Hip Labor? Baby J’s Home Birth

I started having contractions at 4am, but slept in between and did not time them. At 6:22 doula #1 texted me that she was home from another birth and was going to take care of her family and get some rest. Around 6:30 am, I let my midwife, other doula and mom know that things had started. We did a normal morning around the house, with a little extra cleaning. My contractions stayed 6-7 minutes apart, by 11 am I had spoken with my midwife and she planned on keeping all 3 of her afternoon appointments. This had me really discouraged. With that and the responsibilities of taking care of the kids, I felt that I was losing steam. I contacted the neighbors to see if the kids could play there for awhile, but they had already left for an activity. I called my mom and she picked them up, God bless her. I remember telling her: “No sugar, no gluten, no dairy!”

I told my husband that I needed to cancel my acupuncture appointment for 4pm, but I kind wanted to get in earlier. I wanted to know if I was making any progress, but I was afraid of discouragement. He convinced me to see the midwife in between her first two appointments. We went to her office and I was 5 cms! She decided to cancel her last appointment.

I was much more encouraged, so we went to see if I could get an earlier acupuncture appointment. One of my clients was the next person due for acupuncture, she was so sweet insisting that I go instead of her. They got both of us in, it was nice to rest but boy did the contractions get strong after that! Next we stopped at the smoothie shop and then went to the cafe to get lunch. I let the doulas know I planned to be home around 2pm and would likely need support after that. Doula #1 was still resting, so I knew she’d come a little later than doula #2.

Still pretty chill, getting my blood pressure checked in my bedroom

Still pretty chill, getting my blood pressure checked in my bedroom

We sat on the swing outside the cafe, and I felt the baby descend a little, so we decided to go home. My midwife came up and dropped off her supplies then went to grab some food from the grocery store. Doula #2 let me know she was on the way. I started feeling the pressure increase, and got very emotional. I called my midwife and told her we needed her as soon as she was done shopping, and that we were filling the pool. When she got there, I kept crying and saying, “I feel so emotional.” That was the scene when Doula #2 arrived.

I’m going to pause here and say, I have not had my postpartum visit yet, because I forgot to schedule it. So, dear doulas if you read this and some of the details are off, I apologize. Okay, disclaimer done.

Doula #2 arrived not long later and the photographer came. I got in the pool as soon as it was ready and declared “it’s magic.”

Photo Credit_ Michelle D. Hardy-2

I felt like I labored normally and beautifully, getting counter pressure during contractions, being supported by my husband and all these great women. Progress seemed ideal and I told my mom to bring the kids home around 5pm.

This was when it all changed

This was when it all changed

Then, it all changed. I started having considerable pain on the right side of my abdomen, and anterior and posterior right hip. I wanted to escape my body. Everyone was encouraging me, and I just felt so frustrated. No one seemed to get that something felt wrong to me. I started feeling like vomiting, but didn’t want to. Instead, I asked to be checked in my room. I threw up multiple times in my room and then shouted that I needed a chux pad, about one second after they got it under my feet my water broke.


I think I needed that downward pressure of vomiting to break the bag. I also felt pretty strongly that there were too many people: my mom, both kids, both doulas, both midwives, a photographer and my husband. I asked the doulas, photographer, mom and kids to leave. My son was sleeping in his room…I let him stay there.
A little while later, I decided to get in the shower, and my husband kept me company while I tried to get my brain around the pain I was feeling. The sensations were completely new to me. When I was ready to get out, I was swaying my hips in the kitchen and the student midwife was suggesting a belly band to support me. I couldn’t remember where my belly band was, so I suggested the Moby. It was uncomfortable. I asked for Doula #1 to come back and do counter pressure. She asked if Doula #2 could come in so they could alternate, and not get too worn out. I was fine with that, but it didn’t seem like it was helping.

Frustrated, I asked for another check. I was still 9- 9 1/2. I asked if my cervix moved at all when I pushed. That’s when my midwife realized the baby was not facing backwards, but facing my right hip. I asked people to call my chiropractor. Someone handed me the phone, I was like “can YOU please talk to her? I’m kinda busy.”

They talked to her, but she was an hour away. She gave my midwife suggestions. At that point my daughter was screaming about not wanting a new baby, because she would lose quality time with dada. My midwife was in my bedroom closet trying to get suggestions from the chiropractor. The student midwife had me lay on my right side, and my midwife came out and started massaging my right low back and butt. I put on my hypnosis recording. Midwife and doula switched out with the massaging. I could tell the position and massage was helping, and the recording was helping me focus on relaxing. I needed SO MUCH PRESSURE, so I asked my mom to come in. She massaged my low back and but for 40 minutes, God Bless her.

Meanwhile, we contacted my other chiropractor, but he was in appointments until 7pm, I asked that he come after he was done. It was time for me to switch to my left side couldn’t physically managed movement that quickly. As I transitioned, I felt pretty comfortable on hands/knees on the bed. I was still feeling all the pain and pressure the right side, but I wasn’t as discouraged. Even though I kept saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore”

By the time I was ready and physically able to get to my left side the chiropractor arrived. I told Doula #2 where to find my shorts and underwear, because he was my coworker and I refused to be naked. She gave me the underwear and shorts. I was holding them in my left hand and stood up when another contraction hit (My midwife kept saying we wouldn’t need him because there was no time, but I was insistent). In that contraction, I gave a strong push and my water broke-again!

My midwife told him to leave, that the baby was coming now. My husband brought my daughter in, she wanted to be present. I was just certain it was impossible for a baby to come out, the pressure was so intense and the pain was so strong. I guess my total pushing time was 13 minutes. I remember feeling the head come out first, then the body and I kept asking “where is my baby?, where is my baby?”

Of course, it was like 5 seconds while they got the cord unwrapped and handed her to me. I sat on the bed and remember being amazed at how much she resembled my daughter. My son came in a moment later, and someone started singing “Happy Birthday.” My son kept yelling “stop it. singing happy birthday.” and then he would growl. oh, so much love.

My daughter and husband cut the cord, that was his first time cutting it.

All in all, it was pretty amazing.


  1. Congrats again Stef…..so proud of you!!!!! You did an awesome job 🙂

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