My second home birth.
Two years and a half ago, I shared my first home birth experience. It was not the easiest of labour, I ended up with birth trauma, and yet, I still decided to have a second home birth as the overall outcome was positive. But this time around, Adrien and I truly prepared ourselves for the event. I, by reading the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth; Adrien, by reading The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. Both of us knew exactly what my body was capable of, the different stages of labour and the coping mechanisms.
The day after writing a letter to Baby Bean, I was due to visit my midwife for a routine check-up early afternoon. During the appointment, she informed me I was nearly 5 cm dilated with a very thin cervix. I had been cramping for about two weeks now and was 4 cm dilated the previous week. She was positive I would be in labour in the next few days. Wahoo! I got out of the appointment very confident and amazed by the work my body had already made. Halfway there and no pain? This was definitely a change from my labour with Elijah where I was in excruciating pain at 1 cm. Later that day, my cramping started becoming regular mild waves. After soaking up in the bathtub for nearly an hour, I called the midwife as the waves were only 2 minutes apart - but still not painful. She came to check on me around 9 P.M. and left advising me to get some rest and to call if there was any change in intensity. Trusting both my body and my baby, I manage to sleep the whole night.
6 A.M. Elijah woke up and came to our bed. Twenty minutes later, we were cuddling when I heard a big snap. Surely enough, my water had just broken! After another hour of water gushing and mild waves, we called the midwife to keep her posted. The intensity did not pick up but I did not want to call her too late. Another hour later, not having felt the baby moving since my water broke, the midwife came to check on us: Baby Bean was fine and my waves started to pick up as soon as I heard his healthy heartbeat. The power of the mind is a wonderful thing!
9 A.M. Things were getting more intense, it was time for Adrien to drive Elijah to the bakery where he would wait for our call with a friend. I did not want him to be around when my waves would become too strong to care for him. When Adrien got back, we filled the pool with warm water as I started feeling major pressure on my perineum. I spent the next hour managing my intense waves in the pool, Adrien helping me keep my focus on breathing. I have to admit, Adrien made an amazing doula!
10:30 A.M. I started to feel the urge to push. My active labour experience was so much more smooth and in control than it was at Elijah's birth, mostly because I did not let my fear take over. I accepted the waves and knew each one was getting me closer to holding my baby. During the finale stage, I let the head sit low, no matter the burning. If being in water reduces the pressure, the circle of fire is definitely real! After a few good waves, the head was out and Adrien left my side to catch his son at the next one. Before the whole body came out, he was able to have a good look at his face, to touch his little nose and lips under the water. I only wish I could have seen that beautiful moment.
10:47 A.M. After the last wave, Noah was born underwater. Adrien handed his tiny little body to me under my legs, still totally immersed. After a second, I lifted him out of the water and he took his first breath. A magical moment I will remember all my life.
In the end, I only have one advice: Mama, trust your body, it was made to give birth.