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Daniella's Home Birth

Daniella was born on Feb 11, 2008 at home at 11:39pm. The birth was just the most perfect and beautiful and most powerful event I have ever experienced in my life.

I started feeling contractions at 3pm. I thought they were just bathroom cramps. About 1/2 hour later Gabe came home and I let him know "hey I'm having some cramps, I'm thinking it's just bathroom problems but you never know...it could be Dani but I doubt it" and he just got this HUGE smile on his face! I told him "don't look at me like that it's not her...".

That morning I had also gotten adjusted at my chiropractors office, Dr. Jen, and ironically her husband tells me, "you finally look pregnant". Since Jen and are friends outside of her practice, I decided to call her and ask about Brackston Hicks and the main thing I remember was that she said, Hicks will go away if you move around and change position...labor contractions won't". Then I started thinking, Oh my gosh it could be her and I got this wonderful peaceful feeling that came over me and I just felt ready.

Everything progressed so quickly. I lost complete track of time so I really didn't have any idea of how long or quickly things were going by until after.

From my perspective, I was in the bathroom, where I felt most comfortable with all my sheets and pillows, for only about 2 hours or so and then my midwife Sue arrived and checked me because she was very surprised that I already had the urge to push and she told me I was 6 cm and that she could feel the head right there. I stayed in the bathroom for a little bit longer until I got rid of dinner that was making it difficult to focus on my contractions and stay relaxed while Sue and her back up midwife set up. Finally Gabe asked me if I wanted to move to the tub that he set up in the living room and it felt so wonderful to feel the warm water all over my body. Gabe leaned down and I knew he was going to tell me what time it was but I couldn't stop him since I was in the middle of a contraction and I heard him say "baby it's 11:05pm". I thought wow! time has flown by. I prepared myself for a long birth so I thought she would be born on the 12th, the next day. The next thing I heard was Sue, on the phone asking her assistant who could only be here a short time since she is allergic to cats and we have 4, say "are you at the gate yet? We're going to have a baby in about 5 minutes" and I got so excited and I couldn't believe that I was that close to seeing my precious little girl.

Before my water broke, I felt her head in my vaginal canal, but it felt soft and padded. After my water broke, I felt this intense pressure, I felt my muscles get really tight and I started to feel a burning feeling. For a second there when I was pushing and I started feeling the stretching I lost focus and started to say "ouch" but then I stopped myself and said it's pressure, it's tightening...just tightening and I regained focus and pushed. I felt a contraction and pushed and I heard "the head is out" and with another immediate contraction I felt her shoulders and legs come out and she was finally here!

I turned around from my squatting position and Meadow brought her out from under the water and she gave a cry, the most beautiful cry I had ever heard and my baby girl was immediately put in my arms and I brought her to my chest. She was got so quiet and calm and was looking right at me with her beautiful eyes. Gabe got in the water and held her while I waited for my last contraction to push my placenta out. I ended up getting out of the water to deliver my placenta and birthed it right on my couch. I was handed Dani and started breastfeeding while the ladies placed warm towels all over me and Dani and we sat on the couch together for about 2 hours while everyone cleaned up (and of course Gabe felt he had to help them) so it was just her and I discovering each other and making face to face connection for the first time. Once everything was almost cleaned up I was put in bed with 2 hard boiled eggs and a veggie and fruit platter made by Jack, Sue's back up midwife, and Dani was weighed right on our bed next to me and pretty soon every thing was cleaned up, everyone was gone and the three of us were in bed. Gabe and I couldn't stop looking at her just talking about the whole day and the whole birth experience and what it felt like for each of us.

It still feels like such a blur. I don't remember seeing anyone around me when I was in the birthing tub and like I said I lost complete track of time and Gabe had to clear it up for me...so here goes.
Contractions began 3:00pm
I was in the bathroom for 6 hours NOT 2
Sue showed up at 9:30pm NOT 6pm
I went into the water at 10:00pm
My water broke at 11:13pm
Dani was born at 11:38pm
My placenta was birthed at 12:15am (Feb 12, 2008)
And that's all there is to it :)

For a couple days I felt completely disconnected from the experience because I just couldn't believe that 1) I had a daughter and 2) that I actually did it. I was so worried that I wasn't going to be able to get through it and I did and it was everything that I was hoping it would be and more. Now that everything has settled in I feel so empowered. I feel especially proud to talk about my home birth to people who put so many doubts on me and told me that I was going to be running for the hospital, screaming for the pain medication. Gabe is also proud of me and he always tells people what a "machine" I was and that I made it look easy.

I love telling people that she was born at home, especially when they ask for details and of course I enjoy the compliments of how great I look for having given birth less than a week ago. I feel so blessed that everything happened the way that it did and I next time there will be no other considerations of how and where our baby will be born...it will be at home in a birthing tub with a midwife, no question!