By Andrea Summers
I was thrilled when Judy asked me to guest post about my home births to share with you all. I don’t have any amazing home birth stories like I read so many times, but each of my births hold a special place in my heart and I’m happy to briefly let you in on each one.
With my first child I was working as a very new RN and I was sure I would have my baby in the hospital, even though my mom had most of her children at home and worked as a lay-midwife along with a dear friend. After a few months my husband and I decided a home birth/water birth was what we wanted.
Fast Forward.. finally five days after my estimated due date.. labor began and it was a lot like most first time births… It was long and I had contractions on and off. Finally I went into active labor and it was tough – my mom and a CNM (certified nurse midwife) were there over the next many hours. I labored and labored through the night, only to finally have the CNM say I should probably be transferred for a cesarean delivery because my baby was turned and wasn’t coming down (though all was okay with him).. phone calls with midwives, etc. they decided to let me try a bit longer while being monitored. I remember after all of this, laying my head on my husband and crying.. what’s wrong with me, why wasn’t my baby coming?
A miracle to me.. My water broke just then! Being completely exhausted I laid down, on my side, and pushed (by pulling a rope my husband held on to) for the next 4 hours.
My baby was born in my living room, completely perfect!
It was hard, but we’re made to have babies and he was born. Please note that baby and I were monitored and completely safe the entire time.
I was expecting the same with baby two, even though both midwives told me that second baby is usually easier. My due date had arrived and nothing all day long, but the little nothing contractions I had been having for weeks (Braxton hicks but a little more ump you would say). I got my then almost two year old to sleep, laid down in bed next to my husband and within an hour or so of laying down my water broke. This was something new! My labor was so much easier, I got on top of the contractions, breathed through them and got in the pool about an hour before she was born. I started pushing and after about four big pushes, my daughter was born and in only six hours of labor. I loved the water birth. It was beautiful and just how I imagined a peaceful labor and delivery to go.
My third babe was something else – I thought I was in in labor for a good two weeks before he decided to come and even had the midwives there and ready at one point. Nope! He’s a stubborn one now and he was then as well. About 1.5 weeks after his due date I really went into labor with a bloody show. I remember calling and the midwife (my mom) telling me I was probably going to have a baby within 24 hours. Well you can bet, I had in my mind I was gonna have a baby (I had enough fooling around) and decided I was really going to speed things up. I took my then 4 and 2 year old on several walks in the wagon that day and even pulled them up some great hills to bring on the contractions. The day went on and contractions continued, I remember putting those fake pet hamsters tunnel together on my hard wood floor and having to pause every so often. Labor didn’t really start until late that night after the kids were in bed. I remember being so tired and real whiny, at one point my other midwife actually asked me if I wanted to have a baby, and if I did.. then do it. That’s all I needed – once again in the pool and only pushing for a few minutes my second little guy was born. I was exhausted but another healthy, happy, perfect little babe.
Fourth baby – not to scare anyone but this birth was hard for me. I think it was having to care for a 7, 5 and 3 year old but I was tired. I got big really fast, was dealing with my diastus recti 4+ muscle separation and the fist time of horrible symphsis pubis pain.. and really I was an overall complainer. I was expecting a late baby – preparing myself for the first week or so of December & oh was I ever surprised when I woke up with a bloody show two days before his estimated due date.
I treated the day like most other Sundays, except pausing a lot for on and off contractions. I went to Sunday Mass, and then headed and hour away for a family Baptism. I was having contractions all afternoon and into the evening, we left and I told my mom I would probably be seeing her later! We drove home and stopped and got some food (our house had nothing.. grocery day was the next day and I after all wasn’t planning to have a baby yet! Tell you how little control we have.) Got home around seven and started cleaning my house – until my house sparkled!
After two hours of cleaning and putting my kids to bed, my husband and I started timing contractions. They were every few minutes, lasting close to a minute. We (midwives and us) decided to wait to see if things progressed, after all maybe all these contractions were from making my house sparkle. I took a bath and the contractions lessened, got out and they started right back up again.I told my husband to go to bed and I was going to try to rest (I had been up the entire night just because I couldn’t get comfortable). I couldn’t lay in my bed, contractions were too horrible so I sat in the chair.. they were uncomfortable and I was feeling overwhelmed. I called and talked to my mom and decided to take another bath – oh, that was nice. I got out about 2am and the contractions continued. I was in the living room watching a stupid info commercial (nothing good on at 2am) and felt something.. went to the bathroom and boom.. lots of bloody show.. oh yeah.. lets get this party started. I called my mom, we timed contractions and she was on her way. I woke up my husband and he set up the birth pool while we waited for my mom/midwife to arrive (an hour away).
I continued to have contractions, getting on top of them and breathing through. It continued like that, I was puking from not eating and around five my other midwife arrived. I piddled around for awhile and didn’t know how to get comfortable or where I wanted to be. After a bit I spontaneously started pushing, but didn’t really know what I was doing. I had no idea how close I was. I was starting to feel exhausted and irritable, it was time for my oldest to get ready for school so I told my husband to go get him ready (I couldn’t do anything until I knew he was ready and not going to feel out of whack going to school with things out of normal routine.) While he was gone I remember laying over the bed saying to my midwives, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do? If I push is it even going to do anything? Ha ha ha! I don’t remember their exact words but when my husband came back I held on to his hands, crouched next to my bed and pushed and pushed. My water broke and it was a lot.. they kept saying.. this is a lot of water! I didn’t care, I could finally feel him moving down inside of me. I pushed and pushed which seemed like forever (but really was minutes), next thing I know his head was out and one more push and there was my little guy. I sat down and he was put in my arms immediately, I was shocked he was a boy! It was a joyful moment, so much work, so much pain over that 9 months and there he was. Perfect!
All of my children were immediately given to me after birth and took the breast immediately, I have been so blessed that we have had no breastfeeding issues with latching or milk supply. I’ve nursed all my children to right around 21 months of age.
Andrea Summers (some know her better as MommaInFlipFlops), is a 30 year old mom, blogger and natural parent. She has been married to her husband for eight years, has four children – three boys 7, 3 and 6 weeks and a 5 year old girl along with two babes in heaven. She used to work as an RN and now she’s a stay at home mom/mommy blogger who started out blogging for fun and has evolved her blog into a wonderful mommy review business, featuring some amazing companies & products, as well as co-hosting bi-yearly fashion events. Andrea loves her Catholic faith and though she hates to label herself as an “attached parent” (because everyone defines it differently), she admits that she mostly raises her kids in that parenting style. Co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing, home-birthing momma among other things. You can connect with Andrea on twitter, facebook, Google Plus and her blog.