If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my previous story of giving birth at home to my 3rd son. In fact, I published his birth story within a week of his birth. I had a relatively easy labor with him and a good experience. But this story is one that it’s taken me a bit to be ready to tell. The labor and delivery was much, much harder for me and it took me over a week until I could even write down the birth story for my own records. My youngest is now almost 6 months old and I’m finally ready to share my experience.
Eric’s Birth Story – Giving Birth at Home
My due date was November 1st, but I fully expected to be a few days late. I was hoping for November 2nd. On the 2nd, my mom took me mall walking and shopping to JCPenney’s. Afterward, we headed to On the Border, a Mexican restaurant, to eat some spicy food to try to move things along as well. I had some contractions, but not enough to lead to anything. We did finally talk about and decided on Eric’s name that night, though!
November 3rd, my mom took all the boys to the pool and I tagged along and read a book and watched them swim. After, they went to play a round of mini golf. Then, we went to go look at some property and model homes over near the Phoenix temple. Danny got a phone call asking for us to say the prayers the next day. For some reason, he said yes! That may have been all the motivation I needed to be sure that I was going to go into labor! No way did I want to go up in front of everyone to say the prayer 3 days overdue and deal with all the questions asking me when the baby would arrive. That evening when we went to bed, Danny tells me, “I don’t think you’re going to have the baby tonight.” I replied, “I do! I’ve been having contractions for a while.”
I woke up a little after 2 am with contractions and was too anxious to try to sleep. Knowing my labors could be fast and with both the last two labors having my midwife show up with less than 5 minutes until the baby was born, I wanted to be sure I called her early! I waited around for a bit and decided to give my midwife, Robin, a call. She decided to come over. Shortly later I woke up Danny and we called my mom. Robin arrived first a bit after 3 and then my mom shortly after that. We spent the first few hours chatting while I leaned against the couch on my knees to encourage Eric to rotate around from his posterior position. I munched on string cheese and a croissant and tall cups of water. I loved having the freedom to move about as I wanted to and those first few hours were pretty “lazy” as I moved about, rocked my hips while on my knees and listened to music.
My contractions continued to slowly get more and more painful and eventually I decided to hop into the bath. At that point, my contractions felt to me what I remember feeling like when I had gotten into the tub with both my previous home births. This was at a little after 6 am and I told Danny he should probably call my grandma if he wanted her to be there thinking to myself it should be soon. After 45 minutes or so in the tub, I felt like I wasn’t really making any progress, though things should have been “done” by now based on my previous experiences. Contractions were coming regularly and were painful, but nothing seemed to really be different. By this time my kids were awake also and kept coming in to check on me and Andrew continued to ask if he could hop into the tub. My Grandma kept asking me questions about my progress and telling me excitedly she was glad to be here with me with a big smile at every contraction. The audience felt distracting. Robin suggested we go for a walk so my mom, Robin, and I all went walking around the neighborhood. My mom commented that she couldn’t believe I was walking through the contractions and that she could never walk through hers. We even passed a couple who was outside working on their truck. The man watched me closely and noticed me slowing through contractions and commented to me, “Baby coming soon?” By the end of our loop, I definitely was pausing and bracing myself and putting pressure on my back with each contraction. We were just beginning to start a second loop when I decided I really needed to use the restroom instead.
We headed back home and I went to the bathroom and decided to try the tub again since my contractions were much more painful now. My mom ended up entertaining and feeding my boys from here on out. I didn’t last too long in the tub, maybe a half hour or so. I couldn’t get comfortable and felt almost trapped as our bathroom and tub are both really small. I moved to the toilet to try see if a more squatting position would help but I was miserable there, too. I wanted to be able to move into some ideal position that helped things move rapidly and be done with everything, or that took away the pressure in my back. We moved out of the bathroom to the hallway and I leaned on Danny with each contraction. I was in a lot of pain and the contractions were really frequent. Robin said she sensed me acting like I needed to bear down and thought she should check my progress. Eric was finally turning and I had just a little bit of cervix left to dilate before I could push. After a while of contractions in this position I was getting tired and ready to give up.
We moved to my bedroom and Robin suggested I lay on my side with my upper leg way over twisting me towards my belly. I labored in this position for a while and then moved to my knees leaning back against my headboard. This whole time, the contractions were pounding pressure against my lower back and I remember saying many times that “I can’t do this” and “It hurts!!” Finally, I moved one more time to my other side and Robin told me I need to bear down hard and get the baby here. Danny helped me support my upper leg and I would pull my leg back towards my chest with each contraction and push. My water finally broke just shortly before Eric arrived. When his head was born I reached down and felt him and was amazed at how strange it all was to be feeling my baby and knowing he was so close to being here. With the next contraction he was born and entered this world at 10:10 am. I was exhausted and pretty emotionally drained from labor but was so happy holding my brand new little man.
Labor was pretty rough on me this time around and I think it had a lot to do with him being posterior as well as my overall expectations for labor based on my past two experiences giving birth at home. I think at some point I gave up on the idea of being relaxed and felt like I should have been done with the labor hours before and it really wore on me. Eric was absolutely beautiful and perfect and I have surprisingly really enjoyed having a newborn again. All through my pregnancy I wasn’t really thrilled with being pregnant and the idea of adjusting to another child. However, as soon as he was here it just felt so right for him to be here with us and a part of our family. I already can’t imagine life without him here and feel so much love for him. Eric was 8 pound, 8 ounces at birth and 20”.