Our daughter Linden Hazel Groom arrived on April 3rd 2010 at 2:26pm. She was 8pounds 12ounces and 20 1/2 inches long. She joined our family finally at 42 weeks and 1 day.
Here is the story of our very short homebirth:
Meredith one of our midwives had come over to do a membrane sweep on Friday April 2nd and I was 4cm with a bulging bag of water. We thought for sure that now at 42 weeks and being 4cm that this would convince our little baby to join us. We were wrong. Staring at about 37 weeks I had 3 different occasions of false labor. One of them so convincing that we had actually filled the birthing tub and called the midwives. I had never understood how women could be unsure if they were in labor or not since with my other two birth's it was so obvious, now I know. I had also been having strong braxton hicks contractions for many weeks.
Olivia our head midwife had decided she wanted to come over on Saturday to discuss doing an "induction" since by NC law I was pushing my limits as to whether I could even have a homebirth anymore. Normal term pregnancy is considered 37-42 weeks, at 42 weeks and 1 I was now considered to be out of "normal" range. I was feeling great and baby was kicking a ton, so I was unsure as to how I felt about giving baby an eviction notice. I truly believe that they will for the most part come when they are good and ready and I did not want to deprive our baby of any amount of time she needed inside my womb.
Olivia arrived on the morning of Saturday, April 3rd to discuss our options. She was willing to let me choose what I wanted but thought it was in our best interest to go ahead with the induction, since we were sure of our dates. I agreed to start with some cervical pressure points. So at about 11am she did some cervical pressure points. Olivia headed out to get some brunch and said her and Meredith would be at our house in a couple hours. Chris and Sailor went to drop Hudson off at a birthday party for our close friend's son, she also happened to be our doula. I was having nothing but painless braxton hicks contractions. When Olivia and Meredith arrived at our home at 1pm they sat down to discuss with me their concerns about the heavy Easter weekend traffic. We live on an island that has one bridge in and out and this was not only Easter weekend but it was also the first really nice weekend. The local weatherman was promising sun and temperatures to be in the 80's all weekend so getting on the Island was getting tough. Our midwives also both live about an hour dive from us. So it was decided that they would be staying in the immediate area till baby arrived even if it meant spending their weekend in a hotel. We decided to do another round of cervical pressure points and an herbal "induction" using cotton root bark ticture to bring on some contractions. Olivia did the pressure points and found me to be 5cm with my water bag still bulging. I then took the first dose of cotton root bark at 1:25pm and then 15 minutes later took the second (1:40pm). I asked them if we could start filling the birthing pool since our water heater is only 40 gallons and I knew it would take forever to get it filled with warm water. They agreed as long as I was aware that I would not get to get in until I was in active labor. They checked heart tones and then I got up to go pee where I immediately had a contraction. I had the constant feeling of having to pee, she must have been pushing on my bladder or something. So I felt most comfortable in the bathroom. After about 2 or 3 contractions I was already moaning and asked Meredith for some cold wash cloths. I had taken the phone into the bathroom with me so I called Chris to make sure he was on his way home. He said he had just told Sailor one more minute and they would be getting in the car. I labored mostly on the toilet sitting on it with the seat down while I ran wash cloths under cold water in the sink while calling our doula who had Hudson at her sons birthday party and Chris to tell him I wanted him home. I called him again at 1:59pm to tell him I needed him NOW. He said he was cutting people off in traffic and driving as fast as he could. Meanwhile I was watching my midwives running up and down the hallway bringing in and setting up all the birth supplies. They would poke their heads in the door and tell me I was doing great. Olivia brought me gatorade and Meredith came in and sat on the edge of our bath tub so she could rub my back. During one of my contractions she said I was doing great and baby was coming soon. Only this is like my 7 or 8 contraction and I am think she is lying to me already this can't be good. Erin our doula said she was putting Hudson in her car and heading to our house. Meredith then said she saw our car pulling in. Chris arrived about 8 minutes after I called him, so around 2:07. He ran in gave me a kiss and told me he was going to put on the movie we had bought and hidden from the kids to keep them busy during my labor. Meredith reminded me to keep my voice and energy low, she said she hadn't wanted to mention it until Chris was here. He knelt down in front of me and helped me through about 2 or 3 contractions and then my water broke. I was still sitting on the toilet seat lid with underwear on. I screamed; "my water broke and the baby is COMING" Olivia dove on the bathroom floor to catch the baby. I yelled "NOT YET I AM GETTING IN THE POOL" someone ran to see if there was even enough water in it. They said it should be okay. I was helped into the pool by Olivia and Meredith, Chris had run to get a bathing suit on. I stepped into the pool and then knelt down, I quickly had a contraction, screamed and caught our daughter's head. I don't think Olivia had even gotten a chance to kneel down yet. I then grabbed onto the side of the pool while Meredith held one of my hips to make sure I didn't come out of the water since there was only about 10 inches in the pool. Olivia asked for my hands so I could catch our baby but I was not mentally present enough to do it so she caught our baby at 2:26pm, 46 minutes after my first contraction.
We had been calling for Sailor but she did not get into the room until I was sitting in the tub with Linden on my chest. Though we still had not checked the sex so she was the first one to look. I think she was as dazed and confused as I was, not surprisingly she had just gotten out of the car with Chris a few minutes earlier. But she was thrilled to have gotten the little SISTER she had wished for.
It was needles to say a VERY fast and EXCITING birth and though it was great being so fast, Sailor was 8 hours and Hudson was 4, I will say I was in a dazed shock afterwords. I did not get that post birth high until much later. After I got into our bed and the midwives had gone home, I had to ask Chris about some of the details. Like when did he ever have time to put his bathing suit on, it was while they we walking me to the tub and where he was when she was born. He said he had gotten one foot in the tub.
Erin our doula and Hudson arrived shortly after I got out of the tub, there was not enough water and it was not warm enough for baby and me to stay in it for very long. Erin was shocked to discover she had missed it and Hudson was thrilled to see the baby he had been waiting so long for.
We are all doing amazingly well. We owe so much to all our birthing team who were incredible. We were so blessed to have the women of Midwifery Services and Erin Bonello our doula to care for all of us during this pregnancy and birth and we are so thankful for them.
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