It's true that you never forget your birth experience. Even if you have a rubbish memory like myself, you'll remember every last detail. When my daughter Olive was born at Pennsylvania hospital in 2007. Her actual birth was incredible, but I hated the cold feel of the hospital. I hated having to be so present in my labor to avoid unnecessary medical interventions. When I discovered I was pregnant again I knew with my whole heart that my baby would be born at home. I had met Christy prior to Olive's birth. My husband and I had just relocated to the States from England and unfortunately our insurance wouldn't cover home birth and neither would our savings account so hospital it had to be. We knew then that the 2nd time around Christy would be catching our baby. Christy knew this too and we kept in touch throughout my pregnancy with Olive and as soon as I saw the plus sign on the stick I was practically on the phone. I used to dread my appointments at the hospital, never knowing who I would see or how long it would take. This time it was always Christy and our appointments didn't even feel like appointments, more like visits with a friend. It was amazing to know that Christy would be there through it all. The prenatal, the birth and for post natal support.
When labor finally began at 40 weeks, 5 days around 10pm I called Christy to let her know things were moving along. I wanted to give her the heads up so she could get some sleep in case I might need to call her in the middle of the night. She thought it would be a good idea to come over right then to see how things were going. She was here before I knew it to find me standing up rocking my hips side to side, the only "comfortable" position I could find. Contractions were only 7 minutes apart but they were strong while I was having them. I asked if we should fill up the tub but we agreed it might be too soon for that. She and Steve did blow it up so that it would be ready when it was time to fill it. Meanwhile I kept having contractions and getting annoyed that they weren't getting closer together. Christy offered to check me and even though I was sure I must be 7cms I was only 4cm. I desperately wanted a plan. So Christy suggested I lie down for a half hour or so, then I could walk up and down the stairs and we'd fill the tub and see where we'd be at. So Steve and I crashed into bed and Christy went downstairs to snooze on the couch.
He fell instantly to sleep. I did too for a little while, before waking with the most painful contraction yet. I screamed out in pain and although I didn't wake my husband, I did wake my midwife. Christy turned on the light and said "how ya doing there mama?" All at once I was in action mode: "My water is going to break!" "Fill up the tub!" "Get my sister!" Steve scrambled to fit the hose to the sink. Christy told him to get Karen up and managed to get me out of bed an into the bathroom. I kept going on about the tub and how we needed to fill it and Christy gently let me know that there wasn't time to fill the tub but that I was going to meet my baby really soon. My water conveniently broke right on the toilet and I screamed that I had to push.
Our bathroom is super tiny so Christy thought we should go back into the bedroom. I told her I was worried that I might squish the baby's head but she told me that wouldn't happen and into the bedroom we went. My body began pushing and after a few quick pushes Christy's hands caught our baby. My husband let out a whoop "It's a boy! It's a boy!" and I looked down at the baby beneath me in utter disbelief that once again my body had brought forth new life. The very best part of homebirth was only just beginning. We snuggled up with our baby boy in our bed, in our room, in our home.
Olive had woken up by this point and my sister brought her in to meet her baby brother Luke. With wonder she took in her new baby brother, almost afraid to touch him. That moment was so sweet, our little family so complete. I spent the next two weeks on "babymoon". Something I had originally thought I would dread, I relished. Two weeks spent memorizing little hands, little feet, nourishing his little body was indeed the best thing for us both. It seemed even more important to incorporate this bonding time with my son, because before we knew it life was back into the everyday chaos being a mother brings. The support I had from Christy was so important and special and different from my previous experience. I feel so lucky to have experienced homebirth and how joyful it can be.