Maryland Area Homebirth Options

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Birth Stories

The Homebirth of Massimo

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 9:21 AM

I have been working on this birth story for some time. For whatever reason, I can't ever be happy with it. Nothing I put in these paragraphs can do this experience any justice. I am now an even bigger advocate for women being able to choose the way in which they give birth. When done the way YOU intend, the journey is the most remarkable and rewarding of your life. Here is the story of how Massimo came to us on a beautiful Sunday morning- on Father's Day.

~ * ~

I was four days overdue and after two false alarms, I would've done anything to have this baby. I woke up early that Saturday and headed to the farmer's market with my son, my mom and my sister. I needed the fresh air and thought the walking might aid in getting things moving along. Plus, a farmer's market on a beautiful summer morning always makes me feel happy.

~ * ~

We came home, made fresh basil pesto and snacked on cheeses, crackers, and hummus. Shortly after our snack, I headed to the bathroom and noticed I had lost my mucus plug. Finally! Progress! This was a good sign. It made me feel a great sense of relief. No more wondering when our baby would make his entrance. The suspense and anticipation had been killing me. I was certain I would be meeting my boy before the weekend was up.

~ * ~

That evening we prepared our fresh pesto for dinner by tossing it over whole wheat pasta, chicken and tomatoes. It was so good and I was starved. At 6pm, just as I cleared my plate I felt a contraction. It was bearable but I took notice nonetheless. A little over two minutes later I got another. I was hopeful this was the real thing but only time would tell. After all, I had thought I was in labor twice before this. I wasn't going to call my midwife again unless I was certain.

~ * ~

By 8pm I was still having contractions about two-and-a-half minutes apart. They weren't too strong but they were regular which led me to believe this might be it. I called my midwife to give her a heads up so she could get some rest. There was really nothing for me to do but wait. All the birthing supplies were in order, the bed was made up with a fitted sheet, then a plastic sheet, then another clean sheet on top(once you have given birth you can just strip the bed and there is a clean sheet underneath all ready for you to rest on). My Mom and I just sat in the living room talking and anticipating the what next. I had started to get worried around 10pm or so that it was yet another false alarm. I was still having contractions but the intensity had decreased and they were further apart and less regular.

~ * ~

"I will just die if this was another false alarm. What woman doesn't know when she's in labor?!" The idea of a woman not knowing for sure if she's in labor is still baffling to me. Yet, practice labor is pretty tricky.

~ * ~

I decided to walk. So, here I am walking up and down my street by myself at 10:30 at night. My mom sat on my front stoop just watching me. I was so antsy. Is this it? Is it not? I walked and walked hoping it would get things going again. At 11 o'clock I decided to go to bed. If I was about to have a baby, I would need the energy. Prior to lying down, I did my bathroom routine and noticed a little bit of spotting. Yup, we're definitely close to having a baby.

~ * ~

Surprisingly, I got some decent sleep that night. I woke around 3:30am to stronger contractions and what I thought was leaking water (I found out later, my sac was still intact). I paced my room and tried to mentally prepare myself for what was in store. This is it. The moment I have been waiting for. I knew it was time and that I was going to need strength. I was about to start a journey. A journey that will be one of the most difficult of my life. Yet, I also knew that it would soon be over and with it would come my sweet baby. I was ready. I was confident.

~ * ~

It's funny how in the weeks leading up to birth you can get so nervous. You think of the pain and the exhaustion. You think of all the things that could go wrong and a million reasons why you should be scared. However, when the times comes you are at peace. You are ready to take that leap. When I finally did go into labor, it all seemed so natural. Everything was just as it should be and I trusted my body would do everything it needed to safely deliver our son. I had faith.

~ * ~

We called my midwife at 4 o'clock on Sunday morning and told her I had had some bloody show. My contractions were still 2 minutes apart but they were certainly more intense. It felt good to sway my hips and walk around. I bent over during every contraction and whoever was closest would apply pressure to the small of my back. That last thing I felt like doing was sitting and it actually made the surges more painful. Moving around was something I hadn't been able to do in my first birth since I was confined to a hospital bed. The contrast in the two births was remarkable.

~ * ~

By 5am I was in quite a bit of pain. Everyone has their coping mechanisms. Mine is moaning. LOUDLY. A deep, whale-like moan is the only thing that got me through the contractions. I had to expel that energy and moaning was the most natural, innate way to get through those surges. My sweet son woke to my noise. My mom carried my groggy little boy into my bedroom, rubbing his eyes but smiling widely. You're brother is on his way dude.

~ * ~

My midwife, and birth assistant arrived at 5:30am and by then I was in intense labor. She checked me shortly after her arrival and I was thrilled to hear that I was 7cms. It wouldn't be long. My son was starting to get freaked out by my behavior and the various sounds I was making. We thought it would be best if my dad could come and get him for the day. He is just a baby and it was all a little too intense for him. It wasn't something I could explain to him and I was relieved when he was gone because I didn't have to hide my pain.

~ * ~

My midwife checked the baby's heart rate and my blood pressure. My blood pressure was a little elevated so they decided to give me the epsom salt concoction. I hadn't eaten and despite everyone's encouragement to do so, I just couldn't do it. The epsom salt egg mixture hit my stomach and immediately I knew it wasn't looking good.

~ * ~

"Grab a trash can!" I said as I fought back vomit. I threw up for a little bit, mostly from what I had just ingested, but partially because I was entering into intense labor and was a little sick to my stomach to begin with. My midwife whipped out her bag FULL of homeopathic remedies and gave me a few pellets to lower my pressure. Thankfully, it worked and we were able to stay home for the remainder of the birth.

~ * ~

I continued to walk around the house and labor as comfortably as possible. At one point my mom and my birth team left the room so my husband and I could be alone. I was laying on the bed with him holding me from behind. With every moan, he would join in, like a birth serenade to our baby about to make his entrance. That moment was my favorite part of the home birth experience. At that moment I felt so close to him. We were a team and together, we were about to welcome our second child. While we were moaning in unison, my mom made midwife and birth assistant scrambled eggs. They sat together at the breakfast table and got to know one another.

~ * ~

It was at that moment I felt a force, an urge to bear down that was nearly impossible to ignore. Mid-moan I let out this fierce grunt, my body ready to push. It's simple and utterly fascinating how your body really does know exactly what to do. It sounds simple and I guess it is really, but when you leave the process alone nature does exactly what it is supposed to. My midwife heard the sound of that uncontrollable grunt and knew it was time to push because she came to me immediately.

~ * ~

She and my birth assistant began to prepare the birth supplies around me. They took off my pull up and placed chux underneath my bottom to protect the bed as much as possible. With each contraction I began to give into the pressure to bear down and push with everything I had. It must have been a few seconds into pushing that I asked if they could see the head. It had felt like an hour.

~ * ~

"Not yet, it's a process." my midwife said "You're doing great."

~ * ~

A few more pushes and Massimo began to crown. My sac was still intact and you could see his hair floating in the water like seaweed on the ocean floor. My mom held a mirror so I could see but honestly, I was having a hard time focusing enough to actually pay attention. In hindsight I wish I would have video recorded the experience. I do, however, remember that I reached down and felt the sac bulging. My midwife took a pair a scissors and punctured the bag releasing the warm water my son had been living in all these months.

~ * ~

I continued to push to the encouragement of all the wonderful people surrounding me. My midwife kept telling me how nicely I was stretching. It made me feel more secure to keep pushing with all my might. I was worried about a significant tear. My mom would pour vitamin E oil on my miwife's hands and she continued to massage and aid the stretching of my perineum so that Massimo's entrance would cause as little tearing as possible.

~ * ~

All of a sudden I heard, "Grab your baby. Grab your baby."  I reached down and pulled this slippery little boy onto my chest yelling, "MY BABY! MY BABY!"

It was the most intense and rewarding moment of my life. I had worked so hard, endured so much. I was so proud. " I did it. I can't believe I did it!" And to top it off, I did it at home surrounded by people I love.

~ * ~

After Massimo was here I felt one last contraction. I delivered the placenta with it still connected to my baby. Once the cord had stopped pulsing and Massimo was able to receive all that blood, my husband was able to cut it.

Massimo weighed 10 lbs and was 22.25" long. He is healthy and strong-just like his Mama.

Categories: Homebirth with CNM