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Amanda's Birth Story by Katherine Hudson

Hi! My name is Katherine Hudson. I live in the United States, and this is my daughter's birth story.

Okay, you know how it is. I was going to become a third time mother. My first two girls were born in the hospital. I had a C-section with Rebecca, my oldest. It wasn't fun, because I had always imagined myself giving birth naturally. I wanted that experience badly. So when I had Jessica naturally in the hospital with no complications, you probably think I was satisfied. Wrong. It was nicer than the C-section, that's for sure. But something was still missing. I felt as though I was being bossed around by the doctors and nurses at the hospital. I wanted to be the boss and run the show. After all, I was the one giving birth NOT them.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my third baby, I looked my husband in the eye and I said. "We're doing it differently this time." When he looked confused, I added: "No more hospital births. I'm having this baby at home. Maybe even in the water. And you are NOT going to change my mind."

I'd love to tell you he agreed with me right from the start, but it wasn't quite that simple. There were some times when even I wasn't so sure if I wanted to have my child at home. Was I scared? Yes. A little. But I knew that I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't try. I wanted to have my kid at home, and I was willing to give it a shot. If something went wrong or if I changed my mind when I was in labor, I'd go to the hospital then. Plus I would have a midwife at my house, so there would be some help.

By the time I was four months pregnant, my husband and I were preparing for the Big Day. Bought the birthing pool and everything. Friends and family alike knew about the birth I was planning, and they were all invited to attend. My two daughters who would be 2 and 4, were staying also. I was due November 10. And I was ready!

I awoke with a start on November 2. Still laying in bed, I realized I was having contractions. They weren't strong or painful or anything, so I calmly got up and took a shower. When I was out of the shower, the contractions were coming a little stronger. Wearing my bathrobe, I tiptoed downstairs. Must have had a strange look on my face, because hubby rushed to my side asking what was wrong. "I think I'm in labor," I groaned as another contraction hit. I sat down on the couch and my girls sat across the room staring at me wide-eyed.

It had been a bad pregnany as it was. I was tired and sick a lot. The girls were used to my complaints. But this time, this day, they were in for the real deal. Their momma was giving birth. I didn't want to scream and holler too much, and ruin all chances of grandchildren in the future. But I wasn't gonna hide it from them, either. So I just sat holding my stomach and groaning a little whenever a contraction hit. My husband was in the kitchen calling everyone and telling them to cancel whatever was planned for the day and come on over. He also called the midwife, who said she'd come around 1 PM. It was noon at the time.

The next couple of hours were a blur. I bounced on my birthball, which my girls thought looked like great fun. (So maybe I'll have grandkids after all!)

But around 3 PM things started getting serious. Contractions were hard. I was sitting on my bed with all my guests around me. The birthpool was filled and ready to go. I moaned and groaned. Hubby got into bed with me. I cried and wailed. I wanted this baby out and NOW! I made all of those weird birthing noises, the strange moans that scare the kids out of their minds. Water breaks. More contractions. All such a blur. (To me, that is. I know my husband remembers it perfectly.)

It was around 5 that I got in the water. It was relaxing. Beautiful. Bliss. Hubby was holding me from behind, and I was still moaning. But when I wasn't moaning, I was sighing with relief that things were looking up. I must have labored in the water for another half hour before my midwife said I could push now.

Hooray! I pushed with all my might. New sounds for the kiddies to learn. =) But it's not as though I'm a wonder woman at pushing out babies. After about 15 minutes, I was exhausted. "Isn't it out yet?" I sobbed. My midwife shook her head. "Hang in there, Kathy! Don't stop now!" She exclaimed.

I held my husband's hand tightly as I pushed again and again. "Oh my God! I want it out, get it out, James!" I screamed. "I can't do this! I can't! I'm too tired! Ow, it hurts so bad!" I was whimpering like a wounded animal. My kids were taken outside for a few minutes. My husband whispered words of encouragement in my ear. It was great. After a few minutes, I was ready to push again. My daughters were encouraged to come back in.

And 15 minutes after that, with me screaming all the way, my girl was born at 6:02 PM. We called her Amanda. I held her for a while, then handed her over to my hubby and daughters. Soon enough, my midwife helped me shower. And that night, I was sleeping in my bed with my baby's cradle right beside me. It was the weirdest thing, giving birth and being at home the whole time. I felt great the next day, albeit a little sore.

I did it. I had my baby at home and in the water. And I suggest you all do the same. It was amazing and inspiring, the most beautiful and wonderful thing. Makes a birth worthwhile. And it did hurt, but I am not scared off of having more children! I want a son, so I will most likely end up with more kids. And I hope I can have them at home with such luck, as well.

Note:
I did not include the technical medical aspects of the birth in this story. Because quite frankly, I wasn't concerned with all the "different stages of labor" and "how far dilated I was." It was a part of the birth, for sure. But just not the part I cared about. Or that I wanted to share. I want to share with everyone what went on inside me. My feelings. These are the things that should be focused on when giving birth. Take out all the nitty-gritty and just...relax. Enjoy the birth of your little miracle.
And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at katherinehuds @ yahoo.com. Thanks for reading!

Katherine

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