L’s Home Birth Arrival

L’s Home Birth Arrival

Mama: Sandra U.

Birth Stats: 7 lbs., 4 oz., 19 inches

Type of Birth: Vaginal, Drug-free

Birth Location: Home

Primary Care: Midwife

Eight months after our oldest son, E was born, I noticed I had started to feel exhausted. Sometimes I felt nauseated and, as I was still breastfeeding, I also noticed my milk production was getting low. At first I didn’t think anything of it since it was almost time for my three-week-long summer vacation. I work full-time as a nurse while my husband is a stay-at-home-dad for E.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I took a pregnancy test and immediately, a positive sign showed up— a BFP (big fat positive)!

I called my midwife’s office right away and they were surprised to hear from me this soon. But they scheduled my first appointment for the next Monday.

As I hadn’t yet gotten my period back after giving birth to E in December 2010, I was not sure how far along I was. The ultrasound showed a little tiny baby measuring at 9 weeks 1 day. My estimated due date became March 18, 2012.

In the following weeks, we told our family and friends the great news. I also told my boss we were expecting our second baby.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I was at work when suddenly I felt bad cramping. I ran to the toilet and discovered I had lost a lot of blood. I was 13 weeks along at that time, so in the “safe” second trimester.

My husband picked me up from work as the bleeding continued and we rushed to the hospital. I had another ultrasound and it showed a perfect little one—we even heard the heartbeat. But the tech also showed me an empty sack filled with fluids. She said she was 99% sure I was miscarrying from a twin pregnancy, also called vanishing twin syndrome.

The bleeding continued into the third trimester, which made this pregnancy difficult to enjoy.

E had been born in the hospital by choice. Where I live, in the Netherlands, home births are very common and accepted by both midwives and obstetricians. For this baby, I chose to have a home birth. I had strong confidence in my own body, my baby, my husband as my support, and both my midwives to make the correct decisions when necessary if things could go wrong during labor.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It was our second wedding anniversary, so my husband and I went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant. During the day I had been losing bits of my mucus plug. Although my labor with E also started with this, nothing seemed to happen as the day passed by.

Wednesday, March 7,2012

At 11 a.m., I had an appointment at my midwife’s office. My husband wasn’t feeling well that morning so I told him to stay at home with E and I would drive there myself.

I asked my midwife if losing my mucus plug could mean anything and she told me it meant that my body was getting ready for labor. She offered to check my cervix to see if I was effaced or dilated at all, but I declined. She encouraged me to call her as soon as I felt contractions of any kind because when I gave birth to E, I dilated quickly and the second time could even go faster.

I got home and my husband was still not feeling well so he went to bed— either the food from our dinner the night before or a stomach bug was causing some drama. I took our son to a local petting zoo, cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen, did bath time and brought E to bed. I was a bit restless and sat on the couch and started to crochet a hat for our baby. I’d never crocheted before, but I enjoyed it.

It was 1 a.m. on Thursday when I went upstairs to bed.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I woke up around 4:30 a.m. after only a few hours of sleep. I wasn’t comfortable lying in bed and I tried to rest, but I only kept on waking my husband. Luckily he was feeling better than the day before.

By 5:15 a.m. I got up and told him to try to get a few more hours of sleep. E would wake up at 8 a.m. and he could get up at that point with E and I would lay down for some more rest. Little did I know…

I went downstairs and I felt hungry. I made some tea, ate some crackers and was browsing the internet. I noticed some cramps that would get worse as soon as I would sit down.

My mom, who is always up early, texted me to let me know that she had already made coffee if I would like to drop by. I called her to ask what her plans were for the day and if she would be able to watch E that morning. As we were talking, my mom asked me how I was feeling. I told her that I expected the cramps to be false labor, and that I was planning to take a shower to see if they would go away. She told me to call Chantal, our midwife. I thought it was too early to call (6 a.m. by that time, even though she works 24/7) and I promised her I would call the midwife after I took a shower.

I went upstairs again and had a long, hot shower. The cramping was still there and I was able to time the cramps. They came every 10 minutes and lasted a maximum of 30 seconds each. At 6:45 I called Chantal and she asked me how far along I was— 38 weeks and 4 days. She asked me if I was still okay with a home birth as I had planned and I said yes! She told me she would call her co-worker to take over her appointments for the day and would be at our house by 8 a.m.

At 7 a.m., my husband came downstairs and saw me walking up and down the living room. I told him that I called the midwife and that Chantal would be here in an hour. He got slightly nervous; this news on a literally empty stomach wasn’t expected!

He went up to take a shower too and asked me what he could do for me. I told him we would wait it out, and if he wanted, he could bring down E when he woke up. Cramps turned into contractions at that point, but I was still able to move around so I kept walking.

By 8 a.m., E had woken up and he started to call for us. At the same time, Chantal arrived with all her materials. She basically brought everything that would be available in a labor and delivery room in the hospital.

My husband brought E downstairs and Chantal and I went upstairs. I quickly hugged my son as I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see him again until his baby brother was born.

I lay down on the bed and at that point I was 100% effaced and 7 cm dilated. I was in shock when I heard this- I had not expected it would go this quick. Chantal called our local nursing center for assistance— also a standard practice here in the Netherlands— and they said they would send someone as soon as possible.

She started to set up the room and my husband came upstairs to ask me how I was doing. I told him I was already at 7 cm, and he should call my mom to pick up E.

Surprisingly, I was able to stay on my feet and continue walking around. My water didn’t break yet so the contractions were bearable.

By 9:30 I felt more and more pressure, so she checked me again. I was fully dilated and she told my husband to get everything ready because we were having a baby very soon. The nurse was not there yet, but I felt the need to start pushing a little bit already.

My midwife decided to break my water, luckily enough it was clear and the baby was doing great!

The nurse arrived at our house by 9:50 a.m. and in between contractions she introduced herself. I had no clue what her name was— by that time I was in my own little world. By 10 a.m. I had started to push. My husband was standing next to the bed and still not feeling that great.

I asked him to record the birth this time around as we only have three pictures from my first birth. He was holding the camera as I was pushing for the second time. The head was out at that point, the umbilical cord was wrapped loosely around his neck but could be easily moved.

In my birth plan I wrote that I wanted to try to catch our baby when he was born, so that is what Chantal offered during the third round of pushing. I couldn’t entirely reach, but our hands met halfway and at 10:15 a.m. our second baby boy was born.

I held him close to my chest and couldn’t believe he was here already! Five hours ago I had gotten up out of bed because I felt restless, and now here I was, lying in that same bed with our baby in my arms. This was a natural labor, drug-free, and I wish every woman in the world would be able to experience the same.

We had skin-to-skin contact for the first 20 minutes. He had actually latched already and I was able to start breastfeeding this little one right away. After that, he was checked by Chantal and everything was perfectly fine.

He was 19 inches long and weighed 7 lbs 4 oz— even though he was born at only 38 weeks and 4 days. After the placenta was delivered, I asked Chantal to check if there was any sign of a second baby, but there was none.

I was very excited to have a healthy baby in my arms, but also sad for the one we lost.

That afternoon, my husband went over to my parent’s house to pick up our oldest son to meet his little brother. Being 15 months old, we tried to explain to him that I had another baby and that another baby would be living with us now.

We spent an hour with the four of us in our bedroom, talking, hugging and embracing each other. The first moments with just the four of us will be in my mind forever.

 

Mama Say What?! Guest Mama, Sandra is an amazing mama who’s been a friend of the MSW mamas since she was planning her own wedding half a decade ago. She lives in the Netherlands where she works full-time as a nurse while her husband is a stay-at-home-dad to their two adorable sons. 

 

7 Responses to L’s Home Birth Arrival

  1. Such a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Really incredible! You are one strong mama and a big inspiration.

  3. This is absolutely beautiful and so inspirational!

  4. Thank you very much for the kind replies. Hopefully I can be inspirational to more women, and everyone can have a wonderful birth experience for themselves.

  5. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. Such a beautiful birth story, I really enjoyed reading it.

  7. Wow, what a beautiful story! I hope my second birth goes that quickly and easily :) I’ve always been inspired by women who homebirth….just amazing!

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