I had a couple of contractions that were now piggybacking on top of each other, and it was really hard. Amy returned, got a waterproof sheet on the floor, and Daniel and I moved there. (After the birth, it took us a while to remember how I made it from the bed to the floor, because things happened so quickly!) This time I was kneeling on my knees with my arms around his neck. I had one contraction there, and then Amy went to get something else. At this point, I felt a strong urge to push (a bit surprised!), and yelled, “Amy, I need to puuuush!!!” She appeared instantaneously J, and told me to hold off pushing. I horsey-blew through 2 contractions. She checked and said I was at 9cm. With the next contraction, blood started coming out (should not happen before the head appears), and I was pushing with that contraction.
At that point, she said she was going to need me to turn over onto my back. At that point, I told her “no way.” Another contraction came, after which she said, “Keren, I really am going to need to you get on your back so I can get a closer look as to what’s going on. The cord is around her neck.” But at that, the next contraction was coming, and I said “can I pleeeease just try to push through this one? So I puuuuuuushed the whole contraction (which actually felt much better compared to contractions without the urge to push). At that, the head began to emerge, and so I kept pushing. A couple of pushes later, and she just shot out! Time of birth, 12:22a.m., less than 30 minutes after Amy had arrived.
I sighed, and sat down. As I did, I heard Amy franticly telling Daniel to get the oxygen mask. Because of the position I delivered Eden in, I didn’t really get a good glimpse of her, but now noticed she was lying on the towel blue and not crying. Within 60 seconds and without having to use oxygen, she was breathing fine and her color returned. I held her, and was really stunned that it all happened so quickly. A few minutes later, I pushed out the placenta.
Somewhere after Eden was born, Linda arrived. She was late since she was pulled over for going fast (and she was barely over the speed limit!). Yeah, midwives need sirens. Somehow the sheets were changed, and next thing I knew I was on the bed nursing Eden. She did great, and I then handed her over to get checked out and weighed. Daniel’s parents got to watch via Skype.
At that point, I was in a LOT of pain and shaking. Didn’t expect the after birth pain to be quite so rough, but it was. It took me a bit to be able to go the the bathroom, but I finally could go. I tore during the birth, and could choose to either go in for stitches first thing in the morning or essentially go on bedrest for about 2 weeks. We chose the latter, as part of the perks of homebirth to us meant staying home after birth. Amy and Linda had another mom in labor, so had to head out shortly after cleaning up.
Of course, I was on an after-birth high. Especially since it happened so quickly! God had answered my specific prayer and done a work in my heart. In fact, He answered EVERY SINGLE PRAYER REQUEST I had been praying for surrounding Eden’s birth.
I held Eden a while longer, and Daniel and I just talked and marveled at what had just happened. It was around 2a.m. when we tried to sleep again. Wow. We had tried to go to bed the first time around 9:30p.m., and were now settling down again at 2a.m….amazing! Only now with a new baby. Eden finally went to sleep around 5a.m., and then Hana Kate awoke around 7a.m. (We were amazed she slept through it all, particularly as I was not so quiet during the birth.) It was just the 4 of us here, and so very special. My sister came first thing the next morning, and then my friend Kristen came and brought us supper later that night. Those were our only 2 visitors all day. I had a lot of energy that day, so got dressed and took a few pics. Eden slept mostly all day, in spite of our heroic attempts to wake her every couple of hours.
It was such an incredible privilege to be able to give birth in the comforts of home, free to move as I pleased during labor and delivery. I think that having the baby in the night and Hana Kate not having to leave home really helped with her adjustment (though that’d definitely a God thing since I could have never planned the timing. :)). To this day, I’ve never spent the night apart from either of my kids.
The only things I am a bit sad about is that I didn’t get to have a waterbirth (could have possibly prevented tearing) and that Amy was the only other one here besides us. (Would have loved to have an extra person to get pics right away, or an extra support person.) In fact, there was even a midwife-in-training who was going to be along, but it happened too quickly for her, too.
To be honest, I was terrified of giving birth after my long, difficult experience with Hana Kate. Most of the time, being pregnant wasn’t so fun for me, either. Praying God gives us more biological children, I am still a little scared at the prospect of having to do this again. Sometimes I just want to cave in and say I’ll just go in an have an induction and get an epidural for future births. But I don’t want the consequences that could come with that decision for me or my family. There may be a true (or highly perceived) need for me to do that at some point, but I don’t think I should just go in and automatically just choose that option just because I want it. I look at this birth, and since it went so quickly I fear that it will never go so quickly again, and that once I’m 2 hours into it I’ll be ready to give up. So, I am left with having to trust God with birth fully again. I guess that’s probably a good place to be!
Giving birth at home and without unnecessary intervention is an empowering feeling. There’s really nothing to compare it to. And I thankful for the strength God has given my body to be able to do this!.