Hello Baby Girl! We Made It, We Did It: A Birth Story
Written and shared with permission by Shauna T.
On May 24th, 2022 at nine o’clock in the morning we welcomed our beautiful seven pound eight ounce little girl into this world. It all started on September 17th, 2021 when we found out we were expecting baby number two. Even though we had planned this pregnancy, it was still filled with emotions both sad and happy. We couldn’t believe our eleven-month-old son was going to be a big brother in nine short months. After having our son we knew that when we got pregnant again we were going to have a home birth there was no question about that.
Knowing I was only four weeks pregnant I immediately began researching and trying to find the perfect midwife to help us along this journey. I was very quickly connected with someone who set me up in the right direction and gave me a list of midwives in the area. I called and “interviewed” them and within a couple days decided on the perfect midwife for us, Rebecca Burkett, Allomother Midwifery. Once I was connected with Rebecca, we set up my fist appointment to meet in person and to hear baby for the first time at twelve weeks. We connected really well, and I knew this was going to be the right decision for us.
We proceed to have our monthly visits; we decided to have the genetic screening done as we did this with our son as well. On November 26th, 2021, we found out through frosting filled cupcakes we were expecting our little girl. My husband and I were nervous to find out what we were having and unfortunately did not react great to finding out we were having a girl, but within minutes those emotions passed. As the days went on we became more and more excited as we were picking out names and excited to dress her in cute little dresses/clothes. The months and days were going by so fast; it was the same way the first time around. I was trying to enjoy every moment as we did not know if we are going to continue to have babies in the future or not.
I gained the same amount of weight (fifty pounds) as I did the first time, but this time I was just bigger, as I was all belly. With my son I was all belly but was very swollen as I retained water in my hands, ankles, feet, and fingers. I continued to work and enjoy the moments of her moving inside of me and the time with my son as the days were approaching quickly to her due date.
We had a scare; it was the day of our home visit. We were listening to her heart rate, we did this for around ten minutes, and then Rebecca said she is running high, in the 180’s, she was normally in the 140s. She said the words “I think I am going to have you go in and get monitored.” My heart dropped as I was nervous we were so close and something was going to be wrong. Rebecca continued to tell us she did not think it was anything but did not want to have the wrong feeling, we told her we understood and trusted her. In this moment she was excellent about trying to keep us calm and keep my blood pressure down. We called my mom had her come watch our son and then headed to the nearest hospital which is Henry Ford Allegiance.
Henry Ford is where we had our son; we honestly had a good experience, and just decided a home birth was a better option for us. Once at the hospital we got admitted and were monitored for thirty minutes before we were told she was back down to her normal heart rate, and she looked and sounded absolutely great. While there, we left with a sour taste in our mouth, as the doctor who came in to give us the prognosis was the one who delivered our son. We told him he was the on-call doctor who delivered our son almost two years ago, with which he proceeded to then say, “So I hear you are having a home birth this time”. We responded and said, “Yes, the first time around it was so quick and smooth we knew we could do it at home this time around”. His response was “I believe all women should have their babies in a hospital. I have never heard of anything but horror stories from people having babies at home.” We proceeded to tell him that we were in good hands as our midwife had sent us here today clearly because she was concerned and she did not want to risk anything. He looked at us and kind of just smile/laughed and left the room. How Rude!! This was one of the many moments throughout this process that my husband and I knew we had made the right decision to have a homebirth.
The month of May had finally arrived, Baby Month! As the days got closer to her due date we became more anxious and excited to finally meet her, but were also worried about the risks of having her at home. Rebecca explained and said all the right things to ease your mind and to make this experience the best. My last day of work was May 20th, 2022; my due date with baby girl was May 25th, 2022. I had my son at 38 weeks 6 days. When that time came with Charlotte I was nervous, but knew any day now I would finally get to see what my baby girl looked like. We went to bed every night wondering if tonight would be the night.
On Monday May 23rd, 2022, we went to bed not knowing we would be holding our baby girl in twelve hours. I had absolutely no signs of going into labor, I woke up at two o’clock in the morning to go to the bathroom, like I did pretty much every night, but then I ended up waking up again feeling the urge to go poop. I proceeded to get up at five-thirty that morning to just go to the bathroom not thinking it was actually going to be labor! Once I knew that feeling, the feeling of having to poop really badly but nothing coming out I knew it was time. I went to wake up my husband and told him we were going to have a baby today. We began to talk about when to call Rebecca as she was an hour away. I knew we could not wait too long as my first labor was only four and a half hours long start to finish. I decided to wait about forty-five minutes before I called her as I could still talk through the contractions and they were very irregular. I called Rebecca at 6:15 a.m. We talked and decided we would wait another thirty minutes to make sure it was real labor and the contractions got more regular. Well they did, and they were very consistent and it was the same pain I remembered the first time around. It feels like the biggest cramp of your life, the pressure gets really intense, but I continue to close my eyes and tell myself it will be over soon, breathe, you got this, you are strong, your baby will be here soon.
Rebecca arrived at 8:20 a.m. At this point I am beginning to sway as the contractions are getting very strong and intense. I begin to moan as this is a way to help me relax my body. I remember my husband saying that when this started the first time around we had our son within the hour. At this point he tells my dad to take our son to his house as he believes the baby is going to be here soon.
My mother, husband, mother in law, along with Rebecca were there to support me. Rebecca got our bedroom set up as this is where we planned to have her, she took my vitals, listened to baby while we just let my body do what it knows and have this baby. Around 8:45 a.m. Sandra showed up, our second midwife. I remember shortly after she arrived saying I feel like I’m going to push. We make the walk down our hallway to our room, the longest walk of my life. As I get into bed and then into pushing position, on my hands and knees, the pain is so bad I remember telling myself I cannot do this I need to go to the hospital, even though I knew it was too late and she would be here very, very soon.
I pushed for roughly ten minutes, letting my body tell me when and for how long, something hospitals wouldn’t do. Then, at nine o’clock on the dot, only three and a half hours into labor, my husband caught our baby girl, she was finally here and in our arms. I remember needing a few minutes to catch my breath and relax before I could turn over to meet my little girl. Once I was able to roll over to meet her, I couldn’t believe what I had just done; I had this baby at home!! When I saw her for the first time, I was immediately in love and just kept saying hello baby girl, hey baby, over and over. I finally had the strength to hold her. We had our skin-to-skin time, and she nursed like a champ.
As we loved on our baby girl, I still had to deliver the placenta. In the hospital they pretty much push on your stomach and pull it out not really letting your body do it. Rebecca told me I would feel another contraction, not nearly as intense and when that happened just push and she would guide it out, this is my favorite part, it sounds nasty but the sweet relief you feel when that thing comes out makes you feel like you lost ten pounds and you feel like a new woman. We decided we wanted her to explain to us the different parts of the placenta and how that works, it was honesty super cool. We thought Charlotte was going to be born in the amniotic sac, as my water never truly broke at any point, but when she arrived into this world she was not. To this day we are still unsure as to when my water broke!
It was now time to do the newborn check. In the hospital they take your baby away from you and do all the testing: weight, length, etc., but at home Rebecca did this right on our bed next to us. We start to take bets on who is closest to her weight. My son, our first born, was five pounds eleven ounces. I knew Charlotte was not going to be this small in weight, but I thought she was going to be exactly one pound bigger than her brother. When we found out she was seven pounds eight ounces our mouths dropped as we were shocked by how big she actually was. She was also two inches longer than her brother as well measuring twenty-one inches long.
We made it, we did it. We could not thank our support team especially our midwives for doing all the clean up, picking up and helping to bring our little girl into this world. We would one thousand percent do another home birth with Rebecca. This was the most rewarding moment of our lives.
For anyone considering doing a home birth, consider what is best for you. For us it was a home birth but if you are not comfortable, reach out to a midwife and talk to them. The differences in experiences that we had between birth number one and birth number two are exponential. If my husband and I do decide to have a third baby or more than that, there is no doubt in our minds they will all be born at home with Rebecca as our midwife.