Baby Sister’s Birth Story: A Home Birth After A C-Section (HBAC)

Around 10 pm I went to the bathroom and when I wiped there was a little pink. I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I sent my midwife a text letting her know what was going on. I told My Love he might want to get some sleep because this could be the beginning of labor! Or it could be nothing. I woke up later that night/morning at 12:56 am to my water breaking, or what I thought was my water breaking. I would later find out it was my fore bag, not my amniotic sac. I went to the bathroom to make sure it was my water and not pee or blood and sure enough, it was water! I sent a text to my midwife and climbed back into bed. Contractions started about 10 minutes later. I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep! I needed to shave my legs, and had even mentioned to My Love that if labor started that night or the next day I would definitely need to shave my legs, so I decided to get up out of bed and do that. When I got back into bed around 2 am My Love woke up a bit and asked me if I was doing okay. I told him my water broke and I was having contractions. He got up and started cleaning the house! Around 3 or 4 am he laid down on the sofa and fell asleep. I couldn’t sleep, I was too excited and the contractions were waking me up. I laid in bed watching tv shows and tried to sleep listening to hypnobabies. I was able to get some rest but not too much. Around 6 am my sister sent me a text and since I was awake, I responded. We talked about how I was in labor and that I needed/wanted to go to the grocery store and I would do that once Bunny woke up. She offered to take me before work and I readily agreed. Around 7 am I got dressed and went grocery shopping. I didn’t need much, just the basics. We were home by 8 am. I forgot eggs so I sent my sister a text asking if she could bring me some. She so kindly brought me eggs and half jokingly asked if I wanted her to take the day off. I told her on the car ride home from the store that we were planning a home birth. Up until that point, nobody in my family knew because I didn’t want them to worry or stop by while I was in labor. My Love was home that day and my mom took the day off work to help care for Bunny so I told my sister to go to work.

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SO EXCITED!

Once I got home and put away the groceries, I woke My Love up and asked him to fill up the labor tub for me. My Love went to fill up the labor tub and turned up the water heater. Or at least he thought he turned up the water heater. What he really did was turn off the pilot light. My Love filled up my labor tub for about half an hour and went to feel the water and the water was freezing cold. He turned the water off because we thought that maybe it had drained the water heater of all the hot water. Once we figured out that the pilot light was turned off my love turned the pilot light back on and the hot water was filling up again. While we waited for the hot water heater to fill itself up we were heating teakettles full of water on the stove and dumping them into the labor tub.

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My big baby belly!
Soon after that Bunny woke up and we went about our day as normal. Bunny saw us filling up the tub with water from the tea kettle and kept saying the water in the tub was tea. I was having contractions every 3 to 5 minutes and they were lasting about 30 seconds each. They didn’t get any closer together and they weren’t getting more intense. We ate breakfast, we played, we did everything like we normally would. I decided to try to rest so I went and laid down. It was very hard for me to sleep but I listened to hypno babies to try and relax and sleep a little bit. I listen to hypno babies for about 50 minutes and then I got up. I found when I was listening to hypno babies during contractions that it made the contractions more intense and made me focus on them more. I found that if I listened to a TV show, music or a movie then I can focus on that and not on my contractions which made the contractions much more easier to get through. Hypno babies did help me to think of my contractions as pressure waves and to be able to work through them but listening to hypno babies was not helpful to me during labor. I found that I could not listen to hypno babies while I was actually having contractions.I kept my midwife updated and she came over to see me around 11 AM. When midwife got there she checked my bleeding and watch me through a few contractions. She told me that I wasn’t quite there yet and it didn’t make sense for her to sit and watch me because I wouldn’t progress if I was being watched. She did say that she thought that once things really started they would go quickly so she brought in all of her equipment so that she would not have to do that as soon as she got here next time. She didn’t want to have to rush and put all her equipment in the house if I was in labor and she had to get to me quickly.
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last bump picture!
Midwife went home and we went about our day as normal. It was about time for Bunny to take a nap and I normally nurse her to sleep. I went with Bunny and I nursed her to sleep for about half an hour which is normal for her. During that time I had 4-5 contractions they were manageable but it was very difficult to work through them while she was nursing and not disturb her. After Bunny was asleep I got up and went to take a nap myself. I asked My Love to take a nap with me and we both laid down and listen to the movie while we napped. My contractions were happening every 5 to 9 minutes around that point. I was able to rest in between my contractions but I wasn’t getting a whole ton of sleep. Bunny was being such a great sleeper today and she actually took a two and a half hour nap(as opposed to her normal hour to hour and a half nap)! Bunny also didn’t wake up until an hour later in the morning than she normally does. It’s like she knew something was happening and she need to get her rest.
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My friend had given me this awesome cake recipe and I really wanted to make a birthday cake for baby. So after nap I decided to make a birthday cake! I didn’t have enough sugar. My Love was so kind and went out to the store and bought some sugar so that I could make a birthday cake. I made the batter and had another contraction. I went and got in the labor tub and My Love had to take over making the birthday cake. I had accidentally dropped a piece of plastic into the cake batter and it was making the KitchenAid go all crazy. My Love figured out what was wrong. We had to toss out the cake batter because of that piece of plastic. I started all over again. I was so glad that My Love had bought extra sugar at the store! I was able to make most of the cake batter but My Love had to do a lot of everything else. I put the cake in the oven and My Love checked on it and kept putting it back in until it was ready to be done because I was in the labor tub and couldn’t get out and go see if the cake was ready. If I wasn’t in the labor tub, I was bouncing on my Bump Your Baby ball (a stabilized exercise ball). Whenever a contraction hit I walked as fast as I could to my ball. Because I was leaking fluid I would lay a towel down on the ball. The Bump Your Baby ball was great for this because of its legs that stabilizes it. I could walk to my ball and not have to worry about where my towel was.
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sitting at the park
After Bunny woke up from nap we went for a walk to the park. We were going about our day as normal. I was trying to get everything done that I wanted to and have fun with Bunny and enjoy our last few hours or day as parents of one child.
After the walk Bunny and I labored in the labor tub for a little bit and it was great fun. Bunny really enjoyed being in the bathtub as she called it. She didn’t want to get out and she was having a hard time leaving the tub for dinner. It was getting close to bed time at this point. I thought since Bunny had woken up late this morning that she would stay up a little later. I had sent my midwives another update saying that I felt like I had to that I had pressure in my bum and they told me that they would come on over. When the midwives were on their way over Bunny started melting down and My Love took her to bed. I was nervous about him taking her to bed because I normally nurse Bunny to sleep. I didn’t want Bunny to have a hard time going to bed with all that was going on around her and not have me there. Because of this my contractions slowed down. When the midwives got here my contractions had spaced themselves out, far apart.
The midwives saw me labor through a few contractions and they they looked at me and they told me that they thought that the baby was in a good position but that she was out a little too far. Because I carry my babies out so far Baby Sister wasn’t in the right alignment to come out of my birth canal. The midwives put me in a laid-back position on my bump your baby ball and had me relax for as long as I could. I ended up listening to a Disney movie on my phone so that I could relax. Silence was not my friend. I needed something to distract me and take my mind off of the contractions. I laid that way for about an hour and as soon as My Love was done putting Bunny to bed, I got up off of the ball. When I was on the ball laying back my contractions were more intense and I started vocalizing a little bit. Up to this point when I had contractions I was being so awesome and quiet and breathing through them and just dealing with them in my own way. Not making any noises and not making a big fuss about it. I was so proud of myself. I thought I was going to be one of those women who was calm and cool and collected through the entire labor and birth. But once Baby Sister was in a better position my contractions really picked up the intensity and it was hard to stay quiet.
After getting up off the birthing ball from my laid down position the midwives looked at me and they they decided that it might not happen for a while that. They warned me I might still be pregnant for another day or so. They decided that they were going to go home because it didn’t make sense for them to watch me. It was like how a watched pot never boils. The midwives were telling me things to look out for that would mean they need to come back immediately and one of those things with my water breaking. As the midwives were saying if your water breaks we need to come back I said, “Like this?” as my water broke and splashed all over everywhere! The midwives laughed and said Yep like that. The midwives didn’t end up leaving. That was at about 9:00 or 9:30.
Once my water broke the contractions picked up in intensity a little bit. The midwives had me go labor on the toilet for a little bit to see if that would help with the contractions and it did. I labored on the toilet as long as I could but those contractions were very very intense. I laid down on my back and labored like that some more because that helped get Baby Sister in a good position. The contractions were always more intense for me when I was laying down, weather it was on my back or my side. Those contractions were very intense. My Love was with me the whole time, he never left my side.
I believe it was around this time when the midwife asked if she could check me to see how far I was dilated or if I would like to check myself. Up until this point I had NO cervical checks. Not during pregnancy and not during labor. I said yes and checked myself. I described what I was feeling and could feel Baby Sister’s head moving inside of me. It was totally awesome and a little gross at the same time! I told them I didn’t know how to tell how far dilated I was and maybe they should check. So the midwife checked me. It was very uncomfortable and a little painful. She told me I was 6 centimeters dilated and baby was at a +1 station.
I’m not sure what time it was but I decided that I want to go try and rest so I went to laid down in our bed to take a little nap. My Love came with me and he got up to do a few things but came back for every contraction. I must’ve dozed off because I woke up and I yelled, “Love!” and he said, “I’m right here.” Sure enough he was right there right next to me and I had no idea. I said I’m having another contraction and the toilet is running can you go jiggle the handle. He laughed and said you must not be close if you’re yelling at me about the toilet running. Little did I know that I was in transition at that point. The midwives came in to check on me and they started setting up all of their birthing stuff in our bedroom. The midwife looked at me and she said I want to tell you two things the first thing is you’re going to feel a ring of fire and you just need to push through it. She said the second thing you’re going to experience is you’re going to feel like you’re going to break in half. She said I promise you, you won’t break in half and we’re right here and you’re safe and everything will be okay. I labored in the bedroom for a couple more minutes but I really wanted to get back into labor tub. At this point I remember thinking I can understand why some women choose not to try for a VBAC and have an elective c section instead. I felt like the contractions were not doing anything and I was going nowhere. I told the midwife I was really sorry she just set everything up in our room but I really wanted to get into the tub. I asked if we could move to the tub. She said of course this is the dance of a mom in labor I’ll just move all my stuff out there. She’s very kind and wasn’t worried about having to move everything. I got back in the labor tub and it was very hot. But apparently it wasn’t hot enough. The midwives were putting in more hot water because it had to be at a certain temperature for the baby. I asked them to please stop putting in hot water and they said they had to because it was too cold for baby right now. I was sweating at this point and the contractions were very very intense.
I don’t know how long I labored in the tub for but I wasn’t progressing very much. I know that I did feel urge to push. I know that I pooped a couple times and the midwives very kindly and effortlessly fished out my poop and it was not a big deal. We decided I should get out of the labor tub and try and labor in a squatting position. I was all fours in the labor tub and by that time my arms and legs were very sore because of all the laboring I had been doing. I was squatting on My Love and I could only do that for a couple minutes. So I got back on my hands and knees and labored that way for a little bit. I was getting very close to baby sister being born. I could feel her head coming down my canal and I could feel it stretching and I could feel little bit of the ring of fire but really didn’t feel that bad. The worst part for me was I would have three or four contractions and I would push, my body was pushing I wasn’t doing it my body was doing it. It was crazy cool, the instinct of my body pushing my baby out. I knew if I could push one more push I could get her head out but the contractions would stop. It was frustrating because I could feel baby sisters head going back into my body and I just wanted her to come out.
At this point I was not being quiet at all! I was afraid I was going to wake Bunny up with all of my screaming/noises. I felt like an animal making noises. I really felt like a cow mooing. My Love was there with me through it all. During this time he was sitting right in front of me with his hand on my forehead. I was on all fours pushing Baby Sister out. I asked for a cold wash cloth or ice and My Love started getting up to get it. I very quickly said, “NOT YOU!” The midwives chuckled. I didn’t want My Love going anywhere. I needed him right there with me. I don’t know how long I was pushing that way. The midwife said I needed to try a new position so she had me put one leg up and lean on her and My Love. I remember smelling her hair and saying, “Your hair smells great!” I could barely move because my arms and legs were going numb from all the effort of pushing and being on my hands and knees. Finally, FINALLY Baby Sister’s head was coming out. I could feel the “ring of fire” but it honestly didn’t feel that bad to me. Yes it was uncomfortable and maybe a little painful, but if I had to describe it I would say it was a ring of candles. The most frustrating part was Baby Sister’s head going BACK in. I just wanted to push her out! Finally her head was out! Yes! The midwife looked at me and said, “I need you to lay flat and get babys shoulders out in one push.” The midwife had estimated Baby Sister to be around 9 pounds so I thought maybe her shoulders were stuck or they needed to come out quickly so she wouldn’t get hurt. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew my midwife would keep us safe and I trusted her. I laid on my back and pushed with all my might. I felt like the midwives were pulling Baby Sister out, helping her to come out as I pushed. As I could feel the contraction ending I yelled, “GET HER OUT!” not because I was scared or in pain, but because I knew there was a reason my midwife wanted baby out now. Her shoulders came out then the rest of her slipped out! (Baby Sister had her hand by her neck and was turning colors, silly girl.) The midwives helped me grab Baby Sister, my arms were so weak and sore I couldn’t do it on my own. Baby Sister’s cord was so short that it only reached from inside me to where she was laying on my chest. I couldn’t nurse her yet because the cord wasn’t long enough. The midwives told me to talk to her and hold her and love her and we did. I stroked her skin and her head and sang her songs. Baby Sister was crying but as soon as the midwives put warm blankets on her she quieted down. The midwives kept checking the pulse on the cord to see if it was still pumping blood into Baby Sister. Once the umbilical cord stopped pulsating the midwives had My Love put the cord clamps on and cut Baby Sister’s cord. Once her cord was cut, My Love helped me lift her higher so she could nurse. Baby Sister latched on almost immediately. There was a little bit of a nursing dance to get her latched. The midwives checked to see if my placenta was ready to be delivered but it wasn’t. So we waited until it was ready. Once my body told me to push the placenta out, I did. I could feel the midwife doing something down there and I asked her what it was. She said my amniotic sac was still connected to my uterus a little bit and she wanted to make sure all of it came out and nothing was left inside me so she was very carefully peeling it out, making sure not to tear or rip it. Everything the midwives did was kind, loving and for me. They were not on a timeline, they were not thinking about themselves and how tired I’m sure they were. They were there for ME. It was amazing.
After the placenta was delivered everyone helped me get up. I had to break Baby Sister’s latch because she was still nursing but I desperately needed to get up off the floor. The midwives had a shower ready and waiting for me. Once I got up I slowly walked to the shower and bathed. It was magical to be able to walk and take a shower! When I had Bunny I couldn’t walk for hours after! (c section)
The midwives made my bed, prepared it for me to sleep in. They helped me dry off and get dressed. While I nursed Baby Sister again, the midwives checked her and showed us the placenta. They gave us some tips and instructions and said they would come back later that morning. It was about 4 am by the time the midwives left. They made sure I was tucked happily and safely in bed before they left.
I know it was a long day for the midwives. I had started texting them 25 hours earlier. I know they must have been exhausted as well. But they still lovingly and happily cared for me and did not leave me until they knew I was happy and safe in bed. I am so SO SO very thankful for the care they showed me. I feel like I was the center of my birth experience. Things were not happening TO ME, or being done TO ME. The midwives made sure I was in control and they were attending me. They were not running the show, it was not about the midwives. It was about ME and my baby. I was the star of the show, they were there to help me, not to dictate to me or control me or my birth. I can not imagine having a baby any other way. I am so thankful I have such a wonderful husband who was there for me through it all. He is so loving and wonderful and I am so grateful to be his wife. I had the perfect labor and birthing experience I could ever dream of. I am so thankful to have been able to have a Home Birth After A C Section (HBAC). If you are on the fence, deciding if you want a home birth, do it! It is the best experience ever! It was so nice to wake up in my own bed, for Bunny to wake up in her own bed and welcome her sweet baby sister into this world. Bunny’s life wasn’t thrown around too much, I didn’t have to leave her and stay in the hospital for a few days. I am so thankful for my home birth, my husband, my chidden, and my midwives.
Baby Sister was 21 inches long and 10 pounds! I birthed a 10 pound baby naturally and without any drugs! I feel like a rockstar!

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