Ainsley Maeve's Homebirth 1/23 story pic
Find a Conversation
|Wed, 01-24-2007 - 9:28am|
Ainsley Maeve was born at home yesterday morning (Tuesday Jan. 23) assisted by two midwives and DH.
This was my second unmedicated birth, my daughter Elspeth born Dec. 2001 at a midwife run birth center (home births were illegal in Quebec Canada until last year). Because the midwives have all the medical equipment at home births as they do at the birth center (which isn't much at that) we felt as comfortable doing it at home as at the birth center. And given the notoriety of Quebec hospitals for care and cleanliness, we definitely wanted to avoid them unless there was, of course, a medical reason.
I've had a week of strong evening contractions and felt pretty grumpy all of Monday. I woke to a strong contraction at 12:30 am and they were immediately 10 minutes apart. I hung out in bed and watched TV til 4:30 when I woke up DH, mostly for moral support. At 6 am I called my mother to pick up Elspeth at 7:30 for the day and by 6:30 or 7, despite a nice hot bath, I had had a few contractions strong enough that we decided to call in the midwife. We had been told that the "it's time to come over" point was when I had had an hour of contractions 5 minutes apart, but as it turned out, I'm glad we called when they were only 8 minutes apart. She arrived at 7:30 am and I was already wanting to push. I was nervous to get checked to see how dilated I was because I was stuck at 3-4 cm with constant contractions for 4 hours when Elspeth was born but by 7:30 am I was already 8-9 cm! So I got to become nervous that things were progressing so fast! LOL. She told me not to push until the last 1 cm was dilated so as to not traumatize or swell the cervix. It was harder to not push than to deal with the pain of the contractions at that point. When her backup midwife arrived at 8:15 am they told me I could push if I felt the urge. Everything seemed to stall for about 20 minutes at this point and I rested on the bed, with only a few gentle contractions and virtually no pain. When the contractions resumed again, the position I used to give birth to Elspeth (lying on my side) didn't seem to work for me so they propped me up side ways against DH, who was placed lying up against the headboard. When the next contraction I gave it everything I had and Ainsley popped out with the first push and her body with the next. I seem to recall that the midwives wanted me to rest after the head was out and wait for the next contraction to push out her body but I was in no mood to wait! The placenta slipped out approximately 10 minutes later and Ainsley was able to latch on well 5 minutes after that.
There were two very minor "not even complications"; the first and less serious being that my midwife felt I bled a bit more than she was comfortable with (500 ccs) by the time I had delivered the placenta so I got a shot in my leg of something which helps the uterus contract. The other issue was that Ainsley had a slightly low body temperature (34.5 degrees) which was 2-3 degrees below normal. We brought in 3 space heaters to the bedroom and put them on high, bundled her up warmly between us on the bed, and her temperature increased half a degree per half hour over the next two hours, so that was easily resolved as well. I had no tears or lacerations but 24 hours later, I am obviously tender and slightly swollen.
DH and I are very happy with the homebirth. While of the mind that birth is over medicalized in our society, I am not fanatical about the issue and know that it is not for everyone, nor would I have hesitated to go to the hospital at the first sign of trouble. The midwives were incredible, as was the "aide natale" (in French it means birth assistant but it's actually a post-birth helper). The assistant midwife left around 10 am but my midwife and the assistant were there until 1:30 or 2 pm and DH and I were treated royally. Yummy fruit snacks and tea brought to me in bed, two loads of laundry done and everything tidied up! The downside of the home birth was that it's too easy to get up and do stuff around the house instead of just lying in bed! I passed a very large blood clot last night (must have been the equivalent of a cup of blood) and I'm going to find out if that was normal due to the slightly elevated bleeding or because I overdid it. Elspeth and my mom arrived home around 7 pm and Elspeth is very excited to have a sister and is already acting very "big sister" around her.
I have photos of Ainsley and family if anyone would like to see.
Good luck to all the mothers who haven't had their January babies yet!