Lindsey’s Birth Story: A Water Birth at Home

The following is a guest post by Lindsey & Cory. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome birth story with us!
9/21/12 My actual due date!

Well today was the day! Today was my due date, with nothing. I had gone to the midwives the day before and was dilated to a 1 and not effaced at all. Talk about a letdown! So I was kind of thinking that I would be late and that nothing would be happening today.
That morning was uneventful and we had plans that afternoon to take the Audi to a dealership to sell it. We headed out and enjoyed our last ride in the Audi. But it was just too expensive and definitely not a baby car, so it needed to go. When we got there the salesmen were pretty surprised to see me and even more surprised to find out that today was my actual due date. They looked over the car and come to find out we weren’t going to get as much as we wanted for it. Cory was on the fence and didn’t know what to do. I finally looked at him and said, “The car needs to go.” That was the last little push he needed. So they started to get the paper work ready. It seemed like we were there forever, and it was HOT, and I was miserable. Just as I was about to rip my hair out, we saw Darrell Sheets from the show Storage Wars. It was so funny to see him. Cory was brave and approached him for a picture. I tried to get him to not talk to him and be ‘that guy’, but he didn’t listen. We were able to get a picture with him and he was pretty cool. He even told Cory that him and I were alike with our big bellies.

We finally got all the paperwork done and signed, and the Audi was gone! When we headed out there we initially didn’t expect to sell it right on the spot. We were more going just to see what they would offer us. So one of the employees actually had to take us home.
When we took our Bradley classes to prepare for childbirth, one of the things that we talked about was to make our due date a date night instead so we could still have something to look forward to. So when Cory got home from work we went out to dinner at Lucille’s BBQ. We hadn’t been there since we moved here. We went once when we came out to look for a place to live when we were still living in Utah. So we were excited for some good BBQ. During dinner I was having contractions but didn’t think much of it, I had been having contractions for weeks and wondered too if it was from all the heavy food we were eating. After dinner we ran to Whole Foods to pick up some of their yummy apple juice so that I would have it for when I finally did go into labor. We were told that the first drink or taste after giving birth is packed with out of this world flavor, so I wanted something good! Then we got home and went straight to bed.
9/22/12
I didn’t sleep very well due to an ‘upset stomach’. I couldn’t decide if it was real contractions, Braxton Hicks or BBQ. So I just tried to sleep the best I could. Then at about 5:00 AM it was really bad! I woke up Cory and let him know what was going on. The contractions were horrible and I was already a mess. What did I get myself into?! Cory kept suggesting that we alert our Doula, Bella. I said no and that I didn’t want ANYONE coming over! I was in bed and on the floor just in horrific pain and crying until about 7:30, then I text Bella and let her know that things were starting to happen. Why did I decide to have this baby at home! I am completely crazy! I wanted the epidural so bad! Bella wasn’t too concerned and told me that she was going to go back to sleep and that I should do the same. What?! This baby is coming right now!! But since my contractions were really irregular I need to just wait it out. At that point they were 2-8 minutes apart and STRONG!! So she told me to call our midwife on call to let them know what was going on because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep. So Cory called Andy the midwife on call and let her know what was going on. When Cory told her the situation she wanted to talk to me! So between horribly strong and close contractions I tried to have a conversation with her. I thought she was crazy to want to talk to me, but it was to find out how I sounded and how I was dealing with the contractions. Every contraction I was whining and crying, and I needed to be relaxing and doing low and deep moans, and to chill out! So after we got off the phone with her I took her advice, and it actually helped. So all morning Cory and I worked through my contractions together. Cory was so great, he would breath and moan with me to keep my focus on doing it ‘correctly.’ They were about 5 minutes apart all day long. At least to me they were. I tried to stay hydrated and eat food, but I was NOT hungry. I wanted to take a shower so that I wouldn’t be a dirt bag for labor. So I was getting undressed in the closet and had a really strong contraction. Cory ran in to help me, and as he was holding me I threw up everything that I had worked on eating that morning. I was so discouraged and tired, I just broke down and sobbed on the floor of the closet. I finally pulled myself together and got into the shower. It felt so nice. After I got out of the shower I put on nice clean clothes and felt great to be clean. We had been watching Full House off and on throughout the day. So I got my exercise ball and sat on it to watch. I felt a contraction coming and got ready. I had my contraction, it made me throw up, and then I felt a gush. I threw up a few times during that contraction, and every time I’d throw up and then the power of the contraction I just kept feeling the gushing. Holy crap my water broke!! I yelled for Cory and then I realized what I think happened. I admitted through tears that I had just peed all over my exercise ball and in my nice clean clothes. He was so sweet and helped me to the bathroom while he cleaned up. I changed my clothes and realized at that point that maybe it was pointless to look put together during labor.
After a while I just wanted to go lay down. So I went and got in bed and waited for our doula to arrive. When she finally got there I just cried to her. I was so exhausted and felt like I was in over my head. She comforted me and coached me through my next contraction. It was then that Cory and I both realized ‘Why didn’t we call her earlier!’ She was so great and helped me cope with the contractions a lot better than I was doing on my own. With her and the midwives permission I was able to sit in the tub for a little while to help with the pain. I wasn’t able to get into the pool yet because that can slow down labor. So I suited up and was more than happy to sit in the tub for a while.

After a little while Cory went and got downstairs ready. He got the birth pool ready and filled, and set up our living room. We bought a cheap twin mattress to lay on the floor so I could have something to lay down on. I wasn’t planning on making the trek back up the stairs to my bed when I wanted. The plan was to labor in the pool but give birth on the bed to help prevent tearing.

I stayed in bed most of the evening. And then finally the contractions got to the point where we were supposed to call the midwives and have them head over. This baby is coming! And again when they showed up, I cried. We talked for a little bit, headed downstairs, and I agreed to have them check me to see how things were going along, because I was convinced this was it. 90% effaced! Yes! 3 cm dilated. No! Cue the crying, again. They encouraged me that it was awesome and that I was doing a great job. I pretty much became fully effaced in 1 day. But I was still disappointed when they told me that this baby was not coming tonight. They gave me a few options. To just keep waiting it out, or get a shot/IV to help me sleep. I was completely exhausted but there was no way I was going to be able to sleep with these contractions. They told us we could discuss it while they waited in the kitchen. Cory and I said a little prayer together to know what the right decision was. We had come all this way drug free and didn’t want any type of ‘drug reaction’ to affect our progress or sweet little baby. We felt good about it and thought it was the right thing to do. So they helped me get ready for bed and into bed, because the medicine works fast! They gave me two shots. I only remember the Morphine in my thigh. It hurt so bad and I screamed. I was pretty sensitive. I remember being a little embarrassed after that for being such a Drama Queen. I started to doze off and woke myself up talking, in my sleep! And everyone was still in my room. Awkward! Usually I am convinced that I can talk my way out of talking in my sleep, like I’m really awake and I know what I am talking about. But this was way too bizarre, so I just laughed it off with everyone, apologized and fell asleep.
9/23/12 The Big Day!
Cory and I got about 3-4 hours of much needed sleep. We waited about an hour and called our Doula back over. When she got there Cory went downstairs and Bella and I passed out on the bed. We were all lacking much needed sleep. Day #2 was a lot like day #1. Worked through the contractions, watched Full House, and tried to eat. Cory’s ‘helpful’ breathing and moaning eventually got under my skin and I told him to STOP. I had enough of all this labor and was getting frustrated and felt like it was never going to happen.

The day dragged on and I eventually found myself back in bed working through horrible contractions. Finally at some point I felt like I was able to finally truly relax. I don’t know if it was just from pure exhaustion or I was finally able to finally find the strength inside of me to let go. We all felt that was the best that I had progressed the entire time.
At about 7:00 PM the contractions finally got to where we wanted them to be again. Call the midwives! Again! When they arrived they came up into our room and checked me to see what our progress was. 100 % effaced but 7 cm dilated. What?! 7 stupid cm! Get this baby out of me!
They decided that I could FINALLY get into the pool. So we all trekked downstairs to get in the pool and get ready. The pool had cooled down at that point, so I had to wait while Cory and the girls got hot water and dumped it in. I was so close. They said that I could just keep waiting, or really get this show on the road and they could break my water. Go for it! After they broke my water I made my way into the bathroom and waited on the toilet. My contractions were SO strong. At one point Cory came into the bathroom to help me, and I quickly shooed him away. “I want Bella! Go away, you’re too tall!” Bella had been helping me tremendously with stretches that helped ease contractions.
Finally the pool was ready. I climbed in and honestly didn’t know what to do. At first I just kind of laid there. Then the midwife told me the best way women position themselves in the pool. I got on my knees and draped myself over the edge. I wasn’t planning on delivering in the water. But once I got in, I was not getting out. All of a sudden the contractions changed. POWERFUL! The pushing contractions had begun. I never expected it to feel like literal pushing. I thought I would have to do all of the work, not that my body would literally push this baby out on its own. I’ll admit I was completely freaked out. I don’t know how to have a baby!! Andy told me to look at her and encouraged me and told me that YES I can have a baby! I worked with the contractions and pushed when I felt like it. Finally at one point I yelled out ‘She’s there! She is coming!’ They thought I was just getting ahead of myself because first time births never happen that fast. I had only been in the pool 4-5 minutes. So they decided to check and see my progress and if it was really time for me to go for it. Lo and behold, there is the top of the head! Next contraction I went for it. I pushed with all of my might. I later found out that they were telling me to slow down. I was going too fast and was going to tear. I didn’t hear any of them and was completely in my own zone. The next contraction I yelled like crazy and pushed with all my might. The next thing I saw was my sweet baby girl being lifted out of the water and handed to me. The first thing I noticed was how chubby she was! 20 1/2 ” 8 lbs 6 oz

“I did it! I did it! I had a baby!” I just kept repeating those words over and over! I just had a baby in a pool in my dining room. We only sat in the pool for a little while until they helped me out and we went over to the living room to the mattress. We sat together as a new family and were so thankful for our new incredible miracle!
We loved our new Darcy Girl!

I can’t express enough how much I loved (as much as you can love labor) our home birth. I had so many people try to rain on my parade and try to scare me. But I couldn’t imagine a better way for us. After she was born we all just hung out in our living room talking and joking. I was able to shower and go to bed in my bed for the night. After 39 1/2 hours of intense labor and only 6 minutes of pushing, it was one of the most amazing experiences for Cory and I. And we absolutely love being a new family of 3!

Dad’s Perspective…

It was early Saturday morning when Lindsey woke me up around 6 am or so telling me she was having really intense contractions…

We weren’t really sure what to do so we started timing them to see how long and far apart they were. I was doing my best while half asleep to watch my phone every time she told me they started to notice the time and see how far apart they were. A little less than 10 minutes a part. Lindsey found an app on her phone to monitor contractions and we started using that which made it much easier to keep track of. After using that for a little while it stopped working and you had to pay for the app to upgrade to the full app and keep using it. Go figure and wouldn’t you know it? What are you going to do at that point? So after purchasing the app we continued timing them. The paid app did not combine the timing we already had from the free app so we started monitoring them again. They were pretty intense contractions and Lindsey was having a hard time.

We called the midwives and eventually got a call back from Andy, who was the midwife on call. She told Lindsey to do deep breathing and to do the low moans, which was a big help. She tried to go back to sleep but without any luck.

As the contractions became more intense we called our doula Bella. She asked questions about how Lindsey was doing and how long and far apart and strong the contractions were. Eventually she came over and what a relief that was because it was just about at the point where we had no idea what else to do. She was able to comfort Lindsey and give her advice and suggestions on how to manage the contractions. At one point I started to breathe through the contractions with her to remind her to breath deep and low and that seemed to help for a while. She later told me to stop doing it and I thought it was just bugging her. After she told me that she really liked it and it helped at first but later not so much.

So eventually Lindsey, Bella and I moved into the family room and with her okay I put on Full House to pass the time and help distract her from the contractions. It seemed to help and the time really did seem to pass by pretty quickly. We would pause the show every time she started having a contraction and then after the contraction passed, we would turn it back on. She did not eat a whole lot that day and it was hard finding things for her to eat as she didn’t have much of an appetite. Lindsey also had a Tupperware bowl that I brought her with a plastic bag liner in case she needed it as she felt queasy that she would carry around from room to room and always keep close by.

At one point I took a break and ran to the store to get food and snacks for the midwives for when they would get there. Down to Albertsons to pick up a big fruit tray, some crackers and other snacks. Sorry Gary, no time to chat tonight, my wife’s in labor. Also stopped at Subway to get some food for us. It was kind of a nice break to get out but also nerve wracking in case Lindsey needed me. She did not want me to go, but it had to get done.

Later that evening we called the midwives again and after talking with Lindsey who was back in bed at this point, and also Bella they finally decided it was time to come over. I started filling up the inflatable pool that I had inflated earlier that day. We had two hoses hooked together, which ran upstairs and hooked up to the showerhead, which I had removed. We had to use this one because the other shower/tub would leak a lot of water out through the tub faucet while the shower was running and it seemed like it would be much faster to use the small shower without the excess. At some point in there they had Lindsey take a warm bath, which she said was really nice and helped alleviate some of the pain for a while.

When the midwives arrived, it was dark outside. They came in and again it was just in the knick of time. Lindsey was exhausted and didn’t know what to do. What a relief to have Andy show up who was so strong and confident and knew how to help, encourage, and comfort her because I sure didn’t. It was such a relief to have her there. Another midwife in training came as well and gave me hug when they arrived and asked how I was doing. I was really taken aback because I hadn’t even really thought about it but it was really, really hard to see Lindsey in pain all day and having such a hard time and more than once I was on the verge of tears. So they brought Lindsey downstairs to a mattress that we had purchased for about 60-70 dollars (we left the plastic wrap on it, covered it with some plastic table covers and put some special sheets we had got at the ward swap on it) and checked Lindsey to see how dilated she was and when they told her she was only at a 3, she was completely devastated. She burst into tears. The midwives did their best to comfort her and tell her that that number isn’t everything and there are a lot of other things to consider like effacement and other things. They told her she was doing great and that in one day she had become almost completely effaced which was wonderful progression.

By this point it was getting pretty late and Lindsey was exhausted. They gave us a few options of what we could do and if we wanted to continue and possibly do all night, or they could give her some medication to help the contractions slow down and the pain subside and some medicine to help her sleep, so that hopefully she could get some sleep between contractions and have more energy for the next day. They explained to us all about the medicines they would give her and how they were very low to no risk to Darcy at all. They gave us a few minutes to talk about it by ourselves while they waited and snacked in the kitchen. Lindsey and I decided that we felt that would be best. So they gave her an IV and gave her the morphine and fluids and other medicines. They worked and she became very tired. We got her up to bed and she was out pretty quick. They hung one of the bags of fluid on a hanger up on the blinds so that it would keep running into her. After they were finished they talked to me out in the hall for a little bit about what to do the next day, when to call them and what to expect. Andy had gotten a call and someone else was in labor as well and she was going there next. I was worried that Andy would not be the one coming back the next day. We covered the pool with a tarp to help keep it warm overnight. Bella went home as well to try and get some sleep and told me to call her when Lindsey woke up or when we needed to. Lindsey got several hours of sleep between the contractions. I woke up a few times hearing her moan and knew she was contracting but the medicines helped her sleep between and maybe through some of them.

So the next morning Lindsey was awake again pretty early due to the contractions. We had probably only gotten between 4-6 hours of sleep. We started timing them and they were still slowed down and not what they had been the night before. So eventually I called Bella again and let her know she was up and she asked if she needed to come right then, or had time to get some breakfast. I told her she had time. So we kept riding it out and eventually Bella arrived. At one point I remember Bella and Lindsey were both sleeping on the bed upstairs, between contractions of course.

Eventually we moved back into the family room and put Full House back on. Lindsey had still eaten very little and I ended up running to the store again to get some more Chicken Noodle Soup for her as she had eaten the only can the day before. I bought her about 4 different kinds (home-style, the ones from Campbell’s, the Chunky ones with thicker noodles and veggies, and even an organic one). She just wanted the regular one and did her best to eat one for lunch with crackers, and also had some of the fruit from the platter.

So the day progresses very much as the last one had, pausing Full House while the contractions took place. Lindsey did so great. It was not an easy thing to go through hour after hour after hour after hour. She knew the time was getting close and wanted to shower to be clean and a little more refreshed before giving birth. After her shower she was in the closet getting dressed and had a bad contraction and threw up in her bowl. After that she was sitting on the exercise ball to help with contractions. She was feeling pretty sick and had a bag in case she needed to throw up. She started contracting and throwing up at one point and told me that either her water had just broke or she had peed on the ball. Turns out her water had not broken. She was pretty upset as she had just showered and feeling so gross. I told her not to worry about it and cleaned got it cleaned off.

As it got later in the evening and with another call to the midwives they finally decided it was time to come back over. HALLELUJAH! Lindsey was at the end of her rope and was ready to call it quits. She was crying and I had no idea what to do.

It took the midwives quite awhile to get there and Lindsey was devastated at one point when she thought the midwives were almost there but would not be there for another 20 minutes or so. During this time, Bella and I tried to comfort her in bed and tried to help her relax during the contractions. She was trying really hard but would still get really tense and would squeeze my hand really hard through every contraction. I would try to remind her to let her body relax. She started to do that and during the contractions she would relax her body. She was so amazing! She eventually said after one contraction that it felt different. The contractions had changed and she felt like pushing. When the midwives finally arrived they came up to Lindsey in bed in tears and Andy came to comfort her. She told her she couldn’t do it and Andy told her yes she could and how strong she was.

I worked with a floating thermometer to add additional hot water to the pool to get it to the right temperature of about 100 degrees. It was still surprisingly warm after removing the tarp. As we monitored this, the tub was becoming too full so at the same time I used the draining tube and siphoned the water and let it also be draining out of the sliding glass door.

They checked Lindsey again to see where she was at and said she was at an 8. Again I could see her heartbreak at the thought that she was not yet there. They again told her how much she had progressed and that in one day she had become 100% effaced and almost all the way dilated.

Lindsey’s water had not yet broken. They told us they could break it if we wanted which would speed the remaining process along. She decided to do that. They brought had her lay down on the mattress where they proceeded to break her water. After that they helped her to get into the pool.

Lindsey found a comfortable position on her knees and leaning on the side of the pool.

Andy was doing paperwork on the table, which was scooted out of the way and up against the wall. Another assistant was preparing the tools and instruments needed. One assistant was pouring the warm water down Lindsey’s back. She had me come over and sit in the chair and take this over. So I just kept scooping up water and pouring it over her back.

I remember Lindsey being really frightened at one point saying that she couldn’t do it and Andy bless her heart took her hand in hand and got right down in her face eye to eye and told Lindsey to look at her. She told her that she could do it. She already was and her body knew what to do. Lindsey said ok.

Lindsey said she wanted to push and they wanted to check her again in the pool and were doing that. They were not quite sure about what they were feeling and had to check again. They were trying to see if she was fully dilated and were having trouble because not only was she, but the baby had started coming. She said she could feel the head. They told Lindsey to push when she felt like pushing. On her next contraction she pushed. Darcy was coming! When she contracted again she pushed again and screamed so loud in a way I have never heard her before. Honestly it scared me to death. All of the midwives were telling her to slow down and not push but she was in the zone and didn’t even hear them. That push she pushed the head the whole way out. The midwives were saying that they could see the head under the water and were shining a flashlight down into the water. I looked down into the now murky water through the light of the flashlight and could see little Darcy’s head. They told her now she could push the body out when she felt the next contraction. So she did. She gave another push and Darcy came out. I was in position and the midwives told me how to hold my hands and told me when I had her I would bring her up out of the water and up to Mommy’s chest. So out she came and I had this slippery little body in my hands underneath the water. I don’t think I had a very good hold because I couldn’t see what I was grabbing and I didn’t really know what or how I would even be able to hold her.
So I brought her up out of the water and saw her beautiful little face for the first time as I somewhat shakily lifted her into Lindsey’s arms and up against her body. Lindsey sat back and held her in disbelief. She looked around at the midwives and me and back at this baby not even a minute old in her arms. I will never forget how she exclaimed with disbelief and surely satisfaction and relief: “I did it! I did it!” With Andy reassuring her “Yes, you did!”

The midwives could not believe how fast Lindsey had pushed her out! It was so much faster than normal first time mothers. After 39 and a half hours of labor, she had pushed Darcy out in a mere 6 minutes. The midwives were not even fully prepared with everything they were getting ready.

After a moment and making sure Darcy was okay and breathing fine, they assisted Lindsey over to the bed. There was quite a lot of blood as she climbed over the edge of the pool. They got her over and she laid down and just held Darcy. I was right at her side and we both just stared in awe and wonder. The midwives got her situated, as the umbilical cord was still attached and gave us time to just be together and hold this precious daughter of God.

We tried breastfeeding her not knowing if she was hungry or not and amazingly, just like we had learned, she latched on and began sucking. We did this for a little bit and then the midwives came over and it was time to cut the umbilical cord. They gave me the scissors and told me it was kind of rubbery. So they placed rubber bands on the cord and showed me where to cut, in between the 2 bands. Sure enough it was a little rubber like but I cut it and little Darcy was now fully supporting herself.

At some point they put a little hat on her we could see the vernix on her forehead. It was so cute to see her opening her eyes.

After this I was able to have some special time to hold my baby girl close. I pulled my shirt off to do skin to skin time, as I had been told this was very important for bonding, and held her against me as I sat in the rocking chair. During this time, poor Momma was over on the couch getting stitched up. I made sure not even to look in that direction, as I am not a fan of needles and didn’t even want to see the look on Lindsey’s face as they did this. So I sat and held Darcy and just stared in wonderment hoping that I was doing it right. She kind of had a blanket wrapped around her and I was worried that there wasn’t as much skin-to-skin as there should be. She was so good! I laid her down in my lap and took a few pictures of her on my phone (the first of thousands).

Then after they finished suturing Lindsey it was time to weigh and measure baby Darcy. I carried her over to the love seat where they had prepared the scale. We took the blanket off of her and put her down where they measured her with a paper tape measure they had: 20.5 inches. Then they got the scale ready and I lifted it up so she could be weighed: 8 pounds 6 ounces. Then we got her wrapped back up in the blanket.

I continued watching her while the midwives did a fantastic job of cleaning up the house. They helped Lindsey upstairs and helped her get showered and into bed. I passed little Darcy over to one of the midwives who I could tell wanted to hold her so that I could eat some food. I was so hungry! I warmed up some leftover meat from our outing to Lucille’s BBQ only 2 nights before on Darcy’s “guess date”.

Eventually they took little bundled Darcy in and put her in bed next to Lindsey. After I finished and the midwives had packed everything out and had left, it was pretty late. I think it was 1 or 2 in the morning and I walked in to our room and saw our little bread bundle right up next to Lindsey under her arm. It was adorable and we could not have been more clueless as to what to do next. But that is another story. I climbed into bed and at the end of this very long crazy adventure, we lay in bed as a family. A Mom who loves her baby so much and gave her the very best start to life she possibly could, and a completely amazing little angel sent to us from Heavenly Father. And though this is the end of my story, it is only the very beginning…

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Welcome to the world sweet Darcy!

If you liked this post, you may also like:
– Our Birth Story
– Homebirth is Not Witchcraft, Seriously
– Lindy’s Birth Story: A Natural Hospital Birth

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2 thoughts on “Lindsey’s Birth Story: A Water Birth at Home

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