My HBAC (home birth after cesarean) Story

I saw my midwives on Tuesday (39+6), asked to be checked, which is unlike me. The check means nothing, it’s just information, but it gave me a bit of confidence that my cervix was eager to party.

That night I had some prodromal labor for about 3-4 hours. When I woke up

Wednesday, I was having mild surges about every 20 minutes, this went on all day and I mostly ignored it. At one point I texted my hubs who was just out in our office ‘I may be In early labor’, his response was ‘you are’. So I made an aggressive to-do list and kept myself incredibly busy all day. That evening I bathed my daughter and put her in pjs, at that moment things intensified. When I put her in bed she said, ‘mama, baby coming out of your gina?’. She knew far more than I knew and my body knew I needed her in bed to get the party started. By 8 pm, I was starting to feel regularity with the surges (this is when I consider 'labor' to have started). After an hour or so I needed to get into the shower for relief and my partner called in my sister who was my doula and notified our midwife, Beth. We had a quick chat on the phone and I expressed that I was still trying to figure out what was happening in my body. There was a bit of me that thought it wasn’t really happening and this was prodromal labor coming to an end soon. Another hour passed and my hubs listening on the other side of the glass was inspired to blow up the pool and call in the midwives.

Sitting on the floor of the shower the midwives said hello, listened to babe's heart tones, then left to give me space.

Some time had passed and I needed clarity, I needed information, so I asked to be checked. Beth checked me in the shower around midnight, I just asked if she would say I was in active labor, and her response was, ‘almost’ (I was 4cm). This was a rock to the face. The surges were almost impossible to breathe thru and I knew how much harder it was going to get. My nervous system went into fight or flight (this also happened with my first labor, I went into flight mode which is likely why I had a csection) and this time I took a few minutes, and then decided to fight. It was time to change and move, I need to go towards the surges and bring them on stronger. I stayed in the shower but felt the need to squat and used our squatty potty for support. Surges immediately intensified and started to come one after the other. My sister said all the right things because I could barely keep up with my Hypno breathing. She kept reminding me that the intensity meant we were almost done. During this time I could really feel my daughter moving and working with the surges. Her body was lining up perfectly to come down. After a short time I asked to move to the birth pool but when I stood up I just couldn’t imagine walking to the living room so instead, the toilet it was. I had a handful of surges on the toilet and then, bam, my body started to push and my water broke. My sister called for the midwife and my hubs went to wake up our daughter, Scout (we wanted her to see the birth). I really wanted to be in the pool, so a few more pushes on the toilet, lots of pooping, and off I ran to the living room. Ordered my hubs to get on some trunks and to apply counter pressure to my lower back during pushes. I pushed for 36 minutes, her head was born, I held it in my hands, feeling her nose and lips with my fingers, and almost 3 minutes later her body was born into my arms. I leaned back into my husband's body and was shocked and relieved. While holding my new daughter I asked my midwife, 'Is she out?' I just couldn't believe it. We were given space to soak it all in and then I needed to put in a bit more work for my placenta to be born. About an hour after Arbor, came her placenta, squatting at the couch. What a relieving feeling that is! Soon we moved to my bed, where we nursed, cuddled, and just enjoyed her first moments of life.

Arbor Sloane was 7.4oz, born at 2:16am on 9/10.

Labor was around 6hrs, it was transformative and healing. I feel so grateful, lucky, and privileged for the experience I got to have.