Well, where to begin? I had resigned myself to having a hospital birth, hubby was worried that we are too far away from help if something went wrong and was totally opposed to a home birth. I think he realized that we would have to look at other options to hospital after a completely stressful visit to my now second OB.
The first one and I parted ways on NOT good terms as he was completely unprepared to allow me to have a birth plan or any say whatsoever in the kind of birth I wanted, he said we would either do things his was or he was not prepared to be my dr anymore, needless to say I was not about to let him bully me into having a medicated, medically controlled birth, specially since my first had been born at home without any complications.
I changed OB’s only to end up with even more stress and this one saying I would probably need to have a ceasar as my placenta was low lying – this was at about 24 weeks – I had had an u/s at 19 weeks and my placenta was nowhere near low lying. To cut a long and boring story short, the two OB’s know each other pretty well and both have an incredibly high c-section rate.So there we were 25 weeks along and no care giver, I was desperate enough to consider using my GP who operates from the only hospital in our nearest small town – a provincial one (state run) – but at least he is reasonable and would not try to bully me further.
Then as luck would have it I contacted a doula, who put me onto my mw, who was nearer to us though still and hour and ¼ away but at least a bit closer than any of the others I had heard of. I went to see her and we clicked immediately – she gave me the confidence to seriously consider home birth as an option. Hubby and I agreed (or rather I convinced him) that that would be the way to go and we haven’t looked back since.
My midwife was assisted by the doula I had originally contacted - they make a wonderful team. On the 4th May (Hubby’s birthday) I woke up feeling worried that I was feeling very little movement from the baby, and had not felt any during the night – he usually woke me up – I also found that he had moved from anterior to posterior position, so I could not find his heartbeat on my bebe sounds monitor. I started having minor, but regular (more or less) contractions at about 6:30 (by which time I was up and about – most unusual for me as I had battled to get up before 7:30 – 8:00 lately).
I phoned my mw after 7:00 and she suggested that I go to my dr for a CTG and just keep monitoring the contractions. I got hold of my dr and he said to go to our local hospital for the ctg – he is in our nearest town, which is small and only has the prov hospital, but after my experiences with OB’s on private hospitals I decided that my GP (whom I trust) and a small town prov hospital was the lesser of the two evils (he would only be a back-up dr anyway). I went for the ctg and all was fine, it did not pick up any contractions – though I did have two very mild ones, but babies heartbeat was fine and that was all I needed to know. When the sister at my dr's rooms looked at the printout, she said that the scanner had not picked up any movement ito the contractions and that it probably wasn't working, but that baby's heartbeat was great.
By 10:00 the contractions were stronger though still very short (about 20 sec) and about 7-10 minutes apart. I spoke to the Doula who said to have a nice warm bath and if the contractions don’t stop, we will know I am in early labour. I did this and had 3 contractions while lying in the bath – this was definitely it, I was starting to get very exited. I spoke to both the mw and doula and they were preparing to come out my way.
At this stage I should also mention that I had my GP, sweep my membranes on Tuesday and I had been taking 2500mg of Evening Primrose Oil (orally and vaginally for the past two weeks) – I was desperate to have Ryan (we had chosen his name when we first found out he was a boy at 19 weeks). I started to get things ready with the help of my son – who is 9. By 12 the contractions were about 2 minutes apart though still short (about 20 sec) this carried on till after one, Hubby came home at 1:00 and helped me set up the last bits and pieces. The mw and doula arrived at about 2:30, by which time I was needing to stop what I was doing and breathe through the contractions. The mw did an internal and said I was 7cm dialated – I could have jumped for joy – hubby and the doula got the birthing pool ready and I got in – by this time I had stopped checking how far apart my contractions were and just let the mw guide me. My contractions were pretty intense, but still only about 20-30 sec long. I got to get into the pool and it was the most amazing feeling of relief to float in the water. I lost all track of time, and was aware only of what was happening in my body. Hubby was standing behind me and I held onto his hand. At one stage I recall the mw saying to me to breathe slowly as I am starting to hyperventilate. The one time I almost “lost it” was when Liza mentioned after an internal that I had an anterior lip, fortunately it didn’t stay long as I was desperate to push by then.
Ryan was born at 15:32 with the membranes still in place over his head (born with the caul). He gave an almighty wail when he was lifted out of the water. I cuddled him for a while and when the cord stopped pulsing hubby clamped and cut the cord. He then took Ryan while I got out of the water and delivered the afterbirth. The mw then checked me, I had two small nicks, neither requiring stitching. Ryan and I had a bath after he was checked and weighed (3.18kg) and we got into bed to relax and get to know each other. Even though I don’t mention a lot about my hubby and Gillian(doula) they were an integral part of the ‘team’ that helped me deliver Ryan. They were simply wonderful and I am glad I got to share this experience with them.
We ‘planted’ the placenta under a rose bush, bought specially to celebrate Ryan’s arrival.
We would love to have another baby and plan to share the miracle of birth with my mw and doula again!!