I love reading birth stories so I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write this! Well, I do. It’s been a CRAZY 24 months! And I’ll be sharing more about why that is and all the things I’ve learned along the way.
oday is just a little about my pregnancy with Daniel, and how we came to choose a home birth for our third baby. Tomorrow, on Cavebaby's second birthday, I will post the actual birth story, for those who love to read them like I do!
My pregnancy with Daniel
I have relatively easy pregnancies compared to a lot of women. I only had mild morning sickness, and after the first trimester I generally felt pretty good and enjoyed my pregnancies. Daniel’s was a little more challenging since David was gone more (work and helicopter training), finances were tighter (a little stressful), and I had two kiddos to chase around this time. I also had braxton hicks contractions starting at 8 weeks (yes, you read that right) and continuing until 37 weeks (no, I wasn’t dehydrated!). Chalk it up to a stretched out uterus or increased activity, but it did make my pregnancy with Daniel less . . . fun;)
I prepared for the birth with Hypnobabies, which I also used with Joseph. I am a huge fan and highly recommend Hypnobabies to anyone wanting to have a natural birth! Especially after having a difficult first birth, Hypnobabies has been crucial to me retraining my mind to think positively about birth, and has helped me have relaxed, medication-free natural births.
I incorporated some of my favorite scripture passages into my hypnobabies practice, and the time spent ingraining those scriptures into my memory has stuck with me since then. Verses about peace coming readily to mind has been super helpful while raising three wild cave boys!
Photo credit to my awesome sister AbbeyDeerest!
Preparing for a birth center birth
I did my prenatal checkups at the local birth center, where I planned to give birth (the same center where my older two were born). We decided that this time we would wait until the birth to find out whether this baby was a boy or girl. David was so convinced it was a girl that he refused to even discuss girl names!
At 28 weeks I went for a routine checkup and learned that due to lack of funding the birth center would be shutting down - three weeks before my due date. I was completely shocked - I had no idea there were financial problems at the center. I was angry and sad. I wanted to give birth there. I had been planning on that for almost 6 months. I felt like my birth security had been yanked away (don’t laugh. It was a big deal to me!). I was comfortable with the midwives there. I had known them for several years and knew they were highly skilled and competent. I wanted this baby to be born in the same room the other two boys had been. I didn’t want to change my plan. I was entering the third trimester! Ain’t nobody got time for changing birth plans! Too bad the board in charge of financial decisions didn’t give a hoot . . .
I’m very thankful for the fact that I have so many choices for my births, and I know that not many women in America have access to the wealth of midwifery knowledge and experience I do. I could choose between a handful of different highly trained and experienced midwives, and even had the option of giving birth at The Farm! Eventually I stopped having a pity party and got down to the business of making a new plan for this baby’s arrival.
Change of plans!
David and I decided we would have a home birth. I was low risk, and since we lived 1.5 hours from the (good for moms and babies) hospital we were considering using for the birth, it made more sense to choose a home birth. David said he just was absolutely Not. Going. To! Catch the baby. That was fine with me. I had caught Joseph, and planned to do the same with this baby.
I interviewed several midwives, but as soon as I began talking to Kate on the phone I knew she was it:) After meeting in person I was even more sure. We got the paperwork in order and I immediately felt a weight lift off of me. I just liked her so much. I knew we would be in good hands, and started to look forward to my first birth at home.
Aren't home births a lot of work?
There’s more prep work involved in a home birth, but it’s not as big a deal as I thought it would be. You buy some towels and sheets, some birth and after care items, rent a birth tub if you want one, and then the usual preparing for baby stuff (Food. Oh, and diapers. Duh). Kate had a birth tub that I rented from her, because I was dead-set on having a water birth again.
*Side note* Birth tubs weigh quite a bit when filled with water and a pregnant whale-mama, so David went beneath our house and beefed up the supports under our bedroom. Yeah, if that doesn’t make you feel SUPER attractive, I don’t know what will!
The home stretch
Just shy of 36 weeks I had a few hours of intense contractions, but after staying in bed and drinking extra water they eventually spaced out and stopped (thankfully!). We had taken a trip to Texas (9 hour drive) and had been house hunting every weekend, so I think I had just been doing too much. I took the hint and eased up on my activity for the rest of my pregnancy.
The last weeks I focused on resting and playing with Jonathan and Joseph. I listened to my hypnobabies every day, ate lots of good food, and tried not to stress about the move I knew would be happening shortly after our baby arrived. Hard to do!
Turn, baby, turn
The whole third trimester the baby stubbornly stuck to the breech position, so I spent lots of time on my hands and knees, and tried some other techniques from the Spinning Babies website to try and flip him. He would turn, then go right back by the next morning. I could tell that he was big and didn’t have much extra room for turning, except something about how I slept made it easy for him to turn to the breech position.