THE BIRTH OF ALIVIA

As told by Monica

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April 11th 2017.

41 weeks and 1 day ago Todd and I started down a new path with all kinds of unknowns. It was a familiar path as we had traveled down it before, but this one came with new obstacles, ones we weren’t sure about.

July 2016 Todd and I found out that we were going to be expecting another baby and our family of 5 was going to be a family of SIX!!

We started researching OB’s because our daughter Havyn who was born 4/23/15 was breech and was delivered via c-section. So from the moment the line became a plus on the stick the fear of having to go through surgery again was very scary!

We started with a practice and was told to stay with that practice I would have no option and would need to have another c-section.  Todd and I talked and wanted to research what our options were. The Dr that delivered Havyn was sure to tell me he made it possible for me to have a natural birth after my c-section, I called his office but he was no longer taking patients in the area.  I continued to research, and found more doors closing in our face. We had to overcome more than just the fact that I was wanting a vaginal birth after cesarian (VBAC). I was told it would be difficult since it was less than 2 years since my c-section.  We found a practice that would take us, but the issue was it would be rotating Drs and whoever was “on call” when I went into labor would deliver my baby. That was not something I wanted, so I continued care with my original OB and kept going.

September 2016 Todd and I have decided that we were going to be “surprised” for the gender and didn’t want to know. We planned on doing a gender reveal party for our families. However, we just never found the right time so we later decided to go through the whole pregnancy and let it be one last surprise when we finally brought the baby into the world. During this time I started doing more research to find someone who would let me VBAC and hopefully in the most natural setting possible since Jacob was born out of hospital in a birth center and that was the plan for Havyn.  Again more obstacles, because what I found is the state of Florida will not support a VBAC at a birth center, I would have to deliver at home.

Let me pause there, I am not a “crunchy” mom or a particularly organic mommy by no means, so the thought of delivering a baby at home was at first scary to me. What if something went wrong, what risks was I taking all for the ability to have a VBAC? Was it worth it? Could I do it?

I researched this further online and came across The Birth Center of St Pete and an amazing midwife Jessica. We got to meet her and after a final consult with my original ob and all the nasty things he told me I would be if I decided to try a vbac, I switched my care over to her.

The time came for my due date 4/3/17! YAYYY Exactly 20 days before Havyn’s birthday, fun right? Well that day came and went and so did the next day, and the day after that. Finally a week and 1 day later something started to happen!!!!

41 weeks on 4/10/17… I had an appointment with my midwife and told her I had given up all hope I was going to be pregnant forever… She offered to sweep my membranes because up until this point I had tried induction massage, pineapple, acupuncture, walking, yoga ball and numerous other things. NOTHING WORKED!  After Jessica did her thing at about 330 I felt nothing and still didn’t want to get my hopes up that I was going into labor soon.

At about 530 I noticed a rhythm to the uncomfortableness that I was feeling. I was having contractions!!! WAHOO!!!! They stared off about 5 minutes apart and were just there…
At about 10:30pm is when I noticed they were stronger and slightly closer together. I was still okay managing by myself so we didn’t do anything. About 11:30 my husband went to bed with our daughter and I stayed awake to keep bouncing on a ball hopefully to get things going!!

Contractions were consistent but still manageable by 12:30am I decided to lay down and try and get some sleep. We would come back to this whole business of birthing a baby tomorrow. 😳 At about 1 am I woke up to a hard kick and went to the bathroom and immediately called Jessica my contractions were about a minute apart and were getting strong. I told her I was going to call people and get them over since my photographer (who was/is AUHMAZING) lived so far away and I didn’t want her to miss anything. I ended that phone call and made the others to my sister, mom, and mother in law. With the end of those phone calls I ended up on all fours on my bathroom floor. Contractions were strong and consistent. It was going to be BABY TIME!!!!

Everyone arrived at my home about 2am and shortly after. It was set we were all here and it was time for the baby to be here… My contractions continued to increase in both frequency and strength until about 3 am when I asked if I could get in the pool which I planned to deliver my baby in. I was able to labor and feel the warmth of the water on me and soothing me until the next contraction hit. As each contraction washed over me I was trying to remind myself that the pain I was feeling was temporary and would be gone and just a few moments so I would count through them.

My husband and family were an amazing support system for me. Letting me know that I could do this even when I doubted myself. I don’t think I would have been successful with out them there for me.

At about 4 am contractions were becoming quite intense and I was starting to doubt myself, why did I do this at home, why was I doing this unmedicated, could I really deliver another baby unmedicated? Within the next hour I would get my answer.. As I was laboring (what I feel was not so gracefully lol) my midwife offered to break my water with my next contraction and that it might speed things up for me. I happily said yes, anything to bring me closer to meeting the baby who didn’t even yet have a name or a gender.

Once my water was broken I was able to feel the full force of what my body was about to be going through and honestly I wouldn’t have wanted to be any other place then in my living room in warm water filled fishy pool! I felt the baby coming. With the next few contractions I was able to get the baby’s head out, (this is were I realized the home birth was the best for me) I had what felt like an eternity, before my next contraction came. The baby was still in the water and no one was panicking (okay that’s not true I was! I was totally freaked out, but everyone assured me it was okay) and with the next couple of contractions I was able to have the baby come the rest of the way out and immediately was placed on my chest.

Again another “light bulb” moment.. I realized as I was holding this baby I just pushed out of my body, nobody said what it was… I got to have that moment. I got to see that at 4:48 AM on April 11, 2017 I had just delivered the most beautiful full head of hair baby GIRL! This moment was so special to me that all of my patience in not finding out the gender had paid off. Nobody did it for me, I was able to tell everyone what we had. In a world where secrets are rarely kept and one persons news becomes public knowledge often before they are ready, I got to have that moment. (She definitely didn’t have a name as we couldn’t find one we really liked)

Once the baby was here another amazing thing happened, my house went right back to normal! The towels were cleaned up and the wash was started, the pool was drained and deflated, my bed was made and my kitchen was cleaned up. All by my birth team, my midwife and her birth assistant. All this happened while I was able to lay in my own bed and experience bonding with my new daughter.

My home birth is something that I will always treasure. If I decide to have another baby it will definitely be at home in my fishy pool in my living room. There is something to be said about not having medical interventions when NOT needed. Overall trust your body, your birth team, and your decision

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