Our story has a long background. This is my tenth pregnancy but my first home birth. It took a lot of baby steps for us to realize this was the right thing for us. I was really young with my first pregnancy. I didn’t educate myself on the whole birth process. This resulted in one inervention after another. With the next 4 pregnancies I would read more, practice relaxation and breathing techniques but still did not have the birth experience I was looking for or read about. I had a friend who was birthing at home and even invited me to one of her births. I still wasn’t ready, I kept thinking “what if”. I then discovered a birthing center that offered midwife attended births. This was a great middle of the road opportunity. So with my next 4 pregnancies I would go to the birthing center. These were great experiences. However, my last delivery ended with a terrible hemorrhage which led to a transfer to a hospital. The hospital visit reminded me why I didn’t like giving birth there. Although I needed their care this time I was not comfortable or treated well. All this took place in another state.
Now we live in Texas. There is not a birth center in our area so if the Lord saw fit to bless us again, we would most definitely not give birth at a hospital. The Lord did see fit to bless us again and we began our prenatal journey with Toni. We were very concerned about my previous hemorrhage and wanted to avoid that again. Toni educated me on different ways to stay healthy and to strengthen my body for the delivery. I also did a lot of research. I was still a little nervous though and several times throughout the pregnancy God would remind me it was going to be O.K.
Finally, it’s time for the baby to come. I was dreaming that I was having contractions, only to wake up and find out that I really was. It was 2:30am when I got up to use the restroom and to change positions to see if the contractions would continue or fizzle out. I sat in my recliner for about 45 minutes. During this time the contractions increased with intensity. I decided to walk around to test them further. They continued to come but were less intense and shorter.
While walking around I woke up my husband. After 2&1/2 hours we decided to call Toni and wake up my oldest daughter. Nanci got here first and started getting things ready for the delivery. When Toni arrived she checked me and I was only 3cm but the cervix was really thin.
My blood pressure was really high, so I had to lay on my left side to bring it to a safer level. Nanci went to the store to get me some calcium and magnesium to help my blood pressure come down. I took a bunch of those and was able to get off the bed.
While lying still I was able to relax during the contractions but it was a little difficult. My husband was very helpful in applying counter pressure to my back. I finally was able to get moving again. Although it took 15 minutes to move three feet from my bed to my recliner, because the contractions were coming faster and lasting longer. I also got sick during the movement from the bed to the chair.
Once at the chair I had a serious contraction and I thought I felt the baby move into the birth canal. I thought, “That can’t be right, I was just at 3cm a little over 90 minutes ago”. During this contraction my husband wiggled my thighs back and forth which alleviated 90% of the pain and gave me the ability to think instead of panic. Well sure enough with the next contraction I felt a huge pressure at the outlet. I thought, “I can’t push this baby out sitting in my chair there is no place for him to go”. So I nearly slid out of my chair.
In the mean time my daughter let Toni know that I wanted her back in the room. She and Nanci had stepped out into the next room to get a bite to eat. I asked Toni, “What am I going to do?”. She said, “Well, you’re going to the bed so we can check your progress”. I appreciated the firm plan she gave me because it gave me a goal to focus on.
Once they were able to lift me out of the chair, I got on my bed and Toni checked me. To my delight the baby’s head was visible. With the next contraction I said, “What am I going to do now?”. Toni once again gave me a clear directive, “You’re going to push this baby out”. “O.K.” I thought, “I can do that.” However the “ring of fire” was so intense that I said “I’m not going to be able to do it again.” Toni responded, “What do you mean? The head is already out.” WOW! With the next contraction I pushed the rest of his sweet little body out and right to my belly he went. What a relief. Toni kept a very watchful eye on my bleeding and for good measure she gave me a shot of pitocin.
THIS was the birth experience I had been looking for! I was in control not the doctors and nurses and when I needed direction Toni was there giving it. My labor was so managable at home, I use to think that at the hospital they managed your labor for you but they don’t. They just boss you around. I wish I would have discovered the beautiful, perfectly normal, healthy way of birthing a child at home 9 babies ago. If the Lord sees fit to bless us again I would, without a doubt, choose to home birth with Toni again.