Preparing For My Second Birth
As you already know if you have read about my first birthing experience, my planned homebirth turned into a hospital birth. All things considered, I was just very thankful that I had my healthy baby girl and that I was still able to have her vaginally even though it wasn't the ideal set of circumstances! When I found out I was pregnant with my second, I wanted to plan another homebirth because I had really liked being able to labor at home for most of my labor with my first baby.
I decided to go with my previous midwife's assistant (who had now become a midwife) as my new midwife with my second. I felt really comfortable with her and felt like I could talk to her about anything which is an important thing to consider when you are choosing your midwife! My first midwife had always been very adamant about certain things and I always felt stressed when I went to see her because I felt she would be disappointed in my food choices that week...I know now that she was trying to help me be as healthy as I could be for my baby, but the way she went about it stressed me out! I appreciated my new midwife's gracious way of helping me to make better choices but with simple and realistic baby steps.
One of the things my new midwife recommended that I do to help me have an easier delivery was to switch chiropractors during my prenatal care. I had gone regularly to a chiropractor with my firstborn but I didn't have a great birth experience even though that chiropractor did use the Webster technique. The chiropractors that my midwife suggested were specially trained in taking care of prenatal women and had some of the best success rates for faster births and for helping flip breached babies of any chiropractors in our local area. I decided after my first birth experience that changing chiropractors may be the best thing I could do for my second birth.
The care I received from my new chiropractors was COMPLETELY different than with my first baby. Every adjustment, they would always adjust my pubic bone with a tool called an activator. This helped the baby stay in a proper downward position and made sure the baby's head was in a better position. They also would work on my round ligaments and my hip alignment throughout the pregnancy. They had special pregnancy pillows for the bump so that they could still adjust me while I was on my stomach for the best results. It was very comfortable!
Waiting For Labor
As far as we knew, the baby's due date was November 2nd, 2016. But November 2nd came and went without so much as a single contraction. I wasn't too worried but the more days that passed, the more uncomfortable I became so I started doing things to try and start labor like flights of stairs, breast pumping, and having my midwife try and strip my membranes...which did not work because my cervix wasn't dilated enough.
On the evening of the 10th, I was with my mom and sister at the opening of a store when I started to get some contractions. We went home and made preparations for birth and I laid down to see if I could rest a bit but then the labor pains stopped. At least, we knew things were getting closer...Since we had not had an actual due date or an ultrasound, my midwife was not overly concerned that I was later than we originally expected because we had not had a solid date picked.
The next day, I went to see my midwife and she was able to feel the baby's head this time and stripped my membranes...I didn't experience any labor pains that whole day even after getting my membranes stripped though. Babies come when they are ready...not when you are!
More Labor Pains
On November 13th, which was a Sunday, I woke up at 5:00 am with some slight cramping. I moved to the couch from my bed to see if I could get any more sleep...I couldn't fall asleep right away so I watched something and then fell asleep for a little while. Around 7:00 am, I woke up again and was feeling some low pressure but I wasn't quite sure if this was real labor or not after the previous Braxton hicks that had happened on Thursday. I wanted to go to church but I decided I would just be too uncomfortable to sit still in church so I had my in-laws come and pick up my one year old to take her to church with them in case the baby really was coming.
Around 8:00am, I also texted my midwife and my mom who was in training to be a doula to give them a heads up but I didn't have them start over yet. I didn't think labor was going to go super fast as I was still breathing through my contractions quite easily when they came every few minutes and I wasn't having any back labor or hip labor like my first birthing experience. My chiropractor had told me that if I could come into the office right when my contractions started she could adjust me one last time and since my last adjustment had been on Monday, I was a little worried that the baby's position wouldn't be quite right and that my labor would get stalled again...
My midwife was able to get a hold of my chiropractor and get an appointment set up for 9:45 am. However, as I had been texting back and forth with my midwife, the pressure/contractions seemed to be getting more intense and a little closer together by 9:00 am. I also felt like pooping during each one...when I mentioned that to my midwife, she wrote back that she wanted to come check me before I went to the chiropractor. I agreed even though I really did think I could make it to the chiropractor (oh the mind of a woman in labor!)
Time To Have A Baby!
My midwife arrived around 9:45...at this point, I still felt like I could handle the pain fine even though it was getting more painful. I didn't really think I could be very far along. However, when Althea got there, she started getting everything ready in the room. So she obviously seemed to think I was farther along than I thought. After a bit, she made a comment that I was starting to get "grunty" which means that I was moving into transition. She hadn't checked me and told me how dilated I was even though she had looked first thing when she came in because she was just letting me be focused on birthing vs being worried about how many cm I was dilated or not dilated so I hadn't realized I could actually be that close to pushing! I told Phillip he had better call my mom to come from church! That was around 10:30 or so. My mom arrived at 10:45 and things were getting a bit more intense.
I was most comfortable on my knees leaning on Phillip and the big exercise ball we had so that is where Althea set up for the baby to arrive. At 11:10 am, I started pushing. I could feel the baby coming down much differently than with Aurora. It definitely felt like trying to poop a bowling ball! With Aurora I was on my back once she had come down through the pelvis so that is why I didn't feel her progress as she was coming down. It was nice to feel that she was actually coming down lower and lower with each push! At 11:20, my midwife said I could reach down and feel the baby's head! I hadn't gotten to do that at all with my first baby! At 11:24, my midwife told me that the baby's head was out! I didn't even realize I had gotten the head out already! One more gigantic push, and the baby was out! I hadn't torn at all!
My midwife brought the baby up to my chest and it was total de-javu. She looked exactly like my first baby! I just sat and held my baby while the midwife and my mom rushed around doing all the things...after a bit, I looked to see whether it was a girl or a boy and it was a girl! We named her Scarlett.
After the placenta was born, we moved to the bed to be more comfortable. It is truly the most amazing thing to have your baby and then just sit and relax in your own bed afterward.
I was craving a delicious hamburger for lunch so my mom went and picked up Five Guys for us...the most delicious food you will ever eat is always after you have pushed out a baby. LOL
When Scarlett was weighed she was 8lbs and 9 0z! The biggest of my three babies and I hadn't torn at all! After resting for a while, I took an amazing herbal bath with my baby and soaked in the healing herbs. Just look at how happy Scarlett was in her first bath! It was so relaxing...that was another wonderful thing about having my baby at home. You can't have a healing herbal bath at the hospital!
Our first successful homebirth had gone way easier than I had even thought possible! Scarlett's head had presented exactly right thanks to the change in chiropractors unlike Aurora's head which had not been positioned correctly. Who knew that having the baby's head in the exact right place would make birth soooo much easier but it definitely did. I 100% recommend to every pregnant mom to find an excellent prenatal chiropractor...they are worth their weight in gold!
I hope my story helps you feel more empowered for your own birth story! Birthing doesn't have to be extremely painful or scary! There are more things I wish I would have known about before having my first and second babies...I wish someone had told me that there were things I could do to make natural childbirth less painful! Check out my guide here with my top 8 things to ease natural childbirth!