It’s true what they say about the middle child, they really do get the short end of the stick most of the time. Roughly one year after my third son was born, here I am writing the story of how my second son came into the world. This is the home birth story of our second baby. What a whirlwind his birth was…
A Little Background
We had our first son in the hospital, you can read that story here. If our copay for that birth hadn’t been a mere $200 for the hospital because of the insurance we had at the time, I would have sought out an out-of-hospital birth for him as well. By the time I learned about home birth being a safe option, I was too far along for us to financially make the switch. I knew I would pursue independent midwifery care this next go around.
Between this pregnancy and my first, we sadly experienced the loss of a pregnancy via miscarriage. You can find the full story of that experience here. This pregnancy wasn’t easy due multiple factors. An underlying fear remained an undercurrent from the first positive test all the way through his birth. I experienced unexplained bleeding in the earlier weeks, and had to be careful with lifting my 2 year old. My milk dried up within the first few weeks of this pregnancy, and my body just seemed to struggle altogether. Pregnancy isn’t easy on me.
Choosing My Midwife
During my miscarriage, I was referred to a local midwife that lovingly answered my questions despite never having met her. I booked her for an interview as soon as I could, and felt confident right then and there that she was the midwife for me. Craig, my husband, agreed and we hired her to care for the pregnancy and birth of our next little blessing. Little did I know at the time how much impact Claudette would have on my life!
We prepared and planned to have our second baby in the comfort of our home, which was a roughly 400sq ft fifth wheel at the time. Yep, we lived the tiny life for about two years after having our first son. That was an adventure! We eventually moved out of that and into a roughly 900sq ft rental home “in the country” before this second birth occurred.
The Start of Labor
The 40 week point came and went. The morning of 40 weeks plus 4 days arrived, and I had zero expectations of this baby making his appearance the same exact gestational age as his older brother on this beautiful Saturday morning. Despite my assumptions, I started feeling a little bit funny while driving to a local park for our toddler to play with some good friends of ours. It was about 10:30am and Craig was driving, and I started feeling a little bit of what felt like it could be a contraction. Brushing it off as “probably nothing,” I insisted we continue on with our plans, including grocery shopping after playing.
I have vivid memories sitting on the park bench with my sweet friend, Melissa. She asked me if I think I should probably call my midwives. Still not convinced anything serious was happening, consistent contractions kept coming on forcing me to focus on them. I finally called Claudette and filled her in on what was going on. Having been driving hours away in the opposite direction of us, she turned her car around. Realizing I needed to hand the phone to Melissa during our phone call when another contraction hit me caused that change of plans.
Melissa and I took a walk to the bathroom while still at the park. That walk confirmed for me that I was definitely in labor. This wasn’t a short walk, either. Walking down a long hallway to get to the bathroom, I paused for contractions here and there. On the way back, I remember laughing at myself for thinking nothing was happening. We headed straight for the car and Craig joked about still going grocery shopping. To which I responded, “Ya, no. We’re going home. Now.”
Back at Home
It was around 12:30pm when we arrived back home. Things moved along quickly once we got there. Melissa went and picked up a smoothie for me, dropped it off and headed back home with her girls. While my midwives were on their way, I labored by moving between our bathroom and bedroom. Craig got our 2 year old settled on the couch with a movie on. He had recently stopped taking naps, and was well-known to stay very fixated when watching any movie. This day was much different though, and to our astonishment he ended up passing out watching something!
We had planned for him to experience the birth of his baby brother entering the world. However, we weren’t going to push it if he happened to be asleep in the middle of the night. Craig moved him to his room into his bed, and returned to me while things continued to intensify.
I vividly remember expressing to Claudette how strange it was to go in and out of so much intensity coupled by moments of complete normalcy and mid-day energy. Much different from my first birth experience and being so absolutely exhausted from laboring all night long! I also vividly remember going from, “I can handle this,” to, “Okay, NOPE never mind!” very quickly.
While I labored my contractions kept coming faster and faster, despite resting on my bed. Things continued to progress and I began pushing while my birth photographer, Ginessa, arrived. It’s true what they say, I didn’t even notice her being there!
I became glued to my bed, not wanting to leave it. I had been texting my doula (who you might remember me mentioning in most of my birth story with my first son) up until this point. The urge to push came like a freight train. Allowing my body to push on it’s own was a surreal feeling. I can only describe it as vomiting out of my vagina. Totally strange, yes, yet totally how things are supposed to be.
Time For His Arrival
I tried pushing on my back for eternity (aka like 5 minutes). I remember asking if there’s any other position I could try that would be more effective. I wanted this kid OUT. Claudette suggested I could try on hands and knees, so with help I flipped over. Roughly 30 minutes and another cord wrapped around and out he came!
There are many more incredible shots of him being born, but this is the most modest I can provide here. The rest are quite graphic. Craig, once again, stayed right by my side the entire time. After he was out, his cord was gently unwrapped and into my arms he went.
Being in a state of shock, somewhat, I felt like I didn’t know what just happened. At 10:30am I was having contractions, unconvinced I was going to have a baby that night let alone that day. 3:15pm that very same day, our second son came into the world.
You certainly couldn’t tell I was in labor for less than 5 hours by looking at my hair. I had done it that day, believe it or not.
Meeting Big Brother
Like clockwork, the biggest brother of the house woke up just after his little brother was born. He misses the whole things, but everything still worked out the way it was meant to.
While biggest brother and Dada enjoyed baby brother snuggles, I needed a little bit of extra help. My midwives helped me when I got very dizzy trying to get up. I also had a little bit too much bleeding to be considered within the range of normal. They administered oxygen, a shot of Pitocin, and a concoction of herbal remedies. None of that was pleasant, but I’m grateful for a team of midwives who made sure we were both safe and okay.
After having my first in the hospital and then my second at home, I can’t imagine ever having another hospital birth. I pray I’ll never have to. I’m grateful hospital options exist for major emergencies. However, I am just as grateful that competent midwives exist. Qualified midwives can provide low-risk families with a beautiful and safe experience in the comfort of one’s home, too.
I’ve heard many times, “You’re brave for having a home birth.” To that, I can’t help but respond, “Women are brave for having a hospital birth.” Neither are without risk, and most of all…I’m grateful someone shared with me the differences. I hope this home birth story of our second baby gives you a fresh perspective of the variety of birthing options we have.