When we found out I was pregnant, we decided we wanted things be completely different from the first time. With Brooke, we agreed that natural was the way we wanted to go (no epidural).
I succeeded, but I had fartoo manyinterventions for my liking: membranes stripped 3 times, cervical ripening, induced, breaking of waters, pitocin, vacuum assistance, episiotomy + tearing, placenta was pulled on, hemorrhaged and placenta did not detach correctly.Just your typical birth, right?...
We had two options that we knew of: go back to the hospital or go to the Birth Center. We interviewed at the new birth center, that had opened a few months earlier, but sadly they didn't accept our insurance; so we went back to Mercy. We picked a doctor that had been suggested to us by our old OB. He was wonderful, kind and open to our desire of natural birth. Things were going well with him, until I hit 36 weeks.... but we'll get to that later.
Some friends of ours suggested that we take The Bradley Method class, since it teaches you more about the natural way of birth. So we did our research and took the Bradley Method class. We loved it. The information was exceptional and the teacher was fantastic. It's a 12 week class that teaches you about: the birthing process, different positions, healthy eating, how to relax, the issue with interventions, etc. It was wonderful. I wish we had known about the class when I was pregnant with Brooke.
Our class met at a midwives house, about 15 minutes from our house. It was a lovely house, that was quite comfortable and welcoming. There was something about the midwives that kept nagging at us. We kept feeling the need to talk to them and get more information about doing a home birth.
Now, back to our doctor. At the start of seeing him we felt comfortable and open with him. He accepted our desire to labor the way we wanted to: try different positions, no interventions, wanted to go to 42 weeks (if needed), no invasive exams, and intermittent monitoring. But the closer we got to the due date, the less open he was to what we had agreed upon.
At 36 weeks, things completely fell apart. After talking to the midwife and praying; we decided to do it. Jeremy felt confident about the situation (he and 3 of his sisters were born at home, with a midwife), I needed a little more time, but felt it was the right choice.
So, we decided to switch over to the midwives and I was given the task of informing the OB. I went to my normal appointment, and after telling him our decision, he informed me that: I had preeclampsia (which I didn't have), the baby and I would die if we went to the midwives, and that I was committing child abuse. He was very angry, walked out of our appointment and I was left in the room, crying and terrified. The situation was incredibly stressful.
Things were looking great with Philip and the midwife was confident about having him at home. So, we did it:
Thursday, December 26th:
After Jeremy put Brooke to bed, I got up out of the chair and felt a small gush of water. Turns out, my bag if waters partially broke and I had lost my mucus plug. All night long I had short, 30 second contractions for every 10 minutes.
Friday, December 27th
We dropped Brooke off with my parents in the morning. Then went on walks and did some shopping, all while having contractions and losing fluid. They were 10 minutes apart, only lasting about 30-45 seconds. They weren't terrible, just annoying. We went on some more walks, tried to nap and watched too many episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond".
Saturday, December 28th:
Saturday Morning I was still having minor contractions. About 7 minutes apart. Saturday afternoon, they were starting to pick up. We went on a walk and they were hard enough for me that I had to stop walking and lean against Jeremy. I tried to nap, but it wasn't happening. So I decided to try and preoccupy myself by making Homemade Ice Cream and Maple Cinnamon Candied Almonds (so good!)
Saturday evening, we had a big Greek salad and continued to have intense contractions. They were double peaking, lasting 60 seconds and about 2-3 minutes apart. The birthing ball, leaning against Jeremy and being on my hands-and-knees were super helpful during contractions.
I kept telling Jeremy I was super cold and that I wasn't feeling well. He immediately told me that was a sign of transition and we should get to the midwife sooner than later. I informed him that if we were leaving, I needed to take a shower first. He begrudgingly agreed. So, after taking a shower at home, we headed to the midwife. We arrived at 8:30 pm. Between getting out of the car and getting to the front door, I had two very intense contractions. They 'admitted' me, since I was dilated to a 6 and 90% effaced.
We didn't really have a plan on how we wanted to labor, but quickly agreed the bathtub sounded the best. The next 3 hours were spent in the tub, on hands-and-knees with contractions. Jeremy was by my side coaching me along beautifully. I put into practice the relaxation techniques to the best of my ability at this time, which absolutely helped me before the 'big' event.
The contractions were strong and painful and eventually I started pushing at 11pm. That was the hardest, most painful part. I had a lip on my cervix (just like with Brooke). The assistant had to keep moving the lip so I could push. After 15 minutes, they finished breaking my bag of waters.
Once they broke my waters, things really picked up. I pushed for a little over an hour and a half. I was in the classic position while pushing, but right before pushing him out, I got into the hands-and-knees position. He came out a little blue but after 10 minutes of oxygen things were great. It was the most amazing thing to hold him right after. I had so much love and peace when holding him.
Philip Martin Hornberger: 8 pounds. 12 ounces. 20 inches long. 12:40 am.
The funniest moments during labor: eating a big spoonful of Honey and being grossed out about it, burping and constantly saying 'excuse me'.
It was the hardest, most thrilling and rewarding thing I've ever done. Yes, it was painful, but it wasn't anything worse than with Brooke. I had a few moments of doubt, like anybody would. I had flash backs to having Brooke, and it stalled the labor. Fear and stress were visible; yelling and screaming were heard, but it helped me release all negative thoughts and feelings about my first labor.
The midwife team was incredible and I'm truly grateful for them. There were 5 assistants to help with the labor. Our midwife was on holiday in Texas, so she watched the labor via face-time (!), so we called in a different midwife.
I never thought I would be that person to do a water birth, let alone a home birth. But I would do it all over again... in three years.