Karen’s Homebirth Experience

Karen had her first baby at a hospital and wanted something different for her second baby. She contacted NHBS and we fell in love with her immediately and were honored to be present when she birthed her second baby at home.

This is her story in her words…
(thank you, Karen, for sharing your story and your pictures)

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On Thursday Oct. 27th I started feeling contractions around 6 pm but was in denial. I wanted to wait till after Halloween and my mom was here to watch our other 3 year old daughter. I texted Stephanie to let them know i was feeling contractions, but didn’t think it was anything. Within an hour i was about 6-7 min apart and feeling them stronger. I kept in contact with her and at 8:30 she asked if I wanted them to come by to check on me. I told her i was ok on my own and would let them know if anything changed.

At 10:30 she told me she was going to sleep but to call when i needed her. At this point I accepted i was in labor. I tried sleeping too. My contractions got a lot stronger but were more like 10 min apart again. I couldn’t sleep because of the intensity and anxiety. I waited till 11:30 to give Stephanie, Jennifer and Duncan time to get a nap in and then told them I was ready for them to come. Duncan filled up our kiddie pool we planned to use for a birthing pool (best $35 spent ever!) while my midwives headed over.

When they came around midnight i was just getting in and was surprised my contractions felt so much better in the water. I started wondering if maybe I overreacted and maybe it was a false alarm. I soon was 2-3 min between contractions and they were strong again. At 1 am I decided to try to use the bathroom and my water broke there. I wanted to immediately get back into the pool. This is where I lost it and hypnobreathing and relaxing was a lot harder to do. With Duncan’s help I would get back into it but he had to remind me with each new contraction to focus and relax. I had trouble finding positions I could relax in and told them i couldn’t do the slow breathing and thought i needed to change to birth breathing. I kept feeling like i needed to be reassured that 1) i was in labor and 2) what i felt i needed to do was the right thing.

I gently pushed through 4-5 (??) contractions and the baby’s head came!

Jen waits for baby Aurora to arrive, prepared to catch

Head is out, and here come her shoulders

Baby is almost out - midwife Jen asks Karen if she wants to reach down and help lift her baby onto her chest.

Karen reaches down and finishes birthing her baby into her hands.

One more good contraction and I pushed the rest of her and pulled her (baby Aurora)  up onto my chest. I was so excited to see her and surprised by how relaxed and calm she was. She made puppy sounds, no loud crying. She was born at 2:14 am.

Mom and dad welcome baby Aurora!

Stephanie and Jennifer told me later they were betting on my birth time and had guessed about 2:10 and 2:20. They knew better than me, I wasn’t even sure i was in labor. I had a tiny tear that didn’t need stitching. Yay!!! The placenta delivered about 20-30 min after baby Aurora and we were ready to get cleaned up.

Welcome peaceful Aurora

My midwives were wonderful and respectful. This experience was the exact opposite of my hospital birth with my first. I loved being at home and not worrying about getting to the hospital. I had very little healing to do this time and was grateful to not have staff waking me up every few hours to check on me. I loved having a home birth. I feel so lucky to have had such a great birthing experience and such great women and a husband help me through it.

After the placenta, dad cuts the cord, separating baby from placenta.

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