My Accidental Home Birth Story
My Accidental Home Birth
The day I went into labour was a really special day. Rory was at daycare and my partner Luke had the day off from work. We went out for a leisurely breakfast and then went out for lunch too. We don't get to spend much one-on-one time together so it was a real treat to enjoy two meals together without being on parenting duties. I think it might have been all the extra happy-vibes and oxytocin that made my labour progress so quickly.
With my first son I had two days of early labour with fairly regular contractions and I was sent home from the hospital once for not being in “proper” labour so I thought second time round things would be quicker but still not too fast.
First time around, I also didn’t experience the contractions in the more typical way and instead experienced quite painful, constant back labour.
Jacob was born at 39+5 on Saturday the 1st of September. Each night in the week prior to his birth I had 2 or 3 semi-painful contractions in a row. But that was it, they never eventuated into anything more.
On the Friday I had a few random contractions throughout the day - I had one or two every few hours. I didn’t pay much attention to them as I figured they were simply more intense Braxton Hicks.
I started having contractions at around 7pm. They were fairly regular and were around 10 to 15minutes apart. I assumed I was in early labour and didn’t start timing them as I thought I still had a long way to go.
As I put Rory to bed that night I held him tightly, gazed at his little face, and knew that it would be the last night I put him to sleep as my baby.
Luke and I watched some tv and then headed to bed at around 10pm. The contractions were still roughly 10 minutes apart and weren’t too painful. I could talk through them and hadn’t yet had to start focusing on my breathing.
I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep but thought I’d try and get some rest anyway. I spent the next two hours in that in between stage between being asleep and awake.
I gave up trying to sleep at midnight, because by then I needed to focus on breathing through each contraction. I still thought I was in the early stages of labour and wasn’t timing the contractions, as things felt like they did early on in my first labour. By this stage Luke was awake and he ran me a bath. I climbed into our tiny tub and laboured there for a couple of hours.
I loved being in the water in both of my labours. I find it calming and it really helps with the contractions and back pain. Thankfully this time around I didn’t have full on back labour, instead I just felt a little niggling in my lower back with each contraction.
At around 2am the contractions were around 4 minutes apart and started to feel much stronger. When we went to bed I thought I’d be able to labour at home throughout the night, then head into the hospital at 6 or 7 in the morning, but things were progressing quicker than I thought they would.
Luke called our midwife and said we’d leave for the hospital in an hour or so, once my parents arrived to babysit. She was happy for us to stay at home for a little longer and said she’d see us soon.
Things quickly became much more intense.
The contractions were suddenly right on top of each other and with each surge I could only close my eyes and breathe my way through the contraction. We knew we couldn’t wait any longer for my parents to arrive (they live about 45 minutes away). We decided we’d take Rory to the hospital with us and meet my parents there.
Luke had to help me get out of the bath, and I found some comfort in leaning over the sink. I was barely getting a break between contractions and could start to feel pressure in my tail bone. Luke was trying to dry and dress me and I was absolutely no help. I couldn’t lift my legs or even stand up straight (which I now know is because Jacob was in my pelvis and making his way down the birthing canal).
I told Luke I didn’t think I’d be able to walk to the car, let alone sit in a car for the 10 minute drive to the hospital. He told me we had to go.
I then reached down and could feel what I thought was baby’s head. It was actually the bulging membranes (just like in my first labour) but it meant we weren’t going anywhere.
In a mild panic Luke called 000. I didn’t have time to worry about giving birth at home. I was completely in the zone and could only focus on the contractions and pushing the baby out.
Seven minutes after calling 000 and with just 3 pushes our slippery little boy was in our hands at 3:04am. I birthed him while leaning over our bath. Thankfully he was beautifully pink and crying. (And Rory was still fast asleep in our bed).
Just like in my first labour my waters didn’t break until I was pushing. However in my first labour I lost my mucous plug and had a bloody show. Neither of those happened this time around and were part of why I didn’t think I was as far into the labour as I actually was.
Around 10 minutes after Jacob was born the paramedics arrived. They clamped the cord and Luke got to cut it. Rory woke a few minutes before I left for the hospital.
Jacob and I were being put into the ambulance just as my parents arrived and my mum got a quick glimpse of her second grandson when he was less than an hour old.
The midwives checked me over at the hospital and I thankfully had no tearing. Not long after we arrrived I delivered the placenta. While I wanted a drug-free labour I had chosen to have the shot of syntocinon to help with delivering the placenta. Paramedics, however, don’t carry those needles so I ended up having a completely natural third stage.
After cleaning up the bathroom and reassuring Rory that everything was ok, Luke joined me at the hospital. We stayed only a few hours before getting the all clear to head back home, and we were home before 9am.
Rory was a little shy at first around Jacob. He didn’t want to cuddle him right away, instead preferring to show me the stickers my parents had given him. But he warmed up before too long, sitting next to us and holding Jacob’s hand. He’s now obsessed with his little brother and it makes me so happy to see the bond they’re forming.
While the main part of the birth didn’t quite go to plan (we’d purposefully timed our pregnancy so we could have our last baby at Manly hospital before it closed), nearly everything else happened how I hoped it would.
I had wanted to spend longer labouring at home (I spent a little too long!), I wanted a drug-free labour and didn’t want to use any gas, and I hoped to not experience the painful back labour again. Luke wanted to be the one to catch the baby. I also hoped for delayed cord clamping and the cord had stopped pulsing by the time the paramedics arrived.
I really wanted to have some photos of the moments just after the birth but in the madness and rush of everything that understandably didn’t happen.