DawningLife Midwifery

Experienced homebirth midwives serving Metro-Atlanta and North Georgia families for over 35 years!

Felix's Homebirth

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It was a Sunday. We went shopping for a couch to furnish the living room in our new house. The salesman told us two other pregnant women had come in recently too, and ended up giving birth the next day. I’m not sure how he knew that, but anyway, I was sick of people making comments about when I would pop, but I was nice to him anyway. We picked a couch and a chair and went home. Later, we were watching The Walking Dead, and about half way through (about 9:30), I started having a few contractions. Guess the salesman called it.

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It was a Sunday. We went shopping for a couch to furnish the living room in our new house. The salesman told us two other pregnant women had come in recently too, and ended up giving birth the next day. I’m not sure how he knew that, but anyway, I was sick of people making comments about when I would pop, but I was nice to him anyway. We picked a couch and a chair and went home. Later, we were watching The Walking Dead, and about half way through (about 9:30), I started having a few contractions. Guess the salesman called it.

But I didn’t think too much of it because I had been having contractions now and then. In fact, on my last day of work the previous Wednesday, I was having them all day until I got home and put my feet up. I had also thought I had a little amniotic leak a day or two before, so on that Sunday, a little extra wetness still didn’t give me definitive proof I was in labor. I was googling true vs. false labor even though I knew the facts already. The denial runs deep for me. My first labor I was throwing up and shivering before we called Debbie. She asked me to call a little earlier this time.

Eventually, I started timing my contractions, convinced enough that I should at least do that. Around 11:30, I was timing them in bed. Sam was sleeping by then and they were about 10-15 minutes apart. I kept trying to get some rest, but to no avail because I felt like I had to keep timing the contractions. I knew from experience that I dilate quickly.

Sam would stir every now and then, ask me what was going on, and fall back asleep. I think part of me likes to labor by myself for a while, so I let him sleep. Around 1ish, I had the plan that I would take a shower, time a few more contractions so I had good information, and then call Debbie with the news. As predicted, my contractions sped up fast, and when I called Debbie, she decided she would go ahead and come over. The time between calling and her getting here was rough. 

I started getting everything else in motion finally. I called Liz (who was quite disoriented), who called Martha.  (These were my support people). I told Sam I needed him to wake up. The time between pains was getting really fast, really quick. Liz and Martha got here quickly. They got the pool ready, helped set up, and chatted with me when I could talk. Sam rubbed my back when I doubled over on the bed. Carmen (my daughter) just kept snoozing in her room, never stirring at all. 
 
Debbie set up quickly when she got here. I asked if I could get in the pool. She said, “Let me check you first.” She did but didn’t say anything and I got in the pool. I asked how far I was and she said, “Push whenever you’re ready.” The pool finally gave me a break from the now constant contractions. I took a few minutes to enjoy the break. 

When the pains came back, they were strong. It took me time to adjust mentally (and physically, of course) to switching from just enduring the pain to making it useful and pushing. I had a brief, mini freak-out and screamed for a second while I tried to convert my thinking and transition my body to switch over too. I remember Debbie saying, “It’s OK, Cara.” And I said, “I know.” And I pulled myself together and started to push.  What a relief!!

The pushing went fast. I gave one big one and felt the descent, which was really empowering. Just a couple of minutes and he was crowning. I felt it (and it felt so good to be pushing- the ring of fire didn’t bother me at all this time), but to be sure, I asked, “Is he coming?” All four people watching said, “Yes!” Debbie said to reach down and feel him and to do little pushes to ease the head out. I felt so in control doing that, like my body and my baby knew exactly what to do. Then a nice big push and his head was out. Just a bit later, out came the rest. Sam was in position to catch him. He laughed because his instinct was to lift the baby straight up Lion King-style, as if a light would shine on him, but he was still attached.  He and Debbie passed him to me and when I held him, I instantly felt great. 

It was quick that the pains came back, though, for the placenta. Folks helped me out of the pool and onto my bed, and I pushed out the placenta pretty easily. I didn’t bleed much, I didn’t tear, no medications, minimal swelling. Everything was dreamy (except maybe the poo in the water, but hey!). Of course, we waited a while to cut the cord and while breast feeding wasn’t instant, he did latch and feed pretty well.

When Carmen woke up and came in, she was delightfully curious. She loved him instantly. She smiled, giggled, stared at him and cuddled him. It was truly beautiful.

We’re three weeks in now and Felix is starting to have longer alert periods, so we’re getting to know him better. He’s healthy and strong, and pretty ‘easy’ so far and just so adorable. He loves his milk, of course, and he’s gaining weight wonderfully. 

I love my family and am so happy with the way my kids came into the world. I never felt fear or anxiety. I felt moved. I felt powerful. And it was just my style. So what if the placentas from both of my pregnancies are still in my freezer? Just like everything else with parenthood, I’ll figure it out as I go.