Birth Story: Lucy Elise

September 21, 2008 {Daniela & Jason: Homebirth despite insurance worries!}

After months of fretting about having Lucy in the hospital, we made a last minute switch back to the midwife, Christina, to have Lucy at home. All along I hated the idea of going to the hospital, but chose to do this just because my insurance would cover more. On my due date, September 17th, we had a doctor’s appointment and they checked how dilated I was (which I thought was extremely unnecessary), then they sent us to get an ultrasound and hooked us up to the fetal monitor for about 45 minutes (when they said it would only take 20 minutes). This crap was enough for me to change my mind and want to go back to working with Christina. I really think if we would have gone to the hospital we would have really had to fight for a natural birth, and it probably wouldn’t even have been possible based on how things went at home.

My water broke around 7pm on Friday, Sept 19th. Since I wasn’t having many or strong contractions yet, Christina came by to drop off some herbs to help the contractions along. Jason and I worked together to make dinner and filled the crockpot with chili as our after birth meal. Around 11pm Christina came back to administer my first round of antibiotics since I had tested positive for group B strep. She left around midnight, advising me to ‘get some sleep’. Yeah right! When I laid down I began having contractions every 3 minutes and they were pretty powerful. I put up with them for an hour and a half before calling Christina for advice. She recommended moving to a recliner, since contractions hurt more in a horizontal position. I labored on the couch for a few hours, trying to get some sleep between contractions (sleep was NOT happening, however).

We were supposed to go to the birth center for the second round of antibiotics around 4am, but I had Jason call Christina to ask her to come to our place, since the contractions were so close together. I didn’t know how much longer it was going to take to have Lucy, but I could barely make it off the couch to go to the bathroom, let alone travel to the birth center. This is when Jason started trying to fill the kiddie pool we inflated in our living room in order to have a water birth. Unfortunately we did not buy the correct sink to hose attachment and Jason wasted 45 minutes trying to fill up the tub with what we had.

Around 430am I finally made it to the bathroom, which is where I was when Christina and the doula/birth assistant in training, Cheryl, arrived. Christina sent Jason to Walmart to see if he could get the correct attachment for the hose in order to fill the kiddie pool. I could have stayed on the toilet, it was certainly very comfortable laboring there, but I dragged myself out of the bathroom to greet Christina and Cheryl and to receive the next dose of antibiotics. The contractions at this point were becoming more spaced out and I started feeling my body begin to push our baby down and out. The second dose of antibiotics was started around 5am and the urge to push became stronger and stronger. Christina called a birth assistant named Jodi, to come since it was almost time for me to push, and Cheryl called Jason to come back from the store so he wouldn’t miss it all.

Jason made it back in plenty of time to be supportive while Lucy was born. It was an incredible experience. No one was telling me how or when to push, my body just did it naturally. At one point I asked how much longer it would be, how far along Lucy was, and Christina put my hand between my legs so I could feel Lucy’s hair. I am sure they would NEVER do that at the hospital, they probably would have me put on sterile gloves in order not to contaminate the baby or be contaminated by her! Jason believes this gave me the strength to keep going and get her out quicker. We heard Lucy cry before her feet were even out! It was so amazing! She was placed directly on my chest and covered with a towel. We bonded and I nursed while the placenta came out and while Christina did some repairs down under. After the birth, I was bleeding more than normal, so I had to get a couple shots of pitocin to stop the bleeding, but at least I didn’t have to have any drugs during labor! I am so proud of us that we were able to experience this wonderful, natural childbirth! Jason’s parents are in awe that I was brave enough to go through with a homebirth, but honestly I was super afraid of going to the hospital. When we went in on the 17th for the ultrasound and fetal monitoring I kept thinking “I am not sick, why am I at the hospital”. The radiology place was right next to the emergency room. I really don’t find conditions such as pneumonia, people needing stitches from accidents, asthma attacks etc in the same category as pregnancy, something that is totally natural and NOT a medical condition.

I am super grateful to Christina, Jodi, Cheryl and Jason for assisting and supporting me through the labor. It was a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

 

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