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Mama: Kym Graves
Due Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Birthday: Sunday, September 16, 2012
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In January I found out that I was expecting our second baby. Our first had been a natural birth in a hospital but it had been a not-so-great experience so this time we hired a midwife and planned a homebirth.
My due date of September 11th came and went without much notice. That next Thursday at my appointment, my midwife checked me and we found that I was very soft, almost completely effaced and dilated to between a 5-6. The water sac was “bulging” so we knew that it would be soon.
On Sunday September 16th I stayed home from worship services. I had the unfortunate experience of getting food poisoning the day before and I was very tired so I opted to stay home and rest.
Around 4pm, I began feeling a lot of pressure against my cervix and bottom. I wasn’t have contractions but I felt different.
I texted Salli, my midwife, and explained what was going on. She said “I think I need to come over and check things out.” She arrived at 5:15 and checked me. I was between 6-7 cm and even softer than I was before. She said “You are in labor, so let’s get things set up and see what happens.”
My husband, Salli, and her assistant Holly began setting up the birth tub and taking my vitals. The apprentice, Shara, arrived soon after.
Around 5:30pm I had my first contraction that I felt. My husband and I began to time them. Shortly after we began to time them, they began to hurt. I got on my knees and leaned over the coffee table and rocked my hips, moaning softly during contractions. They intensified quickly, and I had Philip text my parents telling them they needed to get here soon.
Around 6pm I really wanted to be in the birth tub. The pool wasn’t quite full enough but Salli suggested I go ahead and get in. I completely understand the term “natural birther’s epidural” when it comes to being in water. It felt so amazing.
My parents arrived around 6:15pm. I was so excited to see my son Andrew. He immediately got in the tub with me. As I moaned through contractions, he moaned with me and imitated the movements I was doing with my body. If I hadn’t been needing to focus so hard, it would have been funny.
At some point I began to lose track of time, and when I wasn’t contracting, I was so relaxed I wanted to sleep. Philip got Andrew out of the pool, but Andrew stayed nearby, playing. My mom held my hands and gave me strength through contractions.
Soon, my hips began to feel like they were going to be split in half. Salli began asking me questions and I could not answer her. I was so dazed and out of it, and I really wanted to sleep. Salli checked me and I was complete but there was a tiny bit of a lip on my cervix, as well as the water sac was still intact. I wanted to push during contractions but it hurt my hips so bad to do so. Shara and Holly then began doing counter pressure on my hips and I began to push. The counter pressure along with the pushing began to feel really good. I was no longer screaming for it to end, but instead saying “That feels good, that feels really good.”
At 7:30 I was frustrated that my membranes were still intact. Salli asked if I wanted her to break my water and I said “Yes, I’m ready to have this baby.” While Salli got ready to break my water, I had a strong contraction, pushed and the sac popped on its own! Immediately I began to feel my baby descend and feel the infamous ring of fire. I had not felt that as strongly with Andrew and it scared me, but I also knew that it meant my baby was almost here!
Philip switched places and got ready to “catch”. I pushed and roared with just about every bit of energy I had left and I felt the head come out. I reached down to feel the head and as soon as I touched the head, I knew it was a boy…with A FULL head of hair!
I wanted to finishing pushing him out, but I didn’t have the energy so I waited for the next contraction. That’s when Salli discovered the cord was around his neck. Her and Shara quickly had me switch to my hands and knees, and she was able to release the cord and I felt him slide out. Philip reached down in the water and grabbed him, and loudly shouted “It’s a boy! JohnDavid is here!”
Shara and Salli helped my lean back against the tub and JohnDavid McKinley was placed on my chest for the first time. He wasn’t crying, and was a little bit purple, and looking around. Salli told me to talk to him and he immediately began to turn pink and wiggle around. He never did really cry, but instead just looked at me and “talked”. We sat there staring at each other for about five to ten minutes. I was just in awe.
After I delivered the placenta, we got out of the tub and into bed. Salli examined me and did the newborn exam on JohnDavid. 9lbs, 3oz and 21 3/4 inches long! He then nursed for the first time! Perfect latch!
My husband took JohnDavid for some skin-to-skin and bonding time with Andrew while I showered.
After my shower, I ate and drank a bit more, nursed JohnDavid again and he settled down to sleep. Salli left, and everyone went to bed.
It was perfect. I couldn’t get over the differences in Andrew’s birth and JohnDavid’s birth, and neither could my husband. It was so nice to be at home!
We are now a family of four and enjoying every minute!
Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful home birth story with us, Kym! JohnDavid is darling. Give him kisses and snuggles from all of us at Kanga Care! xo