In May of 2010 I discovered I was carrying a new little addition to our family.
At 38 weeks I began to feel my body giving out on my pregnancy. My swelling was starting and my blood pressure, while normal, was a little higher than desired.
So at 38 weeks and 5 days, with a little help from Karen we began to set things in motion.
After a false start that same afternoon, and disappointment that my contractions disappeared after 8 hours of come-and-go pain, I reluctantly gave in to trying to sleep. It was midnight when we all finally got in bed.
I remember closing my eyes and settling in for another night pregnant, hoping a new day would bring a baby girl to us. Our bed had been prepped for birth and was covered with a plastic sheet underneath a cotton one, and I was too tired to care to remove the plastic, so I just slept on it.
I began dreaming, dreaming of holding my baby and dreaming of what she would look like. Then at 2am I was jolted awake by strong contractions. Too tired to really want to have more contractions I got in the tub to try to calm them down, I am so not a night owl and basically tried to keep my baby girl in until morning. But Rebecca had decided she’d rather get the show on the road, and after an hour of consistently stronger and more painful contractions, we called Karen, who graciously rushed back to our house (a 40 minute drive) and arrived with me walking around and breathing through & timing contractions. I continued timing contractions for about 3 hours which was silly, since it wasn’t like they were going away, but it kept me busy.
Around 6am Karen checked my progress (for the first time during labor, mind you) and I was 9cm! I was so excited to hear the number 9! And she said if I wanted to push a little to try to push it to 10 I could try, so I did, but my body wasn’t ready to give it up yet, so she broke my water and I had to breathe through some serious intensity and finally by 8:15am I could begin really pushing.
At 8:42am our Rebecca Lee slid out and was placed, warm, wet, and perfectly beautiful and brand new on my now deflated belly. I soaked in the scent of my newborn baby and rubbed her up and down to feel her smooth and soft skin, as she cried I took in every little wail and was so thankful for every breath she breathed and how she beamed with health. I slid her up to my chest, where she wiggled her way to her first meal and started nursing with very little need for guidance from me. And she & I both napped for the first time together.
Having a home birth was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had, it’s empowering, fulfilling, and beautiful from start to finish.
I loved the bond I had immediately with Rebecca, she slept better, ate better, nursed easier, and was more alert when awake.
Karen was wonderful to have throughout my pregnancy and at the birth, a very calming presence, and did nothing to interfere with the process and only assisted when needed. I know I will never again trust my prenatal care to anyone else, and will always plan my births at to happen at home.