I have had four amazing unmedicated hospital births, and with our fifth, we wanted to try doing it at home. After working in a hospital for 15 years, it wasn’t really my favorite place to give birth. So I transitioned from my hospital midwife group to a wonderful local midwife. We also hired a doula to be an extra set of helping hands. Then I dove into all the books and podcasts that I could find on the topic. I also decided to take a hypnobirthing course to mentally prepare to have our best birth yet!
After months of preparation and educating myself, we arrived at our “due date,” but as with my other four births, I went past the date. So, we went out to eat spicy food to see if that would get things going. Nothing started. So we waited. I finished getting everything set up for the perfect birth, and recorded a video showing everyone how we planned to make it go perfectly. Then the very next day around 5:30 pm, I started to lose my mucus plug. A great sign! We went to bed and I woke up to some very mild lower back cramping throughout the night. Then in the morning, I went for a long walk and felt nothing. This was a little discouraging. My midwife told us to watch a romantic movie to get my oxytocin increased. So we watched The Notebook. After we wrapped up the movie, I lost the rest of my mucus plug! I guess it worked! Went to bed that night and had cramping again at night. Then in the morning, it stopped yet again! I have never had prodromal labor before, so this was quite frustrating. We did a few reels for Instagram to pass the time.
We decided to go run errands and grab lunch as a family. More spicy food on the menu! In the evening, my back cramps picked up, and we started timing them this time. Very manageable and regular. But then, they would fade. We finally decided to go to bed at 10:30 pm, and then they changed. More regular and much more intense. We called our team and they headed our way.
This was SO much better than having to get into the car and head to the hospital! I put food into crockpots, filled diffusers with essential oils, put on relaxing music, and set the calm mood by turning on the fairy lights I had hung in our bedroom.
When my team arrived, we just hung out and worked through contractions. It was so peaceful. The energy from our team was amazing, such strong feminine energy. My husband even commented on it. I felt so connected to the billions of women who had birthed before me. For thousands of years, this is what birth was like: women supporting women, in a very calm and safe environment (very different from the hospital experiences I had).
The kids got ready for bed, but my two oldest wanted to stay up for the main event. So they hung in there as best they could. We labored and labored. Went up and down stairs doing the Miles Circuit. I got into the shower, into the tub, and walked outside under the stars with my doula, Justine.
Hours passed and I could not believe that it was going on for so long! With my previous births, I had my membranes stripped and labor started fast and furious within 24 hours. With this birth, I decided not to do that and to let labor start naturally — which I think allowed it to progress slowly and naturally.
Contractions were getting really strong, so we moved to the toilet to see if that would move the baby down. I labored on there for what seemed like forever. Soon the sun was coming up. Two of our kids were still up laboring with us, so we put them to bed and my birth team actually tucked me into bed rest too! I had been asking if it was possible to take a break, assuming that it would not be possible. It was! Actually, my whole team fell asleep for a while.
It was just what we all needed. I would wake for a contraction and my husband would help me breathe through it in bed, then we would go back to sleep. We all ate breakfast at 7:00 am to get the energy to get back to it. They decided to break my water bag. Then the real work started, getting baby down so we could push. The positions I labored in were intense!! Standing up with them holding my belly up from behind, face down in the tub like a skydiver, laying flat on my back in bed, on a birthing stool. I was having back labor AGAIN (I have with all of my births), and it was my most intense yet! Apparently, my body just likes to push out OP babies because I did everything to prevent back labor (pelvic floor physical therapy, Webster chiropractic, acupuncture, gave up running, Gilligan’s guide for positioning) throughout my pregnancy.
My midwife checked me and it was go time! I could now push, and push I did!! But we were not making great progress. I have never pushed so hard at any birth. We paused to try to brainstorm the best game plan to get a really effective push. They had me rest with my leg up on a peanut ball and all of a sudden I felt a real strength within me. With my daughter and husband by my side holding my hands, I gave it everything I had, and then a head emerged, then with one more push, we had a baby on my chest!! Ellie announced that we had another girl (we had all been praying for a sister for Ellie!), and then began to cry. It was truly one of the most beautiful moments of my life!
The birth bliss set in and all of my boys came in to meet their new baby sister. It was supernatural. To be at home surrounded by these amazing women, and all of my family, was indescribable. So much joy, no chaos of a busy hospital.
We enjoyed the “golden hour” and allowed the placenta to transfuse all the blood to the baby. The kids got a real-life lesson all about the placenta. We weighed and measured our sweet baby girl. Everyone got to hold her. She nursed like a champ right away. Then, they got me up to the toilet and made up my bed.
Everyone stuck around for a couple of hours. They cleaned, did laundry, made me tea for my peri bottles, and even offered to make food (which I politely declined because this girl wanted to order sushi!). We snuggled into bed and enjoyed our newest family member. A perfect day that will always remain one of my most precious memories!
If you are considering a homebirth, and you are low-risk, I highly recommend it! Of my five births, this one was the longest, most intense, and hardest — but it was by FAR my best. It was truly supernatural.
Before our birth, I recorded a video about everything we did to prep, you can watch that HERE. I also have a motherhood page with resources, and I am working on a course for mamas. Right now my favorite birth course is the Mama Natural Birth Course, she has a Baby Course too. I wish for all of you to experience this level of joy in a homebirth!