I am so excited to share Holly's second birth story. I was really lucky to be able to pop in soon after Alexis was born to pick up Holly's placenta for encapsulation and saw what a wonderfully serene scene the immediate post partum was for this family. I witnessed them all curled up together in their living room with the soft light of the Christmas tree illuminating. SO beautiful!
Enjoy another beautiful birth story:
I am overjoyed to post that our daughter Alexis Erin was born a week ago today; December 6th, 2013, right on my due date!
It all began in the morning around 7:00am. Brandon was nursing and I started to feel some mild contractions. I waited until he was finished to see if they continued, and they did. I texted Mike and told him I was feeling them but to not rush home from work just yet. In the meantime I contacted our midwife Erin as well as our birth photographer Jaydene to give them the heads up. I took a shower and did my hair and makeup, assuming that I’d be photographed that day and I didn’t want to look like crap! Maybe a little vain, but it is what it is! By about 8:30 my contractions were coming about every 4 minutes regularly so I texted Mike again and told him he’d better come home. I kept Erin and Jaydene in the loop about my progress and they both made their way over to our home around the same time. Erin arrived around 11:30, and Jaydene around 12:30. Erin took some time to get all her homebirth supplies set up, and just after noon she checked my cervix, and I was about 4cm dilated. Both Erin and Jaydene decided to leave for a short time to get some lunch, but it wasn’t long before I texted Jaydene and told her she’d better return soon because my labour was beginning to get hard. I had decided that I didn’t really want Brandon there for the birth because I thought I might get distracted and I was worried he might get scared by the noises I would surely make! Mike texted Marcy not long before 1:00, and by 1:30 he was out of the house and off to Play Abby. It turned out to be perfect timing because as soon as he left I really got into the zone of active labour. At some point, the back-up midwife Jules had arrived as well. At around 2:00 I decided I wanted to try getting into the pool. Mike had just finished filling it up and it was nice and warm. I got in, and it felt really nice! I had been feeling the contractions mostly in my back so the water helped a lot. I had a few more contractions in the water, squeezing Mike’s hands. I was aware of the midwives talking to each other, saying that the baby must be coming down based on my noise! At one point Erin told me to reach down and feel her head. Obviously I had felt that she was starting to emerge and it was very cool to feel her. My body really took over when it came to pushing her out; it was really uncontrollable and I tried to focus on relaxing and letting my body do the work rather than consciously pushing her out. It all happened so fast; within 4 minutes she was out! I pushed for about an hour with Brandon so this time was quite a bit quicker. I pulled her up to my chest myself and was just over the moon! We sat there and snuggled for a few minutes, and I got an injection to help my uterus clamp down and get the placenta out. After a short time I got out of the pool and moved to the couch with Alexis. Soon after, the placenta was delivered and it was set aside to be encapsulated. Alexis and I cuddled under some warm blankets and very quickly she helped herself to some milk :) She latched on beautifully with no help from me, and stayed there for probably 45mins to an hour. After we’d had that time together, she was weighed and measured; she was heavier than Brandon at 7lbs, 8oz, and was 20″ long. We both had our vitals taken and all was good. Erin cleaned up all the supplies, the pool was emptied and deflated, laundry went in the wash and before I knew it, the living room was back to normal and you never would have known a baby had just been born! Erin left about two hours after Alexis was born, and Jaydene stuck around until Brandon got home so she could get a few shots of him meeting his little sister.
I was able to have a Facetime chat with Erin and Marc just minutes before they had to leave for the airport to come back to Canada, so that was good timing! I talked to my parents as well, and Mike called his at some point. There was a lot of texting going on as well!
I am so happy with how my labour and delivery went! Obviously I wanted to have another successful homebirth, and am happy I got to experience a water birth as well. I felt much more “with it” this time too. With Brandon, once I was in active labour I barely said a word to Mike, but this time I was still talking and smiling in between my contractions! I felt really good after she was born, and now at a week post-partum I feel great, just tired. After Brandon was born it took me about this long to feel like I had my strength and appetite back. My placenta pills were ready for me Sunday evening so I started taking them Monday morning…that could be part of the reason why I’m feeling so well, have lots of breastmilk, and am coping better with the sleep deprivation.
Samantha Strange-Yoga Instructor and Perinatal Support Person