I Gave Birth at Home

Shannon's Story

When I woke at 5:30am, I went to the bathroom and noticed a spot of blood. Beyond that, all seemed normal, so I went on with my day.

At 8:30 I was still noticing blood after urination, but the baby was moving around normally. It wasn't until 1:45pm that the contractions started getting my attention. They were six to nine minutes apart.

When the contractions were between three and four minutes apart, around 3pm, I called my midwife. We talked, and I agreed to call her back when contractions were heavy and three minutes apart consistently.

By 5 p.m. the contractions were back to back, though they still ranged from two to four minutes apart. I got in the shower, as my midwife had told me it would ease my discomfort; it did not. This is my most vivid memory of labor: the total inability to get comfortable. I wasn't in excruciating pain, but there wasn't anything I could do to get comfortable. This was when, at 5:36, the baby's dad called the midwife and said, "I think this is it."

I got out of the shower and crawled on all fours up the stairs to the bedroom where we'd decided to give birth. By this point I could no longer walk for comfort, so mostly I sat in the rocking chair while my partner put the plastic on the bed.

My midwife arrived at 6:30, and between contractions she checked my dilation: 10 centimeters. I still wasn't pushing at that point because I had no urge to do so.

A couple of hours later my midwife said that it was time for me to start pushing, so onto the bed we went. The only comfortable position for me was on all fours. I began pushing with the contractions as my midwife instructed, but I had a problem in that one set of muscles would push the baby out and another set would pull the baby back in. My midwife told me this, but I couldn't tell which muscles were doing what. During the next contraction I pushed again. My midwife touched the muscles that were pulling the baby back in, and I relaxed those muscles. In two pushes, the baby crowned.

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