When my fiancé, Jordan, and I found out we were pregnant I knew from the beginning exactly how I wanted my birth to go. I planned on having an unmedicated natural birth. I didn’t want AROM (Artificial Rupture of Membranes) or an episiotomy. I wanted delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, breast feeding right away, and my child sleeping in my room with me. It was also important to me to be able to labor however I wanted, not confined to a bed. I did not want any IVs, no
erythromycin eye goop,
no shots, etc.
However, I had never thought of a home birth before. I thought I could have all this in the hospital. After my first appointment with my OB/GYN, which I had been going to for 5 years, I knew that would not be possible. It was so impersonal, not to mention I waited for over three hours for a fifteen minute appointment. I began to research my options. Home birth was definitely something I wanted to do. For me, a birth center still gave me that ‘hospital’ feeling. I didn’t want to feel like a sick patient. I found my midwife, Marve Lopez, online. After reading all the birth stories I knew I had to meet her. From the moment I met her I knew that she was the one I wanted to share our journey with. The appointments were nothing compared to the one I had with my OB/GYN. I never waited more than 10 minutes, I never felt rushed, and I was allowed to ask questions without feeling like I was bothering her. Being able to call her or text whenever I had a question was amazing to me. As my due date neared, she practiced some of my hypnobirthing techniques with me and kept me assured that I could do this.On Wednesday November 13, 2013 at around 8:30 in the morning I had started to lose my mucus plug. I texted Marve to let her know that it had blood in it. She called and informed me that this is a good sign and to get plenty of rest because labor usually starts within 24-72 hours. My fiancé and I got busy making sure the house was spotless, the birthing tub was inflated, and running to the store to get last minute things. The next day went by fairly normal. I had been having ‘practice’ contractions for the past two weeks, and today was no different. At around 4:00 in the afternoon they started to come every ten to fifteen minutes, but had stopped when I went for a walk. I continued to have contractions for the rest of the night; always random, never consistent, but slowly getting more effective. At 12:30 that night I finally told my sister I had to go to bed because my contractions (which were still coming at random times) were making me very uncomfortable. She had surprised me by coming a day early from California, so I stayed up as late as I could with her. I fell asleep with my heating pad on my back. I awoke at 2:30 in morning with contractions. Nothing was helping to ease the pain. I had tried changing positions, walking around the house, and taking a shower; all things that normally help. I decided to start timing them and found that they were consistent and coming every 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It was around 4:30 that I decided to call Marve to let her know. She told me to try to get some rest and she would be out right away. At this point I woke my fiancé and sister up to tell them the news. Marve and her assistant Erica arrived at my house at around 6:30. My contractions were still coming every 2 minutes and 30 seconds but were manageable. They continued like that until about 8. They then started growing further apart and were no longer consistent. Marve told me try to rest for a bit. At around 1 in the afternoon we decided to go for a walk. We had a lot of fun taking pictures between contractions. I was able to talk and laugh between them but I had to stop as soon as I felt one coming on. We went back to my house and sent Jordan out for a smoothie run. At this time Marve did my first, and only, cervical check. I was 7 cm! Shortly after this my contractions were becoming increasingly painful very fast. As soon as my fiancé got back, I decided I wanted to labor in the birthing tub. This helped so me so much. The water helped keep me calm and made it easier for me to get comfortable through the contractions. We lit cherry blossom scented candles and put country music on to relax me. My birth team, which consisted of Jordan, my sister, and my brother, were so supportive and helpful. Through each contraction I had to have a lot of counter pressure applied to my hips and back. I know this couldn’t have been easy but they took turns while I labored. At this point I had to really concentrate through my surges and really focus on my breathing. I found that laboring on my hands and knees was the most comfortable. I became weak fairly quickly and could no longer hold myself up. My fiancé literally held me up from this point forward and would help remind me to go to our special place in the mountains and remind me to breath. The bond that was between us was so strong and intense; I’ve never felt as close or as in sync with him before. We became one. Marve suggested that I check myself to see where my baby was. I immediately felt my waters bulging. It was unbelievable. I was only in to my top knuckle, less than an inch! I knew I was going to meet my son soon. We took off my bottoms and Marve instructed me to bare down at the peak of my contractions. I had been practicing J breathing, which is a hypnobirthing technique, for weeks. I had no luck with this, however. We changed positions to one that would be more effective. With my fiancé still holding me up, and my sister and Erica hold my feet, I was practically floating. Since J breathing was ineffective I tried the regular pushing with my head to my chest and grabbing my knees. During one of my pushes my membranes finally ruptured. Although this position was effective, it was very uncomfortable for me. I changed positions again to the leaping frog squat. I checked myself again and could feel my sons head, full of hair, even closer than before! My fiancé continued to hold me up and Marve fed me honey and water for energy. At the peak of each contraction I wrapped my hands around my legs and pushed. After each one I checked myself. Feeling my son’s head gave me the strength to keep going. After several more pushes his head was finally crowning. My fiancé was able to reach down to feel him crowning as well. He kissed me on the head, and being too exhausted, I kissed him on his arm. No more than five pushes later and his head was out. I reached down to feel one last time before I pushed out the rest of his body. After 17 hours of labor, 1 hour and 22 minutes of pushing, and nine months of waiting, I pulled my son out of the water and into my arms at 8:25pm on November 15, 2013. He was finally earthside. Tears of joy streamed down our faces as we welcomed our little angel, Wyatt Cash, into this world. There are no words to describe the instant love I felt. My son was finally in my arms. I was able to hold him for almost an hour before my fiancé cut his cord and was able to hold him. Marve and my sister helped me into the shower and helped me birth my placenta. I was able to climb into my own bed to breast feed my son before Marve weighed and measured him. He was a healthy 8 lbs 7 oz and 20.25 inches long. It’s hard for me to imagine how he fit inside of me. Marve and Erica cleaned up all the mess and took pictures with us. Our journey through pregnancy, labor, and birth was better than anything that I could have ever imagined. The amount of love, dedication, bond, trust and support I felt from Marve throughout was amazing. She helped me believe in myself, especially during labor. I don’t think I could have had anywhere close to this amazing of an experience in the hospital. There was a bond between everyone in the room that day and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Choosing to do a home birth was one of the best decisions I have ever made.