Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Luke's Birth Story



I woke up around 2:30am to go to the bathroom as usual. But after I had gone, I felt a leaking sensation. I'm not sure when I realized that my water was leaking-- after googling what that's supposed to feel like or when my midwife confirmed it over the phone. Contractions started ten minutes later. I was too focused on what my body was doing to fall back asleep so I stayed up timing contractions while I let Tare sleep. He woke up for work around 4:45am and went about his business and I lingered in the bathroom until I finally told him I thought I was having contractions. We called the midwife at 5:30am and she told me to call back in two hours to see where my contractions were at. Soon they were still a bit irregular but 5-7 minutes apart and getting stronger. By this time, I accepted I was actually in labor and started preparing what we would need at hand for our home birth.

I'm not sure when exactly it was that I heard about homebirths (a couple years ago), but I know it was from reading several birth stories on blogs. The idea intrigued me (especially water birth) but I just left it at that. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was planning a hospital birth. I went to an OBGYN for my first prenatal visit and had a terrible experience. I ended up going to the ER for bleeding because of the pap smear from that visit and I hadn't liked the doctor's answers to my questions about her birth philosophy. I also didn't like waiting for 15-20 minutes to be seen for my appointments when the doctor would only see me for 5 minutes.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted a natural, drug-free birth and the more I learned about the OBGYNs and hospitals and the more I researched midwives and homebirthing, it was clear I would be going with the latter. It took some convincing for Tare to be on board, but once he was he supported me 100%. We interviewed a midwife and I just knew she was the right person to be at our birth and provide prenatal care of my baby and me. She came to our home for every visit and stayed at least an hour to talk to us about how to take care of my body during pregnancy, preparing for labor and any questions we had along with checking the baby's heartbeat and other typical prenatal care. Such a different model of care!

It took some time for the midwife to arrive because she lives an hour away and I had to lie on my side to slow down the process. (If I hadn't, I think I might have had the baby even sooner!) Once she arrived, she prepared the birth tub with Tare and soon after I moved into the tub. (Originally, we were supposed to get a birthing tub but the ones she had were given to her other clients whose due dates were ahead of mine so we made do with ours.) I had prepared for labor by reading the Bradley Method & Hypnobirthing books and I breathed & prayed through my contractions reminding myself to relax and visualize myself opening up to let baby through. Once I got into the tub the contractions were so strong I could no longer get through them quietly. Soon the overwhelming urge to push came over me and I was vocalizing through each one as they came. They were so powerful and it had been long since I had surrendered control over my body. Active labor started around 9am and I pushed for about an hour and a half. I felt burning as the baby's head was crowning (I later found out he came out with his hand by his face!) and with just two more pushes he was out!

Baby tokki was born at 11:17am very peacefully in water. It was surreal to hold the little person I had grown for nine months in my arms and to finally see what he looked like! He did not cry when he was born but just coughed to clear his airways and was so calm in my arms. We left the umbilical cord until it was done pulsing, cut it, then moved into bed to have our first nursing experience.




I feel so blessed to have had the birth experience I wanted and prepared for. It was painful and hard but it was the most beautiful and powerful experience of my life. I wish I was better with words to capture more of that in writing. Pregnancy and labor and all of its aches, pains, and limitations were worth it to have our baby with us...

And already it's been one month.

11 comments:

chie said...

amazing story..thank you for sharing! i got so emotional reading it, as im approaching the day of my baby's birth very soon. im scared of the pain, but so so excited to see my baby after 9 months so much.

Smilecusiluvu said...

I LOVE your blog! and who ever is taking your picture is doing an awesome job! the baby is soo beautiful!.

hanamik said...

Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment! I'm glad my story relieves some of your fear; there are so many beautiful birth stories that helped me when preparing for my own birth.

hanamik said...

Home births are just as safe as hospital births and maybe even safer in terms of not exposing the baby to anything when born at home. Immunizations are the same for babies born at home or the hospital, home birth babies don't need any preventative shots.

hanamik said...

Thanks Sonja :) Prayer is definitely what got me through the tough moments and I hope your birth experience is wonderful and what you are praying for!

hanamik said...

I'm glad my midwife took some photos for us! They'll be great to look back on with the baby.

carolina said...

that was the most amazing story i have ever read <3 thank you for sharing that experience!!! I have had the biggest fear of giving birth (and i'm not even pregnant)..but it all washed away with your story. thank you for the power & inspiration ^.^

greeting&good vibes from Canada

Jenn said...

I never heard about home births before. Would your baby need preventive shots for chicken pox and other diseases? I'm very glad everything went well ^^

Sonja said...

girl, you've got me tearing up as I'm finishing my breakfast! What a beautiful birth!! Thank you so much for posting this :) I have moments of fear and anxiety about what's to come, and always have to remind myself to PRAY!!! We're praying for a similar experience- but in the hospital with our midwife. Absolutely gorgeous photos :)

Sandy a la Mode said...

wow!! what an amazing story and that's soo awesome you have pictures to capture it too!!

Ainsley DeWitt said...

beautiful birthing story :)