My Home Birth Story!
Here it is folks - Baby Daltons birth story
I had my midwife apt (41 week check up). I opted for a cervical check/sweep but was only 1cm dilated, but cervix was veryyy soft so although I thought I had a sweep…apparently I did not, it just felt like I did . I had serious ptsd from having several with Brynlee. My midwife then booked my stress test ultrasound for 9AM the next morning.
I went about my day as usual, drank lots of red raspberry leaf tea, dates, cleaned, did laundry - you know all the things. Dave made our favorite vegan shepherds pie for dinner and I added cayenne pepper to it hey worth a shot to get baby moving! I put Brynlee to bed then got in bed myself.
At about 11:00PM I started feeling SIGNIFICANT movement in my my belly and lightning crotch like woah. Didn’t think too much of it since this was super common throughout my pregnancy. But then the feeling started changing and I very quickly realized they were turning into very intense and consistent contractions - lasting about 1 minute every 2-4 minutes. I woke up Dave and he called my doula and midwife. I laid in bed squeezing a pillow and listening to my hypnobirthing playlists while I just breathed through the contractions.
My midwife waited about 30 minutes then decided to drive out since the contractions weren’t easing up at all. My doula left to head over as well. In the meantime I decided to make my way to the bathroom, get the candles lit, turn on the twinkle lights, turn on the diffuser, play my hypnobirthing playlists and get in the tub to breathe through the contractions.
Dave called my in laws to come pick up Brynlee and gathered her stuff and “goodie bag”. He went in and woke her and let her come say bye to me. I could have cried I was so happy to see her. She came and saw me in the tub with the BIGGEST smile on her face, so excited that she’s going to be a big sister. She gave me the biggest hug then Dave sent her off with her mem & pep. Her smiles, hugs and excitement was exactly what I needed to get through the night. This was her first time sleeping somewhere without mama, so I was so nervous how it would be.
At about 11:30PM my midwives & doula showed up. I did not want to get out of the tub I was in a lot of pain but they recommended a cervical check just to see where things were at. Come to find out, I was only 1.5 cm dilated so that was disappointing. They asked if I wanted them to stick around for an hour or so or leave. I opted to have them stay even though I don't think they were overly optimistic that I was in active labor. They hung out elsewhere in the house while Dave and my doula helped me breathe through the contractions in the tub. They were getting more & more intense and still happening every 2 minutes.
At about 12:30AM my midwives came and checked me again. I was terrified to get out of the tub - that was my happy place. To their surprise I went from 1.5 cm to 7cm in an hour! They told me this baby is coming tonight and began prepping everything.
After having a few contractions on the bed I decided I needed to get back in the tub. Ouchie wow wow, I did not like laboring in bed. My doula & Dave tried counter pressure which helped a bit but I still preferred the tub. I labored there for awhile - the craziest most intense surges of my life. Everything was getting stronger, more intense and it was hard to breathe. The wildest out of body experience of my life. I could feel with every contraction. I was literally breathing the baby down my body. My water broke in the tub and we decided to give pushing a try. I wasn’t getting the urge to push like I had seen/been told happens naturally but knew baby was very low. Throughout my whole labor they were monitoring babies heart rate and kept saying “baby is happy!” So that was a good sign!
I got to a point where I said we need to try other positions to get this baby out, I couldn’t keep elongating things, I just wanted to meet this precious boy and let's be honest...end the pain :). I tried squatting in the tub (hated that). Tried standing out of the tub hanging from Dave (hated that), then made my way to the toilet to try peeing to get things moving. Little did I know I’d be there for a bit laboring in a tight space, on a toilet with everyone huddled checking me, helping with counter pressure, etc. But hey you gotta do what you gotta do - game face time.
At this point my other midwife arrived. Between my doula, my midwives and Dave - they were the best support system I could have asked for. Encouraging me, telling me I can do this - I couldn’t have done it without them…for real. You don’t realize until in the moment how crucial having an entire support system cheering you on truly is.
After laboring on the toilet for a bit and pushing like a mad woman - we definitely accomplished a lot but babies heart rate was dropping slightly and we needed to get me to the bed to check things out. Everything hurt at this point. Hips, back, everything. No matter the position I could not get even slightly comfortable.
Here’s where it gets wild and things took a slightly scary turn. Baby Daltons face was literally entering the world first. (Not his head like normal….his actual face. He was kissing the world - quite literally). A few reasons this was scary. 1. His face was getting crushed 2. There are only TWO possibilities for his positioning at this point. Face presentation births apparently are very uncommon. He was either mentum anterior or mentum posterior. Mentum anterior - CAN be delivered vaginally but it’s still scary with risks and apparently often times they opt for a c-section. Mentum posterior - CANNOT be delivered vaginally - it’s impossible to get around the pubic bone and actually come out so would require an immediate transfer and c-section.
My midwives weren’t sure - it’s a 50/50 guess even though based on ultrasounds prior he was LIKELY mentum anterior but who knows since baby can move every which way during labor. Things got super serious, the midwives called EMS to come stat JUST in case. They weren’t messing around and needed to have a safety net if we needed a transfer. But even through it all, everyone was so calm, positive and optimistic.
My midwives and doula told me in a serious tone - we need to get this baby out. Things got real very quickly. I knew in this moment I needed to pony up, even though it hurt like hell and make these pushes count even if my head pops off and I feel like I’m going to die. Which I said out loud many times lol. My midwife decided she needed to complete an episiotomy on me in order to get baby out safe given the face presentation and current situation. I agreed and within minutes baby was born at 4:04AM, lying on my chest and EMS was called off. We could all officially breathe and Dave and I just loved on baby Dalton while he laid on my chest. We waited several minutes to cut the umbilical chord until it turned white so Dalton could get all the nutrients/oxygen. Then Dave made the cut.
Things were almost over...just had to deliver my placenta and get stitched up (don't worry I was numbed and felt nothing).
I was officially pain free, with a healthy happy baby in the comfort of my own home with the most amazing team around me. Poor baby Daltons face was pretty bruised from being crushed in that position but it went away very quickly and he’s the cutest little peanut . We’re so in love and it’s truly crazy how I went from laboring and the most intense pain/experience of my life to just in peace smiling, talking and laughing within minutes. Our bodies are absolutely spectacular.
I cannot explain fully in words the emotions, feelings and overall experience of a home birth. It’s truly indescribable other than our bodies are INCREDIBLE! Women were born to do this. We are so much stronger than we think and oh so powerful. And just to be able to lay in our own bed, in the comfort of our own home, popsicle and baby in hand...we were in our absolute glory!
I’m so thankful and blessed to have had the most incredible, talented and supportive team around me. And Dave was my absolute rock! I wasn’t sure how he’d be witnessing me in that state but he freaking killed it and was exactly what I needed in every moment of labor. My home birth story was quite the experience but one we’ll remember and cherish forever.
I'll be going live on my IG page @shaunagarneau to share my journey, experience and comparison between this home birth experience and my medicated hospital birth. Feel free to head on over and check it out, ask me any questions! I'm an open book and would love to share my experiences with all of you! :)