My First Time Giving Birth had a bit of a false start the day after my due date.  I had an acupuncture treatment and immediately experienced changes in cervical fluid.  We had a relaxing afternoon with irregular contractions for the rest of the day and night.  We watched Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (this was part of my birth plan, 12 hour labor, 12 hours of Tolkien seemed bearable to me!)  We didn’t get much sleep, and I monitored my temperature, but no progress in my contractions.

Around 6 am the next day my midwife sent me to L&D to have a ferning test to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid.  With our home-birth plan this was a necessary, but scary step.  If I was leaking amniotic fluid, I would have to stay in the hospital.

We saw my doctor in triage, had the test and an exam.  My water bag was intact and I was 3cm dilated.  She sent me home saying, “get some rest, you’ll be having this baby today.”

Later that day we took a nap, and I woke up around 3pm with contractions.  They were approximately 10 minutes apart.  After my husband woke up we watched The Two Towers, made dinner and chocolate chip walnut cookies.  He helped me through the contractions as they got “stronger, longer and closer together.”

About 9pm I decided to try and rest, but lying down was unbearable.  I used the hot shower a few times and it really helped.  At 1:07 am I called my midwife and doula.  I felt ready for encouragement and the contractions had been 4-5 minutes apart for over an hour.

By 1:50 am everyone had arrived and I was ready for a check, I was 5-6cm and really encouraged.  Everyone started filling the birth pool for me.  About and hour later I got in. . .MAGIC. . .It cut the pain in half.

I write this story almost four years after it happened, so the next few hours can be summarized by saying things got very intense, and I was very tired from not sleeping well the night before.

I managed my labor discomfort pretty well, but no trick worked for more than one contraction in a row.  I am sure it was hard work for my support team to find positions and comforting words.  Apparently, at one point I told my doula, “My body, blood and soul burn.”

I also got annoyed and told her that if the student midwife kept talking, I would kick her in the head.  I am happy to report that I simply yelled at her during the next contraction and never kicked her.

My husband made such beautiful environment for me: our Christmas tree was lit up, he made a lovely, relaxing playlist and had candles lit for me.  However, as the sun came up I felt discouraged, like I couldn’t possibly do this and of course that it would never end.

Sometime before 7am on Monday, I was complete and began gentle pushing.  It took quite some time to get the hang of all the sensations.  Pushing is hard work! After a little more than 3 hours of pushing (still in the pool) it all changed.

I was squatting and holding my husbands hands when I felt the baby crown.  In a split second I shouted, “It’s crowning, I have to push” and they told me to go ahead, and I said “I’ll tear if I push” and they told me “that’s okay”  I was so mad, how dare they say it was okay for me to tear.  However, the truth was that I HAD to push and had zero control over it.  Again in that split-second I stood up, my midwife shouted “don’t go back under the water”, and I pushed.  In one intense moment the baby came out, and my midwife caught the baby behind me.

I love the picture my doula caught, I won’t share it because it’s too private.  But just imagine a center, a football and a quarterback.  Only, it’s me, my baby and my midwife’s hands.  It was amazing.

A moment later, they helped me lift my right leg to bring the baby to my chest.  It was euphoria and lots of shaking.  She was covered with towels and the midwives were checking our vitals while my husband and I cried.  I kept saying, “hi baby, hi baby.”  A few moments later, I asked if we knew if the baby was a boy or a girl, and my midwife said we didn’t but we could check.

My husband pulled back the towels, peeked and announced ” baby is a little girl” and I cried loudly.  I was SO convinced I was having a boy, I couldn’t believe it, a girl!!

Everything else was unimportant to me, but they transferred me to a bed, someone gave me a blueberry smoothie and a cookie.  She latched perfectly, I delivered the placenta.

It certainly wasn’t everything I hoped for: She wasn’t born in water, and 20 hours is a whole work day longer than 12.  However, it was exactly what she needed, and I am so happy everything was fine for her birth to be at home.

A few visitors asked me that day, “Would you do it {at home} again?” My response was, “Well, I am never having another baby, but I would totally do a home birth again.”  Well, isn’t that silly?

Did you say anything crazy in your labor?  Were you right or wrong about your gender guess?

By the way, Return of the King was her first movie =)


  1. I was certain I was having a girl. But, immediately embraced that I would have a son instead. I didn’t say anything odd but some found it weird that I didn’t cry the first time I held my son. I’m just just not a big crier. I did however feel so complete once he was on my chest skin to skin, like we were already soulmates.

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