I want to record what my first home birth experience was like while it is still fresh in my mind. I have some of it in the bits and pieces of my labor day updates so excuse the duplicates.

My due date, February 14th, came and went. No baby. I was having sporadic contractions but nothing exciting.  We spent the 15th doing stuff. I wanted to stay busy. It helped pass the time.

Ryan was surprised with yet another day off. And he used that time get stuff done in the garage. My Jeep, mostly. We went to and from the hardware and auto parts store a few times.
Like I said, just keeping busy.

It was Ryan’s birthday so we threw him a party with balloons and all.  It was fun.

That night I had trouble falling asleep. Contractions were between 8 and 20 minutes apart and were starting to hurt more than a little. I finally fell into a fitful sleep at about 12:30, I think. I woke up frequently to use the bathroom.
Jesse woke up at about 3:30 in the morning. Actually, he wasn’t really awake and by the time I got into his room to find out why he was crying he had stopped. It was while I was covering him up that my water first started to leak.

Because of that dumb GBS thing I had to call the midwifery. Everybody was delivering a baby. It was a busy night for them. That meant that we had to actually go to the birth center to get my antibiotics, then we came home expecting to have the baby within a few hours.

But nothing much more happened. Water kept leaking. Contractions stayed the same – only inching closer. At one point they completely stopped for a full hour. So I slept.

Ryan went back to sleep when we got home and slept until 9:30 or so. Then he got up, ate breakfast, and headed into the garage. I did a few chores between my contractions, took a few hot showers to help with the ache in my back, and tried to pass the time.
I had my weekly appointment at 2pm so I called them and asked if I should keep it. They said that not only should I keep it but expect to stay at the birth center. They were under staffed due to the magnitude of babies born and may not be able to make it to our home birth. I was disappointed but ready to have my baby.

My appointment showed that even though my contractions weren’t regular I was already 6cm dilated.  That surprised me. I normally don’t have very regular contractions but expected them to be a little more painful or regular before I’d dilate much.

My midwife, Tara, and I decided that I could go on home and if I could make it to 5pm before my contractions were steadily under 5 minutes apart I could still have a home birth.  I thought it would be cutting it close but we’re only 15 minutes from the birth center so decided to just go on home and wait it out.

Ryan ran to the auto parts store again.  He said it was way better than sitting in a hospital room just waiting.  I agreed.

At 4:30 I got a call from another midwife at the center.  She told me that if I didn’t deliver by 9pm I’d have to be transferred to the hospital since my water had been leaking for so long. Some Florida law they have no way of working around. And since my contractions at the time were between 4 and 10 minutes apart she didn’t sound hopeful that I would be having the baby soon.  I knew differently though and I told her that my contractions wouldn’t be steady until I was getting ready to have the baby.

I was pretty surprised when she didn’t seem to hear me. EDIT: after a little thought I think maybe she wasn’t so much ignoring my self-assessment, but was just wanting me to understand that I needed to get the baby born before 9 so they didn’t have to transfer me.  These gals really try to avoid transfers at all costs.

However, Tara, my delivery midwife, took my past experience into account and since I had made it to 5pm she decided to bring the team over.  She said she just had a feeling about me and didn’t think it would be smart to wait much longer.

Apparently I’m meant to labor standing up.  My midwife team of 3 got here around 5:30pm, my midwife wearing her 6 month old daughter on her back. I thought that was awesome! The team consisted of Tara, her assistant Theresa, and a young trainee named Chelsea.  All three of these women are amazing people.  I love them dearly.

Tara asked me if I would like to sit or lay down.  I told her I was actually more comfortable walking around.  She said that sounded good and we all stood around the kitchen bar and talked about homeschooling between my contractions, which were about 3 or 4 minutes apart.  It felt very relaxed.  Ryan dinked around on the computer, looking for tires for the Jeep on Craigslist, occasionally heading into the garage to do something.

At around 6:30 Tara asked if I wanted to know how far dilated I was.  My contractions were bearable and hadn’t been closer than about 3 minutes.  I felt like I was on the edge of transition but that I hadn’t quite gotten there yet so didn’t expect much.

I decided to have her check me anyway, thinking I was probably only 7 cm or so.
But, I was wrong.
I was a full 10 with only a sliver of a lip on one side! The bag of water, which had been slowly leaking all day, was in the baby’s way, however, and Tara said to give a couple of pushes during the next contraction to try to break it.  3 contractions later it broke and her assistant said she thought the baby was going to slide on out.

That’s exactly what she did.

I called for my husband to come into the room and 3 or 4 pushes later we had a baby!

6:53pm on February 16th.

Tara immediately covered the baby up and laid her on my stomach.  Nobody, not even the midwife team saw the gender.  For a half hour they administered a little oxygen, wiped baby up, cut the cord, and cleaned me up – all while baby was on my stomach.  They never took her from me.  That was pretty awesome.

I was so completely tired. Relieved. Overjoyed. And excited to know if the baby was a boy or a girl.

Once all the mess was cleaned up, which I might add was quite minimal and contained, Kait told me I looked fine, normal again.  I didn’t understand why she was saying that until later when she expressed her opinions of watching the birth.


She went and got the boys from the neighbor’s house.  We brought them into our room and then revealed the gender to everybody all at once.

It was the coolest moment…

We had a baby girl!
Helen Lucille Aileen.


I fed her, then we wrapped her in pink blankets and handed her to her Daddy.  While Dad and Kait fought over holding her, I got a shower.

Then we weighed her at 7 lbs 14 oz, and she was 20 1/4 inches long.

She didn’t have a bath.  Meaning her body temperature didn’t fall and warming lights were not necessary.  Sometimes raising a new baby’s body temperature after a bath can take hours. That’s hours you have to spend away from your new baby.  Newborn babies don’t need baths.  In fact, it’s better if they don’t have one right away.  For days even.  And it’s best if mom does the job of keeping babies temperature up.
Lucy hasn’t had a bath yet and you can see from her pictures that she’s perfectly clean.  I did gently wash her hair on Friday though.

All the midwives from the birth center were calling each other to see what we had.  They all seemed to be so involved in Lucy’s birth and were all excited to find out that we had a girl.  It was so sweet! Everybody seemed to care so much about her birth!

There were no complications.  Everything went quick and smooth.  2 hours after she was born the team packed up and took off.  The boys went to bed and Ryan, Kait, and I stayed up for a few hours – exhausted, but unable to sleep for all the excitement.  We watched a couple episodes of Psych waiting for the adrenalin to wear off, I ate a little food, then I went to sleep in my own bed.

It was so perfect to be in my own home. In my own bed.  Undisturbed.

The last few days have been spent resting.  There are Hot Wheels cars all over the living room floor.  The boys are outside playing.  My bed is unmade and my bathroom needs a good picking up.

Things are normal around here.

Except for the overflowing boxes of pink – gifts from my neighbor.  And the sweet baby girl laying on Kait’s chest – that’s new.

It’ll be home births for us from here on out, God willing we have more children.  Ryan commented that it was the best decision.

It was.

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