I have had 5 births. The first two were unmedicated hospital births, the third a birth attended by a lay midwife, the fourth a planned unassisted home birth and the fifth another home birth with a midwife.
I am not much into medical things when they are not necessary so I have always had a hard time dealing with drs. and hospitals when it comes to childbirth. I was very reluctant to go the medial route with my first two births, but didn’t know there was a choice. Part way through my 3rd pregnancy a childbirth instructor told me of an “underground” midwife who did home births–we have very backwards laws about birth in my home state! I quit my OB and immediately started planning our first home birth.
L. was born on a Sunday morning exactly on her due date! It was a wonderful birth and the midwife was great because she let me do things my way–a big change from the hospital! When dh and I found out we were pregnant with our fourth, I had this strong feeling that I wanted this birth to just be with dh and my children. I was seeing my midwife M. for prenatal care, but I just knew that I wanted a different kind of birth–I needed a different kind of birth this time. Finally we talked to M. and she wasn’t surprised at all. She said she had the feeling that we were headed that way and we had her full support. She even offered to be available by phone if we needed her.
It was a Thursday 4 days after my due date and my usual errand day. I took the kids with me and did all our grocery shopping, hair cuts, etc. When I got home it was late afternoon and I felt just uncomfortable. No contractions or anything that I was aware of, but just this major discomfort. My husband is a night worker so he was still in bed asleep. I woke him up just to let him know I was miserable! After a few moments of listening to me he said, “You’re in labor.” I didn’t believe a word he said, but let him go about getting our supplies and camera set up. I paced around, complained a bit and then it finally dawned on me that he might he right. He had spread a blanket with plastic on the floor because I wanted to birth standing up and didn’t like the idea of ruining the carpet. I was standing there when suddenly I felt the baby’s head. I yelled for my husband to catch our baby. I yelled for all the kids to come in too. She just fell into his hands–all 8 lbs 13 ozs. of her!
We waited for the cord to turn white as M. had told us at our other home birth and then my husband cut it and tied it with a clean white shoe lace. Now it was time for the placenta. This part always scares us because we both realize how important it is to get the placenta all out so the uterus can do its job and clamp down. We had learned from M. to put a trash bag under the toilet seat and for me to sit there and nurse. A few moments later with my husband on the phone with M. telling her the good news, the placenta fell out. We named our new baby girl Keshet–Hebrew for rainbow.
It was a perfect birth, but my husband said he was so scared that he insisted on having M. for the next birth. I didn’t really argue since she always let me have things the way I wanted them anyway. I really think I would like to have another unassisted birth next time though.