Thursday, 26 April 2012

Our baby story

April 10th was by far one of the coolest days of my life!!!

We had our son at home. With our midwives and my momma.

This was a tough decision for us to come to together (to have a home birth). I have always thought the ideal birth would be at home, in the water. So I wanted to do this at home (in reality I had a huge list of the pro's of doing this at home - not just the water birth part).

For those out there against home birth, I did my homework, and learned so much. In my case, a healthy pregnancy, it was a safe option. Instead of blindly choosing to do what everyone seems to do (go the  hospital route)- I took this opportunity to learn as much as I could to make an informed decision, even if it was drastically different from my previous two hospital births.

Dan, on the other hand was very on board about all the benefits of having a home birth, but was extremely reluctant because of our distance from the hospital (which I timed to be 20 mins, he swears it's more like a half hour).  So we ended up discussing home birth A LOT over the course of our pregnancy.  I think where we ended up was that I would be prepared to do a home birth (ie. have all the supplies), and I would start labour here, and then, if Dan wanted, or if I needed to I would move to the hospital.  However, I really hoped he would see how well I was doing at home, and would feel comfortable, and would tell me to stay home! The funny thing is, the day before I went into labour, Dan set up the labour tub, and I got most things ready for labouring at home.  Later that night we were talking and he said that "if it were me, I'd want to be at home too".  I took that as a green light.  I'm not sure if it was meant as one... But I took it that way! :)

For this labour and delivery, I kind of dreamed up a wish list of sorts. Based on what I imagined an ideal birth should be like, what I researched, and knew about myself, and my body.

If I were to share the checklist - almost everything would be checked off.
Labour at home - check
Midwives that I knew and loved- check
My husband- check!
My mom- Check
A speedy labour- check
My kids still at home- check, and not bugging me- check!
Labour in the birthing tub- Check
Delivery in the tub- check
Catching my own baby- Check..
Recovery in my own bed-- check
My own healthy delicious food- not gross hospital food. Check
Champagne to celebrate- check!
(I'll spare some details)

The night was incredible.

The kids have wanted to paint my belly like an Easter Egg since just before Easter.
So they did in my early stages of labour.

Later when things got a little more intense, my mom took care of the kids, and I did my own thing.

My midwives came, and the kids went to bed. This was around 8pm.
My mom read Bella a story about birthing at home, and they talked all about it.  This really prepared Bella for what was going to happen that night.  In between contractions, I went and tucked each kid in, and kissed them, and chatted for a minute. Bella was excited for me, and gave me one of her birthday balloons to take with me.

At 8 pm I was told I was (only) 3cm dilated. So, I hopped in the tub. I tried to relax as much as I could, recalling the things I had learned (relaxing my limbs, mouth, humming,..)

The cool thing about being home was things felt more relaxed. I was in my own space, and in control. I asked for the lights to be dimmed, which was perfect. When I wanted to be alone, and quiet, I was, with the midwives in the next room; I sent Dan and my mom for breaks. (Dan liked that he could have a beer and watch sports highlights!)
My mom took some photos- some are pretty hard for me to look at (the look of pain isn't really pretty)- BUT I am sooo thankful that she took some pictures for us to have.

The whole thing was very relaxed. (and that sentence coming from the non drugged laboring momma means a lot!) I mean - this was my most relaxed labour... Not a fun relaxing time.

My mom says her favourite part was when I kept saying "I'm having a baby!"- and was very excited!

Somewhere around then, I remember looking at Dan, and saying, "It looks like we're not going to the hospital! We're having him at home!"

I read somewhere in a book, probably Ina May's, that it's hard to be tense when you are telling people  that you love them.  So, I, very sincerely, told everyone that surrounded me that night (even when times were tough) that I loved them all.  I was so grateful for all of their presences, guidance, love and support.

We had to heat pots of water on the stove to keep the tub warm enough, as a friend warned us, our hot water heater couldn't keep up!

Just before ten pm, I felt a little pushy. We were still waiting on my second birth attendant who was lost (please don't use gps to find our house, everyone gets lost). She arrived at five to ten.
I was ready to push! The midwives said I had a cervical lip. This frightened Dan and I a bit, because during labour with Isabella, I also had a lip that for some reason the nurses didn't do anything about until it was too late, and it snowballed into swelling,  unwanted interventions, pain, and a much longer labour (31 hours!!) Anyways, back to this birth story... After trying twice, my midwife was able to slide the lip away (in my chart it says this was at 10 pm), and our boy was born at 10:02 pm!!!!

He was born in the water, caught by his momma's hands! I will never forget that moment! It was so precious to be so involved in my son's delivery. And to gently bring him into this world- myself! I can't even explain how incredible this was!

He was just perfect!!

I loved sharing this beautiful experience with my husband and mom (who hadn't been to my other births).

The midwives took great care of me and we rested... In my king size bed- Dan, baby and I !!
Dan meeting babe

So, that's my baby story. :)
It was pretty awesome- I would suggest midwives and home birth to other moms and dads.-- but, I am a kinda private person, and feel more comfortable at home- rather than in a hospital.
I made it sound pretty rosy... but don't get me wrong...there was quite a bit of pain (duh! I wasn't really able to figure out the "painless" childbirth- or hypnobirthing)- but I was well supported, and Dan was an awesome coach- reminding me of all the things we wanted to focus on. My mom and midwives were great to have- each stepping in at various times to help me through- and working well together.

He weighed 8lbs 3 oz
I've linked up with Embrace the Camera... Go check it out.. Great Blog!!
I encourage you momma's and daddies to get infront of the camera too.
You never know when you'll be thankful for the pics of yourself - even when you look rough!
(and if I can do it during labour.. you can too!)


  1. What an amazing story Josi! I have always been interested in the idea of home birth's..particulaly water birth. It's so nice to read about your positive experience with it! Congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much Amanda!
      When the time comes, it's an awesome option! If it's what you want, don't let ppl dissuade you (they'll try).

  2. awesome, awesome story! we birthed all natural as of the (hardest) but greatest experiences of my life.

    glad you joined us!

    1. Thanks so much.
      I totally agree about natural childbirth. Its the best way to be fully present at such an incredible time.
      I remember reading about your birth story with Olive. I love that you went to a birthing centre. They finally got approved in Ontario. That would have also been an awesome option.

  3. Awesome your storey.... After hearing that it is something I may consider...we are 20min for the hospital and that makes me nervous too!!! Congrats again. Can't wait to visit! Xo kris

    1. Thank you!
      I think that even being 20 mins away isn't so bad-- if you have a low risk, healthy pregnancy. The midwives are trained to look for warning signs- and would never keep you at home if they felt it was safer to be at hospital. Also, they bring all the same equipment/supplies that are in a regular hospital room. :)
      It's an awesome option!

  4. Hi Josi,
    I went to school with Dan back in the Beaver Valley days - my name is Meagan... I happened to see your blog post title pop up in my FB feed via Jacq Mitchell and since I was born at home myself way back when, I wanted to read about your home birth. Sounds like you, Dan and your family had an amazing experience and it's so nice to hear that. I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about home births and that they are dangerous. In most circumstances (ie healthy pregnancies), they are perfectly safe. Tell Dan I say 'Hello!" - not sure if he will remember me. I wish you guys all the best of luck with your growing family - thanks again for sharing your story.
    Meagan W.

    1. Meagan,
      Its nice to hear from you! Thanks for following our story.
      You are so right- there are sooo many misconceptions about home birth and midwives!
      I'll pass your hello on to Dan for sure!
      Thanks again!

  5. Josi - your story touched me deeply. After my first labour (which ended in an emergency c-section) I was never given the opportunity to labour for my other two...scheduled c-sections it was for me. In March, my sister gave me the most precious gift she ever could have given me...she allowed me to be present for the birth of her first baby! It was an experience of a lifetime and one that I won't ever forget! I give you so much credit for sticking to your guns with your birth plan, but more importantly, for being educated about it! I wish I would have been a little stronger in insisting I have the opportunity to "try again" as far as labour and delivery was concerned! Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will be an inspiration to several other mommies and daddies out there! P.S: The picture of you labouring was very powerful! Brought tears to my eyes!
    Amanda Vander Meer

    1. Amanda.
      Thanks for sharing your experience too. I'm sorry that it happened the way it did for you. There's a lot that's out of our control, and it's very easy to believe the professionals without challenging them, especially when you are involving a baby in it. That is SO amazing that your sister had you at her birth!!! That is so cool! I would love to go to someone's birth sometime too. That was very kind of her.
      Thank you for your kind words.

  6. what a lovely birth story! Congratulations :)


As much as this blog is for me to record the lives of our family; I'd really love to hear from you- so that it isn't so one sided. Thanks for reading & commenting.