David’s Birth

Ever since I had first seen the birth of a sibling, about 16 years ago, I have wanted to experience childbirth. For me it seemed like a magical, powerful and life changing event, it fascinated and excited me to think of going through it one day. So when I first learned I was pregnant at the beginning of the year I knew exactly what I wanted. A homebirth, preferably a waterbirth, surrounded by family. And although David was always in wonky positions, my midwife was confident we could have a homebirth. We were all excited for the day to finally arrive.

There’s so much I don’t remember. Time didn’t seem to exist. It was just me, Dani, my mom, my midwife and my sisters going through this event. It was like were in our own world, a safe bubble where I was working to birth my son. It was beautiful. It was painful. It was the longest three days of my life.

Friday

Friday morning I started having very light period-like cramps, this was new but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was almost a week ”overdue” and knew that I could potentially go longer because of being a first time mom. But by the evening of Friday I was getting a consistent, though not painful amount of cramps. Our midwife decided to stop by and check on baby as I was having a hard time noticing his movements. But baby was fine and so we settled down to get some sleep, not knowing if we would be having a baby in the morning. I had light contractions all night and was also leaking a little bit of fluid, which my midwife said was probably a high leak, but thankfully was able to sleep well. Little did I know it would be the last full night of sleep I got all weekend.

Saturday

Saturday morning the contractions were starting to pick up a little in intensity, it was then that I started counting them as contractions and not just cramps. But they were still irregular so I texted my midwife to update her and just went about my morning. My midwife reminded me to stay hydrated and to keep an eye on my temperature in case my waters had actually broken a little.

By noon my partner texted the midwife to let her know contractions were 50 seconds long and five minutes apart. They still weren’t very painful but they felt like the real deal and I was distracted enough that I couldn’t really text the midwife anymore. The midwife sent over one of her assistants, who arrived sometime around 1. She agreed I was actually in labor, took vitals and told our midwife she should plan on the baby arriving soon. I still felt really good at this point, I was excited, a little nervous but mostly just ready to be done being pregnant. The midwife was at a funeral so my partner and I told her not to rush and decided to just take time to ourselves. I’m so glad we did as it was a really bonding experience. 

From here my memories get hazy, but the midwife arrived sometime around 4. The birth tub was set up in the room, but we didn’t fill it up yet. I stopped keeping track of when contractions were coming and going, letting my partner do that and focusing just on working through them. That night was long and I was unable to get any sleep. Laying down made the contractions more intense and painful. But we could all still tell that labor was progressing, I was dilating and effacing well. I labored mostly in my room, doing some walking and squatting. We went for a walk outside in the evening and I went up and down the stairs a couple times to help baby get in a better position. I was able to get in the birth tub and that helped the contractions feel more manageable. I was starting to get fairly tired and the birth was starting to feel less manageable. But thankfully I had Dani and my mom to really lean on and they kept encouraging me.

Sunday

This was when things started to really get rough. By Sunday I was tired from lack of sleep and hungry. I was unable to keep any sort of food down, only able to eat spoonful of honey occasionally, everything else I threw up. I was able to dilate completely but David’s head was stuck on a cervical lip. We learned later this was because his head was sidewise. Everyone tried so hard to help me have a homebirth, at one point there were three midwives coaching me and trying to help move the lip over David’s head. We also later learned that David’s cord was wrapped around him twice, which was probably make it harder for him to descend in the birth canal.

By the evening I had given it all I could and I knew I needed some sort of help. After talking to my mom and the midwives we agreed to transfer to a hospital. The hope was that I would be able to get an epidural and be able to eat and sleep and regain strength to continue pushing later. But once we got to the hospital I was told my white blood cell count was too high and they would not be able to give me an epidural. The doctor was also worried about David’s heartrate which would go down when I was pushing. It was looking like I would still have to push for at least another hour and I knew I didn’t have the strength. David needed to come out and I wasn’t going to be able to do it on my own. I decided to have a C-section and off we went. I think it was less than an hour later and David was finally born.

Despite things going differently than I dreamed I’m not upset I had a C-section. I know it was the right decision for me and for David. I am a little sad I didn’t get to have that moment of pulling him out of the water and placing him on my chest, seeing his face for the first time before he was wiped and cleaned off. I’m a little sad that neither Dani nor I were the first people to touch him. But it was still such an amazing moment to hear him cry for the first time and to see my baby in the arms of his dad. It was a different moment, but no less beautiful. I’m so grateful to my mom who was invaluable, I would not have made it as far as I did without her. I’m so thankful to my partner Dani, it was amazing experiencing everything with him, he was my rock amidst all of the emotions and pain. I’m endlessly grateful for my wonderful midwife, and the other midwives who assisted. If you are considering a homebirth in Kansas City please check out Rachel Schwepler, she was such a strong calming presence.

David is three weeks old now and I’m so happy he’s finally here.

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