Saturday, December 15, 2012

The story of Isaac's Home Birth...

The decision to share our birth story comes from all the stories I read myself when I was pregnant with Isaac. While preparing and getting ready for the birth of my second son I spent endless hours watching videos and reading as many births stories as possible to keep me motivated and assured that an HBAC could be done, that if so many other women did it, then so could I.

Why did we decided to home birth after a cesarean?  Well,  a little bit of back-story.  I gave birth to my first child,  Julian, on July 17th, 2010. It was one of the happiest days of my life, the much awaited birth of my son had finally taken place and I was thrilled to have such a beautiful and healthy baby. However, his birth was not what I had expected and became a traumatizing experience for me. I had a normal pregnancy, everything was going well. I went into labor on my own at 40 weeks 1 day. When I got to the hospital my water broke and I was admitted. About an hour later I accepted the epidural and was able to sleep through the night. At 2 in the afternoon the next day I was ready to push, according to the nurse. So there I laid on my back completely numb to the pain and with absolutely no clue on when to push and how, I never even felt the pressure that many women describe. So at 4 o'clock, after pushing for two hours and still not feeling anything the doctor finally shows up and tells that simply my baby's head is too big to fit through my pelvis. He started the fear mongering comments on how this could cause my child to be born with a deformed head shape (now that I think about it, it really sounds ridiculous!), and I, sadly, agreed to a c-section.  Those two days at the hospital weren't as bad, but as soon as I got home I couldn't get over the fact that I had let it all happen, I wasn't strong enough to endure the pain and I let it all lead to having this major surgery. Because of all the medications I had received it took my milk more than a week to come in, which just added to the stress and my feelings of failure, why did my body not work? what was wrong with me? Well, it took me a couple of months to get over those negative feelings.  I knew then that this would not happen again, I would do anything I could to prevent it.  And let me clarify that I am not against c-sections. I am against the fact that this doctor used his degree to place unnecessary fear in me and bully me into a c-section. He was in a hurry to get in and get out, and I KNOW that my child and I were not his priority, and as long as we didn't die, then everything was OK. Well, that was not OK with me! 

Take two...
Fast forward to a year and a half after my son was born, I found out I was expecting his baby brother. I immediately began searching for pro-VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) doctors, and found one relatively close to where I live. I also began reading and looking up information on VBAC's and what I could do to make it successful. That's when I started asking my OB some questions. After hearing her answers I knew that if I stayed with her, I would greatly reduce my chances of a VBAC and was practically walking into another cesarean. She was not as friendly as I had thought. However, I was lucky enough to still be in my 16th week of pregnancy with enough time to look for other options. That's when I first looked into home birth. I started my search for the correct provider and found my midwife. She had an amazing HBAC success rate and excellent reviews. My husband and I interviewed her and knew right there she was the one. There were times where I doubted my decision, because of the fear. I feared I was putting my child at risk just for a birth experience. However, the more I read, the more I researched, the more I realized that being at home was the safest option for us. It was the place where I would be allowed to labor naturally, at my own pace and without rushing my body or my baby into something we were not ready for. I had complete trust in my midwife and her ability to be proactive in any situation.

My Birth Story

Right after my walk
November 27th, 2012 @ 6:45 am- I woke up to my water breaking. I was 38 weeks, 3 days. I was caught by surprise but felt totally ready for this to happen. I called in from work, then called my midwife to give her a heads up. I cleaned the house, played with my 2 year old, walked around the block, but nothing was happening. At around 7 my midwife called to check on me, but nothing yet, not even one tiny contraction.     After dinner we decided to go for another long walk. We got home at 9:00, and about 5 minutes later I felt the first contraction, and it was a strong one. They were about 9 minutes apart, and in less than 30 minutes, they were 5-2 minutes apart. At 10:30 my husband called our midwife and at 11:30 she was at my house setting up the birth pool. Meanwhile, I was on the toilet, the only place I felt somewhat comfortable in. I was zoned out, couldn't talk to anyone and just wanted that pool to be ready!

Finally in the pool

My favorite spot, didn't move from there at all.

After about 40 minutes of waiting for the pool, it was finally ready. What a relief! That water felt so good, and it really did help me manage the pain a lot better. So, there I was just hanging on to the wall of my pool and holding my husband's hands. All this time I just shut my eyes and tried to get through each contraction. My birth team never intervened, they just spoke to me softly, reminding me to relax my shoulders, breath through my nose, breath slower. No one put their hands up anything to check me, which I was very happy about because not only did I not want to leave that pool, but I didn't want to know how far along I was and then be discouraged. Well, at this point I was not aware of time, but now that I look back it wasn't as long as I thought.  My contractions started changing into strong urges to push. I began pushing  and after what I estimate about 20-30 minutes, my son's head popped out. It was just like everyone has described it, a burning sensation and then sudden relief. After a short little break, at 3:05 am, I pushed one more time and out came the rest of my little boy. I was the one to catch him, no one else intervened, it was just me and him. We sat there in the pool for a little while, then we moved to my bed where I delivered the placenta and my husband was able to cut the cord. My son quickly latched on to the breast and had his first feeding. After they did all the check ups, right there on my bed, everything was cleaned up and we were left tucked in our beds to sleep and relax as a family of four.
Ready to push!

Finally here!
The home birth of my son Isaac has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, I would do it again without hesitation. Although I know home birthing is not for everyone, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have a natural and intervention free birth, where you will be allowed to labor and give birth to your child on your own terms. 

More pictures!

In deep concentration!
All the comfort I needed was for him to hold my hand <3

It was a lot of hand holding
Our family together at last!
Enjoying my time with my newborn!

Time to eat!
Isaac Segui