Birth story of Eliana Grace
March 7th 2010
If you had asked me a few years ago whether natural childbirth, let alone a home birth, was even possible you would have gotten a resounding “NO!” and “More power to those who do it natural” I had two children previously at a hospital with an OB/GYN and while my first experience was as great as it could be; I intended to have a natural birth, but I was induced and ended up with an epidural. The birth of my second child, also induced, left me wondering if I had made the right choice, since after all was said and done I felt I was powerless in the whole process. I know OB/GYNs have their role in birth but for my two uncomplicated pregnancies I don’t think they were the right for me.
When thinking about having another child and having friends who swore that natural childbirth was unbelievable and my eyes wide open, I began researching. Before I knew it, I wanted a home birth with a midwife and was 100% convinced that was the best answer. I was just getting ready to interview midwives to find out more about home birth, and found out I was pregnant!
Enter Mary Anne, when she did our consultation she blew us away with her answers. We felt so comfortable in her presence that we decided she was the midwife for us! I have never been so comfortable with a care provider and I felt like my baby’s and my well being were her number one priority. Gone were the days of waiting rooms for 2hrs and only 15mins in a Drs office. Instead, hour long appointments that discussed everything! Even though sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the choices and information, I was so glad to be informed of the choices and being involved in making a decision about my prenatal care.
Mary Anne and I discussed natural childbirth coping methods, because I knew that in every birthing story I had heard, there is always that point where you think you can’t do it and I wanted to be prepared. My body hadn’t experienced real natural labour, it only knew the kind from the inducements. I had settled on Hypnobabies since a friend told me how great it was for her labours, and the stories and info I read about it convinced me too. So I ordered the Hypnobabies CD’s and listened to them every night right before bed. I would usually fall asleep or as they refer to it “Hypnotic Amnesia.” I would be so relaxed before going to sleep, it was great!
Time flew by and before I knew it I was seeing Mary Anne every two weeks and before long it was every week! My due date came and it went. My body had been preparing since 36 weeks for the upcoming birth as I had been having practice sessions the first Superbowl Sunday. I’d asked Mary Anne how I would know if it was labour and she told me they would feel different. It was a Friday night and we were heading home and this time, the hugs felt different, I had to concentrate; I thought this may be it but didn’t utter a word. I woke up a time or two that night but with no progression. Saturday we headed to a friend’s house for their son’s birthday. I was having them again and they were about 10-15 minutes apart; different but not going anywhere. I went to bed with them about 10 minutes apart. I had planned on skipping church the next day to avoid the “Has that baby come yet?” questions; the kind that make you want to scream.
Sunday arrived and still no closer, so I didn’t pay them any mind since I had been having them for weeks now. However, for some reason, I got the urge to go to church; it was if unconsciously I knew that it was going to be my last day out. I went to church and God let me know through a song, “Today is The Day!” With my contractions moving closer and closer, by the end of church they were 14 minutes apart.
We came home, I made lunch and then worked on my grocery list to go shopping. I wanted to get all of our groceries and get out of the house since I would be at home for awhile after baby arrived. I headed to the grocery store and my waves got to 7 minutes apart, getting closer to 5-6 minutes by the time I was done. As I was checking out the cashier asked how I was doing as I was having a pressure wave; I smiled and said, “Great!” No one had any idea what my body was doing or what was happening; most people would have called an ambulance or something! I got my groceries in the car and didn’t like the drive back at all I was so uncomfortable sitting, so I was relieved to get home and out of the car! I put the groceries away while every 5-7 minutes I would stop to pace when the waves would come. They weren’t painful, I just had to move! My husband had no idea up until this point that I had been in labor. It didn’t hit him until he saw me timing them and then finally making the call to Mary Anne.
I paged Mary Anne around 6:45PM just letting her know to call me whenever. Then, not long after, I called her again because I felt I needed to talk to her. She called me back and she asked me about any changes; she noticed I was still talking through my waves. I told her we would get the kids taken care of by 8PM; she said she would arrive by then and that she was sure things would progress quickly once the kids left. She encouraged me to eat something and continue drinking water.
While Jason got the kids packed and off to the sitter, I made dinner between my waves. I wasn’t all that hungry but ate as much steak and veggies as I could. Jason cleaned up and I went upstairs and got the supplies out, the bed ready for birth and started filling the bath tub. I wasn’t ready for the water yet, but wanted it ready. With each wave I would dance or sway and then continue with my task. I got my Hypnobabies CD playing so I could have the reminder there.
Mary Anne and Lindsay arrived around 8pm, right on time! She came upstairs to see me and checked on baby and I. Everything looked good. I tried using a ball but it was just uncomfortable and returned to standing and swaying through each wave.
Mary Anne was great with the Hynobabies’ cues, reminding me to relax and got my hubby involved too.
I remember that I felt nauseous and I let Mary Anne know and then came time for me to have to get out and use the toilet (I hated the toilet, it was uncomfortable). Still continuing to ride the waves, I got out and after sitting down, I had the urge to bear down hard and as I did, my water broke. I then felt that undeniable pressure and urge to push. I was so uncomfortable sitting and I didn’t think I could make it back to the tub that when Mary Anne asked me, “Do you want to birth here on the toilet or in the tub?” I said “I don’t think I can make it.”
Each wave would get stronger and stronger until finally my baby made her way out;
It was such an amazing birth that it is hard to imagine going back to a hospital. Everything about it was so special, not to mention the experience of how alert and great I felt with no IV or medications. I got to nurse her until she was done without her being taken from me. I got to watch while her newborn testing was done. I got to shower and get comfortable instead of the numb legs that made it impossible to walk. We got to be left alone with our precious addition and sleep in our comfortable bed!
If you’re even considering or thinking that this kind of birth might be possible for you; IT IS! For us Mary Anne was crucial in supporting us and guiding us through the whole process and I know if I’m pregnant again we will be calling Mary Anne.
(Coincidentally after many revisions and a year and a half year later we are expecting again and can’t wait to have another home birth with Mary Anne and her team!)