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Maya Evelynns Homebirth
Miss Maya Evelynn made her appearance on April 9, 2013 at 6:24am. She was 7 lbs 8 oz, 20.5 inches long. She is a caulbearer which means that she was born without the amniotic sac breaking prior to birth.
On Monday, the 8th of April, my husband (Sotatsu) and I were watching our show on Netflix when I started having contractions. Realizing that things were not moving along that night, we decided to sleep and see if anything would happen. The next day, I had woken up feeling contractions but each hour was drastically different. Some hours I would have a couple contractions and others where nothing was happening. I had my husband come from work to drive me to my midwife and chiropractor appointments. Wendy, my midwife, assured me that they were Braxton hicks contractions and not to worry. My body would move along at its own pace. Seeing my chiropractor, I joked that since I was getting adjusted, I would have the baby that night.
Later that night around 8 or 9 o'clock my contractions were intense enough to stop me from walking or talking during them at times. I started calling people to give them a heads up, or tell them to come. The surges would vary from just a tight feeling to very intense and from 3 minutes to 10 minutes apart. When I was walking it was almost a constant tightness with small breaks. I notified my midwife that things were going, but the experience was not what I would expect for a true labor. She advised that I not get excited and possibly just relax for the night. I complied. At midnight I sent the babysitter and friend home in order to get some rest before things heated up.
I woke back up around 1:30 or 2 AM with intense contractions. I kept asking Sotatsu to rub my belly when they would come. He kept falling asleep, so I would wake him up with each surge. After one of my surges I mentioned the possibility of having Wendy come. This is when I started timing the surges. They were a constant 3 minutes apart and a minute long each. After a while I decided to call. She was asking if I really needed her there yet, and what exactly was going on. She mentioned that she was unsure and it seemed like I was really calm still. I noted that I had been meditating through the breaks. In reality I was attempting to meditate during the surges and falling asleep during the breaks. I was still so tired!
Wendy arrived around roughly 3 AM and we agreed on a vaginal exam since I was so unsure about what was going on. When she checked me she found my mucus plug! I had never seen it with my first pregnancy. That was a sight to remember, that's for sure. After getting over the excitement of seeing the mucus plug for the first time in person, I was blind-sided with the fact that my baby was in a +2 station. Wendy mentioned that she was surprised I didn't have the baby already.
She asked if I still wanted the birth tub set up since it wouldn't be long before I felt the urge to push. I said yes. I wanted the option of having a water birth. I usually love the water so I would find it comforting. I labored on my right side in my bed for a while longer while the tub was being set up. Also, during this time, Jill (a doula) was coaching me through contractions and showing Sotatsu different pressure points and ways to encourage me through contractions. Jill and Sotatsu were great supporters and I would hate if they had to leave my side, even for a moment. After the hot water heater decided it had given all it had to give, I got in the half filled tub. While it was nice, I found that the warm water made me feel the temperature changes so much more. I was so hot I had to get out. I then changed back and forth from the bed to the toilet a couple times.
At last I was directed towards the tub, but decided to go back to bed. I was laboring on all fours but was so uncomfortable. I wanted to find a position that was easier for contractions. I had felt that since I labored laying on my side for most of the night, that it might be a good choice. The moment I went to try and lay down I collapsed to the bed with severe back pain. I was screaming about how bad it hurt. I went and rolled to my side and got a cramp in my upper leg/glute. I was yelling about how bad it hurt and how I couldn't move. Finally, I told myself that I could either lie in pain or move and hopefully feel better. I made the transition as quickly as possible to a position of sitting on my heels and hands between my knees. It felt SO much better!
Pushing was intense. It was the most intense thing I have ever felt in my life. One surge at a time, following my body's cues I pushed. I refused to be coached on how or when to push. I followed my instincts. With most pushes I could feel a popping inside of me, which I could only assume had something to do with my cervix. After a while the popping stopped and I was unsure if my pushes were effective. I asked the midwife to place her fingers on my perineum so I could feel where to push. This helped me mentally more than anything, I think. At one point the urge to push was so intense, there was no stopping it. I could barely get in a breath before my body would just take over. Before I knew it the head was born. She was completely in caul still! Courtney, one of the assistants took a great picture of Maya as she was being born.
After the head was born I really just wanted to get her out of me. The ring of fire was still intense. I was frantic with wanting the burning sensation to stop. I did try and take it slower for my body's sake though. Once Maya was born onto the bed, I looked down and remember saying something to the effect of, "Look, a baby!"
We transitioned to a laying position so that I could try and get my new baby girl to do the breast crawl. After trying for about 45 minutes there was no progress and I had to help latch her. Also, since I was unable to get her latched, the release of oxytocin was not effective, and my placenta wasn't being delivered naturally. I opted for traction on the cord in order to help expel the organ. Once this was done, it was clear that I needed help stopping the bleeding as well. After the breastfeeding latch failed, we tried a tincture, massage, and finally Pitocin. I had lost almost 4 cups of blood. During the first exam after the birth of the placenta, it was also found that my cervix had prolapsed. The midwife decided to do a combined external and internal palpation in order to relocate the cervix back within my body. This hurt worse than surges.
Finally, the chaos ceased and I was able to enjoy an herbal bath with the new little one while daddy helped. Never once did I question my safety, though I did question my sanity, and more specifically my decision to labor without medication. When asked how it went after the birth, my husband and I would both reply that it was a great experience, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Even the complications were molehills instead of mountains at home, and we feel like the choice to do it without the help of the medical industry was a wise and powerful decision.