focus on. The next contraction, Patty said, “I can see something! Either the head or the bag.” Turns out, it was the bag. The next contraction was really hard and the bag burst, which allowed the baby’s head to descend very quickly. OUCH! That was my only moment of near panic. “Make it slow down!!” Like they could do that. I quickly went back to doing everything I could to relax.
All of that happened in just a few minutes. At 11PM (I only know the time because my mom video taped the birth for us), the head was crowning. The next contraction was 11:05 and her head was out. Yep, no pushing whatsoever, just relaxing! Patty found that the cord was wrapped around her neck twice and had tightened down too much to be pulled over the head, so she calmly told me “The cords around the neck, so you need to push this baby out now.” I pushed once and our baby girl was born at 11:06! Patty quickly unwound the cord and all was well.
Babykins had great color and muscle tone. She was a little bit “phlemy”, so we did suction her a bit, but that was it. She was 9 pounds, 11 ounces with a 15 inch head and 20 1/2 inches long (after getting a chance to stretch out, she was longer!). I didn’t tear at all and I had very little discomfort, apart from the after-pains. It took quite a long time for the placenta to come, but I seem to make unusually large placentas that take their sweet time! Patty gave me several herbal tinctures to prevent hemorrhage and we waited. Eventually, it came out and I was fine.
This homebirth was everything we hoped it would be (except that my dad was too sick to be there and we missed him). Patty was wonderful and giving birth in our own home was so peaceful and comforting. I believe that this time around was so much easier and recovery was so much faster because of our “real” foods diet, my pregnancy tea, relaxation and the exercises and stretches I did throughout pregnancy.