Hannah’s homebirth was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. She was my fourth baby, but my first homebirth.
We decided right away to have her at home. From the moment we found out, there was no question in my mind that I did not want to go to the hospital again. I searched briefly for a midwife. The nearest midwife was 100 miles away.
Mykal jokingly said one day, “I could deliver the baby.” So I started thinking about it. I began researching more about homebirths. I found out that many couples were choosing to have Unassisted Childbirths in their homes. So, I suggested to Mykal that we do it. He was comfortable with the idea as long as I was. There is no one I trust as much as my husband.
I did my own prenatal care. We purchased the items we felt we would need for the birth. We had an ultrasound done at an independant imaging center in Las Vegas. We found out we were having a little girl. Mykal began singing a song to her with her name in it daily. (After she was born, Hannah recognized the song immediately and it has continued to be her favorite! My Mykal is so special!)
I palpated my belly frequently, learning the position of the baby. I bought midwifery books so I could learn everything I potentially needed to know for the birth. I knew a lot to begin with. This being my fourth baby, I knew how to give birth. I explained to my husband how to check my cervix and how to deliver a baby. He figured it out right away.
Neither of us had ever delivered a baby. I did help my best friend at her homebirth, which was a fantastic experience for me. We prayed and prayed that everything would work out okay. We were truly blessed.
On Sunday, November 5, 2000 I was 2 cm dilated and the next day I was 4 cm dialted. I knew the time was near. I had already experienced that “nesting” instinct women often get toward the end of their pregnancy. I had scrubbed everything in the house over and over again. I felt so on top of everything and in complete control. Then the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy, I was so big and so tired I slept a lot.
On Wednesday, November 8, 2000 I woke up and felt like I was going to have the baby by the end of the day. I was having uncomfortable contractions two minutes apart all morning. I warned Mykal that I might be in labor and to stay near a phone while he was gone to his mother’s house. I set up the table we had for our birthing supplies and made the bed in brand new white sheets and plastic mattress pad.
I was so disappointed when by 12 noon the contractions had basically gone away. Mykal came home and we had lunch together. We went about our normal activity for the rest of the day.
At 7:30 p.m. I noticed more contractions. They were slightly uncomfortable and began coming 2 minutes apart. I was hoping this would be it! I could hardly wait to hold our new baby. Mykal began checking the baby’s heart rate every hour. He kept a close eye on my blood pressure.
We told the kids the baby might be coming soon. They were so excited they asked to camp out on the living room floor. Mykal promised to wake them up if she was born.
I was so content, so happy, and completely relaxed. I had no fear about the impending birth. I read a book in bed for much of the night. We prayed together. The contractions for the duration of my labor were 60 to 90 seconds long and a consistent 2 minutes apart. I had no pain. I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed as I was that night! It was such an incredible experience!
Mykal was so loving and supportive and everything I needed and wanted. He was calm. He rubbed my back. He encouraged me to walk around and to squat on the floor. He brought me my favorite soup for supper. He was perfect in everyway. God has blessed me with such a wonderful husband. I couldn’t have asked for more than he was and is.
I breathed slowly and deeply with each contraction. I imagined my cervix opening and the baby’s head moving down. When I had a moment of question – “Do I really want to do this?” – I reasoned that I must be in transition. Sure enough, Mykal checked me and I was 7 to 8 cm dilated. That made me smile. My womb would rise high and hard with each contraction. I knew our baby would soon arrive.
By 4:30 a.m. I was at 10 cm. My water had not broken and, although we had an amnihook, I decided to hold off. I had no urge to push so I wanted to wait and see what would happen. I told Mykal I wanted to go to sleep. He went to take a bath. We were both tired.
I was able to doze off even though my contractions were strong and consistent. Suddenly I heard a loud “pop”. It had hurt – almost like something had exploded inside of me. I knew my bag of waters had broken. I called to Mykal. He jumped out of the tub and rushed to the bed. I explained to him what had happened. He had heard it, too. It had sounded like a brown papr bag, filled with air, popping. Her head was so low that none of the water escaped when the sac broke. I told him, “The baby will come fast now.”
It had been a while since I had emptied my bladder. I really wanted to do so before pushing her out. Mykal did not think it was a good idea, but I insisted. Once I sat on the toilet, I had one strong contraction and felt her head begin to come out. I called Mykal and he said, “Get back to the bed.” But I could no longer walk. He laid me down on our carpet and rushed to get some pads to cover the floor with.
With the next contraction (while he was getting the pads) I reached down to help ease her head out. Mykal arrived, got the pads in place and he helped me with her head. Once the head was born, Mykal to check for the cord around her neck. It wasn’t. He waited for her head to turn on its own. Then he eased her top shoulder down and out first. She slipped out with a gush of amniotic fluid. Mykal placed her on my tummy and covered her with a fluffy white towel. Hearing her first cry, brought tears of joy to my eyes. It was beautiful.
I will never forget the emotion that filled Mykal’s voice when he saw her as she slipped out into this world and he said, “She’s so beautiful.”
That simple phrase uttered was filled with joy and relief and said so softly. I could hear the tears in his voice.
Mykal ran to get the camera and began taking pictures. A few minutes later he woke up the kids. When Hannah was 30 minutes old we cut the cord after all of the blood had gone to her.
I delivered the placenta into a bowl. Hannah was rooting so I nursed her for a little bit. We filled a small tub with warm water and bathed Hannah. Mykal dressed her in a pretty gown. I bathed and went to bed to snuggle with my baby and my loving husband.
I have never had such an awesome experience in my life. I cannot even describe how powerful and complete I felt when it was all over. It was so beautiful to give birth with only my husband present. To be alone with my husband made the event intimate and so precious. I believe this was how God intended it to be. Hannah represents the wondrous love we share. Mykal is the love of my life and Hannah is the most glorious expression of our perfect love.