A Home Birth for a Second Baby: The Birth story of Everly Vita:
After a three day induction at a hospital with my first daughter, I knew I wanted a home birth for my next baby. With a fairly uneventful, healthy pregnancy, we were set with our midwifery group, our childcare, and our doulas all in place. Our plan was to have our parents stay with our first daughter nearby so she could come and go depending on how labor was.
I woke up my husband a few days after our EDD (my first baby was 10 days late) and asked him to time my contractions. Because it was Labor Day weekend, I called our doula, Sue and let her know things were possibly starting up and to stay close. My parents got a hotel down the road. Contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart consistently through the night and then started to subside by morning. I had contractions on and off during the day every hour or so. That night contractions got to 7 minutes apart again and spaced out again by morning. I was getting worried that I would run out of energy after prodromal labor kept me up at night without progressing. I called my doula Sam and asked her for some comfort and techniques to help get the baby into position to move into active labor rather than stalling. She came over right away and we did some spinning babies exercises, massage and rebozo work. Our parents took my daughter to the hotel and had a lot of fun, special grandparent time waiting for the baby with my daughter.
Sam moved me into the bathroom to shower and asked if I wanted to try to rest or to try to get things going. I felt a surge of contractions and didn’t want to lose that progress, so I opted to keep going. We did an inversion and then sat on the toilet to prepare for a shower, but I couldn’t get up. I kept having stronger and stronger contractions one after another. My doula, Sue arrived and comforted me that things were moving forward now, helping me get in the proper mindset that I could embrace this as true labor after a few false starts. Sam sat on the floor in front of me pushing my tummy in to hold the baby in position while I labored on the toilet for a couple hours. Sue and my husband prepared the birthing tub in our dining room, lowered the lights and called the midwives when they heard my contractions begin to cause me to become more vocal. Sam and Sue helped me focus my breathing and sounds into a low tone, a relaxing and opening sound for my body and perfect for me to hone in on. I didn’t know this at the time while laboring on the toilet, but the hot water tank at our apartment had run cold and they were all hurrying around warming pots of water on the stove to prep for me to get in the tub.
The midwife and assistant showed up and would never actually check my cervix because there wasn’t time, but did use a doppler monitor to check the baby’s heartbeat. I walked with their help a few feet to get in the warm birth tub. My husband took over holding my belly inward from behind while sitting in the tub supporting me.
The doulas and midwife and assistant sat in a circle around us outside the tub. The assistant checked the baby’s heartbeat again. I started to push. It was quiet except for their words of encouragement and my low moaning as each contraction surged. I felt safe and confident in my ability to get my baby out. I liked being in the tub. The midwife or assistant were always checking my and the baby’s vitals, checking the temperature of the water, and used a flashlight to watch the baby crowning. With each push, they noticed a small amount of blood rush out, but were always monitoring. After about 30 minutes of pushing, the baby’s head came out. We all paused and allowed me to rest a moment, waiting for the next contraction to finish bringing our baby into the world. For whatever reason, a contraction did not come and after a minute the baby opened it’s eyes underwater and started to look around! So, the midwife asked if I could push the baby out and I did. Our second daughter was born! Her cord was loosely wrapped around her neck, so when I reached down and tried to pull her to my chest she was a bit caught. Sue reached over and hooked the cord with her finger to unravel it and I put our baby on my chest. She was healthy and alert and latched on to breastfeed almost immediately.
We stayed in the water a little while longer, my placenta came out and kind of fell apart. Then it started to get too cold in the water and the midwife wanted to assess the bleeding that was happening while I pushed and after. Everyone was calm and again I felt very safe and supported. Once in bed, I was given a shot of pitocin to ensure I contracted and delivered all the placenta etc. My doula, Sam made me a placenta smoothie and the midwife continued to monitor me and our new baby through what ended up being a very mild hemmorage. Everything medical was cleaned up while my doulas made sure we were comfortable, dishes were done, and I had to use the bathroom so that the midwives saw I was ok before they could leave. I felt a bit lightheaded from blood loss but otherwise fine. They examined the baby, filled out some paperwork, doulas made sure I was ok with breastfeeding and getting lots of skin to skin time—both for me with baby and my husband with the baby. We told our parents the baby had arrived and they came with our 2 yr old daughter to sleepily meet her new sister and be tucked in to her bed. We all talked about her name— we were torn between Everly or River. Once everyone was gone, our doulas tucked us in with baby swaddled tightly and we all had a good night’s rest in our own bed together. The next morning we woke up in our home as a new family of four and it was amazing.