Katelyn Perkins’ Birth Stories: Part Two Home Birth

Grace and I have asked for permission to share some of our friends’ birth stories. From home births to emergency C-sections, and everything in between. Each of these women have done something incredible (that no man could ever do! wink wink ;)) When we both were pregnant we weren’t sure what to expect. Reading other women’s stories prepared us to go with the flow if (and many times when) the unexpected occured. We hope you enjoy reading these stories from super mamas as much as we did!

Dear Alia,

Your birth was not at all what I expected, but I guess that’s how births tend to be 🙂

Your “due date” was August 25, 2012. Since your brother came 2 weeks late, I thought you might come a bit later too.

On Thursday, August 23rd, Daddy, Kaden, & I drove out to Lakeland to see mommy’s midwife. Kaden got to see the choo choo train, which he was very excited about. We talked with the midwives about what happens if I go overdue, when to call when I’m in labor, & said that at this point we are pretty much just waiting for you to come 🙂 After the midwife we went to the chiropractor mommy had been seeing for the past month or so to help my pelvis get in alignment so you could get in the right position. He said you were in perfect position for delivery, which I was very happy to hear after having 5 days of posterior labor with your brother!

We left the chiropractor and headed off to Hobby Lobby to look for some frames to decorate our new home. We had just moved 2 weeks before & I really wanted to have it nice & homey before you came 🙂 While we were shopping there I noticed I started having some contractions. I mostly felt them in my lower back, and my belly would get hard when my back hurt, for about a minute every ten minutes or so. We went to Michaels next, & then got lunch at Longhorn. Kaden & I shared their salmon lunch special, and I realized his appetite is getting too big for us to share anymore 🙂 I may have eaten a whole loaf of bread to make up for it. The contractions kept coming all through lunch, so before we headed home I called Marianne, one of my midwives, to let her know.

We left for our 45 minute drive home, which was very uncomfortable with my backache. Once we got there I nursed Kaden to sleep in his toddler bed, & got into the “big bed” & took a nap too.

That evening we went to Mimi & Pa’s house for dinner. It was their 26th wedding anniversary so we had Pasta Milano takeout from the Macaroni Grill & cake from Whole Foods for dessert. I was still getting over a cold I’d had for the past few weeks, so I only ate a little bit. Daddy & Aunt Roo (Clarissa) had worship team practice, but the rest of us watched the anniversary video we made for their party the year before, & hung out before we got a ride home in the NEV around 9 pm. When we got home Daddy hung our pictures in the frames we bought that day on our wall. That was the last thing to finish on my “before baby comes” list, & I was very happy to have it done. Daddy had been especially helpful with all the tasks on it, because he really wanted you to come, & joked that you wouldn’t be born until I was done with my list. So he said now you’d be born tomorrow 🙂 I had been having mild contractions every 10 minutes since they started around 11:30 that morning, so called Marianne again to give her an update. I asked at what point I should call in the middle of the night & she said if they get to 5 minutes apart, lasting for a minute, for an hour, or if anything else changes like my water breaking.

We went to bed, I think I slept a few hours, but kept waking up every ten minutes with contractions. They didn’t hurt too much, but were definitely noticeable, mostly in my back (which was how they were with Kaden too.) The combination of the back pain from the contractions & being too excited to sleep kept me up about half the night. I remember feeling your tiny foot pushing out my side, just like you’d been doing for the past few months, & thinking about how it might be the last time I felt it. You got the hiccups too, & I thought about how they might be your last ones inside my belly. Then I thought about the little things I wanted to remember like to lay out your little birdie outfit & hat, and the little lion one in case the ultrasound was wrong & you were a boy 🙂 I thought about if I wanted to put on makeup in the morning in case you were born that day, since we were having a birth photographer & I’d be in pictures. I decided no. Around 3 am Kaden woke up & I went to lay down with him again. I thought about how he and I did this two years ago & you & I could do it now. I whispered to him as he slept that his baby sister was coming soon & he was going to be such a great big brother & that I love him so much.

As some contractions got harder I mentally reminded myself to breathe through the contractions, to relax, and work with my body. I thought about how my uterus is a muscle, and it’s just contracting as it works really hard to open the door for you to be born.

Morning finally came & Daddy was very excited when I told him I’d been still having contractions all through the night – he wanted to meet you so bad! Kaden wanted pancakes, so Daddy cooked us some for breakfast while Kaden watched. I sat on the balance ball at the table while we ate. After breakfast I went back to bed, because my back was really hurting. I stayed in bed most of the day, & used a contraction timing app on & off to see where they were at.

Mimi came over to play with Kaden while I rested & Daddy worked. Mimi & Pa had reservations that night for the Omni as a mini-vacation for their anniversary, so she wasn’t sure if they should go, since our plan was for them to come help with Kaden while you were born. But since I was in labor for 5 days the last time, & my contractions were still somewhat mild, I thought I probably had quite awhile to go, & told her they should just stick with their plans, and could come back if my labor really picked up.

I called my midwife & talked to Charlie this time, who was with Marianne at another birth. She suggested taking some calcium-magnesium to relax my muscles enough to nap, since I hadn’t slept much the night before. I did that, and the contractions stopped enough to nap with Kaden from 1-4. I woke up a little after 4pm with stronger contractions than earlier, coming about every 7-8 minutes, still lasting a minute. Aunt Roo came over to help with Kaden after she finished her day shift at Market Street Cafe. I sat in the old rocking chair for awhile during contractions. It felt good to move a little through them. Unlike earlier, sitting on the balance ball did not help now. I moaned a lot through the contractions, which felt like it helped keep my body relaxed. Clarissa asked what a contraction even is, & I explained as best as I could that it’s just the uterus contracting, like when you flex a muscle, to dilate the cervix, like opening a door for the baby to come through.

Daddy made homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner, but I didn’t want that. I asked him to heat up the leftover enchiladas for me, but then started to feel pretty nauseous during the contractions, so decided to try taking a bath instead around 6pm.

Once I got in the hot bath I felt SO much better. Just as I got in a thunder storm started rolling in, so dad said I should probably get out. I told him no way, and said a prayer that we wouldn’t get stuck by lightning, because there was no way I was going to get out of that tub. Charlie text me that the baby was just born at the birth they were at, and they would be finishing up there in the next couple hours. I didn’t think I needed them to come yet, since I felt like I might have another day or so to go. She said if it got more intense before they were done I could call Melissa, another one of my midwives.

After getting in the tub I felt good enough to eat, which I thought I should to keep my energy up. I asked Daddy to get the enchiladas for me. They were a little burnt from the reheat, but still tasted pretty good, especially the crispy shell. Daddy came and sat with me in the bathroom for awhile, which was nice to have company. Clarissa was still playing with Kaden.

I stayed in the tub for about an hour. The hot water felt great until I would have a contraction, and then I felt really hot & nauseous. I’d turn on the cold water & put my feet under it, which helped a bit. The contractions were starting to hurt like crazy in the tub too, so I got out and tried laying in bed. That hurt too, so I got back in the tub. Contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart now. I threw up half my dinner during one contraction, & then the other half during another.

By 8pm the contractions were getting really intense. The rest of the birth went really fast in my mind. After checking in a few times to see how I was doing & talking to Daddy, Mimi & Pa decided to leave their hotel a little after 8:30 & come over. Charlie called around 8:30 & said they could come straight here after they grabbed my chart. I said that would probably be good, although I still wasn’t convinced you were coming especially soon.

At this point the contractions hurt so bad. Remembering back, I don’t think they ever got that intense with Kaden’s birth, probably because his was just so much slower. I was still in the tub, and would put my feet against the end of it so I could rock back and forth, which may have helped a little. I got out again & went back to bed. Mimi & Pa got here around 9:30 & the Marianne & Charlie got here about 9:50. I could hardly breathe through the contractions anymore, much less relax through them. Moaning was turning into yelling & I was feeling really out of control. Auntie Faith had come over with Mimi & Pa & she told me later Kaden said to her in the living room “Mom mom say ‘Oooo!’ Let me see!” with a little smirk on his face 🙂

At some point I tried standing for a contraction & rocked against the nightstand, that seemed to feel slightly more manageable. Charlie & Marianne also rubbed my back during contractions, that helped a bit too. I remember Charlie asked me when the birth photographer wanted to come. I told her around 8 cm so she could shoot some of the labor, the birth, & afterwards. Charlie told mom she should call her & tell her to come now.

One contraction I was standing by the nightstand & my water broke just as it was starting, & then the contraction stopped. It was a lot more fluid than when my water broke with K.

A few minutes later I started to feel a lot of pressure in my bum during contractions, which seemed like they were almost continuous at that point. I told Marianne that & she said “that’s your baby coming” & after the contraction finished they asked if I could climb on the bed, so I got up on my hands & knees and started to have another contraction. My body was starting to push and I was feeling SO much pressure. They said I could lay on my side if I wanted but I just couldn’t move.

After just a couple minutes of almost constant pushing contractions, with one sip of water in between, you were born! First your head, then torso, then another push & you were out. I got to pick you up & hold you. I could hardly believe you were already here, but was SO GLAD that labor was over. It had just been crazy, & I was so glad to finally have you here. You were born with one hand up by your face, which I’d been feeling on my lower tummy for the past couple months. They said your cord was super long. I checked to see if you were a boy or girl, & was happy to see our ultrasound was correct & you’d get to use all the cute little girly things we’d gotten for you 🙂

A minute or so after you were born Kaden, Roo, Faithy, & Pa came in to see you. Daddy & Mimi were there along with the midwives when you were born, & Daddy called Nana & Papa right after to tell them you were here! I held you on the bed propped up against some pillows. I felt SO spent. It was crazy. I was so happy to have you though. You were wiggly & warm & pink & just perfect.

Kaden was so excited to see you. The first thing he asked was “any more baby sisters?” to which we laughed & told him no, just one 🙂 Then he remembered that he wanted to tell you “gDiapers.”

The birth photographer & uncle D got here within half an hour after you were born.

Your birth time was 10:36pm. You weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. Something I noticed right away was that you had so much hair! It was very dark too. You looked like your brother when he was newborn, but different too, especially all the hair.

I nursed you for the first time shortly after you were born. I’d forgotten what it was like to nurse a newborn, but you knew just what to do, and it was so nice to hold & feed you.

Charlie did your newborn exam while Kaden decided to put on his Winnie the Pooh costume. I’m not really sure why, I guess he wanted to show you 🙂 He saw it in the closet and asked Auntie Faith to help him put it on.

I ate some (very salty) soup, a pear, & some sandwich meat. Then I got stitched up while the family held you in the living room. I really, really did not want stitches, & had asked during labor how to avoid tearing. Charlie said since I didn’t with Kaden after pushing for 9 hours I probably wouldn’t this time either, but then you were born with your hand by your face. Daddy held my hand while I got stitched up, which helped me feel a little better.

I sat up on the edge of the bed to try to get up to shower, but felt too dizzy so laid back down & ate a banana, some almonds, & water. Then I was able to shower, to soap up & rinse off. Marianne helped me dry off & asked what I wanted to wear. I said I’d find something in the drawer & she said no, I would tell her where to look & she would find it. I asked if I could put some blush on before the photographer took some family pictures & she said she didn’t care as long as I was sitting.

I climbed back in bed & had Mimi get Kaden in his jammies, & told Landon he needed to wear something besides the Michigan jersey he had on for the pictures, since we were all wearing pajamas. He found a Detroit Tigers tshirt & Michigan sweatpants to wear :/

Everyone except Mimi left around 1:30am & then we all went to sleep.

Your birth was so intense and fast once I realized it was actually happening! It was so nice to be home for the whole thing, & just climb in our bed & all go to sleep afterwards 🙂 You are such a beautiful, sweet baby & I’m so happy you’re here – we all love you very much!

Love, Mommy

If you enjoyed Katelyn’s birth stories click on her name and check out her blog! 

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