Pam Beck's Home Birth Story

Kira Jadzia Beck (hubbie is a die hard trekkie)
11 November 1999
7lb 6oz

My midwife came around on Thursday. After having cramps and contractions for almost 2 weeks, hard ones and ones I couldn't feel, I decided to allow her to see what it had accomplished. She and I were both quiet surprised to find I was at 4cm and about 50% effaced.

During the internal she asked if I was having a tightening because my waters were bulging. Neither of us could feel a tightening, I didn't feel as if I were contracting at all.

After discussing it at length with her and my husband I decided to have her break my waters. At 1:30pm my waters were broke, but I had no timeable contractions. I had frequent contractions that were only about 30 seconds long and not painful at all. I was really hopeful that even though it wasn't hurting, it might be moving my cervix along.

At 5pm she did another internal. I was at 5 very flexible cm and 100% effaced. I have to admit I was disappointed with my progress at that point. I had told myself that the baby would be born by 6pm because my first birth was so fast.

Well, she decided to go out for a visit with the other midwife that would be attending the birth. We joked that this would be when things started happening. As soon as she pulled from the driveway, my husband (DH = Dear Husband) rushed to the front door because I had a very painful contraction that made me grip the kitchen counter for dear life. Too late, she was gone.

I calmed my husband and told him it was just the internal that aggravated the contractions and they would soon even out because going from sporadic to 2 minutes apart just couldn't happen. Wrong! We, I say we, but really it was DH because the contractions were so hard I was a bit beyond it, timed them to 2 minutes.

He was ready to beep the midwife back, but I kept assuring him that nothing was happening and she would be back in 30 minutes anyway. They suddenly went from 2 to 1 minutes. There was no stopping DH. He dropped our 4 year-old off next door after calling to beep the midwife back.

When she showed up a few minutes later, I was still under the impression that nothing was happening, but again I was somewhat hopeful that I would be far advanced, what woman wouldn't be? I had reached 7-8cm in the few minutes she had been gone. We started preparing for the birth upstairs in the bedroom.

The pain finally reached the point I thought I couldn't take it any longer without crying out, so I said I would take the gas and air she offered me. Wow, is that some strange stuff. I really hated the high feeling it gave me, so after 3 tries I decided I didn't want it after all. I had 2 back to back contractions on the 3rd try and because I thought I was over the contraction I took the mask off and was high and unable to control the next contraction. I think that is what made me quit the g&a.

I told DH I thought transition had started, but I wasn't sure. So just to be safe, I decided to take the injection of pethidine. I was assured it wouldn't make me sleep between contractions because it was a very small dose. I'm still not sure if it was the injection or transition, but I started feeling really sick and sweaty.

By this time I was in the bathroom trying to pee with this huge contracting belly in front of the bin I thought I was going to be sick in. Eventually we went back to the bedroom to see if I had progressed any further. I was fully dialated on the backside of my cervix, but the front was swollen for some reason.

The midwife said I should try pushing to see how it felt. I couldn't feel the urge to push so I couldn't give it a good try. I asked to go back to the bathroom because I really felt like I was going to wet myself. Strange enough, I felt like pushing while on the toilet. She allowed me to sit there and push.

After a few good contractions with some pushing with each one, I felt "the ring of fire" and said maybe we should go back to the bed for the rest of it. She felt to see where the head was and agreed.

Somewhere along the way, my second midwife had come around. I remember hanging half out of the upstairs window, kneeling on the floor when I heard the knock at the door. Once on the bed she encouraged me to push and the 2nd midwife was listening to the baby's heartbeat. I was told afterwards that my cervix had decended with the baby's head. The midwife was able to run her finger around it somehow to get Kira's head through.

Things got strange at this point, strange enough I noticed in the state I was in. I kept hearing the midwife's telling me to push really hard and not to let up. I had tiny, tiny breaks in between pushing instead of letting nature bring the baby down slowly to protect the perineum. Then she said to pant when she said pant, don't push. I think I realized that something was wrong at that point. So when she said pant, I panted even though my body wanted Kira out. I heard the clicking sounds of clamps and looked down to see what was happening.

I couldn't see much, but I just knew that the cord was being cut because it was around Kira's neck. I recalled being able to hear a change in her heartbeat when she could pass through the cervix. It was scarey as I pushed the rest of her from me. I watched her come out since I was on my side, I could see it quiet easily. She was very blue and didn't cry, only wimpered.

I had confidence in the ablilities of my midwife so I wasn't very concerned with Kira, I knew they would take good care of her. Soon enough the tension left the room and I heard Kira wimpering more and a little louder. 3rd stage occurred a short while later with only a half hearted push.

Kira was born at 9:10pm with only a couple of seconds of pushing. Even though it was so fast I tore only a tiny bit thanks to the help of a wonderfully skilled midwife. Kira's apgars were 6 going to 9 5 minutes later. She is breast feeding great and is a very quiet baby who has only screamed once in her 36 hours of life.

Homebirth is wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone.

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