RYER JOHN DIRKSE, December 23, 2011


December 23, 2011,

 Matt and Kate Dirkse

2nd Child and 1st Homebirth

Fruitport, MI



At 35 weeks I tested positive for Group B Strep and was told by my doctor that I would have to have IV antibiotics administered during labor.  I was also told at this appointment that I would be induced on December 8th (my due date was December 10th).  Upon researching GBS,  I learned that I could refuse the IV, but the baby would be monitored for at least 48 hours after delivery  and perhaps longer.  I also did not like the fact that my doctor was going to induce me before my due date.  With my daughter I was induced at 13 days overdue and after 24+ hours of labor and just about every medical intervention possible I was able to deliver my daughter.  While her induction was a positive one (it didn’t end in a C-Section) I realized that I was not guaranteed this for him.  Friends of ours who had delivered their last baby with Patrice encouraged us to meet with them and discuss our options.  After meeting with them we decided to leave our OBGYN and have a home birth.  It was the first time in my pregnancy that I actually felt in control!  They approached my delivery as a natural process that would happen when it was supposed to, not a medical problem that needed to be controlled.



I had been having contractions on and off for a few days prior; and would go to bed every night thinking this is the night, and each morning I woke up still pregnant.  On Thursday the 22nd I had contractions on and off during most of the morning, but nothing that disrupted my day. I put my daughter down for her nap and called Matt at work to let him know that I had been having contractions all morning and this could be it.  Shortly after that they stopped.

After going to bed around 10:30 pm that night the contractions started again, they were very similar to what I had been feeling that morning and were very inconsistent, so I was able to rest for a few hours.  Around midnight Matt came to bed and I told him I thought this could be it, but wasn’t sure because the contractions weren’t really any stronger than what I had been feeling that day and were not consistent at all.  We decided to get the bed made and all the supplies ready just in case, and since neither of us could sleep we figured it would keep us busy.  Matt had asked if he should call Patrice and I said to just wait, as the contractions were very sporadic and manageable.

For the next four hours we labored with contractions that ranged from 15 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart and back to 15 minutes.  Around 5:00 am we called Patrice to let her know we were in labor and there was no rush because the contractions were so inconsistent.   Shortly after that I vomited and the contractions started to get stronger, but they were still very random and I was feeling them all in my back.

We also called my mom around 5:00 am to see if she would come pick up our daughter.  She is two and a half and we didn’t want her to wake up to house full of people and see her mom in pain.  She picked her up about 30 minutes later and I was lying in bed trying to rest in between contractions.  She told me to hang in there and to call her when the midwives arrived as she was coming back to watch the birth.

After my mom left with Elle I had a few really strong contractions in bed and thought they were just worse because I was lying down.  I remember thinking how glad I was to not be in a hospital bed; hooked up to tons of machines, monitors and IV’s and how nice it was to lay in bed with Matt.  After a particularly strong, hard contraction I did not get another one for almost 15 minutes and was actually able to doze off for a few moments.  I thought to myself, great labor is stopping.

With the next contraction that came on much stronger, I asked Matt to call Patrice and ask her what she recommended for the back labor I was having and she suggested I get in the shower.  She also said that she would send Barb over at this point to check our progress.  Patrice asked if the contractions were comparable to the Pitocin contractions I had with Elle in the hospital, and they were definitely as strong, the only difference was that I was getting a break with these ones.  With my daughter I was having those strong intense contractions at 3-4 cm, so I was thinking I was probably at that stage.

I got in the shower and just let the hot water run down my back as I worked thru the contractions.  The shower helped so much as it allowed me to relax and help take my mind off the contractions.  They were getting stronger and more frequent so I asked Matt to get in the shower with me so I could lean on him for support.  After about 30 minutes in the shower I got out so that I could save the hot water for the tub; where I was hoping to deliver.  I also had to use the bathroom so I asked Matt to help me to the toilet.  I sat down and all of a sudden Matt and I heard a pop and I felt a strong urge to push.  I stood up and told Matt we needed to get me to the bed and fast.  I believe Patrice called at this time and Matt told her things were moving fast and she needed to hurry.  We made it to the bed and I was ready to push.  Matt was quickly trying to gather what he could as he realized that the baby was coming.  I just remember thinking I need to blow because I didn’t know if I was fully dialated.  After a few minutes I could no longer resist the urge, so I began pushing.  Matt was using counter pressure to support me and I remember telling him “Stop pushing him back in, he wants to come out”.

I delivered his head and shoulders while lying on my side and moved to my hands and knees to deliver the rest of him.  After he came out Matt passed him thru my legs and told me to be careful because he was very slippery (and he was J).  I grabbed him and cradled him in my arms waiting for to hear him cry.  Seconds later he let out his first cry and I remember feeling a huge sense of relief.  Barb arrived a few minutes later followed by my mom, Patrice and Dorothy about an hour after he was born.  So after 6 hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing, our baby was here.  I never anticipated he would come that quickly and more so that the process would be so easy.  When Patrice arrived  I said to her “that was so easy”, and compared to the 24+ hours birth of my daughter it was.



Everything!!  While I wouldn’t change anything about my daughter’s birth because it led us to you; after experiencing a birth full of intervention and one that allowed my body to do what it is designed to do, I would choose a home birth hands down.



Call the midwife sooner J.  While we certainly did not plan on delivering Ryer ourselves, we now share a pretty amazing experience.  We do not plan on having any more children, but if we are blessed with more; I would love to experience a delivery with the midwives present. Everyone says the second child comes so much quicker, I just didn’t think he would come that fast!



Nothing, you were great!!