Our home birth was a three-part experience.
Part one was prenatal visits where we got to know Denise and Allison, drank tea, checked all the signs of growth and health, and my young daughter Kira “helped” listen to the baby’s heart with the Dopplar. In these visits we gained knowledge about the home birth experience in general, and processes for ours in particular. We also gained knowledge of Denise’s experience. One of these visits was to our home, where all the details for our water birth were finalized as much as anyone can finalize details of a baby’s birth. That is also when Denise met the gentle giant Tim, my husband.
Part two was when I went into labor and called Denise, counted contractions, called a friend and my mom to come assist, and my husband Tim and I ran around making last-minute preparations like filling the birthing pool and heating water on the stove. This part started on a lovely Saturday morning in November. People came to the house, we talked, laughed, knitted, I had some serious contractions, and Denise and Allison monitored me carefully, but relaxedly.
In the evening, when the contractions were getting pretty nasty and I was well dilated, I got into the tub and everything stopped rather quickly. I got out of the tub, did squats, walked around, bounced around, danced from foot to foot while watching “Better off Ted” episodes and laughing my head off, and no baby came. Everyone went home between 6 and 10 that night. Tim and I went to bed.
Part three happened about 16 days after part two. I had trouble falling asleep one Sunday night in December, and a little after 11 pm got some of the worst contractions of my life. After I “timed” 3 of them, I called Denise and told her to come. She said she’d finish packing her car, and that she’d call me before starting the drive to La Crosse. When she called, I told her to come for sure – I was in transition, and then I waited, uncomfortably, while my husband filled the pool and made all of the preparations himself.
When Denise arrived I was ready for the pool, and she had me get in right away – without stopping to monitor anything but the baby’s heartbeat. Soon I was pushing, and sometime in there Allison arrived. She did more monitoring then – my blood pressure and so forth, since Denise was busy helping me in amillion little ways that I can’t even remember now. It was a bit of a blur. The total labor time in “part three” was 2 1⁄2 hours. Denise hadn’t even had time to get all of her things out of her car, and was only at the house 45 minutes before the birth, and Allison 15 minutes! I delivered a healthy baby girl, NaomiRae, at 1:30 am Monday morning, and she was 8 lbs, 12 oz, and 23” long! She even had tons of thick brown hair!
Denise came by a few more times in the next few days to monitor Naomi and I, making sure we continued to recover. Our two week and six week appointments revealed that Naomi’s desire to grow large hadn’t ended in the womb. At six weeks she had gained another 2 lbs!
So, if you are thinking about having a home birth, talk to these ladies – they are great at what they do, low key, and will laugh their heads off at “Better off Ted” with you even when you are not having a baby in the very near future.