Elias James – A HBAC birth story

Given that today is E’s 1st Birthday I figured I would finally get around to writing out his birth story.

It was a snowy day, I was thrilled. We really don’t get much snow here on the West Coast. It just rains a LOT, there are many types of rain and I was wanting more of the frozen fluffy variety. I had visions of have the baby by the Christmas tree with snow falling softly in the background. I really didn’t think today was going to be the day, I had hoped the baby would arrive 5 days earlier on the 15, just to give a bit more distance from Christmas.

In the morning my Grandma had gone outside to shovel the front walk, and the older three were helping her. I stood watching from the upper floor window. thinking I should go help but knowing that my pregnant body would not hold up to it.1476211_10152067370925042_1113720901_n

I continued to wander around the house trying to figure out a way to keep myself busy. I decided the best course of action was to go out side and get some pictures of the kids in our rare snow day. I bundled my self up as much as I could and headed out. Taking pictures of course turned into a snowball fight and making snow angels

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We of course had to get a picture of my rounded self. Not knowing it would be one of the last ones of me pregnant.

After some snow fun we had some lunch and then it was time for a nap as both C and I were tired. I know Grandma went down for a nap as well. The bigger boys headed downstairs to watch some TV.  Here is when things began to get started.

I remember about 2pm waking up to a sudden though of  “GET OUT OF THE BED NOW!” I got up and rushed to the bathroom as fast as my waddley self could go. Once I got the en suite toilet I knew something didn’t feel quite right. I drooped my pants as fast as I couldDSCF2208 and assumed the position. GUSH Yup there she goes, a bust of amniotic fluid. My plug had gone a day or two before so there was no surprise here. I was pretty sure things were going to go into gear from here. I didn’t want to wake the sleeping house though so I called my Doula and let her know what was going on. After talking we had decided to see how things are progressing and she would get her affairs in order so that she could head over. I then sent my hubby probably the most interesting text. Thankfully he actually was on high alert and checking his phone at this time. ( He doesn’t most of the time)

The text- Are you committed to working the rest of your day? Really who asks their husband that? Clearly I was kinda going into my birth space at this point because that is just not a normal thing to ask, when your waters have release and you are having regular birthing waves. Alas that is the question I asked.  His response was one to question what I was talking about and to quickly call me. I explained that my waters had released about 45 minutes prior and things were kinda getting started. I then asked him again if he wanted to come home. He naturally made the wise choice to cancel the rest of his day and was home in about 7 minutes.

When he arrived I still hadn’t told anyone in the house that things had started. Grandma was still having her nap and none the wiser. With David’s arrival it was clear that something was going on to the everyone else, because why else would he be home 4 -5 hours early. David came to the bedroom to find me where I was still keeping things together for the most part but things were definitely getting more intense. I had him start getting the pool ready as we were having a waterbirth at home with this baby.  Now here the exact series of events get kinda hazy I’m pretty sure David had the pool set up before I had him me to the living room so I could start listening to my birthing time hypnobabies soundtrack. He may have been doing that while I was listening but those details don’t really matter. I know by about 4 or 4:30 David had called our doula back to know that things were definitely going and she needed to get here quickly. I just know she showed up at one point.  Remember being glad that she was there because I was getting done with listening to my track and I wanted her to tell me I could stop doing it now. ( Our doula was also our hypnobabies instructor)

Shortly after she arrived I remember something being decided that i needed to go to the bathroom. I hadn’t been since my water release a few hours previous. I’m pretty sure my hallways was longer than it had ever been, they tricked me somehow and took me through a fun house maze maybe. But either way we got there and whoa doodle movement made things get moving. I’m not sure how long we were there it may have been 10 minutes or longer. I felt like a long time but not at the same time. It is crazy how your perception is so wonked out when you are in the moment.  Anyways after that experience I then wanted back in the living room. I wanted to see my Christmas tree and see if things were the way I liked it. I couldn’t walk by myself at this point because things were so intense. My hubby and doula then got me all set up with my ball and a chair for support. That way I didn’t fall off the ball. Which is something I do when I am in fully control of my body, let’s not take chances while my primal self is in control.

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At one point C brought me some rubber duckies to hold. They were really the best things for me because I could squeeze them with every wave.

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On our way back to the living room I had asked David to start getting the water in the tub because I was ready to get in.  This is where a series of funny little events happened. I sat there watching David get the water filled and I saw that he had forgotten to put the liner in. It took me awhile to put together the words to tell him that he had forgotten it. By the time I did there was an inch or so of water in the bottom of the pool. so cue dumping water and getting a liner in place 🙂

After awhile I asked when I could get in thing were really starting to feel very intense. I don’t tend to be super vocal and the environment was very peaceful. I was calm but I was starting to doubt myself. ( which should have been a clear indicator that we were almost done)

When It was finally time for me to get into the pool it was quite the process. Both David and our doula had to help up to standing, which prompted another release of waters.  then out of the clothes I was wearing. Two steps another birthing wave and then another two to get me to the pool. I was then assisted into the pool. The water felt lovely. I often use baths for a method of relaxation and this was so wonderful.

Things happened very fast at this point. I had a birthing wave but it was not the same intensity as they had previously been. I relaxed back into the pool edge, sinking into a level of peaceful bliss. I was aware of things going on around me  but they didn’t simply matter at all. I’m pretty sure something could have been burning down and I would have smiled in peace. Speaking of burning, next came a slight burning sensation, I thought to myself. “huh? this just maybe the ring of fire the people speak of “. The thought that followed was ” how do I know I am dilated enough?” Oh had I forgot to mention there was no midwife in attendance? Yeah we weren’t really into that sort of thing this time around. More on that later. Or you can go back to last year and see the issues surrounding that. 🙂

So back to the topic at hand. as I lay there contemplating how my body was actually doing its job in birthing a baby. I decided I should let everyone in on what was happening. As the next wave hit I rolled to my side and announced that the baby was coming.  There was a flurry of activity, as the bigger boys were downstairs and had expressed that they wanted to be present for the birth. The video camera was on and children were called. D wanted to video the birth C DSCF2234thought he should as well, thus a fight had to ensue. My rock awesome doula came up with a solution and had a little battery-powered candle that C  got to hold for mommy.  I was hearing most of the goings on but was pretty much numb to it.  I really had my own thing going on.

I remember telling Dave that I think the baby is coming and that the head was there. He checked and then I am pretty sure I told him to not touch the baby. One more wave and out he came. David assisted me in getting the baby as I was up on my knees and wanted to sit back. Out he came from the water and he was a healthy screaming baby boy. WOW 4 boys for us. How blessed are we 🙂 He was born about 7:10 pm, 5 hours after my waters had released and 3 1/2 hours after the birthing waves really began to kick in. DSCF2256

We then decided to call the midwives now that the baby was born and the birth couldn’t be interfered with. I snuggled my sweet baby boy in the water for quite some time after. He latched and started nursing within about 5 minutes of his birth.  after about 20 or so minutes it was decided that I needed to get out of the pool. I had tried but was unable to move. I think my body was pretty exhausted from the butt whooping that it just got from a very fast birthing time. I had David pretty much pick me and the baby up out of the pool and we headed to the bedroom where I then birthed the placenta 20 is minutes later and I could rest.

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The baby and I remained connected until the placenta delivery and then after we separated him from the placenta. Mostly just because I was worried about the older boys knocking it over and making a mess. I was then able to lay back and rest a bit. My wonderful doula kept my hydrated and nourished with water and dates all they time. It was like she knew I needed stuff before I did. It was wonderful to have such a help.

Unfortunately my body it had scar tissue from my first two births and I torn again so that needed to be fixed. I think that is why I felt the need to have the midwife in attendance. The stitching was a very interesting and educational component for little boys who  felt that they had to be part of everything. There were some things said and statements that made everyone laugh. Needless to say I don’t think they will be shocked when their future wives have babies of their own. Thankfully it was an easy one and she was able to get things done right there.  We then weighed our little monkey. 8 pounds! Bigger than his last brother but smaller than the biggest two

DSCF2294After all was said and done The midwife was present for maybe about 2 hours most of it being paperwork. My doula left after about 2 hours post birth I think. Then it was time to settle everyone down for rest for the night.  I stayed in bed and life was really quite wonderful no one moving disturbing me or anything. I just got to relax in the comfort of my own home after my baby.

For the record my Doula was Gina Snyder of Truly Pure Birth. If you live in the GVRD and are having a homebirth you should use her.

Project Doula

I think that Doula’s are one of the most under use birth tools out there. They are a wonderful tool for any birthing mother or couple out there. Now often doula’s are misunderstood and people have no idea how they can actually help you. Doula’s are not midwives and midwives or doctors do not replace a doula. This is an important thing to clarify right of the get go. They are very different professions and they have very different jobs.

I didn’t have a doula with my first. Honestly I didn’t know they existed. I didn’t know a lot of things when I had my first. ( more on that in a later post ) I had my husband and my grandmother there, they were both wonderfully supportive of me. Though with only a loose birth plan, not knowing my rights of informed choice, and a medical staff that refused to listen to a first time mom. Let’s just say some stuff happened and I’m not happy with how I was treated.

With my second I had a team of doula’s. They were wonderful ladies who were essential to my birth being more respected than my first. They took notes and pictures, massaged me. Lifted me up when I was feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore. Along with them was my husband and my best friend. I can honestly say it was my best birth of the three. There was still some things done that were not consented to but I’m feeling it was just part of being in the hospital.With my third I had a doula but due to the circumstances surrounding the birth she was not much of an asset. Things happened to fast and with a transfer to the hospital due to health related concerns she walked into turmoil. I don’t fault her as no one knew what was going on and I was in such emotional upheaval that I barely noticed her and don’t know what, if anything she said to me.

With my fourth I am planning a very different birth experience. I’m going into this as a  empowered woman with tool and the belief in herself. and her capabilities. I have found a doula who respects birth in it’s most natural form. She trusts the natural process and she believe in the woman’s ability to birth. I know that she is supportive of my choices and I know she will stand by me as I advocate for my rights. I may almost go as far as saying I love her.

Having a doula that will blend well with you and respect your space is most important. This person needs to be trusted, as they will be with you in your most primal and vulnerable state.  They will often be with you more than your care provider, having a front seat to all the goings on in the birthing space. You doula will remain a part of your birth forever and hopefully they will be a wonderful peaceful part of it.

Did you have a doula? Do you want a doula?