Ayden Came, Unassisted, At Home
A home birth story... my second.
I knew in my heart that I didn't want, nor need any midwife at this birth. I had an intuition that told me my son would come early, water would break, and birth would be fast. Yet Dean wanted someone to be there "just in case something happened".
Once it was obvious that no one with "skills" would be coming, Dean prepared himself a bit. My water broke the next day, 12 days before my estimated due date. Contractions came on and off that night but they only felt like Braxton-Hicks contractions. I only got three hours of sleep that night.
I finally decided to get out of bed at 5:15 am. I chatted with Dean a bit and told him to go to work, but he would have to come home in a few hours. I sat down in the rocker and drank some pregnancy tea. At 6 am I checked my cervix... three centimeters but ovalish and fitting on the baby's head. I could feel the suture on his head, which told me his face was to my inner right thigh. My water was still leaking clear with vernix specks in it. The heartbeat was fine. By 6:40 his head was so low I felt the need to have a bowel movement. Contractions were peaking fast now and were suddenly uncomfortable.
By 7:30 contractions were every two minutes, yet I really didn't think this was labor. I decided to get in the shower so I wouldn't tense up anymore. I moaned loudly and woke my daughter who came in to ask why I was breathing like that.
I got out to get her something for breakfast when Dean called to say he'd come home in about an hour. I told him to hurry. I was so into the contractions I could barely pay attention to Hannah, yet I thought at that time it would be hours before the baby would be born. I just needed his support and help with Hannah.
By 8:50 I was in the tub. Contractions were harder now and only a minute apart. I was moaning and wailing! I thought I was exaggerating, but it hurt! Dean walked in at 9:10 and I asked him to listen to baby's heartbeat during and after a contraction. It was fine.
I was four-to-five centimeters and the head was two inches away from the perineum. At 9:36 I was seven centimeters. Dean said the baby was an inch and a half away. I said I couldn't take much more and was crying. I just searched to escape the strong pulling, trying every position to see if it would ease it. (This was so different from my labor with Hannah.)
As the contractions came I felt my cervix open with my fingers, which helped me realize what the pain was all about. The cervix came right down to my perineum, I'm sure you would have seen the thin skin if you looked.
At eight and nine centimeters, I helped push it up manually and by bearing down in a squat. It felt better. The aching pain was lessened because I was now working with my body and opening up more. At 9:53 I was fully dilated, and I knew instantly that the baby was coming. It felt almost like all that congestion in my vagina would come barreling out, and I felt an urge to push at the same time.
I quickly said "The baby's coming!" Dean shook his head "no" to my girlfriend. One small push and he could see the head right there. Now he believed me. He asked if I wanted to go to the bedroom but I just wanted to rest. Only a minute later and the baby moved right down and out. I had to pant to try to slow it and cupped his soft head to control the stretch. I was so afraid I was going to tear because he crowned so fast. His head was born looking at my thigh, so there was no rotation. (This is probably why I felt like I was going to rip, due to the width of his whole head.)
After his head was out, Dean checked for a cord and said he felt something. I went in and felt a hand, right on his neck, but I wasn't able to move it. Dean then looked at me with a serious face, yet calm voice and said, "You need to get the baby out." Something wasn't right, and I trusted his judgment.
I stood up and felt the baby's head sink in. It was the worst feeling and I knew it was bad. I instantly felt a deep ache in my belly, like when you hear terrible news. I squatted and pushed! Nothing. I got over on my knees and squatted and pushed. Nothing. I said in my head "Please don't let this happen to me!"
I got on hands and knees and when I felt a sharp splitting pain in my vagina I pushed. It was his arm coming out. Then another pain. I pushed again, although I had no contractions yet, and he slid out. Instantly I felt relief. Dean passed his wet, slightly purple body to me. I remember the feeling of vernix between my fingers and the instant thought of "We did it."
There were only drops of blood and the placenta came out about 15 minutes later. It was the easiest clean up and the only supplies we used were the clamps and scissors. Our 8-pound son was born at 10:15 am. I remember my girlfriend saying, "That was so fast!" To me it seemed like hours and hours had passed during my time in the tub, yet it had only been a little over an hour.
I am so happy that I listened to all my "little voices" telling me I didn't need to pay for help, and that the birth would go fast.
And I am so grateful to have had such wonderful information from the New Nativity newsletter, which instilled "the will to do it" in me. I needed the testimonials of others. It helped me see how differently births can be when left alone, yet so much alike. From now on, after this birth, my life will never be the same... I long for the next births with the rush and power I will feel by believing in, and doing it by ourselves.
August 1, 1999
After he was born we noticed in the pictures too that his arm was white where it had been pinched and cut off his blood. For a few weeks we noticed his arm and hand turn slightly purple if it was dangling with nursing or had slight pressure on it from even holding him.
A short while after the birth we also noticed some bruising on his face and broken blood vessels in his eyes. We debated on the vitamin K but I decided to watch it and his behavior before running to the doctor. Not only for fear of a scolding but also for fear of having him admitted against my will. His color was fine by that night and he was a wonderful baby. I massaged his eye on and off to get the blood to break down and it was gone after a couple weeks.
Ayden has never been poked for any reason. (Not even to check his blood type, which we did through the cord blood and an Eldon card due to me being RH negative. He did turn out to be positive, so I decided to go get a shot two days later.)
His penis remains the way he was born with, perfect. He is now cloth diapered, and he continues to nurse contently at my breast, well, until Hannah comes and tickles him. My deepest support to all who are reading this, trying to decide what they should do next. I say listen to your heart, it will bring you home, one way or another.