Robby’s birth story. Home birth VBAC 8/6/2010

My water started leaking around 10am on Thursday morning. I wasn’t having any contractions yet so I decided to take the kids shopping for their school supplies since I realized that I wouldn’t be able to get there easily in the next couple of weeks with a newborn. I didn’t get too excited because I thought I might continue to leak for a few days before labor actually started as had happened for my daughter’s birth. We walked slowly through the stores while I experienced a few contractions. I called Patrice, one of my midwives, when I got home to let her know my water had broken and I was also having bloody show. I also called my husband at work and we decided it would be a good idea for him to go pick up the birthing tub in case we needed it before Friday morning – which is when I was scheduled to pick it up. My leak was more like a gush now every time I moved. As of 2pm I still wasn’t having any regular contractions so I took a little nap. I did some laundry – I had to wash some baby clothes since I hadn’t gotten around to that yet! I was only 37 weeks so I thought I still had plenty of time.

Around 6pm I started having regular contractions ranging from 7-10 minutes apart. They were mild though so I went about my business and ate dinner. This continued until about 9pm when I decided to try to go to bed to get some sleep while my husband set up the birthing tub. I also had called my Mom and told her I would probably have the baby in the next couple of days so she left to make the 2 ½ hour trip over. While laying down the contractions spaced out to about 20 minutes apart but were much more painful and made it difficult to sleep. My husband had gone to bed and I got up around 11:30 to sit in the recliner in the living room. Laying on my side in bed during the contractions was making my legs feel painfully numb. Contractions got closer together again and I relaxed in the chair for the next hour until my Mom arrived at 12:30am. I chatted with her for about an hour except that I couldn’t talk during contractions anymore – this should have clued me in that I was further along than I thought. I was convinced that I was in for a long labor and even told her that I didn’t think I’d have the baby by 7am in order for her to call into work. We both went back to bed around 1:30. I didn’t stay in bed for more than 2 contractions as they were too painful. I was much more comfortable walking around and leaning over my dresser. Plus I went to the bathroom after just about every contraction. They started coming closer together; about 2-5 minutes apart around 2am. They weren’t very consistent though; they would jump from 2 minutes to 5 or 6 minutes apart. I was shaking all over and thought it was because I was cold from the air conditioning (later I realized I was in transition). I got a blanket out of the closet and covered up in my rocking chair. I thought about getting in the tub to help relieve the pressure and numbness I was experiencing in my legs. But I was afraid to get in too soon and have to get back out and then be wet and cold. I was still convinced that I had many more hours of labor to endure.

Finally I woke my husband at 2:30 to have him call the midwives. It would take them close to an hour to get here and I wanted “permission“ from someone else to say it was ok to get in the tub. It took me a couple of tries between contractions to wake him as I had a hard time talking by then. I decided I needed to get into the tub and felt instant relief from the pressure. With the next contraction I thought I felt like pushing; but I still thought I had hours of labor left. I told my husband that it couldn’t possibly be time yet. He ran downstairs to get my Mom; apparently he had a different opinion. I had about a 5 minute break until the next contraction (classic pause). My husband and Mom came back in while I was hanging over the side of the tub. The next contraction came and I had an overwhelming urge to push, there was no question that time. I went with it and pushed on my knees while holding on to the side of the tub. I felt the baby move down rather quickly; I reached down and felt his head. I finally accepted that he was coming sooner than I had realized! The contraction continued and I kept pushing and sort of grunted to my husband that he was coming NOW and to get Patrice back on the phone! But there was no time for that. His head came out and I told my husband to check for the cord and to let him turn on his own. The rest of his body slid right out. My husband caught him and started rubbing his back to stimulate. I could hear him making noises before I even turned around to see him. He wasn’t crying though so that made us a bit nervous. I had to stand up and swing my leg over the cord so I could take the baby from my husband and check him over myself. I could see that he was breathing and his color looked good – except for that his face was a big purple bruise from coming so fast. He was just quiet. We continued to stimulate him and covered up with a blanket and a hat, which of course were soaking wet immediately since we were still in the tub. I suctioned him a bit just in case and he starting crying loudly. Everything went so quickly and he was perfect. We started nursing and he latched right on. I was going to stay in the tub and wait for the midwives to arrive to deliver the placenta but I was afraid the baby might be getting cold so we got out and got into bed and continued to nurse. Barb, one of the midwives, was the first to arrive about 20 minutes after he was born which we figured to be at 3:01AM. She checked him over and then helped me deliver the placenta. Patrice and Amanda arrived soon after. They weighed him, and checked us both over. All was well. I was still in disbelief that he came so much faster than I expected but of course I was grateful that labor was over and very thankful that everything was fine. He weighed 7lbs 2 oz and was 20 ¾ inches long. He remained nameless until that evening because he was a few weeks early and we still hadn’t decided on a name yet. He is named after my husband’s father and my grandfather, Robert Andrew.

I would definitely recommend a water birth! And I also recommend getting in as soon as you feel like it! I wish I had gotten in earlier. (And called Patrice sooner!)