Aria is almost 12 weeks old and I’m excited to finally share her birth story!
We decided to do a home birth this time around and it was such an amazing experience. I wanted to share this positive home birth experience for anyone who might have any worries or anxiety around home birth or birth in general.
If you’re looking for a positive hospital birth story, you can read the story of my first’s here, which was an unmedicated hospital birth in a birthing suite.
It was January 30th, a day before my predicted due date. It was Sunday night, we had put our son Massimo to sleep and I was dead tired. I planned on going to bed early that night but God and Aria had other plans for me.
At around 8:30/9:00 I started getting a dull pain in my lower abdomen/pelvis that really just felt like trapped gas and I waited for it to pass. The pain was coming and going for around half an hour but still no gas was being released.
The pain started getting really uncomfortable and I couldn’t sit still. I told Claudio what was happening and he suggested that maybe I was in labour. I was still convinced it was gas – partly because it really did feel like gas and partly because with Massimo my water broke before my contractions started so I assumed the same would happen this time.
I started bouncing on my yoga ball hoping it would move the “gas” around and I could finally release it, feel better and go to bed. But the pain started coming more frequently and was getting worse.
Around 10 PM I was having a really hard time and doing deep breaths to get myself through the “gas pains”.
At this point Claudio is looking at me and he goes “babe, I don’t think this is gas, I think you should call the midwives”. I declined because at this point I was in complete denial – I wanted so badly to sleep and not have to push a baby out until the morning.
I spoke to my mom on the phone around this time and she asked me “should I come now? It sounds like you might be in labour” to which I replied “no no, it’s just gas. I’m going to go to bed and I’ll call you in the morning”.
Looking back it’s actually comical that I was so in denial, the pain was getting so bad at this point there was no way it could have been gas! They were very clearly contractions.
At around 10:30 PM Massimo woke up and I went upstairs to nurse him back to sleep and planned on going to sleep myself, thinking the “gas pains” would resolve themselves if I laid down and went to sleep.
As I was laying down nursing Massimo to sleep I got an insanely painful contraction. I couldn’t sit still and I was just praying that Massimo would go back to sleep soon because I needed to get up and move around and deal with the pain.
As soon as he was back asleep, I left the room and went to the upstairs main bathroom and sat on the toilet, STILL thinking maybe I could pass gas and feel better (insert face palm emoji here).
It wasn’t until I saw blood and mucus in the toilet that I finally came to my senses and accepted that I was in labour.
From here, everything happened so fast – my contractions were coming every few minutes and I could barely talk through them.
It was about 11:00 PM now and I called my midwife’s emergency line and left a message and then called my mom. I barely remember it because I was going through a contraction when I spoke to her but according to her all I said was “there’s blood – come now” and hung up (lol).
We had originally planned to do the birth in the bedroom so all of our homebirth materials were in the ensuite bathroom, but since Massimo was sleeping in there (we’re a cosleeping family) we had to set everything up in the living room instead.
Claudio went upstairs and quietly got everything from the bedroom while I was on the phone with the midwife who had called back. She could tell by my voice that I was definitely pretty far along so she said her and the student midwife that we had agreed to having help out would be there soon.
Everything from here is such a blur because I wasn’t really getting a break in between contractions at this point. Claudio had set up the shower curtains we were told to buy to protect the carpet and the couch and I was on my knees on the floor, leaning over the couch. This seemed to be the most comfortable position for me and I knew this time I wanted to give birth in this position instead of on my back.
Our midwives got to our house at around 11:30 PM and when they checked my cervix I was already 7 cm dilated! My mom arrived around 11:50 PM and the next thing I remember is I was ready to push.
I told the midwives it was time for me to push and they tell me they haven’t set everything up yet and not to push. Sounds easy enough, but it was nearly impossible not to push! Your body just starts pushing the baby out involuntarily.
One of the midwives told me to say “house” every time I felt the urge to push (later I found out the reason for this is for you to breathe out when you need to push, since it’s much harder to push this way) which helped a little bit.
I was finally given the green light to push after the midwives had everything set up. I remember thinking I must have another 45 minutes to an hour to go since that’s how long I pushed with Massimo, but after only a few minutes of pushing I could feel Aria’s head beginning to come out.
I remember our student midwife said in her calm, soothing voice “okay Melissa, the head is out. Just one more big push”. When the next urge to push came, I pushed with every last ounce of energy I had left and Aria was out!
I looked up and saw Claudio’s smiling face as he said “babe look, she’s here!” I managed to turn around and saw our beautiful baby girl for the first time! She was born at exactly midnight on her due date.
She was immediately put on my chest for skin-to-skin time while we waited for the umbilical cord to be drained (we did delayed cord clamping with both kids).
After it was determined that I didn’t need any stitches, I moved from the floor to the couch where Aria latched on to breastfeed for the first time!
I was so excited that she was able to latch right away since Massimo had a harder time and I had to use a nipple shield for a few days to help him to latch on.
Speaking of Massimo, he woke up around 1:30 AM and neither Claudio or my mom were able to settle him (he’s still strictly a mama’s boy at night) so we let him come downstairs to meet his baby sister for the first time.
Despite the fact that it was the middle of the night, Massimo was so excited to meet the new baby and was smiling and chatting with the midwives.
The midwives left around 3:00 AM after helping me to get settled into bed with both the kids and Claudio. It’s crazy to think it’s already been over 11 weeks since then.
I am beyond thrilled to have completed our little family and am so grateful that our home birth went so well. If you’re local to the area, I highly recommend the Burlington and Area Midwives, they were amazing. Special shout-out to Erika, Emily & Sarah!
If you’re expecting, I hope that that Aria’s and Massimo’s birth stories help you to feel confident and empowered to have a home birth or unmedicated birth!
Thanks for reading!