Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our First Homebirth

Tonight marks the 9th anniversary of my first labor when I birthed at home. My 3rd daughter was born just before 5am on April 7, 1999 in the middle of the living room of the apartment we were living in after our housefire.

It was the most incredible experience. After gentle contractions all day long, I finally fell asleep around 9:30 pm, only to wake up at 2:30 am with strong contractions. My water broke soon after, and I kept a towel bunched between my knees as I called our midwife and a doula friend of ours. My husband awoke because of the noise I was making. He put together some quick homemade soup to cook while I labored and put on the music I had chosen. When the midwife got there, he helped her set up the tarp on the floor while I rocked back and forth on my birth ball. I thought of all the women in the entire world who labored with me that night. I drew strength from the fact that they were all feeling the same sensations as they labored to bring their babies into the world.

Soon I was pushing, and before I knew it, my husband was catching the newest member of our family. He felt her take her first breath, feeling the little airsacs in her lungs filling for the first time. My oldest daughter awoke just in time to see her little sister be born. Later, after the placenta was born and my second daughter woke up, we all sat around our newest baby and my oldest daughter cut the cord.

Our midwife made us a soft nest in the large beanbag couch we had, and tucked us all in before she left. Everyone fell asleep but me. I was so ecstatic over this birth. It had been intense, but I had birthed this child without the hospital, without medication, without beeping monitors. It was utterly amazing to be tucked in quietly with my entire family in the living room, holding my little one on my chest.

Birth works. Especially when we don't muck about with it. I had my proof in my arms.


Lisa Barrett said...

Love your story. Birth really does work.

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