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Amber Hope's Birth Story

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  • tarziesgirl tarziesgirl's Avatar 08-01-05 | 05:03 PM
  • Well, I'm finally getting around to posting a general birth story for Amber.

    I was talking on the telephone to my best friend around 11pm on Sunday night (April 17th), and my water broke. I wasn't sure it was my water because it wasn't a pop like last time with Ethan, but a small gush of fluid. I got up and went to check and started to freak out because I knew that it was going to be baby time really soon! I told Tarzie what had happened and we called the midwife. She asked about the color of the fluid, which until then had been yellowish/clear. She told me to try to get some sleep and call her when things got going more intensely. I called her back in a few minutes because there was a slight greenish tinge to the fluid that came out after getting off the phone with her. She asked if it was thick and it wasn't, so she advised me not to worry.

    I couldn't sleep because I hadn't had a bath before my water broke. So, I took a shower and got things settled down. By that time my contractions were going. So, labor started around 1am, April 18th. I sat on my big birth ball and watched Forrest Gump. I just rocked and breathed pretty easily through those contractions. The contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart during the movie. I was pretty tired after the movie and decided to try to lay down and sleep. Tarzie put on the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and I didn't watch a bit of it. I slept in between contractions. I would wake up and breath through them. These were about 5 minutes apart, but more painful than the earlier ones.

    We called the midwife around 6 or 6:30am because I wanted to let her sleep as much as possible and it was getting hard to get through the contractions. She said she'd get up and ready and she'd come over with her partner (whom I had never met before). We also called my best friend who was planning on attending the birth. Tarzie filled up the birth pool and I got in. My contractions slowed down majorly when I got into the pool and when the midwifes arrived they wanted me to get out to check me, but also to get things going again. I was 7-8 dilated and about 90% effaced. I felt pretty good about progress because it hadn't been too painful to get that far.

    So, I got my nightgown on again and went outside to water my plants. I also walked up and down our road in front of the neighbors' houses. I felt silly out walking around the neighborhood in my nightie. I came back in and they checked on things again and I was about the same I think maybe 9 centimeters. I used the birth ball to rock on some more, then layed down and my friend massaged my ankles trying to stimulate contractions (she's a massage therapist). After that I got back on the birth ball and started to watch another movie, Dude Where's My Car (for stupid humor). It didn't work though because I kept thinking what are they thinking of me for even owning such a movie (its a stoner movie and I'm totally not a stoner).

    I got hungry and shut off the movie. They let me eat whatever I wanted and I ate a PB and strawberry fruit spread sandwich on waffles. It was great! I didn't throw it up later either! I had a red popsicle incidentally at the hospital with Ethan and spewed that all over, but not the PB & J sandwich, go figure. After a little while they wanted to check me again. I was 9 1/2 dilated and over with contractions. I was exhausted and didn't want to live through another or another exam for that matter. They put some olive oil on my perineum and encouraged me to push with her moving the lip out of the way, but it just didn't feel right. It downright hurt! I couldn't do it on my bed. They were thinking that the baby needed to move so the had me lay on my belly on the birth ball. It hurt so much I just couldn't deal. So, I moved back to the birth pool.

    She had me stand up and hold my belly in with each contraction trying to get baby to move. It hurt pretty bad to do that too. Then I layed down in the water. I was writhing around in pain with each contraction and ready to go to the hospital. I wanted pain relief! NOW! Then the phone rang. The ladies who were on this board while I was PG know the problems I had with my parents, especially my mom, over the homebirth. Well, it was her on the phone. She was leaving a message because we didn't answer and she was saying that she was going to stop by whether we were home or not. I freaked out! Not externally, but I knew my mom couldn't see me this way.

    So, I let her push the lip out of the way so I could deliver my baby. It was the weirdest feeling because I wasn't complete. It never felt right to push and I hated it. I knew that the head slips a little back when you stop pushing. She told me that it would be okay once I got her head past the lip, but never told me when that had occurred so I never really quit pushing. I would stop for a breath, but then push again. I pushed her out in about 7 minutes. I think that and the fact that she delivered underwater and the midwife couldn't see to keep her head down instead of flexed upward is why I tore so badly.

    Amber Hope was born at 2:55pm on April 18th. She was gray in color and very limp. The cord was wrapped around her neck twice, whic was taken off prior to delivery of her body. She was covered with vernix. I had it caked on my fingers from grabbing her and pulling her up to me. She had her eyes closed and was like a little dishrag. I was so worried, thinking come on baby, come on baby. I was rubbing her and trying to stimulate her. I picked her up underneath her arms and she opened her eyes and looked at me. Then I knew she'd be okay, she wasn't dead (which is what I was scared of at the moment). Then she started to cry and Tarzie announced that it was a girl! I was so excited. We waited a long time to find out what surprise was waiting for us.

    Ethan had been down with the midwife and my friend helped him put on gloves to 'deliver' the baby. He wanted to catch her and he cut the cord. I couldn't believe how touching it was. He already wants me to 'have another birth.' He wants one baby to hold in his arms and one to hold in his lap.

    I pushed out the placenta in the birth pool as well. Then they wanted me out of the pool to clean up. They wrapped me in a towel and got me back to the bed. I was bleeding pretty badly and got a pitocin shot. I also had to do nipple stimulation to help get my boggy uterus to contract. Once I was a little better they let me hold and nurse Amber. She did pretty well, just rolled her upper lip in a bit, which was easily fixed with a little coaching.

    She weighed 8lbs 3ozs. and measured 20 inches in length. My mother, father, grandmother, two aunts, and two uncles showed up 30 minutes after she was born. Just enough time for the midwives to get me fairly presentable. Everyone was out together because my grandfather died April 16th and they were making arrangements for his funeral. Amazingly, my father drained the birth pool for us. My mother made me some chicken and rice with veggies too. I slept the rest of the day, nursing Amber when needed.

    My overall birth experience was so much different than with my son. Despite my tearing I'd have a homebirth again in a heartbeat. You wouldn't believe all of the medical personel that have remarked to me about 'you won't do that again, right?' It disgusts me, but I guess they still feel that a hospital birth is better. I wouldn't trade my homebirth for anything in the world.
  • :domesticgoddess: :domesticgoddess:'s Avatar 08-01-05 | 06:50 PM
  • What a wonderful birth story and I feel really proud to hear how well you coped - even in the intense pain moments. You did a fabulous job!!
    Makes me want to do it again!
  • MImom23 MImom23's Avatar 08-01-05 | 06:58 PM
  • Thanks for sharing, Sorry your mom had to decide to just "drop by" I know that isn''t what you wanted. But i am glad you got to do it at ohome like you wanted, Mybe your mom calling is what you needed to get you "determined" to stay at home. KWIM? again congrats.
  • loveslife 08-01-05 | 11:18 PM
  • Thanks for sharing
    It is wonderful to share a birth experience with an older child
    how sweet
    It is an amazing experience to birth at home...
  • belle81 belle81's Avatar 08-02-05 | 10:12 AM

    What a beautiful story Erin! Thank you so much for sharing this. Congratulations on the birth of your little girl.

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