Tiara’s Unassisted Birth of Tobias

Before I begin I’d like to note that I had planned an unassisted hospital birth (as I had with my first son) with plans to labor at home as long as possible.. but ended up being an unplanned unassisted homebirth.

At around 5am on Monday Sept 21st I woke up with severe pain in my left thigh and groin. I could barely take a step and felt as if my entire pelvis would split in half. I went to take a warm bath and came to lie back down shortly after. Every movement was excruciating and I began to think I was developing something called SPD which is a common condition in pregnancy that causes the kind of pain I was feeling. I quickly called my chiropractor to go in and have an adjustment hoping it would help relieve the pain.

About a half hour before I left, the pain subsided being replaced my mild regular contractions about 15-20 mins apart. Once I began pulling out I experienced a very intense contraction that I had to breathe through. It was at that point that I decided I might actually be in labor!!! Lol

I had planned on my husband going to work for a good part of the day because we figured I wouldn’t have the baby till later that night of even the next morning. Nevertheless I had my husband go in late and come with me to the chiropractor because the contractions were strong enough that I didn’t feel I should be driving…

Once we arrived at the chiropractor my contractions were much stronger coming about every 8-10 mins. By that time the pain in my pelvis was gone, BUT I knew having an adjustment could really Kickstart my labor so I thought, “BRING IT ON!”

I had a few more intense contractions before we left and from that point on it felt like labor stalled for a bit (which was good considering I’d really need the rest for how fast it would pick up from that point on).

I’d say after about an hour or so contractions began coming in waves about 5-7 mins apart. Quite bearable but I found myself having to breathe and sway through them. I labored on my own in peace, in my new home, with my kids nearby playing as I listened to scripture and prayed myself through each wave…

It was surreal. It was REALLY happening! And I wasn’t afraid… I completely trusted my body’s ability to labor and give birth naturally and normally WITHOUT any medical intervention.

It was so empowering to be able to move freely through each contraction, walking, standing, squating, swaying my hips and laboring on my birthing ball. With each contraction I feel deeper into myself and began visualizing my body opening up and allowing the baby to descend through the birth canal. At a certain point I began to run a bath and got into the shower while it filled up. Felling the warm water hit my belly was so soothing and relaxing and I swayed back and forth with each contraction until the tub was ready. I still felt like I had plenty of time and I was confident being by myself with my children. I felt no need to call hubby at work and just surrendered to what was happening inside of my body. No tension, no fear. Pain yes, and absolutely bliss. Total serenity.

I got into the tub and my contractions were coming every 5 mins and becoming a little more uncomfortable but still bearable. Within about a half an hour I felt like it was time to call hubby so I did so. Contractions at that point we’re 3-mins apart and very strong. Hubby arrived to me in the tub vocalizing through contractions. He asked if I wanted to go to hospital and I told him no, not yet. I still felt like I had plenty of time left and wanted to continue to labor at home. Within a few minutes I felt like I needed to get out of the tub to sit of my birthing ball. Contractions were so strong that I couldnt seem to find a position that was comfortable enough to labor in. I began feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore (transition) and decided that it was time to go to the hospital and demand EVERY single drug they’d be willing to give me! ( I should’ve known the baby was coming because transition is where I normally become irrational and try to “escape” labor)

I began to stand up saying, “Let’s go NOW!” as I did so I had a massive contraction, my body gave one involuntary push, and my water broke. I could feel the baby’s head entering the birth canal and I knew we weren’t going to get out that door in time.

I immediately dropped to the ground for the next contraction. I could feel my body effortlessly working and pushing on its own without any help from me whatsoever. With the next wave his head was born. Yet another and out came the rest of his body right into daddy’s arms!
I was euphoric! Elated! I had done it!!!! I just birthed my baby unassisted in my own home! Ahhhhhh!!!

As soon as Tobias was born I told me husband to call an ambulance and I checked to make sure he was breathing and looked him over to make sure he was ok and that I wasn’t losing too much blood. Paramedics arrived within 15 mins and we’re surprised to see how calm everyone was. They checked us both and said everything looked great. By then baby was nursing and and I was beside myself. I did it! I owned my birth and I was so proud of myself and my husband. He was amazing through it all (I thought for sure he’d panic) and even strengthened me when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. It was beautiful and empowering and I’m grateful to God that for this little addition to our family.

Tobias: meaning The goodness of God, was born at home at 3:45pm after 7 hours of labor and 15 minutes of active pushing. 7lbs 11oz 20 1/2 inches long My biggest baby and my easiest pregnancy, labor and delivery.

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Surprise Twin Double-Breech Roadside Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

Red sign on the side of empty roadI was measuring consistently ahead in fundal height early on and just before the mid-point of my pregnancy my midwife referred me to an obstetrician to have an ultrasound (we’d not planned on having any) to rule out twins, fibroids, excess amniotic fluid, or any other complications. At the ultrasound, we were told there was one baby, no fibroids, and no excess fluid — the doctor said I simply had “a large uterus.” So we went with that as confirmation.

At about 2:30 one morning, I had a contraction that woke me from my sleep. This had happened before, so I waited and felt a few more before I grudgingly got up and decided I’d take a bath to help them stop so I could get some sleep. I went into the bathroom and turned on the light. I saw that a little blood was in the toilet from sometime earlier that night, and wiped to see if there was any more… there was.

I woke up my husband, Garrett, and he called our midwife to tell her what was happening. She said it was probably just my bloody show and to take it easy but to call her if anything else happened. I tried to sleep, bathe, and just relax to get the contractions to stop. I was struggling to concentrate on the book I was reading. This was at about 6:30.

I took another bath, a shower, and tried to lie down and listen to a Hypnobabies CD, but the contractions were too strong for me to really relax. I definitely thought they’d stop. In fact, I thought they’d better stop, since I’d just had the home visit from the midwives on Monday morning. I could have a home birth in 5 days at 37 weeks, but not a day sooner!

I was determined not to be in true labor yet. When Garrett got home from dropping off our son (at about 8:30) and saw me in the bed, he said we needed to call our midwife again and so he did — all while packing a bag. She asked some questions and then suggested we come and meet her to assess the situation and see if I was really in labor or see what we could do to slow or stop it.

We left and on the way stopped at the store to get more minutes for our cell phone. I was low moaning for a while, but then that stopped working. About 45 minutes into the trip, my moans got higher pitched and less controlled. We talked about passing a bank, and how we’d definitely make it a few more hours at least and then a couple of minutes later, my water broke — everywhere! I was finally able to accept that the baby would be born that day, and soon, but we talked and I figured we still had at least a few hours. Garrett called our midwife to keep her updated, and she announced a change of plan — she said to meet her directly at the hospital. She asked Garrett if it was me moaning that she was hearing, and he said it was.

As they were talking, my body gave a tiny involuntary push, and I felt something come up between my legs. My first thought was, “Oh, God, the cord.” But I knew what an emergency that would be, and thought that maybe, just maybe, I had somehow pooped. So I reached down (with much trepidation) and felt, and it was most definitely cord. I yelled, “The cord is out! The cord is out!” and my midwife heard me yelling over the phone. She told Garrett to pull over immediately and get me on all fours to take the pressure off the cord, and to call 911. There was, oddly enough, some traffic on the rural highway that morning, but after about a minute he managed to pull off the road. He got out and threw Bruin’s car seat in the grass (we were, luckily, in front of empty fields on both sides of the highway. It was actually quite a pretty spot) and got me into the back seat, talking with our midwife all the while. She told Garrett to get my chest down and my butt up in the air, and then he called 911.

Somehow Garrett managed to get my shoes and pants off. I could hear him on the phone with the operator and the guy was asking him what he saw, and asking him to feel for a pulse in the cord (he didn’t feel one), and telling him to hold the baby in. By now I was really in it… it was all happening so fast, but I truly was my primal self. The pushing and grunting was happening, whether the 911 operator told me to stop or not. I tried to be compliant, but I couldn’t stop it. There was literally nothing I could do but work with my body and my baby.

It was the most beautiful feeling I have ever experienced. I wasn’t scared — I was totally consumed, growling and pushing. At some point, Garrett touched what he said was just the cord, which I shouldn’t have felt, but it was excruciating. Whether or not the baby made a fluke movement at the exact same time or if for some reason I was able to feel it, I don’t know, but I did try to donkey-kick poor Garrett. I tried to kick him off again (while yelling, “GET OFF OF ME!!”) when the operator told him to flip me onto my back. That didn’t feel right at all, but I tried, and just absolutely could NOT make my body do anything differently than it was doing. It knew exactly what to do, and there was simply no stopping it. I occasionally lifted my head to look out of the window at the trees in the sunshine, and just let my mind feel “universal.”

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Freebirth of Evangeline Rose Perkins

My Beautiful Freebirth of
EVANGELINE ROSE PERKINS
Born at home and into her Mommy’s hand’s
 on June 12, 2013 at 5:05pm
10 pounds 8 ounces, 20.5 inches long, 15 inch head
**********
Throughout the day I did laundry and cleaned like a mad woman. I walked around in my night gown through contractions eating a mango, peach, coconut smoothie that my oldest brought me home from his work. Mmmmm..Delicious. Where else can you pace around through contractions pant-less while sipping on a smoothie—no where but HOME. I talked with my good friends on the phone and facebook and then came to a point when I could no longer talk and needed to concentrate. Things became serious. I was trying to relax my body and allow baby to move down and out, but these contractions were so strog and hurt! I needed privacy and asked to be alone for a while. I squatted……
 I walked…..
 I swayed……
I got on my hands and knees…..
 I bounced on the birthing ball…..
 I sat on it…..
 I laid back….
 I couldn’t get into a position that I wanted and that felt right.
 I asked hubby to come back in and held onto his hands as I leaned back into intense contractions. At this point I told him I couldn’t do it. What was I thinking? This hurt!!! He reminded me that I could and I’ve done it before and I was almost there. How did he know? He was just a man. I wanted to kill him…but only for a second. lol. Oh, I hurt so bad.
I felt the urge to go potty, so I got up and waddled to the toilet. While sitting on the toilet I had another intense contraction and felt to see if I could feel her head. The contraction was pushing her down through me. What an incredible and INTENSE feeling. I realized that the toilet was where I wanted to stay. The support from squatting and the ability to feel her coming down was exactly what I needed. I called for hubby to bring in the extra shower curtain and laid it on the floor. I had another contraction and could feel her shoulders pushing down through my cervix. I had a brief moment of thinking how during my first two hospital births i never remember being so in tune with my body and what I was feeling. Her head was about to crown with the next contraction. I yanked the towels down off the rack and onto the plastic. Hubby asked me what I was doing???….guess he thought it was odd to have a baby next to the toilet. I told him her head was coming and I was going to push her out right there and to go get the camera. With the next contraction I dropped to my knees on the ground. INTENSITY hit.

The Proudest Moment of My Existence!

“When I found out I was expecting, I was honestly the most scared I’ve ever been in my whole life. I wanted a hospital, pain meds, and thought whatever could go wrong would. Giving birth was going to be painful and awful.

After educating my self and learning to trust my body through birth classes, I changed my birth plan a week before my due date. March 13, 2014 Lyric was born in the water, at home! Giving birth was beautiful and powerful. The proudest moment of my existence!”

Brennan BWF 1

Brennan BWF 2

 

{Submitted by Brennan Card}

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A Father’s Perspective – The Journey from Hospital to Home

by BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR

Many women have questions about how to approach their partner about natural birth, and especially out-of-hospital/home birth. I don’t ever remember being worried about convincing my husband – but then again, my feisty side comes out pretty often (and I don’t let go of an idea once it is in my head). It was a process however, moving my husband’s mind from hospital birth to home. I even had to convince him of the safety of natural birth! I know my view of the process, but I was curious as to how my husband viewed his journey. So we did an interview – and here is what he had to say:

1) How do you remember me approaching you about the subject of out-of-hospital birth? We were at a friend’s house, and we got on the topic of babies. You looked at me and said “I hope you know we will be using a midwife and having an out-of-hospital birth.” I was dumbfounded, and said “No we’re not – we are going to use a hospital like normal people”. You said “We will finish this conversation at home”. Over the next two years, we talked about it – it was an ongoing conversation. Honestly, we talked about it from the time we got married until you actually got pregnant (two years later).

2) Why were you against home birth and natural birth in general? As a guy, I thought it wasn’t normal. I just knew about TV and movies – rushing to the hospital, yelling and doctors, and then you have a baby. And at that point in our lives, none of our friends were even close to having kids, so I had no one to talk to about it. I was brought up not knowing any better. I read about midwives in school in history books, I had no idea that they were still a viable option. Natural birth scared me since I thought you *had* to have the medicines to have a safe birth. I thought that without the epidural and drugs, you would harm the baby.

3) When was the “turning point” for you? After you were pregnant, I realized this was very important to you. I felt that I needed to respect that and at least go to a meeting with a midwife. I was half hoping that you would give up on the idea and that this would appease you. That first appointment was all it took – I knew this was the way to go. I apologized to you for not trusting you in the first place.

4) We had appointments with both an OB and our midwife, what was your take on the care/respect of both settings? The OB was exciting, since it was our first appointment to confirm pregnancy. We were not sure if our insurance covered the midwife yet. I remember the OB came in, and we both had questions, but I didn’t feel like we could ask them. It felt structured and rushed, we didn’t get to really talk. No one asked how we felt, and I left confused. I didn’t feel included – in fact I didn’t even feel like *you* were included. Several people were rude or at the very least, very rushed. When you said you wanted a natural birth, and she*laughed* at you – that got me angry, but also ashamed. I thought that at the time (that you shouldn’t do it), but when someone else said it to you, I realized how wrong it was to ever tell a woman that. No one should tell you can’t give birth naturally.

When we met the midwife, I was nervous. I was expecting hippies and long skirts. But it was different. It was comfortable and set up like a home, I didn’t feel like I was in an office. I felt more comfortable. Everyone (the clients that were waiting) was talking and having snacks. I felt like a guest in a home. I remember watching everyone and thinking, “Who is the midwife? Do they have a stamp on their head or something? I don’t see anyone in scrubs.”

When we sat down with the midwife (who was not wearing a long skirt or smelling of incense), she talked to us for over an hour. Asking questions about our life, our relationship, our plans, what names we were thinking of. We talked about the ideal birth that you saw in your mind. It felt so nice – and it felt exciting. I felt informed and encouraged to find out even more. We were encouraged to call the midwife anytime to ask questions – I felt like we had 24/7 care from day one. I saw the confidence you had walking out of that room after the appointment. That was my major turning point – I was on board 100%. I also realized that you were right all along! Yes – I said it!

5) How did you feel the prenatal care went? Did you feel included by the midwife? I felt very included. I felt like that was the core of midwifery, that the whole family is part of the process. I didn’t feel like a spectator as much. Obviously, I can’t grow a baby, so I will always be outside the experience in many ways. But the midwife made me feel included as much as possible. I was given the responsibility to be ready for you and I felt empowered to be strong for you. I felt validated in my wish to be a part of my child’s birth.

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The Unassisted Birth Stories of Micah & Apple Blossom

photoA snippit of Peacy’s story (March 10, 2011):

About an hour after sunrise, I feel a swelling in the birth canal. This is such a powerful moment – I can really feel her – she is so close! Somehow, through all those months of her growing inside of me, it never really hit me that she was real – now it hits me! The contractions are so intense that I don’t even really feel them, (or at least that is what my memory tells me!) I am in the most beautiful trance – I can feel her so close!! Soon, I feel her pushing against the wall of my vagina – her door to the world. I put my hand back to feel her. So incredible! I can feel her! But… is that her? It doesn’t feel like a head! I ask Joey to look. He agrees – it doesn’t look like a head, or like any part of a baby. It looks like a membrane. Then I realize my waters never broke! It’s the caul! She keeps going back up inside me and then pushing back down. I can feel her with my hand, and I feel like I’m stretching as much as I can. I even try pushing her out, but she’s not even close to crowning.

I ask Joey to look in our copy of “Spiritual Midwifery” to see if he can find anything about what’s happening. I want to know if it’s ok for us to break the caul, or if I should just keep trying with the caul intact. Joey reads for a bit, while Peacy keeps going in and out. He finds something on late rupture of membranes, but nothing helpful. I ask him to break the caul – he uses his fingernail and breaks it. Relief! Instantly I feel freer, and can tell that Peacy does too. Her head starts to crown!

224A snippet of Micah’s story (December 8, 2012):

Things speed up so quickly! I hadn’t realized how much inhibition I had been feeling. Now I am alone – I feel completely safe and unreserved – Ireally am able to let go, and it is so, so, so powerful!!! It is a beautiful blur! Contractions are coming one after another, and so strong. I realize the bathroom is not where I want to be.

I leave the bath and head out into the rest of the house. There is a candle burning – it is luminous, swirling. The whole house seems to swirl around me. I am rocked by such a powerful contraction as I am walking, and it brings me to my knees. It is mind-blowing. I don’t feel in control of my body – it seems to have an intelligence so far beyond my mind! Micah is coming so quickly!!!

I want access to the potty bucket. I feel like I have to go pee, but I don’t want to be in the bathroom. I feel super-human! Somehow, I manage to drag the whole potty bucket contraption and a bunch of towels out of the bathroom and into the kitchen/living room through those infinitely powerful contractions! For some reason, I want to be right there by the couch. It feels so right. My body does this before I even have a second to think about it. I sit on the potty to go pee, but I jump up almost immediately, almost involuntarily, and then fall to the floor on my hands and knees. I feel him!! He is right there in the birth canal, so close!!

I smile with such joy!! I don’t remember ever in my life feeling so much joy and pure elation! I say his name, (for this time around, I know his name.) It feels like pure light flowing from my mouth as I say it, almost out of breath: “Micah Starlight Rowan Flower Frost!!!” My whole being is pure, blissful love. I say his name again, and there is another burst of infinite love! How can this get anymore beautiful?!!!! I call him again and again and again!

“Micah Starlight Rowan Flower Frost! Micah Starlight Rowan Flower Frost!!!”

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The Freebirth of Aria Joann

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Once the pool was ready I got in, and let me tell you, it was like my own little piece of heaven. The warm water made the contractions much more bearable, I took that time to talk with Michael and Jessica and love on little Michael and assure him that mommy was ok, although he seemed to be handling it better than I thought he would. The water eased the pain but it also slowed things way down so after Jessica and I talked about it we decided that it would be a good idea for me to get out and walk around some more. All of the kids were up by now but they behaved exceptionally well, I think my nephews mostly stayed in our spare bedroom or played in little Michael’s bedroom with him because I don’t remember seeing them much but Abby, our 4-year-old niece watched the whole thing (I didn’t even know she was there until after Aria was born because she was so quiet). Once I got out of the pool I walked around the apartment, again leaning against walls swaying and moaning through them. After being out for about 15 minutes or so I went and checked myself to see if I could feel the bag (I could!) and then sat on the toilet to try to pee before I got back in the pool. Sitting on the toilet is a good place to be while contracting because it helps baby move down but it also really sucks. Finally me, Michael, Jessica and Abby went back to the bedroom and I got back in the pool and while it helped ease up the intensity of the contractions it didn’t slow things down this time! I tried a few positions in the pool and the two that were most comfortable for me were sitting with my legs tucked under me and being on my knees leaning over the side of the pool. In between contractions I ate some of the frozen fruit Michael had brought me (the watermelon was amazing!) and drank lots of water to make sure I didn’t get dehydrated like I did when I was in labor with our son (I puked A LOT with him). Michael kept a bowl of cold water by the pool to dip the washrags in so I had a cool rag on my neck or face at all times, he was amazing and super supportive throughout the whole thing. By this time my contractions were much stronger and there was barely a break in between them, I flipped over to where I was sitting on my bottom leaning against the side of the pool holding onto the handles when I got this overwhelming urge to push, my body started doing its own thing and pushing by itself. I told Michael and Jessica what was happening and they encouraged me to push and told me how well I was doing.

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