I started thinking about home birth in 2007 when I found out I was pregnant with Micah. I really wanted to deliver him in a birth center with midwives but quickly found out no such thing existed in the area we live. I found a group of midwives that only did home births but I wasn't sure if I was ready for that. Paul wasn't completely on board at that time either so we decided to stick with our ob/gyn and plan on a natural hospital birth like we had with Ella.
During my pregnancy with Micah I saw an amazing documentary called "The Business of Being Born" which got me even more excited about having a home birth. I ended up laboring most of the time at home with Micah. When we got to the hospital with Micah I was measured at ten centimeters, fully effaced and he was born 30 min later in the observation room. He would have been born sooner then that but we were waiting on nurses and dr.'s to make it into our room.
When we found out we were expecting again last spring I knew right away we were going to use a Certified professional midwife and have a home birth. I called Choice midwives which was the place I originally contacted and after our visit with them my mind was made up.
Now that the back story is out of the way I will share Rilynn's birth story.....
My contractions started early Friday morning on the 14th. They were painful enough to wake me from my sleep so I knew that I must be getting close to the end of what felt like the longest pregnancy of my life ;) My contractions were all over the place much like they were with Micah's labor. I would have some twenty minutes apart and others two hours apart. I called my midwives (Jill, and Kelley) later that day on the way home from the grocery store to give them a heads up that I was having them but that they were sporadic. I knew I would be having the baby that weekend though. I continued on with my daily activities and started writing down every time I had a contraction. I drank some red raspberry leaf tea and noticed a little bit after that my contractions started speeding up to every fifteen minutes. This only lasted for about two hours and then they slowed down again. We had friends come pick up the kids just in case the baby was coming. My sister came over that night and Paul went and got us some Chipotle for dinner. We were all bummed that things seemed to slow down so we decided to go walk around Kroger marketplace and get some Starbucks to see if that helped get things going again. My midwife Kelley called to check in and I informed her that I probably wasn't going to have a baby that night. We came back home, watched a movie and then I went to bed around midnight.
I woke up close to 4 a.m having painful contractions. These were definitely stronger then the ones I was having the day before. Paul decided to call my midwives because they seemed to be close together. When they arrived they got all of their things set up and checked Rilynn's heart rate with the doppler. A little bit later they checked me and I was dilated between 4-5 centimeters. I was really hoping to be like 6 or 7 so I was disappointed to hear that. I decided to take a shower and get ready like I would on a typical day.
My sister, Paul and I watched TV while I sat on my birthing ball. I was SO tired! All I wanted to do was go to bed. I would actually fall asleep between contractions on my bed. I decided to take a bath to help relax me more so I would dilate. The bath helped a lot but I was really wishing I had a big jacuzzi tub because my belly was sticking out of the water ;) Jill came in to check the heartbeat with the Doppler and asked if I would want to try walking up and down the stairs. I agreed and after my bath we walked downstairs and around the kitchen. Paul sliced me up some apples and I drank some Gatorade. I told everyone that I was having a girl because this labor was identical to Ella's. I walked around a little more and then went back upstairs.
Kelley checked me again a little bit later and I think I was only around 6 centimeters. I was in pain and exhausted not to mention SO ready to not be pregnant anymore. Jill gave me a homeopathic to help me have more contractions. A little bit later Kelley checked me again and I was 7 centimeters. I was of course hoping to hear I was 10 and ready to push ;) As she was checking me I started to feel like I was going to pass out; I ended up throwing up instead. Kelley suggested I take another bath since that seemed to help relax me.
During my second bath, Paul continually poured water over my belly which helped a ton! We later laughed that it was like I was a beached whale and he was trying to keep me alive. I was super relaxed in the bathtub and it really helped with the pain of the contractions that were at this point pretty intense.
After my bath I laid back down and my contractions continued to get stronger. My sister kept telling me to stand up for a little bit which was the last thing I wanted to do. I started feeling pressure and knew the baby was moving down.
Finally I gave into my sister's request to stand up since she guaranteed me it would shorten the amount of contractions I would have. I stood and leaned on the side of my bed. My legs were shaking so bad it was hard to stand. I could definitely tell we were close to transition. After standing for a little bit I went back to my bed. My sister went and got Kelley and Jill because she could tell we were close to pushing.
When it came time to push I laid on my side. I was making good progress with each push. When Rilynn's head started to crown my bag of water broke. Everything seemed to go in super speed after that.
At 2:48 on Saturday afternoon after 3 pushes our beautiful Rilynn Joy came into the world! She was absolutely perfect! They laid her right on my chest and in a few seconds she was screaming :) Kelley and Jill left the room to give us some time with her and I nursed her. After about an hour had passed Paul cut the cord. Jill made me a mineral bath to soak in. While I enjoyed the bath they took Rilynn's measurements. After I took a shower I got back into my bed that now had nice clean sheets on it :) Jill and Kelley made us dinner and continued to clean and pick up everything for us.
That night I got the best sleep! Rilynn was pretty tired too because we both slept for a long time. It was SO nice not being woken up every few hours to have my blood pressure taken or have nurses pressing down on my stomach. It was awesome being in my own comfortable bed! I needed a good night of rest desperately after weeks of being so uncomfortable so it felt great. Jill came and checked on me and Rilynn the next day and Kelley came two days later to check on us.
The care I received from Kelley and Jill was amazing! I spent way more time with them then I did with any of my OB's. I absolutely loved having Rilynn at home! I don't think I can say enough good things about home birth! If I could go back in time I would have done it with the other two as well. I can honestly say that the greatest feeling in the world is the moment after I have delivered my babies and held them in my arms. It's the greatest adrenaline rush I have ever felt. Being able to experience that in the comfort of my own home with the people I'm closest with was amazing!
Rilynn getting weighed
Weighed 8 lb 8oz and 21 inches long
First time meeting their baby sister
Our midwives Jill and Kelley