Archive | July, 2011

Gavin’s home birth

27 Jul

Ended up being the day before Gavin was born (note Dave fixing up the tub in the background)

Gosh, it’s been a while. I guess the past couple of months have been a little busy! Gavin is now 2 weeks old. Time has gone by pretty quickly so far! I did promise I’d share my birth story on here since we had a home birth.

I hadn’t originally planned to have a home birth (we do use a midwife, though). At the beginning of my pregnancy they discussed the option of doing it at home. I have always liked the idea of doing it at home, but I couldn’t quite come to a solid decision about it. My experiences with Maya and Rylan in the hospital were fine so I didn’t see any reason to do otherwise.

Coming closer to my due date this time, though, I was really becoming panicky about labour and really not wanting to have to go through it. So much so that I’d wake up at night and not be able to get back to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I don’t know if anyone else is like that with subsequent pregnancies, but it really was bothering me. I couldn’t get my head around it. I tried to tell myself all kinds of positive things, but nothing really stuck.

I decided at my next midwife appointment following these long nights to tell her how I was feeling. We discussed a few things and she suggested I read Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth. I think I’d read it before, but I borrowed it and flipped through it a bit. She also suggested considering a home birth this time around since I’ve had no problems in delivery with either of my other two, and I would be a great candidate to have one. I decided to think about it and talk it over with Dave.

The following week, I was still thinking about labour and waking up in the middle of the night, so I started really thinking about doing a home birth. I liked the idea of not having to drive to the hospital in labour, or having to time it so that I got there in time. I liked being in the comfort of my own home already and being able to have a shower using my own stuff and just generally being in my own space. I’ve never used an epidural or any narcotics (which is the one thing the midwives wouldn’t be able to do at home) so it seemed to make more sense to do it at home. I did have to consider that our bathtub (and nice soaker tub) was on the fritz and unreliable in consistently getting water into the tub. I made Dave promise to take care of that! I wanted to know what they would do should an emergency arise, and, of course, the clean up afterwards.

I discussed all this with my midwife and after that appointment, didn’t have a problem thinking about labour. Of course, I still wasn’t looking forward to it, but at least the panicky feeling disappeared.

So, coming to Tuesday, July 12, we decided that the tub situation needed to be remedied. We managed to get in a plumber (thanks Dave, for pulling some strings!) who worked on the tub for a few hours. Our tub and shower is all one piece with an access panel in between to get at the pipes and such. Needless to say, we wouldn’t be able to have a shower, but, hey, the tub problem got fixed and we could get water on demand without it stopping after like 5 seconds of coming out of the tap!

Inevitably, I would begin having contractions early the following morning on July 13! Yay for getting the tub fixed just in the nick of time. (On a side note – we don’t often use the tub, so it hadn’t made much difference to us anyway and it had been acting up for at least a year or more!)

I had woken up around 4 am on the 13th with a contraction. They kept coming about 15 mins apart or so. Far enough apart to be annoying and not let me get back to sleep. Not really intense, but for sure real contractions. That went on throughout the morning, getting a bit closer together, but slowly. Dave’s mom had been staying with us, so in the morning when I was certain the contractions weren’t going away, I let her know that I was probably in labour and to please take the kids over to Dave’s sister’s house. That was the only other tricky things about deciding to do it at home. Not knowing how long it was going to take or what exactly was going to happen with regards to the kids. Once they left, the house sure was quiet! I was really really tired, but of course really couldn’t sleep.

I paged the midwife, just to give her a heads up and she suggested I take some Gravol and try to get a bit of sleep. Dave promised he would go and get me some after he did a bit more work (of course…needless to say I didn’t get my Gravol or my sleep!) I popped in a movie and laid down on the couch. I think I drifted off a few times.

Time went on and contractions started to get closer together. I just tried to walk around (well, pace really) and relax as much as possible. I tried to eat too, not knowing how fast or slow things would be. It finally started getting to the point where Dave finished up his work for the day, and we watched a movie together with me draped over my exercise ball and he would rub my back during a contraction because my back was getting sore.

We paged the midwife again just so she would have time to come and set things up to get ready for the birth. Labour was going really well, but I was annoyed that early labour was happening so slowly! I think I expected things to move a bit quicker right from the get go because with Rylan my labour lasted about 6 hours, right from the very first contraction. I think it was about 2 or 2:30 pm at this point because my midwife said she was just finishing up at the hospital and then she’d be on her way. I remember thinking well, that’s only about 3 contractions since they were about 5 minutes apart by then. I think she took at least 45 mins because it sure was longer than 3 contractions.

As soon as she arrived she listened to the baby’s heartbeat and checked my blood pressure and everything was sounding fine. She said we’d have to head upstairs to internally check to see how far along I was. Every time I tried to get up on the bed, I’d have a contraction, which wasn’t very conducive to being checked. The pronouncement was that I was 5 centimeters, but could stretch to about 7, so things were coming along swimmingly. After she checked me, my water ended up breaking, which was a new experience for me because I’ve never had it break prior to pushing. Needless to say, after this, the contractions started getting really intense and I asked Dave to fill up the tub in case I felt like getting in. I find once I’m in a certain position during labour I don’t really like to move, but I thought I’d try the tub eventually, not knowing how I would labour in there. It actually felt pretty nice, didn’t make the contractions any less painful, but it felt comfortable in there. I just ended up sitting on my knees and grasping the handles that are in the tub. (I swear, our tub must have been made for labour!) I wasn’t in the tub too long when I started feeling the pressure. Not yet to push, but pretty darn close. Very shortly after that it changed to having to push and the midwife was finishing up the preparations and so then she came into the bathroom. There was supposed to be a second midwife there, but she didn’t arrive in time! The midwife switched me to laying with my back against the back corner of the tub, and that was nice, being able to rest my head, but having something to push against too. Pushing wasn’t too long, his head was there and didn’t take long at all. The shoulders got stuck, so they hauled me out of the tub very quickly and put me on my hands and knees on the floor. Once I had moved around or just the position of being on my hands and knees, helped the shoulders dislodge, so no damage done (can’t say it felt comfortable AT ALL, though). As I found out later, that would have been cause for an emergency, so all’s well that ends well and thank you very much for not telling me that at the time. In all the kerfuffle of the delivery, I didn’t know what we were having, a boy or a girl. I thought I had seen he was a boy, but I double checked when they handed him to me and sure enough, a boy! I must say I was a bit more prepared for a girl, but we were happy with little Gavin nonetheless!

He was pretty blue and hadn’t breathed yet, so he needed a few puffs with a little mask thing (not oxygen, thankfully, just a little help). He started crying and everyone was relieved!! I got to hold him and then the other midwife showed up! I delivered the placenta (easy-peasy!!) and then got to relax on the bed. The midwives did their paperwork and cleaned up (not messy at all by the way). We joked around while finishing up and got to enjoy holding Gavin in my bed. They stuck around for about 2 and a half more hours just to make sure things were under control, then we were on our own.

Shortly after being born

Dave’s mom had brought the kids back for their bedtime at 7:00, so it was great timing since Gavin was born at 4:32 pm. I remember thinking when it got close to delivering him, that it was great timing since it would all be over and done with before the kids had to come home! Maya’s first words were, “Yay, mommy had the baby, now she can go running with us!” Pretty cute. Then we all just settled in for the night.

I was very pleased with how everything went and I really enjoyed having a home birth. Kind of neat too to do something different.

July 13, 2011

4:32 pm

7 lbs 15 oz

21 inches long