Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mabel's Home Birth

Saturday evening I realized I was having regular Braxton Hicks and nothing I did seem to help them go away. So I called one of my midwives around 9 and told her what was going on. She said that it can be pretty normal and there was a chance they could still go away and just try to ignore them if possible. I had slept a lot that day, but thankfully I was able to actually fall asleep that night! BYU had a game that night that didn’t start until 10 ET, so Trevor was up really late. He didn’t go to bed until 2:30AM! But he still says it was worth it…ha!

Around 4:30AM my contractions woke me up. I read and re-read the paper I was given of “when to call the midwife,” and realized that this was it. Two weeks before our due date! I called the midwives and they said they would head over soon.

I knew I wasn’t “far along” in the birthing process, but the whole pregnancy I’d been nervous about having a repeat of Rosie’s birth - her crowning in the car - I didn’t want that again! Too stressful! Plus, they always say that the second birth goes faster than the first. So that’s why I asked everyone to come when they did.

Bridget and Chrissy (midwives) showed up around 7:30 and checked my vitals. She had been head down for the last few months and her little booty was still high up in my belly. Her position was perfect.

I put on Hypnobabies’ “Birthing Day Affirmations” track and put it on repeat. It really calmed me down and helped me relax. A couple hours later, my in-laws left with Rosie. I didn’t really want Rosie in the house (plus other people). Not only did I not want Rosie to hear me yelling, but I found it very distracting hearing her downstairs playing. It was easier for me to relax with everyone gone.

By the time I had hit 9 hours of laboring (not counting the contractions from the night before) I was ready to be done! It had already been 2 hours longer than Rosie’s, so I was feeling frustrated and confused. WHY wasn’t this baby here already? I thought for sure this one would only be 5 hours tops.

I can’t remember why, but Trevor had to leave the room for a minute and I was having a bad contraction, and I was bent over, leaning on the tub (which was still empty), and Bridget came over and pushed on my lower back…It did not feel good. After the contraction I stood up and just started crying. I’m not sure why, but I lost it at that point. Bridget, Chrissy, and Erin (apprentice) were all in there and I just felt so weak and helpless at that moment. In my mind I thought I was going to “rock this homebirth” and it was going to be easy, calm, and peaceful. This was my second time around and I was going to have my dream, zen-like birth. And right then I realized that I was exhausted, hurting, and just wanted to throw in the towel. Sooooo totally NOT rocking it.

I just wiped my eyes and kinda shrugged, “I’m really tired…” Bridget rubbed my arm and was totally understanding and said, “That’s Ok, that’s ok. This is hard work. You’re doing fine. This is good. Let’s go ahead and fill the tub up. A change of pace is a good thing.”

They then began filling up the tub and Bridget had me rest on my bed on my knees with my head down and tailbone up. Then she’d push on my back during the contractions and instruct me to breathe out low tones then take a deep relaxing breath at the end of each one. The pressing on my back still did NOT feel good, but the low tones gave me something to focus on, where earlier I was just kind of moaning and shouting randomly. Trevor stayed right next to me holding my hand the entire time. If he ever did need to step away, he would always RUN right back to be next to me.

I was still up on the bed, with the tub filling, when they stopped the water to let the water heater catch up. So they started boiling water downstairs on the stove and in the skillet! And every few minutes they would be up with a bowl of hot water to dump in the tub J

After a while they were able to turn the hose back on, fill the tub, and let me get in.
It felt so good! I kinda sat on my knees, with my body leaning over the pool towards the bed. While Trevor sat on the bed holding my hands and me. The contractions just got stronger and stronger. I could feel so many different things going on in my body.

I was in the water for maybe 10 minutes when my water finally broke! Hallelujah! I shouted, “my water broke!” and they came running in and the energy in the room changed. They were busy moving around getting gloves on and grabbing their gear. Chrissy checked the baby’s heart rate but was having a hard time finding the heartbeat this time, it wasn’t where it had been earlier, but didn’t think much of it.

And then my body started pushing. I could feel my baby starting to move down my body and beginning to crown. I could also feel the ring of fire this time. Last time this all happened in a car and I was so distracted that I didn’t feel any of it…I could definitely feel it this time. And as tough as it was, I was just relieved this was almost over!!! I pushed for maybe a 2 minutes then heard “We’ve got feet!”

Both Trevor and I shouted, “Is she alright?!!” Bridget calmly said, “She’s fine, don’t worry.” Trevor leaned into me and said, “It’s all ok, their faces look completely calm.” My body started pushing again and this time she came out to her chest. They then said, “Wait until your body starts pushing again.” But that didn’t happen! So we all just sat there for a moment waiting for my body to push but nothing happened. So they said, “Ok mamma, we’ve got to get your baby out so we’re going to need you to push hard.” So I started pushing. They just kept saying “push mamma push.” But it was hard! Not in a painful hard way, but a “how do I make my body do this?” kind of way. They told Trevor, “keep telling her to push.” He did, and I kept pushing, and then BAM it was all over. I felt instant relief, Bridget flipped me quickly around, and they placed our baby right on my chest.

They placed a towel over Mabel and me and we just sat in the tub soaking in the moment. She was breathing and she was BEAUTIFUL!

After 10 minutes, they cut the cord and I handed Mabel to Trevor and they helped me dry off and climb out of the tub and straight into my bed.

So here’s what we think happened - The placenta came out the same time with Mabel. So they think that the placenta was in the way, so she must have had to go under and around the placenta which caused her to flip. Bridget said it was a good thing I didn’t have her check me a second time when she offered, because otherwise we would have had to pack up and go straight to the hospital, which would probably have resulted in a c-section. Midwives can’t legally do planned breech home births. They also said it was a good thing that we did a water birth because the warm water keeps the baby from taking a breath. I guess when babies are born breeched they’ll feel the cold air on their legs, which then stimulates them to breathe. But since Mabel was going from warm to warm AND they could feel that the cord was still pulsing, they knew she was ok. Phew!

They then did Mabel’s exam and she was so sweet the whole time, just calmly looking around. She would let out cries whenever she was moved, but that’s fair J She weighed 7lbs 6oz! That’s big compared to Rosie!

The midwives then started cleaning everything up while Trevor, Mabel, and I laid in bed loving the moment! We are so happy and feeling so blessed!


  1. Tears here!! As hard as it was, its a beautiful story! <3

  2. Wow. Just wow. Can't wait to see you all again!!!!

  3. What an amazing story!!! It's amazing how when we get to that point of "I can't take it anymore. I'm done." That means it's almost time!! Maybe one of these times we will remember that in the moment! What a series of miracles. I'm so grateful everythingn worked out so well and she is so healthy! How fun! Your two beautiful little girls!!! I love you so much!!

  4. What an experience! Glad everything ended up going smoothly, even if it was long and tiring. Mabel is sweet and beautiful and I think you need to post more pictures!

  5. What an experience! Glad everything ended up going smoothly, even if it was long and tiring. Mabel is sweet and beautiful and I think you need to post more pictures!

  6. I totally knew that about the breech thing because of Call the Midwife. I wish I could have been your doula! I am so glad everything went well and GLAD YOU POSTED ABOUT IT!

  7. Loved this! I want to know more about how you chose home birth, now that we have a home, I'm thinking about it for #3! (***WAYYYYY down the road!)