Saturday, March 21, 2015

Layla's Birth Story

This is the birth story of our 2nd daughter, Layla. Please note… this birth story contains a detailed account of my labor and her birth. You have been warned. ;-)

For those of you that don’t want to read the whole story:

She was born at 10:16 AM on December 2nd, 2014 in the comfort of our home with a wonderful midwife. Eight hours after my water broke and labor started, she entered the world at 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long. We had a completely natural and wonderful home birth after cesarean.

Here’s the Story

I started having contractions on November 30th at 2:45 AM. They were every 5 minutes and 1 minute long. After getting in the shower and timing them for an hour, I called my midwife. Since she lives an hour away she asked if I wanted her to come down. I told her to wait a little bit, and I went and laid down. The contractions slacked up a bit and after about 30 minutes they were only every 45 minutes. I rested a while longer until Addie woke up at 6:30 AM. I got up and ate breakfast and tended to her. My contractions were pretty much gone by then. I was just a little crampy. 

The next night (Sunday night/Monday morning; December 1st, 2014) I had the same thing. At 2:30 AM I awoke with contractions. Got in the shower and they slacked off again. I went back to bed. That morning I had a few as I was sending my Hubby off to work. Addie was still sleeping so I went to do a little sewing and cleaning. I cleaned the kitchen, living room, and reorganized my sewing room. I was crampy again all day long but I didn't have any regular contractions. Did I mention that was my birthday?  

That night my hubby came home and we ate supper. I got more work done in my sewing room before bed. I went to bed pretty early since I hadn't slept well the past two nights anyway. Layla was moving around so intensely and I had so much pressure that I thought for sure she was just going to come out. 

It’s Time!

That night 2:30 AM came around and once again I was having a couple contractions. Since they felt the same as the last two nights, I just rolled over and went back to sleep. 15 minutes later I felt a small pop in my pelvis area. I touched Hubby on the shoulder and whispered… “My water just broke!” I slowly got out of bed, because at 40 weeks pregnant you don’t really go anywhere quick. I got to the bathroom and called my midwife. She asked me about my contractions and how I was feelings. At that point I didn't think my contractions were coming regularly yet. She had me check my cervix to make sure I didn't feel a prolapse cord or anything of the sorts. I told her I would call her when my contractions picked up and were regular. I went out to the kitchen and ate a banana and a granola bar. She called me back at 4 AM and wanted to check on me. She told me she was going to head down to check on me. 

 About an hour later she arrived. We talked for a few minutes about how I was feeling and how my contractions were. She took my vitals and checked for dilation. We quickly learned that I was already at 5-6 CM dilated! 

Once we found that out, Hubby had to quickly change plans for work since we were having a baby and she was coming sooner than later.

 I labored around the house for a few more hours. I rested on the couch in between contractions. The really neat thing about having a home birth is that there is absolutely NO rush. I wasn't hooked up to monitors. My midwife didn't check my dilation again…ever. We literally let my body do what it was made to do. They weren't timing my contractions… out loud at least. I just labored how I saw fit. They checked my BP and baby’s heart rate every 30 minutes just to make sure we were doing okay. As my contractions got stronger and closer together, they started checking on baby’s heart more frequently.

 Birth Pool

My plan was to have a water birth. I will tell you one thing… that warm water felt SO good during contractions. Once I reached the transition phase of labor, I got in the water, starting off on my hands and knees and laid my head down on the side of the pool between contractions. During a contraction my hubby helped me manage the pain by applying pressure to my hips and rotating them. The birth assistant poured the warm water on my back during a contractions as well. 

After a little while, I moved into the second stage of labor. I was ready to push. That is probably the most difficult thing about labor (at least for me). As a first time laboring mom, I hadn't gotten a chance to figure out the pushing part. It was a whole new experience. The pushing actually gave me relief from the pain of the contraction. It was however the most exhausting part of birthing a baby. 

 Changing Positions

When you labor in a hospital, most of the time you are restricted to the bed to push. I truly don’t think I would have succeeded with my VBAC if I couldn't get up and move. After pushing in the pool for a little bit I felt the need to get up. My wonderfully helpful hubby helped me move to the bed room. I had an overwhelming urge to lay down and rest for a few minutes. I laid on my side on my bed and rested between contractions for just a few minutes. Again we changed positions. Finally, my Hubby sat on the bed with his feet dangling, and I sat in front of him. During a contraction, I stood up and he supported me with his arms. I pushed in the squat position. My midwife applied pressure to my perineum during pushing and it helped me figure out how and "where" to push.

The Ring of Fire

After a few pushes I felt "the ring of fire." This feeling usually comes when the baby starts crowning. It is crucial during this feeling that you don't push hard to try and prevent tearing. Tearing is usually caused from the baby coming too quick or pushing too hard. If you allow your body to push during this time, you have a better chance of not tearing. 

What is a VBAC?

A VBAC is a vaginal birth after Cesarean and a HBAC is a home birth after Cesarean. Since my first baby was born via C-Section, I had to fight for a vaginal birth the second time around. I asked my OB and he said "No VBACs are allowed in my hospital." So when we got pregnant with Layla, I thought I was fighting a losing battle. In the state of Florida, a VBAC mom can only birth in two places... a hospital or at home. I hired a midwife and began the journey to have my VBAC. I was nervous at first about having a home birth, I would have preferred to be in a birth center at the least. But that wasn't an option. I will be doing a write up on VBACs soon. 

Back to the birth story: 

Layla, was born into the world at 10:16 AM. She was 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long. 

Here are some pictures of Layla during her Newborn Exam:
Layla is getting cleaned up here. Everything was done in our bedroom. I was actually sitting in the bed right next to her while my midwife was doing her newborn exam. 
Getting her weight checked. Instead of being laid on a cold hard scale to be measured, she was put in a linen pouch to be weighted. 
Here she is at 2 hours old. She had just nursed for the first time. We were laying in bed resting. 
Are you interested in having a homebirth? What questions do you have?

I will be posting some follow up posts about the whole process over the next few days. Please subscribe so you don't miss a post.

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